Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anonymous Story

Before I came to McShin my life was a train wreck. I got here November 4, 2010. I had just gotten out of jail, and needed a safe environment to get clean. I never had experienced recovery before, so I was in a whole new world. McShin helped me get acclimated with society, and introduced me to the recovery process. I learned how to live a somewhat manageable life in my eight months at The McShin Foundation. After my time at McShin, I moved in with two other recovery addicts. I am still extremely active in the world of recovery, and do all I can to help those who are in the same shoes I was once in. I am forever grateful to McShin, and the wonderful new journey I have embarked on.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lukefest 2011 !!!!!!!!

I have to say, this was a huge success. Lukefest, as always, was amazing this year!!!! I had a blast. There was awesome live music, good eating, and lots of fellowship! I will have pictures and videos up very shortly. If you were not able to make it out this year there will always be next year! This event is so great especially because of the message that is sent out. Making people aware of addiction and how devastating it can be to the one who is suffering and the loved ones as well, but the bigger message is that we CAN recover from addiction. It is possible! Thank you all who supported this event, and to the ones who make this happen every year. YOU ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED! Keep checking in to see the pictures and videos. Also if you would like more information on who Luke was and why this event is put on every year please go to this website and you can also look it up on Facebook by searching for Lukefest. Thank you! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How did you like recovery fest?!?!?!?!

Great weekend!

We had a great weekend at recovery fest!!!! Lots of fun. I will have the videos I took up shortly just bear with me, but the slideshow now has pictures up from this weekend. Also this weekend was my 60 days without cutting!!! Thanks everyone for supporting me. with luv - jenny

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Recovery Fest!!!

The big event is coming up!!! Hope your all excited just like I am. It's only two days away. If you need to know more and or tickets just email me!!!!

Joe's Saving Grace

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thanks everyone!!!

I just wanted to thank everyone for continuing to visit this blog, and to the ones who have been commenting. We are gaining more and more followers everyday!!!! Keep checking it out! It can only get better! :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meagan's story!

My name is Meagan K. and I'm an addict and alcoholic, and I have an eating disorder. I like to think my disease is multi-talented and can manifest itself in any number of ways. I also think I was born this way, my disease has been my only constant companion in my 27 years. I didn't have a traumatic childhood, came from a good family, and I still started looking for ways to alter the way I felt by age 12. It started the way most of us start, smoking cigarettes at the bus stop, drinking our parents liquor, and stealing my step dad's weed. Well I guess that last one isn't very normal, but it was to me. It was a perfect situation, because my Mom didn't know he smoked, so even when he caught me, it wasn't like he could tell her! Yes, I was a master manipulator from an early age, something I'm not proud of today. My disease was stagnant for the next few years, I continued to smoke and drink when I could, but the progression and intensity of my illness didn't take hold until my eighteenth year. I had recently moved out of my Mothers home(she had ditched the pot head by now), and with my new-found freedom, I drank took pills and got in way over my head very quickly. It was around this time I was introduced to ecstasy, cocaine, special K, acid and mushrooms. I did the others when I could, but cocaine became the love of my life. When I did it, I felt smart, pretty, skinny and on top of the world! It only took about a year and a half for me to loose my job, loose my house, and send my family into the absolute chaos that is an addicts life. By age 21 I was a shadow of my former self. My family organized an intervention and off to treatment I went. I went to the Pine Grove Women's Center in Hattiesburg, MS. It was a 90 day inpatient treatment facility and I owe them my life today. I learned about recovery,and got to know myself for the first time. It was a magical time in my life, one I will never forget. After the inpatient program, I went on to stay in a halfway house in Hattiesburg. But at 5 1/2 months, I was done being clean. I drank, developed the phenomenon of craving and back to Richmond I came. After about two weeks(if that) I was smoking crack, something I had always vowed not to do. I was flopping on random couches, no job, no home, and no hope. I went along like that about a year until I was introduced to my friend heroin. Ahhh, now this was what I had been searching all my life for. Over the next year I continued down a path of destitution and degradation I still find appalling. In the summer of 2008, I was on the streets in the Highland Park area of Richmond. I had nothing left. My family had finally thrown in the towel as well, and I was out of options. I convinced some guy to pay for a hotel room for me so I could detox myself. Seven long days later, I had the dope out of my system, but still didn't have any ideas as to what was next. That was when I got a phone call from this guy named Peter. I don't know why I answered, why i agreed to meet with him, or why I immidiately trusted him with my life. The only explanation I have is my higher power doing for me what I could not do for myself. I entered the Mcshin program angry, hostile and broken. They helped me. Even once I relapsed and was asked to leave, they helped me find somewhere else to go and have continued to play an integral role in my recovery. With their help, a support group, and my higher power, and a twelve step program, I have been clean for three years next week. It works- if you live it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My First Anonymous Story

Feeling Great!

Just thought I'd let all of you guys know. Today is my 30 days without cutting. I haven't reached this mark for a long time. It has taken me months to get to this. I never saw me getting this far to tell the truth. The last time I did it I remember thinking "I'm never going to stop, and I never want to stop." Now I have gone 30 whole days without it. I have never been happier. I'm not even sure how it has happened. I believe my higher power has completely intervened and given me a desire to want to stop. I could not have done it without the support here at the McShin Foundation, and my great support network of women, and my loving and caring higher power. Thank you all so much for the support. I love you guys!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Pics

Hey everyone! check out the slide show on the right side bar. There are some pictures up of the McShin pool party we had last Saturday. This was an awesome way to really have some good and clean fun in recovery and to work on your tan as well. Thank you for everyone posting comments on my videos. Please keep checking back I will be adding something new everyday. with love jenny


Mike's New Experience

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mike's experience, strength, and hope!

My brief time, here at The McShin Foundation, has been an awakening experience for me. Years of substance abuse has left me totally exhausted. My time with alcohol is sending me towards a bottom; one that I've never seen. There have been thousands of days consuming the poison that has left me homeless, jobless, and financially broken. It makes me sick when I remember all of the broken relationships, the days without eating, and the nights waking up in unfamiliar places. Everything I've done up to this point has led me to where I am this minute. I'm an addict and I take full responsibility for my actions. I am tired of suffering and I am ready for something different, something that gives me meaning. I have chosen a new path that will hopefully lead to happiness and sobriety. I thank my higher power, The Great Spirit, for watching over me while I stumble through this life. The spirits of past and present are with us, if only we open our hearts. Thank you, Mike

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My personal experience with a higher power.

When I first set out on this journey in 2009 I remember having nothing and no one as a power greater than me. My version of god had been created for me, and any hope I ever knew had been shattered or faded into nothing. I was angry even hearing the word God and I absolutely wanted nothing to do with him. I was told by other recovering addicts to get a power greater than myself. I had a lot of trouble with this, but at the same time I was excited. I could finally choose what I wanted to believe in. So I set out on this spiritual journey looking for some answers. As time has passed my view on God and spirituality has changed. I started out just believing in the stars. They were real to me because I could see them, and even at times when they weren't visible I knew they were still there and would show back up. They reminded me of humans. They were simple but so complicated at the same time. When you just gaze up at the stars they make sense but when you think of how their balls of fire held up in the sky and constantly are always there they seem so complicated. It was something simple, beautiful, visible, and greater than me. I have a new take on things now. Due to some circumstances that have occurred I have come to believe there is something even greater out there and I now choose to call that God. I still have my days when I have to look up into the sky, but to me its all the same. I can see god in many things. He shows himself through the sky, nature, people, community's, and I find myself seeing him more and more everyday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

starting over

Starting over is a tough thing. I've had to do it many times especially recently with the cutting. I've recently messed up again. Now I am in the stage of starting over. It's hard to put one foot after another sometimes, even do the things you're suppose to do on a regular basis. I'm not sure if I feel like giving up or moving forward sometimes. A lot of this is making a decision myself. No one can help me if I don't want it. I have to pray and ask for willingness and a desire both of which I am lacking right now. That's just where i'm at.                                                                                                 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Grace of God

My name is Kimberly B. About 5 years ago strung out on drugs and intoxicated I seriously attempted suicide by taking an overdose on pills. I was in a coma on life support. The doctors told my family to say their goodbyes because I was not going to make it, and I was going to have multi-system organ failure and die soon. Eight days later I woke from the coma and started breathing on my own again. The doctors said it was amazing I suffered absolutely no long term damages. They said it was a medical miracle but I know it was nothing more than the grace and mercy of my Higher Power God.

Ed's experience

Nineteen days ago I was using ten pills a day to feed my addiction and to overcome all the pain I was feeling. I feel better know than I have felt in five years. And to my surprise I have no pain.  In nineteen days I've only had to take two Aleve for my pain, and that's it. My disease was telling me I had all this pain, and I have yet to see it. This is how addiction takes over your mind.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Connections with others

There have been many things that amaze me while I have been in McShin. But I think the most amazing thing has been building connections with other recovering addicts. I'm not sure what it is about these people that cause me to feel an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance, but they just embrace me and take me into their hearts. They give me strength when I don't think I have any. They continue to love me until I can love myself. They have been one of the few constants in my life. I have left McShin quite a few times, but always find myself ending back up here. I can never stay away for too long. I have come to truly love and care about everyone here. I didn't always love other people. McShin has taught me how to love others and genuinely care for them in a way I have never done before. If it weren't for McShin my life would feel less meaningful. I am grateful for their love and the things that being here has taught me on a daily basis. I will be forever grateful for the connections I have with these people and the love they have shown me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sam's story

Hi! I'm Sam and I'm an addict! I've been using drugs since I was 14, I'm 23 now. It wasn't until I got arrested twice in Rapid succession right after I turned 20 that i realized that hey the way I'm using is not exactly normal. I didn't even come to that realization until after I was court ordered to an IOP. I stayed clean for a little while, but then started to drink. At the time the only thing that was keeping me "clean" was being on probation. The day I got off probation I used, not my drug of choice, but I still used. A week later I picked up using my drug of choice again. Over a few months, my using picked up momentum like never before. I will never forget the day that I realized "Holy shit i can't stop!" It was probably around March or April of 2010. I was at work one morning and I started getting sniffy and achy and all the other good stuff that comes along with withdrawal. I froze in my tracks as soon as I realized what was going on. At that point I was faced with a dilemma "Do I stop now while the withdrawals wouldn't be to bad?" or "nah fuck it, I'll stop later." It's obvious what decision I made and I didn't look back. In a few short months after that I spent all the money I had, my entire savings. I stole from my family, I stole from their business. I was an all around lousy, lying human being. Not only was I lying to everyone around me I was lying to myself, lying so much to the point I was believing my own lies. I was delusional. July of last year I tried to detox on my own for the first time. I lasted 2 days until the evening of the 4th and I was back out. I was hanging out with friends who didn't have the slightest clue what was going on. A month later I wound up in my first treatment center. I went through detox on my own for 2 days before I got there. I felt like I was in hell. I wanted to die. I couldn't imagine life without drugs and I just wanted all of my misery to end anyway. I ended up staying at the treatment center until I had to leave due to insurance/financial reasons. after I got out I stayed clean for a little while. I was attending an IOP for aftercare, all in all I was doing well and feeling good again. Then came a relapse... I went back out for a few weeks and I went out Full tilt. I eventually told my parents and my IOP and I cleaned up for maybe a week. I stopped going to my meetings. I stopped going to IOP. A month or 2 later I had no money, missed my rent and utilities, and I was back to lying and stealing like it was my job. I remember being out on a job site, withdrawaling and I called my mom bawling "I can't take this anymore, I need help, I need to get out of here." Two days after I found myself in another treatment center. I stayed there for 28 days or so, It turned out to be a good experience. I got out of there and did really well. I was feeling human again. Things were going great. Then out of nowhere BAM! Massive relapse I stopped going to my 12 step meetings again, stopped going to aftercare, I completely isolated myself. I went back to my old ways lying, stealing, cheating and all that good stuff. I stayed out for months all the while I kept telling everyone I'm fine. I started feeling the walls closing in on me. I was afraid, I was stuck. I couldn't ask for help so everyday I woke up just waiting for a catastrophe to happen. Waiting to get arrested or to get in a car accident or something. Luckily none of that had to happen. Somehow my parents found out about my using. They confronted me and told me to give them my keys to my truck and not to come back to work. (I work for my folks by the way.) I ran out to my truck and grabbed all I could and started to walk to my apartment on the complete opposite end of the city. On the walk home I had a man ask me for some change. I threw my hands up and exclaimed "This is all I've got!" I broke down in tears. I realized I had nothing unless I stopped using. The day after I called my parents asking for help and wound up here at McShin, two weeks ago. Today I feel good I no longer have to continue using. I no longer have to continue lying and stealing. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Right now I am safe from myself.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Having fun in recovery

I never realized how much fun you can truly have in recovery. We had a cook out yesterday at the McShin foundation. It was a great example on how fun recovery really is. We had a great turnout of people as well. We had food, music, fellowship and a great game of corn hole. My team was kind of unsuccessful, but we had a blast anyway. I knew recovery was fun, but i didn't know it could be like this. I'm looking forward to doing more things like this in my recovery. Just the fellowship alone with other recovering addicts was enough for me in itself. Everything else was just a plus. I'm so grateful for this time and the people that surround me everyday. Hopefully I will have some other experiences just like I had yesterday. Hope everyone had a great fourth! Enjoy your day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In and out of my own self-made prison

I remember at an early age sippin off my parents a early age I played bartender for my family’s get togethers…my mom she was a single mom and she raised all three of us by herself….the phone numbers that were posted by our home phone was my mom’s work, my Aunt Donna and of course the bar….see mom had an outlet too….my whole family does…so does it really surprise me that I have seeked an outlet to the way that I feel since I was little girl…my upbringing wasn’t terrible by no means..we had food on the table ,roof over our heads, and to do that a mother that was never there. So I seeked attention, acceptance, validation, and love in all the wrong places.
I attended my first twelve step meeting when I was in high school at the age of 16. I am 36 years old, I have been to five rehabs, three detoxs, in and out of jail….lost my children due to my disease of addiction, in the middle of a divorce after 9 years….because I put myself in the one of those state prisons. I don’t know which is worse sometimes the self made or the state made??
There are only three times in my life where I found true freedom. When I was a little girl I used to sit on my rooftop and lay there and stare at the stars and know that something out there was watching me, when I had my boys, and when I was clean, going to meeting, doing step work, sponsoring other women, holding a position in my home group, networking with other addicts like me and not like me, and last but not least having that spiritual connection with my higher power that if I put my trust in him and always do the next right thing the sky’s the limit. I was there once and I made the choice to use again and have been trying to get back there ever since.
Just coming home from prison I have to face a lot of obstacles and emotional rollercoaster’s. I guess that would be life huh? I know that I can find that freedom again thru my 12 step family and doing everything the program tells me today and not use no matter!!! No matter what life brings you don’t use...that outlet will send you places you never wanna go…
Jessica R.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Staying clean on the holiday!

Holidays can be a tough time for everyone. For some it is even harder. When you are trying to live a new life, and do things different it can be very hard when the ones around you aren't. My suggestion would be to surround yourself with other positive people who are trying to do the right thing. Maybe even place yourself in a 12 step meeting for an hour, and gain some sanity. Staying close to your support group and keeping yourself connected with others who are again, are trying to do the same thing. Last but not least, don't use no matter what!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What is recovery to me?

Recovery is many things. It is rebuilding a persons life and their family as well. We try to recovery from many things,but we will never fully recovery. We will always be recovering. It is a process, and it doesn't happen overnight. We will always have room to grow. This is a slow process, and it takes time. You learn many new things as well as a new way to live in this process of recovery. Recovery to me, is a new way of life. Right now I am still working on being an independent self sufficient member of society. Recovery teaches you how to listen and learn. Recovery also brings a new happiness into your life. I now have a whole slew of people I consider my family. These people have been a huge factor in saving my life. Recovery to me is also working a 12 step program, but due to anonymity I will not discuss it further. Recovery isn't just a part of life for me it is my life. I am immersed in recovery on a daily basis. This is why I am still alive right now. Recovery has took me under its wing and breathed life into me. I owe my life to the people I encounter everyday and to the 12 step program I am a part of.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Clean Life Medical

Combining medical and personal recovery support services to bring lasting and meaningful recovery from opiate addiction. Dr. James E. Thompson, MC. is a board certified internist who specialize in addiction medicine. He received his medical degree and his post graduate training at VCU medical center. He has a deep and personal understanding of the disease of addiction and a passion for helping the patients and families who suffer from it. Our services are open Monday through Friday starting at 9am to 5pm with 24 hour support always available during detox. our contact information is:
phone (805)422-0431
Fax: (804)422-0434
Here is a partial list of drugs which we can help you finally gain independence from:
- Alcohol
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab)
- Hydromorphone (dilaudud)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin, Tylox)
- Fetanyl (Duragestic, Sublimaze, Actiq)
- Propoxyphene (Darvocet)
- Morphine
- Codeine (Tylenol #3)
- Opium
Call and make an appointment your life may depend on it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What is Addiction?


is a primary, chronic disease of the brain. "Addiction is one of attitudes, personalities, and a general negative outlook on life rooted in fear, insecurity, and low self esteem characterized by obsession, compulsion, and denial." Addiction is a physical and psychological dependence on psychoactive substances which cross the blood - brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain. Just like other chronic diseases addiction can involve cycles of relapse and remission. Addiction is a progressive illness and the ends are always the same: jails, institutions, and death. Addiction does not have to be substance related addiction can apply to many

compulsive behaviors

such as: sex, self harm, eating, shopping, gambling, etc.

"The disease of addiction

can manifest itself in a variety of mental obsessions and compulsive actions that have nothing to do with drugs." Addiction has a pattern of symptoms your symptoms can be treated in recovery, but never will you be cured. The disease of addiction not only destroys the person partaking in the behavior, but also the loved ones around them wherever there is addiction there is still hope. You can be set free and find yourself living a new life if you wish to seek out the help you need.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Frank's story

Frank Brewer has been in long term recovery since August 6, 2007, and has overcome many obstacles of his past, as well as during his journey of recovery. However, Frank uses his own personal trials and experiences of a troubled youth and adult to spread his story of rehabilitation into a “new healthy life” in recovery. Since his employment at McShin, Frank has improved his skills and techniques of recovery and has completed “Peer Leadership Training”. Frank has been a Peer Leader at McShin since July 2008, and currently serves as a Senior Peer Leader and mentor. Frank is actively involved in the Henrico County Drug Court which he successfully graduated from in May 2009. Frank has also participated and completed various continuing education programs through SAARA of Virginia and Department of Virginia Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS).
Frank remains quite active in the recovery community. He is involved with the subcommittee of Hospitals & Institutions of Narcotics Anonymous (H&I, NA), carrying the message of hope and recovery to other addicts. Frank's involvement with the National Counseling Group (NCG) has earned him a Certificate of Appreciation and he continues to maintain and build strong ties with the organization, especially with the reentry program and Department of Corrections. Frank also has been engaged in working with Dominion Youth Services (DYS) to provide adolescents with knowledge of the disease of addiction and criminal behaviors and their ramifications. Therefore, he offers troubled teens a message of hope in refraining from the dangerous lifestyles that lead to jails, institutions and death. He has incorporated the Peers Here to Share with the teens at Dominion Youth Services in hopes of boosting their recovery through sharing their own stories.
Frank is a member of the Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church and 2 “home groups” of NA. He continues to expand his journey of recovery in all aspects of his life through education, volunteering, spiritual involvement, and much more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Struggles

        I have found myself still struggling with my issues, but even so McShin has continued to give me the support and love that I need to overcome my struggles. They again, have allowed me to stay here despite my falling outs. They are the only place that has not given up on me and not abandoned me. They have stuck by me, and have continued to do so. They have a very special place in my heart.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teresa's story

I don’t know if it was luck or divinity that brought me to the McShin Foundation. I was at yet another hospital psych ward, buying a bit of time, when a man named Peter offered me the opportunity to come to the McShin Foundation even though I did not have a cent to my name. Any place besides the homeless shelter sounded good to me. Again, I just thought I was buying some time in a bed with a mattress. That was a little over eight months ago. Today I have that much time clean and instead of a shelter I am in school.

I can’t tell you exactly what, but something good started to happen in my life. It had been many years since I could say that. Being completely lost and broken, I just dragged my person every place staff and peer leaders told me to be. My brain was pretty worthless so I did not bother to use it. I came and went when I was told and did what they told me to do. My expectations of change were very low but I had nothing to lose by following direction. It’s not like they asked me to do anything hard.

The basics were these: get out of bed in the morning, come to the foundation, clean for thirty minutes, go to and participate in groups, go to at least one meeting a day, get a sponsor, call your sponsor, get phone numbers of people in recovery, get a home group,, help each other, and lend a hand to any McShin projects. The guidelines are far from a reinvention of the wheel but it was easier to take advice when the people giving it had been where I was.

So, it is not to say that the McShin Foundation does anything strikingly original. The difference is that there are no wasteful middlemen involved. McShin is run by addicts and for addicts. McShin is a hub for recovery in the lakeside area. Even people who are not addict but are emotionally and mentally struggling come here for support, and it is here for the taking. The product of a recovery community is a wealth of individuals who found a way to arrest addiction and the benefit of addicts having a place to help one another is incalculable on the public dollar. I know taxpayers are saving quite a bit on me alone.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Just ironic

            My journey these past 2 years has been a long hard road. I have been to many places and seen many things. I have gone to 5 different hospitals, 1 crisis center, 2 treatment facilities, and recovery houses. Every hospital I would go in would just load me up with pills, shots, worthless groups, and a 2 second doctor visit. I never received any help I was just pushed around place to place. Not getting any answers and having no success, I was wasting time and money. The state pays money for these hospitals and facilities. It is a very costly business. This money could be spent towards a place that will actually give me the help I need a place that won’t just push me around and send me to another hospital. If the state would spend the money on these types of places imagine the lives we could change. The cost of one of my hospital stays was 42,000 dollars. This is a lot of money to spend on a hospital visit especially considering that at the time I had no insurance thus fore the state will be paying for most of this. If the state spent this kind of money on places like McShin think of all the people that would actually receive some help. You don’t get what you really need when you go to a hospital. You get it here at McShin. That has been my experience.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alison's story

            My name is Alison and I am a 21 year old recovering addict. I have been drug and alcohol free for nearly three years. I began using mind altering substances my sophomore year of high school. I began using "Socially," but it didn't take too long for my use to turn into a daily obsession and compulsion. Soon after that , my life began to spiral downhill. Consequences of all types began to pop up in my life - academic, social, emotional, legal, etc. Three years after picking up that first drug, I hit my bottom.

            In July of 2008, after leaving the hospital, my mother took me to The McShin Foundation. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I told myself that I'd be willing to give this place a shot. At this point, all I knew was that I didn't want to keep doing what I was doing. I told myself that I would stay at this organization for at least 30 days. I ended up staying for four months. Toward the end of my time at McShin, the organization provided me with a wide variety of tools and resources that I could continue to use upon my release. After leaving the women's recovery house in November of 2008, I felt confident that I could continue to do well in my recovery if I kept doing what I was doing. While in Mcshin I had my ups and downs - but all in all, I was (and am still) grateful for the experiences I had there. Today, I am able to assist and give back to the current clients of McShin, seeing that "I've been there done that." I am truly grateful to the McShin Foundation for showing me a new way to live.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Brad's story

brad's story

    To really start this story in the beginning I would have to go as far back as age 7. The age where I first remember craving an altered state. I would spin in circles until I got so dizzy that I would fall flat on my back, and watch my world spin till it spin no more and then proceed to begin the process all over again.  I remember hearing my mother in the background crying "stop spinning your driving me crazy," or "stop crossing your eyes before you get stuck like that." Sometimes it seemed I craved to see things not as they are. I found alcohol not soon after. I was drunk at eight. By the time I was twelve I was dipping into the parents liqueur cabinet on a weekly basis, and was soon caught by the evil step father whom decided to put a pad lock on the cabinet. So it made it a little more time consuming having to unscrew the hinges on those Saturday mornings, or snow days with my delinquent friends waiting for their shots. Time for drunk football! So crazy looking back, I got my fist trouble with the law at 13 grand larceny and breaking and entering. I was more of a home invasion which is a more serious charge. Two friends and myself knew where a girl that we knew was babysitting. So we went to see her. We knocked on the door and when she answered we talked briefly and asked if we could come in when she said no, we pushed our way in and made ourselves at home. We went straight for the bottles, we found a bottle of whiskey and drank from the bottle passing it around then things started to get wild. I went into the bedroom and started rummaging through the jewelry, and pocketed some rings. I don't really remember much from that night I just remember how the story goes.

    When I went to court I remember myself and Brody taking the charge and saying that our boy Sam had nothing to do with it. Sam had just lost his mother and we felt bad for him. So we let him go. I wonder whatever became of ole Sammy. Probably up on capital hill doing something important making a difference, thanks to old brody and myself keeping his record squeaky clean. Well I can assure you that the 80 hours of community service and the judge didn't slow me down a bit. Neither did the treatment center that the parents sent me to at the age of 14.

    By the time I was 16 I had been thrown out of two schools. Once in 4th grade for selling oregano to students and telling them it was marijuana, and 7th grade for trying to set the school on fire. I had been to two rehabs and years of counseling. None of which slowed me down. By the time I was 16 I drank heavy, smoked and sold marijuana and was big into LSD and mushrooms. By the time I was half way to 9th grade I was done with living with parental guidance.

    One night I was down at a group where my mother dropped me every weds. night and outside st marks was my boy max and my girlfriend leigh. We decided to take off to Virginia Beach. Max said we could take his mothers car. I didn't know Max that well, but I did hear later that he killed himself on a motorcycle. From what I heard he was decapitated by a chained off parking lot. That happen some years later.

    That trip all three of us became real close up until his mother found us on the board walk and took him home. Leigh and I though continued on our journey which went from Virgina beach to DC to Ohio and home. I could write a book on that trip. And it was an acid filled trip from DC onward. A couple free hippies doing as they please. Fresh young teenagers no real harm done a few broken windows some petty things stolen. Much like the story a grench that stole Christmas where I was the star. How I wish the story ended there.

    But the progression of my disease became a whole new animal when I found Cocaine and Heroin. All I can say for my adult life from 17 to 39 is I've been in and out of jails institutions and prisons. I was locked up in prison due to a bank robbery. I have traveled all over the USA to Mexico leaving nothing but terror and chaos in my wake. My life has been nothing but shame, remorse, and pain.
    I came to McShin bitter and broken and completely bankrupt. Peter sat down to talk with me and I wasn't sure I'd get in. Well I was accepted into the foundation. In my first group I had here for some reason or another I told the group that if they all dropped dead at that moment I would go about my day and wouldn't shed a tear. Well that was 39 days ago. and since then I have become a part of this family that i love as my very own. It just shows me the growth and progress I have made here. Love you guys!

Madison's experience

My name is Madison and I walked into McShin on May 24th, 2011. I was scared and depressed. I had abused drugs for so long and desperately needed guidance. McShin welcomed me with open arms and never judged who I was or where I came from. I go to groups and live in the women's house, where I'm establishing great relationships. McShin is helping me save my life day by day. It is a rough process but everyday I get stronger. If you or someone you know is crying for help please guide them to McShin. It is a wonderful recovery program. I'm very grateful and blessed to be here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Honesty L

Honesty is a staff here at the McShin foundation. She is someone I look up to and love very much this is her story....

I am a person in long-term recovery and what that means to me is I have been drug free for over 4 years. I started using at age 12 and couldn't stop. Using was a lifestyle to me because I did it so young I just thought that was what everyone did. It was really fun at first, hanging with my friends and getting high and going to concerts. Then I found heroin at age 17 and my life started to go down hill. Nothing was important to me but using drugs. During this whirlwind I became pregnant and that didn't stop me from using either. I have been in and out of treatment for years until I finally threw my hands up and gave myself to recovery. I was done with the pain and the shame of addiction. The McShin foundation took me in with no money and showed me how to live again. I lived in the female housing program for five months and that taught me to love myself and gave my many tools of recovery. One of the main things I learned in early recovery at McShin was "Don't Use No Matter What." McShin and a twelve-step program helped save my life. After leaving the house I became a productive member of society and started working at McShin giving back to the recovering addict like it was given to me. Today I am surrounded by recovery and I love every bit of it. I am a proud wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. Recovery has changed my life around completely and I am truly grateful for all of it. And because of McShin being there to guide me in my recovery when I was completely helpless and broken I am able to live a very happy life today. 

Upcoming Events!

We have some upcoming events!! We have the McShin foundations's 7th Annual pool party. Hosted by John and Kathy Rueger 2491 Cedar Cone Drive Richmond, VA 23233. Saturday July 30th, 2011. The pool opens at 1:00 pm and food will start at 2:00 pm. We will have live music which will start at 3:00 pm. There will be hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ, and side dishes. We will have raffle prizes and voter registration. come out and enjoy a nice day at the pool!

The McShin Foundation 7th annual recovery fest and 2nd annual BBQ cook off. September 17th, 2011 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church 11220 Nuckols Road Glen Allen, Virginia. 12-5pm Come out and enjoy some BBQ and fellowship!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another day

well, it's been another successful day. I now have 18 days without cutting and I am feeling stronger everyday. The support from my McShin family has helped me push through the urges to cut. This blog has given me something to look forward to and feel like I am contributing and giving back to McShin. Just wanted to thank you guys Love you.

Sara's story

 Sara is one of my housemates here at the Mcshin foundation. This is her story....

My name is Sara. I am 32 years old. I started using drugs when I was 16. My drug use progressed as i got older, and I was using heroin and crack by 18. I have been in and out of treatment centers and jails since I was 24. Each time it gets worse. I used to tell myself that I would never shoot up heroin but as i continued to use that's what happened. Heroin and crack took me places I never thought I would go, and I did things I never thought I would. I was miserable at the end and wanted to die. I am currently at Mcshin since march 6 this time. I have 6 months clean. Mcshin has changed my life, it has saved my life too. This is my 4th time here. they always let me back with open arms. I get clean for a while and have ended up relapsing numerous times thinking things would be different this time. And it not its the same out there and it gets worse quick. I end up homeless, jobless, hopeless, and so full of pain. I want to die just from the life style itself. this time I have really been open minded and willing and got honest with myself and everyone else. Mcshin has allowed me to find a new way to live and showed me life can be fun without drugs. Nothing else has ever worked for me except this. Mcshin has taught me how to care about myself, to take care of many task, and be me. They have helped so many people including me and I know they will help to change lives of so many more people to come.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My story...

My name is Jenny. I am 20 years old. I first came to Mcshin in October 2010. I had just had a relapse after having 17 months clean. I also was and still am struggling with self injury. I started self injuring when I was twelve years old. I started using alcohol and drugs when I was 17. My childhood was lonely, traumatic, and depressing. As I got older things just got worse and worse. I felt alone and didn't know how to handle the emotions I was feeling. I wanted to escape from them and everything around me. So I started finding ways to do so. Cutting was my fist outlet. It got worse everyday I did it. After six years of cutting everyday it stopped working for me. I needed more. I needed something else. So I picked up pills. This led me down another road I didn't even know existed. I continued to cut as I was using. I couldn't stop. I needed a razor to make me feel, and I needed a pill to make me drift away. I was a slave. So at 18 I sought out help for myself. I went to hospitals, treatment facilities, and recovery houses. none of these were able to help me. Until October 2010 when I landed in Mcshin.  I remember that first week I came in. People were welcoming me with a hug, and showing me more love than I've ever received. It didn't take long before I built a family here. I still struggled with the self injury when I came, but Mcshin has not given up on me. They have faith in me even when I don't have any in myself. They love me even when I don't love myself. They have opened up their arms for me and given me a place to call a home. Something I haven't had sense I was 18. Now today I have 7 months clean from drugs and alcohol. I also have 16 days without harming myself which is the longest I've been in a good while. I owe my progress and growth to Mcshin. I don't know where I would have been if I hadn't come here. but I thank my higher power everyday for placing me in this wonderful program!!