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The Girl in the Closet

From the Dallas Morning News, an 8-part profile of Lauren Kavanaugh, who was kept in a closet for six years before being rescued at age 8 weighing 26 lbs, and of the remarkable people and recovery that has followed. [Warning: this story and the accompanying photos and videos are immensely hard to read, watch and listen to, and this piece is a trigger for every possible kind of abuse.]
posted by DarlingBri on Oct 31, 2013 - 92 comments

I ♥ DULUTH, The Story of the Maria Bamford Show

About a year after her participation in the groundbreaking Comedy Central documentary series the Comedians of Comedy, Maria Bamford was on stage at the Friars Club in LA when a heckler began shouting at her. What happened after that isn’t entirely clear, other than Bamford had a breakdown, walked off stage, and disappeared. She was found three months later selling clock radios on the sidewalks of Detroit. A fellow homeless person, who was also a Comedy Central fan, recognized Bamford and eventually her parents were contacted. They brought her back home to Deluth, Minnesota and began to get her help. Maria decided to document her recovery in a series of short videos called The Maria Bamford Show, which were first posted to the TBS networks' now abandoned Super Deluxe Web site. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 26, 2013 - 100 comments

"Don't call it a comeback/I've been here for years."

Jay Walljasper covers Detroit: Not Your Father's Motor City, The Surprise Behind Detroit's Emerging Comeback, Young People’s Fascination With Motor City is Only Part of Detroit Revitalization, A Food Commons Grows In Detroit. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 27, 2012 - 31 comments

Idaho couple recover drowning victims

Five months ago, she vowed to find him. It wasn’t the RCMP who could help, or even a Canadian. Instead, Ms. Smith turned to Gene and Sandy Ralston, an Idaho couple who zig-zag North America in their 32-foot motor home, helping recover bodies from lakes and rivers when authorities can’t, or won’t. They don't get paid, and in some years rack up nearly 50,000 kilometres. They do it simply because people ask.
posted by emcat8 on Jul 29, 2012 - 25 comments

What happened with Iceland?

It seems that Iceland's unorthodox crisis policy response has succeeded.
posted by knz on Jul 16, 2012 - 67 comments

Betsy, We're Not in Barneveld Any More

How does a natural disaster, a tragedy, change people? The Barneveld tornados of 1984 were considered some of the strongest tornados recorded. Survivors tell their stories 25 years later. Here is some video (news footage) of the aftermath. More survivor story video.
posted by JohnnyGunn on Apr 30, 2012 - 9 comments

"Taken as prescribed... by my addict brain."

The perils of chronic pain in recovery: As a sober addict prescribed Oxycodone, comedian Amy Dresner was careful to follow doctor's orders. Then her disease kicked in.
posted by hermitosis on Jan 31, 2012 - 72 comments

Caroline Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story"

Drinking: A Love Story, Chapter Six: Sex - by Caroline Knapp
posted by Trurl on Jan 26, 2012 - 36 comments

"Caught between Recovery and the Coffin"

If I Die Young: Struggling with Addiction and Recovery. "Last year, 249 people died of prescription drug overdoses in Pinellas County, FL. Just about everybody who knew Stacy Nicholson figured she was next. Then an empathetic judge gave her a choice: recovery, or the coffin." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 17, 2011 - 86 comments

I would like you to know my name

The bravest woman in Seattle would like us to know her name. Warning: The earlier posts are brutal and very hard to read, and possibly especially so for victims of violence and sexual assault. Previously, previously.
posted by A Terrible Llama on Aug 10, 2011 - 35 comments

Surviving Survival

The Summer 2011 issue of Stanford Medicine Magazine is about "Surviving Survival": The Woman Who Fell To Earth / Khmer Rouge on Trial / A Kid Again / Her Stroke of Insight / RxErcise [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 16, 2011 - 11 comments

'Do Not Cry'

JKTS: A Japanese medical aid worker's diary An anonymous blog written by a Japanese nurse as she cared for victims of the tsunami has given strength to survivors and fellow relief workers.
posted by PepperMax on May 10, 2011 - 3 comments

"This is the largest market you’ve never heard of."

TheFix.com is a new site targeting the more than 40 million Americans who are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. It features Ask-An-Expert videos, news, editorials and thorough reviews of rehab facilities based on Zagat's system. Founded by Maer Roshan, one of the founders of Radar Magazine. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 7, 2011 - 36 comments

Paws for Purple Hearts

... it's terribly important for veterans to feel they are continuing a mission that held them together through the violence and stress of war. "PTSD carries a stigma, that you're broken and wounded," said Yount, "And many guys have guilt for not still being in the fight. The idea of Paws for Purple Hearts is you can be part of the war effort while you're getting treatment."
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 13, 2010 - 17 comments

We Are Going to Know a New Freedom and a New Happiness

Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works. "There is evidence that a big part of AA’s effectiveness may have nothing to do with the actual (12) steps. It may derive from something more fundamental: the power of the group. The importance of this is reflected by the fact that the more deeply AA members commit to the group, rather than just the program, the better they fare." [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jul 6, 2010 - 145 comments

Life, rekindled.

How does an ecosystem rebound from catastrophe? Thirty years after the blast, Mount St. Helens is reborn again. Interactive Graphic: Blast Zone. Also see National Geographic's feature article from 1981, chronicling that year's eruption. Previously on MeFi [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 20, 2010 - 18 comments

Stephanie Aurora Clark Nielson returns from an almost fatal plane crash.

On August 16, 2008, a small plane carrying a young married couple and their flight instructor crashed in the Arizona desert. Doug Kinneard, the instructor, was killed in the crash; Stephanie and Christian Nielson survived, both severely burned. Prior to the crash, Stephanie's weblog, the NieNie Dialogues, "had attracted a small but ardent following, thanks to its upbeat dispatches about marriage, home décor, entertaining and the art of raising four children ages 6 and younger." After the crash, with burns on over 80% of her body, she spent two months in a medically induced coma. One month later, she was released from the hospital (link to Stephanie's sister's blog); one month after that, she began blogging again. Stephanie's posts since then have chronicled her gradual recovery, her re-integration into her family, her love and gratitude for her husband, and, finally, on the one-year anniversary of the plane crash, herself. [more inside]
posted by granted on Aug 16, 2009 - 61 comments

Neat BBC video color recovery research

Unscrambling an army of colours, reports The Guardian on the BBC's forthcoming screening of a colour-restored episode of the WWII sitcom Dad's Army. Not seen for 40 years and lost in its original PAL video colour format, it existed only as an archive on 16mm b&w film. However, the Colour Recovery Working Group found a way to recover the colour information from "chroma dots": pattern artefacts on the b&w representing unfiltered colour signal. Techie details here and here.
posted by raygirvan on Dec 11, 2008 - 7 comments

Shantaram

Shantaram is the story of a violent man's search for the man of peace within himself. Gregory David Roberts, clip 1, clip 2, 3 and 4, is an ex-junkie, former gun runner; drugs, forged passports and black market currency dealer; was a member of the Bombay Mafia and close with a Mafia don there; acted in Bollywood movies; fought with the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan; imprisoned in an Australian maximum security prison with a 19 year sentence and escaped to the Bombay slums, where he set up a free clinic. His semi-autobiography is called Shantaram, which means man pf peace. Review on Shunya. His website. Movie due out in 2009. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 21, 2008 - 30 comments

Celebrity Do-Gooder Does Actual Good

During last year's Toronto International Film Festival, there were stories about Colin Farrell taking a local homeless man on a shopping spree. This year, the Toronto Sun follows up. via
posted by jacquilynne on Aug 31, 2008 - 19 comments

Theft recovery

Juststolen.net "was created by police officers to provide the best possible asset tracking and property recovery services in the world. JustStolen.net is an innovative tool designed to easily register assets in order to facilitate their recovery if they are lost or stolen. JustStolen.net joins forces with online auctions to help identify stolen property."
posted by tristeza on Dec 6, 2007 - 7 comments

rolling on

Coming Home - in honor of Veteran's Day, it might be fitting to check in on the recovery of J.R. Salzman, known here on mefi as Logboy.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 11, 2007 - 41 comments

Delancey Street

In 1971 Delancey Street began with four residents, a thousand dollar loan, and a dream to develop a new model to turn around the lives of substance abusers, former felons, and others who have hit bottom by empowering the people with the problems to become their own solution. With no professionals, no government funding, and at no charge to the clients, Delancey Street Foundation has rehabilitated and provided job skills to thousands of former drug addicts and criminals. They have a successful moving company, a well loved (although not necessarily critically acclaimed) restaurant, a thriving Christmas tree business, and a partnership with the local state university. Founded in the heady radical days of the early 70s, they've had a few bumps along the way, (cofounder John Maher died of a drug overdose) but they are one of the most well respected models for rehabilitation in the world. In recent news, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has been spending a lot of time there.
posted by serazin on Feb 25, 2007 - 24 comments

The Coolest Priest in the World

Meet Becca Stevens, Episcopal priest, Tennessean of the year, Nashvillian of the year, author, podcaster and wife of an equally cool husband. In addition to tending her flock and raising a family, the Rev. Becca runs Magdalene House, a residential program for women overcoming lives of addiction and prostitution that has an 87% success rate. Women in the program work at Thistle Farms, making all natural lotions, balms and bath products that put Mary Kaye to shame.
posted by Biblio on Apr 10, 2006 - 8 comments

My daddy loves his Civ more than he loves me

We believe that a power greater than Sid Meier can restore us to sanity. Yeah, World of Warcraft may currently be ruining your life, but I'd bet good money that over the long haul Civilization and other games by Sid Meier have ruined more lives than that upstart. Don't give in! NO MORE TURNS!
posted by WolfDaddy on Oct 26, 2005 - 78 comments

Still going...

Everyone is (probably) familiar with Something Awful. However, you may not be familiar with their hosting company - located in a New Orleans office building on Poydras in the CBD... but have you noticed that SA hasn't gone blank yet? It's because Zipa, and directNIC upstairs have the whole data center disaster contingency thing on lockdown. Blog and pictures from the directNIC guys are regularly updated. Color me impressed.
posted by kuperman on Aug 31, 2005 - 69 comments

Survivors Healed, but Not Whole

Survivors Healed, but Not Whole "But hearing the story of how Patty crawled out of that room, dutifully dragging her behemoth purse (it weighed a ton, it seemed, with enough odds and ends to supply an army), and this as her colleagues were stripping off their clothes and lapping up water off the floor in a desperate struggle to escape the terrible heat and stay alive -- that was funny. A half-year after the attack, the reconstruction of the Pentagon is racing along, with crews repairing the broken facade and ready to start roof work today, the six-month anniversary. Harder to mend are the souls of those who were there Sept. 11."
posted by owillis on Mar 11, 2002 - 2 comments

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