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The Day I Jumped into the Quarry

It was one of those summer days when the sky is blue and the air is hot and humid. I was just 19 years old. It was a perfect day for young college guys to go for a swim and to watch girls. My two buddies and I, heeding this primitive drive, headed out to the local swimming hole. This was an old abandoned stone quarry that was hundreds of feet deep and had become a developed swimming hole complete with food stands and life guards. On this particular Saturday afternoon the place was packed. We followed our usual routine whenever we landed at a beach: 1. We spread out our towels and laid in the sun until we began to broil from the heat and humidity; 2. We would jump into the very cold quarry wa

Recovery is Beautiful

On Friday I met two artists, a dad, a mother, a grandmother, and a young woman who loves working with people with disabilities. The one thing they all had in common was that they were proud to be in recovery from drug addiction. For some their recovery was new and they were just learning how to live in a world that was clear and clean but different than one they had known. One young woman said that she had "used" for so long, since she was a teenager, that she was learning how to have fun again. Every one of these individuals was so grateful to be given another chance at life. They all felt regret for what they had put loved ones through, "My mother just didn't know how to help me," one youn

Mike Learns Something New on the Bus

Lately I have been catching the 5:20 bus home in the evening. Leaving my office at 5:00 I walk up to Market Street and then down to the library. I can usually make it to the Library by 5:20. So I get a nice walk and a pleasant ride home. I have really enjoyed the space it gives me to unwind between the demands of the office and home. A few days ago a young woman was waiting for the bus with me. As we stood there looking up Market Street together she read the words on my lunch bag, "Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. Oh! Do you work there?" After I told her I did, she said that she went to Coleman. I waited a moment. And she began to explain to me each diagnosis she had been given

We Walked Together

Where would you find over 200 people marching down the middle of Main Street without any news media coverage at all? That was what happened last Saturday in downtown Lima at the annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk. Organizers had met for the past few months to get all the elements of the walk into place. Tony was there again volunteering his great sound system. Brenda organized a really nice breakfast for everyone and Cindy provided pizza. Pam from the St. Rita's Campus Police volunteered again to lead all of the walkers in your cruiser. Doug and Bob played and sang for the gathering. It was such a beautiful day for a walk but the day was bittersweet. As I walked along rememberi

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