Recovery

Recovery: Day 1,096

Recovery: Day 1,096

Today marks three years of recovery for me, and what amazes me the most is how quickly time is able to pass us by if we do not pay attention. This is what recovery has been about for me; paying attention. At first, what started out as realizing and admitting I had a substance use disorder, had now become a three-year recovery process of understanding…why. By showing up for my life, keeping myself accountable for my own choices, and learning how to express my emotions in a healthy manner, I have been able to see another day and live my best life in recovery.

In this post, I will share with you some of my biggest recovery struggles, and why this way of life is no easy feat. I will talk about what recovery has offered me thus far, and despite the challenge of it, why I would not live another way. Regardless of what it is you may be battling, recovery from anything is a day to day process. Recovery is simply choosing to want the best for yourself and your life, and getting honest about the things that pull you away from that.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

My Thoughts on Suicide!

My Thoughts on Suicide!

With the recent passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, the topic of Suicide and Mental Illness has taken a front row seat in the news. It is unfortunate that it must take these kinds of extremes to get people talking, but I am a firm believer in these being the kinds of conversations that we need to be having more of. In a world filled with so much suffering, there has got to be a way for us to discuss these kinds of issues. By remaining available, as well as vulnerable, to those closest to us, we can begin creating a ‘safe space’ for those that are desperately just trying to be heard, seen, and felt.

In this post, I share my thoughts on Suicide and I suggest ways that we can ALL get better at when it comes to paying attention to the people in our lives and those around us. Suicide is a dark topic, but we need to know that there can be a light shed on it. We do that by talking about it, reading about it, and doing what we can to understand it to the best of our abilities. This is just my attempt at doing that through my own knowledge, and experience with it.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

End of the Month Recap: 5 Lessons I Took Away from May

End of the Month Recap: 5 Lessons I Took Away from May

I am going to be honest…I have been struggling to figure out the direction I want to take Healing Hopefuls. I started this page because I wanted to create a safe place for anyone who may need one. At some point along the way, I think I forgot what I was writing for in the first place. I write as a way to understand myself, and hopefully heal along the way. By speaking my truth, sharing my insight, and owning up to my ugly, I aim to connect with strangers who have ever felt ‘broken’ in some way. So, with that said, I wanted to create an ‘End of the Month Recap’.

What can you expect in these posts? Bits of knowledge I felt ‘moved’ to share with YOU, epiphanies that I was quick enough to ‘grab’ and write down, as well as food for thought, and potentially a new perspective for you to consider. There really are no rules to this thing, and if I am able to help others while helping myself, I am going to do just that. Spreading ideas, starting conversations, and creating our own theories is important to do on an individual level. These are just some of the thoughts I put down on paper to share with anyone who may need them.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Dear Depression,

Dear Depression,

It’s #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth, and you know what that means…I am going to write about it! Except this time, I am doing things a little differently; I am writing a letter directly to Depression.

If you have spent any part of your life having to overcome the battle of this mental illness, you will understand this letter on a deeper level. If you have never experienced the struggle that is depression, then I urge you to read this letter so you can try to understand. Depression takes on many forms, and it has this cruel way of making everything seem fine to the outside world when in reality, the person suffering is having to fight a constant internal battle.

For me, writing about my own experiences, and sharing the struggles that I face has been a key component in my own mental health recovery. I hope by reading this letter you feel better knowing you are not alone, or you are able to take something away from it so you can empathize with those in your life who do suffer from depression.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

'Therapy' is NOT a Bad Word!

'Therapy' is NOT a Bad Word!

It took me a long time to admit that I needed to talk to a professional. I had come to a point in my life where I felt I had to add another ‘tool’ to keep my recovery going, and therapy was something I had been avoiding. Why? I am not too sure. Fear? Stigma? Pride? It may have been a mixture of all three, but I am happy that I finally got out of the way of myself.

Admitting that you may need to talk to someone is NOT a weakness. In fact, it has been because of my choice to see what therapy was all about that I have been able to see where more of my strengths lie. Before I chose to take this next step, I was one of the many people in the world who considered therapy to mean that something was seriously wrong with me. Oh, how wrong I was about that.

In this post, I hope to destigmatize the word ‘Therapy’ and let it be known that we should never feel ashamed about needing some kind of help. I recommend therapy to even the healthiest of people. There is nothing wrong with having an unbiased, professional opinion about our life, our truth, and our stories. We never know how beneficial something can be for us until we try it. Same goes for therapy.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!

Learning to Choose Inspiration Over Desperation

Learning to Choose Inspiration Over Desperation

5 years ago, today, I found myself in Jail Cell #11. My ‘roommate’ appeared to be a regular and very aware of the fact that I was terrified. Despite shame being a feeling I was familiar with; this was a level of shame that I had not yet experienced. Up until that humbling realization that I had put myself in jail, I had been pretty convinced that I was invincible; that I could get away with anything I set my mind to. Getting arrested was a pivotal moment in my life. It was through this time of desperation that I was able to make a step in the right direction.

Despite this incident being the motivation I needed to quit my addiction to amphetamines, the big question I was left with, was why did it always take desperation for me to want better for myself? Surely, there was another way to go about how I live my life.

In this post, I talk about the two motivating factors we all tend to lean on when it comes to making a change in our lives: Inspiration & Desperation. I beg the question of, why does desperation seem to be the most popular choice, and why is it that we wait until we are at our worst to want better? I am only speaking from experience here, but I guarantee all of us have an example of when we were inspired, and when we felt desperate. Since my arrest five years ago, I have slowly but surely begun learning how to choose inspiration over desperation. Isn’t it beautiful that we always have a choice?

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

You Must Be Willing to Stand Alone!

You Must Be Willing to Stand Alone!

The word ‘alone’ gets a bad reputation because a lot of people tend to associate being alone with being lonely; that is simply not the case. Being alone is a choice; being lonely is a feeling. A feeling that we have the ability to change on our own!

It has been a full year since I made the decision to move away from home, and in that time, the term ‘alone’ has taken on a much different, and very important meaning in my life.  

In this post, I share with you what I have learned thus far since choosing to be alone. When we are able to make decisions for ourselves, lead a life that fulfills us, and are able to find reasons to enjoy our own company, we quickly find out that being alone is quite the opposite of being lonely. In fact, choosing to stand alone just may be exactly what you need to figure out exactly who you are. 

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

5 Daily Habits That Make Me a Better Person

5 Daily Habits That Make Me a Better Person

My life has always revolved around having certain ‘habits’, but it was not until my recovery that I started to learn (and accept) which habits were good for me, and which were bad; most of them being the latter. Because of this, I have spent the past couple years discovering which habits I could incorporate into my daily routine to make me a better person. What I have found thus far has been incredibly beneficial, not only in my recovery but just as a human being in general.

In this post, I share with you 5 daily habits that keep me on the right track, and I go over what each habit has done for my life since making it an everyday priority. We are all going to face tougher days in life, but it can be the daily habits we choose for ourselves that keep us afloat when the going gets tough. These may not all work for you, but I think all are worth giving a shot!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.   

When Opportunity Knocks...ANSWER IT!

When Opportunity Knocks...ANSWER IT!

When it comes to taking chances or pursuing something that is important to us, it can be easy to fall victim to negative self-talk, and engage in thoughts that are not beneficial to you in any way. It is amazing how many times I have been able to justify a habit of mine just so I can remain comfortable and in control of where I am at in my life. When we find something that works for us ‘just enough’ it is important that we are not allowing certain opportunities to pass us by.  
 
In this post, I talk about ‘Opportunity’ and what it really means to pay attention to the path you are meant to travel in your life. I like to believe that the world is always showing us where to go next; whether or not we listen is up to us. I felt that it was important for me to share what I have learned from attempting to answer all opportunities that are thrown my way.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

A New Year is Always a Good Reason for a New You!

A New Year is Always a Good Reason for a New You!

We are always expected to have a list of goals that we want to accomplish in the New Year, and it is easy to feel pressure to be more prepared than most of us are ever truly feeling. So, instead of getting stressed about all the things we may need to change in our life, let’s allow ourselves the permission to be excited about this New Year, and the potential of a ‘New You!’

In this post, I try to avoid the word ‘resolutions’ and I do my best to focus on what a New Year could mean for a New You! As cliché as it may be to believe in the magic of new beginnings, there is a reason for why there is a magic there in the first place. Who really knows what the New Year could bring, but only you have the choice to make this Year a new one for YOU! Celebrate that!

Thank you for reading! I appreciate you!

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Your Mental Health This Holiday Season!

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Your Mental Health This Holiday Season!

Whether you care to admit it or not, we all have our own ways of dealing with our Mental Health. It’s important to acknowledge the fact that mental health is prominent in everyone’s life. We must all actively work towards maintaining a certain level of balance, because, without it, we may fall a little too far off course. The Holidays can bring up a lot of emotions within us, and I know I am not the only one who may need extra ways to manage my mental health this Holiday Season!
 
In this post, I share TEN ideas and ways to potentially help manage your mental health. With all the end of year festivities that may, or may not be occurring, it is nice to have some coping mechanisms up your sleeve to use when you feel overwhelmed at any point in time. Please note that not all these may cater to your liking, but also, you never know when something new may surprise you!
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

Rock Bottom is NOT for Everyone!

Rock Bottom is NOT for Everyone!

If you have been following my journey at all, you already know that I like to cover the topic of addiction, recovery, and overall well-being. Although my writing dates back from before my ‘Rock Bottom’, Healing Hopefuls was created while I was learning the ropes of recovery, and coming to terms with what lead to my ‘Rock Bottom’ in the first place.

In this post, I wanted to talk about what that term really means, and for those of you that deal with addiction currently, are in active recovery, or know a loved one who suffers, this is for YOU. It’s important to realize that to get better, and remain in recovery, we do NOT have to hit ‘Rock Bottom’ to finally decide to do so. I never claim for it to be easy, but we also do NOT have to wait until it is our only option.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.  

Plot Twist: You Do NOT Need to Have All the Answers!

Plot Twist: You Do NOT Need to Have All the Answers!

I know I am not alone in this feeling of needing to know who, what, when, where, & why. Who I want to be, what I want to do, when I need to achieve it by, where I am meant to end up, and why I am even doing it all in the first place. I am constantly feeling this overwhelming need to know the answers to these kinds of questions, and you know what I have learned? Having all the answers is not what life is about.

In this post, I not only talk about the uneasiness I often feel about not having all the answers, but I share what has helped me the most when figuring out this journey of mine. If anything, this post will be a good reminder that you are not alone in feeling like you must have it all mapped out perfectly. By the end of it, I hope to provide you with some peace of mind because guess what? You do NOT need to have all the answers!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Megan Lawrence

AA Wasn't for Me, but Recovery Isn't 'One Size Fits All'

AA Wasn't for Me, but Recovery Isn't 'One Size Fits All'

After my last drink in August of 2015, I thought that because I admitted to having a problem with my drinking and drugging, that meant that I must attend meetings, work the steps, and recover by their rules. It only took me three months, and three chips later to realize that I didn’t have to recover by following a specific program.

In this post, I share with you some of the ups and downs I have come across throughout this recovery process of mine, and I share some more of my reasons for not connecting with AA. It’s important to understand that there is not a ‘One Size Fits All’ recovery program. Behind every story is just a unique person with some highs and lows. You don’t have to be an addict to relate to the fact that we all have flaws.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you. 

Let's Be Better Than Small Talk!

Let's Be Better Than Small Talk!

I am just going to come right out there and say it: I hate small talk. I hate it so much, that I am even using the word ‘hate’ to explain the seriousness of my feelings towards it. 99% of the time, I believe ‘hate’ is a strong word; but not when it comes to describing how I feel about small talk.
 
In this post, I talk about my reasons for the pain I experience when having to be in, what I consider,
a stressful situation. We should all want to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with each other. If all we have is small talk, how will we ever discuss the things that truly matter? Let’s talk about it! Share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s be better than small talk!
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Taking a Break (from Life) in Boston!

Taking a Break (from Life) in Boston!

This past weekend I traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to explore a new city I am unfamiliar with, and ultimately, take a small break away from my life. The older I get, the more I have begun to appreciate the importance of self-love and doing things that provide you joy. Putting ourselves out there, and adjusting to change is a big part of discovering our independence.

In this post, I talk about my trip to Boston, but also, I talk about the value of doing things for yourself. Sometimes, all we need is a mini break from our lives to remind us that we are living for much more than just an everyday routine. Discovering what works for us will unfold over time, but we must start somewhere, and for me, Boston was just a stop along the way!

Thank you for reading! I appreciate you! 

5 Habits That Keep Me Happy, Healthy, & Recovering!

5 Habits That Keep Me Happy, Healthy, & Recovering!

We all need ways to cope with life. Period. Regardless of if you struggle with mental illness, addiction, or are currently in recovery, we could all could use advice when it comes to dealing with the everyday stress of simply being human. Why? Because sometimes being human is not simple at all.

In this post, I share with you the habits I swear by when it comes to staying sane in a crazy world. I incorporate them into my everyday life and they have proven to be beneficial in getting me out of a rut, spiking my serotonin (happy chemicals), and keeping me in recovery!

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Heartbreak: The Gift I Never Asked for, but a Gift Nonetheless!

Heartbreak: The Gift I Never Asked for, but a Gift Nonetheless!

Unless you are one of the lucky ones who got it right the first time, you have most likely had to endure the pain that comes from heartbreak. Regardless of where you are in the process of coping with that, I am here to tell you that heartbreak ended up being one of the most cherished, and greatest gifts I could have ever been given. Heartbreak can be felt through all kinds of avenues; not just in the romantic sense. 

In this post, I share why the loss of love has been one of the most beneficial life lessons for me, and why I no longer consider heartbreak to be such an ugly experience. Instead, I find it to be a gift, and one that we should embrace, accept, and ultimately, grow from.  

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.   

10 Reasons Why We NEED to Be Talking about Mental Illness!

10 Reasons Why We NEED to Be Talking about Mental Illness!

This past week was Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 1st – 7th), and if you have been reading my articles long enough, you know that I would never pass up the opportunity to talk about it. So, when coming up with this week’s title, I decided that it would be best to discuss why we should be talking about it ALL THE TIME; not just on specific days, or weeks that are designated to the topic.
 
In this post, I go over 10 major reasons why we need to address the elephant in the room, and why we need to be more accepting of the illnesses so many people are affected by on a daily basis. It’s important that we educate ourselves on what we may not understand, and treat all people with kindness because you never know what they are battling.
 
Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

Once an 'Addict', Always an 'Addict'

Once an 'Addict', Always an 'Addict'

There is a lot of debate in the recovery world about this phrase; half of me accepts it, while the other half resents it. Since becoming sober I have shared my story with hundreds of people and there are two things that occur: they either congratulate me on how far I have come or, they instinctively put me in a category that I did not ask to be put in.

In this post, I share how it feels to be constantly ‘labeled’, and I offer a new way to approach those with a past of addiction. At the end of the day, we are all just people, and regardless of if you were an ‘addict’ for a period of your life, you are so much more than that.

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you.