• relapse quote
    Self Inflicted Wounds Self Inflicted Wounds

    Self Inflicted Wounds

Self Inflicted Wounds

If we did autopsies on relapses, the most prevalent listed finding would be: Relapse due to self inflicted wounds.  Self inflicted wounds occur when we focus the considerable self destructive weapons in our arsenal, to hurt and maim, our oldest, truest friend, ourselves.  One addict explains, “I got all up in my head,” preceding the damage report. Who hasn’t observed a friend having a world class pity party, on his way to acting out. These are the self inflicted wounds. Many deal with issues not of their own making, unrequested trauma, genetic or cultural issues not of their choosing. These […]

  • choice
    About Choice and Addiction About Choice and Addiction

    About Choice and Addiction

About Choice and Addiction

When the conversation turns to addiction, “Why don’t they just quit?” is often the first question asked. New research is indicating that addicts and alcoholics may be able to do just that: choose their way out of their addictive behaviors, with the right set of incentives and consequences. The understanding of addiction and best treatment practices has come along way in the last 80 years. In the ’30s and ’40s alcoholics and drug misusers were thought of as moral derelicts. Treatment consisted of long visits to the sanitarium where little help was offered other than an atmosphere of abstinence. It was […]

  • fat lady3
    Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

    Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Recovery, It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

Yogi Berra taught us all that it ain’t over til the fat lady sings!  The process of recovery has a similar final act. To the general public, the term “recovery” is seen as “someone who is trying to stop using alcohol or other drugs.” (NCADD)   It then follows that the process of recovery is accomplished when we stop using.  Achieving the thing we call sobriety. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently undertook to quantify what the process of recovery might look like.  Their work yielded this definition:  “Recovery is a process of change whereby individuals […]

  • dd99cac75f042c3e36d72b677a982f92-1
    My Higher Power and Me My Higher Power and Me

    My Higher Power and Me

My Higher Power and Me

There was a tremendous spurt of recovery for me when I first heard the phrase, “Turn my mind and will over to my Heavenly Father for His care and keeping.”  My up bringing had included faith and regular interaction with God, but I had never contemplated that my submission to Him should be so described. I guess I held a sort of Old Testament view of Him being the “great and terrible” and my job was to run around and keep as many of those commandments as I could to avoid being outside when the door was shut. As I began […]

  • walking
    She walked through it… She walked through it…

    She walked through it…

She walked through it…

I visited with a friend the other day and she surprised me.  She had a very traumatic childhood and had struggled to manage her emotional life as an adult.  Rage was her number one tool of empowerment.  The rage gave her a sense of power but left her without friends or partners, she chased them all away. As we talked she recounted a story to me that in the past would have ended in rage that she handled in a very healthy way.  I marveled at her new skills and couldn’t help asking how she had accomplished it.  She said, […]

  • prayer
    You Know How I Am … You Know How I Am …

    You Know How I Am …

You Know How I Am …

An addicts prayer:  “God, help me to serve others, because, you know how I am.” Indeed, He does know how we are.  As addicts we share a common heritage of being concerned with ourselves first.  Our “I want what I want, when I want it,” mantra is never far from running our show.  The antidote we must take as often as we can is to serve others. Surprisingly, we often don’t realize how selfish and self centered we are.  Our addiction comes with a nice auxiliary package of blindness that helps us ignore that.  We very often think that we […]

  • rose
    Remember the Rose Remember the Rose

    Remember the Rose

Remember the Rose

The great American psychologist Albert Ellis once said, “Self-esteem is the greatest sickness known to man or woman because it is conditional.” Indeed, the finding of a healthy self-esteem is the greatest mental health challenge many face in their lifetime. Individual worth (and the self-esteem that is harvested from it) is not situational and should not be established by comparison, evaluation or an individual’s last great or terrible accomplishment. Those are the conditional elements Ellis was referring to. They are often not within an individual’s control. “Life happens” as the street therapist would say. Russel Seigenberg, Ph.D., of Logan, Utah, […]

  • Worry(LowRes)
    Acceptance is Still the Answer Acceptance is Still the Answer

    Acceptance is Still the Answer

Acceptance is Still the Answer

Acceptance is the answer, still. I was reminded yet again this week, of the importance of bringing acceptance into our lives. Without it, recovery escapes us. As a client rehearsed to me his struggles with his relationship to his wife, it became very clear to me that his struggle was not with his wife, but with his own acceptance of  her and her personality. (In other words it was not about her, but about his stuff.) In AA’s Big Book Chapter, “Acceptance was the Answer,” the writer states, “when I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, […]

  • 135530270005902245_R7ZFWqZk_b
    Not all Putts Fall Not all Putts Fall

    Not all Putts Fall

Not all Putts Fall

Anyone that imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed.  the fact is most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise …The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.  (Gordon B Hinckly)

  • Insp12
    The Attitudes of Recovery The Attitudes of Recovery

    The Attitudes of Recovery

The Attitudes of Recovery

Recovery is not easy. It has many requirements. Requirement number one and fundamental to the process of recovery is the maintenance of certain attitudes. Loss of any of these attitudes derails the recovery train. We will not make it to our desired destination. The Attitudes of Recovery are: Willingness: When the sum of our faith and humility is sufficient, it reaches a type of spiritual critical mass. Hope is fostered and grows and a willing heart emerges that allows us to submit to the process of recovery. Commitment: As Maxwell has said, “The winds of tribulation blow out some men’s candle of […]