Sunday, May 27, 2018

If There are Two Roads Diverged...

You know the famous Robert Frost poem about the two roads. Maybe you memorized it in Junior High, maybe you rolled your eyes every time it was misquoted.

So often that poem is taught or referenced as if Frost was trying to encourage the reader to take the alternative path in life, (quit your job, be an artist, move to Portland) even though he clearly says, “the passing there had worn them really about the same.”
Frost is saying that we have choices, and that we often worry over them, and that yes, we will wonder how it will all look to us later, and we’ll “look back with a sigh.”

It seems that, especially in recovery, we do have to make a lot of choices. Will we know which path to take? How, in our recovering lives do we discern—discernment meaning to choose between goods—the best path? How, as we come out of the woods of addiction, with choices so seemingly luxurious, will we know what to do? How do we make our choices? 

I like to remember this passage from Isaiah 30:21:
“And you will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the path. Walk ye in it.”

We can indeed hear a voice. And that’s a good thing. But we also know that our Higher Power whispers and doesn’t scream.

That is why we have to get quiet at some point every day, or maybe several times a day. And that is why, especially when we have a decision to make, we need more time in quiet. That is why we need time alone, and time in nature. That is why we have to get very still: so we can hear that voice saying, “This is the path. Walk ye in it.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Treat Addiction Like Cancer by Laura Hilgers

I want  to share with you a great opinion piece from yesterday's New York Times. Laura Hilgers, makes the case that we should be treating addiction like other serious, chronic, possibly fatal illnesses.

Hilgers shares that she was a caregiver for one family member with cancer at the same time she was the caregiver for another loved one with addiction.

But that the way each serious illness is
treated, and the way each caregiver role is experienced, is very different.

Here's a fact that jumped out at me: "Addiction, like cancer, is a complex disease that requires a multi-pronged approach. It also affects 1.5 times as many people as those with all cancers combined..."

Sometimes those of us with long-term recovery forget that part of our work, and our path, is to live the gratitude for our own recovery by reaching out--and reaching back--to advocate for others who need or who are seeking recovery. We need to relate rather than compare. Alcohol, drugs, opioids--all of it is addiction, and we know about that. Which also means that we can be voices for education and advocacy.

Please read Hilgers op-ed. I've attached the link below. Please share this with folks you know--folks in recovery, in healthcare and your public servants.

Here's the link:

Sunday, May 06, 2018

A Little Bit About Me

I have been writing about women and recovery and personal growth and spirituality for more than 30 years. Folks who read this blog often ask, "What else do you do?" So, I thought maybe it's time to share a little more.
I am, of course, a recovering woman. And a writer. I'm also a speaker, teacher, coach and spiritual director. The center of my being is about sharing information and helping others. In addition to this blog, I also blog about couples and caregiving over at www.LoveintheTimeofCancer (Love in the Time of Cancer) where I cover all of it: the logistics, the resources, the feelings and the relationship dynamics around caregiving--even intimacy and sex.

Another blog I play with occasionally is called "Never Up Never In..Love" That's one for women who golf or who want to golf, and there too I write about relationships, emotions, psychology etc.

I write in other venues as well: I'm a columnist with the Albany Times Union, and other newspapers across the U.S. And I have books--three of them. It still amazes me that I went from a stricken, envious (of other writers), addicted woman to a women with almost 35 years of recovery and three books and a writing life. 

Here are those books:

I also do a lot of public speaking, and I lead workshops and retreats. And I love that work.
In my work as a spiritual/creativity coach I help people sort out their creative lives or spiritual lives--and you know, those two are always inextricably connected.

With all this I also have a long career in human services, marketing & development work. I'm the director of Development & Grants at Unity House of Troy, and a development and board consultant and trainer. In these ways too, I support people and teach and coach--and I learn every day--another big value of mine.
If there is ever a way that I can help you with a talk or workshop or retreat or a speech, please call me. I am happy to help you with your work too.