A Year-end Note of Gratitude


Recovery Rising Book Cover PaperbackWe have covered a lot of territory within the more than 50 communications we have shared in 2017. From concerns about troubling directions in national drug policy to the prevalence, pathways, styles, and stages of personal/family recovery; we have taken time each week to explore critical issues related to addiction recovery.

When this weekly recovery blog debuted in 2013, my hope was that it would provide a forum through which I could continue to communicate with addiction professionals, recovery advocates, and people in recovery. I had just been forced by advancing age and health limitations to end decades of traveling and speaking about addiction treatment and recovery. This recovery blog was one more morphing of my role within this special ministry begun nearly half a century ago. I hoped the blog would provide a platform of continued connection to people across the country and the world. The communications that have flowed from this effort have far exceeded my expectations. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to read my words and reflect on their meaning to your life and service activities. Your presence and expressions of appreciation have warmed an old man's heart.

I would be remiss if I did not also offer a special thank you to those who emailed or posted notes of appreciation and photos of tagged pages and yellow highlighted passages from my recently-released book, Recovery Rising. This book was quite personal and unlike anything I had attempted before, and I was unsure whether the story/reflection format would find an appreciative audience. The release of a book (or a blog) is like an election; in spite of your hopes and the best predictions of others, you never know the outcome until the votes are in. Thank you to all of you who voted for Recovery Rising by reading and talking about it with friends and colleagues.

Most importantly, I want to share my gratitude for those of you who continue to work every day on the front lines of addiction treatment, recovery advocacy, and recovery support. You are my heroes, and it is your compassion and commitment I have tried to honor through my writings. Many years ago, I called on a new generation of activists with the words, "Let's go make some history." You/we have indeed done that. The world of recovery today is beyond anything I could have imagined when I began this journey. There is much work yet to be done, but, at this closing of the year, let us pause to reflect with gratitude on all that has been achieved and the lives touched and transformed through that process.