My Weight Loss Journey – By Charlie Baulm

When I was 16, I was 5’8 and 115 pounds. I was able to run a five minute mile and had complete control over my eating habits. Fast forward 12 years later, I am 28-years-old and over 200 pounds and cannot even jog a block before getting winded, I don’t know where things exactly went wrong but here I am, living in my new body and feeling shame for letting myself go. Marriage, the stress of a career, juggling school and the generalities of life had taken its toll since high school and I felt miserable. I felt like no matter how many times I moved forward I would always take a step back with my poor eating habits. The first time my excessive weight gain had become apparent was during a trip to my Grandparents’ house. The trip was excellent, but upon returning home I was confronted with a… Continue reading

Five Things I Realized on my Journey to Recovery – By Kel B.

Most of my recovery path started behind a keyboard. Clear minded for the first time in longer than I wish to remember, my brain eagerly absorbed all there was to learn about addiction and recovery. Countless hours navigating the latest trends, epidemics and tragedies of the thousands of lives lost from this forbidden curse we call addiction. And just as much time was spent wandering through the myriad of pathways to recovery I never before knew existed. But in no way would I recommend doing recovery alone. Isolation leads to what they call in treatment, stinkin’ thinkin. That deceitful little voice in your head that says everything will be alright so long as you just have one. I listened once, which was reminder enough that my brain no longer understands moderation. 1. Recovery thrives in community. Perhaps with a sober mind, I discovered we actually enjoy creating meaningful relationships with others. Especially with people whose story looks like ours. Relating to someone with the same sorrow and heartbreak. To cheer them on with every milestone and… Continue reading

Addiction Neurobiology & Personal Destiny – By William L White

In 2005, Nature Neurosciencepublished a special issue on the neuroscience of addiction that summarized the advancements in unraveling the biological mechanisms that contribute to the etiology and progression of addiction to a wide spectrum of psychoactive drugs.  The technical papers included in the 2005 special issue stood as a progress report on the biological model of addiction that has been aggressively promulgated by National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Director George Koob, PhD.   The state of addiction science was updated in 2011 in Nature, and Nature has just published a special supplement of articles on addiction that provides a further update. In reviewing this series of collected papers, it is difficult not to be swept up in the advancements in our understanding of the neurobiology of addiction.  These papers mark an evolution from a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of addiction, to new… Continue reading

Finding Acceptance – A Spiritual Good Time Charlie – By Mark Masserant

  “I amz what I amz and that’s allz that I amz.” (Every freakin’ episode?) – Popeye T. Sailorman    Rarely did I go down without a fight. As a result, acceptance in any area of my life was always a struggle proportionate to the current unpleasant episode I was confronted with. My drinking was the common thread that ran through all of my troubles, yet it also helped me forget them. Consequently, defeat at the hands of alcohol was a victory neither pain-free, nor easily gained. Despite the constant upheaval caused by my boozing and my urgent desire to stop, there were unforeseen obstacles that blocked me from accepting my drinking problem. On the surface, I was certain I had thrown in the towel—the monotonous drone of my name, followed by ‘…and I’m an alcoholic’, was sounded at meetings every night for almost a year. I believed it. But hidden… Continue reading

The Recovery Unplugged Story – By Richie Supa

  Early in my recovery I went to an NA Convention and I heard a girl share. “All my life I kept the right ones out and let the wrong ones in.” That was a life changing moment for me that lead to the writing of “Amazing” with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. After an emotional response from people in recovery the seed was planted to eventually start writing songs about Addiction. I started going to treatment centers with just my guitar and playing songs about my journey through addiction calling it Recovery Unplugged. I witnessed the client’s break down and cry relating to the songs. Something very healing started happening, and I began to see the possibilities of music as magical medicine. From there my heart told me I needed to quit looking for Grammy’s and to focus on giving back. I always say you can’t keep what you got… Continue reading