Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Love & Forgiveness Retreat - 16th to 18th March, 2012


Friday 16th to Sunday 18h March 2012

Coleg Trefeca, Brecon Beacons National Park,

Theme – “Came to believe”
"A mind once stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Has your life been directly or indirectly affected by addiction? If so this weekend retreat is for you – it will be centred around the 12 step recovery program and key principles of love and forgiveness – we believe that a life characterised by these profound ways of living will equip us to live a life of not only being “sober”, “clean” or “abstinent” but developing a way of living that will emotionally equip you to deal with whatever life throws at you.

It is about you not putting things off any longer but finding a power greater than yourself to help you live an abundant life that is not scripted by your family, environment, peer group or anybody else that controls you. At this retreat you will:

 Learn about the 12 step program of recovery;
 Break through the fears that hold you back (including unconscious fears);
 Reflections on Scripture and other spiritual resources;
 Boost your self esteem;
 Learn how to forgive and heal the wounds of the past;
 Improve your communication skills.

FRIDAY: Introduction and welcome meeting; exploring addiction, powerlessness and the unmanageable life; identifying the exact nature of the things that are dominating your life; sharing in a safe environment; releasing the toxic effects of resentment and anger; making amends.

SATURDAY: Exploring belief systems; power; sanity; making decisions, taking inventory-identifying the exact nature of the things that dominate your life; sharing in a safe environment; releasing the toxic effects of resentment and anger; making amends; time for quiet reflection and guided mediation.

SUNDAY: Group meeting and final meeting to conclude the weekend.

Each part of the weekend involves large group meetings; small sharing meetings and one to one sharing – practical workshops and relaxation times - the sessions are lead by experienced teachers of the 12 Step programme of recovery.

“This retreat gave me hope and courage to face myself – in getting away from the busy life I lead, to deal with the truth of my past, being in a safe place with like minded people has set me free from the confusion and helped me to forgive”

“My world is not such a dark place as I know I am no longer alone – I now understand the recovery program for myself and able to experience the freedom it promises”

Cost for the weekend: £120 - This includes accommodation, all meals, tea and coffee throughout the weekend and study resource material.

CONTACT: SHARON at The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, 58 Richmond Road, Cardiff CF24 3AT; T. 02920 493 895; E.; Web.


Friday 16th to Sunday 18h March 2012


VENUE: COLEG TREFECA, Trefeca Village,Talgarth, LD3 0PP. On the B4560 road between Talgarth and Llangors. Abergavenny is the nearest railway station (18 miles). – For further information on the venue please go to the following website : Street map: If you have any difficulty with transport there are usually spaces in the cars that go from South Wales – so that can be arranged.

Everyone attending MUST register. Registration is on Friday 16th March 2012 until 5.00pm. Please allow 30 minutes for this process. Registration opens at 3.00pm.
At registration:
- you will receive your workbook
- name badge
- shown to your room
- shown around the venue to familiarise you with the layout – meeting rooms and dining area etc.

Friday 16th March: 6.00pm to 10.00pm
Saturday 17th March: 9.00am to 10 pm
Sunday 18th March: 9.00am to 1.30pm

Please note that the times are approximate only – the retreat providers are committed to the highest standard of presentation and aim to ensure that all the material is covered, therefore the time schedules may vary. There are regular comfort breaks throughout and an hour for breakfast, lunch and evening meal with other times out throughout the weekend.

DRESS - There is no dress code - please dress comfortably – we hold some outdoor activities – depending on the weather it is worthwhile to bring a sweater and waterproof.

DISABLED ACCESS – There is disabled access throughout the venue.

To book your place contact SHARON at The Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs,

58 Richmond Road, Cardiff CF24 3AT; T. 02920 493 895;

E.; Web.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Landing lights in the dark

How one Person in Recovery sees Living Room Cardiff, the new recovery centre for Cardiff and South Wales.

I think in metaphors all the time, it's almost a compulsion, but as I am something of a story teller by trade, I think it's naturally how I am meant to think. I teach history, and from time to time historical visions come to me, and they help me to explain and comprehend my own recovery.
One such image has stayed with me for a while now, and it concerns the fate of American airmen during the Second World War, as they flew in the twilight across the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean.
They had been sent out to find the Japanese fleet; I can't remember if this was at the Coral Sea or Midway or Leyte, but it was long before the outcome of the war was certain.
They had flown from the decks of America's aircraft carriers, their only home in tens of thousands of square miles of ocean, searching for the Japanese.
When they found them the fighting was bloody and many on both sides were lost, the Americans, having completed their mission, flew home, but as they did, the sun began to set.
The commanders of the US fleet knew that the biggest danger to them was a Japanese reprisal attack coming at night and they decided they could not risk having the landing lights on their aircraft carriers on, as they would stand out like beacons.
So the desperate pilots, now low on fuel circled and circled, looking for ships they could not see, and could not find, until one commander, hearing plane engines that he was sure were American, relented and switched on the flood lights.
Like that, there was and island of light in the dark. Planes that were flying on fumes descended from the night, their exhausted crews tearful with relief.
How like recovery this sounds, we come from so many futile, bloody struggles, so weary and full of pain desperate for anything in the wide lonely oceans and wildernesses of our lives to cling on to, and if we have faith and don't surrender to despair, someone, somewhere will turn on the lights for us.
Once I was the pilot, skidding down the runway, now I am the man on the deck, guiding others to touch down at Living Room Cardiff, on our island of light in the dark.