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A Reflection on the King County Legislative Forum

Thank you to everyone in our community who rallied with us to attend the King County Behavioral Health Legislative Forum! We were thrilled to have more than 50 people attend and represent Recovery Café to celebrate recovery and to encourage our elected officials to support Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder services. Among many highlights, Recovery Café Member Jay shared his story and Lauren Davis, the Executive Director of the Washington Recovery Alliance, invited people to join the movement.  To see more highlights from the forum, click here.

Sage Miller, a Recovery Café volunteer, shared this reflection from her experience that night:

After my volunteer time with sole train walking on Wednesday, November 8th, I stayed on to attend the KC Behavioral Health Legislature Forum at the Seattle Center.

I stood in line to get my Recovery Café t-shirt and boarded the #8 with all heading to the Center. When I got there, the maps located my legislative district and I picked up a “punch “card….Visit these stations and get another t-shirt.  So why not!  All the stations had something to do with recovery and what it means to me.  I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable.  Hey, I’m a volunteer, don’t ya know??  However, I do have many years of my own recovery conveniently tucked away and November is a time for me to remember, with a bit of pride, my years in sobriety. So armed with my sobriety, I could give answers and participate in the booths. No problem. Ha!! The last station, the video booth, rocked me with the questions. I could see the woman videoing me trying to place me.  I managed to stumble through answering the questions, but was really glad to be done. After finishing there and heading toward the legislators round table,   I felt more than a bit shaken.  Were people looking at me as a volunteer or a member?  And more so, what was going on for me?

I sat down and just watched my mind for a few moments. My own self-cherishing mind wanted that status I saw as a volunteer. And then there was the matter of looking at my own sobriety. Looking around, there were recovery café members and volunteers sitting at all the tables.  I was beginning to get to know people at the Café.  And I had this moment of fondness, a genuine caring.  And with that moment of epiphany, it became so clear that there was no separation between any of us.  None.

My mind still bounced around for a bit.  I asked questions and listened to the legislator’s answers and comments from others at the table.  My brain’s logical side kicked in.  Whew.  Through it all, “there is no separation” continued.  I think back now, and see that whole experience as a moment of grace.  I am a Buddhist. There is no separation.  I am a recovering alcoholic. There is no separation. I am a person. There is no separation between you and me.

– Sage

May all beings be peaceful.

May all beings be safe and protected.

May all beings be at ease with a kind heart.