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PJ's Blog

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It’s Nice to Meet You

September 28, 2022

Hello, everyone, I’m Rev. Janice Ford, but most people know me as Pastor Janice or PJ, and I am President of the Board of Directors of Opening the Word. I also run a non-profit sober house in Webster and am the Facility Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Services at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction.

I am an Episcopal priest (Protestant Christian), and I have been working in the field of recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) since 2009. I am also a Master’s Degree prepared Registered Nurse with a specialization in adult trauma.

I’m sharing all this with you so that you know who will be writing this blog. It’s important that you understand my perspective in dealing with SUD. Probably the most important thing you need to know about me is that I am NOT someone in recovery. This is important because I want you to know that I will never say, “I know how you feel,” because I don’t. I have not walked your path, but I have walked alongside those who suffer from SUD. My education and experience with those in recovery have provided me with a good understanding of the disease and ways to manage it. I truly consider myself an ally to those in recovery.

From my perspective as a nurse clinician, I am able to share with you information regarding the physical, mental, and emotional management of substance use disorder. As a priest, I can share what I know to be a critical link between SUD and a person’s relationship with the God of their understanding. Over the past 13 years, I have seen firsthand how the blending of these two perspectives can greatly benefit those living with SUD.

At Opening the Word Peer Recovery Center, we take a holistic approach to SUD. Our weekly programs address physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness, and we tap into the individual’s creative energy as a means to express thoughts and feelings related to SUD. We offer All Recovery meetings rather than AA or NA because we believe it is important to focus on ALL pathways to recovery.

In the weeks to come, I hope that the words I offer in this blog will be informative, encouraging, and comforting to those who read them. I am not looking to debate or challenge anyone with the topics I write about. My goal is simply to offer my knowledge, experience, and compassion to those suffering from SUD as well as to those who care for them.

Until next time…


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