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An Ex-Head Speaks Out

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 14, 2020 7:00:00 AM / by John D. posted in Recovery, Drug Rehab, Support Group, Chemical Dependency, Drug Addiction

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Tree Wisdom

[fa icon="calendar'] May 8, 2020 12:00:00 AM / by Bob Bernu posted in families, family recovery, Recovery, Recovery Program, Support Group, Gratitude

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Thanksgiving weekend 2019 brought 17 inches of heavy wet snow to northwestern Wisconsin, a special place where our family cabin sits, on the Minerva chain of lakes. As I looked out into the yard this past Sunday morning, I was startled by the sight of our many pine trees – white, blue spruce, and jack pine, all sagging towards earth with heavily burdened branches carrying the weight of nature’s winter storm. Concerned these trees might topple or at least suffer the damage of broken branches, I donned Sorel boots, jacket, hat and gloves and set out intent to remove some of the 17 inches of ice crystals these trees of ours were carrying.

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Virtual tour of the new Women’s Center at The Retreat.

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 16, 2020 4:21:41 PM / by John Curtiss posted in recovery process, Recovery, women in recovery, Women's Sober Residential

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Rule #62

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 8, 2020 4:13:47 PM / by John D. posted in Recovery, Drug Rehab, Recovery Program, Alcohol & Health, Drugs Adiction, Alcoholism Treatment Program

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While we are all hunkered down and sheltering in place, we thought some good old fashion humor might lift your spirits. Here are some humorous thoughts from one of our blog contributors – Maj. Donovan, U.S. Army, Ret.

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Keeping Our Focus On Sobriety

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 4, 2020 12:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in alcoholism, 12 step program, Recovery, AA meetings

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I’m writing this on a morning in March when the news media is full of coronavirus, or Covid-19 stories. Today’s Star-Tribune newspaper reports that the Costco store near The Retreat is out of toilet paper and won’t have any more for five days. They are also out of hand sanitizer, plastic gloves, and bleach wipes. The food aisles are decimated, as well, with non-perishables in short supply. It isn’t a full and complete panic, but it is certainly a lot of anxiety for a state that has no known cases of the virus.

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Be Careful What You Pray For…

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 16, 2020 8:24:09 AM / by John D. posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery, AA meetings, Sober Housing, 12 steps of aa, alcohol abuse

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I was 18 years old and three years sober. Ever since I went through treatment in the summer of 1978, all I wanted to do was to be a counselor. My counselor had saved my life and all I wanted to do was to become a counselor so I could save lives too. I could think of no higher calling or more worthwhile work. So, I applied for a Counselor Training Program.

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How Treatment Becomes a Part of Our Disease

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 3, 2020 1:04:48 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery, substance abuse, AA meetings, Sober Housing, alcohol abuse, AA Big Book

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Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when I drink it. Step One of Al-Anon tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when other people drink it, or when other people want to drink it. Both treatment programs, and The Retreat (which is not a treatment program) are powerless over alcohol and addiction when the people in them want to drink.

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How to Navigate Addiction During the Holidays

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 18, 2019 4:11:12 PM / by Sherry Gaugler-Stewart posted in family recovery, alcoholism, Recovery, women in recovery, Drugs Adiction

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Oh, the holidays! When we think of them, so many thoughts and images pop into our heads! Snow! Family! Food! Togetherness! Traditions, old and new! Excitement is in the air, and we start planning how and when our ideal holiday will come together. Unfortunately, for those who have a loved one struggling with alcoholism or addiction, an additional level of stress typically accompanies the holidays: worry that our imagined holiday will turn into our worst-case scenario.

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The Journey Home

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 11, 2019 7:59:19 AM / by John D. posted in Recovery, 12 steps of aa, Drug Rehab, Family Sober Support, Older Adult Recovery Programs

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Gratitude and Resentment

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 5, 2019 8:00:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, Older Adult Recovery Programs

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            In the early 1970’s I drove a taxi in New York City. The fare meters were mechanical, not electronic. They were driven by two moving cables. One cable measured time, and the other measured distance. Whichever cable moved faster drove the fare. If the cab was stuck in traffic, the fare still went up, driven by the “waiting time”. If the cab was moving briskly, the meter went up, pushed along by the distance driven. That image comes to mind when I think of gratitude and resentment.

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