• Past Articles

Why Is It So Hard to Stay Sober? – Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is characterized by: “an inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavior control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.” The “inability to consistently abstain” is a concept that sometimes confuses loved ones and family members of addicts. They wonder, “How can we ever expect the addict to establish and maintain sobriety if ‘addiction’ means that’s something he can’t do?” This confusion is understandable. What ASAM really means is that on their own addicts lack the ability to consistently abstain from addictive behaviors. They struggle to establish and maintain sobriety without help. Most addicts would stop their compulsive behaviors on their own if they could, but they can’t. An addict’s inability to establish and maintain sobriety manifests in many ways. For instance, he might make promises to himself and others (loved… Continue reading

Like The Song – The Steps Are a Dance – Kyczy Hawk

  I was on vacation with my family last week. We went to Texas – where it is all country music all the time. I LOVE country music – it is a secret vice of mine. Cruising in a van that could accommodate the seven of us – we were singing to the radio heading to see the Alamo. (Recovery is so great – repairs relationships and allows me to have experiences like this.) We were singing along to “Life’s A Dance” with the refrain…. “Life’s a dance you learn as you go Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow Don’t worry about what you don’t know Life’s a dance you learn as you go” (which I always heard as “you learn as you grow” which fits my understanding just fine.) Singing at the top of our lungs as we all know the words, it was a really fun moment of… Continue reading

Overcoming Incest – Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

As a therapist specializing in sex and intimacy issues, I work with a lot of clients who have suffered (and sometimes committed) incest. Most of the time, they feel like they’re the only person who has ever experienced this. They feel deep shame, and they only reluctantly will discuss what happened. That is why a book like Donna Jenson’s recently published Healing My Life: From Incest to Joy is so important. This deeply personal memoir of incest and healing is incredibly powerful, mostly because it’s an honest account of the damage done by incest and the courage and persistence it takes to heal. With this book, Jenson chronicles the physical and spiritual steps she took to reclaim her life, never losing her sense of humor. Poignant, brave, and helpful, this memoir offers a much-needed testimony for anyone affected by incest. Jenson understands the pathway from pain to joy as well… Continue reading

Denial of Recovery – By William L. White

  The social stigma attached to addiction and addiction recovery inflicts innumerable harms to individuals, families, organizations, and communities. Two people in recovery recently emailed me sharing quite different dilemmas—each flowing from stigma-induced caricatures of addiction and recovery. In the first instance, people had no difficulty believing the individual’s addiction story because of his numerous, and quite public, drug-related falls from grace. Yet these same people withheld belief in his recovery status years into his stable recovery. Rumors periodically spread that he was using again—rumors that seemed impossible for him to source or stop. Normal sicknesses triggered suspicions of drug use. Any time anything went temporarily missing at a family gathering or at his workplace, suspicion immediately turned to him. Job promotions were withheld on the grounds that he might not be able to handle the stress of added responsibilities. People, as if walking on eggshells, perceived him as fragile… Continue reading

Ordinary World – By Gabe Rheaume

  I have a chart of protocol that says, “Let me be” at the manic sweet spot. When the world is rushing by and my mind is aglow. When I’m beautiful, and funny, and everyone loves me. Before I forget my illness brings unearthly joy before I become paranoid and afraid before the alcohol and drugs before I become the madness of night. Don’t take my happiness away I just found it. Don’t trade my paradise for a hospital bed, I wouldn’t do that to you. Don’t cage me in a prescription bottle. Don’t intervene. I will come back. I would come back if I knew I left. Maybe I wouldn’t.   This is how it is This is how I am… Isn’t it?   I’m floating through the vibrant rich landscape of the universe experiencing color for the first time. Don’t reel me back to the grey world of… Continue reading