Life with Addictions – with Robyn Flemming

“You never drank THAT much.”

How often have you heard this yourself or said the same to a friend or family member? Many people consider their level of drinking as ‘normal’, when in reality it’s masking a distressed emotional state.

We all develop coping mechanisms to stress and people drink alcohol for a variety of reasons. So when does a self medicating vice become an addiction?

As Robyn Flemming shares this week, it’s not so much the amount, but the affect it has and what you’re seeking through it. In this episode Robyn talks candidly about her life as an addict, primarily with alcohol, but also other dependencies. She reveals the ever present personal negotiations around her drinking, and the trade offs she made to enable her addictions. For those with no experience of addiction, Robyn will help you to understand the complexities of this path, the internal struggles and what happens when you start to not like your own behaviour.

This is a powerful episode that encourages the listener to reflect on the relationship with themselves and explore their own coping mechanisms.

Robyn is the author of “Skinful: A Memoir of Addiction” and a freelance book editor. An Australian, she lived in Hong Kong from 1986 to 1993, and was a global nomad from 2010 to 2020. A former “grey area” drinker, she has run five marathons and 48 half marathons all over the world. In 2022, she will resume her global travels. Robyn is a keen smartphone street photographer.


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Episode information

Music by Grant McLachlan

Resources for help

In the UK

Adfam – help for families dealing with drug and alcohol addiction

Al Anon – Family group support alcohol addiction, drug addiction and addictive behaviours

Carers UK – Support for carers

Samaritans – FREE Help – Tel: 116 123, E:

NHS Depression Support Groups

NHS Mental Health Services

The British Psychology Society – Find a Psychologist

Mind – Addiction and Dependency Support

In the USA

National Institute of Mental Health – a range of helplines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Tel: 1-800-273-8255

American Psychologist Association – Psychologist Finder

USA Government – Help for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

In Australia

Beyond Blue – Mental health support

Headspace – National Youth Mental Health Foundation with support services

The Black Dog Institute – Medical health resources, services and research

SANE Australia – Counselling support, Tel: 1800 187 263 (10am – 10pm)

Alcohol and Drug Foundation – Help and Support Services

OR contact medical services in your country.

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