52 Weeks of Gratitude · Mental health · Relationships · University

Week 7: A friend (part 1)

It’s easy to see that this gratitude challenge greatly values friends: there are three entire weeks dedicated to this topic! As I’m writing this, however, I somehow feel stumped about whom to dedicate this post to. How could I possibly choose from the many beautiful people that has touched my life?  I’m not going to choose… Continue reading Week 7: A friend (part 1)

Depression · Life · Mental health · Relationships

Supporting your friend with depression

I’m not gonna lie, not too long ago I had absolutely no idea how to help someone going through a depressive episode. I’ve made more than a few mistakes, made things worse at times, and spent more time not knowing what to do than actually helping. After being on both the giving and receiving end,… Continue reading Supporting your friend with depression

52 Weeks of Gratitude · Mental health · Relationships

Week 4: A family member

I’ve had this person on my mind for this post for days! My little sister. I say little, but to my annoyance she’s been taller than me for years; the gap between our heights is only increasing. As the picture sort of hinted, she’s a budding photographer. She’s got a gift for most things artistic,… Continue reading Week 4: A family member

52 Weeks of Gratitude · Life · Relationships

Week 2: Spouse or significant other

Whoa, talk about starting this gratitude challenge at the deep end. On a serious note, I am incredibly lucky to stumble across my best-friend/partner hybrid. We were very close friends before we dated so we skipped over the whole awkward-first-stage-of-dating bit. Thank goodness. I’m awkward enough as it is… What can I say about him?… Continue reading Week 2: Spouse or significant other

Life · Mental health · Relationships

Love song

A few days ago I stumbled across this awesome TED Talk on the subject of addiction. Here, Johann Hari spoke about his personal journey to uncover the roots of addiction, having experienced close family members’ struggles with it. 

“… The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”

– Johann Hari 

Give it a listen if you’ve got a spare fifteen minutes, but his main message is clear. Addictions arise when we don’t have “bonds and connections that [we] want to be present for”. When we can’t “bear to be present in our lives”. And, ultimately, the way that we deal with people with addictions is inherently faulty: we threaten to take away the very connections that people with addictions want to be present for. We imprison them. We fine them. We stamp them with criminal records: we essentially barricade their way to jobs, security and social acceptance.

Perhaps it’s time that we sing them a love song instead of a battle song. Perhaps it’s time to, as Hari suggests, say “you’re not alone, we love you”. “Because the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”