By Adam D. Grant – Home of New Vision JARC Coordinator


The first part of my introduction, “Who am I?”, was more about the “why” of me. This part, the part that most of us lead with when we talk about ourselves, concerns the “what.”  This part is simpler, but reveals a little less. This part is easier, requires less thought, and is more concrete than abstract. “What I am” is essentially a list, whereas “who I am” is more of a concept. I am JARC Coordinator, a person in long-term recovery, Certified Peer Recovery Coach, returning citizen, fiancé, brother, uncle, etc.  For the sake of this article I will focus on the first four, but I will gladly talk about any of the others face-to-face if you’re interested.


Since I am a new hire and people are apt to be wondering who this strange man wandering around the office is, I will start with what I am to/in Home of New Vision.  I am the new Jackson Area Recovery Community (JARC) Coordinator.  Yes, it is a title that I am proud of and one that I intend to work hard to honor.  It is an extension of the work I have been doing on a voluntary basis for years, and one that I am so grateful to now get to perform as a career — Community Building.  Actually it is more like “renovation” than “building,” but that’s a discussion for another day. I am excited about the possibilities and opportunities which lie ahead.


Further, I proudly am a person in long-term recovery. People define aspects of recovery differently, and there is a large window to mine, depending on from what angle it is looked at.  I chose to stop being abused by alcohol (my primary substance of use since age 8) in 1997, illegal substances and prescriptions in 2003, and finally nicotine in 2009. Each required a commitment and a process that included grieving.  What I consider my “recovery date” is that point in 2003 when I decided I was no longer going to allow myself to be abused by any substance and committed to this course.  It could be contended that my recovery started well before that, even before 1997, because recovery begins the moment we lose that part of ourselves — that void we attempt to fill with our use.  However, I became a fully active participant in my conscious recovery over 17 years ago.


I am also a State-certified Peer Recovery Coach and Peer Support Specialist. Both of these certifications opened the door for me to turn past pains and trauma into purpose.  A large part of my recovery is and has been sharing my own experiences with others. I believe I am one of the least judgmental people you will ever meet.  If I haven’t made the mistake you are talking about, I have been “in its neighborhood,” and am not about to cast a stone.  I believe the path my life has taken, with all its twists and turns, has led me to exactly where I am meant to be — in front of every person who needs me, in front of every person I have needed, and here at Home of New Vision. 

Finally, at least for the purposes of this introduction, I am a Returning Citizen.  I am returning to a society I previously victimized and disrespected.  To me, this means that I owe it a debt in order to heal the harms I have inflicted upon it — directly, as well as the indirect ripples I have caused in the collective pool. I am returning to a society that needs me, not because I am a savior, but because we all have unique skills and experiences which only we can bring to the table.  The world needs me, the best me, as it needs you, to be its healthiest version.  I am also returning from a society where Trauma Informed Care does not take place on any grand scale but the reach of those who dare care is felt for generations.  With that perspective in hand (and heart), I know better than most the difference a single person can make.

All the experiences and lessons of my life led me to the doorstep of Home of New Vision. Knowing the power a single person can have, I am so excited to be a part of a group of people committed to making a difference — a family!  We are a home to many.  A safe place to be and to recover from a variety of life’s events.  Thank you for inviting me in, for accepting me, and for making me feel at home.