‘Unraveling the Mystery of Personal and Family Recovery: An Interview with Stephanie Brown, PhD’ by Bill White (Part 4)

Unknown-1We continue Bill White’s interview with Stephanie Brown on family recovery. I cannot emphasise to you enough how important Stephanie’s work is.

‘Bill White: It poses the question of what the ideal scaffolding would be like that could support recovery.

Stephanie Brown: I think we understand much better today that the family encounters a vacuum on entering recovery with or without formal treatment or outpatient therapy. This vacuum within the family, and the same kind of vacuum in the community – the neighborhood, town, city, work, school, and social environments – is a significant problem.

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‘Unraveling the Mystery of Personal and Family Recovery: An Interview with Stephanie Brown, PhD’ by Bill White (Part 3)

Unknown-4Bill White: In 1999, you published a book with Virginia Lewis that virtually transformed my own understanding about family recovery from alcoholism. Could you share with our readers how the book came to be written and some of its major conclusions?

Stephanie Brown: The book came at the end of a ten-year research project that Virginia and I undertook in 1990 to study the process of recovery for the family. I had always wanted to know what happens to the whole family when the drinking of one or both parents stops.

We asked the same main question I had asked previously: is the process of recovery for the family similar to the process for the individual, and do the stages of active addiction and recovery I identified for the individual hold true for the family? We discovered pretty quickly that these stages do hold true and that they are a good guideline for understanding what happens with recovery growth following abstinence.

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Chiara de Blasio Tells Her Story

Chiara is daughter of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. In this professionally prepared clip, she talks about her depression and anxiety and her illicit drug use and treatment. Chiara also emphasises that recovery can’t be done alone.

YouTube clip intro reads:

‘For many, the holiday season is a time for joy. But it’s also a time when many of those battling depression and substance abuse find their struggle most difficult. In the hopes of helping others, Chiara de Blasio wants to share her personal story.

If you think you have a problem, don’t wait. Ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, or health professional today.’

Most visited content: Nos 11 – 15

rsz_img_4069I continue our list of the most viewed content on this website, this time focusing on those that just missed the top ten.

15. Beth’s Recovery Story: ‘Becoming Beth’ tells the story of a young lady who says, “I really shouldn’t be here.” Beth was dependent on alcohol by age 19, had an eating disorder, anxiety condition… and more. Now she is in recovery, running Smyls, a solution-based service to help other people.

14. Stopping heroin use without treatment is an article I wrote focusing on Patrick Biernarki’s research in the mid-1980s into how 101 heroin addicts gave up using their drug without accessing treatment. Far too few people know about this seminal research.

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‘Out of the dark into the light: The beginning of the recovery journey’ by Rosie

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy good friend Wynford Ellis Owen of The Living Room Cardiff was a regular blogger on Wired In To Recovery. While he was on holiday, his ‘stand-in’ Rosie wrote some beautiful blogs. Here’s the first.

‘Leaving the dark place of my drinking and moving into the light of my new life has been a journey of self discovery – a journey of change – a painful journey at times – a wonderful journey – which has brought me what I was seeking most – peace.

I have come to understand that recovery is a healing process of mind, body and spirit, and time is an essential factor in this process. We cannot expect to recover from the illness of alcoholism or any other addiction overnight. We cannot undo the harm done in a short space of time. This is a fact which I believe is so often not recognised – people are not realising the importance of time in the recovery process.

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Brene Brown on joy and gratitude

Vulnerability expert Brene Brown talks about the relationship between joy and gratitude and offers a few tips on how to cultivate more joy in your own life.

Check out Brene in our section of books to help your recovery.

Independent film producer shines light on addiction and recovery

Leslie Glass and her daughter Lindsey Glass have just made their second documentary about recovery. Here is a film clip and report from YourObserver.

At a 2011 luncheon for the premiere of her first documentary film, “The Secret World of Recovery,” Leslie Glass remembers hearing a collective gasp as she told the crowd of nearly 400 people that she was the mother of a recovering addict. It was the first time she’d ever told anyone.

“When you come out with it for the first time, you have a sense of shame about it,” she says. “What did I do wrong as a parent that I have a child who’s had these difficulties? I think that’s so common; people don’t want other people to know.”

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Marion’s Story: My Family, Father’s Side

Marion learnt a great deal about her culture, land and spirituality from her father and his side of the family. They had lived in York and surrounds for generations.

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Marion’s Story: Conclusion

Marion’s family have faced adversities, risen above them, and taught Marion to be the resilient person she is today.

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Surviving What?: Experience of Being Taken Away

The taking of Aboriginal children from their families by the authorities still impacts on Aboriginal people today.

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‘A healed and healthy country: understanding healing for Indigenous Australians’ by Tamara Mackean

2007_0116walpole0025Yesterday, I blogged about a description of healing by Professor Helen Milroy, an Aboriginal Child Psychiatrist and Australia’s first Aboriginal doctor. This wonderful description of healing was also included in the article below which appeared in the Medical Journal of Australia, but here I focus on the rest of the article.

Of course, much of what is said here is relevant to recovery, because recovery is healing. I have highlighted some sentences that I think are particularly relevant to people working in the recovery field worldwide, whatever their cultural background.

‘The Apology by the Prime Minister to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia in February 2008 was the first step in a significant healing journey.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Inner Strength

A number of study participants spoke about their inner strength, or strong spirit, helping them overcome adversity.

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Phil’s Recovery Minute

“… There is hope for everyone. And for me hope stands for, ‘Hang On Peace Exists’.

And I found peace after twenty five years. But it didn’t come easily, it didn’t come quickly. It came one day at a time and putting one foot in front of the other.

And here I am. I feel peaceful. I intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle me. I have the love and respect of my family and I love and respect them. I have an incredible staff to work with each and every day, and my life is filled beyond measure.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Thriving

Many of Marion’s study participants were thriving, living a successful life and doing far more than just surviving.

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Support for You – One Woman’s Story

Louise C. runs a successful family business in Scotland that employs 90 people.

But she very nearly lost all of this, and her life, due to chronic alcoholism. Louise thanks her family for getting her into treatment. She remembers the day her family dropped her off at Castle Craig: “It took three men to drop me at the door of Castle Craig.”

She admits that “the best thing to do with alcoholics is to gang up on them and give them no option but to try treatment and face up to their addiction.” Once that is done, “you’re half-way there.”

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‘A Personal Story’ by Kerrie

IMG_3429This very moving Story was written for Wired In To Recovery in August 2011.

‘Hi, my name is Kerrie. I am 37 years old. Both my parents died as a result of heroin addiction. My mum when I was 8 years old and she was 28, and my dad when I was 15 and he was 43.

I grew up in the madness of their addiction; needless to say we were a very dysfunctional family. I don’t remember my parents ever getting any real support. The only people involved with our family were the police and social services.

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‘A Family Illness’ by Phil Hughes

IMG_5024This excellent blog was written three years ago to the day on Wired In To Recovery. 

“I was like a tornado causing as much devastation as I possibly could in my family. But the problem was, I couldn’t even see it because all I cared about was me. I was caught up, obsessed with finding ways and means to get my next drink. When I didn’t have it, I was a nightmare to live with.

My mother felt so helpless, slowly watching her son kill himself through drink and drugs and not knowing whether she was coming or going half the time. It’s through that feeling of helplessness and frustration that the anger started to rear it’s ugly head.

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‘What’s Next for the Truth?’ by Suzanne Beachy

Any diagnosis of mental illness results in a complicated and uncertain fate for those it strikes. When you lose a son as a result of such a diagnosis, it ignites a search for answers. Suzanne Beachy has gained a perspective on life as a result of her loss but is still asking, “What is the truth?”

Suzanne gave this talk at the TEDxColumbus event in 2010.

‘Addiction: Problems behind the problem’ by Recovery Coach

P1010092I was pretending to be Superman when my mother’s frantic cries for help brought a sudden halt to my game. I ran towards the kitchen faster than a speeding bullet. But a Superman t-shirt with a bath towel tucked into the collar didn’t give me superhuman strength.

Peering just below the vinyl seat of our yellow kitchen chairs, my eyes widened as Dad pinned my mother to the cold linoleum floor. He was a large man, standing 6’1″, and Mum was 4’6″. The image seemed surreal, like a horror movie, and I stood frozen in fear.

There was an odor of carnage as Dad hovered over her. Maybe it was the mixture of sweat and testosterone rising from his green work shirt. Pure, unfiltered terror flooded my body and my heart beat so fast it seemed to smash against my ribs.

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Kevan’s Story (Short version): ‘He’s a loser and will never be any good’

stories-07Here’s a short version of Kevan’s Recovery Story. Please feel free to circulate.

‘I developed a fascination for alcohol at an early age (nine), but didn’t realise that it would rule my life for over twenty years. I drank throughout my teenage years as if it was a normal thing to do, often with building site work mates or colleagues from my judo squad. Sadly, the promise I showed in judo was never realised because I shattered my right knee. Whilst I gave up the sport, I continued drinking.  

My first wife and I separated because she didn’t like my drinking. After the divorce, I spent most of the money I made from the house sale on booze. Some guys at work said that I needed help for a drinking problem, but I told them to get stuffed with their job. I was doing what all men were entitled to do. I now spent most of my time in the pub.

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