Back to (Sober) School…

I Dated Captain Ron for Three Years


Do you remember when Adam Sandler was funny and he did that movie Billy Madison? “Back to school. Back to school.To prove to Dad that I’m not a fool…” That’s me – back to school at the Recovery Coach Academy (CCAR) . Once again I am grateful to Sanford House for affording me this awesome opportunity (I do not actually feel the need to prove my smarts, but I have wanted to do recovery coach training for a long time).

The Power of Words

I am always a bit awkward in classroom or group settings, but the Recovery Allies of West Michigan, who are giving the coaching training, have made the course non-threatening and uber-interesting, so I am looking forward to it every day. We are talking a lot about the power and stigmatization of words, so it is right up my alley.

We did an exercise yesterday that was very moving, in the same way a great art exhibit is moving. We broke into groups and on two, large pieces of paper we wrote all the ugly words people call those with Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness and those who are in Recovery. You know what I’m talking about: boozer and crack whore and nut job and goody-two-shoes. It was kind of funny at first. We posted all the papers on the wall and our assignment was to silently walk around and read them to ourselves – let them sink in deep…

It felt like a great art exhibit to me, because as I read the simple words, their meaning brought mental pictures, memories and fathomless emotion to the surface: drunk, liar, alchie, bat-shit crazy

I’ve talked about the power of words before, but I am guilty of using negative words for artistic emphasis. I am also one of those people who is exhausted by being “careful” all the time. But words hurt. Words evoke strong reaction. Words objectify and God knows I am not what I drank.

I am going to think twice from now on…

How come you’re not drinking?