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Puzzle wall, sends strong message about addiction recovery

'Pieces of recovery' puzzle project creator says people are stronger when recovering together.

PORTLAND, Maine — A wall full of puzzle pieces, tells a powerful story about recovery.

"We're stronger together and the opposite of addiction is connection," said creator Glenn Simpson.

The artwork puts together 354 unique puzzle pieces with quotes of resilience. The pieces represent the number of overdose deaths in Maine last year. Glenn Simpson traveled around the state collecting people's stories.

"I think one of the words that pops up the most out of all 354, is the word right here, freedom," said Simpson.

The art was on display at Portland Recovery Community Center's 'Rally 4 Recovery' Sunday.

"Community is huge for people in recovery," said recovery coach Erin McKinney.

McKinney struggled with alcohol abuse for three years. She lost her job and friends.

"I was drinking to escape. It very much got to the point where I was drinking to be unconscious," said McKinney.

The 30-year-old said she wanted to stop wasting her life. After several relapses, she is proud to say she is sixteen months sober.

"Everything is new after you escape for so long," said McKinney.

McKinney is now a recovery coach at Portland Recovery Community Center. She is helping others who are trying to put the puzzle pieces back together.

"It's totally possible it doesn't feel like it, but it's totally possible," said McKinney.


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