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!!