Today’s post is the seventh in a series of interviews with folks who live and breathe a life of recovery from addiction. While the disease of addiction reaches its tentacles to touch families, communities and society, there are people like Dean Dauphinais who push back against the disease with recovery. I hope you enjoy the conversation with this month’s Recovery Carrier.
William White defines recovery carriers as “people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion they exhibit for those still suffering.” (www.williamwhitepapers.com, 2012)
When you hear the term “recovery carrier,” as it relates to addiction, what does that mean to you? Do you think you’re a recovery carrier?
When I hear the term “recovery carrier,” I think of a person who’s holding the stem of a dandelion with its round, white, puffy seed head on the end. All of those little seeds represent little bits of information about recovery; the truth behind misconceptions about addiction, and hope for individuals and families dealing with this insidious disease. I envision a recovery carrier taking a deep breath and blowing on that dandelion like we did when we were kids. And all the windborne seeds, filled with useful information and knowledge, go on their merry way to find new places and minds to take root, grow, and spread the word about recovery. In that sense, I guess I am a recovery carrier. Lord knows I am pretty much constantly blowing on those “dandelion seeds,” trying to spread them around as much as possible. Not all of the seeds will take, but if only a few of them do I consider that to be a success. “Recovery carrier” is a pretty special term, but I don’t think of myself as a special person. I don’t have an academic background in addiction and recovery. I don’t have any special certification or anything. I’m just the father of a person in long-term recovery who’s trying to help other families that are going through addiction.
What brought you to advocating for recovery issues? I know a bit of your background but would you share with the readers, starting wherever you’d like?
My 24-year-old son—who just recently celebrated two years of sobriety—suffered from depression and anxiety as a teenager. When he was around 15, he started experimenting with drugs—mainly pot and prescription meds. He was self-medicating in an attempt to feel “normal.” Unfortunately, my son’s experimentation led to addiction, and his drug of choice eventually became heroin.
As a parent, finding out that your child is addicted to heroin is pretty devastating. I was one of those parents who thought heroin was a drug used by “junkies” in the inner city, not by teenagers in the middle-class suburbs. And certainly not by my teenager. It was truly a wake-up call. I remember the day my son came to me in tears and told me he needed help because he was addicted to heroin. It was like I was living a nightmare.
To read more of Dean’s interview, click Dean Dauphinais 7-14.
Photo courtesy of Fantasywire