What Section 17 is and Why It’s Needed

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Section 17 is primarily case management – it’s practiced by highly trained and educated professionals who are very adept at navigating systems like medical practices, Social Security, public housing, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It is not coincidental that DHHS seeks to eliminate services to the very clients who need assistance […]

Fresh Starts and Empty Cups

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My favorite thing about living in Maine is the attitude we collectively share in having survived yet another winter. This year’s was the mildest of my lifetime and yet I still find myself worse for ware. This serves as a reminder to me that despite my lack of acceptance with regard to the weather; Mother […]

The Social Work Millions Mary Mayhew Thinks We’re Making

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DHHS Director Mary Mayhew and her hired consultants have come to two conclusions that potentially have devastating effects on thousands of Mainers: Community Integration Services (in layperson terms, case management) we’ve provided for decades to Mainers who live with mental illness are no longer warranted except for those who live with psychosis. Service Providers (agencies: […]

Misfits are the very Best People

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I got to make some new friends tonight. I was invited to Bangor’s local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). I am a person in recovery from mental illness. I struggled with depression for much of my life. I’m much better now – partly because I received a lot of good therapy […]

When You Have to Hold It Together

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Most of us are pretty good at hiding how we truly feel. It may not occur to us that it’s both a blessing and a curse because: It’s nice that we can maintain our privacy from folks who we don’t want to let in or let on to. Unfortunately, we’re good at it because we’ve […]

Scars are Souvenirs You Never Lose

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Live your life in such a way that inspiration comes to you as naturally as breathing. I get to share another guest blog. This one from an amazing young woman in recovery. To “normal” people, tattoos are decorative or taboo. To us, they tell powerful stories, symbolize triumphs, and sometimes they cover up scar tissue […]

Beautiful, Brilliant, Scarred, and Scared

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Coffee? Lunch? What’s the pretext we’ll meet under? I always think of the line from Good Will Hunting in which Matt Damon points out we could just as easily get together for some caramels. The setting is arbitrary. Our desires and fears often align – we fear pursuing what we most want. We won’t just […]

Is Addiction Really a Disease?

I’m blessed to have people in my life that keep me grounded. When they see a soapbox in my path, they kick either me or the box because they know I don’t belong on them. I love a good argument but I also know that if we’re arguing, there’s little chance that we’ll be better […]

Nurses, Alcoholism and Addiction

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The barriers for those of us in the healing and healing professions to enter recovery from addiction are many. My most recent guest blogger remains anonymous but is sharing her experience and insights as a nurse (RN) in active addiction: It’s a precarious thing being a nurse and an alcoholic. It’s also very common. The […]

Three Days Sober: Seeking Gratitude & Grace

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The response to my anonymous guest blogger last week was tremendous. The comment section and my email exploded with supportive insights and suggestions. Inspired, my friend is on day three of sobriety and focused on gratitude: First of all, do not send this to Jim. At least not today. Just think. Think about all the […]