connect 2 recovery

hope there’s someone

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i hosted the 2nd advisory board meeting for C2R yesterday. none of the invitees outside my workplace that attended the 1st meeting returned for the 2nd, however 2 additional invitees made an appearance at this meeting. my hope is to set up a network of peers in recovery with the intention of providing additional support and extend tangible resources for newbies. i have asked several organizations to participate in order to widen our lens on how we grow our “peer services” so they are directed in a culturally competent direction.

my mother has been feeling poorly for roughly a month now. she is struggling with breathing and with ongoing   issues with celiac and with diabetes. my fears are many but in front is the worry that she may have to go on oxygen.  prayers.

a colleague asked what was going on between the director of a recovery organization and myself. i felt shame at the question. i certainly have not been as adult about the situation as i might. but i walked away feeling so burnt that i am giving myself time to rehydrate- both my psyche and my heart. i am very aware that forgiveness is the best thirst relief. i a hoping i can get there someday. i must admit that i am not actively working on that in my life today.  but i am actively working on things.

my cousin came by this evening and we watched “people like us”. the film still resonates with me- having lived a fatherless life. i know that it took me 45 years to really forgive my parents for anything and everything. i am also becoming more acutely aware that i have really been getting angry as a defense for most of my life, so the motion of getting angry to protect myself is justified and it’s ancient. and it is really in need of a makeover.

a colleague was let go late on friday afternoon. it was not a surprise, but it was sad none-the-less. i had a love-disdain relationship with this person as there was as much distraction as there was engagement from my perspective. i told this person- and whole-heartedly meant it-that the cliche about a window opening when a door closes is well-known for a very good reason. and in this case- i think it is mantra.

am planning to take  a couple of days and go to fairplay on 4 july. i need a getaway. and i want to go back to salida. salida is one of my funspots these days. there are some amazing organic farms happening there and i haven’t been in the summer. i would love to come back with a bushel of fava beans to make spread for everyone i know. and i want to spend some time in the pools at mt princeton as well. either  way, i am looking forward to a change of pace.

welcome to the weekend

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i spoke with a friend yesterday about some ideas i have for developing a stronger sense of community among people in recovery. this guy is a networking nazi and very well known around town. he and i met after i had become a drug and alcohol counselor. he was a fairly high profile client. he had been instrumental in bringing crystal meth anonymous to denver and had been working as a peer navigator at denver’s drug court. additionally, i was walking and talking with him when he hatched the idea of “surrounded by recovery” which evolved into 2 years of recovery celebration at the capital which lead to a hand holding event each year around the gold dome with the intention of raising awareness that recovery works. when i met him, i had been clean only 2 years- he had been struggling for 5. i told him that i didn’t believe i could really be an effective counselor for him, but that it seemed he might need a good honest friend.

sadly all of his amazing and ground breaking efforts resulted in relapse for him. this humbled him and threw back each of the efforts he generated back several years. but this is life and this is how the brain operates. it likes dopamine. it bends and reshapes synapses to allow the dopamine release process to flourish and take over. if it were uncommon, our culture would not have many of the problems it does. he has again built time and has been dancing with humility which looks good on him.

as i spoke with him yesterday i ran down the basic concept of a recover resource and networking event in september and trying to market this. it includes using and developing a radio program- probably using blog talk radio. it’s a big task, but i think i am ready for a new project. and it would be beneficial to be able to reach more pockets of individuals.

funny- i feel a familiar sense of excitement in my gut. fear, hope, wonder usually accompany my muse. definitely excited to see how this unfolds. came across some web-based recovery support programs yesterday which i am hoping we can beta with some younger patients at my workplace-exciting. i have 2 interns starting on tuesday – this is my first mentoring gig as a counselor. i work 2 parties this week and hope to catch up on a couple of outstanding bills.

 i am planning to restart cardio classes this weekend and see the star trek -in 3d-. i am ready for some fun.

with fun in mind, i remember a time in the late 70’s that i could throw a b52’s vinyl album on the turntable and let the whole thing play through- all the while dancing, bopping, and having a blast. today i find the same joy with nicolas jaar. he is a composer, dj, producer that creates a rhythm pattern that makes my heart and soul smile.

bits and pieces

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I wouldn`t have dared ask God for all that He`s given me. I couldn`t have done it on my own. I thank God every day for what I have….Loretta Lynn

i have been trying to downshift with more free time. i have enjoyed being at my house more. i have enjoyed cooking for myself. i have had fun nesting. i have been able to catch up with a couple of good friends, and i have made a couple of new friends as well. none of this has been perfect, but it’s all been delicious and flavorful and fresh. 
i don’t really know if i can stop right now to take a breath. i am clear that i have much to do this season. i am inspired by the arc my career has embarked upon. i also am very clear that i am in love with my life right now and truly feel safe. this last revelation is not at all common in my psychological make-up and very much noteworthy.
time for a tirade.
an colleague of mine took his life last week. it was quite sad. he had been working in the hiv field for over 10 years and had become an effective and powerful advocate for plwh. he had taken a job with the agency i once worked for and was faring better with the director than i had been able to muster. but sadly, i got an email from that director stating some beautiful facts about this colleague. if only he’d stopped there,  but no- he pissed all over the communication by stating that he had set up a fund for the agency programs in memory of our man. yuk! i am almost embarrassed to admit that i am completely mortified for the rest of the employees there that their leader is so self-involved as to demonstrate such self-interest over selflessness. our poor gone man’s partner is struggling to pay his bills and this exec dick is too bottom-line focused  to offer funds to him. 
tirade’s over
its raining in denver this week. we had a drought over the winter and the gardens are starved for the moisture. i think i can see the korean lilacs and the russian sage getting bigger and sprouting buds as i watch i planted a small ginkgo tree a couple of weeks ago and i hope it finally coming out of shock. the maples we planted last year are finally sprouting some tiny green leaves and i succinctly heard sighs of relief sprout from me. . i can easily say that the popping of arbitrary colors that happens in these months continues to be an inspiration for new ideas and new possibilities. 
i have continued to book small party gigs to supplement my income. it also supplements my world view. i get so very wrapped up in my “recovery land” with my plans, and my interventions, and the changes i hope to telescope in that i forget that life goes well beyond what i see. the catering gigs bring home the fact that the world revolves without me or my “recovery land” vantage point. this is a wonderful thing. 
i have been a “smash” fanatic since the show began. jeremy jordan has a voice that scratches my soul for some reason. i love the broadway backdrop, the ongoing aspect of putting on a show, and the crazy-daisy story lines. but this last show (which i had overlooked completely on saturday night) had me in tears and caught me completely by surprise. i love love love this performance.

aria ready

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maria callas image credit…. ddmag.tumblr.com

“Human life is a most difficult classroom until you learn the simple fact that your truth is your power, your salvation, your fulfillment, your purpose and your way. Once you can truly believe that, life becomes the joyous and abundant garden that it was meant to be..” 
~ from Emmanuel’s Book
i probably am jinxing our opportunity tomorrow by writing about it here, but i am excited enough to try to make it more real. as i’ve mentioned, we are moving forward with implementing a peer-to-peer network at my workplace. a grant has been written and within that process a framework was created for roll out. we are approaching another funding stream tomorrow and i have been asked to go along to discuss the concept, the framework, and the nuts and bolts. 
this represents a step in a direction i have at once coveted and doubted. this could very well mean that the mania-driven dreamstorming i have been doing this last year within the parameters of several organizations might stand a chance to have some life breathed into them. and beyond my own process and aspirations, it means that this idea of “recovery community” might actually become part of the architecture of public health substance treatment in colorado. ergo- our citizens with no resources might have more support when trying to put their lives back together- and that would be supplied very often by people just like them. this is like a multi-layer ganache cake to me.
the photograph of maria callas  is posted today because whenever i think of arias, i first think of her. she just might always represent the premier diva to me. she captivated a planet when she put her mind to it and she literally breathed life into an art form that had nearly become a museum exhibit. she was bright, talented, inspired. she was difficult, provocative, and a classic. she made no apologies. 
i googled aria as audition and came across a site named ariaready.net and found that there were 5 tips offered as follows.
1) Know your voice and your range and stick to them.
2) Select a diverse group of arias within your range.
3) Always start your auditions with the aria that is most solid in your voice and your heart.
4) Knowing the whole role is not necessary for your audition.
5) Always represent and present your personal brand.
so i will head to the meeting tomorrow with these tips in mind and some blueprints i have been working on. i am sharing them here to review the offerings. first there is the submitted grant- 18 pages of an outline. then there are some window dressings- 
1) A plan to implement and develop a coaching academy for our part of the country.
2) A plan to implement a volunteer workforce and addition to our campus.
3) Creating a value system from our peers to infiltrate our processes and help shift from a medical model.
4) Invite and support a multi-cultural peer network with the resilience necessary to speak to our population.
5) Create positive events for our recovering community to participate in with the intention of creating a recovery community.