Recovery Talks Community Listening Forum

Please join us for the upcoming FOR-NY Recovery Talks Community Listening Forum where local leaders will hear directly from individuals and family members whose lives have been impacted by drugs and alcohol, who have found hope and meaning through recovery, or who have been transformed through the loss of a loved one. Through the sharing of personal stories, the Recovery Talks series is breaking the chains of stigma and shame around addiction and connecting thousands of New Yorkers who have found hope and recovery. Contact Stephanie Campbell for more information

Recovery Stories

  • Christine Alamo

    I started drinking socially at a very young age. It wasn't until I became employed in New York City that my drinking got out of control. I would go out drinking with my co-workers during lunch and after work. After a while, I was no longer drinking socially. I wa drinking mostly my myself. If you're thinking how many years I was drinking, it was over 27 years. I lost a great job. I lost my home. I lost my long-term relationship with my significant other. I have been sober for over 10 months with the help of people in the addiction profession. I admitted myself to detox for 5 days. The next day I enrolled an in-patient 28-rehab facility. I am currently attending AA meetings and I am an out-patient at an addiction treatment facility 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I couldn't have done it without the help of these organizations. I feel like a brand new person. I embrace every day and look forward to a life full of happiness. Thanks for listening to my story. Christine

  • Corey Wesley

    In January 2013, I launched FLRT (Freely Living Real & True) to help support those struggling from a chronic disease of addiction; combat the stigma wrongly associated with addiction; and promote a motivational slogan supporting prevention, treatment and to prove that recovery works with empowerment. Sobriety can seem like an impossible goal when you’re struggling with an addiction. However, recovery is never out of reach. With the right treatment and support change is possible. Although the road to recovery involves bumps, pitfalls, and setbacks you can be on your way by examining the problem and thinking about change. I suffered from a crystal meth addiction and know first-hand. I attempted various avenues including group therapy. I eventually took the path of seeking growth through a spiritual organization and sought individual therapy. Those avenues helped in me in recovery but needed more. I began living by a motto of “Freely Living Real & True†whereby I: dealt with stress differently examined who I allowed in his life reviewed what I did in his free time analyzed how I thought about himself To support myself in how I had begun to live my life, I produced a silicone wristband as a way to remind myself of how my life was improving through the motto. I took pride in living my life under the motto so I then produced and wore a t-shirt printed with the motto. I wanted something in my work environment to help provide support my his recovery so created a mug with the motto on it. And so was created the FLRT Collection. Deciding to make a change, is often the biggest and toughest change for people struggling with addiction. Its normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you realize its causing problems in your life. Change is never easy and committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including those that I changed when I began living the FLRT motto.

  • Betty Currier

    I’m Betty Currier and I’m in long-term recovery from alcoholism. I haven’t needed a drink to change how I think, feel or act since January 6, 1976. Getting there was not easy.

    From as long as I can remember, I never felt like I fit in. But all that changed when I found a group who accepted me – the drinkers – and I was introduced to alcohol. I was 16 and I vividly remember my first drinking experience. A few of us – 2 guys and 3 girls – were in a car. I can’t recall why but I sure remember what happened. The boys brought out a bottle of cheap gin and, after taking a couple of swigs themselves, passed the bottle to the girls. Without hesitation I took a big swallow….and thought I’d been poisoned! It burned all the way down and tasted awful. But soon a felt a warm glow rise through my whole body. I relaxed and began to enjoy myself. When the bottle came my way a second time, I didn’t hesitate. I still hated it but I sure loved the feelings. Then the boys brought out cigars, lit up, took a drag and passed them around. Wanting to fit in, took a drag too. Big mistake. I was never as sick as I was that night and I vowed it would never happen again…..To this day I’ve never smoked another cigar; but I spent 20 years trying to drink successfully.

    Those 20 years were marked by a marriage, because that’s what my generation did. I don’t blame my husband for its failure. We were two incomplete people trying to find completion in each other. The good of that marriage is our 4 children. The bad is that the only way I felt OK was when I was drinking and that rarely turned out well.  From the beginning I couldn’t hold my booze.  More often than not I got sick and ended up “kneeling at the porcelain goddess.” On the surface I was successful teacher, respected church and community person. I had friends. That all played into my denial. I didn’t drink like my image of an alcoholic.  I didn’t drink the amounts or types of alcohol others did. It was the sweet, ladylike drinks for me. I was not a bar drinker. I was never arrested.  Yes, I managed to look good on the outside, but inside I was drowning in fear, shame, loneliness and overwhelming hopelessness. No amount of alcohol could fill that black hole.

    At that time I didn’t realize how much alcoholism ran through my family and how it had affected me and ultimately my marriage, children and work. Finally it all caught up with me. On January 6, 1976, my older daughter, who was 15 at the time, overdosed on a combination of Phenobarbital and brandy and almost died. She was taken to a hospital that housed the county alcoholism council.  A member of the counseling staff visited my daughter and the head counselor wanted to talk with me. I was totally unprepared for his first question: “Your daughter says you drink too much. Do you?” He patiently listened as Ibegan a recitation of my “I nevers.” When I “ran down,” he said, “You’ve told me what you don’t do; what do you do?” I was speechless; which may come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. He began painting a picture of what alcoholism is and what it does. Before he finished, I was crying and saying, “Oh, my God, you’re talking about me.”

     Thus began my journey into recovery. I had a lot to learn about my addictive disorder and how it had affected my life. I had to understand the part denial played. But most importantly, i had to lay to rest the guilt and shame, especially as it related to my children, all of whom were affected by addiction in different ways. I owe my life to a supportive recovery community that loved me until I could love myself. My recovery journew has been nothing short of amazing , filling me with peace, hope, love and pufpost: in short, a life beyond my wildest dreams. My four children have found their own pathways to recovery, and their children, my 6 grandchildren, I'm proud to say, are addiction free. I brlieve the chcle has been broken in my family. My commitment and life purpose will always be to demonstrate the reality of recovery. I'm proud to be a face and voice of recovery.



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