The Way Out – By Mary McBrearty

I sat alone, the silence deafening and asked myself how did my life come to this?, I knew the drink wasn’t working anymore, It didn’t take away the pain like before. It took away my laughter, my creativity and the years, My head told me I didn’t have the strength or courage to live without it I thought I couldn’t go on….. Like in a dream you spoke to me and said “I know the road you have traveled has been a rocky one, I can see you feel desperate, frightened and alone. But if you take your last bit of strength and come with me, I will show you the way out so you can be free.” I looked at the road ahead which led to the edge of a cliff I walked over and looked up and down, A thick mist covered everything above and all of the… Continue reading

B-RAiN Raps for Recovery!

  After battling his own addiction, Brian McCall, under the name “B-RAiN” brings recovery focused rap music while touring the country. Brian has been sober for nearly a decade. He tours with his group Cloud Gang and together they endeavor to break the stigma of addiction treatment and connecting those in recovery. As an Outreach Coordinator for Foundations Recovery Center, an Amatus-managed facility, Brian helps people enter into treatment, and begin their path to recovery. Brian grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In hindsight he says he can now see the earliest signs of trouble in his behavior. Even as a young child, stealing, fighting and acting out helped him find some temporary reprieve from the “noise” that he could not escape; intense anxiety about how the world viewed him, and how he viewed himself. This behavior also meant that he had experience with institutions from an early age.… Continue reading

Variation in Recovery Identity Adoption – By William L. White

A significant portion of people who resolve alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems do not embrace a recovery identity—do not see themselves as recovered, recovering, or in recovery. I first suggested this in Pathways from the Culture of Addiction to the Culture Recovery (1990) and later in a co-authored essay on the varieties of recovery experience (White & Kurtz, 2006), but had nothing but years of observation and anecdotal stories to support it. When I was asked about the prevalence of adoption or non-adoption of a recovery identity among people who had resolved AOD problems, no data were available to inform that question. Thanks to a just-published study by Dr. John Kelly and colleagues of the Recovery Research Institute, there is now data that addresses that and related questions. The Kelly-led research team surveyed a representative U.S. population sample of people who had resolved a significant AOD problem during their lifetime and determined the extent to which such individuals adopted… Continue reading

Life in the Moderate Lane – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

It didn’t take long for me to notice that I was different than most of my friends. (At least the ones I was constantly comparing myself to!) Beginning in early adolescence, I noticed that my friends somehow seemed to be able to have one or two drinks, one or two bong hits, one or two late nights and one or two cookies. Not me. One or two of anything typically led me to overdo everything. I will spare you the long, detailed saga, but suffice it to say that my inability to be moderate with substances led me down a path of addiction and depression that would last for many years. To other people, I was the one who could handle the most shots, the most partying and the most all-nighters. But internally, my soundtrack was grim. I hated myself. My blackouts were getting more frequent, and my secret life… Continue reading

Experiencing Release in Recovery – By Bill White

In their classic 1992 text, The Spirituality of Imperfection, Ernie Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham described six dimensions of spirituality at the core of the recovery experience: release, gratitude, humility, tolerance, forgiveness, and being-at-home. In my prolonged mentorship by and collaborations with Ernie, we often returned to those central themes. The essence of the addiction experience is being confined and bound by something once highly prized that subsequently mutated into a monster over which one had minimal if any control. It is then not surprising that within numerous varieties of recovery experience, there is a shared thread of letting go, of breaking free. This experience of release goes by many names and descriptors—escape (from physical craving and mental obsession), deliverance, liberation, pardon, regeneration, serenity, tranquility, harmony, and balance. This release is both breaking free from an enslaved past—a freedom from the insatiable demands of the drug and the guilt, shame, fear of insanity, and… Continue reading