sober living bay area

On Any Given Saturday Morning

On any given Saturday Morning, you will find me at our local bagel shop, sitting across from my 16 years old daughter. We have a standing 10am date.

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I feel lucky that my daughter wants to spend time with me and trusts me enough to tell me about her life and to ask me questions however they are becoming more difficult to answer. No longer about math and science or why bananas come in a ‘shell’ we have approached the deeper life questions of love, friendship and world news.

She looks at me, with her big blue eyes wide open and thirsty for answers, as I sit and contemplate what to say and so I tell her,

‘Savannah, I don’t know shit about shit, but I do know something about a little.’

She laughed.

After eating our bagels, driving home, she asked me,

“What do you know?”

I know that the love of family will help heal the deepest of loss and pain.

I know the truest of friends are few and you need to protect them as if your life depends on it. Because one day, when your life changes in a split second or your first love breaks your heart, or your ‘life plan’ falls apart; it will. And even when life carries you apart, always know that time will bring you together, again.

I know we need to celebrate our wins. No matter how big or small.

I know we need to love ourselves because there are plenty of people who won’t. For reasons of their own. Hate and insecurity are poisons and will infect anyone who dare to indulge. So, love yourself and don’t wait too long to start.

I know that being jealous of others will blacken your soul. Jealousy is the murky mud of insecurity and is never about the other but a lack of love for ourselves. Discover and know your worth. We are never better or worse than the person next to us, rather pieces, fitting together perfectly in the large and Devine puzzle of life.

I know success and failure are visitors in life. Neither one will last forever. Learn from both and have no ego or shame in their stay.

I know you never give up hope, on yourself or anyone else.

I know change is possible and everyday miracles do happen.

I know the best gift I can offer as your parent, is to help you grow roots and wings. I wish for you to travel far and wide. Meet new people, hear different languages, taste different foods and fill yourself with the beauty of the world. I wish for you to dance freely, without reservation or concern, educate yourself and hare your lessons with as many people as you can. I wish for you to fly, and to never forget you are always welcome home.

I know my love for you is perfect but my parenting is far from it.

I know feeling proud about ourselves is one of the supreme pleasures in life. There is no greater awareness then laying your head on your pillow at night knowing you did the best you could that day. So live well and honest.

I know that losing your dad is a heart ache you will feel as long as you live. I know he is with us, watching and loving, just beyond our human sight and I know he would be so proud of you and your brother. And I want you to know, that there is so much of him in you and sometimes, when I stare into your deep blue eyes, long enough, I can see him looking out at me.

I know you have more strength than you can possibly imagine and your warrior spirt will carry you through the stormy days of life.

And I know, no matter how long the night can feel, the sun will always rise. No matter what. A new day will begin.

And I know I love you, wholly and imperfectly.

And with that, she jumped out of my car and ran up our front steps. As she disappeared inside and the front door closed, I was flooded with emotions, as it occurred to me, that the last thing I know, is how truly blessed I am to be living this one bittersweet life.

50th Edition of the Magazine “Recovery Today”

I had the pleasure and privilege to be interviewed for the 50th edition of the online magazine Recovery Today. In the interview, I was asked about my work as an interventionist, my recovery and my journey from homelessness to a life of recovery.

Click the link below to read my full interview.
https://siteassets.pagecloud.com/recoverytoday/downloads/Recovery-Today-Magazine-Issue-50-January-2019-ID-dc16afa2-53b6-43ca-cb54-b269acfb6037.pdf

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  • I have spent the last 23 years practicing intervention all over the world.

  • I have met the most extra ordinary families.

  • Families that are brave with the courage of a lion’s heart.

Intervention is a spiritual battle ground and I go to war with the family disease.

After years, and sometimes decades of active addiction, families crumble under the weight of shame and secrets, breaking apart siblings, marriages, friends and loved ones.

  • Addiction happens to family systems not individuals.

  • The disease possesses its prisoners.

  • Suffocating, slowly, the life out of families.

  • Families become strangers to each other, retreating to the far corners of house and home.

  • Thoughts become scrambled and recruited to unintentionally protect the very disease that is eroding the family. Loved ones become senseless, trying to save their children, spouses, parents and dear friends. Fighting in the dark, swinging at ghosts, families spend many lost and unhappy years trying desperately to control and contain the disease.

At the heart of the matter, intervention helps families do a turnabout face and walk into that which they are most afraid: surrendering the fight and letting go. Intervention is bringing families together, guiding the most difficult of conversations, and inspiring each person to change, heal and expand, breaking the chains of shame and addiction. I do not determine the success of an intervention, on the choice of the ‘addicted’, but the health of the whole family. There is a path out for everyone who is effected by the disease. The painful truth is, that sometimes, families and addicts do not travel the road of health and healing together. Often, one very brave person needs to lead the way and stay the course, no matter who follows. Letting go of the people we love most is a deeply counter intuitive choice for anyone who loves an addict. It is the bravest of action, to release the grip and allow the addict to descend into the depths. Addicts do not learn from education but from hard earned experience. The act of letting go, is offering the gift of consequence.

The very reality that families are most afraid of is the very reality addicts need most, which is the opportunity to run into themselves. It is only when there is no one left to blame, nowhere left to go, that denial is pierced just long enough, for the addict to reach outside themselves for help. It is the birth place of self-esteem and in that very Devine moment, I am there, standing strong with a compassionate loving hand. My job, as an interventionist, is to illuminate the way out and inspire the journey toward a life of recovery. The path toward healing can feel, at times, unbearable and terrifying, but just on the other side of the storm, there is a calm new life, free of the madness addiction always brings. No matter how dark the days or how lost a family can feel, there is always hope.

Intervention is leading a freedom fight and a radical act of love.

Sober and shameless, Kw