The Gift of Community

by Tim Hall (center photo above), Member of Recovery Café Lexington

A Safe Place to Heal

Hearing the phrase, “This is a safe place to heal,” gets me teary-eyed. 

You see, I spent 35 years out there blazing a trail of destruction in my life. If you can name it, I’ve done it. 

I surrendered to the recovery process on Christmas Eve last year. I was tired. I was hungry. I was dirty. I was 40 pounds underweight. I had had enough. I came into recovery not knowing what to expect, but I was willing to try anything; basically, the instinct to live had kicked in. 

I didn’t know, on that day I surrendered, that I was entering a process that would take me on a journey of deep personal exploration. I was born into the image my creator had intended for me, but life had other plans for me. Through childhood trauma, the adoption of negative core beliefs and perceptions about myself had left me with low self-value, poor self-esteem, and an overall distorted view of myself. I nearly lost who I was permanently.

Shots of the Lexington Café community

I had to painfully peel back all the layers that stifled any chance for me to have a successful future, add drugs and alcohol into that mix, and the game was rigged; the odds were stacked against me. It seemed hopeless. 

It was classroom session after classroom session, psychiatrist, counselors, and one therapist after another—not to mention the countless AA, NA, and Celebrate Recovery meetings I had to attend. At times I got overloaded; I was ready to give up. 

That’s when I found Recovery Café Lexington. 

A flier posted at one of the clinics I went to got my attention; that was my first introduction to the Café. I called, got more information, and visited a few times as a guest—and soon became a Member. 

The “peace through pottery” class really changed my life. From my first visit serenity covered me like a warm blanket and I knew I had found a personal sanctuary. I had found a place where I could shut out all the noise, the classes, the sessions, the meetings, the meaningless conversations, and for the first time I could start to find myself through my art and pottery.

Peace through Pottery class participants at Recovery Café Lexington

A Place to Be Myself

I’m so grateful for the Café. It gave me that safe space to get my thoughts together, a place to find peace, a space where I could paint and create beautiful things with my hands. I love giving my pieces away; I feel like it’s a gift from my heart. 

The Café allowed me to be myself. On my journey, at times I didn’t know who I was! As I found myself, the Café gave me a space where I could practice being me—without judgment. That’s huge! 

I did some art and put pen to paper when I was younger but none of it was good enough; my art and my writings would always get scrutinized, then thrown in the trash at some point. I started throwing my talent away myself and never thought it was good enough. 

No one laughs at my art at the Café. I don’t have to throw my talent away anymore. I only find kind words and encouragement. I can, finally, truly express myself in my own unique way. 

I look forward to celebrating the holidays with my family at the Café, to sharing my one year of sobriety on Christmas Eve, and celebrating the Christmas miracle I have become.

Thank you, Tim, for sharing your story! Thank you as well to Recovery Café Lexington.