The theme song from the 80’s television show Cheers serenaded its viewers with the phrase “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” Those of us that remember that song know how important its message is to those in Dual Recovery, finding a place where you are welcomed and celebrated, a place where kindred spirits find truth, love, support and understanding from one another. A place where judgment is replaced by acceptance, where the sorrow of isolation and feeling misunderstood and alone are gently washed by acceptance, the realization that who you are is truly special, and your experiences are not only shared but also ultimately could save another’s life. Dual Recovery Anonymous sprang from a need to fill a very important void in the lives of Kern County Mental Health’s clients, finding a place where they could get sober and recover from mental illness without compromising the truth and realities of each person’s journey. And so began a meeting at our Stockdale Site with 14 participants, none sure of what was about to happen, everybody just knew they needed a place to give a voice to their struggles, heartbreak, symptoms, voices, illusions, delusions and strength, hope and recovery. There was, and there still is, no cruel laughter of nervous misunderstanding and judgment when participants bravely share. There is only love, respect and support from others and that is what has allowed that modest group of 14 to grow to over 31 at the last meeting, with two additional meetings added since. I personally have been touched by the “magic” of DRA having been diagnosed with Bi-polar Disorder in 1996 and am also a recovering addict. I have seen participants who have never spoken openly in public about their challenges step from behind a curtain of shame to proudly proclaim, “Addiction and mental illness are not who I am but what I am living with AND recovering from.” ALL are welcome who are recovering from addiction and mental illness, not just KCMH clients, so come on out and let us get to know your name and show you how glad we are that you came!
1600 East Belle Terrace Bakersfield CA 93307
Contact Cara Beattie (661) 635-2956
Contact Bernadette Angelo 868-6183
Wednesdays 11am to 12pm
Consumer Family Learning Center "Empowerment Room"
5121 Stockdale Hwy Suite A
Bakersfield Ca 93309
Contact John French 868-5004 or Marvin Buckley 868-5037
Kern Linkage Program "Tower Room"
2525 North Chester Ave Bakersfield CA 93308
Contact Tammy Cates 868-1774