|Lexi Reed Holtum, Executive Director of SRHN|
The first year after retiring from teaching, I worked as a substitute for a year.
But my hearing was getting so bad, I had to stop that.
The next year I quit drinking and got my first cochlear implant. I went into a deep depression because of the deafness, and coping with everything was very hard.
|Sean Odonnell, Director of Programs|
Gradually, I got myself up and out more, and started to look for a place to volunteer. I met a wonderful woman, and she told me about her organization, Steve Rummler Hope Network. This organization started when a young man, Steve Rummler, lost his life due to opioid addiction which started when he was physically injured. You can find the newest information about SRHN on FaceBook or on their Website.
Community Relations Coordinator
I started by helping organize materials and supplies, and making kits with
Naloxone, the drug that saves a person when they are overdosing on an opioid.
I still make kits, and help organize the other volunteers who come and help.
I love volunteering, and I love knowing what I am doing has saved lives so people can get help.
|We love helping other people!|
When I started I knew nothing about drug addiction, besides alcohol.
When I was younger, I definitely had negative views of alcoholics and drug addicts. Then, I became an alcoholic. But even after some time of learning about addiction, I still held some negative views of drug addicts.
|Some of the great volunteers!|
Then I volunteered, where I met and worked side by side with many people, some of whom were in recovery from drug addiction, or had a family member who was. I met and worked with parents who child had died from opioids.
And I learned.
I learned the effects of using one type of drug or another will differ, but the alcoholic and addict have the same underlying fears, insecurities, trauma, and need to escape.
This changed my views, and I now understand more, how any addiction takes over our brains, and changes how we act. It is not a moral failure. Some people who use alcohol or drugs will become addicted, others will not.
A recovery coach, and an amazing guy!
Alcohol and drug addiction knows no class or race.
It’s not them against us.
It is us.
It is our loved ones, our friends, our coworkers.
Yes, people with addictions do bad things sometimes. I did some things I was not proud of when my drinking was bad. But I was not bad.
I was a good person with an addiction.
The stigma around drug addiction remains.
|Pharmacy students getting trained on opioid addiction,
making kits with Naloxone!
I learned that many people still want drug addicts to die in streets, not be saved. They blame their loved one, saying it was their fault.
I drank no more than my friends and yet, I became addicted.
It was not my choice.
I am still learning, and I am so very proud of my recovery friends around the world, and here in Minnesota.
To mothers and fathers of children who have died from addiction, I send you my love.
On Day 1660,
PS – If you want, you can find me on Twitter with #Recoveryposse
10 thoughts on “Volunteering and Learning”
Hi Wendy! Sorry for me that I've haven't been around to read your beautiful and inspiring writing. Love this post. Volunteering is a vital part of recovery and growth for me. I'm blown away as I near the 2 yr mark. It's exceeding my wildest dreams! Great to \”see\” you my friend. ❤
Hi Elizabeth! That’s wonderful! Yikes, time flies, doesn’t it! Volunteering has really been important for me, too! xo
You are amazing, Wendy. So full of life! Love you, HD
I love you too, HD! Thank you so Much! xo
Wendy, is this a government program? I was wondering how I could find/start something here locally. I need to get off the freakin’ couch!
Hi Shawna! You can email me! I’ll be able to answer more questions!It is a non-profit. So there is fund raising to do. Does your state allow anyone to carry Naloxone? xoUntipsyteacher@gmail.com
You stay so busy, Wendy. And it's always in the good, in the light. You are an inspiration for this (one day, maybe?) to be retired (and sober) teacher.
What a wonderful post. Its a glimpse of how rich life can be after alcohol. I also enjoy your pictures. They bring life into a story. Every time I visit your blog I’m encouraged to post my pic. I need more confidence and a bit more sobriety. Thank you.
Enjoy your youth, Mark! Lolxo
Thank you, Mark!Yes, I’d wait for a bit. I am glad I waited.Congratulations on your journey! xo