Join Turning Point for “A Beautiful Journey”

REGION – On Wednesday, May 26 at 7 p.m., Turning Point of Windham County will host “A Beautiful Journey,” an annual storytelling event to showcase the journeys of people who’ve lived with substance-use disorder and how they relate to the healing and transformative process of recovery.

Please visit the Turning Point of Windham County’s Facebook page for information on how to register or join for the event. We all have our own stories about our lives, some of which we like to share and others that we prefer to keep to ourselves. For people in recovery, those stories involve the struggle with addiction and how it harmed their life, interrupting their ability to thrive. These stories can be intense, even terrifying. But time and time again, when these stories are spoken out loud and shared with others, people are transformed. Hope emerges.

Connection and community are so key to the recovery process, and the isolation we all lived with this past year proved especially challenging and painful for people with substance use in their past or present. People with histories of addiction may be especially vulnerable to the virus and related complications, and they may struggle to get their basic needs met.

Overdoses are rising in Vermont, and in the United States as a whole, and alcohol use has increased dramatically. People in recovery from addiction cannot afford to lose the supports they rely on to maintain wellness and avoid relapse. Losing these supports could be disastrous, even life-threatening. We all need more support than ever.

J.R. Layne, a participant in our inaugural event in 2019, shared about his experience as a storyteller: “What I found was, after I got up and told my story to an audience of maybe, I don’t know, 75 to 100 people, something like that – it was so cathartic. It was the beginning of change, for me, probably the most significant step that I took in my early recovery. And, you know, that allowed me to just really look into myself – look within myself and find the truth of my story.”

The process of crafting their story also provides growth and healing. JR explains: “That process [of writing and sharing my own story] is a raw process. It’s raw, man; it pretty much splays your emotional body open and just exposes it to the world. And I was carrying a lot of anger and a lot of hurt and a lot of pain.”

Listening to others’ stories of recovery is powerful. People question their own beliefs about addiction. Their world is expanded, and compassion results, instead of the crippling judgment people often face.

In the end, everyone benefits, and these benefits reverberate through the community. “A Beautiful Journey started me on a road where I was able to develop some self-respect and self-love. And now, today, I can… I can embrace, you know, positive affirmations from people. And I can believe what they say to be true,” says J.R., who has since become a recovery coach who uses his experience to help others gain freedom from addiction.

See the live-streamed event at

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