SPRING NEWSLETTER: OF NEW BEGINNINGS, HOPE AND HEALING.
With Spring blossoming and the Recovery Walk on the horizon, comes a reminder that making a choice to stand for something and stand together can bring untold hope. Every day we are faced with a choice to do the ‘same old, same old’ or make a difference in our own or someone else’s life.
The Recovery Walk gives us the opportunity to stand together for de-stigmatisation of addiction and against the practices of marginalisation and ‘othering’ of people. These practices are all around us and have disastrous effects. The more we can recognise them and take even the smallest stand against them the closer we will get to creating a safe and more just world for all.
Together we can!
WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT. EVER. – an honest account of addiction, recovery and hope.
Prospect Hill counsellor and director speaks to her colleague Bobby Jean-Jacques about her recently-launched memoir.
Describing, in intimate detail, her journey from conflicted and chaotic childhood through depression, mania, addiction and forays into what became a solid recovery as a counsellor, Desiree’s book is a candid revelation, a page-turner of note. Amid rave reviews, the book jumped to eighth on the Exclusive Books bestseller non-fiction list in days.
Your book, in part, comes across as a no-holds-barred exposé of your life. I wonder if it was at all cathartic, a way of bringing your personal ‘demons’ into the light as it were?
It was both an excruciatingly painful and an extremely cathartic process. I come from a trans-generational legacy of secret-keeping so to effectively purge the taboo secrets and talk about the stigmatised issues – such as abuse, addiction, mental illness, the difficulties of recovery and parenting – was, in effect, like ‘bringing my demons out into the light’. Demons don’t like the light but it was necessary to speak my truth without holding anything back. It was a healing process that I am still feeling the effects and benefits of.
What was the best part of the writing process?
The best part of writing is actually writing! Ask any writer! Getting words out on paper, pouring my authenticity out onto the page. It brings a huge sense of accomplishment.
And the least best?
Other than doing most of my writing at 3am in the morning, there was the pervasive worry about who I would hurt with my revelations in thebook. It was not my intention to paint anyone in a negative light; it was simply my truth and perspective but I didn’t want anyone to feel injured by my portrayal of them.
In what way has the writing of this book informed your personal journey?
The writing and publishing of the book IS my personal journey so it has reinforced my desire to remain authentic, act with integrity and speak my truth in all of my interactions. It is also the realisation of a dream come true – a dream I have fostered since I was a child – so I am very proud to have put my story out into the world.
It’s gritty, yet the honesty makes it easy to find relevance for readers. What is your hope for readers who might be going through similar struggles?
My hope is exactly that: hope. While the book has been described as brutal and searing, the overall message that I wish readers to derive from it is that there is always hope, irrespective of your life experiences, personal struggles and own afflictions.
What has the response been like to your book?
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Readers are resonating with my story and my honesty on such a deep level. Everyone who has contacted me after reading the book has spoken of how it moved them to tears, how they related to certain aspects and how they have been touched by my courage to speak about the unspeakable.
Do you plan to write another one? If so, what’s the teaser?
I have been writing another book (I can’t help myself, I am compelled to write!) and its still in its embryonic stage but will also be as honest and open as We Don’t Talk About It. Ever.
Please join us on Heritage Day, Monday 24 September, for the fourth Recovery Walk Cape Town. For more info, click here.
PH partnered up with U-Turn and we have a collection bin in our reception area. We would like to ask our colleagues and clients to spring clean your homes and please donate anything – clothes, blankets, toys, ANYTHING – to this amazing cause that helps the homeless in
Prospect Hill would like to welcome Farahnaaz Dyer to the team. She is a Certified Trauma Therapist and comes with a wealth of experience and compassion. She is currently running the #Change support group for those who want to experience and maintain the process of recovery. For more info, click here.
Jean Dixon and Katy Menell will be facilitating a workshop on “Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness” on 26 October.
For more info, click here.