‘Surrendering to Heal’ by Ellie Schoenberger

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Last week I had two blogs on Ellie Schoenberger, one an interview and the other focused on Ellie’s work. Couldn’t resist including one of Ellie’s blogs, this one from WomenHeal.

‘I am currently in recovery from two chronic, life altering diseases that if left untreated are always fatal.

Always.

The first one is alcoholism. In 2007, after years suffering in silence and struggling in vain to get sober on my own, I gave up. I stopped kicking and screaming and trying to do things my way and went to rehab. For thirty days. I had been to rehab before. Twice, in fact. The difference with my last rehab was that I surrendered. I got out of my own way and let people who had walked the path before me carry me when I didn’t feel like carrying myself.

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‘A Caregiver’s Story – And How I Became an Addict’ by Madeline Goldstein

Unknown-1Addiction to prescription drugs is a huge, but often ignored, problem. I’ll be focusing on recovering from prescription drug addiction over the coming weeks. Here’s a moving Recovery Story for starters, from the Mad in America community website. 

‘“There are only four kinds of people in this world – those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who need caregivers.”  Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

In 1994, my nineteen-year old daughter, Cristina, was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It was a diagnosis that came totally out of the blue and as a complete shock.

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Welcome to SMART Recovery Guide

imagesI just wanted to let you know that I have a set up a new page in our Resources section which focuses on SMART Recovery.

This ‘Guide’ contains three video clips of SMART President Tom Horvath talking about this self-empowering peer support group and its programme, along with a film of Curtis Boudreau introducing SMART Recovery principles. There are also two Recovery Stories from people who used SMART.

All of these film clips have appeared in my blogs. I hope you find the page of value. Have a great weekend.

SMART Recovery Guide

Learn more about the self-empowering addiction recovery support group SMART Recovery. And watch two Recovery Stories from people who used SMART. Finally, we have an interesting blog and a newspaper article.

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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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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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‘Self empowering addiction treatment’ by Tom Horvath

Tom describes two aspects of the 4-point SMART Recovery programme: (1) dealing with cravings, and (2) managing thoughts, feeling and behaviours.

SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering addiction recovery support group. Participants learn tools for addiction recovery based on the latest scientific research and participate in a world-wide community which includes free, self-empowering, science-based mutual help groups.

Family members

Film clips showing that family members of a person with drug and alcohol addiction develop their own problems from which they need recovery. [3 clips]

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‘Never give up hope’ by Elizabeth Burton-Phillips

Never give up hope by Elizabeth Burton-PhillipsAnother of my favourite blogs from Wired In To Recovery, from December 2009.

“Like most grandparents, I can’t resist showing off pictures of my beautiful little grandson James, sitting with his adoring father Simon. But for me, the joy runs even more deeply than most, contrasting as it does with the devastation my family experienced almost six years ago.

At the age of 13, my son Simon and his twin brother Nick began experimenting with drugs by smoking cannabis. They sampled increasingly dangerous drugs over a period of 14 years, culminating in injecting heroin. One February day in 2004, after a huge drug-fuelled argument, Simon went to make peace with his brother and found that Nick had hanged himself.

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Ian and Irene’s Story, ‘Living through our son’s addiction and death: Our journey to recovery’

After losing their son Robin to a heroin overdose, Ian and Irene set up a support group to help family members avoid some of the problems they experienced.

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Kevan’s Recovery Story: ‘He’s a loser and will never be any good’

 After 25 years of problem drinking and eight years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, Kevan runs NERAF which has nearly 100 staff and volunteers and provides a support service across the north-east of England.

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People affected by a loved one’s addiction

Not enough attention has been focused on the difficulties experienced by loved ones and friends of people with a substance use problem. That’s wrong.

I’ve probably made the same mistake during my blogs this week. So here’s a film from David McCollom, a young man in recovery who is doing some great film work on recovery in the UK.

Reflections on Kevan’s Story (Part 3)

Kevan MartinHope you’ve been following Part 1 and Part 2 of my reflections on Kevan’s Story. I’ve been highlighting some of the processes occurring in Kevan’s recovery.

We’ve seen changes in his thinking and behaviours, and followed the lifestyle changes that Kevan made. We’ve seen how Kevan’s confidence in himself has grown over time and as the changes have occurred.

What is absolutely clear is that this recovery process was driven by Kevan. It was something he did, not something that was given to him by someone else. In fact, he spent many years in and out of a psychiatric hospital and no one suggested to him that he had a drinking problem. When he did meet with a drug and alcohol counsellor, the advice he was given was nonsensical!

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Reflections on Kevan’s Story (Part 2)

DSC00130In yesterday’s blog, we looked at how Kevan’s thinking started to change in the early stages of his recovery after 25 years problematic drinking – and eight years in and out of psychiatric hospital.

After a chance discussion with a vicar, he ‘realised’ that he was in mourning for his friend alcohol. He missed his friend so much, even though he knew he was much better off without it.

Most importantly, Kevan began to understand that he was responsible for his addiction to alcohol and was also responsible for overcoming his problem.

After nine months without drinking (and still on Antabuse), Kevan’s thinking was becoming clearer and he was coping with things easier. He was now developing a hatred for alcohol!

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Reflections on Kevan’s Story (Part 1)

DSC00130Last week, I introduced you to the idea of me blogging about people’s Recovery Story.

Let’s start with Kevan’s Story. Let me say first that I have never met Kevan Martin, other than on Skype (from a distance of over 8,000 miles). However, I feel that I have got to know Kevan reasonably well during the process of writing his Story and through our subsequent communications. He’s also been very helpful and supportive with a past problem in my life.

Kevan is one of my heroes. Here is a person who shows what recovery is all about and what can be achieved. Kevan had a drinking problem for over 25 years. He was in and out of psychiatric hospital for eight years. He used to visit his GP to be readmitted to hospital to escape the isolation, fear and homelessness he experienced in the ‘outside’ world. He was someone that people, including his own family, had given up on.

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