Recovery Stories – Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal Posted: 29 Mar 2015 04:24 PM PDT

The second edition of the excellent Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal is now available for free download or purchase.

‘The Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 52-page illustrated guide gathers the best information we’ve come across and the most valuable lessons we’ve learned about reducing and coming off psychiatric medication.

Based in more than 10 years work in the peer support movement, this Guide is used internationally by individuals, families, professionals, and organizations, and is available a growing number of translations.

Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, psychiatric drug withdrawal, information for people staying on their medications, detailed Resource section, and much more.

A ‘harm reduction’ approach means not being pro- or anti- medication, but supporting people where they are at to make their own decisions, balancing the risks and benefits involved.

Written by Will Hall, with a 55-member health professional Advisory Board providing research assistance and more than 50 collaborators involved in developing and editing. The guide has photographs and art throughout, and a beautiful original cover painting by Jacks McNamara.

Now in a revised and expanded Second Edition.

Note: the guide is Creative Commons copyright and you have advance permission to link, copy, print, and distribute for non-commercial purposes, as long as you don’t alter it and you credit the source.

Download and read the Guide in English.

Download a printer version, with scrambled pages ready to fold into a booklet (print double sided on legal paper, or send to a shop; booklet assembly instructions here).

Download a European printer version in English, with scrambled pages ready to fold into a booklet (print double sided on A4 paper).

You can also order a bound, color cover copy through bookstores.

Read about the making of the first edition and second edition of the Guide.’


Saturday, March 28th, 2015 Focus: I choose to be true, to never pretend.

Seeking is an effort to at least make yourself sane and help others towards sanity. And the first step is, never pretend.

Whatever the consequence, be true. Howsoever easy the hypocrisy may be, it is dangerous. It is dangerous because it is going to destroy your very spirituality, your very humanity. It is not worth it.

It is better that everything should be taken away, but your dignity and your pride as a human being, as a spiritual being, should be left. That is more than enough to feel blissful and grateful towards existence.

Excerpted from the article:
Become An Authentic Rebel: Be True to Yourself
Written by Osho.

Read more of this article…


Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously
by Osho.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

Friday, March 27th, 2015 Focus: I process my emotions so they become a tool for growth.

Everyone gets angry. Some people show it openly and others don’t. If you are one of those people who claim you don’t get angry — you’re either not in touch with your emotions or you are lying.

All emotional feelings are signals that there is something in your life that needs to be dealt with, and anger is one of those emotions. When anger comes up, it is a signal that something in your life is out of balance and incongruent with how you believe your world should be.

In relationship, anger can be either healthy or unhealthy. Anger is just an emotion. How you process it is what determines whether it becomes a tool for growth or a source of pain and destruction.

Excerpted from the article:
Anger as a Tool for Growth
Written by Susie & Otto Collins.

Read more of this article…


Should You Stay or Should You Go? Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Compelling Questions and Insights to Help You Make that Difficult Relationship Decision
by Susie and Otto Collins.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

Classic blog: ‘Recovery is contagious redux’ by Bill White MARCH 17, 2015 BY DAVID CLARK

Here’s the latest from recovery advocate William L White. Wonderful words, just wonderful words.
‘Those of you who have been reading my weekly blogs these past six months will recognize two simple and enduring themes: Recovery is contagious and recovery is spread by recovery carriers. Those notions first came to me on April 14, 2010 when I stood to speak at Northeast Treatment Centers’ (NET) dinner honoring NET’s 40th anniversary and the achievements of NET members.
Here are some of the words that came to me as I stood before a room packed with people filled with hopes of what their newly found recoveries would bring.
“This night is a celebration of the contagiousness of recovery and the fulfilled promises recovery has brought into our lives. Some of you did not leave the streets to find recovery; recovery came to the streets and found you.
And it did so through volunteers of the NET Consumer Council walking those streets. They put a face and voice on recovery. They told you that recovery was possible, and they offered their stories as living proof of that proposition. They told you they would walk the road to recovery with you.
Some of you hit low points in the early days of that journey, and it was your brothers and sisters in this room that lifted you back up–who called when you missed group, who, in some cases, went and got you.
The contagion of addiction is transmitted through a process of infection – the movement of addiction disease from one vulnerable person to another. The contagion of recovery is spread quite differently – not through infection, but affection. Those who spread such affection are recovery carriers.
Recovery carriers affirm that long-term recovery is possible and that the promises of recovery are far more than the removal of drugs from an otherwise unchanged life. They tell us that we have the potential to get well and to then get better than well. They challenge us to stop being everyone’s problem and to become part of the solution.
They relate to us from a position of profound empathy, emotional authenticity, respect and moral equality – lacking even a whisper of contempt. Most importantly, they offer us love. Yeah, some of us got loved into recovery, and I don’t mean in the way some of you with smiles on your faces may be thinking.
We all have the potential to be recovery carriers. Becoming a recovery carrier requires several things. It requires that we protect our recoveries at all cost – Recovery by any means necessary under any circumstances. It requires that we help our families recover.
It requires the courage to reach out to those whose lives are still being ravaged. It requires that we give back to NET and other organizations that helped us along the way. And it requires that in our new life, we try to heal the wounds we inflicted on our community in our past life.
Addiction is visible everywhere in this culture, but the transformative power of recovery is hidden behind closed doors. It is time we all became recovery carriers. It is time we helped our community, our nation, and our world recover. To achieve this, we must become recovery. We must be the face and voice of recovery. We must be the living future of recovery.
So to all who are here tonight – individuals and families in recovery and allies of recovery, I leave you with this message. Recovery is contagious. Get close to it. Stay close to it. Catch it. Keep catching it. Pass it on.
I’m still not sure where those words came from; I had never used such phrases before, but I believe them even more today than when they were first spoken years ago on a spring evening in Philadelphia.’
As I said earlier, “Wonderful words, just wonderful words.” Thank you, Bill.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 Focus: I give myself quiet space to listen to my own thoughts.

We live in a time of overstimulation. There’s not a moment when we’re not “on something” — such as the TV, radio, CD player, or cordless whatever. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t take a bath for more than ten minutes — just me and some bubbles — I also have to be on the phone, watching TV, or flipping through the pages of Newsweek. Suddenly, I’m not thinking about myself.

Maybe we’re all a little afraid of our own thoughts. Maybe afraid is too big a word — we’re just leery of them. So now I force myself to be alone with the one person I should know better than anyone — me. Try forcing yourself: Get on a stationary bike, or take a walk, without any other stimulation than your own thoughts. You’ll be surprised at what comes to mind — and usually those are the important things.

I’ll confess that I figured out this trick one day while I was way, way up in the canyons walking, and the most horrible thing on earth happened to me — the batteries in my Walkman died. And even a little battery prayer — “Please spirit of Duracell, let them work” — didn’t help. I was in a panic, wondering, Oh my God, what am I going to think about for the next 20 minutes? It was the beginning of self-discovery.

Excerpted from the article:
Are We Afraid of Our Own Thoughts?
Written by Jim Brickman.

Read more of this article…


Simple Things by Jim Brickman with Cindy Pearlman.
Simple Things
by Jim Brickman with Cindy Pearlman.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

Saturday, March 14th, 2015 Focus: I listen deeply, beyond my own thinking about another person and beyond any judgments or conclusions.

Relationships are much more rewarding and engaging if we can listen deeply, beyond our own thinking about another person and beyond any judgments or conclusions about what they are doing. Even people we have known for years, including parents and partners, can show new facets of their personality or interests if we are open and curious.

However, we often make up our minds about who they are and what they have to offer, and we think we know them. It is easy to fall into the rut of our own thinking about people we have known for a long time. We even expect them to respond in certain ways to specific issues, situations or problems. Sometimes we do this to such an extreme that we are defensive or blaming before they even open their mouths.

When we stay open and interested, we give the other person the best opportunity to grow and tap into their healthy thinking more deeply. From this vantage point of curiosity and an open mind, relationships will continue to change and deepen, becoming richer and more rewarding.

Excerpted from the article:
Deep Listening: Listening Deeply with an Open Mind
Written by Roger Mills and Elsie Spittle.

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The Wisdom Within by Roger Mills and Elsie Spittle.
The Wisdom Within
by Roger Mills and Elsie Spittle.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Focus: I give up my attachment to past hurts and disappointments.

It is a reality of life that you will occasionally experience pain, disappointment, upset, loss, and injury. Whether physical, emotional, spiritual, familial, or economic – someone, somewhere at some time will contribute to a negative experience that will affect you.


Each moment you cling to this trauma after it occurs, you cause the past trauma to generate an entirely new sequence of thoughts, emotions, and actions. Until you can give up your attachment to the past incident, you are cursed to maintain and magnify the pain.

Excerpted from the article:
The Power of Forgiveness: Completely Letting Go of Past Pain, Anger, and Grief
Written by Brian Sheen.

Read more of this article…


When Life Becomes Overwhelming by Brian Sheen.When Life Becomes Overwhelming: How It Happened, Why It Continues and What You Can Do to Overcome It
by Brian Sheen.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.