Featured Guest: Amy Cooper and Margaret Phillips, Lead Advocates, Heroes in Recovery
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Today, I’m joined by two of the lead advocates for Heroes in Recovery, Amy Cooper and Margaret Phillips. They share about the personal journeys that drew them to become leaders in the recovery community and about their work with Heroes, a grassroots movement seeking to break the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues.
As they look back on their paths to recovery, they can see just how fortunate they are and how important it is to help others reach that place. “I can honestly say I feel I have integrity now and that’s been huge for me, just from years of low self-esteem and using not only drugs and alcohol but using people,” Amy says. “The alcohol and drugs were just a symptom of my character defects.” As Margaret explains, “I don’t want anybody to suffer like I did. There’s a way out, and I feel like I’ve got to help people find that the same way I did.”
Margaret’s recovery journey actually began at a Foundations Recovery Network program in Memphis, TN, called The Oaks at La Paloma. As she explains, the integration of treatment for her trauma and alcohol abuse made all the difference for her chances of long-term recovery. “It was a safe environment, so they let me get through detox, they let me get out of the fog, and then they delved into the issues that I didn’t want to face,” Margaret remembers. “It was just a blessing.”
They have both been drawn to advocacy within the recovery community because of the real-world impact they know that connection can have in breaking the stigma and the isolation of addiction. “If we can bring awareness to that community and let people know that they’re not the only ones struggling…and that one person that needed to hear it, Lord willing they hear it and know that recovery is right out [their] back door,” Amy says. “No matter what they’re facing or what their struggles are, there’s someone in the community that can help them. If we can just help that one person, it’s worth it.”
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