Did I Just Write a Song?: Expressive Arts and My Recovery Journey – Dr. Jamie Marich

During my first attempt at recovery, I learned to play the guitar. At the time, I worked for a Catholic Parish and aid organization in post-war Bosnia-Hercegovina. There was a kind Irish priest (and former rock n’ roller) also in residence who knew that I liked to sing. However, the only instrument I played, the violin, didn’t lend itself well to accompaniment. So he very patiently taught me the art of making chords and strumming. I found that when I was bored in those early days of figuring out what to do with myself, practicing the chords and the necessary movements to move between them more fluidly kept me busy. Then one day, the chord progression I was working on provided me a back drop to create a tune. Led by that tune, I started singing the angst of my heart and calling out to my Higher Power, desperate for… Continue reading

Days in the Life of an Adult Child – Wisdom

Wisdom is commonly defined as having experience, knowledge, and sound judgment. Based on that dictionary definition, it’s attained slowly across time, by living and learning, and not instantly from a jagged bolt of lightning from above, like in children’s cartoons. It’s certainly not the same thing as cognition or intelligence. And it’s hard to quantify or measure, except for subjective comparison of before-and-after spiritual selfies. In the serenity prayer we ask God for three things: acceptance of the things we cannot change, and courage to change what we can. The last and, in my view, most critical component, is the wisdom to distinguish between the two. I’ve struggled with this simple yet powerful triumvirate for decades, usually unsure when acceptance should prevail over courage. As a recovering ACA, I also focus on three areas that closely correspond to the prayer: eliminating denial by fully accepting the reality of how it… Continue reading

One Foot In Front Of The Other; One Breath At A Time – Kyczy Hawk

So simple. So hard. Not a lot to do and so easy to forget. The adrenaline intoxication wipes out the plan to keep it simple, maintain my boundaries, avoid that behavior, stop acting that way. I become wrapped up in the sensations of overwhelm and forget to pause. Really, I mean to use the pause, use the breath take a moment, consult my friend, my sponsor, my higher power, but I am already rushing down the path of self destruction. This mini-path of self destruction, or self forgetting, may not be a full relapse but unchecked it could lead to relapse. This tsunami of emotion may not wipe out weeks of devoted practice of living a sober life, but it can feel like a big detour. How to stop this train of false elation- these feelings that exalt those actions and attributes I am trying so hard to unlearn, retrain,… Continue reading

Blazing Your own Path in Recovery – By Daniel Wittler

I have been sober for nearly 4 years, by god’s grace, before that however I was a chronic relapser. I lived the cycle between treatment, halfway and homelessness for years. I wanted so bad to get sober but that’s the thing about recovery, wanting it is not enough, if it were that easy everyone would get sober. My issue was always in the action department, I would talk about what I was going to do constantly and when the time came to do it I always came up short.  The unfortunate thing about recovery is that a lot of people you meet at the start of your journey who are starting as well, don’t make it. Relapse rates are are quite high and overdose deaths are at an all time high in America. The fortunate thing is that there is a reason why people relapse, you don’t get sober because… Continue reading

Days in The Life of an Adult Child – Movies

As a young lost child in a dysfunctional household I was not permitted access to the outside world. I used to think they were lovingly overprotective, but came to understand that they just couldn’t be bothered to engage with me or prepare me for eventual launch. I was guardedly brought to school, and then walked home by my mother, who carried a thermos of milk and a banana for the trip home. She clumsily tried to feed me while we walked and resented my disinterest in the whole affair. The thermos smelled sour and I never liked the texture of bananas. But that opinion was never expressed, much less clearly known, in my own mind. No other kid had a “walking-home-snack.” It was demeaning and infantilizing. I guess she thought I didn’t have the fortitude to complete the walk after so many hours out of her clutches. Need I describe… Continue reading