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Volume 7 Spring 2014

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INTERVENTION

DETOX

TREATMENT

RECOVERY

ILLUMINATING THE ROAD TO RECOVERY

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TAble of Contents Spring 2014

4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ballon: the movie (Cover Story) 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Memoriam 10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . One Man’s Spiritual Journey 19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacqueline ter Kuile 20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teresa Wickersham 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Theresa “Tree” Thomas 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kyleen Wolfson 24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andy Altiveros 27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C L Lynne 28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ezra Kaplan 32 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gavin Searcy 36 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Del Hendrixson 40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New Lyfe Clothing 42 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bri Boertman 48 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The World and Art of Kevin Goff 52 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Matt Kaminski 54 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls 56 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Free at Last 58 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .The Anonymous People 62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cookin’ Clean 64 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Barnett 66 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justin Lawson 67 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Luke Stasica 70 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pitch 4 Kids 72 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Art of the Hearth 76 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Visions on Addiction 78 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ing: the film 82 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharing Hearts Through Art 84 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Small Thing 86 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Artawakening 88 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CrossTalk 90 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Art of Finding Yourself 94 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Book Review

2

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


Letter from the Editor Magazine

P.O. Box 11176 Prescott, AZ 86304 CEO/Publisher

Kim Welsh

Editor in Chief

Janet A. Hopkins

Executive Assistant Senior Copy/Proof Editor Copy/Proof Editors Subscriptions National Advertising Sales Local Advertising Sales

Julie Jaquette Rebecca (Becca) Fields Peggi Bird Barbara Schuderer John Schuderer Kim Welsh 928.533.7032 Michael Lapointe 928.614.1759 Bevan Gottlieb 928.533.2411

Layout/Design

Kim Welsh

Graphic Artist

Patricia Mastrobuoni

Photographer

Cheyenne Carrell

Accounting The Art of the Hearth CrossTalk Book Review Meditations

Belinda Tohe Kay Luckett Stephanie Mole Lena H. Michael Lyding

inrecoverymagazine.com Like us on Facebook In Recovery Magazine reserves the right to editorial control of all articles, stories and Letters to the Editor. In Recovery Magazine assumes no responsibility for errors within its publication. The views herein do not necessarily represent the policies of In Recovery Magazine and should not be construed as endorsements. The publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless it is specifically stated in the ad that there is such approval or endorsement.

K

im has crafted a beautiful edition of In Recovery Magazine for us this issue. As an artist, celebrating the arts in recovery is near and dear to her heart, and it shows in the layout and design of this outstanding display of talent from around the country. Writing rings my chimes. I was awed and inspired by the biographies of the artists. Many told moving stories of losing their creative vision during their love affairs with alcohol and drugs. Their redemption and reconnection with their vision illustrates what is best and truest about recovery. We begin anew, in love with life and all it has to offer. The sky’s the limit! There are powerful movements afoot in the recovery community: not only creatively, but also the dialogues between those of us in recovery and the “normal” people with whom we rub shoulders; the dialogues within the recovering community about issues important to our welfare as a group; issues facing our professional friends who provide needed addiction treatment in all its many forms. We’ll continue to explore some of these conversations in our Summer 2014 issue. If you have a topic about which you are passionate, let me know. Let’s talk. Share it with others through our magazine. We’ll all be better for it. Lastly, I would like to say a personal goodbye to my friend of 26 years, Kathy Peterson-Reyes. We were program managers at a local clinic together, me for ten years and Kathy for many more. We went to school together; hashed over differences of opinions together; worked the steps together; prayed together; “retreated” together, the list goes on. She was a gifted fundraiser, business visionary and entrepreneur, but mostly what I remember about Kathy is her kindness and generosity. A month or so before her unexpected passing, she told me she didn’t think anyone would mourn her when she died. Kathy was wrong. Share with us in celebrating her life in an obituary on page eight written by her friend, LinMarie DiCianni. ‘Til we meet again, dear friend! Until next time,

Editor, In Recovery Magazine editor@inrecoverymagazine.com

In Recovery Magazine was established in February 2012 and is a nonpartisan publication that is published quarterly by founder, Kim Welsh. Entire contents copyright 2012 by In Recovery Magazine.

Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

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ballon: the movie By Jenifer Madson

T

he call came from a long-time friend in Los Angeles on an ordinary day.

“Jen, I’ve got a film project I think you’d be interested in for your non-profit. It’s about a dancer who’s battling a cocaine problem. My friend Alexis is directing it.” “Sounds like she was following me around in the ’70s.” “No, she wasn’t even born then, but she’s a great talent. You two need to meet.” Just like that, the wheels were in motion for me to become the executive producer for the short film, ballon. This film chronicles 24 hours in the life of a prima ballerina, who must confront her cocaine addiction after she crumbles at a career-defining audition. From the moment I met ballon’s director, Alexis O. Korycinski, I knew we shared a passion for this story that would attract the best and the brightest talent to the project. Even though we came to the subject from such different perspectives – mine as a recovering addict, and hers as one who has seen the devastating effects of addiction on friends and family – we knew this film would end up helping people in ways we couldn’t even imagine. My drug and alcohol abuse had ended my own dance career; so to be able to support a piece like this, I felt as though my journey through addiction and recovery had come full circle in some beautifully cosmic way. I didn’t get clean and sober to become a film producer or an executive coach or an author or any of the other extraordinary identities I’ve claimed in the 28 years since I said “yes” to my recovery. I came into recovery to stop puking and crying and shaking and feeling bottomless shame. I came in, as I often say, not through some enlightened will of my own, but through a divine concert of grace and opportunity. I came in because I could no longer live the way I had been living; I stayed because of the promise of what life might hold for me if I would just let go. 4

For some time, my recovery was about getting away from the embarrassment and sickness of my past. Then, a few years in, after doing the initial work of inventory and amends, my focus shifted a bit; but it was still mostly about me and what I could get from life. So even though I found relative success for a time, I never felt truly fulfilled until I finally came to believe that I was on this earth to develop my talents for the sake of who I might serve. With that revelation, I started my consulting and coaching practice, and then life really began to flow. I still experienced many ups and downs, multiple moves, a divorce, the deaths of many family members and friends and sometimes crippling fear. But each day that I showed up with the intention of using my gifts in service to others, something remarkable happened: doors opened, new gifts were realized and more people were helped. Eventually, the fear was replaced with the absolute certainty that as long as I was doing the right thing for the right reason, I would find a way forward, clean and sober, and happier than I had ever been. The idea to create a social enterprise within my business came as I was writing my book, Living the Promises, in celebration of my 25th year in recovery. Service to others is a big theme of the book, guided by a mantra of “impact first”. One day it occurred to me to take that same theme into a venture which would support filmmakers who are creating social impact pieces, and so the idea for Impact First Films (IFF) was born. Three short years later, I had formed the organization, raised money, and was on the phone with Alexis to talk about how IFF could support ballon. Alexis isn’t an addict – recovering or otherwise – so when I first spoke with her, I was most intrigued by why she would take on this subject. Not surprisingly, Alexis, like countless others, had personally witnessed the devastating effects of addiction on her loved ones. And, as a former dancer, she’d had a firsthand look at cocaine abuse in the ballet world. “I wanted to do a piece to show what I can do creatively

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


as a director, and I love the visual world of a dancer.” Alexis shared, “I thought back to my younger days in New York City when I was dancing: I was partying all night, underage, ‘til 4 am, waking up, going to dance class all day. [I was] completely caught up in that cycle and was fading fast inside of two weeks of trying to keep up with these other dancers. The next thing I knew, I was pulled into a bathroom with an older dancer who snorted a line of cocaine off the back of a toilet. It was my first experience seeing that, but then I saw so many others doing it [just] to keep up.” Alexis continued, “Those memories prompted me to research the issue, and I found that cocaine use haunts the dance world, especially ballet. I then saw the opportunity to have an impact not only on the dance community, but on society at large. By taking the film into schools and academies, we get to facilitate a deeper conversation around the dangers of drug use, the signs of abuse and the resources for recovery.” That passion drove Alexis to enlist the help of Julia Cox, a writer for television, to pen the script for ballon. They told two people about the project, who told two people, who told two more and so on, until we had a world-class cast and crew gathered to help create and carry the film’s message. The stellar cast of ballon includes Shelby Rabara, a Hollywood dancer and actress best known for her roles on Glee, Bunheads and LXD, who auditioned for the lead role of Marin for her own very personal reasons. “I was compelled to portray Marin because it is a story of addiction that I have seen close friends of mine battle in their own lives. I know ballon will inspire others to stay strong in their fight against addiction. For those who do not struggle with addiction, I hope it’s a clear and compelling look into Marin’s world, because we all know her, and we all want her to win.” Two months after meeting Alexis, I was on my way to Los Angeles to film ballon. Four 16-hour days later, we had a movie in the can. We were supported by a cast and crew of about 60 people who tirelessly showed up to deliver peak performances. I polled almost every one of them about why they made such a commitment for little or no money; one Spring 2014

after the other, they told me alternately heartbreaking and uplifting stories of how addiction had touched their lives and how those experiences had compelled them to join the ballon team. I was so moved by those stories, so inspired by these loving and talented people who during the shoot tweeted and Instagrammed and Facebooked themselves silly, sharing pictures, hashtags, comments and “likes”, into the wee hours of the morning, all for the sake of our shared passion for the ballon message and its impact. Not long after we started posting updates on the film’s Facebook page, I received the following message from a fan, “Felt like using today...I don’t any longer after reading your trailer about the “up all night partying”...I hate that life...thank you!” Just knowing that we’ve already helped even one person with our message makes this project worth every second of time, money and effort we’ve put into it. In a hauntingly beautiful way, this film has reminded me that although it may be a very dark past that lights the way to a bright new life, if that life is one of love, service and impact, it will surely be a life beyond our wildest dreams. If you’d like to help bring ballon’s message to the world, please go to ballonthemovie.com for information on how to donate and spread the word.

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starring Shelby Rabara

ballon A Short Film

about dance, drugs and the drive to win at all costs.

For more information: www.ballonthemovie.com


Triple Point Recovery Homes Here at Triple Point, peers help peers understand the three points of life:

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In Memoriam

By Janet A. Hopkins

By LinMarie DiCianni

A

fter a brief illness, a dear friend of recovery and of In Recovery Magazine, Kathleen M. Peterson-Reyes, née Klitzke, 69, of Chino Valley, AZ, went home to God on eagle’s wings Saturday, November 9, 2013, at Las Fuentes Care Center in Prescott, AZ. Kathy was born March 16, 1944, in Oshkosh, WI, to Clarence and Bernice Klitzke. In 1984, Kathy, her husband, Pete, and son, Todd, moved to Prescott, AZ. She and Pete relocated to Chino Valley, AZ, in 2006, where she reignited her passion for working with and caring for horses. Throughout five decades, Kathy committed her education and career to serving those who struggled with mental illness and substance addiction. After retiring from West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, NARBHA and NAZCARE, she joyfully connected horsemanship and therapeutic practice, earning an equine psychotherapy certification through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. Even in the face of trials and losses, Kathy’s dedication to her Christian faith and principles of recovery laid an unshakeable foundation for her boundless zeal and pursuit of life’s adventures. She never lost her fanatical devotion to her Green Bay Packers, complete with a car flag and cheesehead hat! Kathy is survived by her beloved son, Todd (Sherol) of Rio Rancho, NM; grandchildren Jett, Christopher and Melannie; and great-grandchildren Christyl and Trinity. Kathy was preceded in death by her parents and husband Maurice “Pete” Peterson. She leaves behind many friends, colleagues, extended family and clients who will dearly miss her expertise, heart and contagious laughter.

D

arlene Rae Love, 75, of Prescott, AZ, passed away on Dec. 30, 2013. She was a friend to many in her local recovery community. She regarded her sobriety as one of her greatest accomplishments, and for the last 38 years, was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She spent many thousands of hours working with those overcome by drug and alcohol addiction, and was directly responsible for many lives being changed. She regarded her personal faith in Christ as her foundation for hope and strength. Darlene also had a passion for golf. She was the first female to win both the Los Angeles City Junior Championship and the Los Angeles City Amateur at the age of 17. The following year she went on to win the Mid-Winter Women’s Amateur, one of the most prestigious national amateur events in the country, at Los Angeles Country Club. By the age of 18, she was regarded as one of the top women amateur golfers in the United States. She later chose to pursue a career in the golf industry and was chosen as the head professional and golf instructor at Fallbrook Golf Course, Fallbrook, CA. At that time, she was one of only a few women to attain such distinction in southern California. She finished her working career as an LPGA professional at the Antelope Hills Golf Course, in Prescott, AZ. Darlene is survived by her father, James Hough; her children Robert Lynn Boughner, James Boughner, Jeri Ryan, Robert Smuin, Mike Smuin and Gary Moore; as well as her brothers and sisters, Diane Albanese, Curt Hough, James Hough and Joyce Drozdowski; 11 grandchildren; 10 greatgrandchildren; one aunt and a number of other relatives.

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching . – Gerard Way 8

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


One Man’s Spiritual Journey

Jay Wisocki

Jay up close and personal with nature.

F

or years I struggled in my addiction. This obsession had a full grip on every aspect of my life. In 1989, I was introduced to crack cocaine, and I quickly became a full-blown addict. I was held captive by my addiction and the insane behaviors that accompanied it. I went through

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numerous 28-day inpatient programs, but finally in 2008, I realized the abuse I was inflicting upon myself would eventually kill me. At that time I gave myself fully to the Twelve Steps of AA and NA and decided I wanted to live a life drug- and alcohol-free.

For 30-plus years, I had been living in the Midwest near

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


Chicago, IL, away from my mother, Janis, and my brothers who lived in Austin, TX. My brother, Jory, had also been struggling with alcohol for years. In 2007, he decided he had had enough and arranged to come to Prescott, AZ, to check into Decision Point’s six-and-a-half month treatment program. Nick and Tony Myers, the owners of Decision Point, happened to be our childhood and family friends from Texas. At that point in my life I was in really bad shape. I knew I would die if I didn’t do something soon. Jory had graduated from the program and had taken a job as housing coordinator at Decision Point. Knowing of my condition, Jory, with the help of Nick and Tony, my mother, Janis, arranged a way to get me to Prescott and checked into treatment. In early June 2008, I entered Decision One of many emerald pools in Salame Creek, Salame Wilderness, AZ

Enjoying the destination.

Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

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West Clear Creek, AZ

Reaching new heights in The Promise Lands, Yavapai County, AZ.

Point’s intensive inpatient treatment program which included an adventure program. As I started the recovery process, I Jory Wisocki rappelling at Wilbur Canyon, AZ soon discovered adventure was becoming a huge force in my life. To this day, adventure, along with the Twelve Steps, is a working part of my recovery process. I use these tools regu- Twelve Steps knowledge, as well as more backpacking, rock larly to maintain my sobriety. It works. climbing and hiking experience. Since then, I have worked in As I organize a trip to a new location there is a spiritual the treatment industry at several facilities in Prescott, includconnection I feel. I know the excitement will be well worth ing the Decision Point adventure team. I have also worked at the challenges of this new adventure. I look forward to being wilderness therapy programs in Utah and Oklahoma, helping on the road and knowing where I am headed and what I am others and, as we say, giving back what was given to me. about to experience. The whole process from start to finish is I leave myself open as much as I am able. Being ready very rewarding. to go at the drop of a hat is where it’s at for me. When the After graduating from Decision Point, I gained more opportunity arises, I am willing to quickly organize a trip. As 12

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Jay dropping into Shamrock Canyon, AZ. There’s only one way in and no turning back.

Spring 2014

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An 80 foot rappel into Wilbur Canyon, AZ.

part of my recovery plan, adventure therapy is a major force in my life. I suppose it could be considered an addiction in itself. At Decision Point in 2008, I started out doing rock climbing, day hikes and three-to-four day backpack trips. I have now progressed to seven-to-ten day backpacking trips, canyoneering and rappelling down waterfalls into slot canyons and water-filled gorges located in some of the most amazing backcountry in Arizona. I am so grateful for the interventions from Nick and Tony Myers of Decision Point, my brother, Jory and my mother, Janis. I am now clean and sober five plus years. After being apart for 30 years, Jory and I are best friends. We are both on a path of recovery which has become a lifelong journey. For more information call Jay at 928.899.3882

JORY WISOCKI 928-899-8076

JAY WISOCKI 928-899-3882

WILDERNESS FIRST RECOVERY, LLC • SOBER LIVING FACILITY

2215 East Calvery Lane, Prescott, AZ 86301 Wilderness1st@yahoo.com • WildernessFirstRecovery.com


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Magazine ...is going places. Will you join us on the adventure?

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Sex - The Final Frontier Finding Balance

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J 18

ewelry

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Spring 2014


Jacqueline ter kuile

A

s two people who found each other in the Twelve Step rooms and shared a passion  for making jewelry, it was natural that John Ward and Jacqueline ter Kuile would begin to make jewelry for their friends in the Twelve Step fellowship. When they met in 2006, Ward had worked in the jewelry industry professionally, and ter Kuile had created and taught art, jewelry and sculpture for many years.  Their first sober jewelry projects were gifts for each other and for friends – custom-made, heirloom-quality anniversary medallions in sterling silver. As the word of their simple

symbol is an expression of that. By wearing the symbol out in the world, we show each other we belong and are embraced by the fellowship. Wearing the symbol is also a means of attracting others seeking recovery. You never know when you will get the chance to share the [recovery] message.” Website: jtkrecoveryjewelry.com Facebook: facebook.com/recoveryjewelry Etsy: etsy.com/jtkrecoveryjewelry

aesthetic and impeccable craftsmanship spread, their business, JtK Recovery Jewelry, naturally evolved and grew. Today, Ward’s Celtic-inspired designs feature the Trinity Knot. Many of ter Kuile’s stunning pieces include a sober anniversary date stamped on the back. They ship pendants, rings and lapel pins nationwide through their website and  Etsy shop.  Images of new work, as it is finished and hot off the bench, are posted on Facebook, where they have an increasing fan base of over 2,000 friends. For people living a sober life, the three sides of the equilateral triangle represent the three-part answer – unity, recovery and service – to a three-part disease – physical, mental and spiritual. The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited potential. This ancient symbol has a rich history and has been used in many native cultures. All of the various interpretations concur that this symbol represents goodness, wholeness, safety and humility. Ter Kuile explained, “Just as in any spiritual fellowship, sober people are very passionate, and our [Twelve Step]


Teresa Wickersham

T

eresa Wickersham has been involved in making jewelry and other art forms since the late 1970s. Her four years of craft classes with instructor, Ed Par-

sons, at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, AZ, was the ex-

tent of her art training during her high school years. She kept a bottle of vodka in her school locker. Mr. Parsons would let her go to the snack bar for orange juice every day. On her way back to class, she would stop by her locker and add vodka – an alcoholic in the making. From her addicted family, Wickersham had learned to deal with tough situations by numbing herself. Still a virgin, she was raped the day before her 16th birthday. Almost immediately, she started numbing herself with alcohol and drank heavily for the next six years.

On August 12, 1985, Wickersham walked into her first Twelve Step meeting and has never looked back. With 28 years sober, most people think it is probably no longer even a thought in her mind; unfortunately for her, not drinking has become harder instead of easier. Wickersham’s mind often tells her that she can control her drinking. After all, she is a mature woman who has learned self-control over these past 28 years of sobriety. With the support of her husband and partner of over 22 years, her fabulous friends and therapist, today Wickersham is still sober and truly living one day at a time. She does not keep her desire to drink a secret. When it surfaces, she tells her support group; they remind her of all the reasons to not pick up that first drink. She also has family members who have fallen off the proverbial wagon after many years of sobriety; and they have shared with her that, just as her Twelve Step friends say, “You pick up right where you left off!”

In late 1999, after three deaths in a row, Wickersham hit a wall. In January 2000, a teenager ran in front of her car, and she hit him. Though she was not speeding and was not at fault 20

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for that horrible accident, she realized her life had to slow down. She read a book by Sonia Choquette entitled, Your Heart’s Desire: Instructions for Creating the Life You Really Want. With her husband’s support, Wickersham quit a job she loved and for which she was college-educated. Wickersham set out to find her heart’s desire. She discovered it was jewelry making. She decided to give three years to jewelry-making and either make it or break it. Her jewelry-making business, Hearts Desire Creations, is now in its 13th year. Hearts Desire Creations is a national partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). Wickersham produces and distributes their logo jewelry to over 500 agencies nationwide and in Canada. Ten percent of all logo sales are donated back to BBBSA. Additionally, she creates unique, one-of-a-kind non-logo jewelry. She has hundreds of repeat customers who love her earthy styles and the heart she puts into every piece. She has held trunk shows from New York City to Maui and many points in between. Her customer service is excellent. It is readily apparent from her beautiful and creative jewelry that she truly loves what she does. Website: Facebook: Email: Gallery:

Spring 2014

heartsdesirecreations.com facebook.com/pages/Hearts-Desire-Creations/183680735074 teresa@heartsdesirecreations.com Colors Gallery in Three Rivers, CA

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Theresa “Tree� Thomas is a Reiki Master/Teacher who has spent many years in the healing arts. While working on her degree in graphic design, she became intuitively aware of the healing properties of color and gemstones. Creating beautiful healing jewelry became her passion, and Reiki energy is abundantly infused into each piece of jewelry.

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Kyleen wolfson

Kyleen Wolfson grew up in Palo Alto in Northern California. After attending a university for the visual arts in New York, NY, she decided it was time to take her life in a different direction. She moved to Arizona where she discovered a new, healthy way of life. Wolfson has lived in Prescott, AZ, for the past seven years. Recovery, art, gardening and Crossfit keep her connected to a higher being which she chooses to call God. Participating in these activities allows her the serenity to lead a productive life. Contributing to the community and being of service to others, regardless of the context, is what brings her joy. “The life I now have is a result of giving my best to do the next right thing, one day at a time.”

Spring 2014

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P

hotography

And Poetry

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In Recovery Magazine

Photo by Andy Altiveros

Spring 2014


Andy altiveros “Photography has been a passion of mine since my high school days. I think it was my sophomore year when I signed up for a photography class. My dad gave me my first camera. It was a 35mm Yashika. Later I bought a Pentex K100. I loved that camera!” Photography was a way for Andy Altiveros to express himself. He never felt he was good at anything, but others would tell him how good his photographs were. These compliments helped him believe he was good at taking pictures. He became accomplished at action (sports) and lightning shots. By his senior year in high school, he had purchased dark room equipment and converted his closet into a darkroom. Seeing his photos come to life before his eyes made him all the more passionate about all aspects of photography. He later managed the largest photo processing lab in AZ where several of his photographs hung in the lobby. People took an interest in them. Arizona Highways, Petly Greetings, Inc. and other private parties made offers to use his photo-

Photo by Andy Altiveros

graphs. He was also doing copy work for the art department at Scottsdale Community College. The future looked bright for Altiveros, but he never followed through with any of these offers. He lost everything when he started using drugs. As his passion for drugs and that lifestyle grew, his passion for photography faded. The camera was not part of his life for about 25 years. About a year ago and after 13 years clean, Altiveros picked up a camera again and felt his passion for taking pictures return. Altiveros shared, “Photography is a way to escape. It allows me to see beauty in something that I create.” Since giving up drugs, he has also developed another talent. During his first year of sobriety, there was much going on in his head. His way of dealing with this was to write; he has been writing ever since. He said, “I enjoy life much more with photography and writing; they keep me sane! Photography has been a gift of sobriety.” Phone: 928.899.8458


Daily Dose

Photo by Andy Altiveros

By Andy Altiveros

Black rain falling Through life’s window I gaze My mind full of wonder dust More confused by the day All beauty lost in a whirlwind of gray Through a ray of hope I kneel and pray Days painted black now come with each sunrise Taint each second as they pass on by A smile never reached lost between miles A number you know but can’t seem to dial Where is there life when a flower wilts How can happiness survive haunted by guilt

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In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


CL Lynne

HOPE AGAIN By C L Lynne

Efforts and toil year upon year, Striving for goodness both far and at near. Building foundation rooted in strength, Structure is solid – in height and with length. Time changes conditions while weathering on, Foundation is shaken – then structure is gone. Hope becomes crumbled Hope disappears, Dreams become shattered in light of those years. Feeling the empty, knowing the loss – Going through sadness, not sure of who’s boss. By Greta Stromberg

Coming to Peace, coming to Light a flicker emerges with healing…insight. A new path appears, A new way to go Direction is changing, Direction to grow.

TIME

By C L Lynne

Time can heal sorrow, extinguish the pain. It can smooth out rough edges, until none remain.

Photos by C L Lynne

Hope again happens, the candle is lit – Hope is revisited, No time to quit.

The power of time may lift one’s despair, and help provide guidance when no one is there. With time as an ally, we weather it through – and reach understanding toward goals which are true. C L Lynne is a nationally published writer of nonfiction, fiction and poetry. A “recovering gypsy” after numerous relocations and quick changes, this writer continues to practice tolerance, perseverance and patience.

Spring 2014

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Ezra Kaplan Ezra Kaplan’s photographs are really stories. In each image, he captures a single moment of a person’s life and cherishes it. His photography is not about the pure shock and awe presented by a dramatic moment. Rather, Kaplan attempts to capture time itself in a still image as he immerses himself in the setting. Also a journalist, he effectively uses the written word to create a historical context for his images. “My work is driven by a passion for communication and the dissemination of knowledge.”


Spring 2014

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Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

Ezra Kaplan

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Gavin Sear c y

The Road Trip

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Spring 2014


I

left Prescott, AZ, to take my first real vacation in years. This trip, I was not visiting family or friends on the other side of the country. My drive started at the Pacific Coast Highway outside of Los Angeles, continued on to Eugene, OR, and then back home to Prescott. The only limitation I had was my return date to Prescott.

Everything memorable about the trip unfolded because of a lack of planning. The absence of a plan was more fruitful than I could have imagined. It was much like the beginning of my sobriety, where I had anxiety about my future path. I learned then to take a leap and go where I landed on a path I hadn’t chosen on my own.

Following the road without a specific plan became the theme of my road trip. At the end of the trip when I looked back, I realized my vacation was far better than I alone could ever have designed, just as the ongoing journey of sobriety is proving to be.

Spring 2014

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Photos by Gavin Searcy

Spring 2014

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C 36

lothing

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


Del Hendrixson

I

’ve never forgotten where I came from. As a matter of fact, I’ve chosen to stay in the trenches of hopelessness, darkness and violence for the past 25 years or so, just in case there was one person I could help to see there is a bridge to a new life. Between 1982 and 1983, I was sentenced to federal prison for counterfeiting birth certificates for Mexicans. When my father died in 1980, I plunged into a deep depression and could not bring myself to deal with his death. I needed therapy. I needed medication. I needed a friend to talk with in order to understand I wasn’t the only one who had ever felt so down. I lost all reasoning. I had no purpose, and all I could think about was that my life had no value. I believed I would be better off dead because then my pain would end. I had been making birth certificates since I was in high school in my hometown Hot Springs, AR. I was shown how to make them while employed at the Hot Springs Sentinel Record newspaper where I worked as a proof runner. When I needed a driver license to say I was 21 instead of 18, one of the guys said to me, “Let’s just make you a new birth certificate, and your problems will be over.” After graduation, I moved to Dallas, TX, with my best friend Woody. We were wild ones and simply could not wait to get the hell out of that tiny town and make our mark in the world. As more and more friends in Dallas needed to get into clubs or had some other “valid reason” for needing a new birth certificate, I would make them one. I learned that the more complex the certificate appeared, the easier it was to pass as legal. I never really considered it all that illegal to make these documents. People started coming to me in droves wanting to become “legal citizens”. After my father’s death, I had trouble saying no to them. I just didn’t care anymore. Besides, I thought these people had the right to work without hassles, to raise their children in this country and to send them to schools on this side of the border. They all told me, “Don’t worry. If anything ever happens we’ll be there to help you!” I was in the middle of typing a birth certificate for a lawyer friend who wanted to help one of his clients when I heard a knock on the door of the body shop I owned. I yanked the bogus certificate out of the typewriter and stuck it under the case, as if no one would ever look there. I thought they were customers until they busted through the door. Twenty-two of them had rifles trained on me. They grabbed me, threw me to the floor and piled everything in that office on top of me while one stood with a foot on me. That was definitely the day I realized my actions had caused my life to enter a “train wreck” stage. After being told I could get five years for each of the 111 birth certificates I had in my possession, I went from a claim of “I’m innocent, innocent, innocent” to a guilty plea. When the judge reduced the sentence to three years in federal prison, I knew it was the best deal I was going to get. I went to prison on December 27, 1982, scared to death. When I walked out on November 30, 1983, I was a very

Spring 2014

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violent person with no clue how to make it in society. For the short amount of time I was in prison, the “never knowing, never knowing” made me suffer 17 nervous collapses. I soon discovered violence got me respect, and people left me alone. Violence became my constant companion and worst enemy. Violent thoughts destroyed my memory and the ability to communicate or think. I was determined never to go back through those thick clanking rolling gates again. For my work the month before I was released unloading trailer trucks with my bare hands at 16¢ an hour, the Feds sent me a $7 check. After a few years of trying my best, I could no longer fight society or the humiliation, rejection and abandonment of those who knew me, including my mother and sister. I was alone in the outside world; the friends I had made in prison were still in there. I hated the “free world” life and the constant dread that I could be sent back to prison for this or that. It seemed easier on the inside. For me, the so-called “free world” was like a prison. Then one very dark day, I had a vision. I was ready to commit a horrendous crime just to go back to prison for a life sentence, ridding society of me forever. I had given up totally. I had no purpose in life. I felt like a trashcan; my heart and soul were full of garbage instead of acceptance, love or hugs from anyone. I felt so damned alone. 38

It was at that precise moment I heard God speak to me. He said, “Don’t do it.” He told me instead to reach out to others like me: violent, lost, hopeless and abandoned. I had never heard a voice of guidance in my entire life, so I stopped and listened. The voice continued, “You listened to man and ended up in prison. Listen to Me and see where I will lead you.” I knew I had lost my mind. I had given up believing in anything, especially God, since I had never really known Him to begin with. I decided that day to go it alone with God as my guide. I had only $20 in my pocket, but I had a deep desire to use my creative talents to work for the good of others. I met a man who mentored me in the fabulous world of screen printing. I wore myself out creating designs, selling jobs, working nights and producing great products for clients all over Dallas, including the Dallas Mavericks, the Dallas Opera, and hundreds more. Making money, I felt accepted, appreciated and empowered. I made a vow to that man, who I will forever call my “angel”. Because he taught me, I would in turn teach others. Since that day some 30 some years ago, I have shown unconditional love and acceptance to over ten thousand violent gang members in Dallas and prisoners on both sides of the wall, as well as to anyone with a desire to learn to earn and give back to others. I taught them to screen print and use their creative talents to do good. I created the Bajito Onda Commu-

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


nity Development Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a charity that is okay being hardcore. This charity has evolved into a creative alternative society for those of us who need a safe mind space where we can turn our lives around, mentor each other and be as non-conformist as we want to be, as long as we are living life according to the vision of peace, not violence. There were no grants or huge contributions in Dallas, so the only way we kept afloat was for me to learn to print more and more products including sunglasses, art prints, tshirts, caps, jackets, hoodies, etc. We produced any products we could to show we were transitioning into a licensed, registered and trademarked brand. We created Bajito Onda in the ‘hood with homies who were not eligible to do community service in other agencies. I worked with Dallas’s most rejected, and they have become Bajito Onda’s most accepted. Quite often, it is their only alternative to a life in prison.

Spring 2014

I now live in beautiful Tucson, AZ. I no longer work hand-in-hand with gangs and prisoners, but I work with them through the beautiful art they create. The art collection is called Bajito Onda with an authentic fashion line now represented by the Carmen Ariza Agency of Europe in 43 countries. Bajito Onda was launched for stores in Europe at the Brand Licensing Expo in London in October 2013. The charity has been featured in the Tucson Weekly, the Dallas Observer, Newsweek, The New York Times and World magazines, as well as on NPR, ESPN, FOX, CBS, Univision, Telemundo and others. It won the prestigious JC Penney Golden Rule Award 1996, the Texas Governor’s Award and the Nokia Community Award, among others. I have been a presenter at four United Nations Global Summits for Youth Violence Prevention. Our vision has become reality after decades in the trenches – and standing tall so others don’t fall. Email: delhendrixson@yahoo.com Phone: 520.414.9269 Websites: bajitoondabrand.com bajitoonda.com

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Tim Stoddart & Josh Butcher

N

ew Lyfe Clothing was an idea Tim Stoddart and Josh Butcher came up with in casual conversation. They had always wanted to spread the word of recovery in their own way. New Lyfe Clothing is a representation of their individuality in recovery, as well as the individuality of their customers’ recovery lives. Both men admit they may not do things by the book, so to speak – for example, their Menace to Sobriety and Original Gangster tees – but they live honest lives and do their best everyday to help others, whether those others are in or out of recovery. Stoddart and Butcher want people to understand that there are many ways to get and stay sober, and that no particular way is the only way. Their clothing line is inspired by those views and opinions. They believe everyone in some kind of recovery should be able to wear their thoughts and opinions for the world to see. New Lyfe Clothing is a fairly new company. Stoddart and Butcher are definitely new and inexperienced in the clothing industry, but customer response has been very quick. They have already built a strong fan base. The project was only supposed to be part-time and for fun, but the business quickly became more than full-time. They’ve had to hire someone to keep up with the orders and ensure all the designs are completed on time. Butcher explained, “We had no clue that people would actually buy our stuff! We didn’t get in this to make tons of money; all we honestly care about is people getting the chance to be part of something larger than themselves. That is what our Bee Team is all about. The Bee Team is a little play on words expressing the idea that you can, “Bee – anything

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you want to be.” Bee Team members get a lifetime 20% discount code to use and share with their friends and family. They become part of what we do. It doesn’t cost them anything and there’s no sign up fee. All we want is for people to be proud of who they are and what they’ve become.” Some New Lyfe designs are subtle, while others are pretty straightforward. Stoddart and Butcher are quick to say this isn’t just a sober clothing line. They both feel labeling their product would close off their options and limit their potential for success. They plan to always give everyone in recovery a voice; but they will also make designs which don’t scream sobriety, but hint to a more positive lifestyle with healthy thoughts and actions. “New Lyfe Clothing is literally exactly who we are,” Butcher said. “We have our own way of doing things and our own opinions that we refuse to change. We are a wild group of people who live life to the fullest. We don’t shy away from going out and partying just like we used to (minus the drugs and alcohol, obviously), and we think that you can do anything you want to do and still have fun in recovery. Some may not think we are always appropriate; but like I said before, we are honest people who do the right thing. We are definitely rebels, and we have never stuck to the rules, but that’s just how we are and that’s what makes us New Lyfe.” Butcher continued, “Now that I think about it though, it’s more than that. Yes, it is a way for us to express ourselves, but really… it’s a way to show people that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. My partner and I, yes, we got sober. We know what it’s like to be beaten down and totally hopeless, but not everyone shares our experience. Other people may

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


have depression or may have lost a loved one, who knows? The point is, we all go through hardship; and New Lyfe Clothing is our representation of the idea that nothing is permanent; and anyone can find their path to a new life and a new way of living.” There are a few recovery-based clothing lines, and they all have appeal to very different cultures. For instance, Party Sober lines connect with the hardcore, punk rock community, while Sober is Sexy appeals to the west coast scene. New Lyfe leans to the street wear, urban market. However, the response from their fans has been anything but narrow, an aspect of their success which speaks well for the company. Men, Spring 2014

women, young, old, black, white and purple…people from all walks of life have connected with what New Lyfe is doing. Instagram shots of their products have come from all across the country, from around the world actually. They have shipped to every continent with the exception of Antarctica. As Butcher so aptly put it, “It’s wild to think how far this idea has come. It just goes to show you that if you get sober, you can literally do anything. You can chase your dreams!” Website: Email: Phone:

In Recovery Magazine

newlyfeclothing.com Info@newlyfeclothing.com 305.878.6160 41


Bri Boertman

G

of community where women feel heard, valued and honored. We understand how risky it feels to put ourselves out there in a social setting and what it feels like to be insecure and lack confidence. We also understand how frightening our bodies may feel and how it is sometimes easier to disassociate or self-medicate. This is the reason we offer a range of gentle and restorative yoga practices designed to soothe the soul and alleviate bodily aches and pains in a caring, non-judgmental environment. For women who want to cleanse and tone in a non-competitive atmosphere, we offer hot and dynamic vinyasa yoga classes. Often the only one we are actually competing with is ourselves. How refreshing would it feel to be embraced and encouraged to simply be you? Nothing more, nothing less. Just ourselves. Being our best self. Embracing our best life. Yoga makes this kind of authenticity possible. A regular yoga practice cultivates mindfulness in such a way that we experience in an entirely new and improved way our bodies, our minds, our spirits and our relationships with others, as well as with the world at large. Intentional focus is placed on learning to surrender to the breath. Through this beautiful relationship with our breath, we become truly present with each movement, with each thought, with each precious moment in the here and now. Imagine spending less time worrying about the future or obsessively replaying discussions or situations you regret from the past. Imagine gritting your jaw less and no longer experiencing regular headaches, stomachaches, backaches,

Bri on retreat at Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, AZ.

oddess. Sage. Wise woman. Powerful terms used to describe women who possess wisdom, light and joy. Do you consider yourself to be a goddess? A sage? A wise woman? When living our best lives, we most likely embody those terms; but when trauma, addiction or abuse affects us, our inner light starts to flicker, and our sense of joy may diminish. During those times the last word we would use to describe ourselves would be goddess! At Deva Healing Center, A Sanctuary for Women and Teens, we ignite your inner light by cultivating deep healing and by experiencing vibrant joy through nourishing yoga, inspiring and creative self-expression and transformative southwest SoulJourney experiences in the Grand Canyon and beyond! We walk side-by-side with women as they explore and rekindle the goddess within. Our center is located in Prescott, AZ, surrounded by expansive natural beauty. We have created a welcoming and vibrant sanctuary where women can feel physically, emotionally and socially safe and nurtured. As an organization created by women for women, we understand the resounding importance of cultivating a sense

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Backpacking retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains, GA

Spring 2014


Partner yoga at the 2nd Annual Great Outdoors event

Tree Pose over Canyonlands National Park during an adventure-based yoga retreat

Spring 2014

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neck aches and a host of other stress-related ailments. Imagine feeling relaxed and at ease in your own body and with your own thoughts. All of this is possible through the cultivation of mindfulness. Not only does Deva specialize in introducing healing women to yoga, but we are experts at cultivating healthy communities through expressive arts and life-changing wilderness experiences. We know how difficult it is to maintain healthy relationships, both with ourselves and with others. We also know how intimidating both art and wilderness may be. So we have created an environment where women from all walks of life can come to nourish, express and explore, free from judgments and expectations. Traveling together on what we call southwest SoulJourneys, we experience the natural world with fresh eyes. Exploring together, we take chances we might not have otherwise taken. Learning together, we discover how to trust our instincts and lean on one another for support. As a tight-knit band of newly-found soul sisters, we intentionally delve into sacred landscapes, both internal and external, which inevitably guide us toward a harmonious balance of love, tranquility and vibrant joy. By integrating mindful yoga, art and wilderness experiences into your lifestyle, the potential for lasting healing is infinite and your capacity for cultivating joy becomes expansive. Do you yearn to connect with your inner sage and feel like a goddess, but not able to get to Deva Healing Center for one of our classes or workshops? Sign up today for an upcoming southwest SoulJourney. Visit our website or contact us, and we will guide you through the process. Interested in scheduling an all-inclusive or specialty retreat or workshop at your recovery or transitional living center? Our facilitators love to travel and are more than happy to schedule a health and wellness workshop or retreat at your facility or in a gorgeous

Acro Yoga at Deva Healing Center

Deva Healing Center is located at 520 W. Sheldon, Prescott, AZ 928.899.9939 / DevaHealingCenter.org

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Downward-dog Pyramid at Deva Healing Center

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


The Benefits of Mindfulness Through Yoga • • • • • • • • • •

Healing depression Alleviating anxiety Long-lasting addiction recovery Overcoming the effects of trauma Improving asthma, bronchitis and alleviating the craving to smoke Relieving chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia, scoliosis, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome Decreasing the intensity of withdrawal symptoms from drugs, alcohol or nicotine Helping with memory loss and other mental health issues Increased capacity for emotional management and regulation Consistent feelings of health and wellness

Namaste’

Playing around in handstand at Deva Healing Center

Supported Bow Pose Deva’s instructors: Clare, Andrea, Bri and Claire

Spring 2014

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H

ealing

and

R

Soothe

DATE Saturday, M Saturday, J Saturday, Ju

TIME 6:00–8:00

COST $20

Please wear co

*Space is lim a

Call or stop by

Andrea, Deva’s high-energy Zumba instructor

Bri Boertman is the and bright and spen wilderness instruct her native stomping cultivate vibrant joy to chat her up and

BRI BOERTMAN

Creative Director of Deva Healing Center

Women-specific yoga classes Grand Canyon Retreats and Southwest SoulJourneys for women and teens in transition & recovery Private therapeutic yoga and holistic life coaching sessions Customized classes, workshops, and retreats for recovery & transition centers Helping women and teens heal from trauma, addiction, abuse, and illness through therapeutic yoga, expressive arts, and transformative wilderness experiences.

Come in today!

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928-899-9939 • 520 W. Sheldon, Prescott, AZ Bri@DevaHealingCenter.org • www.DevaHealingCenter.org

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014

928.899.993


Weekly Calendar 12:15 TO 1:15 PM 5:15 TO 6:15 PM 6:30 TO 7:30 PM 8:30 TO 9:30 AM 1:00 TO 2:00 PM 5:15 TO 6:15 PM 12:15 TO 1:15 PM 5:30 TO 6:15 PM 6:30 TO 7:30 PM 5:15 TO 6:15 PM 6:30 TO 7:30 PM 10:00 TO 11:30 AM 12:15 TO 1:15 PM 6:00 TO 7:30 PM 8:30 TO 9:30 AM 1:00 TO 2:30 PM TBA 7:00 TO 9:00 PM

MONDAYS

Spring 2014

TAI CHI HOT YOGA SOUL SHINE RESTORATIVE YOGA TUESDAYS HOT YOGA SHIMMER & SHINE GENTLE YOGA FREE COMMUNITY YOGA WEDNESDAYS TAI CHI ZUMBA! HOT YOGA THURSDAYS YOGA FOR HEALTH & WELLNESS YOGA FOR RECOVERY FRIDAYS DYNAMIC VINYASA FLOW TAI CHI * CHAKRA WORKSHOPS (1ST FRIDAYS) SATURDAYS SLOW FLOW YOGA SUNDAYS SOUND HEALING (3RD SUNDAYS) ACRO YOGA WORKSHOP CAPOEIRA BRAZILLIAN MARTIAL ARTS

Stay up to date with class descriptions and instructor bios online at DevaHealingCenter.org * Please pre-register online for Chakra Workshops Drop ins - $10 Students - $6 5 Classes for $40 20 Classes for $100 New Student Special 5 for $25!

Spring 2014

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Kevin Goff is a thirty-six-year-old artist originally from Dighton, MA, a small town about fifty miles south of Boston. He has been an artist his entire life, exploring a range of mediums from illustration, painting, sculpture, finish carpentry to tattooing. He battled addiction for over 16 years before getting clean on May 2, 2008. He relocated to Florida where he began his journey into recovery. Now, at almost six years clean, Goff is the owner of Autumn Skye - Art Gallery and Custom Tattoo in West Palm Beach, FL. As a result of his recovery, he has gained custody of his eleven-year-old son. He also has a beautiful two-year-old daughter. Goff recently told In Recovery Magazine, “I am blessed to be a clean and sober successful artist, father and friend. I owe much of that to my family and to the Twelve Step fellowship.�

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Phone: 541.641.8503 facebook.com/autumnskyeart Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

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C

eramics

Matt Kaminski first discovered his talent for ceramics at Waukesha South High School in Waukesha, WI. After spending four years taking art classes, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. Unfortunately, believing art was not a reliable career path, he decided to let it go and attend college pursuing a degree in business and economics. He made this decision around the time he began abusing drugs and alcohol. His art work quickly fell by the wayside. After flunking out of two colleges and developing a very serious substance abuse problem, the idea of becoming an artist was gone. 52

On January 1, 2010, Kaminski made the biggest decision of his life – to get sober. After participating in a 30-day inpatient treatment program, he made the second biggest decision of his life. This was to move to Prescott, AZ, where he spent six months at New Freedom Recovery. There he was introduced to the Twelve Step program of recovery and began to learn how to live life.   Near the end of his stay at New Freedom, Kaminski was asked a question that would solidify what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. That question was, “If there was one job where every day you could wake up and tell yourself, ‘I can’t believe they pay me to

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


M att Ka minski

do this!’ what would it be?” His answer was pottery making. Kaminski is now one semester away from achieving his Associates of Fine Arts and will be attending Arizona State University to pursue a Bachelors degree. He is in pursuit of his goal of being a full-time potter and being able to wake up each and every day telling himself, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!” Email:

Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

kamins28@gmail.com

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Cluttered Lives, Empty S By Terrence Shulman

A quarterly series packed with information and practical advice on compulsive buying, spending, theft and hoarding. Terry Shulman’s down-to-earth approach comes from his own life experience as well as his extensive experience as an addiction treatment professional.

“Hi, my name is Terry...and I’m a recovering shoplifter.” I was born on June 27, 1965. Twenty-five years later and halfway through law school, I sat in a jail cell in a suburban Detroit police station with one arm handcuffed to the wall. With my free hand, I reached into the nearby wastebasket and plucked out a blurred, discarded mug shot of myself to keep as a memento. The expression on my face? Lost, captured, pitiful. I’d been arrested for shoplifting for the second time in four years. I’d been shoplifting off and on from the time I was 15. I thought my life was over before it had really begun. Just prior to my arrest, I’d finally come clean with my family about my secret life and the depression I couldn’t shake. I started therapy. Over the next year, I peeled back the onion layers of my life and gradually came to the realization that I’d actually become addicted to stealing. I’d shoplifted about a thousand times over a ten-year period. Eventually I learned millions of people shoplifted regularly and nearly everyone had shoplifted at least once. Yet, I felt alone. I didn’t know any shoplifters; there were no books on the subject, no support groups and no specialized treatment programs. Twenty-four years later, I am now 48 and feel grateful to be a recovering shoplifter. I was fortunate, despite my criminal record, to be licensed as an attorney in 1992. Later that year, I started a local support group for recovering shoplifters and theft addicts, called CASA (Cleptomaniacs [sic] and Shoplifters Anonymous), which has grown over time. In 1995, I went back to school to earn my Masters in Social Work and I’ve been an addiction therapist ever since. I cut my teeth in the chemical dependency field for seven years before starting The Shulman Center for theft addiction in 2004. Gradually, we’ve expanded to treat the often-related and intertwined disorders of compulsive shopping, spending and hoarding. It comes as no surprise to any therapist working in the addiction field, or anyone who has personally struggled with addiction, that the majority of addicts have battled multiple addictions, simultaneously and/or consecutively. Thus, it’s vital we educate ourselves about every addictive-compulsive behavior – especially emerging addictions such as TV, video games and the Internet, and those addictions that have existed for ages but have remained unrecognized. According to recent statistics and surveys, more than 10% of Americans shoplift and most shoplift not out of need or greed, but rather in response to various pressures in their lives. For most shoplifters, it’s not about the money or the item – actress Winona Ryder proved that. Most shoplifters act, as I had, out of feelings of anger, loss, disempowerment and/ or entitlement. And, like me, many become hooked, addicted. Nearly 70% of shoplifters arrested will shoplift again unless there is effective intervention/treatment. Have you or anyone you know ever shoplifted? In my 2003 book, Something for Nothing: Shoplifting 54

Addiction and Recovery, I first theorized that there were seven primary categories of shoplifters (some fit more than one category): Addictive-Compulsives – Those who tend to get a rush or release from stealing but the stealing is acting out of emotions, a ritual effort to distract oneself from pain and an attempt to make life right. The stealing is the drug. Therapy, recovery support groups, and/or medication are often essential for ongoing treatment. (48%) Common Thieves/Professionals – The plain opportunists who work individually or in rings to shoplift or steal from work for profit or greed. It’s a job to them, whether part-time or full-time. (15%) The Impoverished – Those who perceive they need to steal to survive. Explore resources and issues of pride and fear in asking for help. Often grief and loss issues are present. (15%) Drug Addicts/Gambling/Shopping Addicts – Those who steal to support an underlying addiction. They usually need treatment for their underlying addiction(s) first, but may have picked up a theft addiction along the way. (10%) Thrill Seekers – Mostly younger people who steal as a dare or due to peer pressure, or who are drawn to various risktaking behaviors. They must find safer, more affirming ways to experience excitement. (10%) Absent-minded – Mostly older people, those on medications, those with cognitive disorders or those who need to slow down their pace. Accidents do happen, but tell that one to the judge! (1%) Kleptomaniacs – Those who steal impulsively, not out of anger, mostly to calm themselves when anxious. Items stolen are usually not needed and are discarded or hoarded. Treatment is usually accomplished with medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. (1%) I have also observed roughly ten emotional issues accompanying compulsive stealing, spending and hoarding that often appear at the root of the person’s compulsions and are the fuels which drive them. These include: • Anger – to try to take back, to make life fair • Grief – to fill the void due to a loss • Depression – to distract from sadness, to get a lift • Anxiety/Stress – to calm fears, to comfort • Acceptance or Competition – to fit in • Power and Control – to counteract feeling lost or powerless • Boredom/Excitement – to live life on the edge • Shame or Low Self-esteem – to validate feeling badly or to create a sense of competence in something, even if it is a negative behavior like stealing • Entitlement or Reward – to compensate oneself for over-giving or having suffered • Rebellion or Initiation – to break into authentic identity

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


y Souls In 2011, I finished my fourth book, Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Stealing, Spending & Hoarding and organized The Third International Conference on Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding in Detroit, MI. There are relatively few books written on kleptomania, shoplifting addiction, employee theft or compulsive stealing; and only a few therapists specialized in treating these disorders. As previously mentioned, relatively little research or statistics exist about compulsive stealing, spending or hoarding. In general, even stats about shoplifting and employee theft are difficult to come by. But it is safe to say that stealing, overspending and hoarding are growing problems which we are slow to recognize or confront. It is my humble hope that books such as mine will provoke an awareness of and desire to creatively offer solutions for these individual and social problems. Terrence Daryl Shulman, JD, LMSW, ACSW, CAADC, CPC is a Detroit-area therapist, attorney, author and consultant. He is the founder and director of The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding. He is the author of Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery (2003), Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic, New Perspectives, New Solutions (2005), Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending (2008) and Cluttered Lives, Empty Souls: Compulsive Stealing, Spending & Hoarding (2011). He has been featured on nearly 100 television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show. Email: terrenceshulman@theshulmancenter.com, phone: 248.358.8508, web: theshulmancenter.com.

TERRENCE DARYL SHULMAN JD,LMSW,ACSW,CAADC,CPC Founder/Director Writer for In Recovery Magazine

The Shulman Center for Compulsive Theft, Spending & Hoarding PO Box 250008 Franklin, Michigan 48025 Phone/Fax: 248-358-8508 www.theshulmancenter.com

Spring 2014

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Free at Last

By Jade Beall

I am here to be a facilitator for living Heaven on Earth. I am here to support Your Waking Dream. I am here to stand in my Authentic Beauty and reflect Your Divine Gorgeousness. I am here to be a radiant reflection of Life. I am Life. You are Life. All of this that we are and that we have is: Divine. All of this is: Magic. All of this: Just Is. - Jade Beall

J

ade Beall is a world-renowned photographer. She specializes in truthful images of women meant to inspire women to feel irreplaceably beautiful, in counterbalance to the airbrushed, photoshopped imagery dominating mainstream media today. Her recent work, A Beautiful Body Project, has touched women’s lives and garnered global attention from media outlets including the BBC, The Huffington Post and others. Jade’s book series and media platform feature untouched photos of women alongside the stories of their journeys to self-esteem in a world which thrives on women feeling insecure. Beall’s dream is to inspire future generations of women to be free from unnecessary selfsuffering and embrace their natural beauty. Why is feeling beautiful so important? Beall explains, “Because life is precious, and it will be gone before we know it. For me, when I feel ugly, I want to hide; I don’t want people to see me; that is to say, I chain myself to a prison with wideopen doors, away from any opportunities for success and empowerment. [I do this] because I have been taught to judge myself, hate myself even, based on my rolls, my cellulite, my pimples, my small and now more flattened breasts, my stretch marks which keep changing, my sweet preciousness I have been trained to loathe; I am done. I am done hating myself;

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I am done wishing I was someone else; I am done judging other women; I am done. That is to say, I am free and ready to be filled with love and only love.” Beall has heard hundreds of stories. When she published a series of self-portraits of her semi-nude postpartum body online, they went viral. She then realized there were thousands of women who also wanted to share their life stories about their bodies. “The emails started flooding in, and I knew I had to build this [A Beautiful Body Project]; it was my calling.” The stories are intense, beautiful, painful and everything in between. Stories of anorexia, of childhood bulimia, of women being told they are too fat, of self-hatred, of selfsuffering. Stories of women feeling unsexy because they perceived their body parts were imperfect or because they lost too much weight. Stories of women feeling there was something deeply wrong with them. Stories of grief, sexual abuse and self-inflicted abuse; and stories of addicted teens and young adults who were filled with self-loathing because they never felt beautiful. Stories of grief, of a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer after the birth of her child following a long awaited pregnancy or stories of others who had lost a baby at birth and whose wrinkly tummies reminded them every day of what might have been.

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


Beall’s A Beautiful Body Project is intended to redefine the beauty of our bodies, ourselves, our families and our world. All the women photographed are volunteers who show and tell their stories so other women may step out of the shadows and from behind the veils to see their own divine beauty as women, mothers, hopeful mothers, mothers who have faced loss, mothers who are healing, mothers who are thriving and all women on our planet. In her 2013 TED talk, Celebrating Body Diversity, Beall inspired her audience with her message of empowerment and joy. “We are incredibly blessed with tremendous amounts of freedom and the ability to shapeshift concepts and ideas in our country. We have the ability to feel worthy, to know we are beautiful and to be part of a community of people who wish to share beauty and joy in this world. I simply choose to Just. Be. Joyful. And to do my best.” Beall continued, “I always, always try to do my very best, from a heart which has known pain very well, but is now a devoted fan of joy.”

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path. – Brenè Brown

Website: Email: Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

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In a 2013 interview with Tom Hedrick from The Partnership at DrugFree.org and Emma Edelman from Phoenix House, Greg Williams, the director and producer of The Anonymous People, an independent feature documentary about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addictions, shared his passion for addiction recovery advocacy. William’s said, “One of the most important audiences for the message of recovery are our friends, neighbors and people who still struggle [with addiction] who don’t know that recovery is possible and a reality for millions of Americans. Many of the incredibly negative stereotypes of people with addictions persist because people just don’t know that others have gotten well. Whether you feel like you can share your story with a stranger on a bus, a classmate, a co-worker or a legislator or not, it’s up to you. No matter where you feel comfortable, there is a role for you in this movement!” He referred to addiction as, “...the most important public health crisis of our time.” Controversial? Definitely, especially considering the Twelve Step tradition of anonymity. But it appears the face of addiction recovery may be undergoing an evolution of sorts. With this evolution, important dialogues including anonymity, the disease concept and health care, are coming to the forefront. The Anonymous People movie raises significant issues to be addressed by the recovery community and our society. Greg, what led you to take on this project? During my first five years or so in recovery, I was hyperaware of feeling like I was living in two worlds – a son and student by day and a secret person in recovery by night. I was very uncomfortable knowing that people in the recovery meetings supported and encouraged me; but outside of the Twelve Step rooms, I thought I wasn’t supposed to talk about how great my life was as a result of recovery. As part of working on my Masters degree, I began to talk with people who felt the same way. I had the good fortune of learning from people like Bill White, who is probably the 58

nation’s authority on the history of addiction treatment and recovery advocacy. I was taught anonymity did not mean I couldn’t share about my recovery status publicly and advocate for others. You’ve described the development of The Anonymous People as one of the most powerful learning experiences of your life. Can you share some of that learning with us? Last year when I put The Anonymous People out there as a Kickstarter campaign – and we received nearly double our donations goal – I thought, “Wow, there are a lot of people out there who really care about this issue.” Throughout each step – test-driving the movie earlier this year in select markets, KinoLorber picking up the distribution rights and establishing the Gathr theatrical on demand model, I got a little more excited. But truthfully, the most gratifying part of this entire experience was meeting and talking with people like Maetta Broadus in Kentucky who is featured in the film. Her love and appreciation for her recovery life are infectious, and I’m humbled to serve as a recovery advocate with thousands of others across the country just like her who will no longer stay silent. Anonymity has been both a foundation of the early recovery movement and considered by some to be a barrier to its progress in the future. Can you share your perspective on this issue? Bill White says, “We will shape the future of recovery with a detached silence or with a passionate voice.” Throughout history we’ve watched other movements struggle without a unifying message. Our message is pretty simple. We are people in recovery from the disease of addiction who now live dynamic, productive lives, just like people who are in recovery from heart disease or cancer. But others won’t know that we get well unless we tell them. Neither Congress nor the media will know. If it weren’t for people in recovery and their family members

In Recovery Magazine

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sharing their stories and advocating for addiction treatment in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, I very likely wouldn’t be alive today. It is my duty to carry this forward for future generations. What about folks who do choose to remain anonymous in their recovery? Do you think anonymity works for some people, or do you think everyone has an obligation to share their story and reduce the stigma? This is not about “people should”. This is about “people can”. It’s about normalizing the recovery identity in mainstream culture. We want to give people permission to come out and talk about their recovery if they so choose – to say, “Hey, here are other people who have done this before you, and maybe together we can change the system.” There are over 23 million

Telling both sides of the story is crucial, but so many people never hear both sides. The media covers the car accidents, the overdoses, the deaths; but when someone celebrates five or ten years in recovery, we don’t hear about it. Tragedy and disaster are easy, sensational stories; but we’ve told the easy story for years. Instead of focusing on the problem while ignoring the solution, it’s time to focus on the drama of recovery. In the film you say, “It isn’t parents failing young people; it’s the health system.” Why is this and how can the health system do a better job of serving those with addiction? We’re currently dealing with a square peg in a round hole: using a crisis-oriented criminal justice approach to address a chronic health condition that’s costing us money as taxpayers

Kirsten Johnston is just one of the movie’s leaders, volunteers, corporate executives and celebrities putting themselves on the line to save the lives of others just like them.

Americans in recovery, and we don’t need all of them to be “out”. Look at the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered] rights movement; not every gay person is an activist, but all of them have felt the repercussions of stigma and discrimination. When people “come out” about being in recovery, they offer hope to those still struggling and inform policymakers at the same time. Someone who’s still using drugs might look at them and think, “I’d like to be a part of that. How do I get into recovery?” You mention media coverage as exacerbating the problem by focusing on celebrities and their active addition. What role can the media play in decreasing the stigma surrounding addiction? It’s all about talking about the solution as well as the problem. We saw this happen, maybe for the first time in mainstream media, when Matthew Perry was on the cover of People Magazine for nothing other than being in recovery. It wasn’t about ratings; it wasn’t about sensationalizing addiction. It was, “Here’s a guy five or six years in recovery. Let’s put him on the cover because he’s doing great and helping others.” Spring 2014

and profoundly affecting families and communities. That’s the infrastructure we’ve built in this country. We are almost decent at helping people initiate recovery and get into mutual support groups and/or treatment (at least for those who can access it), but we do a terrible job with ongoing recovery support. With cancer, we assertively monitor people for five years after they go into remission. Addiction, on the other hand, is deemed “acutely stabilized” in just five to 28 days – 90 days if you’re really lucky. Then we pat people on the back, toss them out, and say, “Well, good job! You probably should go to some meetings! I don’t know where they are, but good luck!” If people also have a criminal justice history, they face discriminatory barriers that keep them from jobs, housing and education. And then we have the audacity to blame them when they don’t sustain their recovery? The film shows early advocate Marty Mann saying that alcoholics belong in treatment, not in jail – and that was almost 70 years ago. Why do you think we are still incarcerating people with addiction today and how can we change this? It’s complex but shame is one factor, and anonymity plays

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into that. We were making strong progress in the late 1960s and early 1970s with Congressional hearings and passage of the Hughes Act, which recognized alcoholism as a major health problem and established the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But then in the late 1970s, we went largely silent as a community as the War on Drugs grabbed headlines; and people with addiction were demonized in a sensational, fear-mongering way. It was a huge cultural setback; if you were a person with addiction in the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s, you lived with a great deal of societal shame as a result. We still haven’t dug ourselves out of that debacle, but we’re starting to. I hope that when people see my film and share it with others, it will start a conversation that doesn’t stop – a conversation that decreases shame and begins to tackle discrimination and talks about truly addressing the most important public health crisis of our time. This is a conversation we must have if we want to help the next generation have it better than we do today. Where do you see the recovery movement going from here, after both studying it and living it so intensely over the past few years? I think the future looks really bright because we have grassroots momentum on our side. Education, organizing and a new language are some of the answers to many of our pitfalls. We are no longer willing to be silent. We have a new action campaign, in partnership with Faces & Voices of Recovery, called ManyFaces1Voice.org. It’s a response to the one question everybody asks after seeing The Anonymous People, “What can I do to help?” This site elevates personal passion for recovery with the tools needed to build the recovery movement.

On the website ManyFaces1Voice.org, under the “Take Action” link, there is a section that links directly to Faces & Voices of Recovery’s Message Training. There is a DVD available and an opportunity to request the training in your community. Additionally, there are video vignettes of people from all walks of life who model the language and tell their stories of recovery and why they decided to participate in advocacy efforts. Many of the recovery community centers profiled in the film were developed by members of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations. These organizations are very willing to share their experience with new communities looking to bring recovery to more people. Most recovery advocates will tell you, “Recovery advocacy is not a recovery program.” The people in the film view advocacy as an extension of their recovery experience, but not as a replacement for their personal recovery needs. Advocacy is about citizenship and the power of recovery stories which helps solve addiction problems. Williams notes that you don’t have to be “political” to be an advocate. While some of the film covers policy issues which address barriers to getting help to people with addiction, most of the film is about getting the word out about the reality of recovery. All of us can do that. The Anonymous People is screening in theaters and communities across the country. Please help bring the film to your community and share the message with your friends and family. You can find out how to accomplish this on ManyFaces1Voice.org under the “Screenings” link. In 2014, individual retail release online, streaming, DVD and Video-On-Demand will be available. ManyFaces1Voice will announce these opportunities as they become available. The film is currently available for organizational screening by obtaining Public Performance Rights. Read the details on the “Host a Community Screening” link on the ManyFaces1Voice homepage.

Greg Williams

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In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


4TH DIMENSION PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS “THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE” A GREG WILLIAMS FILM FEATURING KRISTEN JOHNSTON CHRIS HERREN PATRICK KENNEDY TARA CONNER WILLIAM COPE MOYERS WILLIAM WHITE LAURIE DHUE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PAUL MCCULLEY OF THE MORGAN LE FAY DREAMS FOUNDATION CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER JOHN SILVERMAN EDITOR JEFF REILLY DIRECTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY CRAIG MIKHITARIAN ORIGINAL SCORE BRENDAN BERRY SOUND BUD MIKHITARIAN THEANONYMOUSPEOPLE.COM


Photos by Gavin Searcy

I

’m Harley Guy, and I’m a drug addict. I was born in Prescott, AZ. When I was 13, I swore I’d never do drugs. I had seen the destruction that had torn my family and other families apart. I had a not-so-pretty childhood – a father I never met, a single mother who was an alcoholic, a constant stream of abusive father figures, poverty and other unimaginable horror stories. I’ll always remember feeling insecure and not worthy

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of being loved. When I found drugs at 14, these bad feelings all seemed to disappear. By high school I was drinking as much as I could and doing every drug that I could. I moved to Phoenix at age 18 where I worked in several great restaurants. In some I washed dishes; in some I cooked. Although the chefs would say I had natural talent for cooking, I would always sabotage myself and get fired. Nine years later, I moved back to Prescott and entered an addiction rehab facility. I gave it a decent shot for a while. I was on methadone and was trying to do what worked for me at the time to stay clean. But it didn’t work. One day I found myself hitchhiking to Phoenix which eventually led me to give up completely and become homeless. Looking back, it was hell. But at the time I just didn’t care, and my feelings were numbed by the drugs. Despite the hell, I thought the drugs were working for me. I decided again to go to detox. The third time around, I finally completed it. A friend of mine and a counselor at this rehab recently told me that the last time I was there, they thought for sure I was going to die. During that stay one of my counselors told me if I loved cooking the way I said I did, then I should go for it. He recommended I stop at nothing to achieve some semblance of sanity and recovery through spirituality and cooking. That’s exactly what I did. I got a line cook job, watched the food network and immersed myself in all things food. Despite another relapse during that time, I still held food up as my Higher Power. I trusted in this and finally decided I was done with my addiction. I packed my bags and moved to the Caribbean to work in some amazing restaurants. I gave cooking my all, one hundred percent. I was working with real chefs who pushed my culinary limits. I showed passion and was teachable. To this day I thank them for that lesson. After working in the Caribbean a little over a year, a family member became ill; so I decided to come home for the holidays. My intention had been to return to the Caribbean; but instead I found a job with a chef I truly respected right here at home. I became a sous chef and am now chef de cuisine at the Restaurant Maison in Prescott, AZ. I have business cards! Not bad for someone who felt unlovable for so long. I am able to create food I love because I trust in it and trust in my Higher Power. When I become sad, depressed or want to use, I cook food. I read about new cooking techniques and study as much as I am able; this lessens

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


Cookin’ Clean

my anxiety about life. Although in a professional environment new anxieties do emerge, through my Higher Power, my love of cooking and my passion, these anxieties are manageable. I have been able to repair relationships because people, such as my mother, can see my passion for food and see how my love of cooking has shaped me into a man who focuses on the positive in life. My mother, who now has 15 plus years sober and is a huge inspiration in my life, trusts me again. This is something I never thought possible. My family has regained a sense of closeness through my recovery, as well as my brother’s recovery – my brother’s getting clean inspired me as much as cooking. Not using drugs, my love and passion for the culinary arts, striving to be the best chef I can be and the people I choose to have in my life are what works for me today. I wake up every day happy to be alive and happy to cook. Life will come at me; and it won’t be perfect,but I know I can handle it. When I am cooking, I am putting something positive back into the world. When I get a compliment on my food or I see someone in the dining room smile and look as though they just ate the most amazing dish they have ever had, I realize what recovery is all about. My sobriety and my cooking give me self worth, confidence and love, all in a way drugs tried to, but never did. When I wake up every morning and the sun hits my face, I smile because, just for today, I’m alive and clean. I get to do something I love and for that I’m grateful. Restaurant Maison, 436 W. Goodwin St., Prescott, AZ 86303


Joe Barnett “My name is Joe, and I am an alcoholic.” When I use the term alcoholic, I use the term broadly. Granted, I do have a major problem with the effects produced by alcohol and drugs; but now when I say that I am alcoholic I am referring to the “ism” that denotes the crazy, deranged jumble and terror that resides within my mind. That is my best description of alcoholism. To this day, my head still tells me that I am not good enough; I’ll never amount to anything; I am bad; and when I make a mistake or struggles arise, I must be a failure – I should just give up and end it all. I’m different from the rest of you. I often find myself searching for answers when I don’t even know what the question is. Why can’t I just be okay? With that said, I think I am a well-qualified alcoholic. My sobriety date is October 24, 2012. I am 24 years old. I came from a very dark place that many of you know well. I have lived in Prescott, AZ, for over three years and have been in and out of treatment centers, halfway houses and the rooms of AA. I am that crazy guy who wasn’t supposed to get sober. I ran around in old crack house motel rooms and slept under bridges in the snow. I was lost in the world of intravenous crystal meth and heroin addiction. I grew up in Sarasota, FL, in a great, loving family. In college

I had big dreams and high standards for my life which were crushed by my excessive prescription opiate and cocaine use. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning. I was a pop music major, so I figured drug use just came along with the trades, and I desperately wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to be that boring guy who hangs out in his dorm room, and actually does his homework. I have always wanted to be part of something and partying made that happen. I was attracted to the mystery and aura illuminating the drug world. I was on a long, slow slide to my grave. This time around, my sobriety looks different. I have a great sponsor who challenges me to dive into my fears instead of hiding from them. I work the Twelve Steps in my life every day to the best of my ability. I sponsor guys in the rooms. The realization has come to me that everything good or bad passes, and the hard times are an experience for growth. I constantly remind myself that “I don’t know” is an honest answer. Music has always been a great passion of mine. I started playing guitar at the age of twelve. Throughout high school I was involved in the school jazz band, orchestra and choir. My senior year I was fortunate to sing in the national touring choir competition at Carnegie Hall in New York City. There is

New York, NY

Palm Springs, CA Feb 1, 2014

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Coconut Creek, FL May 3, 2014

Nashville, TN Malibu, CA Palm Springs, CA

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Charlotte, NC June 21, 2014 Louisville, CO July 19, 2014

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Heroes in Recovery has a simple mission: to eliminate the social stigma that keeps addicted individuals from seeking help, to share stories of recovery for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration, and to create an engaged sober community that empowers people to get involved, give back, and live healthy, active lives.

IN RECOVERY

Nashville, TN Sept 13, 2014 Roswell, GA Sept 27, 2014 Memphis, TN Coming soon Nov 2014 New York, NY Coming Soon 2014 Malibu, CA Amateur Surfing Competition Coming Soon 2014


nothing else in the world like being in the center of a huge choir, and feeling the energy of a hairraising cadence ring out. I was a part of something. Today I play and record music under the alias Cerulean Tide. Because I understand what it’s like out there, my mission is to reach out to the lost and forgotten. My first album was released in February 2014. Recording music and playing shows lights a fire in my soul, but there has been a lot of hard work along the way. If it weren’t for the people I’ve met and the lasting relationships I’ve built in the rooms, playing music would be a long-lost, forgotten dream. I would like to encourage anyone feeling lost, confused and without direction. Seek out friends in the rooms with similar passions. Most of the time we don’t know how to help ourselves, so accept help when it is offered, ask for help, work the steps, persevere through the potholes and craters. Trust in God, and you will surely find peace and fill your slot in the universe. Most importantly, cling to hope. I did not get sober to live a mundane, monotonous life. In fact, staying sober has allowed me to follow my passions and live the kind of life I always wanted. Photo by Sean Hammer


Justin Lawson Justin Lawson is a 24-year-old from Phoenix, AZ. His sobriety date is October 8, 2012. Lawson attributes his sobriety to having the Twelve Steps and God in his life. He views skateboarding both as a gift of sobriety and a tool for his recovery. Before drugs and alcohol, skateboarding was his life. It was something he did for fun and something that helped him escape from his feelings. It serves the same purpose for him today. Whether right or wrong, that is what it is for him. Lawson says, “I love [skateboarding]! When I’m on my board nothing else matters. I become energetic; I get really loud and make all kinds of weird sounds. I’m always smiling and having just way too much fun. For me, the feeling I get when I’m on my board is absolute serenity!”

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Photo by Sean Hammer

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Spring 2014


Luke Stasica

“How good can life get?” It’s a commonly asked, serious question proposed in early recovery to get a newcomer thinking about where recovery might take them. To Luke Stasica it was one of the many suspicious questions he encountered on his arrival in Prescott, AZ, in mid-2012. He had been out of the Army for six months, and his struggle with drugs and alcohol had finally worn him down. In an attempt to get his life back on track, he had dropped everything in Colorado and relocated to Arizona. He went to live with his older sister, who had already been in recovery for a couple years. Stasica explained, “At that time, I had no idea just how good life could get! I just wanted to stop hating myself and hurting everyone I loved. But there was much more than just that in store for me.” As far back as he can remember, his passion has been creating art. However, over the last year of his drug and alcohol use, he attempted to draw only a handful of times. He no longer wanted to share with others his memories, feelings and dreams on paper. “I was empty,” Stasica said. Now, with the gift of recovery, his dreams are again taking form and being reflected in his work. “Today I get to expand my art by trying new things, and by walking through my fears of judgment and my head telling me that I’m not good enough. It is truly a spiritual experience to finish a piece and not be able to control my smile. My head is silent in those moments.” Stasica has been sober for just over a year and a half. He’s Spring 2014

a college student, a freelance graphic designer and a grateful artist. But he describes himself, first and foremost, as an active member in the recovery community. “Without that piece, life would be nowhere near as good as it is today. I am a positive presence in my relationships. I owe my art and my life to recovery, to those who are a part of my life and to my Higher Power. Now I finally get to truly give back.”

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PITCH 4 KIDZ By Stacey Beck

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dmit it, there is something exciting about those kids’ menus at restaurants. As adults, we secretly want to color that surfboard or play tic-tac-toe; and the crayon gives us permission to play and create. Even people who would not identify themselves as artistic seem to abandon that belief when crayons are placed in the center of the table. The crayon gives us permission to revisit a common childhood experience, even if just for a few moments. There is power in that crayon, a sense of freedom and simple joy which is often missing from our daily routines. When families are dealing with the disease of addiction, creativity and playfulness are frequently lost in the turmoil and fear. When living in a home where a loved one struggles with the disease of addiction, children are profoundly affected. They are often subjected to conflict, instability and a chaotic environment. Children may internalize a lack of trust and may not openly share feelings. They innately understand that secrecy is paramount. They often feel isolated, confused and frustrated. Regardless of how well family members attempt to conceal a family member’s addiction, the children know a problem exists even if they do not have the vocabulary to verbalize their experience. When families hide the truth, children often create stories in their minds about what is occurring; they search for a framework that makes sense of the chaos. Often the result is the children blame themselves for family conflict and dysfunction. Recovery and healing are necessary for each family member, and children are no exception. Even if the addicted family member does not seek help, the children benefit from supportive programs. When children are offered support and education about what is occurring in their families, they are able to cope more effectively in all aspects of their lives. While participating in group settings, they learn they are not alone; other kids have similar challenges.

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PITCH 4 KIDZ is a program for children ages six through twelve who have a parent or other family member coping with addiction. Children living in these families are at greater risk for behavioral, emotional and physical challenges. They are also at an increased risk of future substance abuse. The goal of the PITCH 4 KIDZ program is to increase resilience and offer hope and healing for children and families. Our weekend workshop is designed for children to learn about the disease, develop healthy coping strategies and build effective communication skills. The use of the arts is an essential component of the PITCH 4 KIDZ approach. Creative activities offer a fun and safe way for children to express themselves. The staff uses techniques from various expressive art forms to offer children different ways to share their stories, explore their feelings and communicate difficult experiences. The message to the children that they are valuable and important is communicated by incorporating into the program music, physical movement, color and texture. Drawing, singing, dancing and acting offer ways for children to gain insight into their experiences, feelings, hopes and personal value. Kids are taught to separate the person they love from the disease of addiction, giving the children permission to love and value their parent, but also permission to express anger and frustration with addiction. The children are also introduced to the concepts of treatment and recovery. Children are eager for their parents to get well, and they learn they are not responsible for their parent’s drinking or recovery. During the three-day program, children draw what addiction looks like in their family. Six-year-old Kyle was rambunctious, and appeared angry, often using the word Satan. He drew everything with black crayons until given this assignment. He depicted his father on the left side of the page, filled with the drink. He drew himself shouting something. In the center he drew addiction, which resembled Satan. Until the

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


PITCH program, the only word he had for the chaos he was experiencing in his home was Satan. By the end of the weekend program, Kyle had replaced the word Satan with addiction. His new understanding and vocabulary allowed him to express his anger at the disease, while giving him permission to love his dad who was in early recovery. Kyle’s art allowed him to illustrate his feelings and to visualize in a concrete way the difference between his father and the behaviors associated with addiction. PITCH 4 KIDZ also incorporates musical interventions, which offer children alternative ways of expressing the emotions and the details of their personal stories. Children often feel safe banging out their anger on a drum or gently stroking the drum to express the sadness of seeing their parents drink. In one program, a young boy sat silently with the drum on his lap for a minute or so before saying, “I’m done.” He then said, “In my room there is no sound. It’s very lonely.” That small boy spent a lot of time in his room as a way of coping with his parents arguing over his father’s drinking behaviors. Ironically, the drum was a profound instrument for communicating the child’s silent world. The PITCH 4 KIDZ program empowers children to express their feelings in safe and healthy ways, and to understand their parent’s addiction is not the child’s fault. One nine-year-old girl drew her family in front of Disneyland with everyone smiling. She shared, “This is my family having fun now that treatment and recovery are with my dad.” Crayons and drums are instruments of healing and communication. They provide children with ways to tell their stories and explore their dreams. It is a gift to your children to foster a childhood which includes fun and imagination. Indulge in these moments when the crayons are on the table; color with abandon. Those moments are an essential part of family healing. Email: Phone:

Stacey@pitch4kidz.org 480.607.4472

Spring 2014

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There is no event greater in life than the appearance of new persons about our hearth, except it be the progress of the character which draws them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Kay Luckett

The Art of the Hearth

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n my “past life” I was a caterer and event coordinator in Los Angeles, CA. It was more than a career; it was my absolute creative and artistic statement to the world. My world: Hollywood! I was very organized and prompt, and everything had to be perfect every time, no matter what. The edgy truth was that I tried for perfection in almost every kind of impossible situation. Each part of a catered event depended upon someone or something else other than me. I could line things up, but in a way I was always at the mercy of others. I was powerless. The delivery times of the food suppliers, the liquor, ice and the décor were crucial to the timetable at hand. The arrival of the chefs, the floor staff and the valets were vitally important. It took only one hint of a possible late arrival to upset the drunk caterer, me. Everything was my emergency. At the setup for each event, I would literally go into hyper-OCD mode. I would flare up at the least suggestion of a production glitch. I was the roadrunner in this fast-forward cartoon. It was fortunate for everyone involved that my staff consisted of creative, hardworking people who could work under pressure and were able to tolerate my raging character defects. There was an art to assembling the whole presentation. No matter what happened behind the scenes, the guests could only be privy to gourmet cuisine, professional servers and real Hollywood entertainment. The combination of these “ingredients” mixed with flowers, props and lighting, transformed 72

a huge white party tent in an empty, paved parking lot into a magical wonderland. I catered to my alcoholism for over 20 years while trying to cope with my life as a single mother, business owner, boss, sales and event coordinator, and the person who produced the most impressive soirées in town. As the pressure built, the stress took over and something had to give. Thank God, for me it was the alcohol and drugs. When a Higher Power stepped into my chaotic life and lifted from me the obsession to drink and use, many things changed. When I designed a party event, I began to interview my clients to ensure I was in tune with their vision. I wanted to create a dream party for them, instead of a Hollywood production. Things slowed down and colors seemed brighter. I stopped to smell the buffet flowers; I basked in the ambient party lighting; I walked to the rhythm of a cohesive group effort. I had been relieved of the bondage of self-gratification and been given the gift of being a member of a team enterprise focused on a higher purpose. Additionally, I was given a recipe for sober living which includes willingness, practice and learning. instead of a “legend in my own mind”, I became a worker among workers, and a friend among friends. I learned to step up to the table to break bread with my fellows. What better way is there to do this than to share a simple, non-catered, home-cooked meal? A meal from the hearth of my heart.

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Spring 2014


Mediterranean Style White Bean Soup (Adapted recipe from The Perricone Prescription by Nicolas Perricone)

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped 1 yellow onion, chopped 2 ribs celery, sliced 1/3 fennel bulb, chopped 2 fennel stalks, chopped 3 Tbs fennel leaves, minced 8 cloves garlic 1 Tbs dry basil 3 tsp whole fennel seeds ½ tsp red pepper flakes 2 Tbs olive oil 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 28 oz can tomatoes, chopped & drain (save juice) 2 15 oz cans white beans Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved Croutons Salt and pepper

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Victoria Abel MA, MNT, CAN

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Spring 2014

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Visions on Addiction By Bob L.

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or more than 22 years, the underground play about addiction, Visions, has quietly reached over 40,000 people in treatment centers, shelters, prisons and other communities with its message of hope. The journey of Visions began in 1991 while Bob L. used the short breaks on his job in an automotive plant to pen the images in his head. In a relatively short time, he was able to complete the brief, but meaningful production, which brought its message of hope to many thousands throughout the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania areas. Bob brought the script to several community theaters who turned it away saying, “Not our cup of tea.” Undaunted, Bob set out looking for a cast. Knowing few actors, he asked friends and acquaintances for help. Early on it seemed churches were the only doors that would open to allow this group of messengers to rehearse and so they did. The show’s first performance was at Integrity House at Meadowview Hospital, a treatment facility for alcohol and drug abuse in Secaucus, NJ. Since then, the Visions troupe has grown to more than 500 anonymous volunteer members, few of them actors, using the medium of theatre to convey recovery. Despite working with non-professionals, the Visions troupe was the recipient of a presidential Points of Light Award for their community service and volunteerism. “We have found that carrying a message of recovery makes one feel whole,” says the author and director Bob L. Visions is based in New Jersey, but has made its way to nine states, including a National Recovery Month performance in the House of Representatives, in Washington, DC. The play has received accreditation from the Addiction Professional

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Certification Board of New Jersey. It has also been utilized as a training medium for graduate credits in behavioral medicine and counseling at the West Virginia University Medical Center. Over the past years, several Visions troupes have been started from treatment centers and correctional facilities – addicts carrying the message of recovery to their peers. From the beginning it has had no funding, which makes the play’s journey so fascinating. In 2003, Visions Recovery, a non-profit, was formed with assistance from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a New York based pioneer organization in arts-related legal aid and educational programs which was established in 1969. Pulling no punches, Visions depicts powerful scenarios of alcoholics and addicts hitting rock bottom, as well as the associated issues of homelessness, domestic violence, HIV and youth at risk. More importantly, the play conveys a loud and clear message of hope and recovery. “Over and over again, we are witnessing our audiences weeping after our performances, not in despair, but with hope,” shared director Bob L. From November 26 to December 1, 2013, Visions performed off Broadway at the Hudson Guild Theatre, an intimate state of the art theatre in New York City. Fifty percent of all seating was donated to area treatment centers and shelters. “We brought in our beloved audiences from rehab centers and shelters. It is all part of the Visions Gratitude Tour.” Website: Phone:

In Recovery Magazine

visionsrecoveryplay.org Bob L. at 201.281.4215 Spring 2014


ing A Film by Nicole Romine

ing

is a film directed and choreographed by Nicole Romine. It received many accolades and was screened in numerous film festivals throughout the U.S., Europe, South Africa, Russia and India. It won the prestigious Gran Prix award from the Asolo International Art Film Festival in Italy. ing is a journey of being and becoming. The awakening from denial. The recognition of a self-created prison. The self-destructive fury of trying to live within a lie. In surrender the journey within begins, a breathtaking and excruciating discovery of vision, truth, and beauty. A return to the physical realm comes with a sense of wonder, of seeing for the first time, and bringing into reality a vision of the inner landscape. It is about courage. Living in truth. The death of self. Freedom.


Nicole Romine has traveled the world as an award-winning international director and choreographer expressing her art form with great success. Romine is married to “the most amazing man in the world�. They have two cats, Isabeau and Toulouse.

Spring 2014

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In Recovery Magazine

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She made a difference! Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. — William James

Someone You Know

Celebrate that important person in your recovery! Has someone you know made a difference in your life? Send us a photograph (jpg or pdf 300 dpi) and a short description (200 words or less) of how this person changed your life. We’ll let you know if your story is selected for publication. Editor@inrecoverymagazine.com


Sharing Hearts Through Art By Nichol Sheffield

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t Oasis Behavioral Health (OBH), a specially designed residential behavioral and substance abuse treatment program for adolescents in Arizona, we emphasize the power of art in recovery. Our recreation and art therapists have had outstanding results reaching teens through the medium of art. After multiple incident reports of boys tagging the walls and furniture in our facilities, last summer we came up with the idea of the Oasis Recovery Wall. The project ran for several weeks and was such a powerful experience for staff and patients alike that we decided to continue the exercise throughout the coming year to enable more children to share their hearts through art.

Week 1: Each boy came up to the whiteboard and tagged his name. Some boys had a short tag and only used one marker, while others included intricate details and used many colors. We Nichol Sheffield discussed what these names meant to them and found that the names were summaries of their identities among their families and friends. These tags were often special pet names that made them feel loved and that they belonged to something. One boy stated, “Every time I tag, I leave my mark. You can never deny me.� This statement was very powerful. It described his need to be seen, to be heard and to matter. Tagging suddenly didn’t seem like property destruction, but more like reclamation of identity. 82

Week 2: I read poetry written by the rap artist, Tupac, sensitive poetry about loving your mother and forgiveness, about redemption and recovery, words from a man who had made mistakes and had faced them. When the readings were over and the writer was revealed as Tupac, the boys expressed their identification with his words and shared a desire to be better and to achieve more. One child, who struggled to open up in our program, wrote a poem about his struggles that nearly brought me to tears. The boys all agreed that they share their hearts through art and felt that this poem should be part of the wall. On separate pieces of paper, the boys drew their ideas for the wall. We would review them together as we got closer to painting. Week 3: In preparation for the mural, a smaller group of six boys painted the wall a solid color. Prior to painting, we discussed starting over with a clean slate and creating a new image and identity. We talked about how this is a part of the recovery process. By letting go of the past and by setting an anniversary date for the first day of recovery, the boys could create a clean slate to prepare for the mural of dreams in their future. I discovered a great deal about these six boys during those group discussions. We talked about their families, fishing, painting, hobbies, and what they hoped to achieve in the future. They were helpful, perfectly behaved young men with

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


manners. It was a delightful day that caused me to consider the boys’ need for physical work. Physical work is something not often factored into treatment, but should be a part of genderspecific considerations. Our vocational instructor, Bob the Builder, operates a workshop for the boys and teaches them to use tools, to design and construct projects and to develop other skills. This is a favorite activity for the boys and helps build confidence and purpose. Week 4: This week was by far the most inspirational week for me. By this point, the boys were teaching me more than I was teaching them. We discussed in greater depth why they tagged and looked at their rough drafts for the wall. The boys revealed that tagging marked where they had been, let the world know who they were and that this area is their home. As we talked, we concluded that these behaviors were really Native American traditions and part of many of their cultural histories. Much like the petroglyphs and storytellers, these boys were leaving an artistic representation of themselves. Gangs have become their tribes and are often made up of their own family members just like their ancient ancestors, the Native American tribe, the Huhugam (Those Who Are Gone). The boys concluded that tag names are their spirit names. Instead of a traditional tribal name such as “San Juan” (strong people), their tag name might be “I Rule”. We discussed the Akimel O’odham (River People), now the modern Pima Indian Tribe in Arizona, concept of Him-dag, an early form of recovery. O’odham Him-dag intertwines religion, morals, values, philosophy and a world view in which are all interconnected. Tagging is a modern art form and cultural manifestation of youth begging for a connection to history and traditions. The taggers are navigating in a society which is often uninformed and insensitive to the issues and hurdles the boys face. After this discussion, we looked over their drafts and saw words like hope, recovery, family, pray for me and sobriety. We were ready to paint! Spring 2014

Week 5: I arrived with a colorful cart of the requested spray cans and paint gallons. The boys were ecstatic. We began to paint – orange, pink, green – colors flew onto the wall. The boys worked in shifts, working together well and planning their contributions together. The wall evolved throughout the day as they would paint over images that didn’t turn out as well as they had planned adding new ideas as they emerged. We talked about how recovery mirrored this process. When something isn’t working well, we can change it and try something new. basking in the beauty of our creation, we celebrated with pizza at the end of the day. This was a powerful activity, and I was fortunate to have shared it with these boys. While I am not suggesting we encourage our children to paint wherever and whenever they want, I feel it is imperative we provide them with artistic outlets. This medium can be a very effective tool to increase a child’s participation in treatment and recovery. I am hopeful and excited as I watch this generation grow up. If they are seen, heard and acknowledged, they demonstrate insight and intelligence and have many gifts to offer society.

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A Small Thing

By Dain Suominen

I

t was a small thing really, in and of itself. Entirely insignificant, hardly worth noticing. On any other day, I would scarcely have paid attention to it; I would have kept on walking, intent on my business. It was such a simple thing: just the sound of a woman’s voice. It wasn’t even a word, only an unintelligible murmur which preceded a sob, but for some reason it caught my attention. It became impossible to simply pass by. Perhaps it was the tone, or perhaps it was the cry that riveted me. Somehow that brief utterance conveyed such a sense of abject misery that my heart was gripped like a vise. There was something about it that refused to let me go. I stopped in my tracks, bag of groceries hanging in one hand, bouquet of white roses in the other, both forgotten. I stared quite unconsciously at the source of this heart-wrenching sound. As I walked casually by, who on my cursory examination I had taken for a woman was actually a girl either in her late teens or early twenties. She was obviously a beggar, living on the fringes of society – subsisting by her wits and whatever handouts she could get. Her face in her hands, she was sitting next to the store that had brought me out on my mundane errand. I didn’t know at first what it was that drew me to her, what about her obvious plight had evoked such a profound reaction in me. It was very sudden, taking me completely by surprise in an unguarded moment. I was utterly dumbfounded and at a loss for words. It was Beth, my sister who had died ignominiously on the streets. This girl reminded me of Beth. Years ago I had watched 84

helplessly as Beth was swept away by her addiction to drugs. There was nothing anyone could do to help her. Many had tried, myself included. Her seemingly innocuous “hobby” quickly developed into a terminal affliction. Despite everyone’s best efforts to help her, Beth could never stop using for long. Then one day the dreaded call came. It was my mother who answered the phone. On the line was a police officer with terrible news: my mother’s little girl, my precious sister, was dead. She had been found behind a grocery store, just like the one I was now standing beside. The medical examiner had done his due diligence, but it wasn’t really necessary. We all knew what had happened – an overdose. My sister had been ripped from this life by her addiction. Although we weren’t really surprised, we were nevertheless devastated. We had known it was only a matter of time. Heroin had claimed yet another sad soul. Beth was only 19 at the time of her death. She would be forever young. As I stood there looking at this poor girl, all of this flashed through my mind in a split second. I can’t imagine what expression was on my face, but it must have been a bit strange, because she was looking right back at me, regarding me warily with as much surprise as I was feeling. I could see apprehension in her eyes, and I could tell she knew there was something different about the stranger who was paying such abnormal attention to her. Maybe she sensed the concern I felt for her. Perhaps she saw compassion in my eyes, instead of the indifference she was accustomed to. Most passersby likely regarded her with ill-concealed contempt, judging her carelessly,

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


as harshly as they did ignorantly – not understanding her situation, nor caring to find out. It must have seemed quite strange to her – my unexpected and earnest attention. She must have felt a fair degree of alarm. Who was this unusual stranger? Why was he staring at me so unabashedly? What did he want? When people paid attention to her, for the most part, it was a bad thing. Strangers tended to be disgusted by her, perceiving her as an urchin – the dregs of society and a scourge upon their exalted city. She had become accustomed to such casual disdain. Surely such a thing as genuine kindness was almost a dream to her – a fairy tale, not something that happened in the real world, a myth in her dog-eat-dog life. She was on the verge of bolting when I found my voice. I gently asked her name, and asked if she was hungry. I tentatively held out a box of saltine crackers which I retrieved from my bag. After a moment and without responding, she snatched the box from my hand, retreated a few steps and immediately began to devour them. She was ravenous, probably having gone days without a meal. The poor creature crouched before me, wolfing down the crackers in silence. I offered her a bottle of water, eliciting no more response than I had gotten by asking her name, but she accepted it. There was a brief glimmer of appreciation in her eyes, just enough to convey her gratitude for the gift of this simple meal. I never did find out her name. As soon as she finished eating, the girl took off without a word. It was an hour before sunrise, and a preternatural stillness had blanketed the land, that unique quietude that occurs only in the moments before dawn. The time when all creatures great and small begin to wake up, shaking off the previous night’s somnolence in their own ways. I paused for a moment’s reflection in the wake of the girl’s departure. No doubt she had suffered much, being alone and friendless. I couldn’t imagine what her story must have been. There was, of course, nothing more I could do for her, having no chance at all of ever finding her again. I began to regret not doing more for her – giving her some blankets, or at least some better food. Crackers. What kind of meal was that? I had only purchased those crackers on a whim, for a snack. I reminded myself that I had done all I could do for her. It was better than nothing, I guess. It was just that the poor girl reminded me so achingly of my sister. Perhaps it was lingering regret over my inability to help Beth that made me want to do everything I could to help that girl. Or maybe it was just the uncanny coincidence of meeting someone on that particular morning who reminded me so strongly of my sister. That day, of all days. It was the third anniversary of Beth’s death. I was planning to stop at the cemetery on my way home to put the roses on her grave. Maybe not such a small thing after all.

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Artawakening By David Reno

O

ne in five Americans experiences a mental health or substance abuse condition in any given year. Imagine one of those children or adults is someone you know. While participating in therapy and taking the correct medication, if any is needed, is a start on the road to recovery, there will ultimately be stress and emotions involved in the healing process. People seeking recovery may have emotional needs they may not be able to express through traditional methods. This is where PSA Art Awakenings, a program of PSA (People Service Action) Behavioral Health Agency, can help. PSA Art Awakenings, a psychosocial rehabilitation and art therapy program with 13 studios and five galleries in six counties throughout Arizona, annually helps more than 1,200 people work toward empowerment and recovery through the expression of their own creativity. In our eyes, whether adult

creative writing, music, movement, jewelry making or sculpting. Artists work through the creative process of self-exploration both individually and in groups. They then have the opportunity to share and sell their work through public art exhibits, in galleries, online and at local events such as community art walks. While the process teaches personal accountability, the clients learn respect for themselves and others. Our approach allows them to take pride in their accomplishments as they develop enhanced self-esteem, wellness management and pre-job training skills. All of these benefits contribute to their personal recovery and community integration. Artists readily admit that creating art helps reduce stress and the intensity of their psychiatric symptoms. The common mantra in the studios is “Art saves lives!”

Jelly Bean Massacre

or child, they are artists – valued, talented individuals shaping their own journeys in recovery through their connection with the arts. The safe, supportive environment at PSA Art Awakenings fosters the exploration and development of each individual’s artistic and creative skills through the media of painting, 86

The Art Awakenings galleries are located in Phoenix, Tucson, Bisbee and Casa Grande, AZ, and juried artwork is shared and sold online at ArtAwakenings.org. This gives these recovering artists a presence on national and international levels. Proceeds ranging from 70% to 80% go directly to each artist, while the remainder goes to provide program supplies and

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


YOU CAN DO IT. GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK STARTS HERE!

Carla Vista works! Carla Vista Sober Living provides a safe and sober environment free from drug and alcohol addictions based on the 12 steps of recovery. We provide comfortable housing that anyone would call home where genuine life-long friendships are created. The key to success is in a structured program with support from people that understand. You can do it. Your life is waiting.

Falling Fire - Acrylic

AC TUAL CO MMENTS F RO M C ARL A V ISTA RES ID ENTS “For the first time in my life, I feel like I have the chance to be the person I was meant to be. I feel like I have a chance to be happy and live a promising life.” “There was no way I was going to move into sober living even though I never tried it. Yet, I did and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

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opportunities supported by PSA Art Awakenings. To purchase one of the many works of art available, visit the website’s gallery. To support the PSA Art Awakenings program via donation, visit the donate page. Website: Email:

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ArtAwakenings.org David.Reno@azpsa.org.

Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

87


Cross Talk

CrossTalk is based on the premise that recovery life is polytely: frequently, complex problem-solving situations characterized by the presence of not one, but several endings. This writing represents decades of recovery and its application to life and how to get over it, into it or through it with spunk, levity and a good dose of reality. What? You want more than happy, joyous and free? Get over it. Just sayin’ – Mollé.

Dear Mollé, I have a question. I am having a conflict with my sponsor about what course to take regarding my future. I am a little over one year sober, 32, no kids and have had an amazing awareness both spiritually and personally. I had no idea there was an artistic side to me!! OMG! When I write, I feel like I have exploded from the inside out! I used to write sad, pathetic poems about the deep darkness of my life. Now it feels spiritual and alive to let my pen take me away!

I want to follow this amazing path and go back to college to become a writer. My parents are willing to pay my rent and living expenses while I go back to school. Before when I went for my business degree, they paid for it; but I never finished. Now my sponsor says I need to keep it simple and slow down. She doesn’t understand how powerful this is for me! I want to scream, “LET ME GO!” I don’t want to drink, but I am really frustrated and disappointed in her.

Dear Quandary,

In a Quandary in Chicago

I am thrilled to hear your excitement and all the adrenaline in your letter. This is an example of the many life-changers and eye-openers which happen in recovery. I am very excited for you. I hope you will stay in contact and let me know how it all unfolds. Sounds like God has touched your heart and the artist within – the artist you are and will continue to become. A word of caution, and this may be where your sponsor is coming from – which you could easily have heard as a shutdown to your excitement. As women in recovery, in concert with our role as givers-of-life, we can be overly moved by our emotions; and sometimes, we may look to the end of the road as opposed to the best path to get there. Coming alive as you are is so inspiring. You are speaking 88

to the thousands, maybe millions, like you who also have untapped instincts for creativity. With that said, we, ‘specially those in early recovery – and yes, one year is early recovery – still need to use caution when making life decisions. Not stifled, but cautious, as we look for the best path to get where we want to go without jeopardizing our sobriety. In the past, we’ve spent years living by our wild emotions or lack thereof. It is important to listen to guidance for its value, not for its agreement with what we want to do. Be quick to see where others are right. Slowing down and making informed decisions may be new to us. Ask yourself: what will it cost, what can I do for myself and what (exactly) do I need to ask for? Am I willing to pay my parents back or do I expect them to pay without question for my obvious profound and amazing enlightenment? Is it time for me to grow up and be responsible for my decision? Am I making decisions based on what I can afford or what others will give me? Have I done my homework: talked to college counselors (free), considered or applied for student loans? Am I willing to take on debt and spend the next ten years paying it back? No? Then you may want to reconsider your strategy. All you have to do is reconsider your approach, not your creativity or your goal. Use your God-given talents to consider a strategy which will not take you away from your new and exciting desire in life. After speaking to a college counselor, take one or two classes at night while you work to pay your own rent – be self-supporting through your own contributions. I assure you, the foundation you will lay down after taking a breath and not diving in before you’ve made a full investigation will carry you throughout your life. The viewpoints shared or any implied actions suggested by Mollé are the opinions and ideas of the author only and do not represent those of In Recovery Magazine. The implied action is offered openly and is never intended to replace the advice of a counselor or physician. crosstalk@ inrecoverymagazine.com

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Spring 2014


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In Recovery Magazine

89


The Art

of Finding Yourself By Lucia Capaccione

A

student in one of my first Creative Journal classes opened my eyes to the value of journal-keeping to aid in the recovery process. In a chat after class one evening, Lucille, a lively woman in her fifties, thanked me profusely for the journal class and how much it was helping her. She then told me of her experiences with the fourth step in her Twelve Step program. “I’ve been trying to do an inventory for the longest time,” she said frowning. “I just couldn’t sit down and do it. I’d start and stop. Then I’d beat myself up for not staying with it. You know, I was just getting attacked by my Inner Critic like we’ve been learning about in the class.” Then Lucille’s face broke into a huge smile, one that lit up the room. “But now things are different,” she continued. “Since I began keeping a journal in this class, I’ve actually been able to do my inventory. My sponsor is amazed, and so am I!” She had an infectious laugh, and then broke out into a chuckle. “You see, I haven’t let that Critic in my head get the best of me. That journal exercise you gave us where we answer back to the Critic absolutely freed me to write. I am even starting to create short stories about my childhood and teen years.” Lucille was referring to a journal prompt I had assigned in

90

one of the early class sessions. It goes like this: Answering Back to the Inner Critic 1. Get out some paper and a pen or set of colored markers. 2. With your dominant hand write down, in the second person, all the critical things you say to yourself. This is the voice of destructive criticism in your own head. It is negative self-talk: put downs and judgments you make in general about yourself, your body or any area or aspect of your life. Example: “You don’t have any talent for art.” “Why did you ever think you could take an art class?” “These drawings are garbage.” “What a waste of time and money.” “You have more important things to do.” 3. After you have written a page of put-downs, put the pen in your non-dominant hand (the one you don’t normally use to write) and read the put-downs back to yourself. Really let yourself feel the reaction that comes up when you hear someone (in this case, you) putting you down. 4. With your non-dominant hand, answer back to the critic. Tell it off in no uncertain terms. Let your

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


Inner Brat come out; express your anger about being put down 24-7 by this Inner Critic. Don’t concern yourself with spelling, grammar or penmanship. Just let the words fly onto the page. It may feel awkward and slow, but hang in there and keep writing. 5. After you are finished, read the words you wrote with your non-dominant hand. Liberating Myself to Write In my own life, this one journal process made it possible for me to write my first book. About a year after my conversation with Lucille, I realized it was time to write a book about my Creative Journal method. It had been a big part of my own recovery from a life-threatening illness. What is more, my students and art therapy clients were urging me to create some kind of manual with the journal prompts I assigned. Many of them had agreed to submit their journal writings and drawings to illustrate such a book. That year, my New Year’s resolution was to write the book. So I set up a schedule and showed up at my desk two to three days a week to write. The only problem was that I’d sit at (in those days) the typewriter, paralyzed, in the grips of a killer Inner Critic. After three weeks of writer’s block, one day the light bulb went off. I went upstairs to my bedroom and started journaling about my dilemma. My dominant hand, speaking for my Inner Critic, slammed me with these words: “You’re no author. You can’t write. Look at this stuff you’ve written. It’s a mess, unclear, dry, garbled. You’re wasting your time. No publisher is ever going to accept this.” The handwriting was smaller and more cramped than my usual cursive script. I felt depressed and discouraged just as I had while sitting at the typewriter. My breathing was even constricted. No wonder I was blocked. Switching hands, I began writing. Speaking for my Creative Inner Child, my non-dominant hand printed in large bold letters as if shouting, “I’M GOING TO DO IT ANYWAY IN SPITE OF YOU. YOU SEE, I AM DOING IT. I HAVEN’T LET YOU GET ME. YOU’RE THE ONE WHO IS WASTING YOUR TIME. GET LOST, WILL YOU?” The energy that was released from that one short two page journal entry was immense. It felt as if someone had plugged me into an unlimited energy source. I literally ran downstairs to my office and began writing the book. As I began dedicating two to three days a week to writing, I within three months completed the manuscript and gathered the illustrations for The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself. A few months later I had a publishing contract. Appearing in the book is the dialogue with my Inner Critic that made it possible for me to become an author. Body Healing My student, Lucille, wrote a dialogue with her bladder that appears on page 113 in my book. She struggled with chronic cystitis for thirty years. Lucille’s bladder (speaking through her non-dominant hand) revealed the emotional roots of her condition: fear and anger she had held in her body in the face of constant self-criticism. Anger: physical terms come to mind such as “pissed off ” which describe how the body stores our emotions. Fear: when children are scared, they may wet their pants. After this dialogue, Lucille’s bouts with bladder infections stopped. We stayed in touch for years, and she always expressed amazement at the healing that happened from

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one simple conversation with her bladder. She went on to do a great deal of short story writing and even led writing workshops for seniors. Lucille was featured in a film about creative older women called Acting Your Age. On the Other Hand Whether one is struggling with writing a fourth step inventory or with a block in any area of life, non-dominant hand writing is a great way to liberate the Creative Inner Child and give it a voice. The non-dominant hand (the one you don’t normally use to write) has ready access to emotional expression governed by areas in the right brain. When it comes to writing, this is true regardless of whether one is right- or left-handed. My second book, The Power of Your Other Hand, explains the hand-brain connection and documents my research in depth. This technique allows us to listen to emotions stored in the body, unburdening ourselves of the stress and tension caused by blocked feelings. The non-dominant hand also gives a voice to our Higher Power and Inner Guidance by tapping into intuitive and creative centers in the right brain. My most memorable experience of accessing our Higher Power through non-dominant handwriting happened at a weekend retreat I led for 95 women in recovery from alcoholism. The women had spent two days engrossed in Creative Journal work and sharing their innermost feelings and experiences. As the weekend was wrapping up, I assigned the following journal process: Contacting Your Higher Power 1. With your dominant hand, write down a problem or challenge you are facing, something you’d like some help with from your Higher Power. Or write down a question you would like to ask your Higher Power. 2. Using your non-dominant hand let your Higher Power write a response to what you wrote in #1. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or penmanship. Let your Higher Power speak. After completing this final journal exercise, the women were invited to share what they had written. They stood one after the other and to read what their Higher Power had said to them. The clarity and heartfelt expression which poured out onto the pages of these women’s journals made the experience of a Higher Power tangible. Their words rang with the truth of ancient wisdom. The depth and loving presence which came through in their writing was unmistakable. As more women shared wise counsel and comfort received from a Higher Power, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The one insight that kept echoing in all their sharing was the fact that our Higher Power resides within us. I am forever indebted to the women in that recovery retreat for the unforgettable experience with a Higher Power which is our innate birthright. When our Higher Power spoke through writing, we all seemed to come from one voice. The wise and comforting words embraced us all and healed our hearts. Lucia Capacchione is a registered art therapist, workshop leader, trainer and bestselling author of 18 self-help books and educational work books, including The Creative Journal, The Power of Your Other Hand and Recovery of Your Inner Child (Simon and Schuster). Her latest books are Visioning: Ten Steps to Designing the Life of Your Dreams and The Art of Emotional Healing. She has also produced many audio programs about her work. luciac.com

92

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Call Anne at 928.821.3526 or Damien at 928.592.2603 stepstorecoveryhomes@gmail.com www.stepstorecoveryhomes.com Spring 2014

In Recovery Magazine

93


Book Review

By Lena H.

F

or me, this little book was love at first sight. The splash of title on the cover immediately brings a smile. It evokes my time in India, where signs painted on the backs of huge, multi-color trucks suggest, “Horn okay please”. Not a command, just gentle words that convey the message. Like Good Things Emotional Healing Journal the promise is, “Open this book and discover those ‘things’ and that ‘healing’.” Beneath the title is the outline of a flying heart enticingly stuffed with colorful depictions of “fun things to do” – food, sex, alcohol, etc. These are entwined beneath a not-so-colorful heart-spanning banner that broadcasts, “ADDICTION”. I get the picture. I expect good things inside this cover, fun things to combat my bad habits, whatever they are. In the preface, Davies warmly proclaims it “an honor” to pass along the tools, strategies and insights she has learned from her years as a licensed therapist. “You are not alone,” she reassures us in the intro; 140 million people in the U.S. suffer from addictions – “unwanted habits and compulsive behaviors”. She lists a half-dozen of her own past addictions. Her experience, knowledge and generous spirit are already sprinkling sunlight on the pages from the git-go. This book is easy going. Peruse a couple of simple, informative pages; then, on lines provided, you write, following apt prompts. Chapters Two through Four ask the reader to complete short inventories and journal to identify addictive 94

symptoms and their intensity. In Chapter Five, a succinct table guides you to personalized “Effective Strategies for Managing [your own] Addiction”. The next important chunk of the book is 15 chapters which outline 15 Effective Strategies. I was led first, based on my inventories, to Strategy #5: Soothe Your Moods and Emotions. Perfect for what ails me. After practicing one strategy, retake an addiction inventory to see where you are. Then go on to another prescribed strategy, and another – as many as apply, as many as you want. Even for this picky grammarian, tiny spelling and structure glitches do not detract a whit from the book’s punch. Its organization is strikingly clever and effective. Wonderful black-and-white cartoon-like graphics clarify and lighten the content of the 125 pages, as do Davies’ own short, heart-felt poems. If you let this book guide you through its encouraging and enlightening pages, you will surely find Good Things and Emotional Healing. Editor’s Note: If you would like to find out more about author Elizabeth Davies, she may be contacted at (602) 867-6988 or by email at Elisabeth@GoodThings EmotionalHealing.com. To view sample pages of Good Things, Emotional Healing Journal: Addiction go to GoodThingsEmotionalHealing.com.

In Recovery Magazine

Spring 2014


M e d i t a t i o n

A SOBER LIVING RESIDENCE DEDICATED TO COLLEGIATE RECOVERY

Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. – Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30 Drinking was a way for me to figuratively stay in bed with the covers pulled up. Drinking excessively was the reality of my life – to everyone except me. In a real example of circuitous thinking, drinking let me escape from facing the reality of my drinking. The real me was hidden under the bed covers. What else is hidden within me? Heck, I probably wasn’t capable of admitting any core truth about myself. Yet, isn’t learning who I am, what I really want, what I really want to do, one of my main recovery goals? I drank in part because of my discomfort with me. The difference between what I was and what I somehow knew I was meant to be has to be a major part of that discomfort. The hidden stranger wants out. How do I get in touch with that stranger, and how do I let him out? It’s hard to say. It is easier to know when he has emerged. When I get comfortable with myself, that inner tension is gone. It has to be. I know I must be doing what I am supposed to be doing, or I would not be so comfortable. So, dig deeply while doing the Steps. All of them, not just the fourth step. Even more importantly, pay attention to the emotional messages that come from Twelve Step participation. Ask what each message means. Then listen for God’s answer. This is how I learned I had stuffed a desire to write a book for almost 35 years. The Promises, weeping, gratitude and God – are they one and the same? Mike Lyding was born in Phoenix, AZ, in 1945. Since getting sober in December 1993, he has been drawn to prayer and meditation. While meditating at age 58, he learned he had a desire to write. So far, the result has been two daily meditation books primarily for the recovering communities, Grateful Not Smug (2006) and Gratitude a Verb (2009).

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Spring 2014  

Artists in Recovery gather in this issue to celebraye the creativity of addicts and alcoholics.

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