Food, Exercise and Drug Addiction: Real Wellness – Isabella Paola

When I was using my idea of a healthy diet was coffee, a donut, crack, heroin, and maybe a McChicken. I know, sounds very well rounded. Forget about exercise or any sort of healthy movement, no daily walk or bike ride, in fact I think the only moving I was doing was to peek out of my blinds. I am not alone in the lack of overall health and wellness perpetrated through my drug addiction, many people become malnourished, vitamin deficient and damage organs and organ tissue. When we are in the throes of our addiction we stop caring about vitamins, the food groups, and a daily dose of sun and exercise. When I first got sober it was hard for me to begin navigating what health and wellness was. It was like I had to relearn what a healthy meal consisted of, surprisingly not a donut a day. I… Continue reading

My Relationship with Relationships – Kyczy Hawk

As last year was drawing to a close I pulled a few old diaries (now called “journals”) from my shelf. It has been years since I looked at them. Some years due to fear and shame, other times avoided in disgust for the sheer repetition in the pain, but this time I pulled some down with compassion and curiosity. Almost every page is filled with the pains of unrequited “love”. What I found was informative, enlightening and somewhat heartening. These books chronicle a young woman’s struggle for wholeness and autonomy over years (one of the early entries begins “Here I am, twenty four year old. There have been so many changes over the past year and I am lost again.”) Each entry has that same unmoored quality, desperately trying to find foothold for a spirit that is lost. Most often I looked for safe harbor in relationships. I won’t start… Continue reading

Love Your Addiction, Love Yourself Practicing Radical Self-love – Jillian O

“Love your addiction, love yourself.” When I first read these words, they stunned me. It was a complete paradigm shift. Away from guilt and shame and pain, and towards love and forgiveness and well-being. These words were the sub-heading in one of my favorite recovery books, 30 Day Sobriety Solution, part of Day 4: The Forgiveness Solution (for me, this solution alone is worth buying the book!). I have said it elsewhere, and I will say it here, because I fundamentally believe it to be true: people in recovery (whether sustained or cyclical) are some of the most empathetic, strongest, and bravest people I have ever met. Many have endured hundreds of indignities–big and small– while using and yes, perhaps even in going through a recovery process, especially if this process involved the criminal justice system. Some have hit a hard rock bottom, and too many have said goodbye forever to loved… Continue reading

Staying Sober When Your Friend’s Aren’t – Isabella Paola

When I was in college my friends and I liked to party, which I always thought was normal until it wasn’t. Two weeks before my graduation I entered a drug treatment center. I think I was lucky to be able to get professional help. I also think I was lucky because I got to take a little vacation away from my friends, stress at school, and family issues I created. I learned a lot in the four weeks I spent there, one of the things I remember the most was “people, places and things,” and “rescue risks recovery.” If I’m being honest, I didn’t think either of these things applied or mattered to me, most of my friends weren’t going to be asking me to get high with them on the weekends, that was always me. Plus, a decent amount of my friends didn’t do drugs and were what I… Continue reading

Dr. Rob’s Tips for Holiday Sobriety (and Sanity) Robert Weiss PhD, MSW, CSAT

For recovering addicts, holiday stress, anxiety, and depression can be dangerous. All of these feelings are well-known addiction triggers, so, for us, relapse lurks around every holiday corner. At the very least, we must be aware of the unrealistic social pressure to have a joyous, loving, intimately connected holiday. We need to recognize that life is not a Norman Rockwell painting. We’re not going to cook the perfect meals, put up the best decorations, and buy the perfect gifts, and our loved ones are not going to manage any of that either. But still, we are likely to feel as if we must, and they must, and anything less than that is failure. So yeah, there’s a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression during the holiday season. In the midst of all this craziness, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s most important in our lives: our sobriety. Without sobriety,… Continue reading