GETTING BACK UP AGAIN
In the deluge of self- help books, blogs and seminars, it can be hard to decide where to start (‘ You will survive… and thrive’, Aug 19). Following Jill Nystul’s advice on taking things “one day at a time” can be a huge stopgap in our own lives. Not to diminish the potency of more intensive treatments such as therapy or a top- to- bottom overhaul of lifestyles — but, often, just taking the tiniest of steps towards wholesomeness can put us well on the track to recovery with minimal effort. Something as basic as cleaning a couch or other ‘ life hacks’ recommended by Jill’s blog can get us out of the self- destructive maelstrom we may find ourselves in.
Most of Jill’s cited role models are women who’ve thrived resiliently while emerging from hostile situations. I feel this is an important element in her success. Finding like- minded individuals who’ve experienced the antago- nism of the universe makes it easier to maintain self- regard in situations where words like ‘ positivity’ and ‘ affirmation’ seem like vacuous concepts thrown around by career authors looking to cash in on the genre. Jill’s personal experience with literally “drowning [ her] sorrow” with alcohol abuse makes her authenticity really shine through.
Along with cultivating a support network and steadily chipping away at the demons of life, I shall be frequenting Jill’s blog, as in the words of Lao- Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Nand Mulani, by email
Writer Cathryn Kemp once stated, “I used to think an addict was someone who lived on the far edges of society; wild- eyed, shaven- headed and living in a filthy squat… that was until I became one!” The whole gist of the interview with Jill Nystul is precisely that — it could happen to anyone (‘ You will survive… and thrive’, Aug 19). A single episode or bad experience is enough to drive one off the edge. And addiction need not mean only alcohol or drugs as it is often misunderstood to be; it has a primarily psychological component wherein the individual is unable to control any addiction without help.
And that’s where the crux of the matter lies: getting help. Not many are willing to admit they have a problem and even fewer are ready to get help due to fear of stigma or plain reluctance. Jill emphasises the point that they are not alone; and that there is no shame in seeking help. The five points she outlines are absolutely spot- on, and will surely serve as inspiration for the thousands suffering through addictions.
A wonderful quote in The Scarlet Letter goes like this: “She had not known the weight, until she felt the freedom.” Addiction is a huge burden, an unnecessary one and one that need not be carried. With a little help, there is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. And at the end of it all, you will survive, and thrive.
Valiny Rodrigues, Abu Dhabi