Realizing Recovery

We are a network of individuals who are on the path of recovery.

We identify as being in recovery from mental health, substance abuse and or addiction struggles. Together we share information, provide peer support, advocate with a united voice and improve the system. We come from places all across Montana, with different stories and experiences but together we make a difference. This is the Recovery Movement in Montana.


Recovery Talks Podcasts

Weekly podcasts on various topics relevant to people in recovery, the peer support workforce, and anyone interested in learning more about recovery.

Video Library

MPN has several videos available for free including trainings, how-tos, 5 Good Minutes Series, & Recovery Stories



Standing up for what we believe is right, having a voice, making choices in recovery, and sharing our own recovery story are some of the things that make up advocacy and self-advocacy.

Let’s start with self-advocacy which refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate, or assert his/her own interests, desires, needs, or rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions (Van Reusen et al., 1994).

Knowing yourself and your strengths, needs, and interests is the first step toward advocating for your rights. Once we begin to find our way on the path of recovery, we may want to begin to advocate for ourselves with those around us—peer supporters, friends, family, service providers, and doctors. These conversations may be difficult, but having them is vital to your recovery. Remember, you are the expert on yourself.

It may be that prior to getting on the path to recovery, others were making decisions for you or acting in what they believed to be your best interest. Now may be the time for you to let others know what you believe to be in your best interest. You may find yourself in the process of taking control and making decisions affecting your life and perhaps others’ lives. This process of self-determination means making informed choices, problem solving, setting and attaining goals—essentially being a self-advocate.

Advocacy or advocating for others may be something you are interested in doing. Advocating for another person isn’t about acting in a person’s perceived best interest, but it is standing with a person to ensure they are able to articulate and obtain what they want or need. Perhaps you may consider speaking up and advocating for various changes in the services in your community.

Here are a few examples of advocacy:

  • Speak to your legislature or a special committee.
  • Get involved with an advocacy group or organization.
  • Share your recovery story to support others in recovery.
  • Whether advocating for yourself, for others, for your community, or as part of an organization, advocacy is very self-empowering. You can make a real difference in your life, the lives of others, and even the community.
  • Reach out to Montana’s Peer Network and share your recovery story on one of our “Recovery Talks” podcasts.

Peer Advocacy and Leadership Project

In October 2019, MPN embarked on the next phase in statewide networking with the Peer Advocacy and Leadership (PAL) Project funded through SAMHSA Statewide Consumer Network Grant program (grant number 1H79SM081947-01). The PAL Project is designed to improve consumer/peer participation and voice in the mental health system through leadership development, advocacy, increased participation and training. We have seen that Local Advisory Councils (LAC’s) and Service Area Authorities (SAA’s) often struggle to meet the requirement that their membership have at least 51% consumers and family members. MPN would like to help these organizations increase their membership and train new leaders and advocates.

MPN is working on an updated version of the trainings that were developed under this grant. Check back for more information.

Peer Advocacy and Leadership Passport Podcast

Peer Advocacy and Leadership Year 2 Podcast

Realizing Recovery Blog

Posted on by Lea Wetzel

Native American Heritage Month

The arrival of Native American Heritage Month heralds a deeply personal journey for me, a Blackfoot woman steadfastly navigating the intricate path of recovery. Within the expansive tapestry of indigenous cultures, I discover not only solace and strength but a profound connection to my roots that serves as the cornerstone of my journey of self-discovery. Engaged in tribal liaison work with Montana tribes, this month transcends mere celebration; it stands as a testament to the transformative power of cultural heritage, weaving through my role as a mother and illuminating the unique lens of recovery from an American Indian woman’s perspective.

Posted on by Erin Faulkner

A Miracle in Recovery

This story is very close to my heart. Anna is my sister. I have seen her struggle since her teenage years. At the heart of her struggles, and only discovered in recent years, is her diagnosis of several mental health challenges. She was also adopted from South Africa as a toddler and has struggled with feelings of abandonment and attachment her whole life. Anna has fought family and friends in search of what would make her feel better, feel more. It has challenged our family as she has lost battles in the past.

Posted on by Erin Faulkner

A Personal Gratitude Challenge

As I typically do when writing on a topic, I looked for definitions and synonyms to make sure that my readers and I are on the same page. Gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. I like those words: thankful, appreciation, kindness. I think it is easy to say thank you, but more powerful to show appreciation and kindness. It is similar to how saying sorry is just a word, but an apology says why and how you will make it better. It carries more weight.

Posted on by OpenAI

Sensory Processing Disorders

Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) are a complex and often misunderstood set of conditions that affect how individuals perceive and respond to sensory stimuli from their environment. These disorders can have a profound impact on a person’s daily life, from their ability to interact with others to their emotional well-being. While much progress has been made in understanding SPD in recent years, there is still much to learn about its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Posted on by Mandy Waite

Embracing Resilience: LGBTQ+ A Journey of Struggle and Triumph

In the tapestry of human history, the LGBTQ+ community has woven a thread of resilience, creativity, and love that stretches back centuries. Despite monumental progress in recent decades, LGBTQ+ individuals continue to face discrimination, adversity, and stigmatization. This blog aims to explore the intersection of LGBTQ+ history, mental health, addiction, and recovery, shedding light on the unique challenges faced by this community. As a lesbian woman in long-term recovery, who came out at the age of 37, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative power of acceptance, support, and inclusivity from many within recovery communities. Yet, like countless members of the LGBTQ+ community who have come before me, my journey has also been marked by moments of fear, judgment, and significant adversity. Embracing my authentic self has meant navigating a world that, at best, strongly favors heteronormativity, and at worst, as history has shown, can be hostile to individuals like me.

Posted on by Beth Ayers

Are You a Parent at Increased Risk for Depression?

I am a mom of two, now adult, children with behavioral health challenges and I work as a Family Peer Supporter helping other parents currently raising children with special healthcare needs including behavioral health. As a Family Peer Supporter, I get to walk beside families and help lift their burden by listening and connecting through a shared lived experience. Parenting is stressful in and of itself. It’s a full-time job with no training manual. Parents don’t clock in and clock out. They don’t get to call in sick. And a literal life depends on how well you do! Like most moms, I envisioned the future for my children including friends, activities, school, summer camp, growing up, high school dances, graduation, college, marriage, children of their own, and so on.

Posted on by Kayla Myers

The Greatest Mistake

I am going to try something new with this month’s theme: recovery. Honesty is admirable, the more I dive into the depths of my mental health recovery journey, I know honesty will be the key that I didn’t have in my pocket the first time around. I had some old triggers resurface for me and new obstacles present themselves the last couple weeks. Here are my take aways……

Posted on by Nikki Russell

Patchwork Recovery

Recovery is 1000 small decisions that, at the moment, feel insignificant yet, when added up over time, have. I recorded my recovery journey on countless pieces of paper to create a compilation of ah-ha moments from depths of darkness into life in recovery. My recovery has been a patchwork of written thoughts, shapeless until I weaved them into my life, attempting to live them as profound as they are when they dance in my mind. This is where creativity began to inform my life, realizing that it is my choice to transform past conditioning into the spark that ignites passion. Dare I show the world who I am behind the facade of correct behavior and be the superstar I create in my mind?

Posted on by Lea Wetzel

Recovery is Life

Recovery is the beginning of positive change and development of the spirit and who the human being is, as an individual. It is the bond and balance of body, mind, and soul. It is the discovery of who Creator really made someone to be.

Posted on by OpenAI

Commitment to Recovery

Recovery, whether from physical ailments, mental health challenges, addiction, or any form of adversity, is a journey that requires unwavering commitment and determination. It is a process that demands not only medical interventions but also a profound dedication to self-improvement and healing. The essence of commitment to recovery lies in the willingness to face challenges head-on, persevere through setbacks, and cultivate resilience that leads to a renewed sense of well-being.