January 18, 2015

Collegiate Recovery

Something amazing occurred today.  Well, it has actually been happening for a while, but I saw the mark of a dream becoming reality this morning.  

For twenty years, while working in the addiction profession, I was privileged enough to help clients in active addiction and early recovery.  It was incredibly rewarding.  I wouldn't change those experiences for anything.

I have long known there is much more to healing than step zero and breaking through denial.  I dreamt of seeing the day I could spend time around and in support of others who were working hard to become better daily.  Not just folks who go the gym or floss, you know?  I mean the real, raw, gut-wrenching healing work that has changed my life, when people are really leaning into that and in the aftermath of such amazing work?

Today I saw something I have long dreamt possible, fall into place.  I was honored to attend the first Collegiate Recovery Program "Welcome" Brunch for the very first students enrolled in the CRP at The University of North Texas.  Something that a student in early recovery wanted and needed so badly, he didn't give up until others got on board and started taking action.  

A community of UNT students, staff and faculty stood behind students in recovery and supported the concept.  I imagined it could happen, yet didn't believe it would happen this quickly.  I shed a few tears today.  No longer am I in an era of recovery being a dirty little secret that eats away at a soul who cannot bring recovery into all areas of their lives.  I stand among people who are in and support recovery, without shame, without embarrassment and without apology.  

Students no longer have to chose between college and recovery.  I am humbled and amazed.  

January 04, 2015

Open Letter

Life is short: 

I know, that's cliché. But think about it. You only have one today. Just one. If you spend today in worry or regret, you'll have wasted this one very precious day. Maybe one day seems simple, even short, but string those days together and they add up to a lifetime. 

Forgive them: 

They hurt you. They used you. They lied to you. They let you go, maybe even cast you away and left you feeling worthless. But let them go. Let it go. Hanging onto the pain takes the beauty out of this simple 24 hours. "They" will never be worth your life, will they? 

Forgive yourself: 

Maybe you were an innocent victim. Maybe you allowed them in. Maybe you ignored the red flags. Maybe you trusted too much, gave too much, cared too much. Forgive yourself. You are human. Forgiving yourself will free you in a way few things can. It's time. It's time. 

Take new risks:

There are opportunities and people right in front of you. Right now in this simple day. They aren't the ones who have hurt you. They are new. Let them in. If you risk, you may get hurt. I know that is scary. But risk anyway. Remember, life is fleeting. The clock keeps ticking and those opportunities don't have forever, either. 

Allow yourself to be happy

It's not too soon. It's not unfair. It's not too much. Be happy. You deserve the love, peace, joy and happiness like everyone else. I suspect you want that for others? Why not for you? Why not now? 

24-hours. That's all.