First Person Recovery

PBS station WHYY & OC87 Recovery Diaries work with first-time filmmakers to tell their inspiring stories of recovery

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What do they get? A camera, a tripod, and a microphone.

What do they give? Perhaps their most precious possession — their life story.

OC87 Recovery Diaries and public television station WHYY have once again teamed up with first-time filmmakers to create a new series of videos that tell inspiring journeys of recovery.

In this eight-week workshop, individuals and health professionals are working with media professionals to create videos for the OC87 Recovery Diaries website. The course is designed to give participants the tools they need to tell their own powerful stories.

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Learning To Trust Again

Personal Essay by Bud Clayman

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As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, it’s very difficult for me to take the perspective of other people. I feel as though I’m giving up too much control to the other person. I feel that the person may take advantage of me emotionally by either making fun of me or looking down on me.

But this past week, I made a breakthrough in this area.

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A Hero’s Life

Ed Kozempel’s mindful journey with music By Glenn Holsten

Director of Photography Daniel Traub films Ed Kozempel and Philadelphia Orchestra associate principal flute player David Cramer
Director of Photography Daniel Traub films Ed Kozempel and Philadelphia Orchestra associate principal flute player David Cramer

When talking about his recovery journey, Ed Kozempel references Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), a tone poem by classical music composer Richard Strauss. It’s an apt reference. And while Ed wrestles with daily battles in his mind, music has always been a constant source of hope and happiness.

Ed was born and raised in North Philadelphia. With two bachelor degrees from University of the Arts (one in trombone performance and another in music education), young Ed Kozempel was well on his way to a career in music. But at age 26, mental illness interrupted his dreams.

He was lost to paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. At one time he was hospitalized with catatonic seizures. For thirty years he was in and out of hospitals, boarding homes and the street – “limbo” as he says — searching for the right path, the right medication to give him stability and a place to make music.

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