Additional Thursday Zoom Meeting

We are now holding an additional Zoom Meeting on Thursday nights at 6:30pm. While the meeting was added to facilitate members who formerly attended the Thursday night Stanhope Street face to face meetings, all are welcome.

Clicke here to join.

New Face to face meeting now taking place in Lower Abbey Street, Dublin on Saturdays at 11am

We are happy to say we are now holding an additional face to face meeting at Dublin Mission Centre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin at 11:00 on Saturday mornings.

As with all face to face meetings, at present, it is necessary to prebook and other safety measures are in place. If you wish to attend or would like more information please email Sarah and leave a contact phone number.

We are indebted to LifeRing Scotland for the following tips that we wholeheartedly endorse.

Set yourself up for success

If this is your first day in recovery, you are likely to be feeling low.

You may be wishing you were not like this and could deal with addictive substances “normally”

You may have family or loved ones who are disappointed with you.

You may be hating on yourself.

These are all thoughts which are counter productive.

It is a good practice to reframe your thoughts on all of this, in fact it is a good practice to reframe every situation you are likely to come across.

I would reframe this as: I am taking control of my life in a healthy positive way. Life can be so much better. This is a freedom, not a burden.

These statements may feel odd just now but people do recover, and find that the journey of change, is liberating, and worthwhile to the extent that they are grateful that they came to this point. Yes they are grateful they have this “condition” because it brought them to a point where they can find joy in life. 

Live in the now

In the short term, forget about what you did or didn’t do in the past. Seriously just accept that that was then and this is now. There will be time in the future where you can look back, with an objective mind, and look back in the right way. That may be with the help of counselling, but right now you want to just get a period of sobriety under your belt. 

Be your own observer

Read about mindfulness. You don’t have to be an expert on it, just be aware of it, such that you can be aware of emotions that you will have. Being aware of emotions and accepting them is a way to keep urges at bay. Being aware of anger (for example), seeing it coming, observing it, accepting that it is ok to feel that way, but that you do not need to act upon it. 

This may be difficult at first, but like everything it gets easier with practice. 

Do what you need to do

Keep this close to your heart.

Ignore all or any of this advice if you feel it is truly counter productive to you staying sober. 

You do what you need to do to stay sober.

If a loved one wants you to go to an event, and you do not feel you are ready, then don’t go. This is a time to be selfish. Don’t want to shop and pick up a bottle for your partner, “Sorry cant do that, you need to get that yourself.”

Cope with urges

Surf your urges

Urge surfing is a mindful activity. It is linked to being your own observer. Taking a step back from your thoughts, and observing the urge, like the temper tantrum toddler that it is. Read more below.

Urge Surfing

Delay, Distract, Decide

Delay: Give yourself 10 mins, you can decide after that.

Distract: Do another activity, could be, TV, reading, excersise, anything to take your mind off things.

Decide: Write down pros and cons. “Play the tape forward”. What will happen if you do? What will happen if you don’t? 

Be kind to yourself

This is not the time to beat yourself up. You deserve to recover.

Eat ice cream.

Pick up a long lost hobby.

Buy something nice with the money you are saving.

Give yourself a hug.

Feel good about what you are doing.

Sleep

All of this thinking about change can be exhausting, get plenty of rest.

Make an attempt at improving  your sleeping habits

Speak to other peers

There are resources out there 12 steps, SMART recovery, or LifeRing. Find what fits you best. Keeping engaged will help you enormously. It is likely to make the difference. If you are able to do this on your own then all power to you, but many have found this to be the thing that keeps them sane. 

Think about relapse in the right way

If you slip, then it is really important that you get back to the right frame of mind for your next attempt.

Slipping and relapse is a normal part of recovery.

Again, the same things above still apply.

You may be feeling that you failed. This is a perfect opportunity to reframe your thoughts on this. ” I have an opportunity to learn more about myself. I can learn from this and put myself in a better situation for my next attempt. ”

LifeRing Starts Up in Scotland – The Irish Connection

It is wonderful to see LifeRing now setting up in Scotland.  This formidable project has undertaken on by Michael, a Scot who lived in Ireland for a number of years and has recently returned home. Michael says LifeRing played a vital role in his recovery and feels that its secular, non judgemental, non prescriptive approach will meet an unfilled need in Scotland.

Already LifeRing Scotland is holding online meetings at 11am on Saturdays. Microsoft Teams is used and you can join in a browser window or install Teams for PC, Android or iPhone. Join a meeting using this Link to online meeting.

We in Ireland are very proud of Michael and wish him every success.

Visit https://lifering-scot.org for more information on LifeRing Scotland.

You can find them on twitter at @LiferingScot.

You can email them at admin@lifering-scot.org.

Dublin Central Mission (DCM) face to face meetings have now resumed. This brings our total of reopened venues to three.

Pre-registration is required (drop a note including your phone number to info@lifering.ie). Other Covid 19 measures are in place including a requirement to wear a mask.

Suspension of recently resumed Face to Face Meetings as Dublin enters Level 3 (September 18th)

In light of the new restrictions put in place by the Government this evening (Friday 18th September) as it announced that Dublin was entering Level 3, we are suspending our three pilot Face to Face meetings (all held in Dublin).

There will therefore be no meetings at Dublin Central Mission, The Stanhope Centre or at St Brigid’s Parish Centre, Cabinteely until further notice.

The Tuesday night online meeting will resume from Tuesday 22nd September.

Update on Meetings, 29th June 2020

The LifeRing Ireland Committee has produced this information paper to inform members of current and projected meeting arrangements. Planning is being undertaken in an evolving public health context, and in what is a challenging time for everyone. Members are asked to bear with us and to contribute any workable solutions for the safe and sustainable resumption of meetings as we work through the steps outlined below. For details of how you can help, please read on.

What LifeRing meetings are currently running?

All national face to face LifeRing Ireland meetings have been suspended, in line with Government public health restrictions.
Online Meetings are available, and will remain ongoing as required.
When face to face LifeRing Ireland meetings resume, details will be posted on www.lifering.ie

What are other peer support groups doing?

All mainstream peer support organisations have taken the same measures, and moved meetings to exclusively online formats. Any face to face meetings taking place before 26th June are not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, the established organisations, including LifeRing Ireland.

All organisations are now beginning to consult and plan for the resumption of face to face meetings.

When will Face to Face Meetings resume?

Previously published guidance necessitated the closure of face to face meetings, as undertaken by all mainstream recovery support groups.

The common goal of all in LifeRing is to resume face to face meetings as soon as it is safe and sustainable to do so. This will involve identifying suitable alternative meeting venues, and assessing each one in sufficient detail to demonstrate compliance with public health requirements. Former venues will also need similar assessment. In all cases, Covid-19 training will be needed, and insurance arrangements will require review. We note that venue operators may impose further or different requirements.

LifeRing Ireland intends to develop and implement a consistent approach across all meeting locations, so that no group is disadvantaged and resumption of meetings is managed in a safe and sustainable way for all.

The intention will be to avoid as far as possible stop/start or sporadic meeting schedules, though this possibility cannot be ruled out as public health requirements continue to evolve.

Government guidelines published to date do not include specific guidance for voluntary groups such as LifeRing. Government guidelines for places of employment require that Employers appoint “covid supervisors” and draw up specific management plans. LifeRing will consider whether it is appropriate to adopt similar measures, and how this might be implemented in practice, and will seek further clarification on this issue.

All members are advised to study the latest Government public health guidelines for Phase 3, updated on 26th June (or later revision). These are and available as a Stay Safe Guidelines Booklet here. An extract showing guidelines for indoor gatherings is included at the end of this document for reference. 


Where will future meetings be held?

In most instances, our normal meeting venues remain unavailable for now, as these are located in public buildings or healthcare settings.

We have developed a set of assessment criteria for alternative meeting venues. Similar considerations will apply before meetings resume in former venues. These are shown here in preliminary form, and suggestions are welcomed to refine the criteria further, in conjunction with new Government guidance, as it becomes available.

The following minimum criteria shall be assessed:

  • Consider location in terms of access, security, parking, public transport options. Where possible, all attendees should travel alone, or with a member of the same household.
  • Ascertain requirements/policy of the venue operator, including any sanitisation before and after to the room and access routes. Get a copy of any checklist.
  • Establish whether the operator will staff the venue, lock up etc.
  • Establish if contact tracing is a mandatory requirement of the venue.
  • Assess adequacy of the room size for an appropriate group size, allowing for physical distancing.
  • Assess general room suitability in terms of ventilation, lighting etc. A location with two rooms having independent access may assist with organisation and logistics.
  • Consider accessibility for all – avoid as far as possible any steps, uneven or poorly lit / unsafe access routes.
  • Consider space outside for queueing at 2m intervals, and whether sheltered. Queueing length and time will increase with group size.
  • Check availability of toilets, and any requirement for sanitisation after use.
  • Establish cost, available days and times, minimum rental period, general T&Cs, period of notice on both sides, rental refund arrangements or similar in the event of Government- mandated closure etc.
  • Assess whether the venue has capacity for a larger group, in the event that public health guidance permits meetings of larger size or longer duration.

Other items for consideration when assessing venues:

  • A similar assessment of former venues may be necessary, to establish their compatibility with the stated criteria and evolving public health guidelines.
  • Convenor training and insurance arrangements to be considered.

What will future face to face meetings look like, with public health measures in force?

Government Phase 3 measures come into effect on 29th June, however the LifeRing Ireland Committee has already developed a preliminary scenario for resuming face to face meetings.

Under present conditions and guidelines, the meeting scenario is likely to be broadly as follows:

  • Convenors to fully implement requirements/policies required by the venue operator, including sanitisation as required. Follow any checklist provided.
  • Meetings are likely to last no longer than 50 minutes, starting promptly, with no late admission and no time over-runs.
  • Attendance numbers will be strictly limited, depending on capacity and other characteristics of the venue. Limiting the meeting duration is also a consideration.
  • All attendees and convenors to wear face coverings, unless exempt for medical reasons.
  • Convenors to arrive in good time to prepare, including sanitisation if required. Check that room ventilation is adequate. HSE poster to be displayed at the the entrance.
  • Attendees to arrive early, to allow for queueing and contact tracing registration (if required).
  • Contact tracing: the convenor will take a list of all contact details and phone numbers at the entrance, which must include convenors (GDPR implications tbc).
  • Hand gel to be provided at the entrance. Must be used by all, including anyone in gloves.
  • A second convenor may be required to attend outside the door once capacity is reached.
  • No voluntary collection can be made. Opening and closing statements cannot be passed around. Books and literature will not be available.
  • Convenors to close the meeting, and sanitise the room and any access routes or other areas as agreed with the venue operator.

Other items for consideration:

  • Since two convenors may need to be present, it may make sense to have two meetings back to back, with an interval for sanitisation and then role swap. Venue availability and policy of the venue operator may ultimately determine this.
  • Larger groups will involve longer cleaning and queueing times.
  • Face to face and online meetings may best take place on alternative nights, to increase availability and to ensure that convenors are available for both meeting types.
  • Guidance is needed on the collection, management and retention of contact records.

What can Members do to help with Next Steps?

All members can continue to support each other through the continuing online meetings.

Volunteers are now sought from among convenors and regular LifeRing attendees alike, to contribute to two work streams:

(a) to develop and refine these outline proposals, plus Covid-19 procedures and training needs

(b) identification and assessment of alternative meeting venues

If you are willing to help in working on these next stages of reopening our meetings, please send an email with your contact details and location to info@lifering.ie

Once responses are in, a representative group from across LifeRing locations will work together to coordinate efforts, pooling our resources and knowledge to develop solutions at pace.

In this way LifeRing can collectively develop workable solutions to the significant challenges of complying with public health requirements, to support our common aim of resuming meetings safely and sustainably.

Extract from Government public health guidelines for Phase 3 (available as a Stay Safe Guidelines Booklet here )

We are setting up online meetings corresponding to each ‘real’ meeting previously held.

For meeting times and link to meetings see our Online Meetings Schedule

In response to the coronavirus outbreak ALL Physical meetings are suspended until further notice.

We are in the process of setting up regular online meetings corresponding to each ‘real’ meeting previously held.

To arrange an invitation to attend please drop us an email to meetings@lifering.ie.

We now have confirmation that LifeRing meetings in Stanhope Centre (Monday night) and DCU (Friday night) have been suspended until further notice.