We've been through an awful lot as a community, nation and as individuals and there's no skirting the issue that mental health and addiction are on the forefronts of the minds of many just as much, and to some, even more so than the pandemic. Isolation, boredom, too much time to get back into old habits and for those who never left those habits, all of the above only adds fuel to the fire and a second pandemic of dependency follows the virus. We look back to over a year ago now, when they were sending the message that we were in "Unprecedented Times". We all hoped and prayed they would only be a few weeks, but it seems that it was few lifetimes ago with all we've endured. We are all worn out but yet the fight will have to continue on multiple fronts.
On the horizon however, is something that could be powerfully beneficial for those who are in recovery or those who live with someone who is. This can be a practical step too for those looking for help and also have a say in to what matters to them when it comes to what those who are living through the throws of addiction believe they need as far as resources go to help them reach and attain sobriety and get it to stick. It's a matter of a couple things. 1) First and foremost, the bottom. You have to be at a place in life when you are ready for ANYTHING but "what was". Recovery isn't letting one thing go, it's a life change. 2) You're going to have to be willing to come to understanding of Higher Power. This is an area of recovery that might scare some off, and to others, it takes a little time to adapt to the idea that "Higher Power" doesn't necessarily mean God or any other religious path. A Higher Power is simply the belief in something greater than yourself that you can rely on when needed. It could even be a tall old oak tree. The definition is yours, and no one is right and no one is wrong.
Dr. Scott Brown is an Addiction Specialist. His story is a miraculous one at that too. I first got to know Scott through the Fresh Coast Alliance where he worked with their group to help end recidivism. Recidivism is the repeating pattern of going back to jail over and over. It's a horrific cycle that some can never manage to break because they lack the skills to live a re-structured life. Back to Doc. Brown however. The good Dr. is a recovering addict himself. He found himself addicted to all of the same things he cared for others for and in that addiction, he lost the ability to practice, he went to prison and he bottomed out like so many of us do, until that moment of enlightenment comes and we know it's gone for good. Scott is a highly qualified specialist in the field as he's one of few who understands addiction from both sides of the coin.
Dr. Brown was approached to one of two people from the State of Michigan to help develop "The Michigan Recovery Community" through The Action Network. This is a group that's going to work on behalf of those who are addicted and those who serve them to find out directly from the community what they need to help in the recovery process. In other words, they want to hear from those who are suffering and those who are living with addicted people as to what's missing in their path to sobriety. What needs advocacy? What needs more training? What kind of educational opportunities are needed for communities and leaders so they too can understand how best to serve? Well, it's an open invite to anyone who'd like to participate and it's happening on April 21st at 6:30p vis Zoom and registration in advance is needed. You'll find the link to do that under our chat with Dr. Brown.
Take a listen to our talk. Know too, that the Dr. and I are both recovering from addictions so, there might be times where we "spill over" with gratitude a little, but it's a huge part of this miracle that has come to both of us, and when recovering addicts talk, well...sometimes it kinda shows.
I try my very best to make anything along these lines a story not from "the bully pulpit" but rather just enough of a peek behind the curtains to let you know that the emptiness and self loathing I once secretly carried, well, while it's not perfect, it's been over 17 years now since I have needed a drop of booze to get by. Where I thought that I had the world by the tail with my basement drunkenness I was slowly sentencing myself to death. It was a life with nothing but empty promises and self medicated false hope. If you or someone you know is on that same path, please...join this Zoom meeting on April 21st and be heard. You will be among others who are looking for the same kind of help as well as those who are willing to help you out. It's my sincere hope that you too one day find the incredible freedom and endless blessings that those in recovery do. My life has become a mission to give back all I have gotten in the 17 years since I had my last drop and if you want to experience that too. Take this first step.