Far be it from me –

Guest Blog by Catherine G Lucas – Alcoholic Skeletons In The Cupboard?

Alcoholic skeletons in the cupboard?

Alcoholic skeletons in the cupboard? The doors have been flung wide open on mine over the last couple of weeks. With alcoholism rife in my family, I knew I wanted to write about it, that I had something to share. I didn’t anticipate, however, that it would bring the kind of healing with my father that it has. He died over 25 years ago! (See my blog post ‘Me and My Alcoholic Dad’.) I also didn’t anticipate that the launch would leave me feeling open and vulnerable.

There are aspects of my family’s trauma around alcohol that I haven’t shared because they’re still too recent, still too raw, too unprocessed. I hadn’t anticipated that this release of my latest book would bring all that to the surface. It’s done just that, offering an opportunity to process, heal and let go. It takes time though, and it takes self-nurture and self-care, precisely what I talk about in the book. I’ve had to really practice what I preach. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Be patient.

I’ve been posting free audios of mindfulness practices as part of a series of Mindful Sundays for the launch. Unconsciously, last week I chose to record the Selfie Hug practice, without realising it was just what I would be needing. I uploaded it to my website for everyone to have a go. So I laughed out loud when last Saturday turned out to be World Hug Day.

One of the key tenets of my mindfulness training with Breathworks was self-disclosure. That it’s more than just appropriate when we’re teaching to share what’s going on for us; it’s actually necessary, essential. The alternative is a failure to be real, a failure to be fully present both with our own suffering and that of others. To not self-disclose is a slippery slope of covering up, of pretending to be okay when we’re not. I’ve played that game in the past, when I was a university lecturer. It didn’t work for me then. I ended up standing at the front of the auditorium feeling more like an actor on a stage. And it doesn’ t work for me now.

What I can do, embodying the principle of self-compassion, is take time out from the busy launch schedule to look after myself. This morning I took the whole morning off. Unplugged the landline and switched off the mobile. Went for a swim. Spent ages reading one of my favourite magazines. Journaled about what’s been coming up, about this precious opportunity to understand aspects of myself and my wounding that have never before made sense to me.

The mindfulness concept is that rather than resisting or pushing away what is painful, we acknowledge it with compassion and then gently step towards it. For me that meant writing about it, exploring it on paper. What’s interesting is that I only felt ready to do that after I had nurtured and consciously pampered myself with a swim and a magazine browse. And yes, by the end of all that I felt considerably better, especially, I sense, thanks to the journaling. I know I’ll have to pay particular attention to self-nurturing over the next couple of weeks. Thank goodness I’ve learnt how to put ‘me’ first when I need to. And I’m still learning…

So if you’ve got some skeletons of your own who think it’s Halloween and time to come dancing out, take extra good care of yourself. Put yourself and your needs first. Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Be


© Catherine G Lucas 2017

Catherine G Lucas is a mindfulness trainer and the author of several books on the holistic approach to mental health. Her latest, Alcohol Recovery: the Mindful Way (Sheldon Press), is out now. Mindful Sundays are happening over at http://www.catherine-g-lucas.com. You can follow her on Twitter @CatherineGLucas or FB @CatherineGLucasAuthor.Signing Book.JPG

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All About Brain Damage Therapy

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Emotional Prostitution & Mind’s Latest Request For ONE ‘PD’ Expert by Experience

'Personality Disorder' In The Bin


Come along & be “inspirational”, spill your guts, serve yourself up on a plate and guess what you even get £50 to spend. What’s not to like?

So……here is the latest attempt by national Mind to try to inform themselves about ‘personality disorder’…..

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It begs the question, what the hell is going on with national Mind at the moment!? Only 4 months ago they outraged and betrayed many mental health activists by agreeing to a secondment of one of their key managers to a placement for the department for work and pensions. Yes, that’s right, the same DWP that has decided that if we are able to read an alarm clock, or raise our arms above our heads we are completely undeserving of support from the state.1

And now some bright spark has decided that Mind HQ doesn’t  know enough about ‘personality disorder’ and as a result have put…

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PIP claimant set to take DWP to court over refusal to allow him to use email : DNS.

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The Politics of Suicide

The last few weeks have seen public policy on suicide prevention climb the political agenda. Ian Marsh and Anne Cooke consider whether anything new is on offer. On Monday Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, will make a speech promising to improve mental health services and to reduce the suicide rate.  The speech is, in part, a response to recommendations from NHS England’s mental health taskforce, and to the House of Commons Health Committee’s  interim report on suicide prevention published just before Christmas.  Whilst we welcome a renewed focus on suicide, we worry that (if you will excuse a macabre pun) the Government are flogging a dead horse. The central thrust of the proposals seems to be that we need to keep on doing what we’ve been doing (unsuccessfully) for decades, only more of it. The main assumption underlying the Prime Minister’s speech and the Health Committee report seems to be that people who kill themselves are mentally ill.  It’s an idea that’s dominated our thinking

Source: The Politics of Suicide

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A Disorder For Everyone – Exploring The Culture of Psychiatric Diagnosis – 3rd March 2017





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Lisa Cherry – Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences


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