We Walk By Faith – By Jill O

To say that 2019 is off to an incredible start would be an understatement. More on that later. To say that the close of 2018 was a dizzying swing between fear and faith would also be an understatement. As I shared, I lost my job in the beginning of November. And that month, or the majority of it in retrospect, just truly sucked. So many old stories of shame and guilt and feeling like I deserved this “punishment” just completely overwhelmed me. I spent half of November just shut down, engulfed by fear. This wasn’t my initial response, though. Immediately following the job loss, while I was feeling so liberated, I had this idea that I would use this time of transition to get a lot of shit done, and I created detailed lists of things to do, and for the first few days I followed them. I was trying… Continue reading

The Role of Recovery Communities in Cultural Healing – Bill White

  Ironically, it is at the margins of society that one discovers the moral center. –Van Jones In a bleeding world, where are the sources of communal healing? When our connecting fabric is shredding under the assault of hateful rhetoric, where do we find common ground—settings where people speak with each other and not at and over each other? How can we escape the spell of political pimps of all persuasions creating and exploiting divisions for personal aggrandizement and ideological gain? These are questions being asked by people of conscience from diverse political, economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. As Van Jones suggests, the sources that could help us get re-centered could come from unexpected quarters. Is it possible that people in addiction recovery and diverse communities of recovery could serve as a force for cultural and cross-cultural healing? A reasonable response might well be, “What could people whose past lives have been ravaged… Continue reading

Pie, Coffee and a Little Higher Power – Mark Masserant

DJ’s was the sober oasis disguised as a coffee shop that NutJob Bob introduced me to early in my recovery. It was Holy Ground. He and a motley group of brain-damaged followers would stroll in after their daily spiritual make-over, lifted from the meeting and ready for more coffee, cigarettes and fellowship, along with a little unhealthy food.  Some of us wanted a lot of it. I liked the pie. Some of the local wise guys said I got sober on pie, but that was inaccurate. I added it to my program, but I could have stayed sober without it. My first sober Christmas preceded my one-year token by a few months. It wasn’t a jolly season for me. I felt divorced and lonely, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. But at that phase of my development, I wasn’t very good relationship material. Even I knew that.… Continue reading

Staying Sober When Your Friend’s Aren’t – Isabella Paola

When I was in college my friends and I liked to party, which I always thought was normal until it wasn’t. Two weeks before my graduation I entered a drug treatment center. I think I was lucky to be able to get professional help. I also think I was lucky because I got to take a little vacation away from my friends, stress at school, and family issues I created. I learned a lot in the four weeks I spent there, one of the things I remember the most was “people, places and things,” and “rescue risks recovery.” If I’m being honest, I didn’t think either of these things applied or mattered to me, most of my friends weren’t going to be asking me to get high with them on the weekends, that was always me. Plus, a decent amount of my friends didn’t do drugs and were what I… Continue reading

YOUR RECOVERY QUOTIENT? TOWARD RECOVERY FLUENCY – By William L White

In 2012, I experimented with the creation of a recovery knowledge exam (See What is Your Recovery Quotient? Toward Recovery-focused Education of Addiction Professionals and Recovery Support Specialists). The 100-item test was intended to illustrate the training emphasis on drug trends, psychopharmacology, and addiction-related pathologies in marked contrast to the scant attention paid to the prevalence, pathways, styles, and stages of long-term addiction recovery. (For details on such limited attention, click HERE) We live in a world where people experiencing significant alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems call upon diverse iconic historical and contemporary figures, catalytic ideas, words, slogans, metaphors, and quite varied identity and story styles to resolve these problems. The challenge for addiction treatment and recovery community organizations and their service providers is to create environments and service menus within which all of these organizing motifs and languages are available. Achieving such broad recovery fluency among addiction treatment and recovery… Continue reading