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

The Role of Nutrition and Supplementation in Recovery – By Jackie

Addiction takes a lot out of a person, often leaving the body devoid of essential nutrients, even during recovery.   Studies have shown that a nutrient deficiency, coupled with alcohol or drugs, can severely disrupt the body and mind’s ability to function as required.  This can lead to multiple deficiencies and imbalances, malnutrition, and in extreme cases, death.  The recovery process in itself is often a long, trying, and gradual process with nutrition requiring ample attention.   While following a healthy diet filled with wholesome food is the most effective way to get the nutrients you need, many people choose to supplement their diet with added vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, not all supplements are created equal and some can do more harm than they do good, making it vitally important to understand the importance of nutrition during recovery as well as how to responsibly supplement your diet if needed. Why is nutrition so important during… Continue reading

The Importance of Community Housing in My Recovery Journey – Isabella Paola

When I first left residential treatment, I knew I couldn’t go back home if I wanted to stay sober. I had decided to do outpatient treatment, but I was still worried that wouldn’t be enough to keep me sober. Moving from residential to outpatient meant my time away from structure and therapy was about to greatly increase. In this stage of my recovery, my brain told me that being alone in my house, where I had been getting high and drunk for years, would only end in me using again. I knew that I didn’t want to use again. I knew that I needed to figure out a way to stay sober and live outside of residential treatment, but I wasn’t sure how. I explained my worries to my treatment team, and they told me about community housing. I was shocked that there was a place I could live that… Continue reading

We Walk By Faith – By Jill O

To say that 2019 is off to an incredible start would be an understatement. More on that later. To say that the close of 2018 was a dizzying swing between fear and faith would also be an understatement. As I shared, I lost my job in the beginning of November. And that month, or the majority of it in retrospect, just truly sucked. So many old stories of shame and guilt and feeling like I deserved this “punishment” just completely overwhelmed me. I spent half of November just shut down, engulfed by fear. This wasn’t my initial response, though. Immediately following the job loss, while I was feeling so liberated, I had this idea that I would use this time of transition to get a lot of shit done, and I created detailed lists of things to do, and for the first few days I followed them. I was trying… 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