Arkansas farmer opens up about recovering from alcoholism
The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging farmers to talk more about mental health wellness.
During a recent webinar hosted by Farm Bureau, licensed professional clinical counselor Cynthie Christensen said speaking with a therapist is a big first step to combat mental health issues.
“There is nothing more important to your farm operation than you,” Christensen said. “I would really encourage you to value yourself.”
Arkansas farmer James Dixon says he’s hopeful his recovery from alcohol addiction can help others. “I was drinking every night when I bought my first farm at the age of 23,” Dixon said. “I never thought it was a problem and it never interfered with my daily activities. In my mind, everybody drank at night.”
He says his drinking kept getting worse, but eventually reached out for help. Dixon says he went through treatment twice on his path to recovery and has now been sober for six and a half years.
“Step by step things get better,” he said. “You learn to be able to look people in the eyes again and forgive yourself. Even though everybody else may have forgiven you, it takes time to forgive yourself for everything you’ve done and move on.”
Dixon says it can be difficult to talk about mental health issues, but encourages anyone struggling to ask for help.