Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
autumn has sailed in this year like a luxury yacht. I have been afloat all season and barely knew we were moving. Pumpkins, harvest, fall, golden, changing, pumpkins, squash, sweaters, corduroy. Along with these returning symbols of my life, I am reminded also by my nature that the 3rd quarter shift every year signals internal reminders of this cycle of life. I make changes at this time of year. I’d like to frame it as “I grow every year”
there is a part of me that is so driven by impulse I can rarely notice when I genuflect via autopilot. I leap and then I reflect. It seems others ponder before they make a move. I can’t imagine what that’s like. To make it stickier, I judge my nature as immature and spend a good deal of time feeling badly about how I am. I forget that I do not endure hypocracy and toxicity for very long as my more mature counterparts do.
This song played on my apple shuffle the other day and I swooned. Paolo remains a source of inspiration for me.
Autumn leaves under frozen souls,
Hungry hands turning soft and old,
My hero cried as we stood out there in the cold,
Like these autumn leaves I don’t have nothing to hold.
Handsome smile, wearing handsome shoes,
Too young to say, though I swear he knew,
And I hear him singing while he sits there in his chair,
While these autumn leaves float around everywhere.
And I look at you, and I see me,
Making noise so restlessly,
But now it’s quiet and I can hear you saying,
‘My little fish don’t cry, my little fish don’t cry.’
Autumn leaves have faded now,
That smile I lost, well I’ve found somehow,
Because you still live on in my father’s eyes,
These autumn leaves, all these autumn leaves, all these autumn leaves are yours tonight.
November will bring many changes. I am excited. It seems there has been a theme to my positions in the addiction treatment field. Each position has been given to capitalize on my reputation, then very little training provided, followed by even less supervision, and then there has been ongoing dual roles of fee collector, disciplinarian, and counselor. what the fuck?
i am embarking on another adventure soon. Will this be the door that opens upon a future I wish to call home?
Part 2 of this post: I want to see “mr Gaga”-the documentary about Ohad Naharin at the preview of The Denver Film Festival and was blown away on so many levels. Especially gobsmacked by the sheer extra dimensional perspective that Naharin brought to dance. There is a quote about small minded people watching his work and trying to compare it to work they have already seen. But to experience his work is not about what we already know. It’s more about foraging into the unknown. Maybe it’s all about the unknown. Naharin’s choreography is subtly transforming. It is human and animal. It is kind and it is it’s own critique.ita a paradox. It is the future. It is much of what we need.
The connection here between paragraph 1 and part 2 is that substance treatment in America is extremely flawed. Some clinics and programs are as effective as the customer service departments at banks and utility companies that are geared to bait and switch, collect fees, and redirect and deflect before they provide any service. And success is based on hours completed (paid for of course) and not distance travelled.
There is such a need for new vision in treatment. And here’s hoping I am gonna have an encounter when I go through the next doorway. I am thirsty for inspiration. As are 23 million Americans dealing with addiction every day. Wish our community luck.
life has shifted gears so quickly and silently I hardly noticed. I helped produce a community event with the intention of creating some collaboration within the recovery community. I became ensconced in the process of planning. Intoxicated really. And it was a hella ride. Now I find myself dripping with the sweet sticky leftover of some hard work and inspiration.
The action of “Surrounded” changed my mental state. I didn’t know I wasn’t breathing. Not until I was breathing again.
i have been posting music for as long as I’ve been blogging. 2006 was the year of my first post. I was really just investigating the medium. i was 2 years into my recovery and needed something more. In the process I met a circle of like minded individuals across the continent and further who enhanced my support network and helped alleviate greatly the anxiety that my early recovery heralded.
Along with the beautiful addition of online support, the evolution of my 10 year journey with blogging has cemented my lifelong love and reliance upon music. This continues to this day. Today’s offering….. Todd Rundgren. His name music will speak for itself.-
Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.
it has been a hella couple of months. i had no idea that my nature was so easy to track and my muse so omnipresent. life has felt so alive with inspiration and opportunity since i made a change in my full time gig. i knew i was unhappy, but i didn’t realize how stifled i had been feeling. each day since then seems to have brought new discovery, new beings, new collaborations, and a promise of some better days.
the next coach training is almost here. i think there might be enough requests to do another. we are presenting for a training contract next week as well. we will be starting a recover group in aurora on thursday nights and may look at another night in lakewood-both located conveniently in treatment oriented buildings that lend themselves to collaboration.
i am also looking toward pride right now. my friend mark has agreed to try to resurrect “surrounded by recovery” as a community building, consciousness raising, team building event this time during pride. the idea is to gather enough folks to hold hands and encircle the capital to raise awareness of the growing epidemic of deaths by overdose, the shortage of treatment availability, and that recovery is an option that has positive outcomes and often gets overlooked. here’s a glimpse of what use to happen and what we hope will happen again.
it has seemed almost like my ship was sinking and i have been rescued by a friendly fishing crew. i am reacquainting with fun at the workplace, and with not feeling constant financial pressure. it remains to be seen if i have learned what i need.
there are 2 more curricula to add to our course selections for this year: ccar introduced me to another training organization (mt) who have opened up my mind and eyes to possibilities.
1)Self-Care for Recovery Coaches & CRPA in a two day, retreat style format. Specifically for those who utilize peer support principles this workshop offers a parallel process of introspection and professional development. Participants are challenged to evolve their own self-care plan while developing the sensitivities to a recoveree’s unique pathway dynamics. Participants emerge from this two day workshop with a keen understanding of the role authenticity contributes to their role of recovery coaches as well as their personal well-being.
2)Recovery Coaching for All – Families, Friends & Colleagues,based on the original RCA, acknowledges and explores the experience of “everyone else” who either lives or works with an addict or recoveree. This new 30-hour curriculum (chronological or modular delivery available) is designed for people who wish to provide coaching support to all those affected by the addiction and/or recovery of another – first-tier family members, friends, partners, colleagues, employers, etc. Coaches are trained to help people identify, manage and meet their own recovery wellness goals independent of the addict/recoveree.
- Distinguish between addict/addiction
- Define and increase fluency in the language of recovery
- Delineate the roles and tools of a recovery coach
- Articulate the problems, pitfalls and potential of recovery
- Recognize and understand RECOVERY CAPITAL
- Build capacity to perform in a recovery coach role
- Discover and develop an authentic voice of recovery
- Describe how relationships impact recovery coaching
- Understand ethical context for recovery coaching
- Practice newly acquired skills
Specific skill sets – professional boundaries, recovery wellness planning, self-disclosure, stages of change/recovery, active listening, motivational interviewing, cultural competence, systems of care, multiple pathways, advocacy
oh yeah- have i shared with you my hopes for Bhaven? ask me if you would like to know more.
these last few weeks have provided me the opportunity to make room for some of my real nature to come into view. if only i could proclaim how wonderful i am. wouldn’t that be wonderful? it might be, but that’s not the case. what i have seen is how very human i am. how vulnerable to primal reaction and fear i am. and how my ” chasing shiny things behaviors” keep me caught in a whirlpool of mild chaos.
it is often a challenge not to throw the book at myself in judgement over all this. after all, i have spent most of my adult life feeling “less than” and standing on the outside looking in. recovery and spiritual practices have taught me to think differently and feel differently which is how i try to live most of the time. but there are times when primal reactions emerge without warning and leave me standing clueless like a deer in some headlights trying to figure out what is happening and which direction i need to make a dash for.
this process i describe is my version of actuating emotional sobriety. old behaviors emerge and cause me to see life as in a rainstorm. emotional recovery involves time and patience to remember that who i was and how i was does not dictate who i am now. it is like using a wiper blade to better see the world with clarity.
attached to this cycle is the much more fragile self-forgiveness tangent. acceptance and forgiveness become the fulcrum that growth and change teeter upon in my world. when i pray now, it is for the ability to zoom out of my life and make room for unexpected blessings to be seen.
welcome to my january in 2016. i am grateful for your visit.
I don’t know why I love her like I do
All the changes you put me through
Take my money, my cigarettes
I haven’t seen the worst of it yet
I want to know that you’ll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Take me to the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me down
I don’t know why you treat me so bad
Think of all the things we could have had
Love is an ocean that I can’t forget
My sweet sixteen I would never regret
I want to know that you’ll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river, drop me in the water
Push me in the river, dip me in the water
Washing me down, washing me
Thank you very much for your interest in Peer Coach Academy Colorado. Here is a brief rundown of my history working with peers. I have worked as a peer manager since I began working It Takes A Village in 2006, co-facilitating a substance use treatment group as a peer facilitator for a grant-funded program. I transitioned to Denver Health HIV clinics, started a newsletter and a not-for-profit dedicated to addressing stigma and adherence to care. In 2012 I transitioned to the Methadone clinic and began a peer support program intended to put patients successfully managing their own Methadone adherence in front of patients who were new to the program or struggling. I partnered with AFR for training and implemented a peer-to-peer program that continues to this day. The hospital experience provided me with a fairly basic understanding of mental health issues, common challenges for people who are dually diagnosed as well as a plethora of resources available.
I began to realize that our community needed more than the training and support Colorado had, so in 2014 upon leaving Denver Health, I traveled to Connecticut and trained with an early pioneer of the National Recovery movement CCAR ( www.ccar.us) . The training was profound and includes a remarkable section focused on power and privilege which invites participants to understand the challenges and stigma that people of color and other minorities experience in our systems. I keep up a healthy professional relationship with CCAR and can tap into their years of Recovery Coach experience if the situation were to arise.
Since then, I have worked on a recovery-oriented treatment option for multiple DUI offenders featuring a peer co-facilitator and using a cognitive based recovery oriented curriculum instead of the same one most have used at least one time earlier. I have collaborated with Colorado Mental Wellness Network to bring recovery coach trainings to their catalog of peer trainings.
What I believe is essentially missing from most peer programs I have encountered in Colorado are supervision, professionalism, education, and boundaries. PCA has assembled 5 continuing education trainings including Ethics, MAT, Legal Recovery Coaching. These supportive shorter program give the coaches an opportunity to reassess their skills. receive healthy feedback, reconnect with the larger recovery coach community, and learn new information about the field all of which enlarges their perspectives and creates stronger values.;
I have demonstrated strong supervision skills in my career. As a CAC III, I have been supervising CAC’s for the last 5 years. With regard to Recovery Coaches, I am fortunate enough to maintain contact and relationships with most of the coaches that have graduated my trainings. Many continue to work with others to this day.
I am attaching a copy of the 4 day training agenda (40 hours) On a 5th day (or 5th and 6th days later) we could add any of the extra modules like Ethics or Legal Recovery Coaching to compliment and strengthen skills. If the group would benefit from diversity, I can invite one or two trainees of different cultures or backgrounds to take part.
I hope this is not too long. I get excited as I talk about this work. Please feel free to edit and/or request more if needed.