Your Story Matters. I am. We are. Recovery. blankShare Your Story. Inspire Hope. It Matters.
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  October 16, 2009      
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Randy Hill

"My Story is about Freedom"

My name is Randy Hill. I am an enrolled Tuscarora Indian, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy, and also in the Bear Clan of my nation. This is my story of recovery and the freedom I now experience - freedom from 31 years of alcoholism and freedom to finally have a life that is full of love and purpose!

I am 13 years away from my last drink and am graciously employed as a Mentally Ill Chemically Addicted (MICA) Coordinator and Mental Health Peer Advocate by the Native American Independent Living Services, a branch of Western New York Independent Living. My position offers me the freedom to travel the Western New York area to work with members of the Indian Nations. In working with the Seneca Nation of Indians (located on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation), I have had the honor to create two projects, the Talking Circle and Drumming Circle.

Native Americans, have used ceremonies for healing from the inside for centuries, and they are still effective in today's world. Sacred to us is sage, talking stick, eagle feather and the four directions, used to honor our Creator and to bring our good spirit helpers into the circles. We conclude with a shared meal always making what we call a Spirit Plate first, thanking the Creator for the blessings we enjoy every day in sober living.

From the alleyways of Niagara Falls, searching for cans with a 5-cent deposit to buy a bottle of cheap wine to make the shakes stop, to the offices located in Albany where I am welcomed to tell the needs of my people concerning addictions and mental health issues - what a journey!

We struggle to make peace within ourselves, to find self-worth. Through utilizing the spiritual gifts from our ancestors we can find recovery from this and many other forms of abuse. The Creator has seen fit to allow me the freedom to be me, and that has brought into my life a beautiful Cherokee woman, my wife. She has shown me a way to address my problems in life, giving me a new way to look at these problems and find solutions. Thank you Creator for the freedom to be in recovery!

My name is Randy, and my story is about freedom. What's Your Story?


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