I just returned from Delray Beach Florida, the self-proclaimed addiction recovery capital of America. I talked about healing in community, and my 20 years’ experience working as a physician and psychiatrist with Native American people where alcohol addiction is endemic and where I learned about how some people recovered while others did not.

In the language of science and story I suggested the secret to recovery whether from addictions any other problems in our lives (diseases, traumas, relationship issues, self-doubts, fear and all self-destructive behaviors, pretty much came down to the same two things.

You have to stop running from what is destroying you; stop hiding, look at yourself honestly, and acknowledge the truth if you really want to change your life. You have to accept that you can’t do it alone, and  need to be connected/ supported by people who lift your spirit and remind you that what you dare imagine is possible can actually come to pass. Nobody makes it alone, it is our connections that help us hang in there when the times get really rough (and it’s always hard to make serious change).

We heal better in community… when lots of people work together towards a common goal it actually increases the likelihood of its happening. That evening,  a standing room only crowd at the historic Crest Theater, with City and County officials, agencies, many treatment programs, the police department, educators and employers came together to create a healing community. They addressed important legislative changes to ensure quality care, reduce fraud, and enforcing those standards. I had the feeling this community had the motivation to make it happen.

We heal better in community, and we’re are about to make that happen in Phoenix, Arizona in two weeks at the inaugural Clown Town Healing Fest (clowntownhealingfest.com).  We are going to mobilize this cities healing resources and invite the people to see how many ways there are to stay healthier. This is a practical demonstration of the cultural-shift in healthcare delivery toward preventive healthcare. Join us if you’re close by, it’s going to be an extraordinary happening.