Our name comes from the strip of grass that runs in the middle of New Orleans streets. The neutral ground is where New Orleanians go to get the day's news and shoot the shit, a place to exist exactly as we are. It's where we meet our neighbors, a central space on the borders of clear divides.
The idea for The Neutral Ground developed out of a waxing and waning friendship between me and Nikki. We met in grad school and lost touch for a while, but periodically we checked in with each other and took walks around the Treme or had coffee in the Quarter. Each time, we found we were both seeking. Nikki became a mother; I got sober. Both of these things profoundly shifted how we looked at the world. A better way to say this is that these things reoriented our outlooks back to who we truly are.
I love blogs about life, wellness, and recovery, but so many give me the best version of a woman on her best hair day at the best retreat on earth. I'd love to spend two weeks at a beach in Mexico to recharge, but I desperately need ways to care for and heal myself I can actually attain. And I need images and stories of women like me doing the same. That's the heart pull of this site for me.
I want to show what it looks like to heal and recover on a regular wage. We don't need expensive essential oil sets (although they're awesome) or retreats in gorgeous beaches (also great, but alas). We need some solid daily practices, service in our communities, a fuck-ton of real connection, and to share our stories.
Jamie in a nutshell
Jamie Amos is a writer in recovery who believes we change the stigma of addiction through story. Her fiction has appeared in The Greensboro Review, Cold Mountain Review, and storySouth, among others. Articles about recovery have been featured at IntheNola and Klen & Sobr. She lives in New Orleans, blogs at The Neutral Ground, and photographs her pitbull on Instagram.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted to Write A Novel. She loved stories and knew that she had ones to share with the world, and the identity for her entire future self became centered around being a Person Who Writes A Novel. The years passed and this little girl grew up and went to school to learn how to become a Person Who Writes a Novel. And she wrote a bunch of short stories and some of them were pretty good and writing well was the hardest, most rewarding thing she had ever experienced.
Then a lot of life happened, and the little girl suddenly found herself a Grown Woman who was married with two kids and a full-time job, and The Novel had yet to materialize. The grown woman was ashamed of this, and allowed her shame to suck all the enjoyment out of writing until she barely did it at all. Because if she wasn't working on The Novel, what was the point really?
Then the grown woman realized that that was bullshit, and she would much rather be a Person Who Writes Essays about stuff that interests her than a Person Who Writes Nothing At All. So she reconnected with an old friend, started a blog, and now she is much happier about Writing. She's still working on that novel, but now she also writes about parenting, spirituality, and simple living with as little of a filter as possible.