Spiritual Geometry 101; Crooked Lines – Mark Masserant

Tragedy twists some of us so savagely that a retreat from the pain at a level deep within becomes imperative. It may be aided by the hand of the unseen, or the broken yet enduring spirit that resides in our innermost recesses, using the survival instinct in some crude yet merciful way to preserve a fragile life.  So it was with me. A deadly farm accident I witnessed when I was in my early teens inflicted trauma that cut too deep for time to heal. However, alcohol and the other substances I later used to mask the pain were marginally effective in calming my internal storms.  Though limited in its scope, even a temporary reprieve from the past I was chained to was powerful and welcome. Old memories that haunted me faded. Even so, part of me died inside on that fateful day when I was fourteen—the priceless vessel that… Continue reading

THE JOURNEY TOWARD TOLERANCE, COMPASSION, AND SERVICE (GALEN TINDER AND BILL WHITE)

  Progressive transformations of personal character and relationships are central themes within narratives of addiction and addiction recovery. Entrapment within the self and its eroding effects on personal character are endemic features of addiction. Such entrapment goes by many names (narcissism, selfishness, self-centeredness), all reflecting a reordering of one’s needs and desires that morphs into near-total self-absorption—an entire orientation of being that shapes how we face the world and process reality. How one perceives, feels, thinks, judges, and acts are all transformed within this ever-shrinking capsule of self and the dominating self-drug relationship. The loss of control and creeping fear of impending insanity within the addiction experience require extreme defensive adaptations (the masks of addiction). Common among these defense mechanisms are distortions of reality (e.g., problem minimization and denial), elaborate rationalizations, overcompensation, increased grandiosity and arrogance, projection of blame on others, constant resentments (envy/ jealousy/ anger), narrow-mindedness, black-white / either-or… Continue reading

Why Breathe? – By Kyczy Hawk

Why Breathe? Silly question. You know- that dying thing. But what I mean here is – why breathe with consciousness, with intention, with volume? Why breathe deeply, deliciously, divinely? Breathing in a healthy deep manner can help heal your body, mind and spirit. It does this in several ways; cleansing, calming, recalibrating and revitalizing. Here are some principle benefits from learning and practicing a slow deep breath. The breath is one of the five ways that the body rids itself of toxins. It is beneficial to exhale deeply slowly and completely (not to the point of dizziness or exhaustion) but enough. This will allow the toxins to be removed from the nooks and crannies of the deepest recess of your lungs. A slow deep breathing rhythm can improve your cardiovascular system, lowering the blood pressure and increasing heart function. It can improve your respiratory system; keeping the ribs flexible will… Continue reading

The Role of Nutrition and Supplementation in Recovery – By Jackie

Addiction takes a lot out of a person, often leaving the body devoid of essential nutrients, even during recovery.   Studies have shown that a nutrient deficiency, coupled with alcohol or drugs, can severely disrupt the body and mind’s ability to function as required.  This can lead to multiple deficiencies and imbalances, malnutrition, and in extreme cases, death.  The recovery process in itself is often a long, trying, and gradual process with nutrition requiring ample attention.   While following a healthy diet filled with wholesome food is the most effective way to get the nutrients you need, many people choose to supplement their diet with added vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, not all supplements are created equal and some can do more harm than they do good, making it vitally important to understand the importance of nutrition during recovery as well as how to responsibly supplement your diet if needed. Why is nutrition so important during… Continue reading

Freedom at the Last House on the Block – Mark Masserant

When someone mentioned freedom at my first 12 step meeting, I wasn’t feeling it—it felt more like I was trapped. I didn’t know it was just what I needed. But I’d been gone a long time, and my life was in a shambles. I felt conspicuous and unprepared for human contact as I faced the strange new terms for survival that were explained to me. It made listening difficult and eye-to-eye contact unnerving. However, I knew I couldn’t run away and hide without being sucked back into the bottle if I raised it to my lips again. It might not spit me out the next time. The specter of alcohol was a gun to my head, forcing me to do things that were contrary to my thinking.  So I kept going to meetings. I had to face life sober, and it was something I hadn’t foreseen. The old-timers insisted everything… Continue reading