Forget about knights in shining armor, give me a friend in recovery instead, at least that person will understand. 

"I survived Vietnam but I struggle with life with recovery on the streets because of drinking so I keep getting in trouble, but I keep trying."

I use to have money, good job, rented a nice apartment, owned a car, and a motorcycle. Now, I live in an abandoned shed.  

"I am my brother's keeper"
In loving memory,

  Freedom Takes Change
Offering help in Maine
with Addiction, Recovery, and Support

Recovery and Addiction

    Pride and Image were two issues that I struggled with in my past. I was one of those guys who was stuck on having a certain image and as a result ended repeating the same cycle over and over always ending up with me in trouble and losing big. It is unfortunate what lengths some people, like myself, will go to just to protect the perceived image they have of themselves.

    My big awakening about my image problems took place during a prison sentence with a prison counselor. During this sentence I was sent to a program called the Correctional Recovery Academy or C.R.A. for short. Still protecting the perceived image I had of myself even though it was me and my best thinking that caused me to be in prison and lose everything I owned.

    This counselor would speak often about our criminal addictive thinking and thinking errors which became our bad behaviors but it was difficult to understand because my thinking seemed to be correct to me regardless of the negative outcomes. We had many sessions together where we discussed things like the "Anger Blanket" which is a way for us to react so we do not show the other emotions and feelings that might cause our image to look weak. When something would happen that caused me to feel an emotion I would first cover it up with a display of anger then turn to drugs and alcohol to remove any pains.

    The anger blanket was very effective and also is somewhat accepted by society as a normal, even though it is a negative way for a guy to react. The women in our lives are most likely trained by years of experience in dealing with men and anger issues that they know how to deal with an angry man and society has plenty of jails and prisons to put angry men in when they act up. This prison counselor explained other ways of thinking instead of reacting with anger to something I was not angry about but rather just stop and ask myself, "what am I afraid of right now?" Often, it was a fear that was being experienced that got concealed by the anger blanket, which for me continued to protect my image and covered up any signs of weakness. A fear that others would not view me the way I wanted to be viewed was a powerful motivating factor and cause for many displays of anger.

    Now, years later, holding my own degrees and working with men in recovery as they get released from prison I can look back and see the incredible value in what I was being taught by a prison counselor who would not hesitate to go the extra distance with you to make sure you learned something before you were released. It is the people like this in society that really make a difference in the lives of the people who are hitting rock bottom and need help.

    Family Dynamics

    Another situation that the Freedom Takes Change Organization deals with regularly is when the father went to prison and the mother stayed home. While she is at home she deals with bills, kids, household problems, work, babysitters, and so on, lots of life issues that are hard enough for two parents to deal with let alone one. While he is prison, his developing with his family stops and his life goes on a bit of a stand still. 

    This becomes a problem when he gets released, he is already very overwhelmed and anxious to get home. However, home is not the same as it was when he left, he has been gone for years so she has her own way of doing things now, after all she has grown and had to change as she adapted to the changes that occurred. He on the other hand expects it to go back to the way it was when he left it is what he knows and has been waiting years for.

    She is forced to make a choice, which is why it is imperative to have someone who helps with recovery involved during these times. She can either go back to the old ways even though it is going to produce the same results as before or she can keep things the way they are allowing him to be a part of her life, as long as he can join the new family dynamics and stay in recovery.  

    At the Freedom Takes Change Organization we understand that these situations occur all too often and we want to be there to assist in any way that we can. Our team offers help in a variety of ways from helping to find employment to helping to provide basic needs items. Our team can be there to help the parent left behind with some of the struggles as well as be there for the one who gets released as the re-entry process takes place.

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