About the Author

My name is Lori Lynne Armstrong. I’m a drug addict in recovery, and I got clean for what I hope is the last time in May of 2011. My journey into drug addiction began with an injury that caused me chronic pain, and I joined the growing population of prescription painkiller addicts. I was on the verge of progressing to heroin when I got desperate enough to throw myself into recovery. I also live with mental health issues, including a form of bipolar disorder. Oh, and I’ve acted out with food since a pretty young age and now deal with that issue in recovery.

My journey has made me interested in dual diagnosis recovery. Dual diagnosis people, like me, have both a mental health issue and a substance abuse issue. It’s more common than many think, and it makes treatment and recovery complicated. I and others are starting to call it “integrative recovery” because there are often more than two diagnoses, and what’s needed is a holistic approach to transforming one’s life. Not easy, with the limited resources available to many. That’s why getting creative–and sometimes weird–is so important.

I have master’s degrees in molecular biology and counseling psychology. I’ve worked in both fields, but I did not become professionally licensed as a therapist and the things I write are not to be taken as professional advice. My education and work background are simply useful in giving me perspective when I consider issues related to mental health and recovery. As someone who sort of stands on the threshold of several different worlds, I hope mine can be a useful voice to others who struggle with any one of several things.

I don’t belong to a specific religion, but I do find inspiration and beauty in the writings of many. I love music, science fiction/fantasy, psychology, poetry, geeky board games, and dancing. Exploring and using my creativity has been essential to my recovery and my growth, and I am passionate about encouraging others to explore theirs. Welcome, no matter what your path is.

29 responses to “About the Author

  1. Hi, thank you for choosing to follow one of my blogs (foundinfrance). If you are into poetry at all, or perhaps just want to know more about the healing of others, you might check out my other blog? http://poetryphotosandmusingsohmy.wordpress.com
    There is a lot about healing in the early posts but by nature, our healing journeys crop up when we least expect them. So if it is the journey that interests you, I am afraid it is swirled throughout the blog. Most come from my own experiences but since I have long worked in the world of “healing”, I have shared from others I have worked with. Léa

  2. Wow! How very sweet of you to follow both blogs. I do hope you find something in the poetry blog that speaks to you. Feel free to comment or email directly if you choose.
    When you are ready to share, it would be nice if you put a bit more about yourself in the About section. However, I caution that you not do so before you are ready. Kindred spirits are out here! 🙂 Léa

  3. Thanks for liking my blog! I like yours too. I like your Buddhist description! I always get on better when I think of it as a ‘bag of skin’ to hold in my organs and stuff rather than focusing on what I look like compared to others. Thank you!

  4. Thanks so much for visiting my site and choosing to follow along. This is the Work.

  5. Hello
    I dont think you need to put any more in your about. You have told me enough about you to let me know you are a wounded healer. That is all I need to know.

  6. Hi! Thanks for liking my post How to Deal with a Dysfunctional Family. Believe me there’s more where that came from so hope you’ll like more of my posts. Thanks also for sharing about yourself. I am currently in Al-Anon and working the steps. I’m on step 4 and worried about step 5. I’ll post about it eventually. CONGRATS on being in recovery!!! I will definitely be checking out your blog regularly and who knows… maybe we will run into each other at a meeting 😉

  7. As a past intern of a substance abuse rehab center, I feel I have a lot to learn from your blog, even though I acknowledge that it is one among many experiences. I am particularly curious about your thoughts on the 12 Steps program if you’ve had any experience with it. I tend to look at it cynically as oftentimes I find it presented as THE solution to substance abuse. Of course, this is not to say that there aren’t people who have benefited from the program, but I find it unsettling how it is presented as a solution not to be questioned. I’ve noticed a few of the clients I worked with having problems with it, but I wasn’t sure how to respond to their concerns as the center I worked in was in complete unquestionable support of it…this is why I would rather work in a private practice than to work under supervisors who view a single treatment as universal for all.
    I also thank you for following my blog **Tea Time** Reflections!

    • Thanks for following and for your comments! I too have had periods of time when I felt very cynical about 12 step recovery. I do follow a 12 step program now for the simplest of reasons: nothing else has worked for me and this does. But I do not think it is the only way for everyone, and I am not in favor of it being forced on anyone. I agree that the question of treatment centers promoting or not promoting it is a thorny issue, as is courts ordering people to attend. I think many reasons are historical; also, it’s the biggest and most diverse support group out there and support is clearly necessary, so the centers prepare clients to use it. Some centers are allowing clients to attend LifeRing or other more secular groups; I’d like to see these groups flourish more.

      • Thank you for sharing! It’s good to hear that you have something that works with you and I also hope to see other groups flourish to meet the needs of diverse people, even more so as we’re living in an increasingly globalized world.

        I learned a lot of things from my internship and I keep learning every time I reflect upon it and discuss it despite the difficulties I had in it. I was only an undergraduate intern and I was pushed into leading group counseling sessions without training (except for three or four shadowing sessions) due to the understaffing!

        As a naive student so willing to help with anything, I said yes unquestionably, thinking that I would receive ample support from staff which I didn’t. Although I’ve had clients who seemed to respond to me positively, most of them were, understandably, frustrated with how a woman as young and inexperienced as I was counseling them. I was frustrated with trying to contribute what I can only to not receive as much support and guidance as I needed from supervisors and to be looked down at by clients. The crowded and loud nature of a rehab center was overwhelming for my sensitive introverted self that can only tolerate so much stimulation. I therefore withdrew so much. It affected my self esteem a lot that I lost any motivation to do better in the job. Upon reflection though, I noticed that many things I perceived as “obstacles” in the job could’ve been surmounted with some creative thinking or simply being more pushy to supervisors about my needs as an intern. But I was too burnt out to think. I guess one important thing I learned is that a rehab center is not the right setting for me in my path to being a counselor, and that’s valuable info enough! I also learned to not have an idealistic expectation of my coworkers and supervisors, despite my lack of experience compared to them.

        Having said that though, I still feel that given I am entering the field of mental health, I need to make myself more aware about the experiences of those who suffer from substance abuse/dependance as many people struggling with mental health or/and violence also struggle with substance abuse!

        Apologies for the long email, but I really wanted to vent. Looking forward to reading your thoughts in this blog and to staying in touch!

  8. Hi Tertia, thank you for liking my post! It sounds very hard what you’ve had to go through, and I think it’s helpful for people like you and me whose lives have been overshadowed to find others out there who face similar issues. Happy you’ve stumbled across my blog! 🙂

  9. Touched by your post and your honesty. Blessings to you!

  10. Hi Tertia,
    Could you put a “Contact Me” page on your blog so we could talk privately? If you need help with that you can come to my “Contact Me” page and send me a private e-mail. I will help you if you like.

    • Dear Robin,
      I’ll try to get that done today. I’ll let you know if I have any trouble. Thanks for the suggestion, and looking forward to hearing from you.

  11. Hi! I nominated you for the LIebster Award! You can see the post at http://wp.me/p2AkqH-9m.

    • Thanks! I’m new to this concept, but it sounds like a nice thing and I appreciate your gesture! I’ll get my posts about it up within a day, I’m still not the greatest at pasting links.

      On Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM, Not This Song

  12. I really enjoyed your post! I have had issues with self-medication which is common for people with mental illness. I belong to a twelve step support group that deals with both issues. There are some in our group who do not have addiction to substances, but to unhealthy behaviors. I see you’re already making friends here and want t welcome you to the army aiming to fight the monster called stigma. Together, we can win!
    Peace of Mind & Love to you! Nana
    P.S. check out my new blog @ bipolarnana.com, Twitter @bipolarnana1 & if you have a moment, please press Like on my Facebook, which will bring it to 3!!!! I’d appreciate it!

  13. Appreciate your noticing and liking my latest blog post on Your Creativity Sandbox. Thank you, Tertia. 🙂

  14. Great info. If you continue to read my postings, most prevelant excerpts from my book I’m sure you’ll agree we have a vast amount of traits and experiences in common. I’m a follower on your blog now. Look forward to reading more!! Chad….

  15. FYI. If you don’t know what DRA (Dual Recovery Anonymous) is Check it out. It’s like no other 12 step program out there. Support and non-judgement. And compassion are what I receive.I’ve formed close friendships, which have helped me stay sober (over four years). And I haven’t had a major episode since.

  16. Thank you for such courageous shares… I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award if you wanted to participate. Love & Light!


  17. Glad to have stumbled upon your blog. We have a lot in common. I appreciate honest writing.

  18. Thank you for stopping by my blog 🙂 Wish you all the best on your continued journey ❤

  19. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. I hope this is okay. Here is the link that tells you what to do:


  20. Pingback: Apologizing to Roses | Kitt O'Malley

  21. I´m really glad you stumbled upon my blog. I´ve struggled and keep struggling with addiction. I found very interesting the concept of “integrative recovery”

    What I have found, is that writing and reading, being creative does keep my mind occupied and really focus so it doesn´t wander into dark places. Glad I found your blog. I think is great what your doing here.

  22. I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award!
    Check it out here: http://nonsenseshenanigans.com/2014/07/12/liebster-award/

  23. Your blog is beautiful. You are amazingly strong to share your story and help others. 🙂

  24. Thank you for the follow, Lori. Back atcha!

    What an amazing person of strength and resiliency you are. Thank you for sharing your story through vulnerability and courage.

    X Chris

  25. Hi, Lori,
    Thank you for liking “Mirror Mirror” on healingforhearts.wordpress.com.
    As I read your “about,” you have 4 years and 3 months clean: Congratulations.
    You have an interesting and candid blog. I read part of your article about your daughter and the reflection her academic performance seems to be on you. It is sad that others presume to know who we are and what we’re like, yeah? I’ll come visit again; do feel free to come my way from time to time.

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