Retreat at Dayspring!

This weekend I’ll be at the DaySpring Conference Center attending a recovery retreat.  It starts at 4:00 on Friday and goes until lunch on Sunday, and I’m really looking forward to it.  I went to a retreat hosted by the same group about eight years ago and got quite a bit out of it.  In fact a guided meditation there gave me an insight as to something I needed to work on, and it was a major project that covered the next 2-3 years of my life.

In addition to being there as an attendee I’ve also been asked to co-host one of the workshops.  The topic will be Building Self-Esteem, and my co-host will be Miss Marlene S.  I’ve known her through recovery for a few years but recently found out that she’s done quite a bit of work with groups, both through recovery-sponsored events like this as well as with organizations that aren’t  specifically about recovery (jail populations, social work, etc).  She approached me about doing something together a few months ago when someone introduced her to The Guide to the Recovery Toolbox and this will be our first time  working together.  I’m looking forward to it.

For those wondering, Nancy B. from the Thursday night meeting of Central Pinellas CoDA is hosting the event. The retreat brings together all kinds of recovery material (not just CoDA, so it’s not a “CoDA retreat”) – and this fits perfectly with Recovery Book Press. Our goal is to promote and share experience, strength, and hope to help people from all walks of life through their recovery process.

I’d planned to post something about this a few weeks ago but time’s slipped by on me … hate when that happens!

A Thought About Growth

Here are two pictures that I think put it perfectly:

Our first Book Review!

I just received my first book review 🙂  I thought it would be nice to return the favor but I’m not sure if/when I’ll find the time to read any of her books, but in the meantime feel free to read her review and visit her online. The review can be found here (at the bottom of the page) but here’s what she wrote:

Review by: Carolyn Flynn on July 19, 2012 : star star star star star
A Guide to the Recovery Toolbox is entertaining, informative, and well written. It is a must read for anyone in recovery or considering attending a 12-step program. The insights and lessons learned are valuable and applicable to anyone. It flows like a personal blog with links to related topics at the end of each section. You can easily read the book straight through or jump to the topics of most interest or relevance to you. For those not in recovery, skim through or skip the sections about the 12-step groups because the rest of the book is worth reading.

Carloyn Flynn can be found here:


Facebook Fan Pages: Not User Friendly At All

This post isn’t about recovery.  I don’t like having to use this blog for non-recovery related things but I’m dealing with a situation that could make it difficult for people to find Recovery Book Press on Facebook.  That alone isn’t so bad but Facebook’s help on this is nowhere to be found. Maybe making my request public will stir them to action, maybe this post will be a lesson for anyone else setting up a Facebook fan page.

Facebook has a feature called a fan page, which is different from the kind of page that a person would have.  I won’t get into the differences, but a fan page is for promoting companies, businesses, products, etc.  When I built an online presence for Recovery Book Press I created this blog, a Myspace Page, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.  What I didn’t know is that Facebook’s process for creating a fan page wasn’t user friendly.  As I went through the process I made mistakes (because the instructions they give you are inadequate) and FaceBook is now telling me the mistakes can’t be fixed.

Personally I don’t believe that – I believe Facebook can fix the problems, they just don’t want to.  It would cost time and money (but if they made a better product from the start they wouldn’t have to go back and fix things later).  So what were my errors?

When you want to create a fan page you actually have to create two pages, a personal page and then the fan page.  It turns out that certain information (like the user name you want on each page) cannot be the same.  In my case I wanted the Fan page link to read:

(By the way, if you click the link above you’ll get a Facebook error page.  I’ll explain why below.)

… so when I was asked what name I wanted my page to display I told it “RecoveryBookPress”.  Makes sense, right?  But they didn’t tell me I was creating a personal page, not the fan page.  And they didn’t explain that once RecoveryBookPress was in use it couldn’t be used by any other page – even if I’m the one creating it.  I created the personal page then Facebook wanted me to create the fan page. (“Huh? I thought I just did.”) So I created the fan page.

It gets even more confusing.  I still didn’t know what mistake I’d made because Facebook’s policy is that while personal pages can configure a user name immediately fan pages can’t do so until the page has 30 “likes”.  So while the personal page had the link I posted above the fan page’s link looked like this:

What makes this even more irritating is that after a few months Facebook did seem to acknowledge that there was a problem with the way the fan pages were handled.  One day I logged in and there was a button to click on and text saying that clicking on the button would combine the two pages.  I tried that.  It seemed like it combined some things, but not everything.  In many ways I’ve still got two pages.

And then last weekend when I finally got 30 likes on the fan page I went to configure the user name and was told I couldn’t – because it was already in use.   So I went to the personal page and changed my username there, thinking maybe if I did it would free it up to be used on the fan page.  No such luck.  I waited 24 hours to see if maybe it just needed time to clear up in FaceBook’s system.  Nope.  According to FaceBook’s help section I will never be able to use RecoveryBookPress for the fan page on Facebook.

And now for the coup de grâce … if you have a Facebook page you can type “Recovery Book Press” in the search box where you search for friends … and Facebook will link you to our fan page.  They manage to make it as confusing as possible, still connect you to whom you’re looking for, but can’t give you the link you want.  Brilliant.

So the moral of the story is: if you need to set up a Facebook fan page someday be very careful when creating your personal account or you’ll end up blocking yourself from creating the page you intended.  If you find this whole mess as annoying as I do, or if you’ve found yourself in the same situation with no help from Facebook, please share this.

Being Child-Like Is Not The Same As Being Childish

I came across a quote today I’d like to share:

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” — Anais Nin

When I first read this I particularly liked the phrase, “We are mature in one realm, childish in another.”  I grew up on The Muppet Show and at times my sense of humor can be really corny and silly … one of the tools I learned in recovery is that Being Child-Like Is Not The Same As Being Childish.  In my teens I’d been shamed by my stepfather for my silliness and it took more than a decade to realize I need not feel any shame for joy in my childhood.  I had to learn to give myself permission to start releasing it again, and now that I have this same sense of awe and joy I had in my childhood has served me well as an adult.

The same phrase also reminded me of a man I met this past week at a meeting.  We talked after the meeting about early childhood development and how even through our teens and young adult phases we have certain needs … if our growth is halted in any of these phases it can stick with us for decades until we address that phase of development.  All the time I hear about how men these days are nothing but grown up boys, and part of me has feared that having a Child-Like side could be interpreted that way.  It was nice to be reminded that while some dimensions of my personality are well developed it’s okay that others are Child-Like.  I don’t have to be perfect.  I don’t have to be adult 100% of the time, in every way, and in fact trying to be probably isn’t natural.  I’m happy the way I am.  Layers, cells, constellations, and all.

What to do if you’ve been worrying lately…

The paperback is published!

I’ve gotten all the forms taken care of, printed a proof for myself, and everything’s taken care of!  You can now purchase a copy in both eBook and paperback formats:

eBook ($2.99): A Guide to the Recovery Toolbox at
Paperback ($14.99): A Guide to the Recovery Toolbox at

I’m pretty excited but I know this is just the beginning.  I chose to self-publish the book to retain editorial control over the book but this means I don’t have access to a marketing department – so if you can, please tell your friends and spread the word. I would really like to see the book help as many as possible.  I hope someday this index of the tools will become an important companion piece to the other well-known recovery books out there.