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Embracing Education and Growth

Issue 33

As Journey’s Community Engagement Director, I’m excited to introduce this education-themed issue! Personal recovery stories, along with articles on higher education — check out “A New Generation: Recovery- Friendly College Campuses” and “Regaining Control: Overcoming the Bank Account Challenge,” an article on financial literacy.

We’ve also included insightful articles such as “Breaking the Chains of Self-Stigma,” which discusses the inner critic that can often prevent us from pursuing growth opportunities and limit our capacity to explore our potential.

My role this past year has expanded, and I’ve had the opportunity to step into different environments, continually challenging me to raise my definition of my own potential as we expand the “community” aspect of my job. Each new experience, connection, and challenge provides growth to my understanding of what it means to be part of a community. These ever-expanding circles of engagement and support are vital to our personal and professional growth, and enrich my recovery.

The hardest part of anything new is showing up the first time. From the very beginning of my recovery, I’ve learned that in order to get comfortable, I must first get uncomfortable.

This past year, I’ve expanded my understanding of service, moving from my recovery circles to the broader community by becoming a Rotarian with the Portland Rotary Club. Walking into my first rotary meeting, my fear was met with a warm welcome. Now, I am the Co-Chair of the New Membership Committee, a member of the Recovery Task Force, and I recently returned from a Rotary District 7780-funded trip to Poland. There, I learned about the mental health needs of Ukrainian refugees and the impact of war in their country.

I’m excited to share more over the next few months about the work being done by the Rotary Club, as Journey and District 7780 have joined forces to spread the word about recovery and the Rotary.

Starting this year, I’ve continued to embrace firsts by joining Cyclebar, an empowering spin class in Portland. More recently, I took our connection with The Phoenix, a sober active community, to a new level. At 52 years old, I walked into my first CrossFit class, prepared for the challenge.

Setting aside my assumptions and disputing my self-limiting beliefs, I not only survived the session but also discovered I am more capable than I ever imagined.

Now I attend regularly, growing stronger and feeling empowered to step into more new spaces.

This personal growth has sparked a curiosity about where I can grow next. I am excited because the Niki of 2024 is limitless!

Readers, I hope you find a spark of curiosity for your own potential in the pages of our magazine and in the words of Winnie the Pooh, “You’re braver than you believe and stronger and smarter than you think you are.”

Take good care, Niki

Niki Curtis
Niki Curtis
Niki Curtis of Portland is a woman in long-term recovery whose passion is to help others and spread positivity. She loves to find creative ways to do that, including writing for Journey.

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