‘Standing on the outside: Looking in’ by Aurelius

P4091276‘Firstly, I want to thank all of the site [Wired In To Recovery] members who have taken the time to comment on my wife’s posts/queries (Whiplashgirlchild). Your perspective (and objectivity) have really seemed to help her on days when everything just stacks up and turns bad.

I met my partner just as she was working her way off subutex. She had a decade of hardcore use under her belt and almost another decade on MMT/Subutex.

I had (have) a lot to learn about the nature of addiction and the meandering paths of recovery. I have had a steep learning curve, trying to understand the stigma and prejudice that she has had to endure during the years of struggle to get free of ‘the fog’ as she likes call it.

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‘Life is an amazing gift’ by Wee Willie Winkie

P4071127‘Life is such an amazing gift. I wake up every single morning with a huge smile on my face. I open my door as I put the kettle on and take a deep breath of air. This feeling never gets old and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I’m not waking up with the immediate thoughts of heroin, or having to go to work to do a job I didn’t choose because I liked it – it was all about flexible hours and good money. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by drugs.

Life is so simple for me now, it doesn’t matter what happens. I look back on my past – the homelessness, the overdosing, my attempted suicide and think, “If I can survive that, I can survive anything.” So I never get depressed or down about things. It’s fantastic.

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‘Recovery: what matters?’ by David McCartney

IMG_2315Here’s an interesting Wired In To Recovery blog from David McCartney from September 2013 about the importance of social relationships.

‘If you wanted to live a long and healthy life, what measures could you take to achieve your goals? Stop smoking? Lose weight? Exercise? Drop your blood pressure? We have evidence that all of these make a difference, but a recent analysis of 148 studies on the subject found two things that made more of a difference to mortality than anything else. What were they?

Well, having strong social relationships and being integrated socially seem to protect against death. This analysis was not specifically about addiction, but suffering from addiction is strongly associated with increased death rates and it seems very likely that if we could promote strong social links in those seeking help it will reduce the risk of relapse and ultimately of early death.

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‘An old cynic now believes in Recovery’ by Maggie Messenger

P1010935I really liked this blog on Wired In To Recovery, which appeared in June 2010.

‘I have just returned from a visit to the SHARP Recovery service in Liverpool. Having worked within the drug and alcohol field for almost 20 years I had heard the word “Recovery” tossed about here and there and, like a revival of the “midi”, come back into fashion again!

So I took my old cynical head and was prepared to look and see what this “new and improved Recovery” looked like.

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‘A bright light in a dark world’ by Maddie

IMG_4069I’m almost nine months into my recovery journey, during which time I have not had a drop of alcohol. I’ve been reflecting back to my past, the time that I was drinking very heavily. Today, I can’t imagine drinking every day as I did, waking up with a hangover every morning. My mind just can’t seem to go back there.

It’s almost as if I have forgotten my past, but at the same time so much of it is very fresh. But the past ‘me’ is so different to the person I am today. My past does not hurt me anymore. I can walk past a pub or bottle shop and not even think about alcohol.

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‘Shouting recovery from the rooftops’ by Beth Burgess

Shouting recovery from the rooftopsI remember Beth Burgess joining the Wired In To Recovery community in November 2011. She certainly shouted from the rooftops and it was great. Here is Beth’s first blog and some comments she received. These comments refer to the prejudice that recovering people feel and fear.

‘I have had enough. Enough of saying to people with a half-smile, “Er…yeah, I don’t really drink…any more.” “A health kick?” “Yeah, something like that.” I have had enough of putting ‘career break’ on my CV. I am fed up of insinuating rather than being honest.

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Susan’s Story, Part 3: ‘Missing Michael – A Story by Blog’

P1010995Susan 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 3 of a slightly edited version of Sue’s blogs. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not seen them.

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‘Identity lost or found’ by Tony A

IMG_4919Another classic Wired In To Recovery blog, from October 2009. Tony certainly wrote some great blogs.

‘Not had Internet due to incompetence of BT so I’ve not blogged lately. After attending Tia’s funeral last Monday I sat in my flat with that anti-climax feeling about life, my identity and a touch of who I am.

You see, I irrationally started feeling that I miss certain parts of my life as an addict. You know, the dodging, ducking, diving and dealing, never being bored, the estranged behaviours I displayed.

I honestly felt I missed it all and felt a loss of identity. I was questioning who I am and was left thinking about how futile life is. A touch of indulgence I suppose.

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‘Remembering my son’ by Susan C

IMG_2398Some of the most moving blogs on Wired In To Recovery were from Susan C who lost her loving son Michael from a heroin overdose in 2010.

Sue contacted me recently and said how much she missed the old website. She found it to be a lifeline when she was struggling. I had the impression that writing helped Sue deal with her terrible loss, if only a little. Here is one of Susan’s blogs from 2011.

Next week, I start a three part ‘Story by Blog’ by Susan C entitled ‘Missing Michael’.

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‘The monkey on my back’ by Recovery Coach

2007_0105rottnest0074Here’s some powerful writing from one of our bloggers on Wired In To Recovery.

‘Most people have heard the words ‘monkey on my back’ used as a term for defining addiction. Personally, I find the word ‘addiction’ too soft a word to describe the monster every addict or alcoholic battles in daily life. It’s too clinical, too sterile, and just doesn’t pack the same punch as the monkey analogy.

As a hardcore alcoholic for more than half my life, I learned a few things about the monkey.

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Learning from Wired In To Recovery

2007_0118walpole0115Wired In To Recovery (WITR) ran for over four years between 2008 and 2012, attracting over 4,000 community members. A key element of this online recovery community was blogging, providing the opportunity for people from all walks of life to describe their experiences and express this views. The site comprised over 7,500 blogs (from 1,000 bloggers) and 35,000 comments.  

When I was developing WITR, I rationalised that by providing people with the opportunity for people to blog, I would accumulate a wealth of information about the lived experience of addiction and recovery, the needs of recovering people, personal views about the care system, etc.

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A catch up from WITR member Lindaw

P1010141Some of you will know that we created a nice little community at Wired In To Recovery. Since it had to be closed down, some of you may be wondering how some of the community members are. Some have been in touch with me, so I thought I’d give you some periodic updates from them.

Here’s a little update from Linda in Scotland, one of the top 20 bloggers on Wired In To Recovery. Things are going well!

“Well, for all of those people who knew me on WIRED this is Lindaw here. Things have moved on since WIRED… our daughter Polly now has her own flat and it’s just upstairs from our flat, so really handy.

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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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‘Will I ever smile again?’ by Maddie

IMG_2338As some of you know, I developed the online recovery community Wired In To Recovery (WITR). I always loved it when a community member wrote their first blog on WITR, particularly when they described their lives and feelings. Sometimes, people ‘surfaced’ with just a few sentences like, “I’m Bob, I have just accessed treatment after ten years heroin addiction. I’ll be back soon and blog again.”

And sure enough, most would be back and their blogs would increase in length and number. Some people were looking for help online and they would receive comments from other community members. And they would respond to these comments.

One person who surfaced on WITR was Maddie, someone from somewhere in Australia. I started to comment on Maddie’s blogs and I then started to provide some help by e-mail. It wasn’t long before we were emailing each other regularly.

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