Who am I? Nearly every cell in body wants to take that question and belt out an answer in song from Les Mis.
Who am I?
Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I’m not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?
Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on
Who am I? Who am I?
It’s taken me a long time to realize I am more than my name, more than my memories, more than my addictions or my accomplishments, my stage names, my good and bad choices. But for now, since we’re starting on this journey together, I’m writing this blog post in the form of a disclaimer. The world in which we live demands it, and I have learned that my safety is actually of some importance. With that in mind, let me disclaim my having any amount of expertise in the field of recovery or of addiction:
My background is varied. I have worked in education, counseling, fitness or the arts most of my life. My B.A. is in English Literature. My minor was in Theater. I have a Master’s of the Arts in Teaching. I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a 4.0 for my Master’s program also at Pitt.
At one point or another I have been a Certified Mediator (Conflict Resolution), Teacher Trainer, Recovery Coach, Mad Dogg Spinning Instructor. I have held other certificates in HIV Counseling and Testing, various MA Department of Public Health counseling protocols, Pool Operations, and in other various programs around supplemental education grants, Harm Reduction, and HIV/AIDS support. I doubt most of those certificates are still valid. I have no medical training (other than CPR and NARCAN). My Myers-Briggs is somewhere between an INFP (The Healer) and an INFJ (The Counselor). I am, as they say, what I am.
Because recovery covers a vast area and because in my mind we are all recovering from a multitude of issues, events, medical conditions, etc., you should not take my words as being those of an expert in any field. Read with an open mind, try any suggestions that sound good to you, but depend first on the advice and prescriptions of your medical provider.
I believe you have it in you to make the necessary changes to bring about recovery, a re(dis)covery of who you were, who you want to be, who you can be. I am here to offer my experiences, my thoughts, and my creative energy. You must do the planning, the exploration, and the hard work.
We all have the potential for growth and change.
When we actively seek out that growth and change, well, I call that being IN RE(dis)COVERY.