It is my anniversary…one of life…

Another full year of recovery…Wow.

It is entirely surreal when I reflect upon where I was 8 years ago, as I begin this, my 9th year of recovery from lifelong addiction to prescription drugs and co-occurring disorders. I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude for a second chance at living my life, and serving others. What a journey it has been. NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED…FOR SURE.

I had been living with Substance Use Disorder, a mental health disorder, a severe eating disorder, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors that indeed, nearly took my life, which is how I had planned it. I had been suffering in silence with untreated trauma since I was under the age of 10. Taking cocktails of drugs like codeine, and the like, as well as Xanax to self medicate the emotional pain was my only “tool” to allow me to function. A high functioning child, adolescent and grown woman who was all but dead inside. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually “bankrupt.” I hit the wall going 90.

Thank God.

Today, I educate, empower and serve others living with Substance Use Disorder and Mental Illness, with a deep sense of humility and gratitude. I provide education through my own lived experience, through my intense work in the field of mental health, and most importantly, working privately with clients in recovery, and my Professional Development trainings and workshops that focus on self care and wellness in recovery, and in achieving sustainable lifestyle changes in order to thrive.

My trainings and speaking engagements have become eagerly sought after as my work becomes more well known around the region. I am reminded of the promise that I made to the Universe/God/Spirit as I asked for help to save my life on the night of April 2, 2013.

“Please show me the way out of this and I will dedicate my life to any path you put before me.” In the very early hours of the morning of April 3, 2013, in severe withdrawal from the drugs I had been addicted to, vomiting, diarrhea, body tremors, severe pounding in my head, sharp head pain and stomach pain, an extremely rapid pulse, dizziness, going in and out of consciousness, and all alone in a motel room in my hometown, I asked God to save my life. I had left my home with just a few belongings in my delusional state of mind brought on by the over 2,000 pills a month I was taking. I hadn’t eaten anything substantial in months, and had recently awakened from a near fatal overdose. I had been self medicating trauma since I was 14 years old. When I awakened from my overdose after 48 hours, alone, and yes, quite shockingly alive, I knew that if I took another handful of pills, my death would be imminent. God was all that I had left in my life, and so in a moment of clarity, I asked Him for help to save my life. “Please show me the way out of this and I will dedicate my life to any path you put before me.” That morning of April 3, 2013, in my severe state of withdrawal, I heard a strong voice say, “Call for help, it’s time. Everything will be fine. You are not alone.” And I did.

I have been listening to that voice ever since.

Today I am immersed in wellness through spiritual solutions and self care practices. I successfully share my experiences and my journey in my work as a mental health consultant/educator/coach, and certified by the Office of Mental Health NYS as a PEER Specialist, certified by the National Council of Behavioral Health as a Mental Health First Aid (youth and adult) educator/trainer, and certified by the Suicide Prevention Center of NYS as an educator for Suicide Safety for School Staff, as well as many other certifications including “De-Escalation,” “MAT, (Medically Assisted Treatment), Motivational Interviewing, Spiritual Wellness, CPR, Narcan, QPR, SafeTALK,” and even more. I have delivered the Keynote speech at the Chris Ashman Wellness and Recovery Conference in Dec., 2018, and have been a speaker locally in the Hudson Valley Region in NYS, as well as on the state level in Albany, NY for the Mental Health Association of NYS. I work privately with clients in recovery, and clients eager to create sustainable lifestyle changes. I am a holistic health practitioner, and provide support, guidance and training in my workshops and trainings throughout the community including school districts for educators, support staff, administrators, students and families, and in my upcoming book, WRITE PRAY RECOVER:A JOURNEY TO WELLNESS THROUGH SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS AND SELF CARE.

My recovery, where I am thriving and living an incredibly blessed life, is grounded in my self care practices of natural and organic solutions, and with my spiritual practice at the center of it all. I treat my gut and immune system daily, mindfully and holistically, which has a direct correlation to my brain health. “Every decision that we make from the foods that we eat, to the thoughts that we think, to the relationships that we engage in either promotes wellness, or illness, on a cellular level. It IS a choice.”

I begin my day, every day, with Spirit where I am lovingly guided for my upcoming day, eating organic foods, using natural supplements, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of movement and exercise, music, engaged in loving relationships that enhance my life, good sleep hygiene, serving others, a positive mindset of  “It feels good to feel good!,” and healthy boundaries where my self care is priority. I never put another’s needs before my own. I cannot share with anyone else if my “account” is depleted. I continue to “invest” in my self care and spiritual connection daily, so that I never go “bankrupt” again, and so that I may serve others from my own “account,” daily.

To all those who have loved and supported me these past 8 years, I am forever grateful to you. To the thousands of you in my loving community who have participated in my journey with your loving support, and who have participated in my workshops and PDs, including my loving children and dearest friends, and in-laws,  in an effort to explore solutions for your own wellness through my own experiences, and to support me on my path, I am forever grateful to you.

And…to my incredible children, and closest friends and loving in-law family…your unconditional loving support, encouragement, and “cheerleading” on the sidelines has given me incentive each and every day to strive for even more wellness, to explore new perspectives in alternative solutions to continue to achieve wellness holistically, to continue to create new trainings in an effort to serve others, and the eagerness to share my spiritual solutions and self care practices with others, most especially all of you. Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me, listening to me, guiding me, and standing in faith with me. Your love is what continues to help me to excel, to allow me to take risks, and to do even better today, and every day moving forward.

I asked God to save my life on April 3, 2013. It was you, my precious children and granddaughter, Rosie, that were my reasons for not only wanting to learn to live, but to achieve wellness, so that I could change the trajectory of my life, and your lives, in a positive and healthy manner, and offer a legacy that would be one of great guidance and meaning to you, and for our future generations.

I believe I have reached my goal, for you, for me, and for all those who needed to not only hear, but see, that recovery is absolutely possible, most especially through “spiritual solutions and self care.”

For information for my workshops and trainings which may serve you, please visit www.harmonioushealth4life.com/trainings. 

“Self care is the actions that we take to achieve wellness, and wellness is where we stand in our power.”

Love, blessings, and gratitude,










Chris Ashman Wellness and Recovery Conference-December, 2018

Wendy Blanchard