Tag Archives: God

Recovery Rocks – Mark Clodfelter


Mark’s first day of sobriety was 11/11/11 a date he won’t forget for many reasons. His drinking and drug use took him to a very low place, out of options, he had no choice but to get sober. It’s interesting to see how the day he decided to get help was really no different from any other. Sometimes it’s just the little things that break us, like looking at the counter and realising there is no money therefor no drugs…

1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
“Rock bottom” for me was a very scary place to be, I had been using drugs and alcohol for a little over 13 years. I had gone through many phases of drug use, and never really had an issue quitting the “hard drugs” I had been using, until I found opioids. I found myself in a situation similar to the movie groundhog day, where each day was the same. Wake up to the tune of pills to start the day, search relentlessly for more pills through the day, and spend every dollar I had on more. I found myself broke, with foreclosure notes in the mail, and stacks of unpaid bills, and no way out. I had no love for myself, or anyone else, I was living in hell.

2) What was your ‘moment of truth’ or ‘clarity’ that prompted you to get sober/clean?’
I was laying on my couch, I’d just called off work again because I was out, I owed money to my dealers, I didn’t have more than the change on my counter left to my name. No drugs, No hope. I finally saw what was happening to me, an endless cycle of highs and lows, I had no middle ground left, no peace of mind, no hope.

3) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
I was in rehab for my first 25 days of sobriety, just going through the motions trying to find a way to turn the page. I was miserable but I was sober. I had to use all the will power I had in the first 30 days, until I felt the power of God take over. I’ve heard many stories of how people found a higher power; mine involved 3 birds coming to visit each morning in rehab, and the overwhelming feeling that I’m not alone in my struggles. And certain family members that had passed were in heaven watching over me. This gave me strength beyond what I’d ever known. All that being said, the first 30 days were absolutely crazy, I was totally insane and had the worst withdrawals I’d ever felt. But I made it through!

4) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober? I’ve regained a beautiful relationship with my family, and I’ve found a life that is truly worth living. I have peace, serenity, and a relationship with God that I’d never dreamed could be true. I have a great confidence in myself and the abilities granted to me by God. The very best and most important thing is that I am clean and sober, because without that I would have none of these things.

5) If you could go back in time to you when you were dinking/using what would you tell yourself?
I’m not sure, because I wouldn’t have listened to what anyone had to say. I had to come to the realization I was an addict/alcoholic by myself, on my own time.

6) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
I think learning what my fears are, and facing them head on. This has given me the confidence to know I can do anything that I put my mind to.

7) What are your favorite recovery slogans?
“Seed has started to sprout in a new soil, but growth has only begun.” “We see that our fears are only paper thin.” “Live and let live.”

8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
Recovery rocks because it makes the impossible, possible. It rocks because it makes life worth living.

Recovery Rocks – Ian Young

Ian Young’s default program is set on ‘jolly.’ He is relentlessly jolly. Which is a pretty good place for an ex-crack and heroin addict and alcoholic. it’s pretty bloody amazing when you consider he should be dead now and it is nothing short of a miracle that he is not only alive and well, but also very jolly. Ian now runs his own business in the UK and has just published a book “It’s not about me – Confessions of a Recovered Outlaw Addict from Living Hell to Living Big” based on his experiences getting clean and sober.

1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’Ian_Relaxed
I was 29 when I finally got clean, but over the course of the three previous years I grew steadily worse as my values and principles went out the window and I turned to increasingly petty crime just attempting to keep myself feeling relatively normal. Sadly I failed and spent most of the time in a state of withdrawal, experiencing less and less actual nirvana and more and more antagonistic minutes / hours / days / months and finally years of discomfort, unable to keep myself sufficiently medicated on heroin, cocaine and booze.
I was injecting cocaine and heroin, and smoking crack whenever I could afford it. Alcohol was a permanent source of attempted comfort.
But what really hurt the most was how I was treating people. I hated the way I manipulated, cheated and stole from those who I knew cared about me. I twisted things to make them feel guilty in order to get money from them. I just hated the person I became. I could no longer live with myself.
I no longer tolerated myself. I wanted out. But I didn’t know how to get out. I never knew of anyone who had got clean or sober. I had heard of one person who it was rumored had joined NA, but no one had seen her in years. And she wasn’t really that bad, was she? I was much more damaged than she was. I needed some sort of serious change that I simply wasn’t prepared to make. I couldn’t say good-bye to my life. I’d dedicated my life to this counter-culture I’d helped design and build. I was part of my own destiny and living my own dream. But I knew I’d lost the dream and gone too far. My crack and smack habit weren’t part of the dream. But would my pride allow me to change?

2) What was your ‘moment of truth’ or ‘clarity’ that prompted you to get sober/clean?’

I was naked, and injecting cocaine late one Saturday night towards the end of November in 2000. I has high and pacing around manically tidying up and rearranging little items, such as pens, folders, syringes, and I began writing.
I don’t know why I began writing and I have even less of an idea why I began with the words “Dear God…” but I did.
It was odd, but I wrote a letter to God without ever recognizing a belief in God or any sort of supreme being, being a hard core, argumentative atheist who would defend the true nature of the planet Mother Earth, but never consider the truth of a God in existence. And yet here I was, very high, writing a letter to God, appealing for help. Admitting I was helpless and hopeless and telling God that I was going to stop and if only God could see fit to help me rebuild my life once I’d stopped? Please?

The fundamental difference between this plea and previous attempts to cry out for help was the reversed order of things. Instead of demanding help and then promising to get clean, here I was stating my intention to stop and change, and asking only for the grace of God to step in and help my life once I had held up my side of the deal.
I made a deal with God and I went first!
I began my final cold turkey cluck a about a month later.

3) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
Well my first 80 or so days were spent in a rehab, in a clandestine relationship, doing my best to understand what was being asked of me in the future in order to remain clean and sober, but knowing deep down that I had that “one more hit” syndrome going through my head.
I knew that I was going to see if it worked again. I had to! I had held together a love affair with heroin and cocaine for too long to believe it possible for them to leave me just yet. I wasn’t sure if I was truly done for good. After all I only really wanted to stop injecting. I did still want to keep getting high. Didn’t I?
And so, towards the end of 15 weeks of rehab I did indeed use again, and found myself being resuscitated by paramedics. I came too with a deep sense of shame, guilt and remorse.
But the very next day I got help and thus begun my genuine sobriety. I’ve been sober since March 16th 2001.

The first 30 days were like living in a completely new sense of freedom. I dedicated myself to this new way of life and began to immerse myself in everything recovery could offer me, I knew this time was permanent sobriety. I just knew!

4) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?
Blimey, far too many to mention.
I got married and remained faithful and dedicated to her.
I’ve become a homeowner.
I’ve written my first book.
I’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice in 12 months. More trips are planned.
I’ve travelled across North America many, many times.
I’ve made wonderful life long sober friends and made amends to 90% of the people from my past, never shying away whenever they reveal themselves to me through supposed coincidence.
I’ve maintained my space of being of service and contribution to the greater community.
I’ve built two rehabs from the ground up and moved on at the right time (God’s time).
My businesses are all serve other people in some way. I believe I’m an Entrepreneur on a mission from God, and my mission is to improve the quality of other people’s lives.
Yes, I’ve mixed Business and Spirituality and I love the way things are panning out for me.
I’ve build my own relationship with God as I understand Her and so long as I do my best to live my life according to Her will, She keeps me feeling happy, joyous and free. My default emotion is usually Jolly and for that I am very grateful.

5) If you could go back in time to you when you were dinking/using what would you tell yourself?
Everything’s gonna turn out just fine, so go for it.
Keep the faith and don’t trample on your values.
Integrity is a difficult reputation to maintain, but it’s worth it.

6) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
That I’m free to do whatever I want, all of the time, so long as it doesn’t harm myself or others. I’ve not changed too many of my lifestyle and cultural values and morals. I still stand by anarchy and peace as a way for the world to get along fine with one another and keep the wheels turning.
Unfortunately my utopia will never materialize whilst there’s still people not managing their lives above the poverty level. Crime will always prevail when it comes down to life and death. We will go to any lengths to support ourselves and our family. That’s human nature. So we must live in an abundant world for utopia to exist. We do live in a utopia, but everything starting becoming unbalanced once man began selling food to other men.
I’ve learnt we’ve just got to keep our side of the street clean, and don’t’ try to solve the worlds problems any longer.
I let go of the fighting.

7) What are your favourite recovery slogans?
Keep coming back until you know why we keep coming back.

8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
Recovery Rocks, because I let it! The only thing stopping you from rocking your own recovery is YOU! Get out of your own way and feel the freedom.

Recovery Rocks – Jillanna D. Mercer

This weeks ‘Recovery Rocks’ interview is with the fabulous Jillanna D. Mercer (38). She manages to be a mother of three children while working as a hair stylist at Wingard Salon in Champaign Illinois.
One of the first things you notice about Jillanna is the word ‘Sober’ tattoed boldly on her arm.
She’s serious about recovery.
Her life is full with her family and career, the only helping hand she requires now is some good coffee.

Her interview is breathtakingly honest, Jillanna has been fearless in describing how low her addiction took her. She lays bare the reality of being a young mother in addiction and how close she came to loosing her children. Thankfully she turned herself around.
If you are a mother struggling with addiction or you know someone who is. Then you need to read this.
Sobriety date: 08/10/09


Recovery Rocks Interview

1) Describe your ‘rock bottom.’
(Deep Breath)
I remember the exact moment I hit rock bottom. I can describe the room I was in, the time of day, and what I was wearing. I was 7 months pregnant and in a state run rehab. I had no money, no job, no car, no friends or family willing to talk to me. I was homeless. I had lost my rights to my oldest son and hadn’t seen or talked to him in months.
I was pretty sure I was going to lose the rights to my unborn child. I had been in the rehab a few days and had gotten to know some of the women. Most were either coming from jail or going to jail. None of them had any relationship with their kids. A lot of them had drug and alcohol related illnesses, like hepatitis and HIV.
All the women looked rough. Hardened.
Some didn’t even have their teeth. I looked around and saw what my peer group had become. I could not continue down this path any longer. I knew I had to stop and not ever, ever, ever use again.

2) What was your ‘moment of truth’ or ‘clarity’ that prompted you to get sober/clean?

I had spent my few days there also reading recovery literature. I recognized that a power greater than myself was necessary to make any permanent change. But I did not have a clear understanding of how to do this. I found a woman who had struck me as somewhat spiritual. I asked her to pray with me. We went into a small unused office and she prayed for me. We both cried a little. I can’t really tell you what words she used but it was a plea for help. I felt an indescribable peace come over me. I believe this was my ‘spiritual awakening’. Since that moment I have found the strength to overcome any urges I may have to drink or drug.

3) What were your first 30 days of recovery like?
Honestly, they were pretty rough. No one trusted me. No one believed I could stay sober. No one could appreciate the changes I could feel inside that this time was different. My biggest struggle was my pregnancy. There was a very real fear that DCFS would take my child. I was honest with my doctors and was preparing myself for the worst. No one around me could really get excited about the baby because they too knew she could be taken into foster care and they were concerned I would not stay sober if that happened. I kept to myself. I did a lot of recovery reading. I prayed a lot.

4) What are the best things that have happened to you since you got clean/sober?
There are so many!
The very best thing is I am a get to be a wonderful Mom. My relationship with my first child has been restored. The first year I was sober, I was not allowed to see him. But I could call. I called every night. Gradually I was allowed short visits and now I have just as much time as any other divorced parent. My second child, the one I was pregnant with when I got sober, was not ever involved with DCFS. She is happy and healthy. I also have a third child. I absolutely love being a mom to my kids.

I also went back to school to get my cosmetology license. I now am a self-employed hair stylist.

Finally my relationships with my friends and family have been restored. I am now trusted and appreciated.

5) If you could go back in time to you when you were dinking/using what would you tell yourself?
My first rehab was in 2007. I could stay sober for 3 months or maybe even 6 months but then I would relapse. I would be triggered by something and then start obsessing about the drugs. I felt I HAD to use. I did not feel I had a choice.
Now I know that those feelings of wanting to use will pass. Before I thought I would be struggling with them forever. I never realized how quickly the intensity of wanting to use can go away. The same is true for how mad I get at someone or how sad I feel or how hopeless a situation seems. This too shall pass. Without a doubt it is the most valuable tool I learned.

6) What have been the most useful things you have learnt about yourself since getting sober/clean?
It is amazing to me how much easier my life got once I stopped self-destructing. Just by doing the right things, I eliminated a ton of stress. No more worrying about hurting people I care about, or going to jail. No worries about losing my job or my boyfriend finding out I cheated on him. No hangover headaches or overdrawn bank accounts.

I have learned that my life is pretty simple. There is very little I can actually control. If I make the very best decisions I can and have some faith in God, everything works out.

7) What are your favourite recovery slogans?
One day at a time. This too shall pass.

8) And lastly, why does ‘recovery rock?’
Today I live a life I never thought possible. My whole life I felt uncomfortable in my skin. I was filled with depression and sadness. Those feelings led me to drink and drug and that led to utter chaos. There are days I am still in shock that I am sober.
I am totally amazed that I can be so happy. Not that I don’t have problems or struggles, but I feel I have been giving the tools to live my life. The best part is that I know my feelings are genuine. Happy or sad, they are mine. And that totally rocks!

If you are clean and sober and would like to take part in a Recovery Rocks interview, please message me through my Facebook page. I would love to include you!