In recovery from Substance Use Disorder and Mental Illness, a diagnosable and treatable disease, I practice using my tools every day so that if, and when, my symptoms recur and I need to use those tools in a nano second, I am familiar as to how they work, and in what particular way they work…for me. As I get ready in just a few weeks to celebrate FIVE years of recovery, I NEVER take for granted that although my “dis-ease” is “still”, and I am managing it smoothly and effectively, at any given moment I may be faced with a hill to climb that requires some additional “walking” tools…” I breathe, I share, I use my “wise mind” vs my “emotional mind.” I go within and seek the answers I inherently know will bring me back to the top of that hill on solid ground as they have been my reliable sources in the past…Prayer and meditation is my daily practice that brings me great peace and direction…deep faith in knowing that the Universe is offering me loving Guidance…which I always “hear.” It is my daily “go-to.” Then, I am grounded deeply in my faith, and I “know” that I am protected and guided. This is my greatest “protective factor” in my recovery. It is followed by great self preservation and self care…I am certain of my resilience on my journey…even in the most dire of circumstances where I am simply asked to stay grounded in my faith, and to use all of the tools that have allowed me to climb this hill before…sometimes out of breath…sometimes questioning my strength and determination…ALWAYS finding my balance.

We inherently know what we need to recover, and to successfully sustain our own individual recovery…REACH OUT TO AT LEAST ONE PERSON WHOM YOU TRUST, explore your options…ask for suggestions…try them all…keep the ones that resonate with you, and repeat. It is an ongoing process. I am always amazed at all that I learn every single day…Stay awake and be open and willing to “hearing and seeing” beyond your physical limitations, and to others who may share with you their own suggestions…It is a privilege for me to do this with others every day personally and professionally…Openness…Willingness…Humility…Determination…Gratitude…RECOVERY.” – Wendy Blanchard, M.S., CHHC

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