Once I became involved in recovery advocacy efforts, I also felt a duty to share with the larger world that recovery is possible — that redemption for even the most hopeless of us is possible. I went on to share my experience with addiction and recovery loudly and proudly. Lately however, I have been considering some of the challenges inherent in experiencing and framing my addiction recovery journey as a redemption story.
Most notably, the reality that every ancient archetype has its opposite has struck me as an important consideration. And like there is no hero without a villain, there can be no redemption without its shadow of the fall from grace. First, redemption requires an initial fall from grace.
Brief Presentation History
If addiction is a health condition that arises from a mixture of biological, psychological, social, environmental, and for some, spiritual factors, then to position the recovery journey as a tale of redemption is to imply that developing an addiction is a fall from grace. In the act of implying that developing an addiction is a fall from grace, we paint a complex health and social condition into a picture of morality.
In turn and by default, developing an addiction is then a personal sin, shortcoming or moral failure from which one needs redeeming. But this picture is significantly problematic because all we know about addiction is that it is not a moral failing.
We know that for many people who develop addiction challenges, the fall from grace often took place among people and places in the world around them, and that the onset of addiction occurred by no moral fault of their own. For example, I have yet to sit in a room full of people who have struggled with addiction and not hear a tremendous amount of sexual violence, challenging childhoods, poor social and environmental conditions ripe for addiction, family histories of mental health and substance use disorders, significant trauma histories, and systematic failures. To imply that these human beings fell from grace and are in need of redemption is unfair and inaccurate.
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He was wrong. The tide started to turn late in and miracles began to happen. Lives that were unlikely to cross would begin to cross in unlikely ways.
By this time, Danny hardly had any teeth in his mouth. The inner addict inside him wanted to turn that money into a bag of drugs, but the good man within forced his hand; Danny chased Constable Kirkwood down and returned the money. Baffled, the humble police officer made a Facebook post that went viral. A chain of events had set another chain of events into motion.
Danny had been estranged from his mother for half a decade at this point, but Mary MacKillop saw the post and knew she needed to find her son. She found him, but this was no longer the son she remembered. He was skinny, dirty, pale, broken: he was a shell of his former athletic self.
Deep down, so did he. Pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization on a daily basis was how he was living. They had one hope. Danny had a cousin who had successfully navigated the road of addiction that he was now bogged down in. They reached out to him and an olive branch was extended.
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Once again, an improbable situation turned into an improbable solution. Daniel got Danny a bed, and Danny decided to give it a go. A little over 1 year ago Danny ingested his last mind or mood altering substance. Danny entered the cocoon of recovery and emerged a beautiful butterfly. From the moment he arrived, Danny and Daniel, long lost cousins, have reconnected and walked the road away from addiction together. Danny has his family back; he is a father and son once more.
'I'm still very much involved in the life of recovery.'
The new lease on life is one he feels compelled to take advantage of. Danny now works at Together We Can, helping men who are struggling with the exact thing that he had to go through. The man who was the redemption story of now helps men seeking redemption themselves. Feb 28, - "A single act of honesty" - as read on the CBC website. Jul 27, - "Danny and the boys" - as read on the Cape Breton Post. Feb 18, - "Danny marks 1 year of sobriety" - as read on the CBC website.
Donna's story is full of hope, encouragement and useful tools for anyone who wishes to find peace amidst turmoil and uncertainty. A well-written personal account of how the author discovered that long distance running was more effective than alcohol or drugs in coping with self loathing, deep anxiety and one's inner demons. In this account of the first 18 months of sobriety, Philip Muls describes the therapeutic process that helped him confront destructive core beliefs about himself and life in general and the role they played in his long-term addiction and struggle with recovery.
In this thoroughly researched and groundbreaking biography of Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Cheever creates a remarkably human portrait of a man whose life and work both influenced and saved the lives of millions of people. Drawn from personal letters and diaries, records in a variety of archives, and hundreds of interviews, this definitive biography is the first fully documented account of Bill Wilson's life story. This powerful story reflects two perspectives: the experiences of a young teen dealing with an older brother who is addicted to heroin and the personal poems and songs of that older brother that head each chapter.
This is a raw look at the pain experienced on both sides of the life of addiction. This story is written by Jan Nargi, a single mother of two and a registered nurse, and her son Tommy who is a heroin addict.
It describes his life of chasing the high and her life of chasing after him. They hope their collaboration will offer help and encouragement to others struggling with addiction. This story is factual, graphic and real. The individuals allowed the film-makers to follow and capture their trials and tribulations while living and hustling on the streets of New York City.
This is the story of a nurse moving from addiction to recovery. It describes the agony of enduring a punitive disciplinary process to preserve her nursing license after her theft of narcotics from the hospital where she worked. It shows how it impacted her sanity and her career, and how her secrets and lies traumatized her marriage of over twenty years. Dee Burton, Ph. Her work currently focuses on approaches to help those most vulnerable to the effects of tobacco to stop smoking.
Each chapter of this book gives you strategies to help you deal with the kinds of experiences you may be having on that day and in the future to help you succeed with as little discomfort as possible. Craig nakken presents the most recent information on how an individual becomes an addict-including cultural influences and genetic factors-as he examines addiction's causes, stages of development, and consequences. Using vivid examples and case studies, the author exposes the irrational and contradictory patterns of addictive thinking, and shows how to overcome them and the barriers they create; low self-esteem and relapse.
Clean, a myth-shattering look at drug abuse by the author of Beautiful Boy, is based on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. Clean is a leap beyond the traditional approaches to prevention and treatment of addiction and the mental illnesses that usually accompany it.
The existing treatment system, including Twelve Step programs and rehabs, has helped some, but it has failed to help many more, and David Sheff explains why. He spent time with scores of scientists, doctors, counselors, and addicts and their families to learn how addiction works and what can effectively treat it. Written by a clinical psychologist, this book provides new perspectives on how to gain back emotional stability after growing up with the trauma of addiction, abuse, and dysfunction.
Dayton explains the latest research in neuropsychology and the role trauma plays on chemically altering the brain. The book teaches you how to rewire your brain to undo the negative effects trauma has on all aspects of life. As noted by Joseph R. In this book, Tian Dayton shows us how. The first in a series of three recovery guides for the first three years of sobriety, First-Year Sobriety uses the voices of many women and men who are struggling in the often baffling territory of their first year of sobriety to show that despite their differing experiences, all are united in the process of giving life without alcohol or other drugs a chance.
This well-written book by a licensed psychologist presents a step by step recovery program based on mindfulness combined with the Buddhist idea of loving kindness or self-acceptance. The PERFECT program Pause, Embrace, Rediscover, Fortify, Emerge, Celebrate, Triage is a self-directed process that includes exercises, guided meditations, worksheets to track progress and more in order to learn new habits of mind and heart, expand and strengthen your life skills and reconnect with your purpose.
Although the approach does not represent step philosophy or addiction as a disease perspective, a mindfulness approach can certainly be used to enhance a step program. Recovery 2 Day developed two separate recovery approaches. The North Pass is a secular method of recovery while the South Pass is a non-secular religious approach. Both teach CBT Cognitive Behavioral Therapy based on the idea that we can change the way we feel and act by changing the way we think ,DBT Dialectical Behavioral Therapy which combines cognitive and behavioral therapy with Eastern mindfulness techniques , and REBT Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, behavioral modification based on identifying one's perceptions, attitudes, or thoughts about outside things and determining if they are true or false.
Both books address craving, disease education and recovery strategies, and only differ in their focus on either meditation to cope with emotions unearthed during self-evaluation and self-discovery or prayer and personal faith. This workbook written by a psychotherapist experienced in alcohol and drug recovery presents self-improvement techniques that combine journaling and goal-focused therapeutic approaches to help people make positive changes that are meaningful to them.
It focuses on connecting with one's deepest desires and staying connected with them and focused on change. The concept and instructions are straightforward and the steps simple and practical. The book teaches clients in long term recovery how to use the power of writing to maintain sobriety. Eugene Moynihan, LCSW is a former NYC police officer who has worked with the police department for 10 years helping them cope with substance abuse and other mental health issues.
This book is geared to helping addicts in all stages of recovery. It contains practical recovery tools to address the common negative tendencies of addictive personalities including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual characteristics of addiction. The tools describe the thinking patterns and suggests specific action steps and new patterns of healthier, sober thinking. It is available for sale eBook as well on the website above, Amazon. Sandy was a speaker for AA and his talks and recordings focused on guiding people in recovery on a spiritual path through the 12 steps.
The Danny MacKillop Redemption Story
Developed by a person in long-time recovery, these CDs offer a direct and honest look at the process of recovery. The second single CD, On the Way to Emotional Sobriety, involves the process of gaining strength and stability through the steps and examines ways of doing this through communication, faith and prayer, leading to progressive change in the conscious thought process of the addict or alcoholic.
The third single CD, The Path to Serenity, provides a road map to positive ideas for living free of substance use and moving forward in a new life, presented through personal experiences and the experiences of others who are making the journey successfully. Written by a writer in recovery and an addiction psychiatrist, this book is based on Buddhist teachings focusing on how the mind works, tools for helping the mind vulnerable to addiction, and ways to overcome addictive and obsessive behavior.
It works on cultivating a calm, clear mind for the lifelong process of sobriety. It presents a spiritual path to recovery for people of any faith tradition as well as those who are not religious. This free downloadable book starts out describing "Life Patterns" and the need to really want to change and to not do it alone. It later describes the five steps to changing your life based on God. In the middle is a very lengthy discussion on proving God's existence and the role of the bible in recovery.
This audio CD was written by two licensed psychologists and mindfulness teachers who have combined these fields to address addiction.
Related Addiction Free: Redemption Stories
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