About me: addiction, survival and recovery
Through gaining personal empirical knowledge, Saf incorporates this experience along with research, training and vocation in guiding those afflicted by trauma and addiction. The complexity of human behaviour requires a non-prescriptive approach; Saf transforms people's lives through mentally disbanding the cause of their pain. As a proponent of breaking free from 'the madness', Saf has successfully liberated numberless individuals from tribulation so that they continue to lead a fruitful and inspiring life.
Anecdotal experiences are, of course, respective, yet I am a firm believer that a lesson lived is a lesson learned. Through the tumultuousness of my life, I have ascertained a certain comprehension of addiction and trauma which cannot be taught or read; thus, this conceivably gives me the authority to share my experience in the hope of helping others.
I currently embody the role of a recovered addict, speaker, radio and talk show host, but above all a survivor. My mission is to give those who are suffering a message of hope and help these individuals transform their live in a peaceful, powerful and positive way. There is no telos to my journey, but I simply hope that I can help people become mentally, emotionally and physically free along the way so that they too can become survivors that have overcome and thrived in the face of adversity.
I find that it helps enormously to talk about my trauma, mental health & addiction and subsequent recovery and my philosophy is that if I can spare even one person from going down the path I did, then everything I do will be worth it. I am by no means asserting that I am omnipotent being that can transform the indomitable, but I hope to act as a mentor and ally because I am someone who understands how to rebuild a life, even if there is seemingly no way back.
Addiction does not discriminate. Many people have the preconceived impression of an addict to be an unaspiring and apathetic person, maybe someone with pitiable hygiene whose life solely revolves around their addiction. Whilst I can subscribe to the thought that an addiction is debilitating and at times all-consuming, the stereotype of what an addict is should be dispelled. I was born into a middle-class family, attended an acclaimed boarding school and grew up to be a loving husband and father.
Despite my ostensibly picture-perfect life, I became ensnared by the power of addiction which caused havoc in my life and affected my loved ones to a great degree. I am yet to determine if I was born an addict or if is a consequence of some of the woes that life threw at me. I was adopted, abused physically, racially verbally and sexually. I suffered wounding bereavements, developed an inferiority complex which can be affiliated to my circle of friends. I was diagnosed as bipolar.
To be frank, I don’t know if these events caused my addiction or if it was some sort of predisposition, but I do know that I am an addict and will always be an addict. It may sound counter-intuitive to some that I use the term addict in the present tense when my aim is to help people change their lives, but for me it all comes down to accepting the addiction. Acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today. It was unnerving for me to ask for help, but in all honesty, it was scarier to continue to do what I was doing. My destructive behaviour and volatile mental health that addiction caused plagued my life to becoming unmanageable, but a person may have to hit rock-bottom in order to value their existence. I vehemently believe that the potency of my self-destruction led me to recovery.
I find it difficult to verbalise the extent of the perils of addiction, or the ‘madness’ as I call it. Primarily because addiction often causes a loss of inhibition and rational thought; I used to act uncharacteristically, sometimes delving into the realm of the unethical. In retrospect, coming from a place of recovery, my past self is unrecognisable and the way that I acted seems so senseless as I am now enlightened to the splendour of sobriety. The most tangible effects of addiction are seen in the pain of my loved ones. During the madness, I both financially and emotionally bankrupted my family.
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