By Allen Jones
A five-year-old boy notices that Dad is home for the day. He runs over and gives a tug on his father’s shirt and asks “Daddy, can we play?” The father is an accountant and wanted some quiet for his tax season work and believed he found it at home in his den. From the mound of paperwork, the father peered down on the son and stated “I am busy now Son. Please come back later.”
The young boy ran away for the moment, and the father thought this was the end. Unfortunately, the young boy did not understand the length of “later” and began a spree of tugs on his Father’s shirt with a query each time of “Now Daddy, now can we play?”
After some 20 minutes of shirt tugging and questions, the father had finally had enough of the game and reached down to grab a picture out of a magazine. The picture happened to be a map of the world. The father thought briefly that his child would surely have fun with this project.
After showing the young boy the picture of the map, the father tore the map into roughly 70 pieces stating “Here Son. Go put this map back together. When you get done, we can play.” He then handed the boy the torn map and some tape.
The father took a deep breath of relief and knew that he had just secured himself at least a few hours of quiet to work on his papers. The young boy returned in two minutes holding the picture and proudly exclaiming “Daddy. Now we can play!”
The father grabbed the map and looked at the boy in amazement. He again looked at the map to be sure and returned his gaze toward the young boy. Visibly shook, the father asked in a bumbling voice “How? How did you do this? It is perfect!”
The young boy proudly pointed to the picture and shared “Daddy. On the back of the picture of the world is a picture of a man. I put the man back together and the whole world fell into place.”
My journey to recovery has been remarkably like this ‘Map/Man.” For years I had attempted putting the world back together with minimal success. Each time I would get the world back together it would tumble around me. Through great sponsorship and “men in the rooms” I have managed to put the man back together. In my own bumbling way, continuing to discover the man I want to become, the world has managed to take care of itself.
No longer worrying about the “A, B, C’s” of recovery --- the Apartment, the Bills, and the Car, I have continued the “1, 2, 3’s” of recovery to aid in cementing the internal to create a nerveless external. Not always perfect, but always progressing through my ACTIONS.
Allen Jones, LCDC, NCIP, PRS, ADs
Director of Clinical Services
Allen spent 26 years in active addiction, using drugs and alcohol to mask the
problems of fear, anxiety, and the pain of not fitting into crowds he desperately
wanted to be a part of. Jails, institutions, and death are the three things that are most
common with addiction, and while not actually dead, the spiritual death he felt caused
him and his family insurmountable pain and at times wanting to end his life. Then, on
July 17, 2006, Allen entered treatment at a local non-profit organization and would
learn the tools necessary to find the comfort in his skin that he had always searched
for. After much work, Allen and his family now have a life that he never would have
Fueled by the desire to help others achieve the same comfort in their life, Allen
obtained a License in Chemical Dependency Counseling and professional
certifications in Peer Recovery Support, Interventions, and AcuDetox. He now has
over a decade working in the recovery field with experience in preventative education
services, detox services, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, medication-
assisted treatment, and counseling.
Through both his personal and professional experience with therapy, Allen noticed an
important gap in the treatment continuation process. He has made it his purpose to
close that gap and teach people how to use the tools learned in treatment in the real
world. While most people have the necessary tools to navigate daily activities, a lack
of experience on how to apply those tools in real-world settings leaves them
vulnerable. His message is simple; knowing or having the tools to overcome daily
struggles is not enough. We must also be aware of the challenges awaiting us and
know which ACTIONS to apply in response. By walking hand in hand with the
people he works with, facing challenges together, he demonstrates people can recover
and be inspired to live a life free from chemicals.
Stop worrying about how it is going to happen and begin your actions to allow
it to happen. -Allen Jones