Fermented Prebiotic Food To Stimulate Good Gut Health.
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Coping

It had never occurred to me how underestimated coping was until I was told at a rehab centre in Dublin that my brother’s chance of developing healthy coping mechanisms had gone due to heavily drinking his way through the time in which they are meant to develop - said Doctor quoted between the ages of 15 - 17 years of age. Bereft of anything except more choking tears after the rollercoaster it took to get my brother into rehab the first time, I wondered how my brother would cope with life stresses and challenges as he grew into an adult and hopefully, one day an old man with this new piece of information now whizzing around my head.

Battling addiction when your coping mechanism is to drink is utterly unforgiving. The emotional and physical scars showcase just how deeply the self-abuse has dug itself into you.

Observing how people cope has now become a fundamental part of how I look at people.

Some people skew towards mental health issues, some don’t and within that, people have different belief systems or don’t. People have different personalities, come from different places.

The thing about coping is it’s completely down to you. And when how you cope is the difference between real and positive change or the opposite, coping in my opinion has become dangerously ignored in our society today.

Over the past decade I have engaged on every level with the pillars our society offers in trying to conquer dangerous addictions. From the police service to rehab clinics to hospitals to homeless shelters to prison to the best of the best on Harley Street. Anger has seethed through my bones at what a lot of the time seems like severe ineptness in the wrong people supporting the few leaders in addiction recovery doing the right thing.

In my hope for my brother to get better I have often thought about the system a serious addict will go through and how we could make it better. Every time I think about it I come back to the words of the psychiatrist I met in Dublin many years ago - “his ability to cope.”

Addiction to drugs, alcohol and self-harm are undoubtedly some of the more severe addictions one can have. I’ve met addicts over the years who’ve changed their drug and alcohol addiction for a “safer” one. An addiction to work. An addiction to fitness.

Whether an addiction be life-shortening or perhaps life-enhancing the nature of an addict’s ability to cope largely focuses on this one thing that they do every day.

If the alcoholic doesn’t get a drink they are ratty and unsociable similar to the yoga-oholic. That then affects the decisions they will make that day, their relationships and most importantly their ability to look after themselves safely.

One of the most interesting things I’ve observed over the years is how one’s coping mechanism can be contagious. Social media has done an outstanding job in enabling this but also disabling this it must be said.

Traumatic events test our coping mechanisms. And just like muscle memory new events can bring back the way we coped during that traumatic time without even realising it!

Over the years I’ve met a countless number of people struggling to eat right for their gut type because their coping skills have never been looked at in a meaningful way.

I now believe that a huge part of building healthier and happier societies comes down to investing in coping education.

It seems to me that positive changes come about when this ability is robust.

Coping will become a topic at The Happy Tummy Cookery School so that the efforts we put in to bettering the states of our guts through fermented baking can have a deeper effect on our overall wellbeing.

My dream is that one day people like my brother have a better shot of leading a happy life because as a society we think and act more longer term. We think about what we can do for a 10 year old, a 15 year old today so that when they’re in their thirties, forties, fifties, they really are living their best life and don’t need to depend on flawed systems which can never promise recovery.

 

The first two lines from Mumford & Sons song 42 seem to sum up so eloquently the questions I’ve asked, the questions my brother has asked, the questions I’m sure many of us ask. It is a thoroughly beautiful song and if you have access to it right now I encourage you to listen to it. For those that don’t here are the lyrics -

42, Mumford & Sons from the album DELTA.

Where do I turn to when there's no choice to make?

And how do I presume when there's so much at stake?

I was so sure of it all

But what if I need you in my darkest hour?

And what if it turns out there is no other?

If this is our last hope

We would see a sign, oh

We would see a sign

Well I've been running from the ashes we left

Forgiveness speaks for itself but how can I forget

When there's a stain on it all

But what if I need you in my darkest hour?

And what if it turns out there is no other?

We had it all

If this is our time now

We wanna see a sign, oh

We would see a sign

 

So give us a sign

I need some guiding light

Children of darkness, oh

Here’s to us all coping better in 2019.

Big love, your Baker Girl, Karen xxx