SARASOTA – An author chronicles his metamorphosis from addiction using, literally, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Johnnie Calloway explains how this transformation changes from a life of taking to one of giving.
“It fills my soul. It’s a big part of my recovery from my mental illnesses because it gets me connected to something real…. It’s amazing how raising these things and keeping them going keeps me connected to the planet. I use the metamorphosis of the butterfly as an analogy of what happens with a drug addict and a recovering addict because a caterpillar only eats, doesn’t care about anything but taking, and a butterfly only gives. It takes nectar from one plant to the next and becomes the giver… The lesson to be drawn is that we can all become givers no matter how much we’ve taken, we can all learn to give, and giving is what heals the soul… My mom died when I was five. I grew up thinking I killed her. It led me to my own drug addiction and alcoholism, and my deepest hope to help others who have lived through abuse and mental illness and are terrified of the stigmas… to be able to have a voice.”