Tag Archives: Recovery

I Need to Pay Attention to What I Resist

“Where there is power, there is resistance.” ― Michel Foucault

There are many tools for living that I’ve acquired over the years from parents, mentors, school, books, films, spiritual practices, and recovery from substances and unhealthy behaviors. I’m most grateful for the latter, which saved my life. Today, we are faced with challenges in personal, social, and political spheres. Now, more than ever, I need to pay attention to what I resist.  Continue reading

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No More 9 to 5!

It’s still winter in Wisconsin. After a week of record-breaking temperatures of spring-like weather — a hopeful tease of things to come — then came the rain, sleet, ice pellets, followed by snow and howling winds. We’re reminded that winter remains for a few more weeks before spring arrives. Spring is a season of hope and new beginnings. So is my life today, as I cross the threshold of my third act. Cue up Dolly Parton, no more “9 to 5.”  Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 10

The Final Episode: This is the last in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Dear Next Girlfriend,

It’s time. It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. I’ve been having lots of one-way conversations in my head with my ex-girlfriend and you — my next girlfriend. I’ve been living in the past, or imagining the future. As I said, it’s time. It’s time to be in the moment, in the here and now, and accept, yes, fully accept, that I’m single and I’m okay — all that TM (Transactional Analysis) self-help, self-talk from the bestselling self-help book I’m Okay, You’re Okay from 1969 that in 1972 made the New York Times Best Seller List. Next girlfriend, it’s not exactly like we’re breaking up — we never got together! Continue reading

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The Power of Circles

“I get by with a little help from my friends.” Lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Last weekend I attended a recovery enrichment workshop at Edgewood College presented by Fred Holmquist of Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s Dan Anderson Renewal Center. The experience was a powerful reminder of the role recovery circles have played in my life. Over the years I’ve sat in many circles in outpatient treatment, aftercare, 12-step meetings, and retreats.  Yet this is simply one sphere of my life where circles of friends and peers have empowered me. Continue reading

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Conversations w/My Next Girlfriend: Episode 9

Note: This is the ninth episode in a series of imaginary conversations with my next girlfriend.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dear Next Girlfriend,

It’s a cloudy, grey, overcast day — the eve of the Summer Solstice. Showers moved through the area earlier as thunder rumbled and tumbled in the distance. The sun is trying to find its way through the clouds overhead, outside the window where I write. The weather matches my mood as I hope to find the partly sunny outlook or the glass half full way of thinking before the longest day of the year arrives. I’m reflective. I know I’m mixing metaphors — it’s what I do. Continue reading

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The Tale of Two Quilts

“What goes around comes around.” — The basic definition of how karma, the law of cause and effect, works.

“And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take.” — Lyrics from the Beatles song, The End, composed by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles from the album, Abbey Road.

This is a tale of two quilts, two long-term relationships, two sisters and two lessons about karma.   Continue reading

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Musings on a Year of Writing

“I’ve learned that by the practice of writing with intention, discipline, and passion, I became a writer.”

This past week marks a year, the anniversary, the birthday of this blog. I’ve been writing as an avocation for over 35 years, beginning with poetry, followed by recovery journals, stand-up comedy and monologue scripts, memoir writing, and finally as an activist-essayist.  Since starting this blog and maintaining a practice of writing at least weekly, I’ve become the thing I’ve been doing. I’m a writer. Continue reading

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Thanksgiving: Things Change

Holidays, like the changing seasons or the pages of a calendar recur, and though we often follow rituals and traditions like templates, things change. Two of my favorite quotes address change, the first by the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, “The only constant is change” and the second  by Henry David Thoreau, American author, philosopher and naturalist who wrote in his book Walden, “Things do not change; we change.”  Both, I believe are true. Continue reading

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