Kathleen's Path to Coaching

“It does not matter where you are from, Yale or Jail.”

One the oldest sayings in AA is: It doesn’t matter if you come from Yale or Jail; we are a person with a substance use disorder (SUD) that has crossed the line. That invisible line they talk about is when my using became out of control, reckless, shameful, hurtful to my family and I acted as if I was brought up with no morals. However, I was brought up in an Irish Catholic Home, with Great parents who didn’t drink but on occasion and I never saw them intoxicated. My parents expected me to go to college and marry.

I started smoking a little weed around 14 with a friend where my horse was kept and thus began my journey. It was fun and we were tree hugging hippies who loved the outdoors and riding. I had no intention of doing any other kind of drug and was content with that for a while. Around 15, I was put on weight control pills (little yellow capsules, speed) and I was off and running. I didn’t realize until later in life that was the beginning of me chasing a speed high that then turned to all kinds of drugs. At the end, it was methamphetamine and cocaine that brought me to my knees when I was 28. I won’t go into detail of all the jams I got myself in and out of or how I used my drug of choice at any given time.

What I would like to say is today, because of the 12 steps, AA, NA, AL-anon, CA, counseling and a great sponsor, I’m the person I wanted to be back before drugs hijacked my brain. In December of 1986, I called the local treatment center at St. Joseph’s hospital in Nashua to see what I needed to do to get my then husband into treatment. He was an abusive alcoholic and if I could get him fixed, we would have a great marriage. I didn’t think our cocaine and other drug use were an issue, just his drinking.  

I would love to tell you I have been completely abstinent from 1986, but the truth is I have not. The first almost 6 years was great, worked the steps, went to meetings, sponsored people and was really all in. Slowly but surely those committee meetings that go on in my head became negative, I don’t need the meetings they are brainwashing me and I’m ok. Complacency set in and I picked up a drug, my morals were not what they had been, I was lying to myself as well as others. I have had a few reoccurrences since then but am happy to report I have been a woman in recovery today longer than I used. AA taught me how to live one day at a time, never take myself to seriously and not everyone is going to like you, to be comfortable in my own skin, to be an advocate for myself, and most importantly I have a Higher Power of my understanding that guides my life on a daily basis.

I would love to hear from anyone how their journey is going today. Maybe there is a topic you would like me to discuss? Feel free to email me at Kathleen.Hagerty@parcnh.org   Join us from 1:00 – 2:00pm, on Zoom. Just copy and paste the zoom address below into a browser:  https://zoom.us/j/537522554

Zach's Path to Coaching

Growing up in New Hampshire I’ve always been drawn to the outdoors. Skiing, hiking, biking was how I spent my time. I was always doing something outdoors. As I got older I started to think about heading out west where everything was bigger. The mountains, the lakes, everything. I packed up everything I had two years after graduating high school and started on a road trip to California for my outdoor adventure. I lived in Sacramento for a while but in a twist of irony I hardly spent any time outside while I was there. I was working all the time and started to think about being home back East, so I did just that. After moving back from California, I noticed how the area changed while I had been away. Drugs, most predominantly heroin, seemed to be everywhere. I myself suffered under the yoke of addiction towards the end of high school and the years and going to California had been my first sober. Coming back to see what had become of my town and my friends was upsetting.

It wasn’t long after returning home that I received the devastating news that one of my closest friends had suffered a fatal overdose; I had no idea he was even using. This loss had hit closer to home than ever before.

From that point on I decided the only thing I wanted to do for the rest of my life was work in the recovery community. I became involved in Plymouth Area Recovery Connection by joining their board but I always felt like I wanted to do more, something that felt hands-on. The opportunity came for me to train as a recovery coach through the Recovery Coach Academy. The training was fantastic and upon completion I finally felt like I was on track to starting a career as someone in recovery healing others in recovery.

Pathways to Recovery

This is my first blog post ever; my boss asked me to write one :), so here I go.

I chose the topic of “pathways to recovery”, because today there are so many, but they all boil down to changing the person I once was. I will always have a SUD (substance use disorder) but today I have the tools to keep it in check and live a Great Life!

When I first started going to meetings back in December of 1986, I went to CA, AA, NA, and 12 step meetings. NA and CA seemed to be where I felt I fit in, however I had an AA sponsor who had me go to AA and step meetings; I grew up practicing and living the 12 steps. I didn’t know it but I was slowly, making changes in my life, attitudes and spirituality. I was no longer the victim of circumstances unless I chose to be; I had choices and with my Higher Power’s help I could conquer anything.

When I go to a meeting I’m hoping to bring a ray of light to my fellowship friends (new, old, or still doing research) or perhaps I need a ray of light that day. I must never forget where I came from; I’m reminded that I’m not alone and not the only one who thinks this way. The folks in the fellowships understand how I feel. My Higher Power keeps in my heart that I cannot keep what I have if I don’t give it away.

Today there are many choices for us all to use to find a journey that is right for us. I’m familiar with some paths but not all! However, through my recovery journey I have found many things that have helped me to become a changed person and not crave the drugs that destroyed me.

Here is a list of the ones I know:

Alcoholics Anonymous – https://aa.org/

AL anon – https://al-anon.org  For family and friends

All Anonymous – https://www.allanonymous.org/

Celebrate Recovery – https://www.celebraterecovery.com/

Cocaine Anonymous – https://ca.org/

Codependents Anonymous – https://coda.org/

Crystal Meth Anonymous – https://crystalmeth.org/

Harm Reduction – https://harmreduction.org

Heroin Anonymous – https://heroinanonymous.org/

Narcotics Anonymous – https://www.na.org

Nar-anon – https://www.nar-anon.org/  For family and friends

Recovery Dharma – https://recoverydharma.org/

Smart Recovery – https://www.smartrecovery.org

Smart Recovery/family – https://www.smartrecovery.org/family/  For family and friends

The Three Principles – http://www.sydneybanks.org/

Yes, I have had reoccurrences throughout this journey, but I’m happy to report I have been away from my drugs of choice longer than I used them.

If you know would like to learn any of the pathways, want to talk about recovery, reoccurrences and where to begin. Feel free to email me: Kathleen.hagerty@parnh.org


*The views and opinions expressed on this blog page are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Plymouth Area Recovery Connection (PARC).