April 2, 2020

Dear Hope Nation,

One of the beautiful things about working in a peer recovery center like Hope is I don’t have to pretend to be anything more or less than I am. I am a person in long-term recovery who has had love affairs with all kinds of chemicals over the years. With each new chemical, I thought I’d discovered the thing that made life make sense.

The first time I smoked weed, or at least the first time I got truly high, I never wanted to feel any different than that ever. I then spent years chasing that first high. Likewise with acid—where I ended up in an emergency room pumped full of Thorazine and raring to trip again. Each time I dropped acid after that, I was searching for that first magic. Moving on through pills and meth and dope, I kept thinking I’d found the One Ring to control all of life, only to discover I was back in the emptiness inside the ring. My love for booze lasted longer—until I was 47—but drinking never brought on feelings of completion or accomplishment. Drinking brought being drunk, which was its own reward. Until it wasn’t.

Working at Hope, I am a peer—as are you and you and, especially you!—a man who’s taste for escape led to the need for recovery. Some of you may have noticed the only certification of any kind that I keep in my office is a gag diploma from the “College of Bad Breaks and Misunderstandings” declaring me a Formerly Homeless Drunk. That’s what qualifies me to be director. Forget about education, experience, extraordinary good lucks and my other attributes—if I weren’t a formerly homeless drunk, I would not deserve to be here.

This is all a long way around to get to the point. The Hope staff has been having lunch together every day for the past week or so. Using the magic of Zoom, we all log in at the same time and shoot the breeze, tell some stories, mock each other’s taste in foods. We are a community.

And we’d like you to join us. Next Tuesday, April 7, at 12:30, we’d love to have any Hope members, visitors or wanderers to join us for friendship, conversation and whatever food you’re eating for lunch. Just click on this

Magic Ticket

And we’ll see you then, because

You matter. I matter. We matter.

Keith