Tragedy and Recovery

Taking a moment to stop will not stop our mind… but that’s not the point


This morning I participated in an early morning Zoom meeting. While we were on the call, someone on told us about the shooting in New Zealand . I am not one to post reactionary posts about the latest world events. Our meeting came to a halt. We were all hit by the news of the tragedy.

What do you do when something is so horrible, so tragic? World events, and personal tragedies take us to a place of trying to make sense of something that does not make sense. Honestly, sometimes I can become desensitized to mass tragedies like this. It’s not that I don’t care, but it’s overwhelming. And I want it to all stay far away… I wish that it could all stay far away from all of us.

If we stop long enough, we will realize that our mind will never stop. But in the midst of busy mind – we may realize that taking time to stop can become an anchor in the midst of it all.

One of the people on the call said that “Our business cards have ‘save the world’ on the back.” I can identify with that. Personally and professionally, I want to help others to lessen their load. I’m not in the business of saving – but I do what I can as a therapist, as a man, as a dad, as a husband, and as a human.

Sometimes doing what we can (as little or as big as it is) just seems not enough.

A woman on the call told us that she felt sad, and she cried. I sensed a heavy weight on my chest and I listened. Others empathized. We did what we could, for each other. In that moment, I saw so much courage. People opened up their hearts and they felt and they listened.

In my own recovery from depression, from anxiety, and from an addiction to numbing myself through eating_exercise_achieving_a full and busy mind… this is a lesson I come back to again and again: Just stop.

Stopping seems like a strange way to respond. It’s unnatural in our world today. We are rarely quiet and the only time we stop is when we go to bed and during commercials. But stopping often does something unexpected. Something powerful. At first it can be overwhelming because our mind’s race and our thoughts won’t settle.

If we stop long enough, we will realize that our mind will never stop. But in the midst of busy mind – we may realize that taking time to stop can become an anchor in the midst of it all.

Today, I ask you one thing. Stop. For a moment.

I am leaving this post unfinished. Normally we write and then conclude a sentence with a ‘period.’ That makes a thought complete. But life is not that… it’s never ‘complete.’ It goes on. Take a moment to pause, and what happens after than may surprise you,

• • •

For a related article, see “Making Peace with Our Tor_Mentors” I invite you to sign up for my blog by clicking “Follow Getting High on Recovery.” When you enter your email, you will get free access to the blog. I do not send spam or share your email with anyone.

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Geek Therapy: Getting High with Geek Therapy

In the new year, I will be offering Geek Therapy using popular culture and superheroes. My specialties include addiction and mental health recovery, parent-teen relationships, emotions and communication skill-building, family counseling, trauma support and spirituality in counseling. If you would like to experiment with Geek Therapy and how it can benefit you, contact me at

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Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

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