Hoping you're making great summer memories. Stay safe and have fun.
Finding some calm: Making great memories
Focusing on our recovery practice helps us to feel calm, grounded and safe. How can we achieve the goal of peace, our supreme value, as Dr. Low teaches?
Certainly, summer is a great time of year to be outside and soak up the sunshine, which naturally makes us feel good. There are plenty of opportunities for meeting with family and friends to enjoy the good weather. We all know that when we recall favorite memories of summers past we also feel good. Going to the beach, long walks in nature and pleasant drives through the country are time well spent.
When we are distracted by intellectualisms or romanticisms, we can stop for a minute and take a realistic look at our thoughts. Exaggerated fears and harsh judgments get in the way of feeling calm. Let’s check them at the door! This will make room for us to experience calm, joy and fellowship with others. Let’s make summer a time to relax into realism.
Your editors, Dave and Helen
Mark your calendars for the next BOOK STUDY!
2pm Pacific and Arizona / 3pm Mountain / 4pm Central / 5pm Eastern and Puerto Rico / 6pm Atlantic / 10pm Ireland
“Now, what is the goal of the patient? He wants to be well, to get well, to regain his health. ... And since now nervous symptoms are due to lack of relaxation, the thing seems clearly to point to the fact that if you want to get rid of your nervous symptoms, you must establish, or re-establish, relaxation. You can call it peace. You can call it equilibrium. You can call it adjustment, but, essentially, it is relaxation.” ("Quick Comfort Versus Long-Range Relaxation," Mental Health Through Will Training. pgs. 222)
We can remain relaxed by being aware of Dr. Low’s concepts throughout the year.
If you received an email for the previous book study, you are on the list. Otherwise, please email email@example.com to be added to the list. 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.)
News from Headquarters
The Best Kept Secret in Mental Health
Many of us already know that Recovery International is the best kept secret in mental health. But we don’t want RI to be a secret! When we find value in something, we naturally want to share it with others and help spread the good news. We tell our friends and family because we want them to benefit from it, too. Many of you, of course, have already been helping others discover RI. Now, as the world opens post-pandemic, we are asking you to help us spread the word about RI beyond friends and family. We are making up print marketing materials that you can share at places you visit – flyers to hang on bulletin boards at coffee shops, libraries, grocery stores, community and worship centers. There are pamphlets and postcards you can display in public locations. We have materials in Spanish, too. They direct people to our website and have our phone numbers so folks can reach out and learn more about us.
If you want to have a table at a local resource fair or public event, just let us know and we are happy to send you materials. We are adding to our public Facebook and Instagram pages posts that can be easily shared on social media. Or create your own! We are asking you to help promote the news that RI is here to help. All you need to do is email or phone Everlean at the Oak Brook office and ask her to mail you marketing materials. We have some pre-packaged in envelopes ready to be sent out.
Or you can tell her specifically what you would like. (The materials are free to you, of course.) You can reach Everlean at 312-337-5661 or Everlean@recoveryinternational.org. Please be an ambassador for RI, if you are able. Let’s help more people find relief from symptoms and greater peace in their lives, as we grow the RI community together. Thank you! With great appreciation,
Karen G. Hall, CEO
Annual Report Correction
We make every effort to keep donation records accurate and to acknowledge everyone who gives to RI. Our apologies for inadvertently leaving off Margaret Greenblatt under the "Silver" category of the honor roll. If you believe your donations qualified you for the honor roll, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gratitude to our Life Members!
We'd like to take a moment to acknowledge all of our life members. Life membership shows your long-term commitment to Recovery and also supports meetings, programs, and future endeavors.
Welcome to the world: It's a boy!
Bienvenido al mundo. ¡Es un niño!
Valerie Blanco, administradora de la oficina de RI en San Diego, se convirtió en mamá el 29 de mayo de 2023. Iván Alejandro Herrera Blanco, pesó 8.25 lbs y 21.9" de largo. Ambos se encuentran bien.
Stories of Hope
My Panic Life
When I was informed all employees over 40 would be terminated on the next Friday, I began to get worked up. I was 68 and I knew it would be difficult to find another job at my age. I was coming out of my office on the second floor when the world around me started spinning. I grabbed for the railing to walk down the stairs but had to sit down, the world was spinning too fast. My marketing manager walked by. She spotted
extreme fear and told me to put my head down between my legs, but that didn't stop the dizziness, my pounding heart and me wanting to run somewhere, anywhere to get away from the fear that engulfed me. I was sent to the hospital but when I got there all my symptoms had diminished and all my vitals were normal. "You had a panic attack," said the young doctor who treated me and recommended a therapist. I saw a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and an licensed clinical social worker. I tried several medications but none seemed to work. Then, I found RI and attended my first meeting in Pacific Beach, CA. As I drove from Point Loma over the bridge to the meeting, it felt like the bridge was closing in on me and I shared that with others. I kept going to these meetings and believing the teaching. It was my "will" that took over in a crisis. From 2000 to 2023 I haven't had any episodes until May. When I would go to bed at night and lie down, I could feel a spin coming off. At that moment, in the silence of my head I said, "Get out. You're not stopping here. You're finished and I'm removing you." It stopped. Why did it start again? I'm 86 now. Life is good. I know the solution and that's all that matters. I wouldn't be where I am today without RI.
Linda R., Nashville, TN
Reconnecting with Recovery
I started attending Recovery meetings in 1998. I had been experiencing panic attacks infrequently since I was 18 years old (I am now 63). I didn't know what they were and couldn't describe them to anyone in a meaningful way. The symptoms became increasingly stronger in my late 20's. I was working full time as a business manager and had gone back to college part-time. I was functioning well in work but I was experiencing distressing symptoms outside work. I had symptoms on buses, in restaurants, on planes and when I was away from home.
I read an article that I saw in a daily newspaper of a businessman who wrote about his experience in Recovery. He described symptoms very similar to mine. After that I joined Recovery in Tallaght (Ireland). I read the book Mental Health through Will Training by Dr. Low at home between Recovery meetings. I learnt the Recovery method and within 2 months of attending meetings weekly, I was close to being symptom free. When I would experience a symptom, I was able to recite to myself one or more of the secure statements that I had learnt, and the symptoms would reduce or go altogether. It required continuous practice.
I attended meetings for a further eight years. Although I felt well, it was important to me to support other people that came to Recovery. I was a leader of the Tallaght meeting for 4 years. After I left in 2006, I continued to be symptom free for a further 10 years. Then I retired from work and shortly after, in 2018, I went to a family wedding in New Zealand. Symptoms returned in the lead up to the trip. My general physician prescribed medication for my trip. I have had symptoms for the last 4 years.
During Covid, I was unable to access Recovery meetings although I knew they were available online. I rejoined on online meeting on Tuesdays in late 2022. I am becoming re-acquainted with the tools of Recovery and it's wonderful being back with the community of people who understand my symptoms. My physician prescribed medication for anxiety. I know with the Recovery Method, I can look forward to a more peaceful life ahead. I intend to be a Recovery member for good now. The only regret I have is that I gave Recovery up when I was feeling well. For me, it's important to maintain the practice in everyday life.
Claire B., former Group Leader, Dublin, Ireland
Bonus Alleviation of Symptoms
Guys, this is merely food for thought.... I recently had occasion to take a call from an individual inquiring about RI. He wished to tackle his fear of flying. It was during this conversation that I was able to talk about my seriously debilitating arachnophobia. And trust me, I have many hilarious stories of just how bad my phobia was.
Now, I came to RI about 3 years ago to learn to deal specifically with my depression and anxiety. What I have discovered is that my phobia evaporated about 2 years ago. With zero, conscious effort, I hasten to add. My belief is that my phobia was, unconsciously and incidentally, rectified as a byproduct of my efforts to deal with my anxiety and depression. I also use to have very specified and targeted anger issues. I have also been relieved of this affliction as a result of using Dr. Low to tackle my depression and anxiety. I would be interested in knowing if anyone has had similar, bonus alleviations, as it were as a result of exercising the method...?
Declan M , Group Leader, Shannon Ireland
Comments can be sent directly to Declan at info@RecoveryIreland.ie
Stories of Hope Audio Series
Universal Language of Hope
One year after discovering the worldwide community of RI online, Dickson from Kampala, Uganda shares his experience, strength and hope. After suffering from panics, the RECOVERY practice gave him the tools needed to regain his balance as an average, happy member of society.
Click the image to play the audio
Wisdom of Dr. Low
Confused and Absurd Philosophies
I feel tired; hence, I am tired, and I think my muscles are exhausted; hence, they are. On the basis of this philosophy, patients are convinced that what they feel is real and what they think is right. And it is the supposed reality of what they feel and the presumed rightness of what they think which keeps patients from ironing and dressing and preparing the breakfast. Protesting solemnly that their nerves are "incapable of performing their jobs," they do a perfect job at coddling their feelings and pampering their thoughts. Pronouncing their coddled feelings real and their pampered thoughts right, they prepare the groundwork for manufacturing a self-made incapacity.
I want you to know that this is a philosophy, confused and absurd it is true, but a philosophy nevertheless. My patients claim they suffer from frightening sensations, overpowering impulses, torturing thoughts and devitalized feelings. But I tell them that this is a half-truth at best; that what they actually suffer from is - their philosophy. And if their philosophy is based on the assumption that, in their spells and tantrums, their feelings are real and their thoughts are right, well, that is precisely the philosophy of temper.
Mental Health Through Will Training, Realism, Romanticism, Intellectualism, page 75 in the 1997 edition
Frustrations with Technology
I was having trouble with my computer. The phone support people could not help me, so I brought it to the computer store. The person at the store couldn’t solve my problem either.
I felt like I wanted to cry. I was irritated with the people who were helping me. I felt tense and nervous. I was disappointed.
I felt that I must have made a mistake somehow. I felt wrong, which was fearful temper. Then I judged them as wrong, which was angry temper. How could such a big company not solve my problem? I spotted that the people at the store were not wrong; they were average. I had the courage to make a mistake. I could bear the discomfort and drop the judgment. Judgment is temper, and I can’t afford the temper. I endorsed myself for my spotting effort, for going to the store, for controlling my speech muscles, and for giving a sincere gesture of fellowship rather than a sincere gesture of hostility.
Before Recovery, I probably would not be using a computer. It is something new and a lot of frustration. I couldn’t bear the discomfort. I would have had a lot of fearful and angry temper. If I had the impulse to be rude to the people in the store, I would have been rude and had an outburst of anger. Then I would be embarrassed and blame myself and really go into symptoms, like eye twitching, air hunger, palpitations, and nervous stomach.
Martha Z., Detroit, MI
(Martha and her two daughters, all Recovery practitioners, were featured in the 2023 Annual Report in the Spring 2023 Reporter.)
Decision To Bear Discomfort
"On our way to church one Sunday my husband told me he would have to stay after the services to attend a meeting. I instantly became angry. I told him he should have let me know about the meeting earlier as I had a roast, with potatoes in the oven and had asked our daughter and her husband to come for dinner promptly at 12:30.
“My husband suggested that I drive the car home. He said that he would come home with one of the other members of the congregation. To this I replied, in temper, 'but you know how I hate to drive in heavy traffic.'
"At this point we were about to enter the church so our discussion was terminated. After we had taken our seats, I noticed that I had symptoms
- hand tremors, preoccupation, and I felt very self-conscious. Realizing, then, that I had been indulging in temper, I made up my mind that I would solidly reject the idea that my husband was wrong for not informing me earlier about the meeting. I decided that I would 'bear the discomfort' of driving home alone and of keeping my husband's dinner warm for him until he arrived.
"Within a few minutes after I decided to discard my temper the symptoms left and I was able to appreciate the services. Before Recovery I would have vacillated back and forth between blaming my husband and not blaming him and the symptoms would have gone on and on."
Ann L., Chicago, IL
Dr. Low's Comment: None because the example speaks for itself. It is to the point, brief and well modeled after the official pattern.
Click on the icons below for more examples and stories from RI members.
Roaming the Globe
David V., Vicky J. and Kristen S. took turns manning the all-day community tent non-profit informational booth during Allegan, Michigan’s BridgeFest 2023.
Jouie A. and Jenna S. promote Recovery International at Tarzana Treatment Center in the Los Angeles area.
Greetings from Recovery Ireland. I’d like to catch you up on how things have gone from before the pandemic to the present. We were opening our 28th physical meeting in 2019 when Covid restrictions were announced. As happened in throughout Ireland, we had to close all of our meetings due to the pandemic. Two weeks later, we opened our first Zoom meetings and at one point we had an online Recovery meeting daily. Now that society has reopened, there are fourteen weekly in-person meetings and four weekly Zoom meetings.
Click the image to play the audio
People express such gratitude that Recovery is there. I received a letter from a lady who said that Recovery saved her. She no longer attends the meetings but she uses Recovery every day. It was lovely to read it and it was a wonderful endorsement of the Recovery principles. Free will offerings are down from before, but we are able to run our operations on the contributions we get.
We had a national conference last year, but we are not sure that we will have one this year because Recovery Ireland funds most of the conference costs and our budget is tight. People are grateful that we have Zoom because it gives us coverage throughout Ireland. People are also joining from the UK, Australia, Canada, Uganda, Belgium, and the United States. People from Ireland attend meetings in the US as well.
We particularly appreciate the people who attend our meetings from the United States regularly. They bring a different perspective and different spots to our meetings. So, we continue to move on. You can’t keep a good thing like Recovery down.
Charles Kelly, Recovery Ireland Area Group Leader
Eklavya Foundation for Mental Health, a not-for-profit, offers Self-Help Group support through virtual and hybrid meetings in English and Marathi. It does not provide medical services but discusses mental health issues of persons with mental illness and extends support to care providers such as family and friends. The Recovery self-help support group is mediated by experienced volunteers.
To reach out, the foundation is bringing out the online newsletter to contribute to a national support infrastructure for community and self care. Patients and caregivers can share their creative work and write stories of their recovery as well as recovery of others in this venue. For information, email email@example.com
Chimney P., Pune, India
Thank you for your service, Jack!
Jack S. of Borro Park, Brooklyn, NY is 83 years young and has been a grateful member and leader of Recovery, Inc. since 1969. For 51 years Jack has served his local community as both Recovery member and leader. Referred to as “Uncle Jack” by many, he says his 3 favorite spottings are:
- Symptoms are distressing, not dangerous.
- Be sympathetic, not sentimental.
- The body, mind and soul is a self-healing organism…so smile at the temper you are producing!
He trained in Cleveland under Marie B., and in NYC under Gertrude S., and is very grateful for their service and leadership. Recovery Inc. helped Jack face, tolerate and endure both successes and failures, forgive himself and others, and get along better with others. He warmly welcomes you to his ZOOM meeting on Tuesdays at 7:15 EST: ID 888-472-4293, code 3354749.
To lead or not to lead?
Before I attended my first meeting, I was in the throes of clinical depression mounting up to a nervous breakdown. I had only two opinions: commit myself to a psychiatric facility or end it all. I was desperate for relief. A friend of a friend told me about RI and how it helped her to get better. So, I took a chance and attended. I would have done just about anything to get well. It was initially hard to grasp the readings, spots and the basic method. It took quite a while to be able to spot and practice.
Both the group leader and area leader took me under their wings. This was when meetings were face to face. I attended each and every meeting after that. I felt hopeful after a long time of fear and having constant insecure thoughts. One evening (about 6 months later), my leader made an announcement. I was to be the new Area Leader. I was startled. Me, an area leader? Impossible!
After all the time that I was given support from the group, how could I possibly say no? I was terrified. How will I be received? What if I make mistakes or say the wrong things? I'm not ready. I accepted anyway. My will said YES.
That was my first step towards leadership. At that time when leadership training was held in Chicago face-to-face, my leader insisted that I attend. I listened intently to how leaders got their start and how important it is to be patient, trusting my basic functions, to be myself, to expect to make mistakes. To be humble and kind, and most importantly, to be average (what a wonderful /relief / concept) not perfect.
To top it all: when my group leader needed to step down, she then approached me to take her place. I was speechless and again had trepidation. What else could I do? I accepted and the rest is history!!
P.S. My personal benefits as a Group Leader: less frequent and milder setbacks, strengthening my nervous constitution, lower my standards, being group-minded, less self-conscience, less professional medical care, a strong sense of accomplishment, and much more.
RI staff is most eager to train you for leadership. It's there for the taking. Expand your horizons and try it. You might enjoy it.
Linda W., Telephone Leader, South Carolina
Peace and Serenity
Hello, I was hoping I can share my late fathers writing with you and RI members. My father wrote this for RI members before he passed. He helped so many who suffered from mental ailments. He was a dedicated RI member for over 50 years and former leader originally from Buffalo, NY to residing in Evergreen Park, IL and finally Crestwood, IL. Thank you for the consideration.
"Let us remember today to believe in security not danger, hope, not despair. That we can excuse ourselves and others for shortcomings not accuse. Especially, we can remember that temper is our worst enemy. We can Look upon this day and allow for courage to move our muscles and to step out boldly. We can train our wills not to complain and be humble as we face this day of work and service for others. We can wear the mask and anticipate the future with joy in our hearts. Lastly, and most of all, let us remember to endorse for our efforts and just for today have the bonus of peace and serenity."
Peace and Goodness, The late William G. Jackson (1928-2013)
Submitted by William’s loving daughter, Juliana
Overcoming my Fears
I lived with OCD all my life and I am a very nervous person. Since I have been attending the Recovery meetings, I accomplished a lot. I got out of my comfort zone and overcame my fears. I used to be afraid to drive alone or on the highways. But now, I don’t have to pull over and say that I could not make it or find another way to avoid those roads. I used to feel safer when my wife came with me. Now, I feel I can go anywhere without the fear of thinking I can’t do it.
I also got married, which I did not believe that I ever would do, and I worked two jobs despite my problems. I talk to people now but before my Recovery, I was afraid to interact with others. And I used Recovery when I was diagnosed with cancer, not a triviality, but the Recovery tools helped me get through it. I faced my fears because of my Recovery training. I was taught from Dr. Low’s books and meetings to do the things I fear and hate to do.
After five years of attending Recovery meetings, I became an Area Leader for 131, NY (Suffolk) when the previous Area Leader stepped down. It is not an easy job but if you read Dr. Low’s books and practice, you also can overcome your fears and get yourself out of your comfort zone.
Michael B., Area 131, Bay Shore, NY
Phyllis Sanderson, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, passed away on Mother’s Day this year. She was a dedicated Area Leader and Group Leader in 2016. Phyllis helped many through her leadership and generosity. We had many Recovery Fundraising yard sales in her front yard in Port Coquitlam to which the Mayor showed up once. She was tireless in spreading the word about RI. We spent many hours together laughing our way to Recovery. She will be missed by those who knew her.
Submit to the Recovery Reporter
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mailed items should be sent to Headquarters:
1415 W. 22nd St., Tower Floor
Oak Brook IL 60523