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

Live Your Best Life by Exercising Outside – By Jackie

Plenty of things have been said about the road to recovery. It takes time,  patience and healing etc. etc. In truth, it can be like climbing Everest backwards and then starting from the bottom again. It’s hard, and like all things in life, it’s a journey. There are ways to make this road a little bit easier of course. Consider for example, the great but oft overlooked outdoors, or mother nature. Numerous studies have shown that nature has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. The connection between the outdoors and mental health reveal overall reduction of stress, anxiety as well as physical benefits such as lower blood pressure and boosting energy. By going outside and exercising, a healthy new start is on the horizon. The Connection Between the Outdoors and Mental Health Getting out into the great outdoors and into nature has been proven to be an important link for mental wellbeing.… Continue reading

Am I an Addict? – Isabella Paola

I think this is quite the loaded questions, am I an addict? I want to say if you must ask, you know the answer, but I also recall asking the same question when I was still in denial about my addiction. The truth is I think there are so many things that go into making someone an “addict” its not just about the drugs or the alcohol, it has to do with the behaviors you were using well before you found that drink or drug. I believe that there are some indicators in life that may point to you being an “addict” even before the drugs enter your body. Some of these might be trauma, low self-esteem, anxiety, other people in your family suffer from addiction, your friends use drugs or drink excessively, selfish, you lie to make yourself look better, you care more about what others say about you… Continue reading

The Role of Recovery Communities in Cultural Healing – Bill White

  Ironically, it is at the margins of society that one discovers the moral center. –Van Jones In a bleeding world, where are the sources of communal healing? When our connecting fabric is shredding under the assault of hateful rhetoric, where do we find common ground—settings where people speak with each other and not at and over each other? How can we escape the spell of political pimps of all persuasions creating and exploiting divisions for personal aggrandizement and ideological gain? These are questions being asked by people of conscience from diverse political, economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. As Van Jones suggests, the sources that could help us get re-centered could come from unexpected quarters. Is it possible that people in addiction recovery and diverse communities of recovery could serve as a force for cultural and cross-cultural healing? A reasonable response might well be, “What could people whose past lives have been ravaged… Continue reading

Pie, Coffee and a Little Higher Power – Mark Masserant

DJ’s was the sober oasis disguised as a coffee shop that NutJob Bob introduced me to early in my recovery. It was Holy Ground. He and a motley group of brain-damaged followers would stroll in after their daily spiritual make-over, lifted from the meeting and ready for more coffee, cigarettes and fellowship, along with a little unhealthy food.  Some of us wanted a lot of it. I liked the pie. Some of the local wise guys said I got sober on pie, but that was inaccurate. I added it to my program, but I could have stayed sober without it. My first sober Christmas preceded my one-year token by a few months. It wasn’t a jolly season for me. I felt divorced and lonely, and that was just the tip of the iceberg. But at that phase of my development, I wasn’t very good relationship material. Even I knew that.… Continue reading