In the News

A Strange and Useful Word

by Nancy Casey

The word if. We say it all the time. When we do, we are experimenting with an idea that isn’t quite real. Although dwelling constantly in a state of unreality is never recommended, a bit of if-thinking about what’s not real can give us insight into what is real.

Sometimes we say if to speculate about the future and perhaps express our hopes or concerns. If it rains tomorrow… If everything goes as planned… If I can’t sleep tonight… In cases like that, the word if allows us to make plans and consider alternatives.

We can use if to contemplate the impossible.  If I had enough money… If I was on vacation now… If it was summer and not winter… Using if in this way gives us a chance to imagine the world the way we wish it was. This kind of thinking can often help us clarify what we want.

If can also be a word that allows us to contemplate our regrets, to look at the past and wish it was different. If my friend was still alive… If I had done better on that test… If I had remembered my keys… We are advised not to wallow in this kind of if, but these types of statements help us express grief and understand problems.

Sometimes we look at the past with relief, not regret. If helps us do that, too. If that car had hit me… If I hadn’t found a job… If I hadn’t arrived on time… In cases like that, if  helps us appreciate our good fortune.

Today, in your writing, use the word if as much as you can. Before you begin writing, draw a line at the top of your page where your title will go. Set aside some space for illustration or doodling if you like.

Get your writing started, by putting down the word If, and continue on with whatever pops into your mind next. Explain it as much as your care to, and then continue and write another statement that begins with If. If you find yourself making a long explanation of an ifideamaybe you can insert an if-statement into the explanation of the if-statement that you started with.

Don’t worry too much about reality or organization. Instead, as you write the page, try to use the word if as many times as you can.

When your page has filled up, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like. Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is just one example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

Wash It Away!

by Nancy Casey

The water in a river washes away enough dirt and rock to carve out the likes of the Grand Canyon. The water from a showerhead can wash away hours—or days—of personal grime and maybe worries and cares as well. A surprise summer rain can wash away particles of dust and smoke and turn the air clear and sweet. A good long sleep can wash away mountains of stress and fatigue.

Let your writing for today open your mind to imagining the miracle of washing-away.

What do you think would be fun to wash out of your life and understanding? Think about that as you set up your page: a line across the top where your title will go and, optionally, a box, blob, or other sort of space set aside for illustration.

Consider the dirt and clutter of your surroundings. How could a selective waterfall transform them to your liking? Think about the pollutants and microbes that could be carried off in a sudden, possibly soapy, shower. How would the wider world—a car, a building, a town, a country—benefit from the woosh! of a good washing-away?

Are there thoughts and memories you’d like to have washed from your mind? Or events that you’d like to see loosened up and floated out of history?

Begin writing without overthinking it. As soon as your mind lights on a good candidate for being washed away. Write it down. Say a little bit about it. Say even more if you like. Maybe you’ll fill the whole page writing about that single thing—what it is, what it would look like as it is washed away, where it will go, what the world will be like when it has disappeared.

It could turn out that so many possible candidates for washing-away pop into your mind, that your page will fill up and seem more like a list. Or it could turn out to be a string of phrases and sentences, all describing what you would love to see swirling around, then disappearing down the drain at the center of the universe.

If you wanted to, you could even organize your writing in the form of a spiral, circling round and round on the page, so that all the ideas in your writing tumble towards a point at the center.

Somehow your page will fill up. When it does, look back over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like. Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.

Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is just one example of a page that someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

Don’t Want To!

by Nancy Casey

A major part of adulting, it seems, involves a whole lot of doing things that you don’t want to do. Being disciplined. Being a good sport. Doing it whether you want to or not. Often because if you don’t do it, no one else will—and it has to get done.

Today, fill a page by writing about things you did even though you didn’t want to.

Set up your page with a line across the top where your title will go. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration.

As you do the page setup, open your mind to the recent past. Consider your daily habits. What did you do that you didn’t feel like doing at the time?

Think about the kinds of tasks you dread. And do anyway. When do you motivate yourself only because you have no choice? Do you have un-favorite parts of your job? What do you procrastinate? Are there aspects of your personal maintenance routine that you’d just as soon skip, but can’t?

Did you halt some words before they left your lips? Did you choose to not-engage in a habit that you are trying to kick?

Have you upended a plan so that you could give attention to the needs of a friend, a family member or a stranger? Did you disturb your sleep? Give up an outing? Get behind on a project? Drive somewhere? Get hot, get cold, get tired, find patience?

Life would be a cake-walk if we only had to do the things that we felt like doing. Sometimes people have to direct themselves to do what’s necessary instead of what they want in that moment. Fill a page with ideas about times that has happened to you.

Add drawing, illustration or color to your page in any way that you like.

When the page is full, read it over. Does it sound like complaining? Can you add or change a few words so it sounds more like congratulations? Maybe you can do that with the title you choose.

Whatever a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

A Pleasant Surprise

by Nancy Casey

We make plans. We have expectations. Life happens, and things don’t pan out the way we thought they would. Because they turned out even better. Or some good thing we couldn’t have imagined occurred. Pleasant surprises. Whoopee! Today, write about one or more of them that you have experienced in your life.

Think about unexpected good things that have fallen into your lap as you set up your page. Draw a line across the top where your title will go. You can also draw a box or blob that you’ll use for illustration.

Have you ever dreaded an event or an encounter only to have it turn into a delightful experience? How about starting a task that you knew would be difficult, if not impossible, and then discovering that it was easy, a piece of cake? What about losing something very important only to have it turn up in the very first place you look?

If you are a bit forgetful, you can pleasantly surprise yourself in hilarious ways. Have you ever completed a task, forgot you did it, then experienced the surprise of having it already done when you set out to do it?

Strangers, friends, and loved ones can surprise us unexpectedly with kindness. Have you ever come up short in a check-out line and had the stranger behind you slap a couple dollars on the counter? Have you ever received a card, a gift, or a message from someone for no reason other than that they are glad that you exist? When have you received unexpected but very useful help?

Consider all those different moments when you saw the future as difficult or glum, and then—through no fault or effort of your own—something happy or heart-warming occurred.

Begin writing about the first pleasant surprise that comes to your mind. If there is still room on the page, write about another one. And another one, if it will fit. Until the page is full.

If nothing comes to mind at first, begin by scribbling or drawing. That can help your mind relax so you can think more clearly. When the memory of some pleasant surprise does pop into your awareness, write about it and see where it takes you. One idea usually leads to another one. If your ideas don’t flow easily, go back to doodling and wait patiently for them to come.

When you feel like you’ve written enough, stop. If there’s still room on the page, fill it with drawing or decoration.

When the page is completely full, look it over carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.

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Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

Milestones

by Nancy Casey

Originally, milestones were rocks alongside the road. Stones that marked the miles. They didn’t tend to be flashy, although they could be in flashy places. On a long journey, you would pass a lot of them.

Today, when we say “milestone” we are talking about reference points in our lives.

Make a list of some of the milestones you have passed so for on the journey of your life.

Major life events make milestones, of course: births, deaths, marriages, graduations, moving to a new place, getting a new job. Anything you start. Anything that comes to an end.

Not every milestone has a big story attached to it. Some milestones are simply markers in your life history that are personal. When you acquired a certain possession can be a milestone—a car, a pair of shoes, a dinner plate, a houseplant. The moments when people or pets came into your life can function as milestones, too. If you can attach a “before” and an “after” to it, it’s a milestone.

Events are often milestones. An accident, a test, a vacation, a trip downtown… It depends on what happened and how and why you remember it.

Milestones also exist in our minds. Learning new facts and skills. Understanding a conflict in a new way. A realization that changes your attitude.

Think about the milestones of your experience—big and small—as you set up your page. Draw a line at the top where your title will go. Write the letters of the alphabet, A-Z, down the left-hand side of the page.

As milestones occur to you, write something about them next to a letter that stands for a word in your description. You’re only going to have one line to describe your milestone. That’s not much room. Write a few words, maybe a sentence, with just enough information that you could recall what you were thinking of if you read it again in a week or a year.

For example, if you remember a time you got a piece of news about Charlie, and also that you happened to be wearing a red shirt, you could write something like any of these:

  • Red shirt that I was wearing when I heard about Charlie.
  • Shirt, red. The one I was wearing when I found out that Charlie…
  • Wearing a red shirt and learning that Charlie…
  • Charlie, and the day I found out that…

Depending on who Charlie is and what happened, there would be other words whose first letters you could borrow to put that milestone on your list.

If you can’t decide what to write, begin by scribbling or drawing around the margines. That can help your mind relax so you can think more clearly. When an idea for something to write pops into your mind, find a letter of the alphabet where it will fit and write it down. Don’t be too fussy about how you start. One idea usually leads to another one.

When you have a milestone for every letter, look over your page carefully and make small changes if you like. When a title idea floats to the surface of your mind, write it at the top of the page.

Write the date on the page too, along with a signature or your initials.

Here is an example of what someone could write.

You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.


Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.

We’re hiring!

Please apply with resume and cover letter by 2/9, 5pm. Email to latahrecoverycenter@gmail.com, or mail to Latah Recovery Center, 531 S Main, Moscow, ID 83843.

Latah Recovery Center

Re-Entry Case Manager

Job Description

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Salary Range: $20.00 min DOE

General Information:        

This is a full-time position that reports directly to the Latah Recovery Center (LRC) Executive Director and works with officials at the Latah County Jail.

Summary:                

Long-term viability of this position is dependent on the Case Managers ability to successfully implement the 2021 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Re-Integration grant.

This position works with participants entering LRC programs thru incarceration at the Latah County Jail.  The Re-Entry Case Manager works in concert with Recovery Coaches to provide pre- and post-release support with comprehensive planning and connection to resources that are not only a requirement for release but also foundational to success in carrying out the reentry plan. These resources support and assist with sober living using the tools and staff available at the Center. Assists individuals with planning and resource identification and application prior to release, so they have a clear path outlined when reentering the community. The case managers goal for all participants is to establish more resources to be available to inmates at the outset of release, to include food, clothing, and personal.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

The Re-Entry Case Manager shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Serve as lead on the progress of the proposed enhanced reentry services.
    1. Coordinating the development and proposal of project goals, timelines, evaluations, and routine reports with the Latah Recovery Center Director as well as participating in any necessary communications, site visits, and progress reports with IDHW.
  2. Case management as returning citizens navigate thru Treatment Court Phases 1-4 (Early Recovery, Decision Making, Community Transition and Aftercare) or are otherwise identified by county staff, including ongoing follow-up in first 6 months after release.
    1. Individualized re-entry planning-including a “1st day of re-entry” plan for familiarizing with local resources.
    1. One-on-One connection with resources thru working with local agencies and peer support
    1. Track peer progress via Idaho Response to the Opioid Crisis and Latah Recovery Center intake information; and recurring data collected-including required GPRA (intake, three and six month, or discharge), program participation data, and quarterly recovery capital assessment
  3. Work with staff and volunteers to improve existing peer coaching program while incorporating returning citizens/peers into the existing program.
  4. Attend all monthly peer planning meetings, work in conjunction with Recovery Coaches to help peers grow in their recovery.
  5. Cultivate positive collaboration within the team, peers, jail and other major community partners in the re-entry program. 
  6. Support growth and program development in all areas of the Centers.
  7. Keep current peer documentation, reports and proposals. 
  8. Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Supervisory Responsibilities:   

If appropriate the Re-Entry Case Manager will supervise bachelor level non-licensed peer specialists and recovery coaches relative to their work in implementing the grant.   

Job Relationships: 

The Re-Entry Case Manager will maintain regular published office hours, peer appointments, attend all regular staff meetings, appointed board committee meetings and board of director’s meetings, as assigned.  They will establish and maintain regular contact with the Executive Director, Rural Crisis Center Network Manager, board committee chairs, recovery and re-entry related community resources, and awareness of agency-wide issues.

Qualification Requirements/Education and/or Experience:   

BA in Human Services or related field

Language Skills:   

Excellent written and verbal English is required.  

Mathematical and Computer Skills:     

Knowledge of Electronic Health Record software such as WITS or ability and willingness to learn are required.

Ethical Considerations:

  • The Recovery Center believes in Harm Reduction approaches, and maintains a Safe Syringe Exchange, naloxone and condom supply.
  • Confidentiality protocol applies to all interactions with participants and co-workers. Confidentiality involves maintaining secure consumer and internal agency information. HIPAA and other privacy regulations apply. 
  • The Clinical Crisis Intervention Specialist supports both Centers policies, goals and mission at all times. 
  • Political and social awareness are necessary professional characteristics required by the unique nature of work in a corrections atmosphere.