Meet Recovery Carrier Bill White

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Today’s post is the sixth in a series of interviews with folks across the nation (and the Universe!) who embody a life of recovery, from the physical to the psychic.  I hope you enjoy this conversation with Bill White, founder, writer and producer of Chipur, an online treasure trove of articles about topics like depression, bipolarity, anxiety and addiction. Bill is also a distance counselor and mentor.

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)

Why is your website called Chipur? What does Chipur mean?

Several years ago my son and I were working on a name for my new anxiety/mood ick blog. So I said, “How ‘bout Chipper, as in ‘feeling?’” We liked it, but we started the domain name purchase thing and it wasn’t available. We tried several spelling variations and finally hit pay-dirt with “Chipur.”

And that leads to asking about your work and why you do what you do? What’s your story, Bill?

First of all, in addition to producing and writing for Chipur, I provide distance coaching and mentoring services. It flows beautifully using video, phone, email, and text.

I can remember having what I now know to be dissociative episodes when I was nine-years-old. There was so much more, but let’s just say something was up very early-on.

Somehow I managed to navigate through my childhood and youth quite well. But then came my junior year of college and all hell broke loose. Dang – sloppy drinking, anxiety and panic attacks, derealization, depersonalization, E.R. visits, intrusive thoughts, mood issues – every characteristic of Hades imaginable. And it continued at an awful intensity for some 10 years. I, nor anyone else, had a clue as to what was going down.

I checked myself in to a treatment center for compulsive alcohol use in 1984, and haven’t had a drop since. Still, the anxiety and all that came with it continued. I did all I could to find answers, and in 1989 was referred to the Anxiety and Depression Clinic at the University of Chicago Hospitals. I caught my first psychiatric diagnoses and began a meds regimen, which had darned-near immediate positive impact. No benzos, by the way. I also began some pretty intense psychotherapy.

So I continued on my recovery journey, as I furthered a marketing career. Fact was, though, an intense passion had been conceived and was growing within. I began a master’s program in counseling in 2004 at just shy of 50, and snagged my first license some two years later.

Why do I do what I do? ‘Cause I know how it feels to be lost in the woods, having no idea how to get out. It sucks. So if I can help someone in the same state of “lostness,” I’m in. And between my journey and training, I bring quite a bit to the healing table.

(To read more of Bill’s interview, click Bill White 6-14)
 
Photo courtesy of dsanchezagudelo

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10 Comments

  1. LaDonna says:

    What a great interview with a remarkable person! I love that he’s made a life, “gets it” and helps others find their own unique way – after all while we each have common threads the journey is unique for each of us. Like he says, “if he could chisel-out a life, so can I.” #inspiration #recoveryISlife

    • Beth says:

      Hi LaDonna,

      One of the things that came out of Bill’s interview is something you picked up on–we each have a uniquely individual offering for the universe. Once we figure out how to be of service, the rest somehow “just” falls into place.

      So glad you enjoyed Bill’s story. He’s a really terrific guy, and like so many of my online friends, one I can’t wait to meet face-to-face one day!

  2. I really enjoyed learning more about Bill through this interview. Thanks so much for sharing his gifts. With his life experience and training, he brings so much to the table with his knowledgeable about different approaches that can make a difference, plus being a an amazing recovery carrier! What a great series you have created here, Beth!

    • Beth says:

      Bill’s a character, isn’t he, Cathy? That’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most with this Recovery Carrier series–learning about the creative means and path that each of us takes in this recovery journey. I so admire all of you for the work you do to make recovery from addiction and mental illness just a bit easier for the ones who come behind us.

  3. Thanks for “having me on,” Beth. Really an honor, and hope we’ll touch some lives. After all, that’s the mission, isn’t it?

    Bill

  4. I love this interview, and I think Bill White is the greatest. As a colleague and friend, I have followed his work for several years, now. He is absolutely a Recovery Carrier!! Every one one of his blog posts – and there are hundreds – shares great wisdom, insight, doable steps, reliable resources – whatever it takes to fully flesh out his topic for the post. And he doesn’t’ sugar coat it, either – like he said in this interview, “Do yourself a big favor – shoot for acceptance (not acquiescence) and management v. being beaten-down by unrealistic expectations.” Thank you so much for sharing more of his story, Beth, and thank you, Bill, for being there with the facts, humanness, humor and hope to help those who’ve been where you’ve been.

    • Beth says:

      I hear ya, Lisa! If I wanted sugar-coating, I’d eat some Lucky Charms cereal! Bill is the real deal and I gratefully stand with him (and you!) on this journey of recovery.

      Thanks for always being there . . .

  5. Herby Bell says:

    What another breath of fresh air to find Bill White here in this summahtime interview, Beth.

    I’ve had the good fortune of finding, learning from and getting to know Bill White over some months…years?…now, and find him to be as knowledgeable, measured and dedicated a professional–anywhere.

    Surely he carries a healing recovery message to me and so much more with his integrated, no-nonsense approach to mental health care.

    Thank you for this interview with a generous and always down-to-Earth gift of humanity called Bill White.

    • Beth says:

      Herby, I have so enjoyed getting to know the four-corner touchstones of you, Bill, Lisa and Cathy. There is no particular order to my presentation of your stories but there is plenty of respect and gratitude for what each of you brings to our recovery table.

      Bill is a true pioneer when it comes to distance counseling those in need. His own recovery story is a “model program” too and I am so pleased to shout it from the rooftops!

      Thanks for continuing to contribute not only to my blog, but to the betterment of my journey!

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