As we finalize this first issue of our fifth year, and I start my 30th year in recovery (as of Feb. 12), it’s been a time of reflection for me.
Four years ago, as I wrote my first publisher’s letter, I couldn’t have foreseen what would become of this publication. I didn’t know that so many wonderful people would join me during its evolution, each playing an important part in getting each issue to the printer and into your hands – the actual journey of Journey.
Over the past few days, I’ve gone through photos from our team meetings and outings through the years, and thought good thoughts about everyone. I recalled snort-out-loud laughter that would happen at our Tuesday night planning meetings as well as some heated conversations as we tried to find common ground on tougher topics (and ultimately landed). And I also remembered some not-so-fun parting of ways.
There’s a suggestion in my 12-step world to “look back but not stare.” It reminds me to not hurt myself –with myself.
At times, looking back is a painful reminder of a woman who didn’t have the skills she has today. More importantly though, it can help put our current view into perspective, honor the work that a former version of ourselves had to do to get where we are today, and provide the fuel to propel us toward our goals.
This issue includes some look-back experiences, too. Nicole in Bravery in a Small Town (page 12) shares with her community members the devastation of active addiction while honoring her evolution. In A Son, Softened (page 18), Ed Crockett looks back at events of his childhood, growing up with a sick dad. Ed and his father reconnected much later in life, and were able to experience a different relationship, and that experience softened Ed’s edges.
There can be power in looking back as we continue walking toward a compelling future – amplifying a message of hope along the way.