colorado recovery community
the next wave in the continuum needed to address the aod epidemic may just be recovery management. so much emphasis has been placed on diagnosis and treatment over the last 30 years, but statistics reveal that those strategies do not eradicate the problem. Diagnosis and treatment work on a percentage of the afflicted. The do not reverse the stop or slow down the illness in a larger percentage. they only delay disease progression.
recovery has been named the goal for several decades, but access and wraparound recovery services have been lacking in the disbursement of services. providers have long seen themselves as treatment providers who provide access to recovery. this does not reflect the true picture of treatment services in the country. it reflects the picture that treatment providers prefer to see themselves, but until long term recovery is the focus of programs, clinics, hospitals, residential treatment services, this will remain only a picture.
recovery management is the next big thing. fueled by the recovery advocacy and activism of the last 5 years, so very many of the flock are setting their sites on sustainable recovery as the goal.
there has been a buzz in my bonnet over this last week. my training organization has hatched some plans for building a new nest to keep our family growing and to grow recovery within our community.
peer coach academy colorado is beginning a collaboration with agami health services. we will begin a recovery support group at their aurora location and facilitate a group for 2 hours a week. the group is being called “varsity” and is designed to be a team approach to recovery support. the roster will consist of team members, recovery coaches, and recovery alumni all providing playbooks, strategy, and experience to the rookies and interns.
the application for 501c3 status has actually begun. we have a brainstorm session scheduled which should help us distill the mission, the board, the initial budgeting, policies and procedures, and business plan. we are resurrecting and blending another organization and it’s mission into ours which will add educating, raising awareness, and building capacity to the concept that recovery is evidence-based and our community will be improved if it is integrated into our collective goals and treatment plans. we need treatment certainly, but we need more desperately recovery principles. this is the next big task and hold the promise of new life for pca.
to round out the new babies in the pca flock, agami and pca have submitted a response to a request for quote for a project with a legal arm of a county level colorado justice legal program which could provide a small revenue stream and a larger picture opportunity to develop relationship within the treatment/justice system to educate about recovery principles.
I am crowing a little here certainly. hopefully I am also releasing an affirmation into the universe and hopefully beginning construction on a new nest for pca. maybe-just maybe- for colorado too. a guy can dream, can’t he
I love returning to a 90’s version of that nelly Furtado classic “i’m like a bird”. but I really really love the junior vasquez remix from twilo. I love the haunting slo-mo bassline and the tenderness of nelly’s vocals as they flit on and off that bassline like a bird on a wire.
You’ll never ever fade
Your lovely, but it’s not for sure
And I won’t ever change
And though my love is true
i spoke with a friend yesterday about some ideas i have for developing a stronger sense of community among people in recovery. this guy is a networking nazi and very well known around town. he and i met after i had become a drug and alcohol counselor. he was a fairly high profile client. he had been instrumental in bringing crystal meth anonymous to denver and had been working as a peer navigator at denver’s drug court. additionally, i was walking and talking with him when he hatched the idea of “surrounded by recovery” which evolved into 2 years of recovery celebration at the capital which lead to a hand holding event each year around the gold dome with the intention of raising awareness that recovery works. when i met him, i had been clean only 2 years- he had been struggling for 5. i told him that i didn’t believe i could really be an effective counselor for him, but that it seemed he might need a good honest friend.
sadly all of his amazing and ground breaking efforts resulted in relapse for him. this humbled him and threw back each of the efforts he generated back several years. but this is life and this is how the brain operates. it likes dopamine. it bends and reshapes synapses to allow the dopamine release process to flourish and take over. if it were uncommon, our culture would not have many of the problems it does. he has again built time and has been dancing with humility which looks good on him.
as i spoke with him yesterday i ran down the basic concept of a recover resource and networking event in september and trying to market this. it includes using and developing a radio program- probably using blog talk radio. it’s a big task, but i think i am ready for a new project. and it would be beneficial to be able to reach more pockets of individuals.
funny- i feel a familiar sense of excitement in my gut. fear, hope, wonder usually accompany my muse. definitely excited to see how this unfolds. came across some web-based recovery support programs yesterday which i am hoping we can beta with some younger patients at my workplace-exciting. i have 2 interns starting on tuesday – this is my first mentoring gig as a counselor. i work 2 parties this week and hope to catch up on a couple of outstanding bills.
i am planning to restart cardio classes this weekend and see the star trek -in 3d-. i am ready for some fun.
with fun in mind, i remember a time in the late 70’s that i could throw a b52’s vinyl album on the turntable and let the whole thing play through- all the while dancing, bopping, and having a blast. today i find the same joy with nicolas jaar. he is a composer, dj, producer that creates a rhythm pattern that makes my heart and soul smile.
i spent 4 months married to the production of a 4 hour event (pics from recovery rally above) and i am completely pooped. i still have other commitments and things to do. but life and melancholy have slowed me down.
i am still in shock over the passing of my friend. without realizing it, i find myself overwhelmed and reactive with an emphasis of trying to cut my self free of my life. i have dropped this service commitment and that commitment until i found myself ready to set free some resources for others because i don’t feel i can handle them right now. but a friend reminded me to just chill and stop making decisions right now. i just need to be for a bit and i guess that’s what i’ll do.
until then, please consider watching the 1st rough clip of footage. big kudos and thanks to tim ryerson of tnt productions for the work.
throwing a party- or more accurately – a rally, takes some patience. it takes help, it takes attention, it takes money, and it takes time. i must say i have had quite a ride working on this event- 2012 Recovery Rally Colorado.
there have been so many steps- securing the venue, lining up speakers, recruiting volunteers, keeping volunteers busy, finding the right sound person, securing sponsors, engaging resource vendors, supporting the volunteers, securing funding streams, networking, and the one that probably makes my heart sing the most- marketing.
i have learned that i am enamored with helping develop a “look’ for these things and working to get the word out. now that the festival is tomorrow, all of this particular heart-engaging work has come to a close. i will get to share stories, test my courage by speaking to our participants (easy because i have a purpose- introducing others). i hope and pray that i will not make an ass of myself- although i do realize that if i do make an ass of myself i will still survive somehow.
but the opportunity i have had to give a face and an image to this festival is one of the promises coming true for me in my life. i get to be useful and in the process, my heart gets involved. i don’t have to yearn for the approval that i used to need almost as much as i needed air to breathe.
so there are many last minute details to finish to ready for the party. pick up a guest from the airport, pick up the programs, finalize the water situation, answer a multitude of emails, find a balloon arch, find weights for the tents, troubleshoot a few last minute snafus.
it seems moot at this point to hope for a successful rally. it is already in motion. and i feel like i have already been part of a success. it feels fantastic. and i am completely grateful. many thanks to jena at rockethouse designs. and thanks also to afr for the opportunity to dance to my own music.