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Reach: 72.4k Reg & 86k+ Facilities & 26.8M Social Media + (Email Community Total 180k) Nations largest organic addiction related community. Welcome Andrea Grubb Barthwell, M.D., F.A.S.A.M., is the founder and CEO of Two Dreams and past president of ASAM

Enable me Not

Everyone who ever picked me up and dusted me off along the way only increased the amount of times I fell, those who attempted to protect me from the depths my addiction needed to fall may have played a hand in how long it took to reach a sufficient enough bottom.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

Scraping along and hovering just above complete defeat is just as demoralizing as the absolute zero finally obtain, sparing me from a certain death and allowing recovery to begin.

This isn’t an attempt to shift the blame for my addiction onto my enablers, I was an addict regardless of their efforts or existence and honestly it was my manipulation that kept them from turning their backs and letting me drop out. Turning someone’s love into a weapon against them is one of the trade crafts of addiction and is our means of spreading the sickness to all we encounter. They become quite spiritually ill and at some point, may even be dependent on our illness as a sense of purpose almost unconsciously playing a part in relapses and without knowing possibly our deaths. You can’t soften the blows without increasing how many we’ll take.

This isn’t phenomenon, it isn’t rare and isn’t wrong as it starts and is rooted in the very beauty of being human. We love and take on the role of caregiver sometimes unwittingly yet when matched against the formidable foe of addiction this base instinct to care for one another becomes corrupted and perpetuates the disease.

The insidious nature of this illness moves through society like any other outbreak yet the symptoms are not only seen in those afflicted directly, there are those too who we encounter and break in our own special way.

There does exist a means of treating this spiritual bankruptcy yet the antidote has no effect until a crash landing upon an individual bottom is reached. What that bottom may look like is varied from addict to addict, from the soccer mom who misses her pick up to the homeless man who picks his dinner from the dumpster, we all face our own scenario. The one thing that rings true is there is nothing, absolutely nothing that you can do to cure or fix us and being user’s, we will use you up if you try.

Our cries for help are sincere, we not only want it but we need it yet self-centered and selfish to the core of our disorder we don’t see the affect our pain and suffering has upon you.

It is impossible for us to sympathize and show you empathy as we are consumed by the bondage of self that embodies our addiction. Somewhere along the way and not knowing exactly where we cross over the invisible line and put ourselves beyond the power of choice and far from the reach of human aid, the relentless persistence of self-destruction and cycle of abuse has begun.

Spiraling towards an unknown depth brings about a polarizing fear by which blinds us to our impact on those who we hurt along the way, if you reach out to help us with material solution we will take it and squander it as there is no solution of that means sufficient enough to stop this dissent. Recovery can’t be bought or sold and has no requirements for a beginning other than we begin at a place of surrender that you cannot provide, it must come from within.

Drawing from my own experience, blessed with a loving family that cared for me to no end and having a way with words, I could manipulate and manufacture a reason to take relentlessly as though the aide they provided was my privilege.

The sober alcoholic father and his personal struggle and subsequent recovery from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind became my habit’s greatest resource. The disease we shared and the gift of recovery he found while my mother was pregnant with combined with the love of a father for his son made for the ultimate weapon when used by this dope fiend as I turned that all against him.

Today I can’t imagine what that must feel like, knowing full well he financed and fueled my using all the while praying for me to hit a bottom that he may have played a part in my resistance. Not his enabling nor his disease made me an addict and I fault him not for the support he gave me regardless of how ineffective it was, I recognize that my illness kept him sick as well. This wasn’t isolated to solely my parents, anyone fool enough to fall for my nonsense from employer to whatever hostage like relationship I had talked my way into was another means of keeping myself from the dreadful thought of going without.

The single greatest enemy I faced was always me and it didn’t matter how much aide, support, love or concern you threw my way I would always draw it up and inject it.

Nothing was held sacred in my active addiction and not a damn thing I said should have been trusted no matter how much I appeared to believe it. The quandary them who held me so dear faced when proposed with the pain of watching me destroy myself or coming to my rescue was a fabrication and elaborate rouse this disease displayed to make you believe those were two separate things.

The fact is I was going down in flame regardless of how your efforts may have prolonged the actual crash landing, it was an inevitability that hardly any man, woman or child had the ability to help me avoid. The could of, would of or should of show I ran through my head on the regular has ended, the fat lady sang her last song and I finally faced the music alone in world where your never far from anyone else the isolation was a cell within my mind. Not the shame or guilt of how I had been brought me to my knees but rather a feeling of loneliness I shudder to describe.

With each self-centered thought and action I took the walls of my mind closed in on me bringing about a sense of being alone regardless of the proximity of other people. Surrounded by that loving and amazing family with my own child in my arms and still I felt all by myself. It was this feeling, not the external circumstances that pushed me hardest to find a solution, it is this feeling that today keeps me striving to recover.

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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Busted and Disgusted

Getting arrested isn’t anything new to this dope fiend, it’s been going on my entire life. The feelings felt that first time the cuffs got slapped on were so long ago I could possibly bring them into my consciousness with any real merit.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

The years of being fueled by massive amounts of high powered stimulants kept me numb to the effects of something as traumatizing as being captured and whisked away by police.  I recall watching those around me begin to sweat the endless possibilities that having been busted might hold while I smiled and felt thankful for my indifference. Unsentenced time always seemed to last the longest as you pondered just exactly how long it would be before you saw the streets again.

So long as the offensive was not so major as to not provide an exit date I was relaxed and estimated the maximum penalty, mentally sentenced myself to that and crashed out. It took a long time before I linked my drug use and the frequency I was incarcerated, I always thought it was because I was a criminal simply unfit to live in everyday society.

This illusion made me far more comfortable imprisoned then those around me appeared to be, I had no fear of my peers and quickly realized the scariest looking ones of the bunch were those most consumed by fear.

The front and façade of their persona didn’t seem threatening to me and in retrospect had I developed a fear of these place I likely would have avoided them more. That wasn’t the case for me, it wasn’t as though I enjoyed it in there although if you looked my record would reflect something different. Doing time is not hard once you conclude that no matter how much time you think you can or can’t do it doesn’t matter, you do as much as you can and they’ll take care of the rest.

The system isn’t designed for comfort or convenience, it isn’t geared toward rehabilitation or reform and sure doesn’t care what you think or feel. Less than a few hundred men are tasked with the daunting detail of controlling a population of drug addicted, violent and criminally minded individuals that number in the tens of thousands.

All levels of society end up in the penitentiary, break the law once or serially and you run the therefore if you be addicted to an illegal substance your breaking the law every time you feed you disease.

Dope is how I treated my illness, it wasn’t the cause or result of the disease but rather the means at which I kept it at bay. Crime was not limited to the consumption, procurement, or possession of such substances and somehow, I avoided arrests for such crimes mostly only being apprehended for those which I committed as a means of financing the ferocious need I had for more.

The ways and means I went about to find and get more dope combined with an ever-increasing tolerance in turn increased the frequency and severity of the criminal acts I needed to commit to fund this hefty habit. Don’t leave anything exposed to the possibility of theft when surrounded by addicts, not all but most will take it, I know I would. So quick I could steal your socks without taking your shoes off and if I thought it might leave opportunity to do so again I would help you look for them afterwards.

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Many men and women have met their surrender on a jail cell floor, there exists no special set of circumstances necessary to meet this gift of desperation head on you simply must be open to it when it arrives.

The system doesn’t care how scared or prepared of incarceration you might be and the shocking level of acceptance over this concept I had begun at the ripe old age of 14.

Experience and repetition softened the blow this calamity for me but that doesn’t have to be the case for you, let it shock and awe your senses and come to terms with doing whatever it takes to keep it from being an eventuality in your life. The nation is turning the tide of how it addresses this disorder where law enforcement and punishment is concerned so embrace that along with them.

Treatment seems to be a far lesser cost and well more effective means of combatting the alarming recidivism rate our criminal justice system has seen. Incarceration doesn’t seem to be at all a deterrent for committing future crimes, this disease must be treated as such and as a society we are started to come to terms with that cold fact.

Court houses and judges across the land are looking for better ways to stop the revolving door of prison and county jails and the common denominator seems to be an ongoing means of addressing the addiction separately from the criminal act that may or may not be isolated to solely the abuse of drugs.

We are a people with a disease from which there is no known cure and that reality has the prison system packed to the very brim with people destined to return repeatedly until treating the illness becomes a priority. Most public defender’s offices employ substance abuse assessment units to better serve the needs of those addicted faced with doing time or finding treatment. Judges will likely opt for ordering residential treatment where applicable rather than yet another trip to the county jail and with these humble beginnings we may see the tide turn against an epidemic that steals increasingly more lives each year.

Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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New Found Friend

The day I stepped off the plane in San Diego was like arriving on a distant planet, some space explorer weary of his surroundings and incredibly fearful of what dangers lie ahead. Not having more than a couple of days past since my father came home and told us to pack our clothes, I was now in California.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

This place I knew about from the movies and as big bad of a world that surrounded me in New York City was, I admit to being relatively sheltered. The enormous size of my family and tightly knit bond between us kept my view during childhood limited to those within it, good solid Irish-American Catholics in fear of God. Our community in the Far Rockaways was one of unlocked doors and open arms billowing with pride and a real sense of who we were. The culture transplanted from Ireland and visible at every turn gave us a real sense of that which brought us so close to one another, something that lacked greatly in my view of this new home I had found.

The baby weight hadn’t quite burned when I started stacking pre-puberty calories and I cannot deny having been a chubby kid upon arrival. The NYC accent shone through making me sound different and the style I brought with me didn’t quite fit in either, I was a beacon for attention and the sharks quickly began to sense blood in the water. On the flight, my mother sparked a conversation with another woman on the plane who spoke of the Poway Unified School District as being one of the best in the state if not nation. Concerned greatly with giving us the best they could possibly provide and having worked in education administration since becoming a mother that district was destined to be our home. What a difference between Rancho Bernardo and Queens, New York meant to me was a cultural shock that left me searching for an identity and insecure about who I was.

Any elementary school in the world will have its share of teasing and bullying regardless of how privileged or poverty stricken the area might be and my weight, accent and style made me prime candidate.

What my would-be harassers didn’t count on was the immense training in physical violence a tight knit family with many older male cousins will teach a young man and where I came from all but promoted the school yard fisticuffs. The teasing balled my fists and their challenge was accepted quickly as this was something I was familiar with; the result of an actual fight was something they were not. In the wake of such interactions I began to cultivate a bit of a reputation because to my surprise, having been beat up by a dozen or so older cousins regularly and returning such training to my younger kin left me with some rare skill sets in this part of the world. In short, I found out I could fight and so did they, both my peers and the staff of that school drawing unintentional negative attention.

Negative as it might have been it was attention no less and another by-product of the family had grown up to this point with was a lack thereof, not to any extent of neglect but naturally so given our staggering numbers.

The abilities imparted upon me by the attacks I had received and delivered among the boys of my family were now my greatest asset, quashing the teasing and giving me somewhat popularity. I cultivated this bad boy reputation from there and my attitude and appearance began to custom fit the persona. I was popular and liked or disliked that must have been important to me, I know it fed my budding ego and some false pride began to seep in. The “Real Me” would have to wait and remain an inner monologue as I exerted this tough guy image, who I was became far less important and over time would recess further into the obscurity of my mind.

The years following my arrival in the alien environment of Southern California saw my bright smile transform into a scowl, my fear of God dissipated and eventually disappeared, the intelligence I was blessed with no longer served me.

The rough and unapproachable façade I adorned would keep me safe and put those I encountered at arm’s length, the image I was representing would begin to take hold and my actions to support and reinforce it would lead down a dark road. In the beginning, it was simply acting out whenever I felt any type of way and regardless of the consequences I would feel better but soon I found alternative means of escaping my feelings with far more rapid results. The weekends were drinking, fighting, and destroying property, lying to my parents, and staying out all hours until those weekends spread into the week. This may sound typical of the late teenage or college years many experience yet I was barely in middle school yet and not even in my teenage years.


The onslaught of puberty matched with the excessive drinking and taking of whatever, I would raid from the medicine cabinet of friend’s parent’s bathrooms, smoke pot and do anything else that came along.

This such debauchery dulled my senses and freed me from inhibition dropping my guard against the drug that soon took my full attention. Speed came first from one such medicine cabinet, Adderall prescribed to a friend’s younger brother and a full bottle no less. Myself and the co-conspirator I unwittingly dragged along discovered this gem of pharmaceutical fun after breaking into the house of someone we knew to be away on an extended vacation the summer before entering my final year as a middle schooler.

At the ripe old age of 12 I wasn’t in the least bit fearful of our burglary bringing any trouble my way, after all it was trouble that freed me from having to feel like myself at first. In my mind who I was becoming was great and in retrospect probably kept me from feeling the depression and awkwardness of those years which may have killed me.

Already buzzed from the booze we pilfered out of the stocked bar in this house I didn’t even pause a moment to consider popping the top off the prescription and splitting up the spoils with my accomplice. 30 little pink pills sat in my palm for less time than it would take to count as I threw them in my mouth giggling as I washed them down with another swig of some liquor and prompted the kid I dragged along to follow. The fear in his eyes was exciting for me and I knew he would join me as his need for acceptance ran far deeper than mine, we didn’t know what we were doing and who really does at that age. The difference is we probably had better sense of who we were than most, mainly we knew we didn’t want to be whoever that person inside us appeared as and certainly didn’t want to feel how that felt.

BOOM!!! I was found finally and at long last as the intense stimulation from this miracle of modern science began to course my veins, I was alive and cared not that the effects of the alcohol were washed away.

This felt amazing and I wanted no interruption to distract me from its powers, I could do or be anything or anyone, my senses enhanced and fear vanished. This feeling was shared by my friend who suddenly went from timid and nervous to pronouncing himself a God and storming through the house smashing things at will. Laughing and assisting in this gratuitous vandalism and expression of new found power we both seemed to now have the ultimate solution to becoming the people we had been pretending to be. This show needed to be taken on the road as the confines of this house became too small for the aspirations of debauchery expanded within and without hesitation we abandoned this place and paraded through the neighborhood knocking over and kicking through anything in our path.

Without even noticing the entire night had gone past and here we were still invigorated with the spirit of an invading force the could not be stopped. “This stuff is amazing, maybe we should be on it!” stated my future co-defendant and my only response was “Yeah, I don’t think you’re supposed to take 30 at a time…” We laughed and continued.

The only thing I was concerned with was getting more of my new found favorite form of escaping into this amazing place of absolute freedom. What would I have to present as symptoms to my parents, teachers, or doctors to keep this in steady supply was my dominating thoughts as it slowly trickled from my system. Even then I knew that half of the month long supply I had taken was barely enough to last a few days before the yearning for more crept in and I wanted to feel this way all the time… The Hunt was ON!

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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My Family Had No Bearing On My Addiction

Born into what I now know to be an epic family, truly one of the greats, I can firmly say and absolutely believe they had no bearing on my addiction.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

Perhaps the enabling could be pointed as what made them sicker as my disease progressed but I was what I was and am what I am because of something far from their blame. Constantly I here to people making references to the genetic factor titling addiction as a “family disease” and yes there may be far more exposure and access drawing those with the inkling to cross over the threshold and place themselves beyond the power of choice in some situations.

This undeniable truth doesn’t account for those who have no real trauma to speak of or upbringing that might be to blame yet still suffer and hit bottoms the same if not lower as those that do. In my ancestral chain, there exists a mild prevalence of self-diagnosed alcoholics along with obvious addicts regardless of their denial and this personal experience is where I speak from.

No medical or psychological training supports my opinions nor does academic study reinforce that which I have lived, the views I express are and have been hard-won through experience alone.

They are mine and if you disagree with them yet still find yourself wanting to read further I hope I can at least entertain you if not provoke some thought and consideration. Each of us walks their own path and in reflecting on the steps we take, we can either argue the differences keeping us terminally unique or seek the similarities in search of the message that is almost always found.

The third of four siblings, when I was brought screaming into this world my older brother was 4 years old and our sister 2 years my senior. Only but a few months earlier had my father been rendered sober by means of industrial intervention when his employer offered him a chance to go away and do something about his uncontrolled alcoholism or simply go away. In a moment of clarity, he saw the young family and pregnant wife who depended upon his ability to provide for them not fairing so well had he not at least accepted the offer.

The 30 days in “spin-dry” he was blessed with prompted 38 years of uninterrupted sobriety thus far and to this day he affirms his absolute intent to drink again as soon as he satisfied them.

Once they were off his back he would tip his hat, pull up to the bar and rejoin the rest of the only society he had ever know.

This was Far Rockaway in 1979, nothing but Irish Catholic working men of the middle class, tightly knit and socially married to the ritual of the drink. Breezy Point was, at that time and in many ways, remains an extreme case of voluntary segregation. I only recall one single child that didn’t have Celtic blood flowing through his veins when growing however two lovely Hibernians adopted him.

Every man of marrying age wore the Claddagh Ring, Cead Mile Failte on every doorstep and exclusively populated by friends and family of the same socio-economic and ethnic background.

Irish town through and through with as many police officers as fireman residing within its confines, one church which of course was Catholic and a pub that needed no décor to dress up as any more authentically Irish. Booze was as part of the culture in that NYC off-shoot as anything else and the exposure as children we had certainly didn’t slap away the thought of having that first drink.

The point I’m making is simple, my father’s alcoholism wasn’t passed to me in anyway more than his was to him and the proof of that is seen in my siblings who don’t suffer as I did yet still have drank and used drugs. If this genetic predisposition held some validity it would also be shared with those of the same bloodline, especially my elder siblings who were there to witness to my father’s drinking yet can maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol.

This is a Human Disease and if you happen to have humans in your family then there lies potential for it to spread.

That isn’t to say that environment doesn’t play a part in the perpetuation of addiction or ferocity of its spread, it just is one such form I’ve found of owning what is mine. This disease wasn’t something I contracted at conception although there might be some merit behind having born with it by no fault of Mom and Dad.

The older brother I mentioned earlier and I went to the same schools, grew up in the same loving household, same parents, churches, priests, sports, and overall environment. Today he teaches at a Catholic school, married his high school sweetheart, is raising FIVE beautiful children, owns a home, and has a pension from a FedEx Career of 15 years. In stark contrast despite the identical circumstances and situations we shared growing up my story includes 9 felony convictions, 27 months in every county funded treatment facility in San Diego, countless arrests, track marks that outdated his starting at FedEx, homelessness and not a single romantic relationship that has made it over a year.

This phenomenon is by no means a rare or unique case study, do your own research and call me a liar but that’s my life.

The older sister who also is a teacher of special needs children for Catholic schools was closer in age and even used dope herself early on yet is also a happily married mother of two remarkable youngsters with a career and home to call her own. The youngest of my siblings has a similar story short of the Catholic teacher career, she owns a fitness business that is thriving, has an amazing marriage and is a mother of 3 incredible kids that raises with her husband in THEIR home.

For FAR too long I sat and stirred in the pathetic thought of “Why Me?”, victimized by this clearly unjust world and fueling the fire behind my need to get high, if you felt like I did you would use like I was too! The thing about the family background I just described is I had no way to blame them, if it were their fault in any way it would have affected them as it had me.

The faith shared by my older siblings is something I envy yet my younger sister only 18 months my junior isn’t a devote Catholic as they are so my lack of faith isn’t what made me different, what did that was my disease telling me every day that I was so.

Not being able to point a finger and show the world what had been done to me, granting myself permission to carry on only prompted me to create such a tragic tale that would justify the self-loathing lifestyle I clung to.

The only tragedy today is that I didn’t see myself sooner or at least open enough to let you see me, I wasn’t willing to change, my surrender was not complete and so on it went. In the end I found a beginning and cleared away the old lie of yesterday, we do recover and I am worth the life I lead today. Day by day life improves and more is revealed, the stigma and lies of yesterday slip away and my faith grows. It took a long time to get my head out of my ass, it’ll probably take a while to clean it off as well…

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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How Have I Made It This Far?I Refused

Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

For many of us our past at times may have made us wonder how we are still alive today? Well I will tell you how….by the grace of God!

We all have done things in our lives or put ourselves in situations that it’s a miracle we made it out of. For some of us like myself it seemed to become and everyday thing. We would willingly put ourselves out there not caring what the outcome would be. Escaping death for the first time was scary but then it no longer became a fear it became who we were.

You may ask why God would save us time and time again when we didn’t even attempt to save ourselves. Why would he save us and not the ones who died doing the same things we were? Well all I can say is its by his grace we are here today! His mercy and his love is what has gotten us to this point in our lives.

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He is a father to us all so therefore he protects his children. If you are one of us blessed children of God that has lived the life of addiction and crime then you are here still cause you have a purpose that you need to fulfill. So to you I say quit asking why you are here and start asking how do I fulfill my purpose. God has a plan and it’s up to us to fulfill than plan. God bless you!

Raymond C. Kyle

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Recovery is a processProcess

Just like any other process in our lives it takes time. This is not a quick fix for all our problems, it’s a day by day process where we simply try to be better today than we were the day before if we happen to be so blessed to see it.
Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

Alot of times in this process, individuals tend to want to rush, like there is some kind of race with a prize for who gets there first. Well, sorry to bust your bubble but whether you get there first or you get there last,we are all winners. We a get the same prize, LIFE!
There is no need to rush, enjoy this beautiful journey. Take it all in, don’t skip the hard part’s. The struggles in this process is where we are created, this is where we are learning to tap into who we truly are. Just slow down and relax.

You don’t have to move mountains every day. You don’t have to hurry up and get to a certain point. Take your time, and enjoy this journey. When we rush is where we are more likely to make mistakes. If we allow down and pay attention then we are better able to get out of this process and out of life what we not only need but what we deserve as well.

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I challenge you today, as I do myself to slow down. Take this magical journey into the deepest darkest parts of your soul and allow it to do the work it needs to do. Enjoy being you, enjoying the progress even if it’s minimal, enjoy it. This process works if you work it and will allow it to work in your life. Remember you cannot rush greatness, and you my friends are great. God bless you and have an amazing day.

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IS AA/NA THE ONLY WAY TO RECOVER?aa-chip

There seems to be an ongoing debate as to whether or not and individual can truly recover from addiction without following the 12 steps and the AA/NA program?

Let me begin by saying this, AA/NA has worked for millions of people for many many years, and it will continue to do so for years to come. The guidelines and principals taught in these programs can be very helpful in recovery, so I do believe the foundation of AA/NA is amazing.

Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

But, yes there is a but, I very firmly believe in what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next. We as individuals are all made differently in so many ways. So it’s safe to say one program is not gonna work for everybody.

In today’s society it is becoming more and more often you hear of these amazing stories of recovery from individuals who work their own program their own way and are doing an amazing job.
There is no right or wrong way to recover. Long as you are moving forward,and are getting better in life then keep doing what you are doing.

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Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you are doing it wrong cause there is no right or wrong way. Recovery is simply about living life on life’s terms and we each lead a different life.I will end with this! This should not even be a debate. We should all encourage and lift up each other no matter what program works for us. We are in this together and we will win, cause we do recover.

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alph-dogThe Movie Alpha Dog

What makes some give up & others the drive to change the world?
erinkberndt

SFYB Author

Has anyone seen the movie Alpha Dog? If not it’s a true story in which a young hard core addict owes his dealer $1200 . So the dealer kidnaps the guys little brother. He is seen by 39 people while being held. Actually developing what the 15yr old thought were friendships. They took him all over the place. The guy watching him keeps giving him the chance to escape.

The teen decides to stay so that his brother won’t get in any more trouble & he knows his brother will pay it. When the brother refuses to pay off his debt the dealer orders the child’s death. They make him hike up a hill to where his grave is already dug, they blindfold & bind him, slam him in the back of the head w a shovel & then shoot him. They close in the end of the movie w the Mom, who was beautiful, thin & young before this happened, now blown up, unkempt woman in a psych ward.

The Movie Alpha Dog Click to Tweet

She is a complete wreck, her son died for $1200,because his brother wouldn’t tell them what was really going on. I’ve seen this movie a million times, as sad as it is, I like the actors. I watched it a few weeks ago, now w a new perception of the ending.
As the mother gives her side of the story you realize she’s institutionalized, & she slips into madness. Watching this I realized as it hit me like a brick; that could’ve so easily been me. I could’ve made different choices.

That first night I had been awake since the previous morning so approximately 36 hrs w no sleep, while I was walking along the highway trying to burn energy. My gaze kept going from the skies to the huge trucks that kept passing, if my son had faced death, there was no reason why I couldn’t do the same. But I didn’t do it.

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On Monday, I was complaining to my husband that there’d been no response from God yet. Yes, I really thought I should’ve had my sign already. So he tells me to watch my bird feeders for a new bird because he knows Anthony & I used to watch the birds at our feeders in the mornings when he was young. I need to interject at this point, I had been awake for all but 2hrs of sleep since that Saturday morning til Monday night. I could not keep anything at all in my body. I was violently ill from everywhere. I was also sickly & so weak previous to this.

I got another 2hrs Monday night, actually early Tues morning & went to have my tea & *down swooped my very first wild bald eagle as it soared over the lake along the surface, I knew immediately that was my sign. When I talked to my daughter later that day, she said “omg, mom. We were out for a ride yesterday & there was an eagle over the car”…… 1200 miles away. On Wednesday my 6yr old grandson (Anthony’s son) saw it at his bus stop & on Wednesday Ant’s gf saw it 20 miles from where my daughter & grandson were.

That solidified my belief in God. I was still sick, I was getting calls from MA, forcing me to attend the wake & funeral. I had no money & my ex assured me his family was covering all expenses. I was so grateful for that. There was no way I could’ve paid, & definitely not my ex. But I was harassed by my ex’s sister, telling me how bad I looked to everyone & what a shitty person I was. I was so sick & dehydrated, but I had to go. On Tuesday & Wednesday. I repented all of my sins & forgave everyone I felt had ever wronged me. This great big weight was lifted from my shoulders that I no longer felt, it had been there so long. I made personal apologies to everyone, but most choose to not be in my life & that’s 100% OK w me. I needed to do that to move on.

timthumb

On Thursday I flew “home” to Mass, because I still could keep nothing down or in, I collapsed in the airport trying to get to my connecting flight. I had to be cleared by the EMT’s to fly on. I got into town w 3 hours to spare. Sick to be in my house 25’ from my backyard in MA is the cemetery. I coincidentally had met my son in the cemetery just before I moved. It was me, his sister, his son & his nephew. That’s the last time I saw him alive & when we parted ways it was w an I Love You from all of us to all of us. I was OK not attending these forced services I had no hand in arranging & so I just followed what had been set up. The first sight of my son’s body hit me like bricks dropped from a skyscraper & I dropped to my knees. I had a lot of family support, my aunt & cousins I hadn’t seen in yrs, my brother, my sister-in-law, close friends. It was a very large turnout.

My son lay there for all of those there to see, dead at 25.They cried the tears, they appeared to mourn. Yet the shit that took place, was so typical for that small dirty evil town. No one cared while he was alive, he was called names, ignored by the family & just never important to them.

Ant’s cousin is , who is also rumored to be on Heroin, did a deal at the wake. My ex was trying to score percocet for himself & Ant’s gf who was at that point 4 days into withdrawal. He was also trying to take her mother home w him, since his own girlfriend had to put her 3yr old to bed.

The “best” part of the night though for me was when I had gone outside looking for a friend & was told that this drunk “relative”, you know the type, mom’s friend ends up family. She didn’t know me or my ex & she most definitely did not know my son. She caused a scene in front of his casket, then progressed to driving by the funeral home & swearing & sticking up her middle finger. When I came out she had parked just a house up from us. I approached her & asked her to leave. She went crazy & tried to storm the funeral home. I had to have the police called.

funeral_2742554b

His service the next afternoon was beautiful I had decided I did not want to see him lowered into the ground, but tongues immediately began wagging, horrible mother, mean, evil, crazy.

Call me what you want I had already had my good bye in that cemetery in March. That is how I choose to remember my son. My ex’s family had everything removed from his plot….. Granite edging, toys I had put there from Aiden, trinkets, the money. Gofundme was set up & money taken by an aunt, an education fund set up, that has never been mentioned again. Everything my son owned that should have gone to my grandson was whisked away & hidden by my daughter & ex.

I left MA w no regrets that I would be away from the hellish drama. Florida is home now. I lay down to try & get some sleep, on the night that marked a week, Sunday. I lay down exhausted & closed my eyes.
That was the moment God took over!!!

Now back to Alpha Dog & that poor mother, some of us get the shit beaten out of us & just stay down. Not me, I have prayed for mental breakdown, it would certainly explain my experiences a whole lot easier. But, that is not what I am made of & God knew this when he healed me & gave me the ideas, the motivation, the drive & passion, to put it all out there. To dedicate myself to helping others & trying to change addiction/recovery stigma. This girl is on fire!!!
Thank you
Erin Berndt

founder

please-share

god-knowAs You Understand Him

Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

Many people have many different reasons as to how and why they began a process of healing and recovery. You ask 100 different people you may get the same answers but in 100 different ways. Any of us that are in this process knows the only way it’s possible is with God.

I know some don’t believe in God and it still works for them. Well you right, they may not believe in God as I myself and you may understand him, but you have to believe in something bigger than yourself, your higher power of your own understanding. Whatever works for you then do it.

As You Understand Him Click to Tweet

I know In my process until I allowed God to direct me and lead me I was still lost. Yes I was better and yes I was making progress but I had stalled cause I too thought I could do it all by myself. I couldn’t and it’s by the grace of God that I am here today and still working my process.

If you haven’t done so already it’s time to find what God’s purpose is for your life. Not our own but God’s. When we find this and begin to work it then that’s when the true blessings come. God is the only way we make it thru a lot of our days. When we think there is no way he creates one. Let God lead you in your process you can’t go wrong.

Click image below and learn morewarror-foundation-1

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