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I Refused

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.

How Have I Made It This Far? Click to Tweet

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.

Recovery is a process Click to Tweet

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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Relapse is not part of recovery

Relapse is not part of recovery. Let me say it one more time, relapse is not part of recovery. Even though it happens quite often to not only the newcomer, but to those who’s been in the process for years as well, it still is not part of recovery..
Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

To consider relapse as part of recovery, takes validation away from your process of recovery. Recovery is about bettering yourself,and pushing forward. It teaches dedication, hard work, focus, determination and courage. If a relapse occurs

it’s not cause it’s good for us, and that it’s making us better. It’s not cause it’s part of our process. It’s simply cause you lost focus, you had a weak moment in your process, and you allowed the disease that you battle to win.

Relapse is not part of recovery Click to Tweet

But my friends, it does happen, and as sad as it may be it happens quite often. But don’t come into your process with the mindset that relapse is part of recovery. With that mindset it’s only a matter if time til it does happen. Instead, you stay focused on your progress, you keep the mindset that by any means necessary you will not relapse. The mindset that you will not give up. The mindset of a warrior; born to fight and fight to win.

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How-Bad-Do-You-Want-it 1

Recovery…how bad you want it?


For years and years I made choices in my life that took me thru some pretty lonely dark places in my life. This whole time I thought I was living life and that it was never gonna be no more than the vicious life I had created. Oh how I was so very wrong.
Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

One day I had finally hit my breaking point or as many like to say ROCK BOTTOM. Then and only then did I decide it was time for things to begin to change. So I began the lifelong process of healing and recovery. It’s been a pretty amazing journey so far, been had ups and downs but today I am living a life I can be proud of. I am giving back to life instead of always taking. It’s just the beginning of a new chapter in my life and it can be yours too if you want it. bad you want it? Click to Tweet

But just wanting it is never gonna be enough. It’s gotta consume your thoughts it’s gotta become just as important to you as anything else in life. Until this happens you will go in circles trying to find your way and your purpose.

You gonna have to fight. You gonna have to make some decisions to eliminate people or places or things in your life and it’s gonna be hard to do. You still gonna make mistakes and it’s OK cause these mistakes are simply lessons teaching you and preparing you for who God has designed you to be and for what he is gonna take you through on your road to a fulfilling life.


Some days will be harder than others…some days are just gonna outright suck but these are the days when we all find out what we are made of. Face your fears…face your demons…your insecurities. ..whatever it may be face them head on defeat them and make them your foundation for which you build your life upon. Don’t give up don’t give up don’t give up. Giving up is not an option.


You keep fighting thru the tears the pain the hurt and the scars and in the end you will see that it was well worth every single moment. Remember it doesn’t get easier it gets better. Quit limiting yourself and tap into your full potential. You got this…believe in yourself and believe in God who will always be there to pick you up when u fall. Love life and most of all love yourself. Have a amazing day my friends and may God bless you.


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A few of thoughts about relapse prevention: You may find this most helpful if you are already working hard (or long) on your recovery?

By: MD Lukens, PhD   © 2015
Michael Lukens

Dr. Michael Lukens SFYB Addiction Expert

If you are currently engaged in a recovery process, regardless of how far along you are, then good for you, congratulations, keep up the good work!  because we all know stopping an addictive pattern of drug and alcohol use is hard to do.  If you’re slipping or experiencing a relapse, or if you’re just hungry for more recovery support, then please do yourself a favor and continue to read.  

Once sober, stopping relapsing can be even harder than the initial challenge of getting sober.  As Mark Twain quipped about his smoking: “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”[1]

A few of thoughts about relapse prevention: You may find this most helpful if you are already working hard (or… Click to Tweet



For those of you who are directly or indirectly involved in recovery (your own recovery, or a loved one’s) I want you to know that the number of people who are capable of recovering fully without help is not as small as you might think.   When comparing those who received no treatment to those who did receive treatment, the numbers are similar, and they are modest (approx 25% of those treated and those who did not receive treatment of any kind recover from drugs and alcohol).  Another consistent finding is that addicted doctors and nurses who are enrolled in strictly supervised long term programs show a 75% or greater rate of recovery at the 5 year mark.  


How do we make sense of these seemingly contradictory data?   This is my take:
  1. The person’s commitment makes all the difference (the untreated who quit and the professionals who quit at such comparatively high rates were people who were the most highly incentivized to commit and follow through);
  2. Standard treatment is not all that effective (the quality of care in general is not high);
  3. And the fact that care is ongoing may make a bigger difference than anything else.  Of course, it requires commitment to stay in treatment of some kind over the long haul
  4. founder


Katie Donovan

 Katie Donovan Non-Profit Staff Reporter Staff Author

My Daughter the Addict – A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare @StopFryingBrain

By: Katie Donovan

I was the PTO mom, the carpool mom, the Brownie leader. We ate family dinners at the table, taught our children manners and took family vacations. My husband and I were blessed to have very good jobs. My daughter, Brittany, the beautiful girl in the photo, was the honor roll student, the volunteer at the city parks and recreation department and loved playing sports.

 Other relevant posts by this author:
(1) My Daughter the Addict-A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare
(2) Families Against Narcotics Announces Run Drugs out of Town Event
(3) No One Brings you Casseroles when you Child is an Addict
(4) Katie Donovan Named Executive Vice President of Families Against Narcotics


My Daughter the Addict-A Suburban Mom’s Nightmare Click to Tweet

Growing up, I had skewed images of what a heroin addict looked like. I envisioned them sitting in an ally, or a gangster or a criminal. The stereotypical hippie from the 60’s and 70’s that grew up in a bad home. I had preconceived notions that you had to stay away from them…that they were


 I am very ashamed of my thoughts now. I never really had a “real” exposure to addiction. What I saw was what was pictured in the movies, or on TV. We lived in the suburbs where “that just didn’t happen around here”.


 Now, addiction has a multitude of faces. It’s the high school quarterback who became injured in a game, was prescribed Vicodin and became addicted.

It’s the mom down the street from you, driving her minivan to CVS to pick up more pills, even though she just finished a 30-day supply in 10 days.

It’s the babysitter who went to a party and didn’t drink, as mom and dad properly told her the dangers of it. So she took a few pills instead.

It’s the heroic marine who fought in the Gulf War, who is now fighting PTSD.

It’s the corporate executive who was prescribed Xanax for stress.

It’s the senior citizen who had hip surgery and within weeks, unknowingly was now dependent on prescription narcotics.



This is happening in our homes, our communities, our schools!! No one is immune. It affects all classes, races, ages and professions.


If you feel like “it would never happen to you or anyone in your circle”, take a look around. It’s happening. You may not even know it. Most become isolated in fear and lost in their addiction, finding it hard to reach out.


Recently, as I was walking to my car, I noticed a homeless man hunched over. Instead of walking by him, I stopped and asked him if I could sit down next to him. We talked for a good hour. Turns out he was a marine, who was injured, became addicted to Vicodin and didn’t know how to stop, but wanted to so bad. Swore, he would NEVER do heroin…that’s what junkies do. But then his pills got too expensive and now his body was physically getting sick. He ended up turning to heroin, just to feel normal again. My heart broke for him. I gave him my card and said to call me if he was ever ready for help. He called 2 days later. He is currently at a 6-month treatment facility, fighting for recovery and has renewed hope in life.

As a community, it’s time to come together. These are not “junkies in the corner” …these are our friends, our neighbors, your grandfather, men who fought for our country.


Please, don’t’ make assumptions on people. The next time you are walking and see someone homeless, don’t walk past and avert your eyes. Stop and reach out your hand. It was my daughter sitting there once, lost in her addiction and feeling hopeless.


Katie Donovan, Recovery Advocate

Executive Vice President, Families Against Narcotics

Author of



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SFYB Contributing Author “FUBAR” Best stuff in the hood brother

Finally Tires Made Just For Addicts – The Last Ones You’ll Need. This Is NOT A Commercial For Scoots Ppl.


Finally Tires Made Just For Addicts - The Last Ones You'll Need. This Is NOT A Commercial For Scoots Click to Tweet

When you get to be my age, all my friends are dead and that includes my father and my mother. Then you start to realize when buying tires guaranteed for 90,000 miles, you’ll need to live long enough to wear them out? WTF? Hummm Dam..

So my point is if you’re abusing drugs and alcohol there will be a time in your life you’ll be more concerned about how long you going to live and the quality of the life you have left. You don’t get any more.
So if you’re abusing drugs and alcohol you might consider that you’re wasting precious life. I promise you there comes a time in your life you’ll regret wasting any minute of it. Get some help if you need it. One day you’ll be glad you did.
Get help


If your still “USING” watch the clip below and ask why? Pay attention to the message.



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My First Legal Prescription for Opiates


Chelsearae SFYB Contributing Author

I had dental surgery 2 days ago, and they prescribed me opiates. The day before the surgery I was 10 months clean off opiates. Why would someone in this position accept a prescription? That’s a really good question, and one that I don’t have an answer to.
I decided that it was okay and I could handle it even though I had had problems (to put it mildly) with them in the past. I still don’t know if this was my fear of physical pain or some dormant junkie tendencies talking, or maybe (likely) a mix of both. I was not sure how badly it was going to hurt having a screw drilled into my gums and bone, but I knew from the start that I was going to take the Norco prescription regardless.




I think I really just wanted to test myself, and that I was missing the feeling a bit. So instead of taking the advice of recovered addicts and recovery experts and marking the “yes” box on the questionnaire that asked me if I have a history with drug addiction, I decided to try it out and take these pills that gave me hell for years of my life and left me with nothing. The pills I struggled over and over to banish from my existence. I have no idea what I was expecting, but some part of me needed to play with fire I suppose.


Big BlinkWhat happened was they prescribed me 20 pills and I was supposed to take one every 6 hours but I ended up taking 10 the first day and the other 10 the second day. Today is the third day. It’s almost shameful to admit these things, but it’s really not. My brain feels slightly fuzzy today, but I’m not crushed or craving.

While on those pills I did not feel any happiness that surpassed my normal sober level of happiness. It used to be that they created happiness within me, and allowed me to experience peace. This is not the case anymore. They made me irritable, and itchy, and hot. They made it hard to think clearly and even to fully enjoy something great that happened yesterday, yet I still compulsively took them and obsessed about them. I think I used to enjoy them so much because I was always in pain before and they numbed me and made everything hurt less. Now I enjoy existence for the most part and being disconnected from my innate sensitivity towards it was not enjoyable at all.


I feel like I’ve outgrown the mentality that something like that could bring me anything worthwhile, yet I still found myself going through the familiar motions of an addict. I felt that same burning obsession, the same mechanical anticipation at my next high; and I never forgot that those pills were in my purse in the next room. It was all I thought about, all I cared about, I was right back to my old fiendish self. It was almost as if no time had gone by since I quit the stuff.  When they were gone, I was relieved, but while they were still within my reach, I was completely and hopelessly consumed. Addiction makes no sense whatsoever, and I can’t figure out how it could still have such an effect on me after all my experiences with the stuff.


It’s actually kind of scary to think about. Scary, ridiculous, and absurd. I don’t know what I needed to prove to myself, or what the point of that was. I feel glad that that experience didn’t fuck my entire world up and make me want to spiral back down into oblivion (maybe knowing I don’t have that option/connections for the drug helps too). I feel confused that it happened at all, but mostly I just feel neutral and will continue living. Does this count as a relapse? Should I be disappointed? If it is a relapse, I suppose I can just add it to the long list of them and not do it again. I still know what I want, I still mostly know who I am and where I’m going and I’m excited for the future.

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Mike Downing

Mike Downing Contributing Author


Five questions to ask yourself…

Professional Sober Coaching Services

You have done the work. You have completed a rehab program, detoxed yourself or completed an outpatient program. You are ready to apply all the tips and tricks and boundaries you were taught for your “new normal” life. Consider the following five points to determine if you are ready to use a sober coach;

  1. Do I need someone to help me through my friend list in social media and real life? Not only to help with conversations to cull out unhealthy friendships, but to help with establishing new friends outside of the addiction world.
  2. Am I ready to have someone assist me in removing triggers in my environment? Not just throwing out props that fueled my addiction but someone strengthening me as I discover a past hurtful note or picture that needs to be tossed. Someone to hold the trash can as I eliminate bad food, bad ideas and bad habits away that I know will emerge unexpectedly in my home environment.
  3. Do I desire a discreet companion coach as I navigate my first few social engagements as a recovered person? Someone with refined social skills who can encourage me to stay healthy in a potentially tempting situation – whether it be a business meeting, family function or social gathering.
  4. Do I want to be held accountable for my choices? Someone who will be transparent about how I am behaving and provide constructive feedback. Statistics show that it takes an average of ninety days to fully adopt a change. Accountability is an effective tool for success.
  5. Am I financially able to retain a sober coach? Service fees are based on a programs, certification, experience and availability. Rates can vary from $75.00 to $375.00 an hour depending on service and engagement. Daily, weekly or monthly rates are calculated on an hourly rate as well. Retaining a sober coach, companion or chaperone to personally support me during the early stages can run $600.00 to $1,800.00 per day plus expenses. I have just invested a large sum of money on my rehab – am I willing to invest even more to have a trained coach help me construct and frame my new routines and interactions without the fear of relapse?

Professionals agree that the highest percentage of relapse occurs within the first 120 days of implementing a change. Sober coaches are well worth your investment to ongoing success. Unlike sponsors, or sober buddies certified coaches are trained to draw out your strengths and avoid codependency. Competent coaches are trained to follow a strict code of ethics that will govern the coach / client relationship. The coaching method is to get the client back on track within a short period of time.

If you are seriously committed to a healthier lifestyle and interested in getting the best results in the shortest length of time then consider retaining Mike Downing today. Help Has Arrived!

Meet Mike


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Cindy Ouellette

Cindy Charles Ouellette SFYB Staff Editor & Author

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from EnglandMy First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England. Get tested right away and learn why! becoming most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here and learn more.


For 21 days I detoxed on my bed in the tropical heat of a 3rd world country over 11 years ago.  

I had been blessed with an overwhelming case of vertigo.  I used the verb ‘blessed’ because it was the first time in 8 years that I was literally unable to get to a drink of alcohol!

After the world stopped spinning from the vertigo, I was able to text and then visit an American travel journalist, who was laid up in our town.  He had fallen and broken his hip in a hotel shower.  Since he did not speak Spanish I had been called to come and translate.  Before I got the vertigo, I had been attending to his medical, internet and ATM affairs while he was bedridden for 6 months.

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England

Well, that man had been one of a long line of angels with invisible wings guiding and encouraging me thru early sobriety. He had been in AA 20+ years and led me to Google to find a Big Book in English.  Google led me to a Brooklyn AA group that sent me all the 12 Step literature I could wish for.  The literature led me to LIM (Loners, International Meetings), which is an AA snail mail and email sponsor listing for people out of country.   LIM led me to my first on line sponsor. She was a genuine ‘Royal Lady’ in England!

She was quick to list the ‘do and do not’ list for my relapse prevention safety. It went like this:

  • No over the counter allergy relief medication containing Benadryl (diphenhydramine) – many times indicated as “PM” tagged to end of a medicine’s name.
  • And no pseudoephedrine – the active ingredient in allergy medication/decongestant combos, typically signified by a “D”, as in Zyrtec-D, Claritin-D.  It is classified as an amphetamine!  (It also happens to be the starting point for making meth.)

My British on-line sponsor, also insisted that I was to immediately get to a good doctor and inform the doctor that I was recovering from substance abuse and needed allergy tests.  She said that I must know exactly what I am allergic to in order to avoid those allergens in my life.  She insisted that I not put my sobriety at risk by ever needing to be given the above mentioned medications in a hospital.

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England

She instructed me to get to a chiropractor and start regular adjustments so I could begin a no neck and back pain existence.  Neck and back pain were the reasons that began my drinking in the first place.  Other the counter pain relievers indicated by PM have diphenhydramine.   Diphenhydramine, again repeated, is dangerous for we in recovery.  It is a trigger to pick up!

She instructed in detail to avoid alcohol as an ingredient at all!  That included powder form as a preservative as well!  And most water flavor sprays and drops include Propylene Glycol, which can be dangerous, too.  But when I write dangerous, this refers only to avoiding triggers of substance abuse relapse.     For sure, mouth rinses and breathe sprays and cooking extracts are loaded with alcohol!  Read labels!


No contact with alcohol on my face or body for 2 years.  Her suggestion for smelling pretty was to perfume the clothing but never touch the skin with alcohol.  You and I both know that a baby can fall asleep in the midst of screaming teething pain if vodka is just rubbed on the baby’s gums.  Skin has pores.  Topical medication is applied to skin because skin has pores that absorb the chemical remedy. Hence, skin can absorb alcohol.  I lived in a very hot area and spraying on my Jean Nate after each shower had been a loving pleasure for years.  Dang! I counted the months for 24 months before I used after shower spray again. Now, maybe here in the United States there are non alcohol body fresheners. Read labels!

Never let others prepare your refreshment at any function where alcohol is being serve. Pour it yourself or stand in front of the server without conversational distraction, eagle eyeing the task as it is done.

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England

Be sure to inform all your doctors and medical service providers that you are deathly allergic to any medication with alcohol and also allergic to mind altering medications!  I have had to actually get testy (demandingly rude) with a dental surgeon who was insisting my spouse needed an after surgery mouth rinse with 11% alcohol.  I wonder how many relapses that dentist had caused.  And it is not only the relapse, it entails battered wives, divorces, wrecks, lost jobs and on and on.  I am sorry the dental field has no concept.  He never could hear me and I was considered a nut at that dental clinic.

When I was 3+ years sober my son flew up to Pennsylvania from his Navy dock for Mother’s Day.  We ate at my first oriental buffet.  I had not had pickles in several years because where I had been living all pickled items were cured in alcohol.  So, I had asked at the local AA meetings if pickles were safe in America as I saw the members eating burgers with pickles. They had never heard of a pickle being in alcohol.  Well, my British Lady Sponsor sure had. She is the one who had warned me in the first place.  Watch out for pickled foods.  They can be cured in alcohol.

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England

Short and sweet, I ate 2 thin slivers of pickle; I immediately felt the ole warm glow we all remember, if we in sobriety.  I got loud in the restaurant declaring they were the bless pickles in the world!!!

This is why it is so vital to attend meetings.  We hear and soak in experiences and strengths.  We learn recovery tools and recovery alerts. I heard the voice inside say:  Any thing that wonderful is not right.  Stop!” Two hours later I rocked back and forth for three hours on my bedroom floor holding myself and clapping my hands.  The obsession had returned!  Not only could I not remember the Serenity Prayer, I could only remember it began with an ‘S’.  I clapped and rocked and chanted that letter ‘S’ for 2 hours.  I laid on the carpet another hour just thanking God I had been able to stay put and not leave and hunt my substance.

My First Relapse Prevention Warnings came from England

I had been bitten by the snake!  Wow!  My spouse and I are label readers and always inform the waitress or maitre de that we are highly allergic to alcohol in any form.

And we have had allergy tests to never subject ourselves to an allergy attack.  We have taken the correct measure by knowing exactly what our allergens are, so we do not need to be treated at a hospital with dangerous trigger medications.

Life in sobriety is a very valuable gift. We all need to protect ourselves from any snake bites!  (even the biting snakes that others declare are safe.  Read your labels!)

We watch our intake and our bodies have been healing!  We enjoyed homemade shrimp Creole last night! (a gout no no.)  No more dizzy for me, either!  We do still pray over our food, but not due to fear but gratitude.

Don’t Give Up Hotdogs Pizza

I earnestly recommend allergy tests.   I’m 68 and Fred is 72.  We pop out of bed each morning like Jack-in-the-box!   Plus, we are happy, productive, active newly-weds of 8 years.  You know, our bodies were meant to heal themselves if we keep away from what we are allergic to.  This is a golden tip that I offer to you.  Go have allergy tests run.  I learned the hard way and hope that you’ll take heed.  I wonder how much money I save by having a healthy body that does not need emergency room visits and costly medicine?

Click above and we will email you the benefits of testing


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