Sometimes our experiences may help us help others and ourselves.

That seems to be true for Brooke Feldman. She is a social worker, activist, writer, and manager of recovery programs. She is also in recovery herself and uses her professional and personal experiences to help others find help.

“[S]he has has been able to stop the intergenerational transmission of addiction that claimed her mother’s life at a young age and has transformed her own life into one of wellness and service,” states Feldman’s biography on the Huffington Post.

Feldman has helped many people, including herself, despite facing considerable obstacles. Unfortunately, such obstacles are common.

As her biography states, Feldman’s mother also struggled with substance abuse but did not recover. The loss of her mother and mental health issues hit the young Feldman hard, and she spent considerable periods of time involved in mental health treatment and the juvenile justice system.

Mental health conditions and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand and influence each other. Feldman has experienced this firsthand in her life and has also witnessed this in her career.

Because of the complicated relationship between addiction and mental health, Feldman advised to “Look beyond the symptom – the addiction,” and instead focus on “what’s leading to that,” on a discussion on addiction and recovery on the National Public Radio program 1A.

Addressing the real causes of addiction may help people understand it and treat it more effectively. Other people are critical parts of this treatment. Feldman’s online biography mentions her commitment to “wellness and service.” In her 1A discussion, she explained three tools that helped her in recovery:

• Being in service
• Going to therapy
• Participating in mutual aid groups

Note that all of these activities involve other people. Participating in these activities help people in recovery. They also require people to help others as well. Brooke Feldman proves that people may help each other overcome the hurdles in their lives.