This very first letter from the publisher feels tortuous right now. I’ve typed, deleted, typed again, deleted all of it, walked away, questioned myself, prayed and started fresh more than a few times now.
I’m aware that it’s much like my attempts at Recovery. I started, stopped, took a few steps back, started again, stopped -- over and over until Feb. 12, 1993, when I completely accepted the fact that, although I had no idea what was in front of me, I was really sick and tired of doing what I was doing. I started again and have not stopped recovering since.
This magazine is about the act of traveling from one place to another. And like my recovery path, it won’t be perfect. Nor will this letter from me be perfect. It likely won’t adequately express the incredible gratitude I have for every single person who has helped create this magazine for you. And I may not be able to express the overflowing optimism I have about amplifying the hope that abounds in recovery and its ripple effects. But, like Recovery, I’m giving it my best shot.
This started with a dream I had about a year ago about a newsletter I once worked on called Journey. At that time I wasn’t sober, as was glaringly apparent when I had to typeset “10 Questions to Find Out If You’re An Alcoholic,” While typing, I found myself answering “yes” to many of them, only to find out that if I answered yes to four or more, chances were really good that I was an alcoholic. So, of course, I went back up to the top and said, “Well, I really don’t do that …” to the questions until I had seven “no” answers.
The dream I had was vague and all I remembered clearly when I woke up was Hall’s old Journey logo. So I put the shout on Facebook to old-timers to see if anyone still had any copies and some were found. I read stories about Dr. Stanley Evans, the Arnie Hanson Center (now Milestone) and Mercy and reflected on how times have changed here in Portland for the recovery community. I felt grateful for those for who laid the groundwork and grateful for the thriving recovery community that exists today.
Through dozens of conversations and serendipitous connections, what started with a dream has evolved into a mission to amplify hope and celebrate freedom from addiction. In the face of a deadly epidemic, we’ll shine a bright light on Recovery.
Recovery is possible.
We do recover from a hopeless state and get to live amazing lives. We want to give hope to those who struggle and hope to those who love people who struggle.
Recovery happens in many different circles – inpatient treatment, outpatient, mediation assisted therapy, therapy, yoga, 12-step and other recovery programs -- and Journey respects whichever of the paths you take that helps you get away from the drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex or other addiction that’s killing the human you want to be. But whatever your path, we are all in this together and we need each other.
Each issue of Journey will feature articles on a different theme. This inaugural issue’s theme is Employment and issues in coming months will look at Health and Fitness, Creative Expression, Community and other topics in Recovery. We’ll profile community members in our regular “People Like Us Live Like This” column and our “On the Journey” column will share readers’ insights on what life is like on the other side of active addiction.
We are not an anonymous publication. We respect the traditions of the programs some of us attend, but we want Recovery to be seen, heard and known. With a printing of 10,000 copies distributed throughout Southern Maine, we will do just that.
Our goal with every issue is that when you put the magazine down, you’ll feel hopeful, empowered or connected and perhaps all three.
For me, every single story, every word and comma in Journey represents a dream that has been brought to fruition – a dream to amplify a message of hope.
You, dear amazing and strong reader, can help amplify this hope by sharing this magazine when you’re done reading it, by emailing us with your resources, services and events to publish and by mentioning to the advertisers that you saw them here.
And we want to hear from you about your Journey.
Sober sister hugs,