Wasn’t it comforting in last week’s blog to realise that generosity is innate in us? So are loving others and being honest and kind. Young children demonstrate clearly that it’s not natural to lie around in bed, to be dishonest, to work too much, to eat or drink too much, to dislike ourselves, to be unforgiving, or to expect too much of ourselves or others.
While it’s easy to understand the pressure that teenagers feel today to have that first alcoholic beverage, have you ever considered that as time goes by and we place more and more reliance on drugs or alcohol to feel good that it may be those natural childlike and innate feelings that we are trying to regain?
Thanks to The Chronicle for showcasing one of the entrants participating in Ocsober, Life Education’s annual October fundraiser to raise awareness of the harms associated with alcohol and drug use.
I was interested to find out how many media personalities have either made the decision to give up alcohol for good or never felt pressured to do so: Dave Hughes, Barry Humphries, and Angus Young of AC/DC to name just three. Apparently, they haven’t felt ‘left out’ of bonding rituals, can be just as uninhibited at parties, and can still find a partner and fall in love. They’ve also said that they haven’t been held back by unproductive weekends or procrastinated interminably as the result of hangovers or fuzzy heads. I’d have to agree.
As our nation continues to seek answers to the exploding mental health epidemic, alcohol and drug use are high on the agenda. Biomedical research is telling us that drugs and alcohol hold us back from recognising our inherent intelligence and abilities, and facing our fears.
Although religions have been far from silent on the use of psychoactive drugs, and spirituality has long been emphasized as an important factor in recovery from addiction, surprisingly little research has explored the relationships between these two phenomena. Current findings indicate that spiritual/religious involvement may be an important protective factor against alcohol/drug abuse. From a Christian perspective, Christ Jesus, change-agent extraordinaire, gave us a simple recipe for staying mentally and physically healthy – ‘humble yourselves as a little child’. OK, that means be ready to change, forgive yourself and others easily, be honest and enjoy life. Just common sense, really.
Cheers to everyone participating in Ocsober. Let me know how regaining your natural childlike alertness, health and mental wellbeing works for you. I’m sure the state and federal governments would also like to hear how spirituality and sobriety maintain mental wellbeing, this Mental Health Week.
Kay Stroud blogs on spirituality and health. She’s also the spokesperson for Christian Science in Northern Australia. For more articles like this visit www.qldhealthblog.com