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Craig’s Story Part 4 (told by his brother Stewart)

Comfort Zone

It’s been 5 months since Craig passed away and something that I always promised myself and him is that I would advocate for change to a poorly run system. The NHS has been failing those that it was intended to serve and it’s time for change to ensure the most vulnerable are getting the help they need.

Over the last few months I’ve been in contact with local newspapers, journalists and people that are in a position to make some positive changes in how we treat those with addictions and mental health issues. Chris Clements from “The Nine” program has always shown a keen interest in what I had to tell him about Craig and Teressa’s struggles, so thankfully he’s spent the last few months compiling the information that I gave him to produce a short story for the show.

I feel like we all want things to change for the better, but too many of us are not comfortable with being uncomfortable. We need more open conversations, more people advocating for change, and more face to face connection with those that are struggling. If we all did things that challenged us on a daily/weekly basis we would be stronger and more resilient. Too many of us get hung up on what others might think or are just too embarrassed to stand up for something that we believe in.

These last few months have been uncomfortable and challenging for me; I don’t like being on camera and I generally don’t like talking on the phone. But I know that when I can push myself outside of my comfort zone to have challenging conversations and talk about issues that matter to me, the more likely it is that other people will hear and feel more comfortable talking about their own experiences. One thing I’ve learned through all of this is that it can be very lonely when a loved one is caught up in the cycle of drug use or has mental health issues. It’s even worse when they die. The family and friends who are left behind feel so isolated and like no one will understand, or worse, that people will judge them based on how their loved one died, so they just don’t talk about it.

Talking can bring us together, help us find support, and even save lives.

Please share this link and start having these awkward conversations until they become as natural as talking about the weather.