What Part Of “Fatal Disease” Don’t We Understand? – Kyczy Hawk

I identify myself as a person in recovery. For years I identified myself with naming my disease (ADDICTION) but I am now “Kyczy, a woman in recovery from addiction, alcoholism, and a few other “isms’ as well.” But the lead is I AM A WOMAN IN RECOVERY. I know this isn’t according to Hoyle, or the customary practices of introducing ourselves at twelve step meetings, but I believe in creating mental habits of healing. The husband of a dear friend, someone with multiples of years sober, forgot that he was in recovery. He forgot to go to meetings, his sponsor had become an occasional friend, one he seldom reached out to anymore. He became isolated; he forgot that addiction is a disease of separation. He forgot that he couldn’t stay well alone, he forgot his spirituality and eventually he forgot that he wasn’t a drinker. Dead after twelve days: found… Continue reading

Pink Elephants, But No Snakes in My Boots ((A little tango with denial) – Mark Masserant

Yikes! It was the third time this week, and it was still Tuesday. “Dude, you’d better get off the booze.” It didn’t matter where Dishonest John went—it followed him everywhere. Dammit, at least his bowling team was supposed to be on his side, wasn’t it? Sheesh! He pointed at a few nearby barflies in protest. “Whoa, now! What about them?” His familiar Budweiser accent boomed, rattling the establishment’s stemware. “Get off my back! I ain’t that bad!” After the outburst, he snatched his bottle and slipped back into his comfort zone directly across from the barmaid and his blurry reflection in the tavern mirror. “… Ain’t that bad…,” he grumbled to anyone who would listen. Meanwhile, legions of dipsomaniacs who populate bars and easy chairs everywhere are singing the same old tune. Many will succumb to despair if they don’t cease their deadly dance with denial. Twelve Step Recovery shops… Continue reading

I am not Culturally Competent – By Phil Valentine

Can you imagine saying you are not culturally competent during a job interview? Probably wouldn’t go too well from that point forward. But I am not culturally competent. That was hard for me to finally understand. I wanted to be competent. I still do. It finally dawned on me that it wasn’t possible. Many years ago, cultural competency was THE thing. It came after cultural tolerance and cultural diversity. The latest terms are cultural humility and cultural intelligence. I like those ideas. My first exposure to cultural training occurred in the 1990’s. I was taught about the history, rituals and foods of specific cultures. I thought there might be more to culture than that. There was. I attended Racism of the Well-Intended, where Jim Wuelfing (white) and Art Woodard (black) discussed deep issues of race and ethnicity. I didn’t like it. In fact, it pissed me off. So I took… Continue reading

Benefits of Learning Traditional Crafts as a Recovery Aid – By Jackie

When you can’t find the words to express how you’re feeling, expressing yourself through a craft has been shown to be highly effective. Over 66% of patients in one study even reported that using art as therapy was associated with significant positive changes in mental health symptoms. While addiction treatment takes shape in many different forms, there are certain techniques that can be used to compound the beneficial effects of any type of treatment, and one of these is participating in arts and crafts. Learning a traditional craft or simply engaging in an artistic activity that allows a person to express themselves is a great way for people in recovery to explore their emotions in a healthy way while also learning something new. What Exactly is Art Therapy?   Differing from traditional therapy such as individual, group, or relapse prevention, art therapy is a bit of a mix of skills-focused therapy that relies on using nonverbal… Continue reading

Amends…….On The Flip Side – Jillian O

I don’t follow a 12-step program. I’ve been to AA meetings, several in fact, and I have received some benefit from going to them. But AA never resonated with me, for many reasons, and maybe I’ll lay those out in anther post…. But one thing has been swirling around in my mind lately… this idea of “amends”. This is a critical step in 12-step programs. And I get it. There are many, many things I regret–behaviors, decisions, and so on– that I most definitely would not have done, or not in the same manner or to the same degree, sober. And these regretted behaviors or decisions absolutely hurt people I love (at worst, and often deeply) or inconvenienced others (at best), and there’s a full spectrum in between. But in this time, I am feeling a need for balance. Because I am wondering why it is society and/or recovery programs… Continue reading