A former alcoholic and addict in Chilliwack is looking for community support to help him continue a video project aimed at substance users and their loved ones.
Mike Kappeler, along with videographer Brad Patterson, just released the promotional video and first episode of their new show called Recovery Life.
It tells Kappeler’s story of recovery, but instead of focusing mostly on his past addiction, he speaks mainly about the positive side.
“Everybody’s aware of the negative part, let’s show some positive stuff. Let’s show the way out, how people did it, and the freedom people are experiencing today,” Kappeler said.
He and Patterson now want to film more recovery stories. They have a few people ready to speak on camera but they need the funding to make it happen, so they launched a GoFundMe.
The project has already received a lot of support from family, friends and the community, bringing in $3,000 (half their $6,000 goal) in just 24 hours.
Kappeler shared his story publicly earlier this year as part of an overdose prevention video series by Pacific Community Resources Society and is sharing it again as the kick-off to Recovery Life.
Kappeler started drinking when he was a teenager and became addicted to cocaine as an adult.
He initially went into recovery in 2008. Over the past 13 years he went back out of recovery twice, but now he’s been sober for two years.
He calls his experience a “spiritual awakening.”
“Recovery has helped me fill a void, an internal void. It’s not a religious thing, it’s a spiritual thing,” he said.
Kappeler said that addiction is a disease and those using are “not bad people, they’re just sick.”
Being afraid to speak about it or being in denial of it gives addiction so much power, he added.
“The first step is getting the secret out in the open. There is a lot of relief and power in just getting the secret out. This is the starting point of recovery.”
He’s hoping for two things with Recovery Life: that alcoholics and addicts can relate to the stories so that there’s a starting point for them to get help; and that family members and employers are able to speak openly with the addicts, and put up healthy boundaries to help them get sober.
“My ultimate purpose in this is to help somebody out,” Kappeler said.
There are “tremendous” stories of families coming together again after recovery and employers getting their workers back, he said.
“These are amazing and uplifting stories and we don’t hear enough of them. I want to bring those to the table, I want the world to hear them.”
To donate to the project, go to the GoFundMe page.
There will soon be a website launched where folks can find more information, including contact info for those who would like to share their stories on Recovery Life.
Black Press recently put out an overdose prevention guide which can be picked up at the Chilliwack Progress office (104-45833 Alexander Ave.) and at the PCRS office (45921 Hocking Ave.). Or, read the entire guide through our e-editions page.