I’ve recently spent a good amount of time working on my Recovery Stories website, in preparation for the publishing of my new eBook Our Recovery Stories: Journeys from Drug and Alcohol Addiction on 9th April 2021. I first launched the Recovery Stories website in May 2013, with the aim of empowering individuals and families to recover from addiction and mental health problems by providing hope, understanding and a sense of belonging.
I posted over 700 blogs, as well as a wealth of other content, on Recovery Stories over the following two years. Although the website was still available for viewing after that time, I stopped blogging whilst I worked on various other projects, mainly around the healing of intergenerational trauma. Addiction and mental health problems are two consequences of trauma.
Early last year, I had an itch. I started to scratch the itch. It got worse. That itch was a desire to start writing about addiction and mental recovery again. I contacted the people who had provided their stories for my Recovery Stories website and asked if I could include their original stories in an eBook. They agreed. Most agreed to include an update, seven years on, which either they wrote or I wrote after a number of interview sessions.
I then decided it was time to ‘reinvigorate’ the Recovery Stories website and start blogging regularly again. My good friend Ash Whitney from Cilfrew, Neath, in South Wales agreed to help me with the website development side. I spent time adding new content and slowly removing some of the old redundant content. l reposted some of my favourite blogs from the past. We also made some structural changes to the website.
I’ve now prepared a good number of blog posts and will start blogging regularly again on Recovery Stories on 29th March. Amongst those posts, I will relate the story of my Wired In grassroots initiative which ran from 2000 to 2012 and was focused on empowering people to recover from substance use and related problems. I will also talk about the Wired In To Recovery online community I ran from 2008 to 2012.
Our Recovery Stories: Journeys from Drug and Alcohol Addiction provides important insights into recovery and recovery-based care by showing the lived experience of recovery, through a collection of twelve inspiring Stories that describe people’s journey’s into and out of drug and/or alcohol addiction. Three additional Recovery Stories focus on family members whose lives have been affected by a loved one’s substance use problem. All the book’s storytellers have gone on to help other people with their recovery journey.
In addition to a Prologue describing why the book was written, I include two additional chapters, one focusing on Factors That Facilitate Recovery and the other, entitled Brain Chemicals to Human Connection, outlines my journey in the addiction recovery field and describes the inspiring people I have met along the way over the past twenty years.