Dec 9, 2018

Max Dalda Muller Nov 18

The speaker this month was Max Dalda Müller and the subject was ‘Addiction’.

The meeting opened with club business, when Lynda Wilkinson was welcomed onto the committee as the new Speaker Organiser/co-ordinator. President Karen Janas proposed that Wellington WI should have an entry in the Wellington Carnival and asked for ideas. A scrap-booking meeting is to be held in the New Year and members were asked to upload any relevant photographs. Bridget Hodges thanked everyone for their hard work with the poppy bombing and requested that members continue to make poppies in preparation for an extended display next year. Caroline Swan reported that the walking netball continues to be well supported and great fun and that a representative from English netball would be giving a master class at the next meeting. The final Welly Ramblers walk of the year will be on 18th December and will start and finish at the Half Moon at Clayhidon, where lunch will be taken. All other club events are to be found on the Meetups page. In the Secretary’s report, Rachel Ellins was pleased to announce that £83.89 was raised in donations at the last meeting for Exmoor Rescue.

The speaker this month was Max Dalda Müller and the subject was ‘Addiction’. In a fascinating and informative talk, Max spoke about the roots and causes of addiction, illustrated with the startling statistic that one third of the population are addicts of one kind or another. He explained the biological, social and psychological theories of addiction, which highlighted why some people are unable to control their addictive nature. In a moving account, Max told members of his own life journey. After a difficult childhood which left him with identity problems and unresolved anger, Max began smoking marihuana in his early teens and quickly became addicted to that and other drugs. He also discovered that drinking alcohol could make him more confident but, as with the drugs, he was unable to control it and descended into a life of drug taking, alcohol and extreme behaviour. He eventually ending up homeless and on NHS issued methadone and diazepam. He was, he explained, physically and spiritually broken; cut off from his family and unable to get the help he needed. One night, whilst begging for beer, the intervention of a Police Community Support Officer turned Max’s life around. He listened to Max’s plea for help and put him in touch with the Pillion Trust, an outreach charity for the homeless, and the long road to his recovery had begun. Four years after leaving rehab, Max qualified as a trained counsellor and now works to support the carers and families of addicts. He told members that he felt lucky to be alive and was keen to share his experiences to show other addicts that there is a way out for them. Max’s enlightening and personal story was very warmly received by the members.

The December meeting will be the Christmas party, which will be an Abba night and meal to be held at The Beambridge for members only. The January meeting, to which all are welcome, will be on 17th January 2019 and the subject of the talk will be ‘Chemicals in Beauty Products’.

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