With Vigilance- A woman in long Term Recovery by Christine Campbell
With Vigilance-a woman in long term recovery (available on Smashwords.com $2.99) is a raw & honest story of struggle, abuse, family insanity, life in the fast lane of the music industry, and finally surrender after numerous treatment centers and consequences. Spiritual family-not biological-was the key to maintaining this addict/alcoholics sober life to find love of self, of others and write the truth. Who will stand up, take a risk and help to rid the stigma? I will!
Review by: Kyle Knisely on Sep. 21, 2015 5 out of 5
With Vigilance-A Woman in Long Term Recovery by Christine Campbell
Approximately 90% of alcoholics experiences relapse. With these kinds of statistics it takes a woman With Vigilance to overcome those odds! Like the whack-a-mole game Christine beats back every obstacle put in her path….and they are non-stop! At times it’s hard to read and yet Christine is so very inspiring as she ‘works the program’….Bill W. would be proud. Extremely inspiring!
Review by: Michelle Carrillo on July 30, 2015 : 5 out of 5
Chris Campbell thank you for sharing your story! Thank you for being an inspiration to my recovery. You did party like a rock star and it didn’t work for you, but the Foley House did! Your presence and story gave me the willingness and desire (I didn’t have at that time) to be open and honest and accept sobriety and know that it is possible to stay sober and live life without alcohol & cocaine. I am forever grateful to you. Thank you!
Review by: Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon on April 12, 2015 : 5 out of 5
WOW! What a story and life of addiction and triumph in recovery! I could so relate to Christine, her raw honest look into ones life after such damage and devastation, her story and inspirational recovery journey is going to ‘touch and save’ many lives.
It can be difficult to write about ones bad life choices we make within our disease, but Christine has proved sharing her own story, that no matter how “Hopeless” we can be within addictions? We can Recover if your willing to do the work, as I call it, . . “The inside Job” within ourselves to fix, change, and make amends to others, but importantly to yourself.
I would highly recommend this book for all to read, not just those in recovery, but for non-recovery people as well. They will get understanding of how hard it is to recover. Especially when we have no family who don’t support us. I was very inspired by this book. . . .Great Job and well written Christine!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate
Review by: mofannin on Jan. 15, 2015 : 5 out of 5
Wow…Sit down, lower the safety bar and get ready to experience he ride of your life . I have never before experienced a story that can put your stomach in knots, your heart in your throat, tears in your eyes, along with joy and laughter at every turn of this true story! I don’t think anyone that has never been addicted can truly understand this disease but reading this story reveals the toxins that can be absorbed by children in dysfunctional situations that affect them long before substance abuse becomes the way to attempt to cope. No one is spared in this honest and frank story of a survivor that avoided becoming a victim of her incredible life… A salute to all warriors!
Review by: debilyn526 on Oct. 05, 2014 : 5 out of 5
This is raw honesty, such a good read that I read it in just a few days. There is much to be learned from someone who has been through so much, addiction, loss, homeless, yet always found the courage and strength that I admire. Just that she chose to share her story with the world, in hopes that it may help someone else. A story I will keep and read again. Well worth the cost. Money well spent for me.
Review by: Chartv10 on Sep. 30, 2014 : 5 out of 5
Chris’ story is worth reading. She is an excellent example of going to any length to stay sober. She is brutally honest in her description of the deadly disease of addiction, and the no-nonsense approach to making sobriety THE priority if the addict is going to have a life at all. We travel many paths to learn these universal truths. Her’s is an interesting one, and it is more-so because of the example she continues to set, and the hope she gives those still struggling.
The Author Chritine Campbell
Spiritual Family-Not Biological
I am hesitant and leery of all the social media today I will admit. But there are so many recovery sites, Twitter accounts and blogs with hopeful, great messages. They do not replace my face to face meetings, but when you are snowed in or just throughout the day, logging on to congratulate anniversaries or offer some suggestion is a good thing-keeps me green! A recent question with much frustration came up on a sober site-‘OK, I have 14 years sober, when and how long must I put up with family skewering, constant reminders of my past and what I used to be like? I feel a chill up my spine, a familiar frustration and a good codependent wanting to hug him. So familiar, and so unnecessary people. It is hard enough to maintain one’s sanity and do thorough 4th & 5th steps-so enough already. Yeah, yeah when they point a finger at you, there’s three back at them and all, but I mentally returned to many a holiday dinner with ten or so years sober when the spotlight shown on me again, at a long and beautifully set dinner table with all the holiday fixings, and I sat quietly in shame and fear, watched my five year olds furled eyebrows as they jumped on Momma and what she used to be like again, and could hear my sponsor in my head ‘bite your tongue if that’s what you have to do’. I could also hear my fellow friends of Bill asking ‘so Chris, are you going downstate again to seek some more approval? I made amends early in the game to drunk and mentally ill people and could not understand why it didn’t go well. My mother the pill popper was the harshest, and would buy me Christmas candy filled with liquor and watch me open ‘my gift’ as she sneered at me and huffed in disgust. Back home to the quiet of up north we went as I cried all the way up 75 north-again, trying to keep it together for the kid. My sweet daughter would say-‘its Ok Momma-I love you’.
I was grinning and thanking many old timers in my head as I drove to the Traverse City round-up this past Fall to be on a speaker panel-‘The Family Afterward’ what a hoot-thanks God-here’s what not to do! I was humbled and I am not alone-as I thought often in many meetings when I would hear “I have keys to my Mother’s house and I robbed her some years ago! My brother is sober, so is my dad and we have all kinds of loving holidays now……it took many more 24 hours-but I cannot thank my sponsors, counselors and peers enough for telling me what I deserve-and what I don’t deserve. Most of those at the fancy dinner table are dead now-or the walking dead today-drugs and alcohol-organs shutting down as they shouted and blamed on their death beds.
These days I have Gypsy Thanksgivings often-whoever needs a place to go your invited, and if you insist on going to the family brou haha-stop by for pie and we’ll talk. It has become a popular tradition if I do say so myself. MY house is the safe place to go-imagine that. I had great teachers and role models. I give thanks to ‘Buzzwith41years’ (that’s how everybody described him) that told me over and over-‘you are never going to get what you want from those people’. In one of my many treatments, he put two empty folding chairs on either side of me for family week-every week. When I told Leslie-my therapist for years- that people were saying their parents did the best they could with what they had , she responded ‘yeah, and you got robbed’. My loving Emma, my sponsor for years, would say ‘I pace the floor when you are down there’ or a cold silence was on the other end of the phone when I read her another one of my Mothers ten page hate letters.’ ‘Next letter that comes goes in the trash unopened’-was her comment often. I thought one should have hope, keep praying-so a final surrender to all of that hate and nonsense has brought peace, laughter and a freedom that I didn’t know existed. I never got what I wanted from those people-and how did all these guys know-25 years ago? All were right on-all were my loving peers who stepped up to the plate and now grin from ear to ear when I tell them I have 23 years today. I have real friends, I care very much for others (not all mind you) and know that by today’s standards my parents would be jailed. I no longer wear the guilt and shame they want to hand me. In a conversation with my ‘little brother’ who is now 60, is chronically homeless (he chooses to be) talked about how loud it is for us when we hear ‘family comes first’ family is everything….. not necessarily.
Today I know it is a brave and necessary decision to disconnect, and I still meet with shunning judgmental responses. The destructive, guilt trips are long gone- and some wounds cut too deep. I said goodbye to abusive family members and I have a right to persevere with integrity. I graduated college at forty, am one semester shy of my Master’s degree-and here is the best part-I rolled (and I mean rolled out of a cab, at 92 lbs. with my left leg in a cast) into my 10th treatment center with my 4 year old in tow-‘long term treatment’ my sponsor said-where we stayed for a year. This angel lady counselor said to me one day-‘be the mother to her you always wanted’-magic words. I saw everything through a new pair of glasses as Bill W said. I played more games of Candyland than I want to recall. We were near Anaheim so we went to Disney often and I rode every ride with my little girl a dozen times (I hate rides-but for her-Ok). We shopped, we danced, and I rocked her, smooched her, sang to her and comforted her. We had a tradition called Sacred Sunday(we attended Our Lady of the Livingroom) had a big breakfast and then retreated to Mom’s bed, snacks, pets and all curled together and watched movies and napped. She would ask me often during her high school years,’ Mom, are you crying happy tears again?’ I am a stubborn slow study-but I get it today. Thank you my spiritual family for telling me often that I was so worth saving. We have such a heightened awareness and a heightened sensitivity. I wrote and shared my journey and self-published last spring with much encouragement from others. It is available at smashwords.com-title given to me by Emma, my sponsor-‘With Vigilance’.