I am alone…in my childhood….abandoned, boundary violated, anxious and afraid…

I am feeling stronger today, less coughing and more rest. I know from my ACE life story that this illness has it it’s roots in my childhood.’s “fertile soil” of an addicted family system.

31 years ago I initiated the first of a few immersive processes that manifested as spontaneous remission from addiction and breast cancer.

Last week I initiated a process to unpack why I am ill with this reoccurring chest infection…as is my way..a compassionate immersive revisit into exquisitely painful early childhood memories…this healing process has been ongoing for many years…this time has been a profound return to deepening love, self care, and forgiveness.

“One of my earliest memories is from around age three or four—sitting in a dress by myself playing with a doll. I was fine playing, but the sense was that there was no connection. There was nobody around; I was completely isolated. This was safe, but there wasn’t a sense of happiness, only that I had figured out how to protect myself.” “By being alone.”

Mate, Gabor Md. When the Body Says: The Cost of Hidden Stress No (p. 263). Knopf Canada. Kindle Edition.

Thank you Gabor Maté for writing about this radically healing topic at length.

You can recover. All for help. Don’t stop asking why…what to do and how you recover.


A Public Health Approach: Addiction Recovery

I am a person in longterm recovery. April, 1988 I endured a family intervention that was exquisitely painful for all of us…my family and partner were worried about the progressiveness of my addiction to opioids and terrified I was going to kill myself…

I was angry, and hurt. I had been “found out.” The time for excuses, promises to change etc had run out… no longer an option, they knew enough to know I could not recover alone…

I spent a month in treatment. Sadly my denial and disconnecting from reality blocked me from fully engaging in the therapeutic process…eclipsed by shame, anger and fear – my critic grew louder day by day…telling me I pathetic, horrible, person…

With no defence against that first drink, by the time I arrived at the airport, I headed straight for the duty-free shop…and then the toilets to switch Vodka into an Evian bottle of water .to wash down the valium…

…I came out of blackout several hours later having no recollection of how I got home from the airport..and back into my apartment.

The next few months blurred into a cycle of craving, binge, purge, compulsivity, depression and anxiety. Every morning I would say, today I will I stop using….and for a few days, I would…eat, sleep, begin connecting with friends…but too ashamed to return to recovery meetings..I was disconnected from reality, family, friends, suicidal… eventually the pain of living became unbearable, despite a failed suicide attempt…I knew I needed to get help….

31 years ago the person sitting opposite me in A&E Hospital in NYC saved my life. Her training in addiction medicine meant that I was not dismissed.

Her compassionate approach, addiction recovery insights and personal disclosure of her recovery experience indicated there was another way …and I was not admitted and probably mis-prescribed antidepressants to treat my opioid addiction.

That person who helped me begin to recover from addiction health crisis impacted and interrupted by a failed suicide attempt was an addiction trained psychiatrist, in a NYC, A&E Hospital setting.

Her suggestion, based upon her assessment of series of relapses after rehab and was to re-engage with 12step meetings, and the recovery community.”

I followed all the suggestions in my early recovery to stay away from familiar people, places and things that would perhaps case me to relapse…fortunately the cravings stopped the day I committed to my recovery, 12th October, 1988 and have not returned.

Recovery is a process… my NYC therapist’s knowledge of the American Society of Addiction Medicine changed my thinking about “what is addiction?” from one of moral failing to medical disorder….

Beginning on a path to substance use recovery for many people may not begin the way mine did in an A&E setting with a choice: be admitted for a medically assisted detox, or return to 12step meetings and connecting with recovery community.

In my role as an additions clinician and recovery advocate I continue to seek out ways to reach people who aren’t likely to engage with traditional healthcare systems, and it is my wish to establish A&E Addiction Healthcare Clinics (more about in the attached document) when people are ready, that links them to many options for healthcare, mental health care, and substance use treatment.

I credit my ability to initiate an immersive process the day of the night of my begging into addiction recovery….I would experience a spontaneous remission from addiction, and I have not used a mood altering drug or drunk alcoholically since that day: October 12th, 1988.

I initiated a series of immersive processes in my first recovery of recovery when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I experience again the phenomena of spontaneous remission and thespians were clear of signs of malignancies when I went into for a biopsy two weeks later…

If I can heal my life from addiction and cancer so can you. I have decimated my life to helping others heal.

Which s why this proposed addiction healthcare innovative is so important to me… to help people with substance use disorders — from understanding the impact of social determinants of health, respecting an individual patient’s autonomy and empowering them to want to heal.

By creating an addiction healthcare environment that is, first and foremost, kind, the clici will provide an open gateway of support to a vulnerable population.

Under-resourced clients face challenges in accessing add-on healthcare and or linking together the different aspects of their healthcare.

They may have a GP appointment in one location and a hospital visit in another. For a person without reliable transportation, having to arrive to an appointment on time can be a hurdle. For someone involved in the criminal justice system, stigma and can be a deterrent for engaging in care.

Easy access: programmes and interventions can be established to help people feel safe, regarded and welcome, and this approach is more likely to produce positive future outcomes.

The American Society Addiction Medicine frame synced in with my recovery continuum of self-care….1-1 and group therapy, developing boundaries, ego strengths, resilience and recovery from trauma was held within the safety of therapy rooms, and small 12step meetings.

My home group was started by Betty Ford, the would visit regularly and share her experience, strength and hope..with us who remained in awe of her grace and effort with recovery…

My recovery tribe has grown throughout the years, I love the sharing of wisdom from peers, colleagues and people who inspire me to thrive…our collective primary purpose is to end the silence and stigma of addiction and mental health issues.

We are not silent. We are not alone. We are courageous, compassionate human beings.

Self -discovery sounds so much inviting than self-seeking, being of service is about connection, communication and collaboration: being available, present, and purposefully in the moment- becoming an asset within the community takes time to establish trust, and confidence in the recovery process.

My long term recovery experience continues to evolve, I love to raise awareness and inspire change in others… a continuing compassionate inquiry into understanding how our greatest challenges transform us by becoming valuable resources, assets, insights in the the human condition, and expressed compassion for the benefit of others.

I have helped hundreds of people recover. My commitment to addiction recovery extends to the wider community, I am proposing to UK Health ministers that we work together to implement addiction medicine trainings for all healthcare professionals and front-line first responders – with people in acute to crisis stages of addiction.

Addiction is complex to treat. Recovery is sustainable when the process is supported by holistic well being therapies: nutrition, EMDR, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, mindfulness meditation for stress management,and regular engagement with recovery communities via meetings and workshops.

Addiction impacts the immune system, the recommend establishing autonomous ADDICTION HEALTHCARE CLINICS in A&E-NHS Hospitals. Interdisciplinary teams with the additional benefit of lived experience volunteers work side by side with clinicians, and healthcare professionals.

I am an evidence and research based addiction clinician. Saving lives is what is needed. The quality of addiction treatment needs to accessible, 24/7. Lets make that happen.

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