How to Craft a Soothing Home Environment During Recovery – By Jackie

In the United States alone, over 9,800 people live in self-run post-addiction treatment dwellings where they obtain jobs, pay utility bills, and learn to be responsible citizens. However, not everybody has the luxury to spend time in such a dwelling after treatment. After receiving treatment for some sort of addiction, whether in the hospital or in some sort of healing community, most people have to return to the real world and head back home. This real world can feel like an environment which is stressful and high-risk, which makes it incredibly important to learn how to create a soothing, stress-free home environment in which to recover properly. Promote Familiarity to Encourage Comfort Welcoming a person in recovery back home is a delicate time for everybody involved. Whether they’re you’re spouse, child, family member or friend, you’ll want to put some time and thought into the atmosphere they’ll be recovering in. Because this is such… Continue reading

Avoiding Isolation, Staying Connected Helpful in Recovery – Vivian Cummings

When interviewing experts on addiction and recovery, I like to ask my subjects about advice for people struggling with addiction. What are the best things you can do to stay on track with your recovery? I’ve gotten a wide variety of responses, but one theme that comes up over and over again is some version of, “Stay connected.” Isolation, or feeling alone, is unhealthy for anyone—but particularly so for someone struggling to stay sober. One good coping strategy is to share your feelings and problems with someone you trust—whether you’re dealing with everyday difficulties or the desire to drink or use drugs. This might involve friends, family members, mentors, and others you feel safe with. However, many people struggle with addiction also benefit from peer groups, where they can share with others who understand the challenges of addiction to drugs or alcohol. NA, AA, and other community peer groups can… Continue reading

Why Do Christians Need Recovery?

Contrary to what most churches will tell you, Christian brains are just as susceptible to addictions as non-Christian brains. Becoming a Christian does not instantly give you a new brain, anymore than it gives you new legs, arms or any other body part. The brain is part of the physical body, NOT the spiritual soul. Churches advocate going to the dentist for your teeth, the doctor for medical issues, but if your brain is leading you astray, the church says, “all you need is Jesus.” The irony of this is that churches are filled with untreated addicts. From the pastors to the janitors, there is rampant addiction to; religion, food, nicotine, control, codependency, drugs, porn, alcohol, gambling, anger, and the list goes on and on. In fact, according to the Barna Group, “57 percent of pastors and 64 percent of youth pastors in the U.S. have succumbed to pornography either… Continue reading

 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