‘Reflections on a Pathologized Adolescence and a Vision For The Future’ by Laura Delano

0-71I’ve been working on a larger writing project for a while now, and am currently focusing on my ninth grade year –  the year I turned fourteen, the year I began to think about suicide, the year I discovered the temporary satisfaction that comes from escaping oneself, and the year I met my first psychiatrist and said goodbye to myself.

For many years, I carried great shame about all that unfolded during that year – about the things I did, the secrets I kept, the harm I caused, the darkness I was so immersed in.

Today as I write, I am full of love for that lost girl I once was, for I see that I was on a universal, archetypal search – for answers to my profound emptiness, to why I yearned to die, to why I felt so utterly convinced that I didn’t fit into the world.

I was searching for self-worth, for peace of mind, for a sense of safety in a world I didn’t understand. I was searching for the kinds of things that all young people search for, only I was never presented an opportunity to realize this.

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Adam’s Story: A Moment of Clarity

Adams Story 2I thought we’d have a period of having excerpts from our collection of Stories. Let’s start with the Story of my good friend Adam. I met Adam here in Perth and he now lives in the UK with his lovely wife and two young girls.

After years of having problems with amphetamine, alcohol and cannabis, Adam reached this stage:

‘Eventually, I ended up living in a caravan in Palm Beach, near Rockingham. I had sold my car for $50, which bought me two dope sticks. I got around on an old pushbike from the dump, but ended up selling that. I was just drinking and smoking dope to get blottoed, and often would wake up to find myself covered in vomit. The caravan, like me, was a mess. Eventually the dope ran out, then the money.

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‘This Is An Alcoholic’ by Beth Burgess

london recovery coach.jpgAnother little gem from Beth Burgess.

A piece I wrote before I was in recovery. A bit of a rant at the current addiction treatments too. Do you identify as an alcoholic or addict?

No-one these days seems to understand what an alcoholic is. Middle-class winos, binge-drinking teenagers, hard-drinking journalists or Wall Street party-boys. These people are all labelled as alcoholics of some description. And yet most of them are probably not alcoholics at all.

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‘What is self-compassion?’ by Kristin Neff

Unknown-5Some of you will have seen Kristin Neff’s video on self-compassion on this website. Here is how Kristin defines self-compassion:

‘Having compassion for oneself is really no different than having compassion for others. Think about what the experience of compassion feels like.

First, to have compassion for others you must notice that they are suffering. If you ignore that homeless person on the street, you can’t feel compassion for how difficult his or her experience is.

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Recovery from benzo addiction: Matt Samet

“One thing that helped me immensely was making contact with other people going through this. Just seeing stories that were so similar to your own and getting advice from people who’d been through this and knew there was another side…”

In my last blog on prescription drug addiction, Madeline mentioned Matt Samet during her Story. Well, here is Matt talking about his problems and recovery in a short Vimeo clip. You can read his Story here. Well worth the time!

On Healing: Jackie

rsz_1outback-sunset-880‘Healing is a really confusing word. When I first thought of it I thought I would go along and all this pain was going to be healed and at the finish I would just walk away and I would be healed, but now I know healing means learning.

Learning about yourself – learning about looking at things in a different way. Understanding how those things came to be.

Owning your own things, but not taking on board other people’s things. Being responsible for what you are responsible for, but not for other people’s responsibilities.

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What facilitates recovery from mental health problems?

IMG_2882I was looking through my old blogs on Wired In To Recovery and came across this one.

The blog is based on a paper by Wendy Brown and Niki Kandirikirira, entitled “Recovering Mental Health in Scotland: Report on Narrative Investigation of Mental Health Recovery”. It’s the 19th manuscript in the list on this page.

‘This research involved the recovery narratives of 64 individuals in Scotland who identified themselves as being in recovery or recovered from a long-term mental health problems.

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Strategies to Face Adversity: Education

Many participants spoke of education as power and how having an education certainly empowered them as individuals.

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‘Reflections on my AA experiences’ by Maddie

P1010174_3At my very first AA meeting, I was carried in by strangers who found me crying, shaking and rocking in the doorway. And I promise I am not exaggerating. Gosh, I had forgotten about that, an event that took place four or five years ago. 

I would pop in and out of AA for years before I was really desperate enough to let the rooms help me. I used to have to have a drink to get in the door, and I used to go with vodka in my bag. However, I just keep going back.

It’s hard to explain, but you are carried and held when you are in the rooms in those early days. Without AA and the people I have met there I would have busted on Friday night on my nine months birthday. I have been experiencing incredible stress because of the very long hours I have been working, the intensity of a new project, and a boss who is trying to make my project fail! At times, it’s been too much.

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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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Treatment of substance use problems

Formal treatment can help the initiation of recovery from addiction, facilitating a self-healing process, and help a person minimise the harms from their substance use (2,600 words).

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Untangling the elements involved in treatment

Our research focused on interviews of people in a prison treatment programme revealed insights into the elements that operate in the treatment process, and how they might interact to facilitate a person’s path to recovery from addiction (1,700 words).

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Factors that facilitate recovery

The importance of these factors has been demonstrated by listening to the narratives of recovering people about their journeys into and out of addiction (1,200 words).

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On blaming

2007_0118walpole0076‘When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilise, or more water, or less sun.

Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce.

Blaming has no positive affect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments…

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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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