Chewing Coca Leaves – A Reservation for Relapse

I’m back from my trip to Peru. I was excited about going on this trip as it was going to be the first trip I’ve taken with a group. I usually travel alone, but this time I wanted to try something different. Prior to my trip I talked to several people about going to Peru[…]

Barbershop Wisdom

If you hang around the barber shop long enough you’re gonna get a haircut. This is usually meant to say the addict is headed for relapse, hanging around drug related people, places, and things. Why do you think the above “Barbershop” saying  has a negative spin? Social scientists have proven that we are highly influenced by others. I invite[…]

What Went Well In My Recovery (Part 3)

Support. Asking for support from my family and friends is very hard for me, because I worry about what people think about me. Asking for support is an act of acceptance, and it forces me to admit that I need the help. It’s critical to my #recovery and has made my life so much more[…]

What Went Well In My Recovery (Part 2)

Hi Michael…..I’m pleased to share how proud I feel when I see my son pursuing his career path, thinking clearly, concerned about his physical fitness, and once again being the thoughtful, caring, and loving person I knew him to be when he was a youngster. Because we came so close to what could have happened,[…]

The Holidays Are Here

During the holiday season many families get together for dinner and reunions.  For some the holidays are a joyful time, for others it can be too traumatic to endure. The mixture of personalities can and often does bring about a mixture of behaviors. Old memories of events brought to light can make for great conversation. Then[…]

What About Smoking?

You are reminded in some self help groups that Alcohol is a drug. Seventy percent of addicts and eighty five percent of alcoholics smoke. Wow, talk about addiction.  Treatment programs talk about a holistic approach. They use a medical model, but they allow smoking. One of the excuses is “lets take care of one thing at a time”. Really?[…]

Another Look at Structured Family Recovery™

To start let’s talk about treatment and what treatment offers. Treatment offers stabilization for the addict and alcoholic in the acute phase of their recovery. Most addicts and alcoholics can stay clean and sober while in treatment. There are some exceptions, but for the most part it’s doable. Treatment programs seem to know the value of family[…]

Keep It Simple Series Part 2: What Do Families Need to Understand About Recovery?

There is a lot of misunderstanding about addiction and how families can help. Stigma and denial play an important role in blocking the recovery process. “I still have a job”, “I’m too young”, and “I’m not that bad”. Somehow the idea of being a “functional addict or alcoholic” validates the continued use.  Family members buy into these misconceptions. If the[…]

Part 1: “The Beginning” Shame and Addiction

With almost thirty years of recovery and twenty five years working in the addiction recovery field, I continue to evaluate barriers to recovery. What gets in the way of truly experiencing all recovery has to offer? My answer continues to be simple. Shame. It has taken me over half of my life not to view[…]

Still Clean and Still Standing Tall

Over the past year our family has overcome many heart wrenching obstacles. It all started in June 2015. My aunt had a massive stroke. After 6 months of hospitals and long term care facilities she lost the battle to stay alive. I lost my favorite person in the world.  I lost my best friend. The[…]

Recovery…Recovered That Is The Question (Part 2)

Everyone in addiction is different and goes through their own personal process of recovery. That is the beauty of us as individuals. Everyone has their own personal battles to overcome. Some may need medication to keep from using drugs. Being on a mood stabilizer can have its benefits in the short-term; however, in the long[…]

Recovery…Recovered That Is The Question (Part 1)

The 12 step programs says that once one is in recovery they are always in recovery. Some use the term “recovered” when speaking about overcoming their addiction to drugs and alcohol. Which is correct, in recovery or recovered? And does it matter? The terms we use to describe ourselves and others matter. Language matters; however,[…]