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Sunflowers and Cocaine.

Counselling — admin @ 11:05 pm

Sunflowers and Cocaine.

Here at Counselling Connections this week we had one of those ad hoc chats standing around the kitchen just like the old days before the pandemic. The subject of our discussion this week, as always, is just about what is happening in front of us just now. Right now, there were two things in particular. We got into a discussion about the garden here at the office. Those of you familiar with it will know that we are lucky enough to have a long town garden, a regular oasis from the busyness of the street outside.

We have had one or two issues in the garden lately, the principal of which has been two infestations of aphids in quick succession. The weather has been consistently hot and mostly dry and in promoting good plant growth this also created perfect conditions for the greenfly to thrive. Greenfly love nothing more than fresh new green growth. They feed on the underside of new leaves sucking the sap and turning the leaf black and causing them to wilt. They have wreaked havoc on a crop of young Sunflowers we had grown from seed.

We took some remedial action and although we lost about half the sunflower plants, we managed to save the rest and they seem to have recovered well enough. As part of the same office chat, we spoke briefly again about another infestation which seems to be continuing undimmed around us. That is the proliferation of recreational drugs, cocaine in particular. And, as we do, we made the comparison between the two parts of our discussion, the sap eating infestation of greenfly and the sap eating characteristics of cocaine.

We have strong views on the harm that drugs can do. This is based on our experience of working with individuals, couples and families who have been struggling to cope with the consequences of the damage to physical and mental health and on relationships. We feel sometimes like we are swimming against the tide in our ‘say no to drugs’ point of view. It is very much the case at the moment that there is a strong view that there is no harm in a little cocaine use and that everyone is at it. We don’t agree.

One thing that we say about the whole area of addiction is that the book is already written. It is very difficult to imagine anything new can be added to the patterns of behaviour. If you are in the grips of recreational drug us, let alone full-blown addiction, you won’t come up with a brilliant new idea that someone else hasn’t tried already. Or a brilliant new excuse. It all been tried already. Denial is probably the first and most important part of the process. Denial about the drug use and denial about the harm it is causing. Lies go hand in hand with that. And those lies become corrosive to relationships and to good mental health.

We have seen many beautiful souls hurt, sometimes beyond repair, down the years through drug use. Psychotherapy literally means soul healing. We will continue to bring a little healing to souls in the face of the drug epidemic that continues beneath the pandemic. We live in hope.

The analogy, the metaphor, is with those Sunflowers we were able to save from the greenfly. Feeding them well, taking care of them, giving them exposure to sunlight and protecting them from the cold. Looking after them in this way will facilitate their blossoming with great yellow flowers. And those flowers contain the seeds which help to keep the circle of life going.


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