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Five String Recovery, Part 2 (Guest: Phillip Wadlow)

A 16-year-old musician wins a national bluegrass championship while secretly battling addiction. Here’s the second of his two-part story about his recovery, his music, and his message to young people.

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Five String Recovery, Phillip WadlowThis is the concluding part of 5-String Recovery with guest, Phillip Wadlow. In this part he tells of moving into adulthood with his drug and alcohol addiction, and how it affected his marriage, his children, his work, and his health. He also shares how he came to realize he needed treatment, and he tells of that experience. Throughout the interview, Phil plays some of the music that was such a significant part of his life, and shares how he’d like to use his music as an avenue for reaching out to young people. (Dr. Sutton, the interviewer, plays back-up guitar, except for the sad, but appropriate, guitar solo that represents one of the lowest points in Phil’s life.)

The original message of this interview was a cassette tape program, thus the reference to the cassette near the end of the program. Because Phil did move around quite a bit over the years, it is not know exactly where he is now, but life goes on. His children are grown now, of course, and it is know that he has remarried and, at last word, he and his wife were managing an apartment complex in Missouri.

There is a powerful message Phil wants young people need to hear, and this is it: Although one can recover from drugs and alcohol and work a program of dedicated sobriety, the costs of addiction impose many losses than cannot be recovered. Unless one takes responsibility for those losses, instead of blaming others, complete recovery is difficult, indeed. (20:40)

To listen, left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK

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April 4, 2017 Posted by | adversity, Affirmation and Recognition, Anxiety and Depression, Counselors, courage, Difficult Child, Educators, family, Healthy living, Parents, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five String Recovery, Part 1 (Phillip Wadlow)

A 16-year-old musician wins a national bluegrass championship while secretly battling addiction. Here’s his two-part story about his recovery, his music, and his message to young people.

…………………………….

Five String Recovery, Phil Wadlow, The Changing Behavior Network

If you take a Missouri boy who grew up with bluegrass music and encourage his natural talent for playing it well, you’ll have the ingredients for an awesome career very few can achieve.

Young Phillip Wadlow was that Missouri boy. Everything was falling into place for him, until drugs and alcohol threatened to destroy him and all he held dear. This is his story and his music, in two parts. This interview was recorded in May of 1990, as Phil was completing his first year of recovery and sobriety. It’s a story Phil wants young people to hear, for he hopes they can learn from the wrong turns he took.Five String Recovery, Phillip Wadlow

In this part, Part One, Phil shares how he began using marijuana at a very young age, and how so quickly its use became chronic. But Phil also shares about the music he grew up with and how, at 16, he won a national bluegrass championship. He plays the song that took first place, “Cattle in the Cane.” The joy of being recognized for his music, however, was tainted by the fact he was, by then, completely dependent upon his drug of choice.

Dr. Sutton, the host in this interview, picks up his guitar and accompanies Phil on most of the songs in both parts on the interview. The banjo solo at the opening is an original composition of Phil’s, “Dusty Roads.” (22:12)

To listen, left-click this link. To access the file, right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE.

 

March 28, 2017 Posted by | adversity, Affirmation and Recognition, Anxiety and Depression, Counselors, Difficult Child, family, Healthy living, Human Interest, Inspirational, Parents, Resilience, Self-esteem, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Esperanza: Hope is Alive and Well!

Most of us would avoid long stands in the direct sun if we could. But not the Esperanza plants in my back yard. They say, “Bring it on, the more, the better!” Here’s a picture of them.

I love the bumper crop of bright yellow flowers against the deep green of the leaves, and I also love what the word Esperanza means in Spanish: Hope.

These Esperanzas are thriving in south Texas temperatures that topped 100 degrees every single day for months. As long as they’re watered, they’ll grow close to 20 feet in a single season. (I’m no plant expert, but I believe that my Esperanza plants are so tall because they want to get out of the shade. There’s hardly a bloom on them until they grow taller than the fence and then some. They WANT the sun.

When a freeze comes, however, the Esperanzas are the first to go; I cut them down even with the ground every winter. And yet, when spring, they start their climb once more. Why? Well, because they have awesome roots that hold fast, cold or hot.

These Esperanza plants can teach us a very important lesson: If you are rooted well, you know who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going. With strong roots a little care, you can grow and grow and grow. Adversity not only causes you to grow even more, it can even uncover hidden blessings and opportunity.

Hope is alive and well. Grow, Esperanzas, grow!

James Sutton, Psychologist

September 26, 2011 Posted by | adversity, family, Inspirational, Self-esteem, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Will to Carry On

My 33-year-old son got a troubling phone call last week. His best friend in high school had wrapped himself in plastic in the cab of his pickup … then ended his life with a shotgun.

It was interesting to hear how the funeral of a person who felt so hopeless was so largely attended that it took an hour and a half for the attendees to file by the casket.

What would have to happen for a person to feel so bad that not living another day, another hour, another minute would sound like the best plan? The emotional pain would have to be unbearable. Such a person would not be in their rational mind. 

And consider the pain of his parents. These are GOOD and decent people; I know them. How would you EVER get past grief like this? 

It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? Even under the worst of it, the vast majority of us would find a way to keep on keeping on. 

But that in no way means it wouldn’t be difficult … incredibly difficult. 

This all stood in contrast to me when I stepped into a convenience store near my hotel here in Knoxville. The lady behind the counter was white-headed, bent and stooped. She was 75 if she was a day. But she had an infectuous spirit and a smile and a way with customers that had to make her boss KNOW she could never be compensated for the value she brought.

I don’t know why she was still working; there might have been a good reason.  And there might even be some folks who would resent her filling a job that could go to a young worker. But, frankly, she was doing it ten times BETTER than most folks young enough to be her grandkids.

Joy oozed from this woman. I managed to even get a little of it on me.

And I was better for it.

James Sutton, Psychologist   www.docspeak.com

October 15, 2007 Posted by | adversity, Counselors, Educators, family, Inspirational, Self-esteem | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment