Jo's brave and candid retelling of her recovery story was the centerpiece of one of 2015's most listened to episodes of Since Right Now. Below Jo continues in that forthright manner; laying plans to help the two causes she cares most about—addicts and animals—in a a wonderfully symbiotic way yet still diagnosing herself with "You Suck Syndrome."
The principal motivation for my creativity. Pain, ego, a desire to disappear. That’s why I act I think.
The principal motivation for my sobriety. I had become someone I did not know and I was tired of living inside of a stranger. It was time to start the process of becoming…
My favorite qualities in a person. Loyalty. If you have that—I can work with just about anything else you bring to the table.
What I appreciate most about my friends. That they’ll have me! That they have been patient and waited for me to recognize friendship and participate in it with them.
My main fault. Self-loathing. My ‘You Suck Syndrome’ can easily keep me from pursuing hopes, dreams and passions. I find myself paralyzed with self hatred and my inability to see myself as anything worth trying for.
My favorite occupation. Fundraising for the issues that move me: animals and addicts
My dream of happiness. Opening a farm animal sanctuary that has a living and a therapeutic program for people in recovery. And traveling to meet other people in recovery to share stories and gain wisdom and hope for change.
My idea of misery. Never finding a place again that feels like home.
My greatest regret. Not knowing enough to be better advocates for my parents.
My proudest moment. I honestly can’t say. I’ve had moments I am proud of – but I am not yet in a place that my proudest has happened. Let’s see how I feel when I finish grad school shall we?
Other than myself, who would I like to be? Carol Burnett or Dr. Doolittle
Where I would like to live. Down south baby. On the commune with the addicts and the cows. And a pig or two.
My favorite color. Carolina blue.
My favorite authors. Seriously? I can’t even begin to list them. And I always feel exposed when I try. So let’s go with: I am drawn to stories written by everyone from Fanny Flagg to Pearl S. Buck and Khaled Hosseini. There are very few books I won’t try if someone I like, likes it.
My favorite poets. Dylan Thomas, William Shakespeare
My favorite composers/musicians. Same as authors. I could listen to Toni Price, Lynn and Poe all day. But genre, emotions those things will dictate what’s appealing to me. When I was a kid—my Dad was in a bluegrass band and spending summers in Myrtle Beach, SC I was a shagger and knew all the beach bands by their first names. If it makes me dance, smile or breathe—I listen to it.
My favorite painters/designers/photographers. You’re killing me here! So—I could Google and drop some fairly well known edgy artists and talk about how their use of colors or shadows move me. But truth is—I didn’t see much beauty for a lot of years in my addiction. Gallery openings in NYC were a reason to put on ridiculously high heels, too short skirts and get trashed. I have spent most of my adult life in a haze and cultivating a sense of art was the last thing on my mind! Now? I find breathtaking beauty in the sun on green trees. The first flower of the spring and walking my dogs in nature. I couldn’t tell you that artist’s name—but She’s made some beautiful things for us to see.
My hero(es). See above. Carol Burnett and Dr. Doolittle. Oh and St. Francis of Assisi. No—I’m not Catholic but I have adopted him as my own personal saint.
My favorite food and drink. Chocolate. Liquid and solid form.
My drug of (lack of) choice when I was using. Vodka, vodka and more vodka.
What I hate most of all. Cruelty
The natural talent I'd like to be gifted with. Small talk.
How I want to die. Very very very old and possibly having sex.
My present state of mind. Contemplative and anxious
Faults for which I have the most indulgence. People who lie, hide and are challenged to trust and bond.
My favorite motto.
Be kind always.
ABOUT RECOVERY REVELATIONS™
Our Recovery Revelations Questionnaire is based on the questions of a late 19th century English "confessions album" later mistakenly attributed to French novelist, Marcel Proust. Vanity Fair uses a version for their Proust Questionnaire and James Lipton uses a variation on Inside the Actors' Studio.
You are encouraged to engage the interviewee and explore their answers further in the comments.
If you'd like to be share your Recovery Revelations, please contact Chris for details.