Friday, December 30, 2016

That's Just Life

If you know me, you know I'm a huge music fan. Because of that, there are a lot of music-related things hanging on the walls of my house.

One of those things is a handwritten lyric sheet from one of my favorite folk/roots/pop singer-songwriters, Josh Rouse. It's something I got for backing his Happiness Waltz album on the PledgeMusic crowdfunding site back in 2013. For my donation, I got to choose any Josh Rouse song and have him write out the lyrics for me.

The song I chose was "Life," which was written by Josh Rouse and Daniel Tashian and appears on Josh's 2005 album Nashville. I love this song and the lyrics are words that resonate with me every time I hear them:


Life is good, sometimes it's bad
It has its ups, it has its downs
Just sing a song and feel all right
Cause that's just life

If you're lost, don't be sad
There are good times to be had
Just sing a song and let love shine
Cause that's just life
That's just life
That's just life, so darling don't cry

And when your hour, it is near
And your friends they all are here
To share their love and to be kind
That's just life

Oh and when you're gone, you won't be back
I'll remember those special times we had
I'll sing this song and feel all right
Cause that's just life
That's just life
That's just life, so darling don't cry

The sheet with those lyrics written on it is hanging on the wall in my dining room, and I walk by it every single day. Lately my own life has been more than a little topsy-turvy, full of its own ups and downs. So I frequently stop to read these Josh Rouse lyrics and try to remember...

That's just life.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Another Honor for My Blog

You never know what you'll come across while you're poking around the interwebs. I just came across another list of blogs. This one is "The 20 Best Recovery Blogs of 2016," published by the After Party Magazine site. It was posted in September and I had no idea I was on it. Top 20, yo!

Here's what they wrote about my blog:

"Another parent of an addict, this time a dad, My Life as 3D follows the regular musings of a father of a boy who began his recovery as an adolescent but has continued to struggle with depression, anxiety and many of the issues we face in sobriety (not to mention in adolescence). After psych wards, suicide attempts and every bit of toxic drama in between, My Life as 3D has morphed into a seven-year journey of been-there-done-that, becoming a solid resource for any parent whose child has gotten sober and gone on medication, but still struggles."

Once again I am humbled, honored, and grateful for the recognition.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

80 Top Recovery Blogs of 2016

The other day I saw a post on Twitter that linked to the website of a treatment center in the U.K. The post was referencing Ocean Recovery's list of the "80 Top Recovery Blogs of 2016." Ocean Recovery is a "personalistic holistic treatment programme relating to stress and dependency disorders," and they compile this list of recovery blogs "because these blogs provide our clients with a powerful way of learning about addiction and life in recovery."

Since I know a lot of fellow recovery bloggers, I was curious to see whose blogs had made Ocean Recovery's list, so I slowly scrolled through it. Little did I know that I would find my blog--this blog--on the list. What a pleasant surprise!

I had no idea my blog was going to be included, but I was humbled and grateful that it was. Writing about addiction isn't always easy, and getting some recognition for doing it is always nice. I was also happy to see so many friends' blogs on the list, along with another blog I've contributed to over the years (Heroes in Recovery).

Ocean Recovery says that these recovery blogs "serve a similar purpose to attending AA or NA meetings"--I would add Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings as well--and that "many of these people publish their blogs simply as a way to help others who face similar problems with addiction." They certainly got that right, because that's exactly why I started my blog back in 2008.

If you get a chance, go check out the entire "80 Top Recovery Blogs of 2016" list on the Ocean Recovery site. The blogs are listed alphabetically, which means you'll find mine at #43. And all 80 of the blogs are great resources for anyone who's been affected by the disease of addiction, either first-hand or as the result of a loved one's struggle.

Thanks for the recognition, Ocean Recovery. And kudos to all my friends who were honored for their blogs, too. By telling our stories, we are helping break the stigma.

P.S. I didn't know until the other day that Ocean Recovery did a list of the Top Recovery Blogs last year, too, and I was on that list! In 2015 they listed 34 blogs alphabetically, and mine was #21. Who knew?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Help Support Detroit Youth Volume on December 10th

The first time I wrote about Detroit Youth Volume was last December 20th, when I made them the day's featured organization in the Causes and Effect blog I took the reins of for one month. Causes and Effect is a blog that features a different organization or cause each day. The person authoring the blog chooses the groups to write about and donates at least $10 to them.

On that day last December, I woke up and saw a story about Detroit Youth Volume (DYV) on the Detroit News website. The article explained that DYV teaches disadvantaged kids from the city of Detroit how to play violin using the Suzuki Method, while at the same time breaking down stereotypes. It also talked about an album the group was recording with some of Detroit's finest hip-hop talent; an album that would feature hip-hop beats mixed with standards like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." I was completely sold on DYV and made two donations that day: one to the organization itself and one to their Kickstarter campaign to fund their CD.

Over the past year, my wife and I have grown to love Detroit Youth Volume and its dedicated director Clara Hardie. We went to a recital for the kids in the program in April, attended their performance at Jack White's Third Man Records store in Detroit's Cass Corridor in May, and had a great time at their hip-hop album release party in August.

DYV performing at Third Man Records in May.
Everything about this organization fills our hearts and souls with good feelings. So much so that my wife and I have committed to making a small donation to them every month. We also drive a DYV student and her mother (who is blind) to violin class in downtown Detroit every Monday afternoon. The joy these simple acts bring us is immeasurable.

This Saturday, December 10th, Detroit Youth Volume is having a tea party/fundraiser/performance at Holding House, an artist-run workspace in southwest Detroit. It runs from noon until 4:00pm and will  feature tea and cookies, along with a sale of ceramics, prints, student violins, and music accessories. The violin/viola performance, featuring kids between the ages of 4 and 18, will take place at 1:00pm.

Proceeds from this event will go toward matching funds for the Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant DYV recently received. The organization will receive $50,000 to fund their project "Jazz Violin the Detroit Way," but only if they raise their own $50,000 first. That's a tall order, but DYV has a year to raise the money and they are bound and determined to make it happen.

My wife and I will be at Holding House on Saturday to support Detroit Youth Volume. If you live in the Detroit area, we urge you to do the same. I guarantee that seeing and hearing these young Detroiters play their instruments will bring a smile to your face. This is truly one of the greatest nonprofit programs in Detroit today, and the love and dedication of all the people involved in it is so inspirational.

There are a lot of amazing things going on in the city of Detroit these days, but not all of them have to do with new sports arenas, new office buildings, or new housing projects. Some of them are much smaller in scale but have a much bigger impact on the underprivileged youth of the city. Detroit Youth Volume is one such example.

Hope to see you Saturday!

Holding House is located at 3546 Michigan Avenue in Detroit. (See the map at the very bottom of this post.)

For more information on Detroit Youth Volume, visit their website:

To donate to Detroit Youth Volume, go to this link:

For more information on Saturday's fundraising event, visit the Facebook event page: