Hello, and welcome to The Hope Fiend!
This post is intended to be an ongoing greeting to new visitors. Here you will get a sense of my vision for this space, but first let me introduce myself. My name is Jake, I'm a hope fiend, and I've been kicking ass in recovery since 2008. You will learn more about me below and in future blog posts, but for now, just know that I am a fellow traveler, and I look forward to connecting with you.
In 2016, I completed my Master's in Fine Arts in fiction at the University of Oregon. At some point in the two years of study, I was given some advice that has served as the seed for this blog. It was suggested that I write the book I want to read; a book that only I could write; a book that doesn't yet exist. From this suggestion, The Hope Fiend was born.
In these pages, I will strive bring you thoughtful and engaging content that starts and ends with recovery, but explores all of the space in between. This blog and community space emerges from a personal desire to contribute my thoughts around addiction and recovery to an already lively and engaging conversation. As people in recovery, what we are doing is rather mysterious and amazing, and I hope to capture some of what I find striking about his way of life. I want to complicate and nuance, rather than simplify this path, and I hope you will dip with me into the mystery.
On this platform, you will not find articles titled, "10 fun ways to have an awesome sober summer!" that require you to click through 14 pages of flashing ads for fancy tropical rehabs and pain management clinics in your area. If this kind of experience is what you are looking for, that is quite alright, but you will not find it here. I am working on compiling some resources for people who need help that will be neatly tucked away in an easily accessible page, but I am dedicated to keeping this site free of annoying advertisements that target the vulnerabilities of people in recovery, especially people in early on in their journeys. I'm sorry, but fuck that noise!
Personally, I find this kind of click-bait style content and marketing in conflict with my path in recovery (more about this in a later blog post). For now, I'll just say that my addiction was rooted in excess. I moved through my life in a quick-fix-click-bait style, so in recovery I do my best to focus on process, intention, and mindfulness. Here, I will ask you to slow down and chew on some ideas before you swallow. I want the content on The Hope Fiend to add value to your recovery instead of your clicking to add value to my wallet.
The writing here is a blend of personal narrative, thoughtful musings, and practical suggestions rooted in experience. In conjunction with the topic of recovery, you might encounter writing about: meditation, literature, philosophy, food, relationships, travel, and the outdoors. Though recovery is absolutely the foundation of my life, my life is not simply recovery. The house that rests upon this foundation has many rooms filled with many interests and obsessions picked up through travel, education, relationships, and curious wanderings through all kinds of spaces. This blog is a way for me to organize my house, and unlock the front door for you.
I am especially interested in perception and the aspect of addiction that exists on the level of the psyche. I believe a change in perception and perspective is crucial for recovery. In my own recovery, I have experienced changes in perception that have literally rocked my world. In a broad sense, I hope the writing here will help you toward similar shifts in your outlook. My musings are geared toward the dilemma of what we do once we put the drink and drug to the side. How do we live a meaningful life? How do we become better human beings? How do we add value to the lives of others? How do we slow down and bask in the mystery? I don't claim to have answers to these questions, but I do cling to the hope that it is possible to achieve these things.
Beyond my own writing, I hope to share some of your stories. This portion of the website will develop as community grows. I imagine including short posts explore a particular success or blessing you have experienced in your recovery with the goal of giving hope to others. This section of the site may take a little while to get started, as I will be working on connecting with you all first!
The site will develop as the community grows, so keep your eyes open for new changes. Also, please subscribe to the mailing list below to receive updates and new blog posts, and feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy, and be well!