Megan Powell joins us to talk about getting into the recovery industry through service. She talks about growing up with a family member with mental illness that she couldn’t relate to, being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and gaining sympathy through her own personal experiences. Enjoy.
The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates (illuminatebilling.com). They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.
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megan powell joins us to talk about getting into the recovery industry through service she talks about growing up with a family member with mental illness that she couldn't relate to being diagnosed with bipolar one and gaining sympathy through her own personal experiences enjoy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt knighter i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing in collection simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry-leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates on the podcast today we have the privilege and i'm super excited to be talking with megan powell megan is in long-term recovery herself she's discovered her passion is to help others suffering from substance abuse for the past five years she has volunteered to help spread the word of recovery by participating in community presentations at treatment facilities universities prisons and community-based correctional facilities megan thank you so much for being on our on our podcast today thanks for having me this is going to be fun um i know we were just getting to know each other a little bit before we started recording and and it might be really great for our listeners to get a little bit of an idea of your background where you come from and some of the experiences that you've had that have brought you into the substance abuse world because what i think is true i don't have i have not had anybody question me on this is that when we're little and we're thinking about what we want to do when we grow up substance abuse treatment and recovery was not ever one of the things we thought about yeah absolutely i think the age of four i wanted to be a veterinarian like i was the kid in the dirt you know looking for moles um i really thought that's what i was going to do i think you know how uh parents give that book you fill out every year you updated each grade level i think i went from vet to teacher to president and i only knew right uh so growing up you know my mom was a social worker my sister ended up being a social worker and my dad worked in student services and higher education so basically most of my family were working in some type of service role and um you know i i went to school really not knowing what that was gonna look like um i had seen mental health and addiction within my own family grandparents and also more closely my brother and at that point i was at an age you know in high school and college where i didn't quite understand what addiction was i kind of looked at him like hey buddy can you can you cut it out you're you're ruining your life you're ruining everyone else's life um so it wasn't until my own experience in addiction and also i was diagnosed with bipolar 1 when i was 25 how much of an impact not only does it have on an individual but on just everybody around them um so i have this perspective from experiencing it myself and also experiencing from a very close vantage point with my brother and so you know after college i had different roles different positions um within marketing and sales and um i was always volunteering especially once i got into recovery i started working at a small university here in columbus in the military services and adult admissions and in that role i worked with a lot of um vets and adult students and getting them to where they needed to be with education and there was one thing missing like the the people that were veterans and military servicemen and service women really needed some type of level of connection that i couldn't offer and it was the first time i saw the value of peer-to-peer the therapeutic value of you understand you've been through something similar and a major general came to work on campus and i could see those interactions and what transpired so it was kind of the first moment where i was like wow like this does remind me of that um you know one addict kind of helping another addict is a therapeutic value which attracted me to maybe i should really look in a different field um outside of higher education when i was at a recovery conference um it was uh for those that were in recovery and i was like in the cabin or whatever and you know one of my friends was talking to me and she said did you ever think about you know working um in in the treatment world and helping people find um solutions to what they're going through and treatment programs and working with those individuals and families and ever since then i went i had those conversations with um recovery village where i'm at now and i've been there for almost three years and i was exactly where i needed to be um so yeah it's a little bit a little bit about my background that's fascinating and when it's when some of those experiences and i'd love to ask you a little bit more and and without prying because it's my nature to just ask questions but i recognize that there's a lot of people listening and so so don't answer a question if i ask one that you don't want to answer but talk about that relationship with your brother and and then your own recovery process as well you know you're looking at him and going buddy you're you're ruining your life you're messing up our lives and yet you know you had some you know some mental illness that that you've i assume are dealing with i i'm going to say that that's a continued process right we we kind of have to figure out what that looks like so talk about that journey and the struggles that you had um and and your relationship with your brother kind of talk about that a little bit more so me and my brother were always close growing up he's three years older than me whatever he wore i wore whatever he bought at the store i wanted to buy at the store he was a he was extremely smart ever since i've known him and both of us kind of shared that kind of anxiety over thinking type of mentality like who am i what am i in the world almost just like a little too intense for for at a young age we kind of shared that um and one way we were able to kind of cope with whatever that was was sports and activities and all the things we wanted to do everything major and we just adrenaline and all the things and it kind of foreshadowed our behavior later on in life and i remember being in high school picking up my brother with my mom from a party and his behavior being completely different he was normally like really chill just really sweet and then he would drink or use substances that just this other side came out and you know they try to ship them off to my dad in oregon try to like you know get his life together and change the scenery and then you know the later years he kind of got it together a little bit um i got a phone call from my mom i was a junior in college mom says your brother's dropping out of law school he was in the top five percentile of the lsat scores got a full ride to law school um he had a meeting with the dean and he he was pretty bad and you know they got his car back from florida because he went to school down in florida and uh you know it was covered and you know just just needles spoons just stuff that i mean it just it was awful and i remember thinking what are you doing and and i just wanted to shake him and i remember um when we would not be able to find him we would drive around the city you know looking for him in ditches and at the pharmacies or wherever i'm like this isn't you know this isn't normal i'm not like any family is normal but at the time i just felt like this is this is crazy and a couple years later i was introduced to you know the drug that i like to use um which is an opiate um in college from my from my roommate um he was uh he was like a track star for college and used him to kind of feel better and he's actually recently died of an overdose and i tried it and i said wow you know this really relieves all of that pressure from having anxiety you know questions with my self-worth i had also questioned you know my sexuality for years i didn't come out until later so i think there's a lot of underlying things where i i took this uh drug and it was just like that moment of oh wow that feels good and i like to feel that way again um and it just it just steamrolled my life and my the way my addiction played out within myself and my family was very different from my brothers my brother was you know everyone kind of knew and it was this everyone was trying to save him and all the things and i remember for me i internalized everything because i said well starting to have a little bit of a problem but as long as i keep it under wraps no one finds out i'm not gonna harm anybody else i might be okay and you know after a while it just got to the point where you know i kept my job because i thought that's what i wanted um to keep the kind of make me feel like i was still a productive member of society but you know no house no money um i think at one point um you know i was just living with a friend off a couch i don't even know if the toilet worked at that point not that that mattered to me i just really needed to get what i needed each day um and then my brother had moved in with me shortly after that time where i was kind of at my worst so it was like a recipe for disaster at that point because then you got two people who are using who are it was just it was a hot mess and then that's when um he was exhibiting symptoms of his schizophrenia um the paranoia and um it got pretty dark pretty fast i remember him asking me if i bugged his car and i'm like listen brother you're not really that interesting i'm not gonna bug your car and i tried to laugh it off to be like okay this is getting real weird and then um you know i remember a time you know he he had told me this later he had told me this um you know before he passed that he did have voices tell him you know to walk into a college and harm people and so just it's just it's scary and you know fortunately my experience with my psychosis um shortly before i was diagnosed by pooler one was my saving grace of why i'm clean today and that and that's a story on its own this is what transpired during that time that's uh i mean that's just there's so much complexity there right of of loving your brother and seeing how his his behaviors are impacting you and the family and himself and then getting into addiction yourself it's interesting those cycles and patterns that happen you know and often driven by mental illness in in many cases right or you know or exasperated by the substance abuse so it's super uh i love that you're willing to share your story and it might be it might be valuable to talk about you know your diagnosis and that journey um just because it's for me anyway the story is probably the most powerful force for encouraging people to get into treatment and i'm sure you tell your story a lot but i think there's power in that so maybe talk about if you can your bipolar and how that impacted your recovery absolutely so you know bipolar is one of the most misdiagnosed you know uh it just is and um you know towards the end of my using i was reaching out for help so i kind of got off the hard stuff and thought i was doing okay and he turned to the bottle a little bit and i still had a lot of things that i was pushing down very deep so i was my brother was living with me you know i'm still working i kind of get my stuff together a little bit um and i fly to new york for work um i'm out there for three or four days and the last day i start feeling odd i start feeling almost like i had taken some adderall or like speed or whatever my heart was beating fast it's mania i didn't know that and i started having these kind of grand ideas and i'm in this like final meeting before our flight home and i'm just like firing off these questions i'm like oh yeah like i'm so involved and i just i was feeling on top of the world kind of and i'm like i don't know what's going on because i'm not really using anything so i um i remember on the flight home i was like frantically journaling still have my journals about life and about oneness and truth and just enlightenment and wanting to be honest with the world and blah blah so fly back in i get back to my apartment and from that moment on it got worse um i got into a place where i turned my phone off i wasn't gonna go to work um i was in a different form of reality it's kind of hard to explain but i just felt um nothing made sense anymore i didn't know who i was i didn't know where i was i was just very disoriented and my my brother who you know being chronic and having his own issues is kind of like what's happening right now he's like i think the government like took over my sister and his parents my friends come over dear friends of mine that i've known for a while i thought we were there for two hours but we were really there for i mean maybe up to 10 hours and they said my face looked different the way i was holding my face and talking they said that i kept telling them to ask me questions so i could tell them the truth and uh and then i started journaling again frantically kind of writing almost scripture-esque stuff which is kind of like this is like sort of prophecy complex with within like bipolar that i think i was experiencing um it's almost like something about like the subconscious kind of grasping on to um it kind of grasps on to like spirituality sometimes because it's kind of like what's trying to ground you and i think that that's what was happening and i started to write down on a piece of paper what's what do i do what what's happening right now i'm like literally writing this down and then i start drawing an arrow and it was almost like something was controlling my hand like i wasn't writing it and i think i was writing with my right hand which in fact i'm left-handed and so i'm drawing this arrow over and over again and it's pointing to me and underneath the arrow i put the answers inside you and at that moment i said i think i need to i think i need to go somewhere they're like yes we've been [ __ ] this whole time i was out of it like that i thought this was just something i came up with um but it's kind of interesting that it does need to come from me you know i i i was in the midst of complete chaos but i needed to make that decision for me and so it didn't really end there the cops had to come to come to the house and have a chat with me and they took me into psych um at ohio state and um i had delusions in the emergency room um i had thought that um so osd was under construction over a period of time there's really loud noises almost like they were renovating some of the rooms and i'd look at my friend and i'd say hear those noises i'm i'm doing that you should be like no no megan no no you're not and they're like my friends are whispering to each other like she's awesome he's on something this is insane well the topology thing came back or you know your analysis nothing and so they're like something is up i had delusions um in the er room that you know those shock paddles um to revive somebody i had a feeling i really felt them i felt like i was getting shocked and um my mom came to see me she drove three hours down in the middle of the night and stayed with me all night long in the er where i got transferred to the psych floor and all i remember is there was something different about her eyes and everyone's eyes that i came in contact with during this psychosis or this crisis and um i i just felt like something higher was coming through and it was the craziest feeling and then once i felt like i was my body was getting shocked it was almost like a voice told me you know this part of you is going to raid a la rest so that you can kind of continue on with the life and be the you that you need to be it was so crazy i just was like i can't believe this is happening so um you know long story short i i finished my stint impatient at psych i continued doing some outpatient you know i'd been connected with 12 step prior to this so started going back to meetings and feeling real connected but when i read books about enlightenment like one of my favorite authors is adios dante falling into grace is the book that was a true depiction of enlightenment for me like spiritually mentally emotionally physically of what it means just completely surrender and find a new way of life wow how curious and is that that's the so that's the first manic episode that you had ever experienced i had experienced some mild mania fryer and i kind of covered it up with substances and i covered it up with you know i'm just going through something this is weird do you think um this is always the question is is do you think that your substance use played into it meaning made it maybe made it more exhibit more or do you think it's just it just is what you deal with i thought about that a lot and that's something that i asked professionals about as well like was there some type of correlation between the fact that i had stopped using opiates and i was just drinking and there was like some transition there where my body like was out of whack or whatever i do think that um i would have been diagnosed by polar bipolar one no matter what um despite the using but i think it amplified it and it also covered up a lot of symptoms that would have been exhibited prior to that now most people are diagnosed like in their 20s to mid-20s my grandmother had bipolar one my grandfather was schizophrenic and i know they're still doing a lot of research on why it happens how it happens why it you know all the things so i do think it contributed to it though and it would be rightfully so you'd imagine that on some level it's going to contribute to it but you know how much and i don't think you can answer that question but it is definitely one that we are always asking right like what's the role how do they how do they interplay um and so today you deal with bipolar what what does that look like because that's not always easy to manage um what do you do today to try and keep yourself you know as balanced as possible there's a lot that i do for the bipolar so it's very interesting because um you know i go to 12-step for um you know the addiction piece i need to fill my cup up and um i'm very out about being in recovery um you know from active addiction as many people are you don't see as many people saying i'm in recovery you know and i'm also bipolar one i'm i haven't had a psychosis for you know six six and a half years uh so i need to remember that i i have to continue on you know coping with things and understanding the addiction piece but it's just as important to understand the bipolar piece because what triggers me and what i've identified over the years is any big major change i moved apartments and i've moved a lot but for some reason this move that was hard on me and one evening after i moved my stuff i had to work the next day and i was up till 4 30 in the morning hanging up stuff on the wall and i wasn't like doing the whole measuring it out making sure it was straight i was just like taking it nailing it to the wall i mean granted when i woke up in the morning it was actually pretty legit but it was it was mania and that lasted for like a couple more days now i don't quite identify as much with with the depression that usually hangs out for a while and it takes me a while to realize you know what i think i'm depressed um but i i do see um a therapist every two weeks uh i talk about it and what's interesting is that when i bring up stuff going on in my life sometimes it has to do with um me being an addict or me being bipolar or having bipolar hey the fact that you're human i really don't you know so he he kind of helps me get through those um those situations and um i i do a mix of things for um you know my spiritual my mind and body so i do acupuncture which has been huge for me um i get to a meditative state where it really really benefits me um i you know i i do guided meditations um sleep is huge for for bipolar that's something that's hardest for me to be honest that's pretty tough but um there are you know essential oils and stuff that i kind of before thought uh like is that really gonna help like is that really gonna and um it's interesting because my being bipolar having the sleep issues can actually be a trigger for my addiction so there's all these things that like are overlaying that you know i'm not really sure um you know what to do at that point other than i'm gonna talk to somebody about it i'm gonna go to a meeting i've got the support that i need you know i gotta check in with myself and then i also have to look at what i'm really grateful for um and and luckily i have amazing support system here like phenomenal in columbus ohio that's and that's so valuable i mean we can't we talk about that a lot on on the podcast about the idea that connection is the opposite of addiction and that you know our our our network of people um it makes all the difference in the world and that without that i don't know that we could anybody could be successful really at you know maintaining sobriety or or managing bipolar or mental illness of any kind because i think connection is huge so i love to hear you say that um you also talked about a little bit aboutyour your own sexuality and struggling with that and and what that looked like before you came out that seems like a whole another layer of complexity do you want to share any of the thoughts and experience around that absolutely so growing up i mean i was a complete tomboy and um it wasn't until the eight and i think a lot of women and a lot of people just experienced this but around the age of kind of like nine ten eleven 11ish i start looking at other people and comparing it to me i feel really different like you look different i'm kind of chubby like what's happening here but i remember going to a halloween party um and i was like a pre-teen and i wanted to look scary and crazy i kind of looked like um adam sandler in the 80s with like a mullet meets a vampire that's kind of like what i look like and i was so excited about it and i show up at this party and all my friends were genies and you know princesses and they looked all cute and that was like the first moment where i was like you know some some up here um i feel like something's a little off and and that might just be being a young woman versus like having questioning about my sexuality but it's kind of the first time i i kind of looked around and you know thought well well maybe i maybe i need to be more like them you know maybe i could wear more stuff like that maybe i could do my hair like this maybe i could flirt with those boys and it felt like every um relationship i was in from there on out like high school and college i didn't really care like i loved the person and i and i had i felt for the person but there was there was something missing and i thought well maybe it's me like maybe i'm just kind of like broken and i'll just have to figure this out uh and in in um early recovery i had dated a couple times i would always go for like the friend like i would go for the person i thought i had a connection with but in reality it really wasn't like a intimate um love connection it was more of a friend i'm comfortable with you maybe this is what it's supposed to feel like and it was the closest thing i could come to and um you know i had been blessed with a friend um in 12-step um she's still my best friend uh and you know she told me about her her coming out and you know she had been gay for many years very confident in fact she worked in hiv prevention and um we would talk and i kind of opened up to her like something's going on here and that's that's kind of the cool thing about recovery is like once we're able to open up and and and be honest with ourselves and then in turn be honest with other people we get clarity and i felt like that was happening like i was finally able to not worry about what anyone else thought it wasn't about anything but what was going to make me happy and how i felt and then those experienced follows where i really got to experience what intimacy was and how it felt um and then came of course telling my parents you know i was in my 20s and um it was a beautiful experience to be able to share that with them and i had to go into it like i had to go into like how kind of the steps talk to talk to us about like amends and like addressing you know with honesty and stuff like that and i just took those spiritual principles and i applied them you know to what was going on with me and coming out and you know sharing that i had a girlfriend and um the response and the love that i got from the people close to me i mean it just filled my heart and and i have faced some questions and adversity and um you know some challenges with with that especially for the people who knew me for that long picturing me a certain way with a certain somebody so it was difficult but it also has opened up my eyes to you know working in behavioral health of how we use confirming language and care for those individuals who may be questioning or who may be lgbtq so it kind of was a gift to be able to um have that perception and use it you know to kind of help in our community because columbus is in the top 15 cities of lgbtq populations well we've come a long a long way in our culture of learning you know how to think about and be more open and accepting of thing you know people and situations that are different than what we're used to but boy back in the day and and i know you're a lot younger than i am but that that just wouldn't have happened you know back when i was a kid that was not something that was readily accepted and it was confusing and people had a hard time so i love to hear that that was a very um you know supportive experience for you that's uh that's powerful and and then you talked about you know peers helping peers and so you've you've got a lot of relatability um you talked at one point about early on in your in your career working with military and watching uh you know colonel or uh i remember what you said come in and and really have a connection but at that stage of the game you weren't dealing with addiction is that true so at that point working um at that university i was in my first year or two of recovery but you felt like that this peer in the military had much more connection with these with these military people than even you could have been in recovery there was something more there it sounds like what you heard what i heard yeah absolutely and and i remember um working there and a student was in class who had ptsd and the professor asked him to stand up and read he said no thank you i don't want to read and they asked him again he said no i don't want to read i you know it's triggering for me and the professor kept pressing it and i remember that student coming back and he just was so he felt really defeated and embarrassed and i and i just keep thinking like where's the training where's the you know any institution can say i'm lgbt friendly i'm military friendly i'm whatever but but are we backing it up but are we really following with that and are we giving them the resources one of those resources providing that major general to be that liaison um and to be a resource you know for those students to truly have what they needed to succeed because they have different challenges we don't think about that of what they face when there was civilians and even like the topics that get brought up you know they're in a history class you know they're they're talking politics and they're talking this and that and um it's through a whole different lens and they need an outlet to be able to go to somebody that understands them you make a you make a really good point um about you know really i don't know if calling these disabilities are the best way to categorize it but these are challenges that people experience because of of human nature because of what they've been exposed to and and this is normal you know responses to trauma and but we don't understand if we've never been you know put in that situation we have no frame of reference we really don't understand and so it's uh it's been a long haul to try and educate people and and i've you know i've been in the educational arena and and seen how they address disabilities and that's in quotation right people's challenges and i think there's a real effort being made in some areas more than others but it's so difficult to help people you know really understand what that requires and i'm sure this professor had he really understood what ptsd was and that's what he was struggling with maybe he would have been more compassionate but but yeah i think about it all the time you hear people say really unkind things and and then you've got to help someone else understand yeah it wasn't right for them to say that but that's all they knew how to say they didn't get it and if they got it they wouldn't say that and looking at people as though they're trying to do the very best they can and then you go back to that education piece which is big for you i mean you're out there talking in universities prisons community-based correctional facilities maybe spend a little bit of time uh you know talking about what what's your what's the message out there and what you're trying to accomplish absolutely so it's kind of funny you bring up the the some of the presentations uh one of the first times i shared my story with um a woman's prison i was terrified i thought it was gonna be 25 women it was like 250 women wow you can't bring your phone in and normally i use music as a convert you know and they're like oh you can't bring that in i was like yeah darn it so i walk in and i'm gonna you know share my story um of recovery and mental health and um it's more it was more kind of like a 12-step format where someone would introduce me as kind of like a speaker and i go up to the i mean they say inmate i go up to the woman um to introduce me she turns around and i know her she was my roommate in the psych ward who gave me an n a book and who gave me clothes my first night there and i instantly was like now now this is just a telltale sign that i'm exactly where i need to be and i was like so nervous um i'm kind of asking the universe like give me some type of sign that like i'm in reality here and i can do this and you know there it was so i kind of just started um you know volunteering and finding ways that we could create connection for others and um and that was you know sharing my story that was supporting others um share stories and also creating panels um to discuss certain issues and my main goal when you know establishing a panel and having those come and network and share and and learn about addiction and mental health is that it needs to be raw um there's a lot of surface stuff we could go over but who's willing to get really raw and raw doesn't mean you know it doesn't mean everything needs to be down and dirty but it's just what is the truth situation happening here and you know for one of those panels there was you know um a fire chief who was sharing about addiction response and the statistics and the real life stories of what they see and i think it was important for people to hear that and so um being a part of that and having things kind of organically come together and be able to like support that and share it with the community um has been has been a true gift well and i i guess a little bit near and dear to my heart is is those women you know i worked with women in a halfway house coming out of prison early on in my career and that that was a life changer for me that changed the way i saw my world and um and really that perspective of okay i know why we've incarcerated these women but it's not right this isn't the kind of help that they need their victims as much as their you know as much as they've victimized other people and and it's like it just it tug at my heart string and i heard some stories that would just curl your toes like oh my heck i am one of those entitled white people they talk about in my textbooks right and and just bring a new perspective of of people and experiences and really where they came from and no wonder no wonder they're having the struggles and challenges that they are so so when you talk about going in and talking to that group of people they're incredible and and and the fact that you see people that you know right you see people that this world is way smaller than i think that we realize right and we come across people all day long that's like i remember i was walking into a place yesterday and this lady's like yeah i know you i know you and i'm like i know you too but i don't know where somewhere we'll figure it out one day right um so i love that you do that and that you you're always out there educating and helping people understand ways to think differently and ways to get involved in ways to help because i think it's so important um talk a little bit about the programs that you work with and um and how how those are helping people and and why you find actually i know you talked about passion so i'll ask two questions where you're working and what you're doing and also why passion is so important to you what role does that play in the work that you do sure so with with the volunteer side of things uh i have volunteered for you know the 12-step community you know here in columbus and there's um anonymity to that so anytime i'm able to serve and you know my name isn't on anything i mean there's humility in that and it fills my cup up but at no point is kind of like you know the ego taking over over and i remember a moment where it was coveted it was coded and in the beginning you know all of the meetings were in person and all of the churches and all the organizations were shutting us down can't meet in person this is like people's lifeline my lifeline um and for the next three or four or five weekends from the morning to night we took every single meeting put it on an online platform provided trainings for people who could run the meeting for those people those people who didn't have a phone we were creating 800 number for them to call in or we just any barrier we knocked it out and then like the fourth fifth weekend me and these other volunteers we looked at each other it was only like three of us and we're like oh my god like what just happened it's like there's thousands of people in the area and the gift that came from that is that people who are in the outskirts of the city who don't have the means or transportation to come to live meetings or in-person meetings were able to log on and they weren't log on logging on to like the national meetings which could be beneficial right they were logging into more local meetings where someone might be 30 minutes 45 minutes away they were they were logging into their ohio community and in turn building up contacts and support maybe getting a local sponsor and so it's like the darkness turns to light type of situation so that's kind of like a lot of volunteer stuff we do and um we've done talent shows attic's got talent we've done um you know the first the first year um you know 12-step recovery was in the pride parade and there's tens of thousands of hundreds of thousands of attendees at that parade the first time so we got to go through and we were holding signs and of course you know it was more um about a credible program of recovery and less about promotion you know in line with the traditions of 12-step but you see people out in the crowd you know holding up their fingers one year i got two years i got three years i'm you know i'm one of you and it was just a it was just something that gave you goosebumps all over your body so um and my professional um side of things you know i'm the director of outreach at recovery village in columbus ohio so it's one of nine facilities that are part of advanced recovery systems and so that's primary substance abuse secondary mental health so we treat people who come in for medical detox residential um partial and outpatient services and now what's interesting is when we pull the feedback from clients whether it's like a review or a feedback we get and this goes for probably any facility that talk about some of the amenities it could talk about oh it was great you know cool or whatever you know but mainly the comments say so and so help change my life sarah my therapist nicole my case manager um oh and so the doctor i was seeing and they they talk about the team of people there less about the facility and we take that very seriously at recovery village so we have different specialties we have a sister facility that treats iff firefighters we have a facility that can do underlying eating disorders at recovery village we can treat you know physicians and um but the key piece of that is having great people and hand-pick leadership to be able to serve the people that need the help and a good example is our medical director tiffany bell dr tiffany bell is triple boarded psychiatry addiction medicine d.o and she's on site she's there every day she'll call me with different ideas of how to help people i learned about this neuro testing or whatever and so that's what makes us you know and it sounds kind of silly but a village of we're your lifelong village you come here you don't come here just for treatment you come here to build a community have support get after care um you know it's not it doesn't stop here you're with us for 30 45 days you know that's nothing compared to the rest of your life what are we going to do sets you up for the rest of your life so which is so important i was just telling somebody that you know has a fairly new facility and i said look you know it's one thing to give treatment and it's and it's a totally another thing to create a community that this is a lifelong thing and you're going to be there every step of the way even after they're done with treatment right that's a important piece that you have to create as you're building this and and obviously you guys have done that it's so i can't think of too many places where a doctor is so dedicated that they are present and willing to talk with people whenever they need it and not just you know you have an appointment you get five minutes that's it right that's you know the the need for psychiatrists and doctors is so huge that there's this huge burden on them so i love hearing that that you know that there's a relationship there with with the doctor as well as the providers and and other staff members that's huge and and we've talked about the importance of of relationship so i'd love to hear you talk about that it's huge um megan i just want to thank you for being on today it's been fun talking to you and hearing your story and you know kind of you know feeling that sadness as you talked about your brother and that experience and and your recovery and just the whole journey has been pretty powerful um i am absolutely certain that there's going to be people who want to reach out and connect with you what's the best way for them to um to do that well if my email wasn't a mile long i provide that i think i spelled it wrong even when i gave it to you let's just go with my number and a call or a text um so again it's six one four three six nine zero eight eight zero that'd be great that's awesome and and you know not everybody's willing to give out their phone number and their cell number at best but you know somebody's serious about helping people when they are willing to do that and understands just how important it is that somebody can connect with you when they need it even when it's very inconvenient for the rest of us so i love that megan thanks so much i i just um made my day to listen to your story and and hear that journey and and just see where you're at today with with the challenges you have and and the healing that's that's gone gone on so thank you thank you for having me