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I’m Over Here Loving You if You Need Me

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 19, 2016 1:00:00 PM / by Sherry Gaugler-Stewart posted in family recovery, alcoholism, Recovery, Family Sober Support, Chemical Dependency

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“Detachment is not a wall; it is a bridge.”
–Courage to Change p. 22

Detachment.  It’s often viewed as an ugly word, at least at first, by family members who love someone who struggles with alcoholism or addiction.  Many of us come with pre-conceived notions about what detachment means.  Most of us decide, without delving any further into the concept, that it means abandonment.  And, we know that we’re not willing to abandon someone we love, especially when they are struggling, so therefore we won’t be detaching from them – thank you very much!

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month!

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 12, 2016 12:29:16 PM / by Staff Blog posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, Recovery, alcohol abuse, Alcohol & Health

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The National Council of Alcohol and Drug Dependence founded Alcohol Awareness Month in 1987 in an effort to reduce the stigma widely associated with alcoholism by spreading information about alcohol, alcoholism, and recovery.  Each year, numerous groups around the country work to break down barriers to treatment and recovery to make the option of seeking help more readily available to those who suffer from this disease.

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I Am Who I Am and that Is More than Good Enough

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 5, 2016 12:30:00 PM / by Dick Rice posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, Recovery, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, 12 Traditions Of AA

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Easter time –the great awakening for Christians –seems like a good time to reflect on the phrase “spiritual awakening” of the 12th step.  Christians believe that Easter is the answer to the questions:  Is this life all that there is?  Is death the end of life?  For Christians, the resurrection of Jesus is the statement that there is a fullness of life waiting for us beyond death.

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The Coop and The Coconut

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 1, 2016 10:30:00 AM / by Paddy O posted in Recovery, Sober Housing, Men's Sober Residential, Recovery Program, Chemical Dependency

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My disease does a great impression of my voice. It’s spot on. It perfectly recreates the long, nasally vowels of my Chicago upbringing, the enthusiastic delivery, the volume, and the cadence.

This masquerade, this dubious transgression of my mind, leads to fear mongering. For me, recovery is no longer about slapping my hand away from the drink or the baggie.


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Acceptance is the Key to All My Problems Today

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 24, 2016 9:32:10 AM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, Recovery, 12 steps of aa, 12 Traditions Of AA

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When I was drinking I was always angry about something. I just got off the phone with the new car dealer. I dropped off my new car to have a plastic sealer applied to it, because there wasn’t time to do it on Saturday when I bought it. The service manager called to say there was a tiny dent in the bottom of the door, which needed a paint touching up. He said I must have hit something with the door. I don’t think I did. I think the dent must have been there when I got the car and I just didn’t see it when I looked it over. 

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The Import of Sponsorship

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Dick Rice posted in Recovery, AA meetings, Recovery Program, help group, Support Group

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Have I told you about the sponsor that I am fortunate to have at this time? Well, I will now since I am still deeply touched by our conversation last night.
I was blessed with a wonderful sponsor, George, for years, but then he died four years ago. I grieved him mightily and, after about four months, I realized I was limping along in my recovery without a sponsor. I was finding it easier to skip my home group, easier to breeze through my tenth step at night. I began to pray for the grace to both want a sponsor and to know who that might be. In the quiet of my prayer what I heard was “Bob.”

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Merry Christmas... At Last

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 23, 2015 9:30:00 AM / by John MacDougall posted in family recovery, alcoholism, Recovery, alcohol abuse, Chemical Dependency

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This year, 2015, is the first year that I haven’t felt some generalized distress at Christmas time. It began when I was a child in a violent, alcoholic home. I almost always got hurt on the days leading up to Christmas. It would begin with the tree.

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“Having Had a Spiritual Awakening as the Result of These Steps...”

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 9, 2015 8:30:00 AM / by Dick Rice posted in Recovery, 12 steps of aa, AA Big Book, 12 Traditions Of AA, Recovery Program

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Tony DeMello, a great spiritual teacher, used to say that in the spiritual life only three things are necessary:  Awareness, awareness, awareness.”

He might as well have said that all we have to do to live spiritually is, “Wake up, wake up, wake up.

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Addiction and Public Perception

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 4, 2015 10:28:52 AM / by Staff Blog posted in alcoholism, Recovery, Drug Rehab, Drugs Adiction, Chemical Dependency

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For the American public, addiction is a taboo but extremely common topic. Children take drug education classes beginning in middle school, learning that drugs will 'fry their brain' and cause them to become a ‘burnout’ or a failure. People frequently joke that something is ‘like crack’ or that they are ‘shopaholics.’ Some of the most heated political debates center on issues like drug testing for welfare recipients or the legalization of marijuana.

Even though over 23 million Americans are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, it seems that many who aren’t still do not know how to address addiction when they encounter it in their everyday lives. 

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“I was never that good at being that bad.”

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 25, 2015 1:17:18 PM / by John MacDougall posted in Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism, Recovery, AA meetings, Support Group

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In the 1970’s and 1980’s, I attended open AA meetings for 13 years without figuring out that I was an alcoholic. This was odd, because I seemed to have a natural affinity for alcoholics and other addicts. As a pastor, I had conducted more interventions than anyone else in my town. Many evenings, I brought people to detox, and then sat up late at night learning about this disease. I taught college and graduate school courses on addiction without figuring out that I was an alcoholic and addict. I went to twelve step meetings because I really wanted to be with the people. My home group tolerated me well, because it was an open meeting. Occasionally  I’d  overhear someone whispering “He almost admitted it,” but I never did.

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