My Heart Still Beats

Credit Janelle Sing

A six-part series from Writers for Recovery and VPR, featuring conversation about addiction and original writing from the recovery community around Vermont.

Writers for Recovery runs writing workshops for people recovering from substance use disorder. In My Heart Still Beats, we hear some of their stories, meet people helping those in recovery rebuild their lives.

As deaths related to opioid use continue to rise across the country, My Heart Still Beats offers stories of hope, and lessons learned.

Join us Monday, March 11 at Burlington's Turning Point Center to continue the conversation. We’ll listen to segments from the series and speak with the writers and podcast producers. Reserve your free tickets here.

Stream the episodes below, or find My Heart Still Beats in your preferred podcasting app:


Broadcast schedule:

  • Monday, Feb. 25—Friday, March 1: Broadcast during Vermont Edition at noon and 7 p.m.
  • March 2: Final episode broadcast during Weekend Edition Saturday

Support for My Heart Still Beats comes from the VPR Innovation Fund, and SB Signs.

To learn how to make a transformational gift to support projects and podcasts like this one, contact VPR’s Senior VP of Development and Marketing, Brendan Kinney, at

Producer Bess O'Brien, left, Sally Greeno, Abbie Holden, Mike Lucier, Liz McDougal, Mark Legrand and producer Gary Miller speak with a live audience at Turning Point Center in Burlington on March 11, 2019.
Ty Robertson / VPR

What role does storytelling have in addressing the opioid crisis? In March, Vermont Public Radio hosted a gathering at the Turning Point Center of Burlington to talk through that question with the team behind My Heart Still Beats.

A drawn portrait of Abbie Holden.
Illustration: Janelle Sing | Design: Angela Evancie

"When you have anxiety, or chronic depression, your mind is constantly going. And I tried opiates and realized that my brain was just quiet for a little bit."

A drawn portrait of Sally Greeno.
Illustration: Janelle Sing | Design: Angela Evancie

"When you're told over and over, 'Your child's a problem child — he's bad, he's bad, he's bad, he's bad!' ... You believe your kid's bad."

A drawn portrait of Mark LeGrand.
Illustration: Janelle Sing | Design: Angela Evancie

"There were three things you could be good at: fighting, drinking or sports. So, I stink at sports. I can't fight. But I guess I can drink."

A drawn portrait of Mike Lucier.
Illustration: Janelle Sing | Design: Angela Evancie

"You’re right, I probably do deserve to be in jail the rest of my life. Or, I do deserve to give my life for hers. But since I can’t, let’s save somebody else’s life."

A drawn portrait of Dr. Javad Mashkuri with the text Emergency Room written next to the illustration.
Illustration: Janelle Sing | Design: Angela Evancie

"I think in the past, people would say, 'Look. People don’t want to talk about this.' ... And the truth is, people want to talk about this stuff, if you give them the right forum."

A drawn portrait of Kate O'Neill.
Illustration: Janelle Sing | Design: Angela Evancie

"We're not alone. People who have this addiction, and people who love people who have this addiction — we're not alone."

My Heart Still Beats logo. Text says VPR My Heart Still Beats, a project of Writers for Recovery and has illustrations of six people.
Janelle Sing

A six-part series from Writers for Recovery and Vermont Public Radio, featuring voices from Vermont's recovery community. Coming February 25.