It is said that everyone loves a comeback story. This is especially true for the woman who came back from a life of substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders. The woman with an inspirational story to share that offers hope to others struggling with this disease. A woman that nearly died of this disease in early 2013, but she lived. And…that woman is me. My recovery is wellness based, including emotional, mental, physical and spiritual solutions through self care. My spirituality is the foundation of my thriving recovery.

On April 2, 2013, I got ready for bed and in a moment where I had some clarity, I dropped to my knees and asked the Universe/God/Spirit to please help me to save my life from a lifelong addiction to prescription drugs, and mental health challenges. I said, “God/Universe/Spirit, if you show me the way out of this, I will devote my life to any path you put before me.”

I woke up the on the morning of April 3, 2013, and I heard a strong intuitive voice say to me, “Call for help. It is time.” And I heard this voice tell me that “everything is going to be alright.” I have been listening to that voice ever since. April 3, 2013 was the day that my life was saved by the Grace of God. It is the day that I began my recovery from addiction to prescription drugs, and a mental health disorder through daily self care and wellness practices that are all natural and organic.

Wendy Blanchard, M.S., CHHC, CPS is a holistic health counselor/practitioner, certified peer specialist, drugless practitioner, and mental health educator. Wendy is a survivor of lifelong addiction and co-occurring disorders, and thrives in her recovery through implementing natural and organic solutions.

Wendy specializes in holistic health counseling through nutritional wellness, Social/Emotional Learning Education, Emotional Literacy, and Mindfulness through her BREESS (BREATHE, RELAXATION, EMOTIONS, EAT/EXERCISE, SOCIALIZATION, SPIRITUALITY) tools that guides her “Wellness Approach to Recovery” program.

Wendy is the author of the upcoming book “WRITE PRAY RECOVER:A JOURNEY TO WELLNESS THROUGH SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS AND SELF CARE.” This book is Wendy’s story of recovery from prescription drug addiction, and mental health challenges which were co-occurring, or occurring simultaneously.

Wendy also facilitates recovery groups for patients/clients in recovery, and delivered the Keynote speech at the Chris Ashman Wellness and Recovery Conference, and speaks locally in the Hudson Valley Region in N.Y., and around NY State raising awareness about wellness in addiction recovery, also known as Substance Use Disorder, and helping to eliminate stigma.

“Wellness is MY choice with every decision that I make throughout each moment of the day, from what I choose to eat, to the relationships that I choose to have, to practicing daily self-care.” Wellness is not just about healthy nutrition and exercise. Wellness is about our self-talk. Our cells hear everything that we say to ourselves. Positive mindset and happy healthy thoughts promote wellness on a cellular level as self-care  is the way we stand in our power!

Each of my successful strategies which help me to thrive daily, in my recovery, are sustainable, and interchangeable, depending upon ones individual needs.

We all have mental health, and our mental and physical health are directly correlated. Substance Use Disorder/Addiction is a mental illness that is diagnosable, treatable and manageable, it can occur simultaneously with other mental health disorders, and can be arrested so that one can thrive in their life, if one chooses.

Our mental health lies on a continuum, and we sometimes feel well on the continuum, and sometimes we feel unwell depending upon what is going on within us, and around us. It is up to us to be aware of our own signs and symptoms as we begin to feel unwell, and of what we need to move back to wellness. Inherently, we all know what we need to heal, and it will be different for everyone, and will change over one’s lifetime. We must practice prevention in removing ourselves from anything toxic including foods, thoughts, and relationships. Most importantly, we must know that when we have done all that we can to try to move ourselves back to wellness, and we aren’t successful, we must understand that it is a healthy decision and the highest form of self-care to ask for professional help. When we are unwell physically and remain unwell for an extended period of time, we go to the doctor. We must practice the same type of self-care when it applies to our mental health. Healthy practices body, mind, and spirit promote wellness. Wellness is our power in recovery!

Wishing you harmonious health for life!

With deep gratitude, love, and blessings,