Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Heroes in the Mountains of Georgia


I've been trying to catch up and rejuvenate a bit over the last 48 hours or so after spending a long and productive weekend in the Helen, Georgia, area with my fellow Heroes in Recovery lead advocates.

The five Heroes lead advocates and our two supervisors stayed in a lovely cabin--more of a luxury home, really--and had the opportunity to bond and get to know each other better over the course of the weekend. It was a great time, and a much better experience than staying in a hotel. We even cooked our own meals!

In addition to our time at the cabin, we also spent all day Friday and part of the day on Saturday at Black Bear Lodge, one of Foundation Recovery Network's (FRN) treatment facilities.

On Friday morning we heard people from FRN speak and practiced our individual presentation skills. After lunch, we were treated to an incredible talk by the chief operating office of Black Bear, who has been in recovery for 27 years. She spoke for about two hours, but I swear I could've listened to her all day and night. That's how riveting her material was.

Saturday morning we were back at Black Bear and hiked into the woods for some team-building exercises with the facility's clinical director. It was my first experience with a low ropes course and it was pretty badass. The workout--which was both physical and mental--really tested our mettle as a team. (I have to say, I think we did a damn fine job.)

I know I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again: the Heroes in Recovery organization is something very special. Everyone affiliated with Heroes truly cares about breaking the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health issues; and helping the 20 million people in this country who need treatment find it.

It was a terrific weekend and my body is still feeling the effects of it today. But every little ache, scrape, and bruise was well worth it. I'm a better person for having experienced the low ropes course; and our team--which was stellar to begin with--is now even better than it was.

Thanks to my fellow lead advocates--Hillary, Mary Kate, Pam, and Susanne--and our fearless leaders--Heidi and Andrea--for an incredible weekend in the mountains of Georgia.


"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." --Phil Jackson

P.S. If you want to be an inspiration to others and share your story of recovery on the Heroes in Recovery website, that would be awesome. By sharing your story, you may inspire others to seek treatment for the first time. Real stories from real people about real recovery save real lives. If you'd like to share your story, you can contact me through my blog (use the "Contact Form" on the web version) or through Facebook. We need to speak out so that others won't be afraid to. If you'd like to check out the stories 700+ other people have already shared, go to this link. You can also share your story directly via the Heroes website by clicking the "Share a Story" link. If you do that, please let them know that DDD referred you. Thanks so much. I hope to hear from at least a few of you soon. We all have our stories. Don't be afraid to tell yours.

One helluva team.

Testing muscles I didn't even know I had.

The ropes course was worth every scrape, bruise, and sore muscle.

At Black Bear Lodge.

Getting educated.


  1. Who's the old guy standing on that log in the middle of all those pretty girls? ;-)

    1. Ahem... That would be yours truly. Tough gig, huh? ;)