The History of Addiction Recovery in America – William L White

Two of the most significant milestones in the history of recovery are the increased self-recognition of individuals in recovery as a distinct “people” and the tandem emergence of an ecumenical (beyond identification with a particular mutual aid group or treatment institution) culture of recovery. The former is being expressed through a grassroots recovery advocacy movement celebrating multiple pathways of recovery, and the latter is reflected in the construction of recovery-focused history, values, language, literature, symbols, rituals, art, film, and theatre, as well as through the emergence of new recovery-focused social institutions (e.g., recovery residences, recovery high schools and collegiate recovery programs, recovery-friendly workplaces, recovery ministries, recovery cafes, etc.). This brief essay highlights a growing historical consciousness within this emerging culture of recovery. Retrieving, preserving, and disseminating the history of addiction recovery is far more than an academic exercise. It is the medium through which each generation passes on collective experience… Continue reading

B Is for Balance – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

We live in such a fast-paced culture with such high expectations that it’s no wonder so many people are struggling to find balance. I often ask clients in my psychotherapy practice to take a realistic look at their schedules and see what can be deleted, shortened, or shifted, and we laugh at the irony of them having to find the time to even look! It’s an art, this “finding balance” thing… Not too busy, not too idle. Not too full, not too empty. The good news is: We don’t have to do it perfectly, and a little change can make a big difference. I find myself more and more frequently working with people who are overworked, overstressed, overly unhappy, and overly medicated. When I dive into the reality of their day-to-day schedules and expectations, their distress makes perfect sense. Students who are overburdened by demanding class schedules, homework assignments, and… Continue reading

3 Social Benefits of Recovering from Alcoholism – Mary Lamphere

If you’ve ever turned to alcohol with hopes of becoming more outgoing and social, you’re not alone. Many who struggle with alcohol abuse started drinking in the first place due to feeling shy, awkward, or anxious in social settings. But what many don’t realize is that quitting drinking can actually improve your social life, and repair relationships that may have suffered on behalf of alcoholism. Nobody should have to quit drinking on their own without help and support, including you. Recovery is a long and rewarding process with many benefits along the way. Here are three social benefits associated with quitting drinking and overcoming alcohol addiction. 1. Gain Total Control of Your Actions Intoxication can make you say and do things you normally wouldn’t do when sober. In most cases, drinking can lower your inhibitions and influence you to engage in negative, destructive behaviors. For instance, you might say hurtful… Continue reading

3 LESSONS ON RECOVERY FROM PRINCESS LEIA

“You have a problem,” my husband declares. He’s probably right. Another shirt with a Princess Leia graphic has just arrived in the mail. As I try it on, I must admit (again) I have a thriving Star Wars addiction. Further proof: My license plate is FORCBWU. My right arm bears a tattoo, words of the Buddha lettered in Aurebesh. And I claim Jedi as one of my many spiritual paths. The effect of Leia on my generation cannot be underscored. Our initial introduction to this “damsel in distress” was a mirror for the tension between changing masculine and feminine roles in our society. She was a rare female hero in a world of male superheroes. As we aged, and more episodes of Star Wars were revealed, Leia seemed to grow stronger as female roles grew stronger around us. In fact, since Carrie Fisher’s death, the cult of Leia is increasing.… Continue reading

The Leroys–A Recovery Parody – by Mark Masserant

With the final days of the winter of 2015 approaching and extreme boredom setting in, the Pink Elephant Group decided it was time for something new. Already in the books were several Bowl-a-thons, Karaoke Nights, and finally, the fly-by-night Velcro Twister Games, which led to random thirteenth steps and oodles of resentments.  We dropped them like a bad habit. Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Drunkard was proposed, knocked around and hastily shot down unanimously—our butts had fallen off long ago, leaving most of us disqualified. After multiple suggestions were scrapped, Bitter Bill spoke up from the back of the room. “How’s about handing out some awards to a bunch of ex-drunks?  ‘Course, I probably won’t get one,” he droned drearily. With the Oscars on the horizon, we decided he was right—we could host an awards ceremony, with our own peculiar spin to it. It immediately wobbled into our Pink Elephant think tank. After much debate,… Continue reading