Contrary to what I said at the beginning of my last blog post, that was not to be the last blog post of the year on Recovery Voices. I decided today that I should do what I have done on my two other main websites Recovery Stories and The Carrolup Story, that is post titles, summaries and links to the most viewed posts of the year (other than the home page and section pages).
Of course, things are a little different with this website compared to the other two, since Wulf Livingston and I only launched Recovery Voices just over three months ago. We also have had two major posts which likely would have attracted a large number of views, one focusing on my good friend Noreen Oliver’s passing and the other on our work together and friendship, but for the fact that they were posted just before Christmas at a time when viewing numbers are low. Anyway, here we go:
10. A Service of Remembrance and Hope – Celebrating Living and Lived Experience On Friday 29th September, North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC) held their first full service of remembrance and hope. We gathered in Saint Deiniol’s Cathedral, Bangor, and expressed gratitude for being alive and kicking; and regret and sorrow for those dear to us, who are no longer with us.
9. Our First Week: Recovery Voices We launched with just over 150 pages of content and links to over 300 short films, knowing that even the most ardent enthusiast would only be able to look at a small proportion of that content. However, we didn’t see the point of slowly ‘drip-feeding’ our initial content onto the website over many months.
8. North Wales Recovery Communities Comprises a number of communities, including a residential rehab at Penrhyn House, Growing for Change, with its gardens and allotments, and Bwyd Da Bangor (Good Food Bangor), a community cafe/restaurant that provides the best food on the High Street. Penrhyn House offers space for various mutual aid groups from outside to operate, and a range of social and physical activities.
7. On Being Straight: James Deakin James has moved to Bangor from Manchester, hopefully leaving behind the gangsters who had tortured him, his drug-dealing days, and his cocaine addiction. How will the change of environment from big city in England to seaside town in North Wales affect his thinking, emotions, and behaviours?
6. Towards Recovery Offers a Recovery Cafe in Henley-on-Thames, as well as an online Recovery Cafe, where people recovering from addiction can get support and encouragement. It aims to help people connect with others, re-connect with themselves and the world around them, and make sustainable changes to create a life of their own choosing.
5. A Life Remembered John was a crusader. Passionate and spirituality-driven, he recently had become very active in motivating and supporting others to achieve their recovery. His passion was to do this through music, and he had successfully set up an organisation to achieve this. In this, his clarion call to us was, ‘Keep it black, keep it loud, keep it together.’
4. Flipped IT!!! The Movie: Marcus Fair We made Flipped It on a shoestring with begged borrowed, and definitely NOT stolen, ropey cameras and mics. The quality is what it is but it was made with a lot of heart and love by dozens and dozens of people and we absolutely still love it! Martin’s drone was the only proper bit of kit we had….
3. Three Things to Know About Mental Health and Trauma: Bruce Perry ‘Human beings are human beings. We don’t change our minds because a bunch of scientists publish a set of recommendations and issue them. Honestly, this is no offence to the Heart Foundation or any other Foundation but you’ve all been publishing white papers about topics for years. Those don’t change public opinion. What changes people are the storytellers in our society.’
2. Remembering My Friend Bradley Miah-Phillips RIP …But I have his Recovery Story and what a remarkable Story that is. And I have enjoyed many hours working with Brad on that Story, albeit us being on different sides of the world. A number of things struck me during the writing process… My thoughts are with Brad’s family. Sending my love.
1. Dr. David McCartney In my Zoom interview with David, held on 30 March 2023, David talks about the development of his drinking problem whilst working as a GP in an inner-city practice in Scotland. He describes an unsuccessful attempt at sobriety, which involved a medical approach focused on prescribing. In crisis, he later called the Sick Doctors Trust Helpline and was told a doctor’s personal recovery story. That telephone call gave him hope and the opportunity to take his own journey to recovery, initially through a residential rehab. David also talks about setting up LEAP and about facilitating recovery in the community.
I hope you have time to look through this list and check out some of the links. And I hope you enjoy what you read. Wishing you the very best for the New Year.
The photograph above was taken when my youngest son Sam, who was visiting us in Perth from the UK, travelled with Linda and I to Sydney in mid-November to see my youngest daughter Natasha, who is currently working as a tour guide for Welcome To Travel.