Tag Archives: Wedge Gardens

Resilience – being psychologically and emotionally tough

No person goes without adversity, trials and tribulations and even more so those who dabble in addiction.

“Often, their challenges are self-inflicted,” says Karen Griessel, a social worker at Sanca-affiliated Wedge Gardens rehab centre in Johannesburg.

“Being able to bounce back sooner than later is what matters. It must also be said that it takes conscious effort to be resilient and take your power back but, in the end, it is so worth it,” she says.

“If we look at the world pandemic at present, all of humanity is showing resilience in one way or another so it is part of most people’s nature to want to fight back or fight for what is right.

“The good news is that resilience can be practised, just like working on your muscles in the gym. If you are not born assertive or you lack confidence, it does not mean that you cannot nurture these characteristics. Learn to be solution-focused and not to obsess about problems – this, at the core, is all about self-belief.

“Research on resilience theory shows the importance of managing one’s immediate environment by addressing demands and stressors head-on,” she says.

Resilience ties into the strength-based perspective which means using one’s resources, skills, positive attributes and strengths to fight difficulties.

“Positive thinking doesn’t mean ignoring a problem; it means understanding that troubles and setbacks happen but that with confidence and self-esteem, they can be overcome,” says Karen.

The 7 Cs of resilience

  • Competence in knowing how to handle a situation effectively.
  • Confidence rooted in competence.
  • Connection and networking.
  • Character in knowing what is right or wrong.
  • Contribution.
  • Coping, which leads to handling stressors better.
  • Control as a problem-solver and not a victim.

Wedge Gardens offers holistic rehabilitation for the body, mind and soul. Find out more at www.wedgegardens.co.za

Self-care, an essential service to yourself

Making time for yourself in today’s busy world is often a challenge – and this is even worse for active addicts whose entire focus is on finding their next drink or hit.

Karen Griessel, a social worker at Johannesburg’s Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre, says an addict’s life is consumed with not only finding and using their alcohol, drug or pill of choice, but with thoughts of getting clean. “It is a continuous sick cycle that is their constant priority,” she says.

Taking care of themselves falls by the wayside, she adds.

“Once the recovery process has started, self-care becomes critical. Physical care – such as personal hygiene – is easy to achieve but emotional self-care is more complex.

“Let us be honest – all of us struggle to find the balance between looking after ourselves and getting through work, family and community obligations.

Karen says the intrinsic characteristics of kindness, compassion, patience and forgiveness are vital when it comes looking after yourself holistically.

“During active addiction, individuals used drugs or alcohol to deal with stress, cope with life or to handle emotions so it is important for them to find new and healthy life and coping skills.

“Recovered addicts will have less chance of relapsing if they have a balanced lifestyle and a holistic sense of overall wellbeing: emotionally, physically and psychologically. This will empower them to fight off depression and anxiety, maintain positivity and reduce triggers and cravings,” she says.

Self-care tips:

  • Practise mindfulness, which is the conscious awareness of experiences by staying present.
  • Stay connected and have a healthy support structure.
  • Look for interests, opportunities and ideas and follow your goals and dreams.
  • Keep active by exercising because this naturally increases happy hormones.
  • If you need medical or psychological care, do not procrastinate – just do it.
  • Get enough sleep and follow a healthy diet to reduce stress.
  • Be aware of your negative states, like being hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
  • Make sure to maintain healthy boundaries if you feel irritated or uneasy.
  • Have fun and laugh a little and make sure you stop and smell the roses.
  • Reach out and ask for help if you need to.

Based in Johannesburg, Wedge Gardens offer holistic rehabilitation for the body, mind and soul. Find out more at www.wedgegardens.co.za

Increased addiction challenges ahead?

#Sanca #WedgeGardens

Addiction expert Adél Grobbelaar is concerned that the unavailability of legal cigarettes and alcohol during the lockdown will worsen the challenges faced by people living with addiction.

Adél, who holds honours degrees in social work and psychology, has dedicated over three decades to assisting alcoholics and drug addicts in an attempt to reintegrate them back into society.

She has run the Wedge Gardens rehab centre in Johannesburg since July 1998.

“There is a lot of anger and frustration over the decision of government not to allow the sale of cigarettes and alcohol.

“Government seems to think that if people cannot obtain ciggies and booze, they will eventually stop using them. While the legal availability of both these substances presents the perfect time to give up smoking and reduce drinking, human nature and addiction means this will unfortunately not be the option taken by the majority of people.

“Instead, alcohol and cigarettes are being bought on the black market and many of these products are even more harmful than what is available legally. The poor quality of black market products will worsen existing health problems and speed up the development of new ones.

“Working in a rehabilitation centre and admitting patients during this period has made it clear to me that people suffering from substance use disorders will definitely make a plan to lay their hands not only on cigarettes and alcohol, but also illicit drugs.

“Someone always knows someone else who can get anything for a price,” says Adél.

“Addicts would rather buy drugs and booze than food – therefore the legal unavailability is not addressing addiction problems.”

People queued for miles to stock up before the lockdown was enforced. Can you imagine the chaos when sales are once again allowed? she asks.

Another concern is that with the recession, people might not be able to afford the costs of the legal products and with the new contacts they have made on the black market, will turn to increasingly inferior products, once black market prices drop down to what they were before the lockdown.

“The unavailability of cigarettes and alcohol is not necessarily going to address the addiction problems in our country – in fact, it might aggravate them in the long-term. Time will tell,” says Adél.

The power of positivity

#SancaWedgeGardens #Rehab

During these testing times of COVID-19, many people are struggling with depression and anxiety. This poses particular challenges to people already battling substance abuse problems, especially those who have a dual diagnosis and also battle mental health issues.

“It is said that we win over negativity with positivity. Good feelings and thoughts will hopefully snowball to create peace,” says Sanca Wedge Gardens rehab centre social worker Karen Griessel.

“It is important to choose to be around people who are positive as their attitude will rub off on you – and the opposite is also true because negativity breeds negativity.

“Easier said than done, you say?

“With the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic hanging over our heads, many people feel overwhelmed. We do, however, have power in our free will and choices. Doing the next right thing and making positive choices can be a great tool for bringing about a positive outcome in your mind’s eye.

“Have hope or faith that no matter the circumstances, something good will come of it and things will work out as they should. We can create an outcome by positive visualisation, which activates positive reinforced brain activity.

“Lastly, by knowing what you want, you will have a reason to try and change your mindset. This will add an emotional energy to drive the power of positivity.”

Based in Johannesburg, Wedge Gardens offers holistic rehabilitation for the body, mind and soul. Find out more at www.wedgegardens.co.za

Learners get the nitty gritty on abuse

Wedge Gardens’ staff presented a preventative programme to the Gr 7 learners at Gustav Preller Primary School in Roodepoort on September 28, 2017. “The information forms part and parcel of their Life Orientation subject; we touch on various topics but zoom in on addiction,” says Adél Grobbelaar, the head of the Rand Aid Association substance abuse treatment centre. Continue reading Learners get the nitty gritty on abuse