That’s what’s guiding my life at the moment. With my autobiography – ‘No Room to Live’ – due to be published on 1st March, 2010, I’m obliged to put aside my Daily Blog temporarily and concentrate on writing the final three chapters of the book. Naturally, my ongoing recovery takes precedence over everything, but I’m still able to achieve many goals around the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs’ 3 year strategy.
This last weekend, for example, we held our first retreat on ‘Forgiveness and Healing’ at St Non’s Retreat Centre in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. And it was a joy. The number of people able to attend this weekend was limited because of lack of space, but, without exception, all our aims were achieved: 1) to create an environment to promote recovery and healing from alcoholism and other addictive illnesses for the sufferer, their families and friends (the beautiful location itself facilitated this); 2) to help identify the issues that prevent people from living life to the fullest (an inability to forgive self was the primary reason for many this weekend); and 3) to create positive lifestyles through personal responsibility and the release of emotional baggage (a lot of healing took place at St Non’s; here is a typical response):
"I feel so blessed to have shared the experience of healing this weekend with all you lovely people.
If I was ever in any doubt, I am now convinced that God really does work through people.
The love I received and the encouragement and peace along with many tears and laughs was incredible.
It’s hard when you go back to the normal world (you know with those people who don’t really understand us) and you want to share your weekend. If I had to tell the people at work this morning that I had a wonderful time sitting crying buckets and then throwing stones over a cliff, I really don’t think they would get it!!!!! Since I work for the NHS they would probably lock me up in the Psychiatric ward and be done with it.
Never mind you all know what I mean when I say the tears were so cleansing and refreshing that I feel renewed.
I feel the peace in my heart and that is a miracle. I have not had peace in my heart for a very long time. Love, Trish xx"
You’ll be able to view more similar testimonies on our website soon. Go to www.welshcouncil.org.uk.
Our next retreat will be at Coleg Trefeca from 22nd to 24th January, 2010. Trefeca is a lay training and retreat centre located in Brecon Beacons National Park in the historic home of Howell Harris. We’ll look forward to welcoming you there when we’ll attempt to cover every aspect of the weekend for your enjoyment and satisfaction. Our desire will be to ensure also that the weekend is inclusive and does not isolate anyone, offend or cause any obstacles.
It is our prayer that this retreat, like the one in St Non’s, will be another landmark and stepping stone in your life’s journey. We hope it will be inspirational, challenging and the utmost in fine fellowship. If there is anything that we can help you with over the weekend, all you have to do is ask and we will do all that we can to assist. All that we ask is that you keep an open mind, relax and enjoy the weekend.
We also have a huge fundraising event on 25th October, 2009. Theatr Ieuenctid Maldwyn, a music and theatre group comprising 350 young people and based in mid Wales, will perform a compilation from their shows over the last 25 years at St David’s Hall in Cardiff.
This group have produced many shows including Myfi Yw and Pum diwrnod o rhyddid. They have been produced by Linda Gittins, Derec Williams and Penri Roberts. Now THIS IS THE GOOD NEWS. The event is being orgainsed to raise money to support the Welsh Council’s efforts to establish the LIVING ROOM CARDIFF/YSTAFELL FYW CAERDYDD – a free, bilingual day-care rehabilitation centre incorporating structured programmes for anyone experiencing difficulty relating to alcohol, drugs (prescribed or illicit), or any other dependency.
The new centre will open in April, 2011.
We are indeed indebted to these young people for supporting our efforts in this way. So get your tickets friends – this will be a night to remember. (You can acess more information about THE LIVING ROOM CARDIFF/YSTAFELL FYW CAERDYDD by going to our webisite www.welshcouncil.org.uk and clicking on ‘Day-Care Centre’
You can also access further information about the fundraising event from www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk
As you can see, we’ve got a very busy period ahead of us – as we continue to promote ‘Choice and Responsible Living’ in relation to alcohol and other drugs.
(My every best wish, Wynford).