Journey to Normal

Journey to Normal

Season 2, Episode 9

Host(s): Dr. Larry Force, Andrew O’Grady, Elisa Gwilliam

Guest(s): Judy: Alcoholics Anonymous leader based in the Hudson Valley, New York

The INTERSECTIONS Exchange team is joined by Judy, who has dealt with personal mental illness and addiction experiences as well as lead an Alcoholics Anonymous group for more than thirty years. On the podcast, Judy shares her inspirational life story and pathway to the recovery field and discusses the complicated interactions of mental health and addiction.

Topics Discussed

  • Judy’s alcoholism and recovery journey
  • Power of community in AA
  • Intersections between depression and alcoholism
  • Self-destructive behaviors during addiction
  • “Double recovery” from mental health disorders and addiction


Key Quote(s)

  • “The idea of being mentally stuck with me even when I didn’t drink…at A.A. I was impressed by their ability to stay sober and to have a joyous outlook.” – Judy
  • “Alcoholism and drug addictions can cause mental health problems and many times people drink to medicate themselves because it’s the one thing that helps them escape the depression or anxiety they’re feeling.” – Andrew O’Grady
  • “Even in the confines of being online, the treatment modality has changed and become more specialized and more specific and more successful. We know much more today about addictive behaviors and biochemistry even within the span of our own lives.” – Dr. Larry Force


INTERSECTIONS is an innovative, peer delivered, modular self-care program developed by the National Organization of Adult Addictions and Recovery (NOAAR) and Mental Health America of Dutchess County.

Addiction, chronic illness, and mental health are dimensions in our lives that isolate us. They isolate us from ourselves, from others, and from our spirit. INTERSECTIONS helps us connect and reconnect to reach our full potential.

INTERSECTIONS promotes the reduction of reoccurrence, improved maintenance of recovery plans, and success within family systems and the community.

Modules include:

  • Orientation
  • Meditation
  • Movement
  • Nutrition
  • Mindfulness
  • Personal Visions and Goals
  • Spirituality

INTERSECTIONS is based on a theoretical orientation called The Theory of Dimensionality and is rooted in a Practice-Based Intervention, Dimensional Solution Based Treatment (DSBT).

“We cannot fix you because you are not broken … everybody has stuff. We are all in Recovery from something.”

About MHA Dutchess County

Mental Health America of Dutchess County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure nobody gets left behind in our community due to lack of mental health services. Our staff and volunteers work day and night to:

  • Strengthen families
  • Overcome fear
  • Help people dealing with anxiety
  • Link individuals to the supports they need
  • Provide safe spaces to heal
  • Break down stigma
  • …and much, much more.