- Welcome to SPRING - Embracing Change
- News from Headquarters - Message from RI President Joanne Lampey plus Annual Meeting and Annual Report
- May is Mental Health Awareness Month - Like a rising Phoenix, the Recovery Method gave me a new insight
- Stories of Hope - Every season is a time for hope
- Stories of Hope Audio - Elizabeth S. shares her story of achieving personal weight goals
- Wisdom of Dr. Low - Changing your predispositions
- Recovery Examples - A triviality of everyday life; Symptoms rise and fall; Great improvement over former days
- Roaming the Globe - Featuring Canada, the new SPANISH meeting, and India
- Members Corner - In recognition of our longtime members, featuring Elizabeth B and Kathryn W, plus our Poetry Corner
- In Memoriam - Mary Madeline Herbert McLean, Henrietta Maria Stattel
- Call for Submissions
WELCOME TO SPRING!
Spring is naturally a time of great change. After the long winter, with flowers blooming all around us, and nature’s focus on their new born young, spring is one of the most exciting and anticipated seasons of the year. It can make us all feel more open to inviting change, but sometimes the transition from one season to the next can be difficult.
In life, there are always ups and downs, gains and losses, confusion and fear. On average, we cannot avoid change or the accompaniment of the emotions around it. Change, as John F Kennedy quoted, is a law of life.
Changing your mindset – your power of choice or what Dr. Low referred to as, "changing your predispositions,” – is a power tool in the game of life. Our resilience can only grow stronger as we embrace change and manage the challenges we face using the daily practice of the RI method.
(In terms of Dr. Low’s hierarchy of concepts, the three philosophies of life reigns at the top. If your predisposition is one of romanto-intellectualism, then you will find yourself getting into fearful and angry temper with every new change. If it is one of realism, you may not be relaxed if the situation calls for difficult changes, but you will avoid working it up into an extreme state of either despair or hysteria and take considered action).
Mark your calendars for the next BOOK STUDY!!
Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 2pm Pacific and Arizona, 3pm Mountain, 4pm Central, and 5pm Eastern. If you have attended previous Book Studies you do not need to sign up again. Otherwise, please go to https://davesdecafe.com to sign up. You will receive a reminder email the week before. (This is a Zoom meeting. The email will have the meeting code - no password - as well as dial-in instructions for those who wish to participate by phone.)
Details to be announced in June 2022. See you then!
News from Headquarters
2021 – A Year in Review
The past year has been an interesting study in human behavior, global issues impacting local ones, and how we all deal with challenges forced upon us by the external environment. As an organization, Recovery International has been resilient because of the people involved. Board, staff, leaders, members and donors have all rallied to continue offering meetings, welcoming newcomers, and provide much-needed support to keep our doors open and programs running. At the office we are consumed with operations and tasks like reports, scheduling, accounting, state registrations, keeping the database updated, processing contributions, restocking the bookstore, responding to questions, and providing customer service. But we do it all with a purpose - to help poeple improve their mental health!
More than 60,000 attendees joined in our meetings from all over the world last year. We had Zoom and phone participants from Africa, India, Ireland, Canada, and Israel. We opened a new Spanish language Zoom meeting in addition to the ones run by our Puerto Rico colleagues. The Power Your Mind youth program has been featured in several conferences and piloted in schools in four different cities.
However, the number of meetings and people served are still only half of what they were before the pandemic, and meeting contributions are down by two-thirds. Therefore, we are even more grateful than ever to those who are able to contribute a little extra through higher-level memberships and philanthropic gifts. This generosity is what enables us to support our leaders in the field, offer newcomer and leader training, and work to modernize our programs and materials.
Most heartwarming, though, are the stories of success we hear every day—gratitude from people who have benefited from the Recovery Method. You will read many of these stories in this and other issues of the Reporter. That is why we are here: to bring hope to people who were anxious and discouraged, to bring peace to people who used to be in temper, and to help you and others achieve better mental health.
With warm regards and deep appreciation,
Joanne Lamprey, President
Sandra K. Wilcoxon, CEO
Save the Date
SAVE THE DATE for the RI Annual Meeting
Saturday, May 21 (90 minutes)
11 am Pacific / 12pm Mountain / 1pm Central / 2pm Eastern
Join Board, Staff, Leaders and Members to recap 2021and hear what's new for the future.
Free Via Zoom - Register to receive the Zoom link
CLICK HERE for our 2021 Annual Report and Donor Honor Roll.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Like a rising Phoenix, the Recovery Method gave me a new insight.
On entering college, I was imagining beautiful dreams for my life, but I was struck by mental health challenges in the middle of studies. Mental health challenges weret paralyzing and emotionally draining. I experienced a roller-coaster of symptoms and I got help from medication, but it brought me no joy, no happiness and basically no cure. There was a certain amount of restlessness underlying the calmness I showed on my face.
After suffering through various entanglements of life, I was introduced to the Eklavya group in Pune, India by my psychologist friend. This group uses the Recovery Method. It's a very simple method. In four steps, you are relieved of your anxiety and restlessness. It gives you a unique solution and is a safe and trustworthy method. Every Saturday we have our group meeting. It gave me a new life, like a transformation of ashes to a rising Phoenix.
RI's Recovery Method is an international program, easily accessible online, by phone or in person, that can bring out the best in every suffering individual. People with mental health challenges should take advantage of it.
This May during Mental Health Awareness Month, I appeal to all such people to come forward and take help for their emotional turmoil. We don't come across such genuine helpful groups very often in life. It's just one click or phone call away!
Dr. Pallavi Gambhir, Pune, India
A version of this story appeared in the Daily Maharashtra Times, Pune Plus on 6th October 2021 and can be viewed by going to https://bit.ly/3IdVV4g
Stories of Hope
Every season is a time for HOPE
This oil painting depicts a time in my life that I wouldn’t have survived without Recovery International. On November 1, 2021, my son passed away after a long struggle. Brandon, a smart sensitive young man, was a veteran with PTSD.
Before practicing the RI Method, which includes listening to other apprentices and reading Dr. Low’s writings, I had an excessive sense of responsibility and had not even grasped the concept that I have no control over outer environment. (This includes close loved ones.) Carrying on despite this tremendous loss, I remind myself of the spot, “Some people have a passion for self-distrust,” taking comfort in the realization that I gave my son all the love and support a parent can provide a young adult.
I painted this scene showing my granddaughter and me walking with Brandon’s service dog, into a forest with Brandon's ashes. My husband and others were walking in back, and someone took a photo of us. I envisioned Brandon at once with us and around us.
To conclude on a positive plan for my future (Decide, plan and act.), I shall become involved with Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) or help at a local mental health organization. I will live the rest of my life being group-minded, making a business of my mental health, which involves living in the program of RI, and endorsing myself like a trickling tributary of the Shenandoah.
Longtime member Elizabeth S.
(A full-size image of the painting can be seen by going to https://bit.ly/3Ifq03J
Wisdom of Dr. Low
If I speak of a philosophy, I have in mind the philosophy of life. I know three philosophies of this kind only: realism, romanticism and intellectualism. If you coddle your feelings, you will act as a romantic; if you pamper your thoughts, your conduct will be that of an intellectual. In either case, your action will be guided by the subjective promptings of your inner experiences instead of by the objective requirements of outer reality. If you were a realist, you would give first consideration to the actual facts of the prevailing situation and would not hesitate to suppress your thoughts or shelve your feelings if they conflicted with the realities of the situation.
Realists, romantics or intellectuals all respond with aroused feelings to an imposition and with critical thoughts to the persons who prolong or aggravate the frustration. In point of inner responses, men are alike. They differ only in their readiness to convert their inner responses into open reactions. If your philosophy is realistic, you will exercise control; if it is romantic, your feelings may be expressed the moment they are aroused; if it is intellectual, your thoughts will tend to be voiced the very instant they are born.
My patients, prior to receiving training in Recovery, have been stubbornly romantic about their symptoms and emphatically intellectual about their temper. They coddled their defeatist feelings of "really" being exhausted and of "really" not having slept a wink for months, and pampered their thoughts of having the "right" to wail and complain. But persistent and systematic training in the realistic principles of Recovery is the means of ridding people of romanticism and intellectualism in dealing with their common inner experiences.
From Realism, Romanticism, Intellectualism in Mental Health Through Will Training (edited for brevity)
Step 1: Recently one afternoon, as we were getting ready to take our children to the park, my husband thought of a last-minute item he wanted to purchase in preparation for an upcoming road-trip. He began searching on his phone for local products and retailers, and wanted to make a few calls, all while we were asking the children to get dressed and get everyone prepared to leave the house.
Step 2: The mental symptoms I had were: angry temper and racing thoughts (“Why on earth does he always leave things until the very last minute? Does he really have to deal with searching for this item right now, while we’re right in the middle of trying to get the kids out the door?”). The physical symptom I experienced was muscle tenseness.
Step 3: I spotted right away that I was getting worked up and that I needed to use my Recovery. I used the following spotting tools:
• There are no right or wrongs in the trivialities of daily life, and every aspect of this was a triviality.
• People do things that annoy, not to annoy.
• Don’t work a triviality into an emergency (it doesn’t matter if it takes us an extra five minutes to arrive at the park).
• Calm begets calm and temper begets temper.
Step 4: In former days, before my Recovery training, I would have indulged myself in anger, because I would have insisted that I was right, and my husband was wrong. I would have indulged myself in feeling personally hurt that my husband was ignoring my wants and didn’t care about the plans I had made for the family. I might have worked myself up to crying, stomach discomfort, and more tenseness throughout the body. Instead, when I quickly noticed myself getting worked up and quickly used the spotting tools, my temper was controlled quickly, too. As it turned out, my husband only needed just a few minutes to make the phone call and then we were off to the park. I let the working-up process go and by the time we arrived at the park I had almost forgotten that I had even been upset just moments prior and we had a wonderful time.
Danielle C., Burnaby, BC, Canada
Symptoms rise and fall and run their course as long as we do not attach danger to them
I had a Recovery AHA! moment one afternoon when after work, when I needed to go buy a new ink cartridge, I was thinking, "I don't want to drive in the traffic ... I don't want to go in the rain ..." And suddenly, I realized that I was attaching a lot of danger to driving in average traffic and a light rain. I became aware that I attach danger to almost everything!
I felt freed up from my fears, and it changed my whole perspective.
Fran G./New Orleans, LA/area 75
Click on the icons below for more examples and stories from RI members.
Roaming the Globe
Kudos to the Recovery Canada Board members for all you do to help mental wellness thrive through Recovery!
Recovery Canada Meetings
Area 201 Recovery groups have been hosting meetings via Zoom. One Zoom link is used for all the meetings.
- Burnaby group: 1pm on Tuesday afternoons. Contact Sue at Burnabyanxietyrecovery@gmail.com
- Port Coquitlam group: 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings. Contact Teesa at email@example.com
- Delta group: 7pm on Thursday evenings. Contact Gilles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly meetings start on Tuesday April 5th, 2022 at 1:30 PM. The address is St. Cuthbert Anglican Church, 11601 82nd Avenue, North Delta, BC.
- Mount Forest, ON group: 7:30pm on Monday evenings. Contact Donna at 519-323-6272 or at email@example.com
- Windsor, ON group: 7:30pm on Monday evenings. Contact Cindy at 519-326-3635 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a big shout out to all our friends up there in Canada! (https://bit.ly/3KN8qWh)
REUNIÓN EN ESPAÑOL
Nos complace anunciar una nueva reunion en linea en espanol los viernes con sede en San Diego. Este fue un verdadero esfuerzo de equipo con la ayuda de nuestra nueva asistente de oficina bilingi.ie, Valeria, quien trabajo con los lideres de grupo Rex y Fedora para traducir materiales para usar en la presentacion en linea. Esta se une a las reuniones organizadas por nuestros lideres de Puerto Rico para ofrecer otra opcion para aquellos que buscan reuniones en espanol:
• Lunes 1 :30 p.m. hora del Atlantico a traves de Zoom ID 857 572 34 965 PW 123456, Contacto: Letti (787) 361-6067
• Jueves 6:30 p.m. hora del Atlantico via conferencia telefonica, Comuniquese con Martiza (787) 462-7988
• Los viernes a las 2 p.m., hora del este, a traves de Zoom, llame a Valeria al 619-383-2084 para registrarse.
Para obtener ayuda con las reuniones en espanol, comuniquese con Valeria a Espanol@recoveryinternational.org o al 619-383-2084
We are pleased to announce a new online Spanish meeting on Fridays based in San Diego. This was a real team effort aided by our new bilingual office assistant, Valerie, who worked with Group Leaders Rex and Fedora to translate materials to use in the on line presentation. This joins the meetings run by our Puerto Rico leaders to offer another option for those seeking Spanish language meetings:
• Mondays 1:30 p.m. Atlantic Time Zone via Zoom ID 857 572 34 965 PW 123456, Contact: Letti (787) 361-6067
• Thursdays 6:30 p.m. Atlantic Time Zone via conference call, Contact Martiza (787) 462-7988
• Fridays at 2 p.m. Eastern time via Zoom call Valerie at 619-383-2084 to register.
For assistance with the Spanish meetings, contact Valerie at Espanol@recoveryinternational.org or 619-383-2084.
Felicitarnos por el Esfuerzo
Quiero felicitar al grupo de San Diego por la iniciativa, planificación , y voluntariado. Gracias por iniciar una reunión en Español usando la plataforma de zoom. A cada una de las personas que han hecho esto posible, gracias. Están cerrando la barrera del idioma y dando la oportunidad a mas personas a auto ayudarse. Hay muchas oportunidades para la auto felicitación. Cuando nos felicitamos podemos confirmar que estamos haciendo algo positivo por nuestra salud mental, ver que estamos practicando y sobre todo que el Método Funciona. Se que tienen mucho porque felicitarse. Una vez más muchas felicidades por todo su esfuerzo.
Enhorabuena! Y muchas gracias por su sentido de grupo. Adelante!
Special congratulations to the San Diego team for their initiative, planning and volunteering. Thank you for starting a meeting in Spanish using the Zoom platform. To each one contributing to making this possible, thanks. You are closing the language barrier and giving many others the opportunity for self-help.
There are many opportunities for self-endorsement. When we endorse, we confirm that we are doing something positive for our mental health. We affirm that we are practicing, and we are stating that the Method works. We know you have many things to endorse yourselves for.
Once again, congratulations for all your efforts. Thanks for your group spirit. And keep on!
Members of the Recovery group in India formed the nongovernmental organization called Eklavaya Foundation for Mental Health to promote the principles of Dr. Low's Recovery Method.
Up to now, they have been spreading the word in the Marathi speaking states of Maharashtra and Goa. They are now reaching out to the states of South India.
In other news, the founder of Recovery groups in India, Dr. Anil Vartak wrote an article that was published by Sakal Newspaper (approx. 1.5 million circulation) on February 28, Dr. Low's Birthday, about Dr. Low.. This is an excerpted English translation.
Dr. Abraham Low developed the ‘Recovery Method’ to help people control their symptoms - February 28 is Dr. Low's birthday
Around ninety years ago, persons with severe mental disorders had limited options, to get admitted to a mental hospital and receive some benefit from shock treatment. Dr. Abraham Low was in charge of the mental hospitals in the state of Illinois, USA. While observing his patients closely, he realized that after patients were discharged from the hospital into society, their symptoms would reappear and the patient would have to be readmitted to the hospital.
Recovery tools for patients
Compassionate Dr. Low thought this needed to be changed. Dr. Low realized that his patients could control their thoughts and behavior and thereby control their symptoms before they became full-blown. He developed the Recovery Method in such a way that patients could conduct their own groups. In his extensive writing about the Recovery Method, he discussed in depth, the tools that could be used when patients were experiencing instability of emotions and thoughts.
Principles for peace in life
Even though this method was originally developed for persons with mental illness, everyone who is experiencing stress can benefit from it. The Recovery Method helps people to cope with single day-to-day small events and instability arising from them rather than handling the entire problem. It gives a different perspective towards disturbing events and helps to develop resilience in the long term. The use of appropriate and straightforward Recovery tools at the time of disturbing events is the core aspect of the Recovery Method. Some of the selected Recovery tools are: “maintaining my internal peace is my supreme goal." “Excuse rather than accuse.” “Do it in part acts." “People do things that irritate us, not to irritate us.: “Lower your expectations and your performance will rise.” “Setback is a part of life." “Strive for peace, order and balance.” “Fearful anticipation is worse than the realization.” “I cannot control the external environment, but I can control my reaction to it."
In the case of physical health, when we think of healthy habits, we think of proper diet, exercise, and sleep habits. In the same way, for good mental health habits, the Recovery Method and recovery thought can be useful even for common people.
Great improvement over former days
I was 22 when Recovery saved my life. I have come millions of miles in Recovery and have been a member for a long time. I am now 70. I've been out of the hospital for 34 years. Every day of my life, I get up very early in the mornings and endorse myself. I had suffered from deep lowered feelings for years and years a long time ago. I never get lowered feelings any longer.
Five years ago, I had breast cancer and got through it with the tools of the program. Michael B. is my leader and he runs Recovery weekly at the West Islip Our Lady of Lourdes Church, NY. Great Leader!
My favorite spot is moving my muscles, by going to the gym every morning and working with weights.
P.S. I am in training to become a Recovery leader!
Elizabeth B., Ronkonkoma, NY
Elizabeth tips her graduation cap from Stony Brook University, New York, in 2015, to her longtime RI practice. Grateful!
Grateful long-time member, Kathryn W., Portland OR
Self-Led not Symptom Led
In 1986, I attended my first Recovery meeting, led by Bobbi M. I traveled 30 miles each Saturday to attend this meeting where I had support and understanding and was introduced to the works of Dr. Low. Eventually I became an assistant leader. The first spot I learned was, “It is distressing, not dangerous." For a while, I led my own group in Hillsboro, OR. I was inactive for a while, but remembered many of the spots. The "Will to Flexibility" was the most important one for me for several years.
I began having a problem with non-epileptic-seizures, this is also a conversion disorder in conventional psychiatry. I read of many similar neuropsychiatric problems in Dr. Low's book and was able to overcome the non-epileptic seizures through muscle control, impulse control, and thought control. I have not had a seizure since 2000. My neurologist and psychologist were amazed, because most people do not even admit to having a psychological problem causing seizures.
I would recommend RI to anyone who wants to improve daily life and relationships. I have been active in RI for 36 years. My newest spot is, "Self-Led not Symptom Led," and I also use the “Will to Flexibility” a great deal these days.
Recovery is above-ery.
It helps us rise above the trivial irks of life.
It teaches how to opt and go for the perks in life.
A positive peace-filled way of being, secured by heeding Dr. Low,
is our reward for careful reading and learning all we need to know.
His tool kit is endless,
his savvy spots, splendid.
They lift us out of lowered feelings
and vicious cycles to allow for healing.
Spotting is our practice to see
that secure and peaceful we can be.
Dr. Low tuned in to the flow of life.
Dr. Low taught us the means to thrive.
Mary Madeline Hebert McLean Area 75 (Louisiana)
Madeline was active in Recovery International in the early 2000's and also organized a regional conference including groups from Texas, Georgia and New Orleans. Although she struggled with her mental health throughout her life, her time in RI offered her stabilizing tools and purpose. Thank you so much for all of your service!
Henrietta Maria Stattel Area 32 (DC, MD, VA)
Henrietta immigrated to the US from the Netherlands and attended her first Recovery meeting in the 1960s. For many years she served as Group Leader, Assistant Area Leader, Area Treasurer, and coordinated many Recovery social events. We lovingly recall her sense of humor and the disciplined way she handled 5-minute phone calls.
Call for submissions!
Have you or someone you know dedicated 25 or more years to practicing the RI Method?
Help us honor our longtime members here in Members Corner! We are going to feature our long-serving heroes in each issue of the Reporter.
- A photo
- A short description
- What challenge/problem did RI solve for you?
- What are your favorite spots?
- Why would you recommend RI?
- Highlight the meeting you attended (City, day, time and any leadership roles taken on)
Please also submit your Stories of Hope, Examples and local news for Roaming the Globe for the next Reporter.
We would like thank all of our contributors, without whom the Recovery Reporter would not be possible. Before sending submissions, please read the following submission guidelines.
- Please keep submissions as short as possible, roughly 3 paragraphs in length, which is approximately 300 words.
- Please identify all submissions with first name and last name initial only, area number (if you know it), town, and state or country.
- Photos: Please if possible submit clear photos whenever possible.
- Please no bold or italics.
- Please adhere to the deadlines for each issue.
- When the volume of submissions exceeds our page limits, it may be unfortunately necessary to exclude some submissions.
- Please send only submissions pertinent to the Recovery Reporter
PRIVACY: To protect the privacy and confidentiality of all members, please use only first name and the initial of the last name of people. Please be aware that the content you submit is NOT private because we cannot control how it is shared and therefore it may be accessible to the public.
The views and opinions expressed by authors of articles appearing in the Reporter are those of the author of those articles and they are not necessarily the views and opinions of Recovery International or anyone affiliated with Recovery International.
Email your submission to email@example.com.
Mailed items should be sent to Headquarters:
1415 W. 22nd St., Tower Floor
Oak Brook IL 60523