Event: The Family Recovery Conference, November 1

First Family Recovery Conference -- November 1, 2018

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We empower families to walk the path of recovery together, all the way to the other side.

I am mother of a 25-year-old in recovery and the founder of The Family Recovery Conference. I created this conference because it’s an event and a resource I wish I’d had when I was starting my family’s recovery journey.

In the beginning, I was scared, confused, and sad. I felt extremely alone when my oldest child was deep into his addiction to prescription drugs. I understood that he was suffering, but I didn’t know how to properly help him. What I was doing wasn’t working. The message I was getting told me to go against my true mother-nature and disconnect from him completely.

In the summer of 2015, we intervened with love, compassion and professional treatment. We didn’t wait for an imaginary “rock bottom.” Our family defined for ourselves our threshold for pain. When we hit it, we moved with swift, strong, empowered action.

On our journey to recovery, I sought answers, solutions, and actions that would change the way we were treating addiction and substance use in our family. I wanted to end the suffering for myself, my son, and my other children. I turned my face towards recovery. I put my faith in the power of love, knowledge, and connection. I sought help from people who were living in recovery and professionals in the field of addiction medicine.

The help I got from those people healed us all and showed me how to create an environment that supported recovery in our family and laid the foundation for a beautiful life.

I kept sticky notes on the wall in my closet to to track what was working to keep us connected, what patterns I was seeing, what I knew for sure, what wasn’t clear, what actions weren’t working, what I believed, and what I was feeling. I wrote down what I learned from professionals, books, and blogs.

At the same time, I sought healing for myself. I added routines, structure, wellness practices, and therapies which are found in treatment programs. I learned about trauma, brain science, and family history. I stayed connected to my son while strengthening and healing myself from the impact and trauma of addiction in our family.

Shelly & SonWe felt embraced and supported in our struggle with active addiction. The recovery community showed its face and its full power during the first-ever Unite To Face Addiction Event in October 2015. That event showed me that I was indeed surrounded by people devoted who were living in recovery. It was an infusion of strength and power. Recovery was not only possible, but probable. Soon after, I was invited to a Family Education Meeting in Richmond, Virginia. Professionals, providers and families left the presentations with actionable solutions, a feeling of connection, and better understanding of how to help the person you love and yourself. It was exactly what I was searching for.

My understanding of recovery evolved as we healed as a family. I benefited from following the guidance I received from professionals, healthy peers, and a spiritual guide. I devoted myself to whole family wellness.

I feel that the millions of families struggling need better access to the amazing, intelligent, wise, innovative people driving recovery. By connecting with other recovery leaders, I hope to help others by sharing what I learned and experienced as a mother of a young person in recovery. I know that during the active years of my son’s illness, I felt like a hostage in my own home. I was unable to go places or even travel for fear of that something would happen in my absence. Now, I am no longer alone.

This past July, following the ARHE (Association for Recovery in Higher Education) ARS (Association for Recovery Schools) Conference, I felt called to create something for other families of recovery. I wanted to provide an experience as abundant, educational, informational, and connected as the one that helped me. I am a big believer in the “meet people where they are” philosophy. I felt a virtual event would be the best way to reach the most families, make attending easily accessible, and have the most impact.

I reached out to the people who’d had impact on our family recovery by providing treatment, support, guidance, knowledge, wisdom, solutions and massive infusions of love. I asked if they would allow me to amplify their voices. They said yes! The Family Recovery Conference was born.

This November 1, the first-ever Family Recovery Conference comes home, to you, where families live. The event’s 32 speakers and 30 hours will help with family healing, guidance, and answers to the question “What do I do?” Families will have the whole month of November to listen, learn, heal, connect, and feel loved, supported, and end the suffering.

It is our mission to change the way addiction is treated. We’re sharing the message that recovery is possible. We empower families to walk the path of recovery together, all the way to the other side.

Recovery is not only possible. It’s probable when we are together.

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