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A Declaration of Transformation

A theme we often see at Recovery Café is the need for closure from a lot of our Members. The following is a declaration of transformation from one of our Member’s, as told by our Founding Director Killian Noe. Names have been changed and omitted for confidentiality purposes.

She slipped into my office and in almost a whisper shared, “I need your help in making amends for something I did a long time ago.”

After inviting her to sit down, she continued, “Years ago, as I was leaving the court room, in an act of ‘sticking it to the system’ I stole the court seal. Now I want to return it.”

Concerned that her desire to make amends might land her back in jail I contacted a judge who is committed to the work of Recovery Café for advice. That conversation led to a meeting with a representative of the court at an appointed time.

After exchanging pleasant greetings we were escorted into a conference room and sat down. Jennifer pushed the box containing the court seal across the table. The representative tentatively opened the box and with a slight grin affirmed, “Yes, this is ours.”

Then Jennifer began to read what she had written for this long anticipated moment:

To the Honorable Judge,

It is true that I took this seal from the court.

It is also true that today I am an instrument of love. 

I am the manifestation of recovery and transformation.

I am returning the property of the courts.

I am a member in good standing at Recovery Café and of my weekly recovery circle. 

I am a graduate of the School for Recovery having taken 23 classes all recovery related.

I am no longer receiving state mental health services.

I am a certified yoga instructor through Recovery Café’s yoga program.

I am a volunteer at the mental health clinic where I used to receive services.

As she continued to read her declaration of transformation the Court representative seemed to fight back tears. I was less successful. Then the Court Representative expressed gratitude and admiration to Jennifer for her inspiring life

Afterwards, as we walked back toward Recovery Café, Jennifer exclaimed, “In a strange way I feel like I have made amends—not only to the courts, but to my parents who are no longer living. I feel free.”