Monday, 7 July 2008

What Recovery Means To Me - Annemarie

When I first left university I thought I knew it all! I’d done the addictions module (courtesy of the Prof) and I thought I had a good grasp on what addiction was and how it affected people. How wrong could I be!

Through Wired In I have worked closely with a number of people with substance misuse problems. I have been fortunate in that I have also worked closely with a lot of people in recovery. I appreciate that not all workers in this field get this opportunity – which is one of the main reasons for running the ‘What Recovery Means To Me’ series.

I think that it is so important that people working in this field get a better understanding of long-term recovery, so that they can help their clients find their path to recovery, and support them in the long-term. There is no quick fix solution to addiction, but with a better understanding we can help people achieve a stable, happy and fulfilling life in recovery.

After three years of working for Wired In I still find that every day is full of new surprises. There’s always something new to learn. The Wired In volunteers have been a fountain of knowledge to me. I could sit there for hours listening to their views and experiences of addiction and recovery. They are all such caring, talented and enthusiastic people, who desperately want to help others realise that recovery from addiction is possible.

Today we will hear from Anne Marie as she shares with us ‘What Recovery Means To Me’. Please feel free to comment or share your own opinions or experiences.


Confusion said...

Dear Annemarie, what a wonderful uplifting start of the day for myself to read your journey and what your recovery means to your life, I admire on a daily basis and envy how younger people seek recovery and so wish I had the wisdom to or any idea I was an addict untill aged over 40, Your last sentence sums you up, yet I would like to times that by 100, the gifts you have gained and your caring gentleman and gentle man in your life, will allow your sons and future children, love protection and boy o boy they will give all that back ten fold to their father and mother. Enjoy and cherish your achievements and happy times to come.

Anonymous said...

I like it Annemarie!

Abstinence is not recovery, nor is it sobriety. It is not how long since we had a 'slip' or a 'lapse', but how close we are to one which is an indicator of the quality of one's recovery.

I now add the 2nd part of my views on recovery:

A personal view of recovery: Part 2

Einstein defined insanity as expecting a different result, whilst continuing to do the same thing:

When one considers how the use of mind altering drugs has caused our wives, husbands, partners, families and employers, bewilderment, despair and disgust, together with the remorse, regret and self revulsion many of us experience. It seems to this writer that advocating the ongoing use of them has little or no merit.

That does not mean that immediate abstinence is to be enforced, voluntarily or otherwise. On the contrary, as Prochaska & DiClemente, point out those who leap from the ‘contemplation’ stage into the ‘action’ stage, without adequate preparation are more likely than not, to relapse. Equally if past attempts to ‘control’ use have failed then as Einstein pointed out it is insanity to expect a different result whilst doing the same thing.

Kev said...


An amazinly touching and honest account of your life. Your understanding of yourself is beyond what most achieve, and it's what makes you, what you are, unique!

Thank you for sharing yourself with us so openly!

Anonymous said...

Lovely to read your story.
There are so many similarities in my story both in active addiction and my recovery process.
NA has been the corner stone of my recovery and it is in those rooms that I have meet and listened to amazing people who have insight, wisdom, courage, love, and profound understanding of addiction.
Nowhere else I have found those things. Treatment services generally have very little if any understanding of what addiction is.
I would be interested to know how many of the stories that we are reading on these pages are from people in 12 step recovery? If you people are in fellowships why not say that in your stories? It seems contrary not to, given that the fellowships would probably have been the place that saved your lives and in turn gave you your life back.
I would hate to think that these stories are being censored to remove the 12 step elements.
Anyway I may be wrong and you may all have done it some other way.
Good luck to you all x

Confusion said...

Dear Anonymous, I read with interest your comments on "What recovery means to me" It is warming to see that you are able to see the similarities for your own journey towards recovery. I can only speak for myself yet the week was a wonderful insight to individuals own personal views of what recovery meant to them, it is an individual journey, I assure you from my heart my own story was not in anyway censored, far from it, and it would of been detremental and totally unprofessional for this to of taken place with what wiredin stands for. One of the many things I am always learning is to not be "Judgemental" for myself it could lead to relapse and to be judged can be a devasting experience. The tools I use for my own recovery means that I have a system for myself that helps me on a daily basis on my onward journey. I hope this is reassurring for yourself! adds more strength for your journey, From the heart just adding this commentof yours has allowed me to share my experiences and hopefully your comments and my reply will help and support others. Sean Rendell xx

Lucie James said...

Hi Anonymous!

Just to let you know - none of the stories on this site have been censored. At the core of Wired In is our independence - we do not promote one pathway to recovery -but want to show people the many ways that people can and do overcome addiction.

If you would be interested in sharing your experiences then please contact me (



tim1leg said...

Anon I was under the impression the serious was about " what recovery means to me " not How I recovered" that would be a very different and very long peice of work if I were writing it anyway!

Sometimes it is hard to be obective about our recoverys especially in the first few years.

I honestly never even thought about mentioning how I recovered when writing my piece I was truly writing about "what my recovery means to me". I would be happy to speak in person and would love to hear your own story also, hope you take up Lucys offer, it been a real pleasure getting to know the team at wired and hope yu choose to share your experience with them and us also.