Jim’s Recovery Minute

“I love life again, I have… I live in a  great community, my kids are thriving, I am thriving. I get up every day just wanting to face the day… enjoy the day and all the opportunities it has.

And that’s sobriety, that’s life. And that’s me, so I’m just grateful to be able to give you this message.”

 

Bill White on Stigma and the New Recovery Movement

UnknownHere is a really powerful film clip from Bill White. Please pass the link on.

“Almost everyone in America know someone in recovery. The problem historically is that they did not know they were in recovery which means that they can continue to maintain incredible stereotypes about who are the people who develop alcohol and other drug problems in this country and who are the people who recover and don’t recover.

There are a lot of issues about stigma that I cannot educate you out of. I cam give you all the facts. I can read all the books to you. I can show you documentaries but nothing is going to change that embedded prejudice until you encounter personally someone in recovery who means something to you and hear their story.”

‘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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‘Stuck not broke’ by AntiHero79

IMG_1870Hello, as this is my first entry I’ll (try to) keep it short. I am two and a half years into my recovery. I’d love to say that it’s all plain sailing, but in fact has been the darkest and most confusing time of my life up to now.

“I always knew I was different”… Well it’s true, I did. Always felt apart, weird, somehow isolated from even my closest friends. I had a rough childhood, no doubt about it, and when I found drink and drugs it was like I was liberated.

My first round of addiction (to cannabis, from age 14 – 15) saw me walking round school in a virtual coma. In retrospect, it must’ve looked like there was something severely wrong with me. There was, I know now. As a nine year old, I was molested by a family ‘friend’. It was reported to the police but stopped there. Lack of evidence.

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A Remarkable Reinvention

Former model Tovah Cottle transformed her life from being a drug addict in jail to designing fashion for the catwalk. Check out a longer version of Tovah’s story on Australian Story.

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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SMART Recovery Member Stories 2010: “Jim”

A SMART Recovery participant and volunteer relates his story about SMART.

“Drinking will always be a choice I can make, but I happily chose not to. I’ve come to realise how much of life drinking has taken away from me, how much of life I cheated myself out of by the choices I made. My sobriety allows me to show up for life…”

Ed Mitchell – Lost & Found

A new documentary on the latest steps to recovery of former BBC and ITN broadcaster, Ed Mitchell, is broadcast exclusively on Inexcess TV – marking Ed’s return to television and first employment following his battle with alcohol and homelessness.

In his new role as editor at Inexcess Television, Ed produced and directed his latest documentary, Ed Mitchell: Lost and Found, the second programme to be broadcast on Ed’s life story, from living as a white-collar tramp to his subsequent recovery from alcoholism.

Saving Ed Mitchell – ITV Documentary

The former ITN newsreader whose life was plunged into alcoholism and homelessness is the subject of an ITV1 documentary in which his former colleague Carol Barnes attempted to find out why it happened.

Ed Mitchell’s story was splashed across the national newspapers after it emerged that he had fallen on hard times, together with a picture of himself and Barnes in Downing Street in the early 1980s when they were ITN colleagues.

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Susan’s Story, Part 2: ‘Missing Michael – A Story by Blog’

P1010975Susan lost her son Michael to a drug overdose on the 22nd January, 2010. I, for one, cannot begin to understand what someone must go through after such a loss.

However, I gained some appreciation from the Susan’s extraordinary writing in a blog she published on our online recovery community Wired In To Recovery. I was captivated and deeply moved by Susan’s writing, as were many other people in our community.

This is Part 2 of a slightly edited version of Sue’s blogs. Check out Part 1 if you have not seen it.

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Susan’s Story, Part 1: ‘Missing Michael – A Story by Blog’

P1011034Susan lost her son Michael to a drug overdose on the 22nd January, 2010. I, for one, cannot begin to understand what someone must go through after such a loss.

However, I gained some appreciation from the Susan’s extraordinary writing in a blog she published on our online recovery community Wired In To Recovery. I was captivated and deeply moved by Susan’s writing, as were many other people in our community.

I decided it would be a good idea to edit down Susan’s writing into a more manageable size and publish it in a single document. However, I found this difficult, as there was so little I felt I should edit out.

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Natalie’s Story: ‘I didn’t plan to be an addict’ (Part 1)

IMG_3464I first met ‘Natalie’ over 12 years ago when I lived in South Wales. I will never forget how she emphasised the importance of providing online support for people with substance use problems. She had been desperate to find helpful online information when she trying to overcome her drug problem.

Natalie has always been such an inspiration to people around her. Mind you, many people had to first get over the shock of finding that such a lovely lady had once been a heroin addict.

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The Personal Story of Kevan Manley

This is a short version of a 35 minute film focusing on Kevin’s recovery from drug addiction that we made a number of years ago. His mother Kerry talks about her experiences during Kevin’s 15 year history of problem drug use and his recovery.

The film was made for Wired In by Jonathan Kerr-Smith and Lucie James in and around Cardiff, South Wales.

Setting up a Recovery Community

Phillip Valentine, Executive Director for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), emphasises that the essential first stages in building a recovery community are to:

  1. create a vanguard of recovering people who want to tell their story
  2. organise the community, so that there are many different people, with many different types of recovery, all working towards the same aim.

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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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The Story of Noreen Oliver: What you can do with Recovery

It’s almost ten years ago that I conducted an evaluation of the BAC O’Connor for Noreen Oliver. My visits to Noreen’s treatment centre were a real eye-opener! Here was a genuine recovery community, a place where recovery oozed out of the walls.

I couldn’t tell who was there to help and who needed help! It was a special experience and I learnt so much from those early visits. Most importantly, I learnt the power of community and belonging, of love and acceptance, of role models and peer support.

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Welcome

about-us-2-largeI’d like to welcome you to Recovery Stories, a new website that is focused on helping individuals and families recover from serious problems caused by drug and alcohol use.

We’ll not just be trying to help people directly affected by drug and alcohol addiction, but also help people whose lives have been indirectly affected by the substance use problems of a loved one. Family members and friends also need to find recovery.

One important feature of this website is that it will carry the ‘voice’ of recovering people. Solutions to serious substance use problems are manifested in the lives of millions of people who are in long-term recovery. These lived solutions can provide important insights into principles and practices that underlie recovery from addiction.

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