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“There are many types of addictions…There are many Voices that go with them.”

This week Brightmore University started the Voices of Recovery Series Part 1: “The Art of Recovery”: The Role of Artistic Expression presented by Jamie La Londe-Pinkston, Education Coordinator for the Recovery Resource Center, Inc.

Jamie has experienced a lifetime dealing with her own mental health issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and deep depression, and shared her story and the path she took to recovery. For many years, Jamie thought very seriously about ending her life because of all the side effects that came with the traumatic events that she had faced since she was a child.  It was hard for Jamie to think of a life of continued depression, avoidance, flashbacks, disassociation, hypervigilance, panic attacks and physical illnesses.

Through much therapy, a teacher who believed in her and agencies like the Recovery Resource Center, Jamie found her recovery path and mapped out a wellness recovery action plan that has been working very well for her. Jamie said her teacher in college acknowledged how creative her writing skills were and encouraged Jamie to continue writing her feelings and emotions down. It was “writing” that saved Jamie’s life. She now writes beautiful poetry to help others dealing with the same mental illnesses she dealt with in the past.

Now an active voice and advocate for those with mental illness, she shares not only her writing and poems, but her recovery experience and skills gained through all that helped her and continue to help her.

It’s important that we all open our eyes to addiction. It’s not always the picture we see in our head of a drug addict smoking on a street corner, but could easily be our neighbor, our friend, dealing with emotional issues. Educating ourselves will help take the stigma out of our minds and bring about a more positive way of thinking of “addiction.”