As I sit here in a log cabin on my girlfriend’s sister’s property in Latvia, I think of the of the progress that has been made.

  • Final draft of The Addict with a Thousand Faces: done.

  • The mosaic project: 930 out of 1000 photos collected.

  • Three years of freedom from bondage and oblivious masochism: check

  • Relationship with self: continuing to develop and grow.

  • A wonderful girlfriend: have (thanks to the initial freedom listed above).

  • Friendships: made

  • 2.5 year teaching contract at children’s language school in Xi’an, China: completed

  • Enroll in school to get degree: the learning commences next week.

I’ll keep you all updated on the progress of TAWATF. After I’ve collected all the photos, I’ll need to secure permission to have a poster printed, from about 500 people. I’ll also need to collect clean dates of those who sent photos, for the database that will be in the back of the book.

Very busy over here. Here’s a behind the scenes peek of my “office.” (I’m now teaching online so I need to have a proper background.)



June 5th, 2019: We have around 545 photos for the mosaic! I’ve rendered this lion mosaic as a celebration. It represents courage. To step away from the comfortable zone of chemical succor, and into the unknown of recovery, takes a HUGE amount of courage.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to upload the full version that allows for clear details when you zoom in. So for now, this will suffice.

The mosaic project gains power with every photo sent in. I am reminded of a dream I once had…we (humanity) were battling a dark force that had materialized into the world…and every person that “woke up” in the dream, contributed to our potential to win—we gained power…power in Numbers.

Lion Mosaic The Addict with a Thousand Faces Memoir

Recovery Today Magazine Article

Thank you, Recovery Today Magazine, for publishing my article about The Addict with a Thousand Faces’ mosaic cover project. Because I live in China, I only have online contact with the recovery community. This adds an extra challenge when trying to connect with people in the recovery community. To have the support of Recovery Today Magazine is a blessing. Comforting, like knowing there is a jar full of cookies in the kitchen, or knowing that all the clothes in the house are clean. Check them out if you haven’t already. The magazine is free!

Recovery Today Magazine
Jacob O'Cain Mosaic Project The Addict with a Thousand Faces


As of May 8th, 2019, we have 335 photos for the mosaic! Thank you everyone, I am truly grateful for your support. My schedule lately consists of planning, teaching and behavior managing classes at the school I teach at, and making Instagram thank you shout outs for all of you who have sent a photo in (and sending out more cards to collect more photos.) I balance the time between these two endeavors with people who are close to me (especially one person in particular.) All in all, I am staying super busy with things that are important to me.

My manuscript (The Addict with a Thousand Faces) is still in the hands of the editor and will be until the middle of the month. I’m not yet sure what the final mosaic cover image will be. I’ll wait until I get a couple hundred more photos to begin experimenting with different options. Hope you’re all well, sitting straight, standing tall, breathing free and enjoying life! —Jake

(If you’re in recovery and would like to send a photo for the mosaic that will be on the front cover of my memoir, you can send a clean and sober picture to my email——my Instagram DM—@jacob_ocain—or by clicking on the button below.

We now have 100 heroes!

We now have 100 photos for the mosaic front cover! Thank you all. One thousand faces of one thousand heroes will be here soon!

We now have 100 photos for the mosaic front cover! Thank you all. One thousand faces of one thousand heroes will be here soon!


For the past two months, I’ve been sending messages to people in recovery, asking them if they’d like to send in a photo for the mosaic cover of my memoir, The Addict with a Thousand Faces. The first one hundred messages I sent were hand written cards that I had painted designs on. I was excited when the first person (@profbsquared, Danielle of Voices from Rock Bottom podcast) sent a photo in, and I still get excited when a person sends one in. Everyone who has contributed has expressed gratitude for the project, and it has an impact on me every time they do. I am reminded every day of how it (the mosaic project) carries deep meaning for us who are in recovery and as well as those who are not, as it represents…

  • The potential for overcoming odds.

  • A life of joy and freedom

  • Hope

  • Unity

To show my appreciation for those who have already sent a photo in, and as well as to give inspiration and hope, I’ve compiled this 100 Faces mosaic (above). Thank you all, you guys rock and you have opened my eyes to the goodness in this community. 

If you haven’t sent a photo in and are interested, you can (Instagram) DM me any picture of you, as long as it is of you clean and sober. Or, you can send a photo using the “upload photo” button on the top right of this page.

If you like this idea, feel free to share this with your friends so we can reach our goal of 1000 faces! Love you guys!

Mosaic memoir cover project is active on Instagram!


Great news! People are now sending their photo in. The video above is one I made specifically for Instagram, but it applies to everyone across all platforms—if you are in recovery from drugs or alcohol and you can send a photo to me, you are welcome to be a part of The Addict with a Thousand Faces mosaic cover. I’m accepting photos on Instagram @jacob_ocain and on Facebook @jacob.ocain.books. Or, you can upload using the button below. Thank you so much, y’all.


To recognize and inspire the hero within

In recognition of this—that us recovering addicts are on the Hero’s Journey—I thought it would be really cool to use a mosaic photo composed of hundreds of recovering addicts and their clean dates, for the cover of my memoir.”
— Jacob O'Cain

Summer Palace, Beijing

Hi, my name’s Jake. I’m a recovering drug addict (among many many other things). August 28th, 2016 was the last time I put poison in my body. I haven’t been too active in the recovery community because I live in China and recovery is more or less unheard of here. So, I don’t feel I’ve yet found my voice in it.

Since getting clean and sober, writing has become my ally, my sponsor. After many years, and numerous editing phases, I’ve now finished my memoir, and I’m ready to share it with the world. I think publishing my story will be my way of giving back and getting involved in the community.


Joseph Campbell wrote a book called “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” In it, he compares different hero myths from around the world. Jesus. Buddha. Moses. Prometheus. Odysseus. And many more. He points out that these heroic myths share a similar blueprint—the hero leaves the known world and goes on a journey where he meets enemies and allies. He is challenged and faced with temptations—tests. He overcomes them, and transforms into a greater being. Then, he returns to the ordinary world to share what he has learned. 

What does this mean?

The myths originated in different places, with different cultures and at different time periods. But they’re similar in structure. Why? They are of a language innate within us humans—they are a map for our own spiritual growth and for (re)connecting with our inner hero. 


As people who have struggled with addiction, we each have our unique story to tell, but, just as the blueprint for the Hero is the same, so too are our journeys parallel—because what we are acting out is the journey of the Hero. Recognizing this has giving my addiction, and my life, tremendous meaning. To be part of such a Heroic journey is a great privilege. 

The Addict with a Thousand Faces is my story, but my story is only one account of countless others whose story shares the same blueprint. 

In recognition of this—that us recovering addicts are on the Hero’s Journey—I thought it would be really cool to use a mosaic photo composed of hundreds of recovering addicts and their clean dates, for the cover of my memoir. I’ll include their names and clean dates in an index in the back of the book. I think this will…

1) Help spread awareness of addiction and recovery, and offer hope that it’s possible to recover.

2) Help link addiction and recovery with the Hero’s journey—a context that has a truly deep meaning.

3) On a personal level, it will help me get involved with the recovery community. 

Jacob O’Cain The Addict with a Thousand Faces

Thank you all for you support, and for inspiring me to make my voice heard. 

If you’d like for your photo to be part of The Addict with a Thousand Faces, you can upload it using the button below.