Yesterday I was at the Carolinas Conference on Addiction & Recovery here in Morganton, NC. A town located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, the setting is as inspiring as the collection of presenters and professionals drawn together by the dedicated organizer of this event, Jim Van Hecke.
Our lunch keynote speaker was William Cope Moyers whose position at Hazelden has him working in public policy on addictions. He also has a recently released book, Now What: An Insider’s Guide to Addiction and Recovery. Throughout his message, Moyers told us of the importance of being proactive in our recovery work and taking it out to people who don’t even yet know they need it. Moyers reports that once he reached that place of needing to stop using, he was only able to ask himself “Now what?” At that crucial time, he did not know what to do.
Addiction lives in isolation, he reminded us, and is cloaked in shame and fear. He invited us to be accessible and easy to reach, to find ways to take our stories out to others and to place our experience, strength, and hope on their hearts.
As I listened to him, I found myself grateful yet again for all of the opportunities Central Recovery Press has given me to stand up and speak out. This fall book tour has had me at tables at the front doors of Barnes & Nobles and independent bookstores talking with strangers about codependency. Some have known what I was talking about and for others this was brand new information. I know I am planting seeds, and I know I will not likely know what those seeds produce. Working in the counseling field for 36 years, I have often thought about my work in this way.
But today, hearing Moyer’s message about getting out the word in the company of hundreds of my colleagues in work and recovery was extra encouraging, and I felt glad for all I am offering and for all that Central Recovery Press is doing to help us Stand Up and Speak Out.