By Barbara Nicholson-Brown

I was going to begin this piece about the magic of recovery month we celebrated just a few weeks ago. And suddenly life as we knew it drastically changed— again. We learned of the mass shooting in Las Vegas just two days ago.

For all of us it is a most horrific and incomprehensible act. I can’t even imagine how undeniably painful this time is for the victims, their friends and families.

May our prayers and hearts filled with compassion reach each and every one who has been shattered and affected. I am, like all of us, at a loss for words.

Thank You to the first responder’s, doctors, nurses, paramedics, concert-goers who helped each other, the unknown heroes who may have saved lives

And it is difficult to seque into another topic, but I will do my best.

Recovery Month

As founder of the Art of Recovery Expo, I want to thank each and every supporter of this year’s event. The recovery community came out strong and proud.

As I look back to 2005, when Bill and I thought a public event was needed, and to see how it has grown, locally and nationally, is powerful.

We have witnessed tremendous growth in awareness and advocacy, reduction in stigma and more people are seeking help.

While looking for addiction treatment might appear easier with the click of a mouse, the Expo continues to be a unique avenue where people can meet the professionals face to face. And that in itself is something that I am proud of. There were many serendipitous moments on September 16th.

A special note of gratitude to our leading sponsors, CBI., Inc., Terros, Calvary Healing Center, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, Mercy Care Plan and Holistic Recovery Center.

Our Bronze Sponsors, Decision Point Center, Dr. Phil Path to Recovery, The River Source, Intensive Treatment Systems, Crossroads, Inc., KFNX News Talk Radio, NCADD, PCS- Psychological Counseling Services, Scottsdale Recovery Center and Teen Challenge of Arizona.

And for making this event the success it was, my gratitude to Austin Eubanks, Stephanie Siete, Jim Kreitler, Gary Hees, David Seymour, Angie Geren, Gwen Henderson, SAMSHA and many many more.

My heart is full.

Continue to be safe! Stay on this wonderful road of recovery with us.