David Clark

12th April 2024

Catching Up With Wendy Dossett

'Wendy has so much to offer to, and insight on, the process of recovery. She is honest and thoughtful in reflections on her own recovery journey. Rich and insightful in her understanding of the 12-Step Fellowship and particularly the role that spirituality plays in recovery. Finally, Wendy has an abundance of wisdom...' Wulf
11th April 2024

Pain Into Power: Gary Rutherford’s Pain

Gary’s drinking spiralled out of control, so by the age of 30 he had a failed marriage, had lost jobs, and accumulated criminal convictions. He had broken his back and lost parts of his hand in various alcohol-related accidents. He had experienced a number of hospitalisations and clinical detoxes and been in various residential rehabilitation...
10th April 2024

Michael Scott’s 46th Recovery Birthday

‘… Recovering people need empathy and TLC (Tender Loving Care). Rapport with the patient is key to helping them recover. In my opinion, good rapport should be a given working in this field—it is what I experienced in rehab and what helped me get better, and it is what I aim for with my clients. I chat with them about...
9th April 2024

The ‘Now What?’: Marcus Fair

He emphasises that he was a very busy addict. ‘Every waking moment was about getting money, to get drugs, repeat…’When someone like him gets into recovery, they are thinking, ‘How I am going to fill those 24 hours? If you can’t remember what you used to do, or you were a kid when you got onto drugs, and you have no outside...
8th April 2024

Beginnings of North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC): Wulf Livingston

James Deakin described his vision to Wulf. He considered it very important that NWRC was not like a traditional rehab, ‘sealed off’ from the community in which it is embedded. He wanted the residential part of NWRC to be integrated with the surrounding community.
5th April 2024

My Drinking Problem: Gary Rutherford

Gary didn't suffer any major trauma growing up. He just came from Northern Ireland: ‘… we have a lot of anxiety and trauma in our society. I was afraid of everything, and I just found something that worked for me at that age. But the problem for me is that it was that immediate connection with alcohol was so destructive… it was so passionate. And I chased it, and I looked after it...'
5th April 2024

My Forthcoming UK Trip

I'll be spending a week in North Wales in late April with my Recovery Voices colleague Wulf Livingston and his lovely wife Melanie. It'll be a full-on week for me as I will be spending a good deal of time at North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC) in Bangor, where a number of activities are planned.  I'll also be visiting Eternal Media...
4th April 2024

Reflecting on Stigma: Tim Leighton

When people get into AA and NA they learn a culture of unusual self-disclosure. They become very open and honest. However, it is still not acceptable to be a recovering alcoholic or to have problems with alcohol in much of society. For example, Charles Kennedy, leader of the Lib Dems, vanished from the political scene...
3rd April 2024

Retirement Announcement: Phil Valentine

Effective 4 October 2024: 'Just for today, I’ve chosen a future of creating art, continuing to facilitate recovery coach training, establishing myself as a seasoned brilliant fisherman, possibly walking the Appalachian Trail again, picking up trash with the Ocean Recovery Community...
2nd April 2024

What’s the Magic at ARC Fitness?: Gary Rutherford

Gary says that the team of people at ARC have contributed to the magic and success of the organisation. All but one person have been there from the start of the journey. Team members work in areas where their strength shines through. They get the fact that ARC is an...
1st April 2024

Most Viewed Posts, March 2024

Content relating to Wulf's interviews with Tim Leighton and Gary Rutherford took up six of the spots in our ten most viewed posts of the month. Top of the list was my blog post about my favourite columnist of The Guardian newspaper, John Crace, celebrating the 37th anniversary of the beginning of his recovery from heroin addiction.
31st March 2024

The Magic at ARC Fitness: Gary Rutherford

Gary says that the team of people at ARC have contributed to the magic and success of the organisation. All but one person have been there from the start of the journey. Team members work in areas where their strength shines through. They get the fact that ARC is...
31st March 2024

Funding ARC Fitness: Gary Rutherford

However, ARC has to do a great deal of fundraising. For example, in 2021 they organised a No Shame campaign, during which Gary ran five marathons in five days wearing a weighted vest that represented ‘shame’. He fractured his leg on the second day but continued running for the rest of the challenge. Typical all or nothing, ‘Man must finish this mentality and not walk right for 18 months.’
31st March 2024

An Identity Shift: Gary Rutherford

‘… my identity started to shift from being somebody struggling with addiction, to being somebody who focused on their health and who loved to run. And I was surrounded by people who saw me through this different lens, and that was refreshing for me because I had always been under the impression throughout my recovery that this long-term condition was going to follow me...
28th March 2024

Stages of Behavioural Change

Maintenance is the stage where the new behaviour pattern becomes automatic, requiring little thought or effort to sustain it. The new behaviour becomes integrated into the lifestyle of the person. However, there is still an ever-present danger of reverting back to the old pattern—lapses or relapses may occur.