MRC Recovery Spotlight: Howard Collier

If I were to go back in time, I’d tell myself that it’s okay to be just as I am, to fully accept and be aware of my God-given gifts and talents. This has been a vital part of my healing and my recovery.

Minnesota Recovery Connection is a Recovery Community Organization, a grassroots nonprofit whose staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors are all people in personal or family recovery, or are community allies. We are dedicated to strengthening the recovery community, and we are proud to share our stories. This month, we hear from volunteer Howard Collier.

MRC: How did you get involved with MRC and what does MRC mean to you?

Howard: I first heard about MRC through Nuway, the outpatient treatment center that I am currently attending.  I’ve been through the recovery process several times and it was suggested that being of service to others could help benefit my recovery this time around.  I decided that being of service to others at MRC would be a good fit for me as they have several structured programs designed to support others in recovery.  Through MRC’s Telephone Recovery Support program, I support others by listening to their stories, successes and personal struggles and have found I can help people by walking with them through some hard times that can often times show up in the recovery process.  It’s all been quite interesting, emotional and ultimately beneficial to my own recovery. I volunteer as much as I can in the mornings before going to Nuway each day, and I have just started assisting MRC with their outreach efforts to other organizations in the recovery community.

 MRC: What is something significant that you are proud of?

Howard: Before the disease of addiction was in full force in my life, I was offered a partnership with a consulting firm I had worked for.  I never imagined this would be possible for me because I came from a very poor background with no formal college education. But one day I was approached by the firm to fill out an application for the partnership.  The application was basically a twelve-page letter. They asked me to write that letter for four years and I never did because I really didn’t have the same confidence and belief in abilities to fill that role. Looking back, I do think that was amazing.  

Ultimately, I believe understanding and accepting myself for who I am, and my capabilities has been a huge shift for me in this recovery journey.

MRC: Who inspires you?

Howard: It gives me great comfort and inspiration to be in the company of anyone who through courage, compassion and empathy aspires to offer more of themselves to others.  Also, people who are strong, resilient, and know themselves.  

MRC: If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Howard: Don’t drink!  But besides that, to realize that it’s okay to be just as I am.  To fully accept and be aware of my God-given gifts and talents. This has been a vital part of my healing and my recovery.

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