A panelist on Blended share their thoughts on addiction.

313: Blended – I’m Not What You Think: Fighting the Stereotypes of Addiction

It’s episode 27 of Blended: I’m joined by another talented panel of guests and, today, we’re talking about addiction. This is a topic that is still very taboo. But, as with most things in life, it’s not black and white. Not all addicts are the same, and not everyone is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Our rapidly evolving culture has seen the rise of addiction to things like shopping, social media and even work, but our attitudes to addiction are still very much based in the past. And, around a very certain type of addict – the one I’m sure we’re all used to seeing meet a terrible fate in film and TV.

And this kind of thing always worries me, because none of our conversations around DEI can move forward if we’re still holding on to stereotypes and judgments. Things are moving forward for women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community – it’s time to do the same for all those struggling with, or supporting loved ones who are struggling with, addiction.

Today, our guests will be sharing their experiences of addiction; the power of nature in aiding recovery; loss and grief; tackling addiction in the workplace; and advice on how we can support those struggling, at work and in our communities.




[01.15] Introductions to our Blended panelists.

  • Angie – Founder of Siblinghood of Recovery Podcast
  • Ariel – Herbalist & Intuitive Healer

[03.41] The group reflect on what addiction really is, and share their personal experiences, of struggling with addiction themselves and of supporting others.

“It really isn’t down to one specific thing or specific challenge, it’s a result of a lot of things.”  Angie

  • Lack of control
  • Link to trauma
  • Genetics
  • Intergenerational trauma
  • Mental ill health
  • Blame, shame and judgment
  • Self-worth
  • Compassion and forgiveness
  • Self-medication
  • Loving the person, not the addict
  • Being ill-equipped to support others
  • Trying to find safety and coping mechanisms in unsafe outlets

“I grew up in a family of addicts… and through coping and dealing with trauma I, at a young age, got into drugs and drinking.” Ariel

[25.09] The panel discusses the power of nature in aiding recovery and share their different recovery journeys.

  • Replacing dopamine
  • Learning to trust your instincts
  • Getting active
  • Releasing trauma and stress from the body
  • Empowerment
  • People telling you who you are
  • Expectations and limiting beliefs
  • Re-writing your story
  • Dysregulated nervous systems

“Nature provides in every single way – it’s not just the biological, it’s the spiritual.” Ariel

[34.22] The group discusses what recovery looks like, tackling addiction in the workplace, and what companies can do to provide support and change mindsets when it comes to addiction.

“I would challenge some companies to start using the phrase ‘sober curious’.” Angie

  • Holding space for people and creating conversations
  • Education
  • Accountability
  • Support and allyship
  • Culture of drinking
  • Changing industry events
  • Speak from the heart, not the ego
  • Never give advice or opinions
  • Offer professional resources
  • Outsourcing and liability

“The HR industry has to figure this one out, because there are so many legalities of ‘how deeply do you get involved in an employee’s personal life?’ ” Angie

[54.03] The panel reflects on the loss that often comes hand in hand with addiction, and how best to support people.

  • Forgiveness
  • Grief
  • Build your own community
  • Support networks
  • Normalize words and conversations
  • Boundaries
  • Triggers
  • Respect
  • Meet people where they are
  • Open-minded

[1.07.02] The group sum up their thoughts from today’s discussion.

“When it comes to addiction, we can put ourselves on a pedestal. ‘Oh we don’t do that.’ There’s that stigma that comes with addiction. And once we take ourselves off that pedestal, we realize those people aren’t different to us, that we can help and support them and they have a place in this world.” Ariel



You can connect with Ariel on Instagram, or find out more about Angie’s podcast Siblinghood of Recovery over on her website, or on Instagram.

If you enjoyed this podcast, why not check out 252: Blended – Hiding in Plain Sight: The Reality of Workplace Discrimination or 158: Blended – Story of my Life.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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