addiction

Guest Blogger: Charlie Baulm on Artists in Recovery

artists in recovery

Artists in Recovery from Addiction:
How Creativity Can put a Spin on Getting Clean and Sober

by Charlie Baulm, guest blogger

When we think of artists in recovery from addiction, we often think of the ones who have been painfully obvious in their downfalls. The Philip Seymour Hoffman types are an all-too-blaring representation of addiction unchecked, and many of us just assume that almost every artist in Hollywood and beyond is struggling with some kind of substance abuse issue.

The thing is, lots of really amazing artists who used to believe that their creativity stemmed from their use of substances choose to get clean and sober, and they find that they not only succeed with the help of being creative, but they are often even better at their jobs than they were when they were actively using or drinking.

Pushing the Limits

Let’s look at Eminem and his journey. He’s proud of his recovery from an addiction to prescription drugs, and he should be. While his popularity began to soar, the pressure of becoming a world famous rapper, combined with the way that these drugs made him feel mellow and pain-free played a significant role in the development of his addiction.

When, in 2007, he overdosed on methadone, it shook him to the core. Marshall Mathers was really scared. Scared enough to get started on a recovery journey complete with steps, sponsors, and rehab. That was in 2009. For this star, addiction actually smothered his creative abilities, and it wasn’t until he was clean and sober that he began writing again, and he’s done it with a zeal that amazes many.

Demi Lovato is another star who has taken her recovery from an addiction to drugs and an eating disorder and turned it into fuel for a stunning comeback in her career. For her, looking back at who she used to be is a bit embarrassing, and more than enough to keep her living clean and sober.

She admits that she was difficult to work with, and even while having a sober companion, she continued to use for quite some time. At 18, she entered rehab, but that didn’t end her battle. A fear of losing people she loves drove her to finally surrender to treatment and recovery, and it’s kept her going since.

Demi also admits that food is still a huge struggle for her. It’s something that she still struggles with, and something that she may always struggle with. She admits that even at 8 years old, she was using food as medicine, and the battle with emotional eating – and purging – has been going strong ever since. Even today, she talks about how much her relationship with food affects her everyday life.

True recovery is helping Lovato to learn more about herself than she imagined, and it’s giving her power to be more than just a victim of her addiction. It’s helping her to be a voice for recovery, and it shows in her music.

Even famed horror writer Stephen King has had his struggles with addiction, and it wasn’t just to one substance. In fact, some report that thanks to his combination of alcohol and other substances, he was able to write some of the most nightmarish novels ever experienced.

His addiction story lasted decades, and has said was the product of a terribly painful and poor childhood in which he suffered anxiety and nightmares that helped fuel some of the most frightful characters to his stories.

However terrifying his nightmares, his life became just as scary when he found that if he didn’t overcome his addiction, he would lose his family. When he finally did finally start overcoming his addiction, he found that he struggled with terrible writer’s block, which was even more crippling.

Time and the patience of his wife helped King to get back to storytelling of a different, gentler type of tale. While he no longer uses drugs or alcohol to fuel these stories, he still uses the art of storytelling to deal with his many fears.

We All Know Addiction Knows No Boundaries

As a society, it seems that we almost expect that almost everyone in the spotlight will use some kind of substance to help ease the stresses of maintaining a perfect outward face. It seems like it’s never much of a surprise when another star admits that they are struggling with an addiction to something, but still, the scandals that erupt as a result of these confessions can be career-ending. On the other hand, they can be what helps artists to become a better version of themselves, as we’ve seen so many times.

For some reason, so many of us believe that the “average person’s addiction,” is somehow different than the addictions of the rich and famous. We mourn the losses of great stars like Prince, Heath Ledger, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson. We pity those who we live close to that lose their lives to addiction and shake our heads.

However, we all know that addiction knows no boundaries, and neither does recovery. People who aren’t so famous find that being creative in treatment and recovery can be a tremendous way to overcome their addictions. In fact, the many types of arts are becoming a common treatment for people working on living clean and sober because, very simply, they work.

Art Therapy Has Been Proven to Help Recovery

When it comes to art as a form of addiction treatment, it has been shown to have many benefits. It helps when coping with feelings of shame and fear. It allows those in recovery to get in touch with their emotions, and eventually encourages the ability to talk about what they’ve been going through. It’s a form of communication that requires no words but speaks volumes. These benefits are perhaps why, once in recovery, artists who had been struggling with an inability to create due to addictions seem to flourish in ways they haven’t been able to in ages.

No matter whether the recovery transformation takes place in one of the best drug rehabs in the US, or it is something quieter, and less structured, the healing power of creativity and art in one of its many forms cannot be denied or ignored.


charlie

Charlie Baulm is a writer and researcher in the fields of addiction and mental health. After battling with addiction himself and finding sobriety, Charlie aims to discuss these issues with the goal of reducing the stigma associated with both. When not working you might find Charlie at your local basketball court. 

10 Songs About Addiction via Talkspace

10 songs via Talkspace

Via Talkspace (Joseph Rauch, Staff Writer)

Shame, guilt, desire, regret — these are only a few of the emotions people experience when they are dependent on a substance. This anguish has been fuel for thousands of beautiful, moving, raw and intense songs about addiction. For many decades artists have used their lyrics and melodies to tell stories of relationships with drugs and alcohol. Their songs have satisfied the curiosity of the sober and eased the loneliness of those who are struggling with the mental illness.

For many decades artists have used their lyrics and melodies to tell stories of relationships with drugs and alcohol.
— Joseph Rauch

Rather than using subjective rankings to form our list, we thought about which songs most vividly describe the experience of addiction, how the illness can destroy lives and bonds. We looked for tracks that detail the mindset and behavior of someone who is falling into the void of substance abuse or realizing they have a problem (Keep in mind that recovery is the other side of the coin and deserves its own list).

Use our playlist to sympathize with those afflicted with addiction or remind yourself that millions of others carry the same burden. Here are our picks for songs about addiction (in no particular order).

Read more for Talkspace's top 10 song picks...

#Shatterproof5KDC!

These shoes are made for walking (a 5K)
...and that's just what we'll do
(onSaturday morning)!

For the third year in a row, I'm proud to join forces with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit dedicated to fighting addiction and the stigma that surrounds it through grassroots fundraising efforts. In 2015, I was the 2nd top donor in Washington DC for the Shatterproof Rappelling Challenge and I had the most individual donors out of all participants. In 2016, I saw the other side of the event via volunteering. And now, in 2017, I'm excited to walk with my close friend Amy and her mother as well as thousands of other recovery advocates - people in long term recovery, people who have sadly lost loved ones, people who are changing the world through sharing their stories through a unified voice that recovery is possible.

Here I am with Amy Waldrup, team captain and one of my best friends in the world. She is an amazing recovery advocate and I'm proud to partner up with her! On Friday AM, we'll be making our morning show debut on ABC7's Good Morning, Washington. Hell yes. #recoveroutloud #soberAF.

Here I am with Amy Waldrup, team captain and one of my best friends in the world. She is an amazing recovery advocate and I'm proud to partner up with her! On Friday AM, we'll be making our morning show debut on ABC7's Good Morning, Washington. Hell yes. #recoveroutloud #soberAF.


Our live TV debut where Amy and I talk all things Shatterproof, addiction, and of course, #recovery. 

 

via

WJLA
 

Q: Where do donations go?

A: Toward stigma reduction, ambassador training, community outreach, advocating for change, evidence-based resources, and lifesaving legislation.


What: Shatterproof's Rise up Against Addiction 5K Run/Walk

Where: The Catholic University of America

 
 
 

*ParkingClick here
**5K Route MapClick here

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017.

Event Schedule
8 AM—Site opens
9 AM—Program begins
9:30 AM—5K begins
Note: 5K Runners will start the race, followed by 5K walkers.

shatterproof-logo-transparent-bkgd.png


Why: Because 1 in 10 Americans with addiction actually receive treatment. Because 1 in 3 families in the USA are touched by addiction. Because shame and stigma can kill - and we can stop that cycle by sharing our stories loudly! Because we can't keep losing our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children. Because I celebrated 10 years of long term recovery and continuous sobriety on July 14, 2017.

Because We Are Shatterproof:
Stronger Than Addiction! 


Event day details - from volunteer/participant/supporter logistics to info on memorial gallery, celebration of recovery, community village - and all the FAQs you could possibly need can be found HERE.


If you made it this far, thank you so much!
Once again, you can donate to our team efforts by clicking the button below. 

Click to tweet

Click below to tweet.


Guest Blogger: Katie DePaola of Inner Glow Circle & Bo's Effort

Katie is an inner and outer beauty with a spirit that sparkles. 

 
Meet Katie   .  Isn't she lovely?

Meet Katie. Isn't she lovely?

 

She's believes strongly in empowering other women in her work as founder of Inner Glow Circle, a life coaching collective and program -- and is a steadfast advocate for mental health. Working to end the stigma of mental illness is one of her family's goals in their non profit foundation, Bo's Effort, which celebrates the life of Katie's brother, Bo.  According to the family, Bo "was a one-in-a-million" kind of guy and he was living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder most of his life.  Bo died of an accidental overdose at only 20 years old.  As advocates for recovery (from mental illness, addiction, or both for those of us with co-occurring), we know that turning to substances can often come with the territory of having a mental illness.  Self-medication. 

But it doesn't have to.

It's by recovering out loud, being allies and advocates for awareness and change -- these are ways we can have a truly lasting and positive impact on future generations to come.

I've had the pleasure of spending time with Katie on multiple occasions and I think she's just magic.

xoxo,
Laura


WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE DIES...


You're different. For a moment. For a year. For many years.

A loss like that is the most disorienting experience in the world. The world crumbles around you, as you stand frozen asking, "How?" "Why our family?" "Why me?"

And then again, but in a different sense, "Why me?" "Why was I left behind?" This new reality feels like a responsibility you weren't ready to take on.

"You were here, just yesterday." You say to him or her, to the trees, to the sky. "Where did you go?" "Are you coming back?"

You walk into the house. And right before you ask if he or she is out with friends, still at work or school, you swallow your words. And you remember.

"You're not here anymore. Please come back. I miss you."

People say it never goes away. The pain. The grief. The heartache. I say it's ever changing. There is collateral beauty. It can even shape you into a better person, if you let it.

And yet, there's a part of you that wishes you could die of a broken heart, just so you could be together again. But you stay. And you make promises to your loved one, to the trees, to the sky.

"Next time...when we get to do this thing over again, I promise I'll be better. I'll hold you more. I'll never call you names. I'll kiss you every night. I'll be better. We'll be better. And then maybe you'll stay a little longer. Next time..."

May 23 marks the two year anniversary of my brother's passing. He was 20 years, 2 months and 1 day. Thanks to our amazing friends, family and community, we're hosting our 2nd golf tournament and dinner (May 22) to celebrate his life and raise money for mental health. Bo died of an accidental overdose, peacefully at home. He simply went to sleep and never woke up.

Said golf tournament - I wish I could go but someone has to work...

Said golf tournament - I wish I could go but someone has to work...

I spent a lot of time with his girlfriend after he passed. It was my way of keeping him alive a bit longer. I asked to know everything. What was their love like? Why did she fall for him? Was he a good kisser?

She said the night before he died, he was so happy. He took her all over the backyard to look at the stars from different views. He was a child of the universe, and when I heard that story, I thought, "Wow, he must have known he was going home." I felt an unexpected sense of peace. It's a peace I believe we can all receive if we allow ourselves to be okay with what is.

Bo and his family.

Bo and his family.

Bo continues to do work here every day through his foundation, Bo's Effort. Last year alone, we raised nearly $100K to help provide better programs for kids and adults like Bo who struggle with mental health and often, substance as a result. Bo was an amazing kid, a bright spirit who made people laugh every day. Perhaps he knew his time would be shorter than most, so he chose a family who would tell his story and carry on his message to help others. We consistently get messages from people who say Bo helped them, their sister, their child. Connect with the right doctor. Find the right help. Get on the right medications. Stay clean. Get their life back.

My brother is a miracle worker, and that part is not sad to me. That is an honor. If you feel moved to donate, Bo's foundation gives to NAMI and AAMC every year. AAMC has begun planning for a phenomenal mental health facility and needs our support now more than ever.

I will continue to give, support and show up, because it eases the pain of missing him. Somehow it makes the pain worth something.

Don't sit back. From the depths of my heart, I urge you to do what you can to turn your pain into purpose. Of course, it's not everything, but it's something.

You Want to Help Others? Let TSC Help You.

The Link Love campaign was such a fabulous hit!  Thanks to all who participated and shared their websites, blogs, podcasts, and more! 
 

But here at The Sobriety Collective, we find it's even more paramount for people struggling with substance use disorder, mental illness--or both--and those who may be questioning their behaviors--that they find resources and tools that work for them.  

Leave a comment with the name of your organization (or an organization you'd like to nominate be listed), social media info (Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc.), and URL-- and you could be added to The Sobriety Collective's
Get Help.* 

There's a section to "Get/Stay Sober," a section for "Mental Health" resources, and a list of books/authors that have helped me and so many others. 

What's the value of being listed?

The Sobriety Collective has been featured on After Party Magazine's 20 Best Recovery Blogs of 2015 andAddiction Unscripted's Top 25 Recovery Bloggers of 2016.   Our founder, Laura Silverman (by the way, she's writing this right now because she's the one woman shop behind your favorite collective), was recently invited to be on a panel of sober bloggers at She Recovers in NYC in May 2017register today!  Some of the event's keynote speakers--Glennon Doyle Melton,Gabby BernsteinMarianne Williamson--just received a top honor of inclusion in Oprah's inaugural Super Soul 100.  

Love, 
Laura

 

*This is not a free-for-all for rehabs to get their sites listed.  Treatment is extremely important (trust me, I believe this wholeheartedly), but this page isn't going to turn into an A-Z rehab directory.  There are already a few websites I've listed that have those very things, for those who are interested.  /end PSA*