January 2nd

“The  most important things in life are the connections you make with others.” – Tom Ford

In the very first days of my career in the field of recovery, I was fortunate to have connected with Doctor Tom Rusk. He saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself at the time, and he took it upon himself to mentor and train me. Dr. Rusk was both a brilliant man and a brilliant psychiatrist. He was also very avant gard. This is the kind of guy Tom Rusk was: He had a patient who would not look at him; instead, the patient would keep his eyes down on the ground and would not look up. So, Tom got up from his chair, went over and laid down on the ground in front of the patient, looked up at him and said, “Now you’ll look at me.” And the patient looked at Tom!

I always loved that story because that was Tom. He was unconventional. He was a fun person, and I loved him. Tom knew the power and importance of connecting with others. He knew it so well that he was not afraid to let go of his ego and be creative in finding a way to connect with a patient.

Tom taught me to be creative, to set aside my ego, to remember the importance of connecting with others, and to make that connection a priority.