Dry the Wright choice Be­ing dad takes pri­or­ity

Cockburn Gazette - - HEALTH NEWS -

WHEN Matt Wright de­cided to take on the Dry July chal­lenge, fam­ily was at the fore­front of his mind.

Ex­pect­ing a baby with his part­ner Ta­mara, Mr Wright de­cided to fully pre­pare him­self for the ar­rival of his first-born with a month-long al­co­hol detox.

With daugh­ter Annabella ar­riv­ing mid-July, the Au­bin Grove res­i­dent said he wanted to give her the best start to life.

“Lead­ing up to Dry July, I thought the gift of giv­ing is one of the best gifts in life and I thought I’d start her on the right foot by do­ing it on be­half of her,” he said.

“I ac­tu­ally started two weeks early in case she came early; you hear those hor­ror sto­ries where peo­ple have had a few drinks and then have to send the mis­sus and the baby to the hos­pi­tal in an Uber.”

While Mr Wright is lov­ing be­ing a new dad, he also partly at­tributes his re­cent pos­i­tive frame of mind to the al­co­hol ban, which he said had helped him bat­tle a few per­sonal de­mons.

“Lead­ing up to her com­ing, I had my first-ever bout of anx­i­ety. Pre­vi­ously I have done Dry July more for phys­i­cal rea­sons, but this time I did it for the men­tal side,” he said.

“I never thought I’d suf­fer from it, but I wasn’t the same and a few friends pulled me up. I got help and de­cided to clear my mind, do a detox and fo­cus on men­tal tough­ness.

“Not drink­ing, along with pro­fes­sional help, has al­lowed me to strengthen the men­tal side.”

Cur­rently reap­ing the re­wards of the detox, Mr Wright said he had found the big­gest chal­lenge in pre­vi­ous years had not been re­sist­ing al­co­hol but peer pres­sure.

“Peo­ple seem to take of­fence and I know it’s the Aus­tralian way and it’s how our cul­ture is, but peo­ple seem to take of­fence when you’re not drink­ing. I don’t know if it’s about their own in­se­cu­ri­ties,” he said.

“One of my mates who stopped drink­ing, he went out to a con­cert the other night and one of his friends was has­sling him so hard he al­most felt like hav­ing a drink to shut him up.” THE open­ing of a new Can­cer Sup­port­ive Care Cen­tre at Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal is ex­pected to help peo­ple re­ceiv­ing treat­ment south of the river.

Can­cer Coun­cil WA pres­i­dent Ge­orge Yeoh said the cen­tre, which is run by his or­gan­i­sa­tion, added to the ser­vices avail­able at the hos­pi­tal.

“The clinic is gen­er­ously funded by the Dry July Foun­da­tion and of­fers psy­choso­cial care and sup­port to im­prove the qual­ity of life of peo­ple with can­cer and their loved ones,” he said.

The range of com­ple­men­tary ther­a­pies al­ready in­cludes aro­mather­apy, mas­sage, re­flex­ol­ogy and reiki, with plans to add med­i­ta­tion and mind­ful­ness.

Mr Yeoh said about 12,000 West Aus­tralians were told they had can­cer each year.

“Can­cer has a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the lives of pa­tients and their loved ones” he said.

“The sup­port­ive care ser­vice is aimed at the pro­vi­sion of emo­tional, prac­ti­cal, spir­i­tual and sur­vivor­ship sup­port to as­sist can­cer pa­tients and their fam­i­lies to min­imise the im­pact of the can­cer dis­ease and treat­ment on their lives.”

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