Recovery is the New Black, and Murder and Addiction

Talk Recovery Radio

Two great guests on Talk Recovery Radio this week

Guest 1 Recovery is the New Black

Michelle Smith is the author, of Recovery is the New Black, certified mental health and addictions counselor, and virtual Recovery Coach. Sober since November 24, 2016, her recovery path is focused on honesty, self-love, and forgiveness. She’s passionate about supporting women with tools and resources around substance abuse, mental health, bereavement, eating disorders, trauma and codependency. She lives in Washington State with her husband and two children.

Michelle wrote, “Recovery is the New Black” based on her own personal experience of knowing what addiction is capable of doing, and Michelle says she had the perfect example of what not to be. When Michelle stayed away from alcohol and life of addiction and decided to start exploring motherhood. She figured as she was looking for connection and feeling lonely depressed dealing with postpartum depression, Michelle explains it as “Falling into the mommy wine juice culture”. She mentions how with the first glass of wine she was hooked into a progressive predisposition to alcoholism that ran in her family along with a platform of glamorizing alcohol and her addiction flourished.

Michelle says she built herself up a life that she worked so hard to have but had to watch herself remove herself from the situation. She explains it as building herself all of this and just wanting to escape her own reality. Michelle says her life was never about sobriety, it was never her plan. Michelle says she was so unwilling to give alcohol up that she tried to come up with solutions such as moderation, only drinking on weekends, switching up her beverage of choice.

Michelle decided to go to a residential addiction treatment center but says she was very stubborn and left shortly after her intake. Then She tried Alcoholics Anonymous, Michelle says she tried so many different treatment models and she said she picked apart different things from treatment modalities but realized that she can’t just do what she wants and put her addiction to rest, she realized that It takes work.

Michelle is one of the founders of Sober Mom’s Squad. 5 women who are all moms started this group during the pandemic to help other mom’s who are struggling with alcoholism. Michelle says she is a big fan of harm reduction and a big advocate for it, it was hard for people to get into hospitals for detox protocol and she said a lot of her friends would die if the liquor stores were not open. Michelle started doing zoom meetings once per week for free to help those struggling and then it turned into having 25 per week and they have thousands of women join them.

Michelle speaks about “Rock Bottom” and says she believes there is no such thing as rock bottom. Everyone’s addiction recovery journey will start different, some will be willingly and some will be very unwilling and will have to face serious consequences before they start their recovery journey.

More about Michelle

Sober mom Squad

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Guest 2  Personal Story of a Murdered Neice who struggled with addiction

My 22-year-old niece, Shana Harris-Morris, was murdered on February 4, 2021, in her home in Surrey, British Columbia. Shana was in active addiction. Her killer(s) are still out there. I Am Shana’s Voice

Ryan Morris wants this to never happen to others, his niece was a kind person who struggled

Shana was taken from her home and placed in foster care by the Ministry in 2006. Although her parents fought to get her back, and I also applied for guardianship of her so she would not go into foster care. The ministry declined my request saying my home was not a suitable fit. The ministry never once visited my family home to do their due diligence.

Shana’s mom tried to file a complaint with the Registry of Social workers but was informed that none of the individuals that were working on the case, were in fact registered with them. As a result, no complaint could be made.

Shana was diagnosed with a number of mental illnesses and disorders, several years after she was removed from her home by the ministry.

Shana began using drugs shortly after she was abused in the foster home she was staying at.

To hear the rest of the story tune in live this Thursday.

Ryan tells us on Talk recovery his nieces Shana’s story of addiction and murder. Shana was attempted by her Uncle Ryan and his wife at the time to take her into their care as she was in the care of the ministry and Ryan says he really feels that the 45-minute phone interview wasn’t enough for the ministry to deem if he was right or not the right person to take care of his niece. He tells us about his home and how it would have been a healthy place for her to grow up in. Shana needed housing as she struggled with a behavioral disorder and mental health and growing up in a big family she was not able to be taken care of correctly.

Ryan talks about the day Shana was murdered, he was on his way home after a successful meeting for his new business and he got the call from his sister and he was in disbelief. Ryan said he couldn’t even remember his drive home after the phone call. Ryan shares that he has been in and out of Recovery for 10 years.

Ryan started “I am Shana’s Voice”. Ryan started that because they are looking for a change with the government when it comes to mental health addiction and recovery. Ryan wants to spread awareness that recovery and change is possible and if someone is struggling with their kid’s addiction or family member’s addiction they are able to find help.

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