Enhancing Our Recovery Fellowship

Welcome to the Harmony Foundation Recovery Blog. This blog is intended to enhance the recovery process for Harmony alumni and friends through information sharing in an extended fellowship. We know that the correlation between healthy long-term sobriety and participation in the recovery fellowship is very strong. Sobriety is not a solitary activity; it is a community activity. Our 12-step programs are a major source of that community, but experience teaches that we grow spiritually when we extend ourselves beyond our “neighborhood meeting” as well.

The blog will:

  • Give Harmony Alumni and friends an opportunity to reach out to the place where it all began, the friends you made here, and the new friends you will make.
  • Keep alumni aware of what is new at Harmony, provide information about upcoming events, and help alumni be of service to the community.
  • Provide greater community awareness of the disease of addiction and recovery services.

Enhancing our recovery fellowship…

Marv Ventrell

I’m privileged to write this first blog. I am the new Director of our new Harmony Community and Alumni Relations Office (CARO). Our office exists to enhance communication between Harmony and its alumni, provide continued services to our alumni, and to provide greater community awareness of the disease of addiction and recovery services. It is an honor to do this work for this institution and our office takes its obligation very seriously. It is our hope that through this blog, and the many other new alumni and community programs under development, the Harmony community will become larger, stronger, and more helpful than it has ever been.

Our 12th step tells us, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics [and addicts], and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” This is the privilege and obligation of all of us. We help others and we enhance our own sobriety when we carry the message. And “we have to give it away in order to keep it.” So this blog, if you will, is your opportunity to live in the joy and fellowship of the 12th step. As it says in the 12 & 12:

The joy of living is the theme of the Twelfth Step, and action is the key word. Here we turn outward toward our fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety. (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions p. 106)

We know that recovery is a lifelong journey. While your recovery may have begun at Harmony, it continues and grows wherever you are. Recently, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) adopted a new working definition of recovery that recognizes this and the value of community relations in the process, as follows:

Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals work to improve their own health and wellness and to live a meaningful life in a community of their choice while striving to achieve their full potential. Principles of Recovery:

  •  Person-driven;
  •  Occurs via many pathways;
  •  Is holistic;
  •  Is supported by peers;
  •  Is supported through relationships;
  •  Is culturally-based and influenced;
  •  Is supported by addressing trauma;
  •  Involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility;
  •  Is based on respect; and
  •  Emerges from hope.

Harmony Foundation shares this belief and welcomes SAMHSA’s new definition as an affirmation of the treatment field’s work, and as motivation for our continued support of one another. We believe we have a greater opportunity than has ever existed to provide a foundation for lifelong recovery and to continue to support one another as we leave treatment and begin our lives in recovery.

Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of Happy Destiny. May God bless and keep you until then. (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164)

We would be honored if you would subscribe to our blog and we welcome your comments.

Won’t you join us?

Marvin Ventrell, JD is the Director of CARO – the Community and Alumni Relations Office at Harmony Foundation. CARO’s function is to support Harmony Alumni in the recovery process post-treatment. CARO also works to educate the public on the disease of addiction and Harmony’s services. Marvin believes his work at Harmony is the culmination of a lifelong journey of professional service. During his 27-year career, he has been an attorney, a public interest association director, and a teacher. He is the author of two books and numerous professional journal articles. His career has been dedicated to advocating for children and families in crisis and developing institutional systems to address community needs. He previously served as CEO of the National Association of Counsel for Children and the Juvenile Law Society. He is a recipient of the University of Colorado Kempe Award and the American Bar Association Child Advocacy Award, and is a Bar Fellow Emeritus of the Colorado Bar Foundation.