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.