2016 is a Wrap!

Wow, at one point it felt like time wasn’t going anywhere. I spent years of my life staring out the window, zoning out, pondering, immobile on the couch while waiting for some external forces to “make it happen”. At times it felt like tomorrow would never come and there were a few close calls that brought it all closer to reality than one would like.

Fortunately, that’s not the case today. Haha.. at times I have issues remembering a few days back since so much happens on a day to day basis.

This year took me to places I have never even dreamed of. Early in the year, I began training the Recovery Coach Academy for the state. I had started doing this back in NY in 2012, and now find myself contracted by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services every now and then. I also participated in the Pilot for the Recovery Coach Supervisor Training. I got to work with the most amazing trainers from Meaningful Trainings and the awesomest hand picked team of Recovery Coaches in the State. In June, I fractured my hand after my emotions got the best of me which prompted me to once again return to therapy to take address some unresolved concerns.

This summer, I published my first eBook, “How to STOP Using Alcohol and Other Drugs: A Contemplative Guide”. I’ve released five audio recordings of my own in the past, but for some reason, this is different. I have this tendency to kind of just go through things and onto the next, but this was quite the milestone. It likely feels that way since it’s a new medium within a new field in a new life.

We had a death in our family which had provided some relief to the family due to the greatly deteriorated health of our loved one. A very strong individual who was blessed with a large family and never ever any issues with alcohol, let alone any other substances. He actually spent the last few months of his life medication free as he always hated taking any kind of medication. May his soul forever rest in peace.

During the Summer I began putting my new Recovery Coach Supervisor skills to use and began working with an amazing project from Winthrop, MA involving the CASA Coalition, The Winthrop Police Department and the Public Health Department along with two of the most amazing coaches I have ever had the pleasure of working with. This truly blows my mind since I now supervise a police officer as opposed to my history of avoiding and fleeing from the law. Amazing! I also became a NCPRSS .. a National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist. Quite the mouthful, I know. It basically means that I am licensed to work with you regardless of wherever in the country you may be.

There are another two books that are slated to be released in the beginning of this coming year. One is a text on recovery the other, a workbook that goes along with it. I’ve been studying and researching how to create my own program to further support people seeking and maintaining recovery. I’m yet to see exactly which direction to move towards first, online facilitated support groups or sober housing. All comments/ thoughts/ ideas are welcome!

This past month, I havn’t written much at all since I started working on a project with the Boston Medical Center called MASBIRT . It’s a screening that is being applied to all of the schools in the state and I’m on a team of 11 that is training the school staff (usually school nurses and counselors) to implement it. Also, I had an incredible influx of work due to not having a co-worker for the SAMHSA Access to Recovery (ATR)  grant that I work on for a few weeks. At the same time, my folks were visiting from Europe and my father ended up in the hospital due to a series of mini strokes. His health has greatly deteriorated over the past year and a half. It’s been difficult to see and experience. I was grateful to be of service to him and my mom, but he is back across the ocean now and has a slew of doctor’s appointments that I’m unable to assist with. I am as supportive as possible.

To everyone who has lost a loved one this year, I’m sorry. There was another death in our family later this year. There have been many other deaths that have impacted me personally as well. Loved ones, people who touched me artistically, musically, personally. It has always seemed so far away, but we keep getting these reminders that it can be oh so close.. I am grateful for these souls who have given so much to our world, and continue doing so indirectly by advising me to reassess what is going on with me and what I can do to make things better for those around me which in turn will help fill my cup so I can in turn continue to give so freely.

Hmm.. I just realized that this post is all about me, me, me, me ,me.. I’m not usually the type to “toot my own horn”, but being able to recognize all that you do/have done is definitely a part of recovery. So sharing my 2016 with you is a gift to myself as much as it is a gift to you. With all of the craziness that went on in my world this year, It did not involve a drink or a drug. That’s the main reason that I was able to cope with all of it. For the most part, in a positive fashion. To me, it’s proof of that saying, ”the universe doesn’t put any more on your plate than you can chew”.

The Holidaze have always been controversial for me. I have lived away from my family since I was 17, so I was always the “outsider” visiting. Now I have my own. It’s quite the challenge, but worth every second! After hugging my 2 year old two days ago, I stepped on Thomas the Train and SLAMMED my big toe on the floor. If it’s not really broken, it might be really fractured, and it REALLY HURTS. It reminds me that it may be time to slow down a wee bit. Good timing. More GRATITUDE for the Holidays.. sans the attitude!

I want to thank everyone who has been part of my 2016. It’s been an amazing year full of challenge, strength, acceptance, heartache, growth, light and recovery! Love Life Today!



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