I Am Not Anonymous: Lauren’s Story, ‘Will To Bear Discomfort’

LaurenText-1024x682(pp_w1000_h666)I’m starting 2015 with some powerful writing from the I Am Not Anonymous website.

‘When I walked into the door to rehab in early 2008 at the age of 29, I was given a lengthy input questionnaire. I decided it was time to be honest for once.

There was just one question I had to leave blank. I pondered it for the better part of a day and kept returning to it with no decent answer.

What is spirituality? I didn’t have a clue. I reluctantly left it blank. By the time I left rehab almost three months later to return to the life I had left, I had a much better understanding of what spirituality was and how it could help me.

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‘An interview with Matt and Amy Baumgardner’ by Veronica Valli

image1-200x300Here is a moving Story from Veronica Valli’s website.

A little while ago I was asked to review an extraordinary book called: From this day forward, A love story of faith, love and forgiveness by Amy and Matt Baumgardner. I had interviewed Amy Baumgardner previously for my Recovery Rocks interview series. Amy just has one of those jaw-dropping stories of recovery. Her story is so extraordinary that she was featured on Oprah’ Life class with Iyanla Vanzant.

Amy lost all sight of what was important to her and her drinking took over, one day she packed her kids into the car and drove them whilst she was drunk. She hit a tree and the accident left her 5-year-old in a critical condition. This was the beginning of the end for Amy, finally realizing she had a problem she began the long painful and guilt-ridden task of getting sober.

But how does a family recover from this? How does a husband forgive his wife for almost killing their child? How does a mother forgive herself? How can you repair a marriage with this kind of devastation and pain?

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I Am Not Anonymous: Lucas’s Story, ‘Seconds and Inches’

Lucas-Text-1024x681(pp_w1000_h665)My name is Luke Mosley, and I am in long-term recovery from alcohol and drugs. By that, I mean that I haven’t found it necessary to pick up a drink, a drug, or any other mind or emotion altering substance since November 10, 2010. And for that I am truly blessed and eternally grateful.

I say “I haven’t found it necessary,” because for the first 27 years of my life, I lived in emotional and spiritual bondage. More than simply having a drug or alcohol problem, I had a problem dealing with life in general.

What seemed to be day-to-day challenges to most other people were crippling burdens to me. Call it social anxiety. Call it restlessness or irritability. Call it being overwhelmed.  Whatever labels my concerned family, friends, teachers, doctors, or therapists applied, they never quite identified that “thing” in me that just felt off.

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ManyFaces1Voice: Patrick Fogarty

Unknown-4Check out the latest filmed Recovery Story from ManyFaces1Voice.

‘Patrick Fogarty received a gift on the day he was supposed to receive a sentence of years in prison.

During a caseworker’s pre-sentence investigation, Fogarty found himself being honest and telling her he had a “major drug problem.” He said, “I’m good with going back to prison. Send me back. I have nothing.”

That honesty – and the caseworker’s compassion – earned him a spot at The Healing Place in Louisville, Kentucky, the organization where Fogarty now works as a result of entering recovery in 2008.

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‘Six First Steps for Building Communities of Emotional Wellness’ by Matthew Cohen

mcohenI’ve been writing a strategic document for developing a healing community for Aboriginal people here in Perth, so this blog from Mad in America is particularly pertinent. Matthew is a very interesting person – please check out his website

‘I am being asked by a number of grassroots communities to facilitate a dialogue about how they can better welcome and support individuals who experience emotional distress. This is a challenge for many aspiring peers and allies in a culture where responsibility for our individual well-being has been increasingly transferred to psychiatrists, doctors, and other health professionals.

Even among our movements for alternatives, we often find ourselves replicating disempowering patterns of relying on experts, institutions, and formalized programs to help us through our trying times.

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‘The need to be honest, willing and open-minded’ by Rosie

rsz_cardiff_sightseeingEveryone needs a guide in life – for no one can be judge in their own case. We all need to have someone in our life we can totally trust – and none more so than the alcoholic seeking recovery.

I came to understand through being around others like myself, from listening to them and hearing their personal stories of recovery, that such a person was required – a sponsor – to guide me through the 12 Steps, the Programme that has brought thousands of people into recovery.

Through listening to these people, I began to get an idea of what the 12-Step Programme was about and of the important part it played in the daily life of the recovering alcoholic.

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Zenth Chasing: This will serve as an introduction

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This is a picture of me though I change my hair a lot so I may not look like this anymore, you get the general idea. That is my friends kitty.

This is some really powerful writing – first of her blogs – from Erica on her website Zenith Chasing. Erica contacted me this week.

The intro to the website reads: ‘A twenty-something, female, east-coast transplant, creatively inclined, dirt poor, recovering addict documents her struggles and triumphs as she claws her way towards her dream of a happy and productive life in San Francisco.’

‘I’ve been waiting for the right time to write my first post and I guess today makes sense because today I’m fucking up.  I am about to relapse, I know this yet I cannot seem to stop myself.  I’ve been trying to get a hold of my dealer since last night. He is notoriously difficult to get on the phone which is probably to my benefit right now, but I know that if he had been available I would have gotten high last night, so my current sobriety is not for lack of effort to the contrary.

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‘Addictions Expert, Veronica Callanan Speaks on TV’

“I was born feeling different. I just felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt that the whole world was behind a glass screen and I was one side. I just couldn’t figure it out…”

How often have I have words similar to these from people who went on to use drugs and/or alcohol to help them deal with these feelings… and then developed a substance use problem. I’ll be talking about the role of disconnection in addiction in later blogs.

Veronica goes on to describe her recovery and provides a message of hope for people affected by alcohol dependence. Please check out her website, there’s some good stuff on there.

 

Paul’s Recovery Story: ‘Doctor Knows Best’

After years of taking opiates whilst working as a medical doctor, Paul has become a new person through residential treatment and the 12-step programme.

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The Recovery Formula: An essential recovery read

book-the-recovery-formulaI love my books, but a book has to be bl–dy good for me to start raving about it. I have a large collect of recovery books and again my standards are high. A book needs to be pretty special doe me to start promoting it.  

Well, I found one that impressed me so much that I agreed to write a Foreword. A book by Beth Burgess called, The Recovery Formula: An Addict’s Guide to getting Clean & Sober FOREVER. Here’s what I had to say:

‘Over the many years I’ve worked in this field, I have heard from so many people with a substance use problem who have struggled to understand their addiction. They had a strong desire to give up using drugs or stop drinking, but had no idea how to go about it. They had tried to stop using or drinking on numerous occasions, but kept on relapsing.

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‘Hope is the word that can free us from addiction’ by o2b3

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the things I will be doing with this new website is to ‘bring back’ some of the classic blogs from Wired In To Recovery – this has been much requested!

People who know me will tell you that I always keep banging on about hope. Yes, hope is essential for recovery! Here’s a real powerful blog about hope which o2b3 submitted to Wired In To Recovery back in 2010.

‘I always thought that the word hope didnʼt apply to me! From where I come from I was never shown or given any hope. I was always put down and told, “Thereʼs no hope for you. You are no good. Youʼre bad, you are a liar. You are worthless and rotten to the core.”

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