• Hazelden Renewal Center

Who Am I to Be Homeless?

homeless encampment

The following was first published in our January 2008 issue of The Phoenix Spirit. Year round, Moxie gets up with the sun. “It’s really the only way to go,” explains the 40-something woman in a grey sweatshirt dappled with gold paint. “I have a lot of stuff to do in the morning, and I just don’t want the cops watching me get out of bed.” No woman would, of course-and Moxie is especially keen to protect her privacy. Her bed-well, one of her favorites-is an old refrigerator carton shrouded by a swirl of brambles near the scrap yards north of … Continue reading

Nuway Hires Former State DHS Official as Public Policy Director

Former Minnesota Department of Human Services official, Amy Dellwo, will assume primary responsibility for short- and long-term public policy goals as NUWAY’s Director of Public Policy. “We are thrilled to have Amy join the NUWAY team,” said Monique Bourgeois, NUWAY’s Chief Community Relations Officer. “Her depth and breadth of public policy experience will be an invaluable asset to NUWAY’s mission to provide extended care treatment to individuals in supportive environments.  NUWAY is committed to increasing access to extended care treatment for those in need.” Dellwo has worked at the intersection of public policy among state agencies, elected officials, providers and … Continue reading

Forgiveness: The Far Side of Anger

forgiveness

Anger acts as thief. It steals away serenity, ability to focus, and the ability for self-awareness. After 9/11 Fred Maples, like most of us, felt angry about what happened. But then he did something that may perplex (or perhaps anger) many seeking a just revenge on these terrorists who caused such suffering: he began to pray for them. Such a forgiving frame of mind doesn’t come easy, he says. It was the result of a journey through his own anger and into a level of self-awareness that ultimately helped him see terrorists in a new way. “Forgiveness,” says Maples, “is … Continue reading

Do You Play a Role?

what role do i play

Take a look below at some examples of life scripts that angry people play out in their lives. You may recognize yourself in these or you might see others you know in them. Even if they don’t seem to fit, think about the script and the roles that you may be playing out and try to identify, very specifically, how they have affected your life. The GOOD LITTLE GIRLS/BOYS who reacted to the shaming by seeking to please and placate others. They get resentful when no one seems to appreciate and value everything they are trying so hard to do. The … Continue reading

Healing the Invisible Harm of Emotional Cruelty

healing from emotional cruelty

All my life I’ve felt there’s something terribly wrong with me–something I can’t put into words, something that makes me different from everybody else. People say, “Sheila, you are a good person” but I know they don’t really like me. Sometimes I really hate myself. I know you’ll think this is stupid. For the longest time I thought it was the fact that I was adopted that made me feel this way. One day I looked at an old photo of when I first arrived as an infant. I was stunned to see how my father was holding me while … Continue reading

4 Powerful Stories of Transformation – From Addiction to Agents of Change

powerful stories of transformation

Recovery is one of the most painful yet transformative processes a person can go through. More often than not, the depths of despair is our catalyst for change: when the weight of being is more painful that the prospect of becoming. Like Rumi says, it is from the bough of our hearts that we find the joy of recovery. But that process requires shedding our rotten roots, learning how to live in our bodies and learning how to weather life’s storms, so that we can live fully. Recovery isn’t just about not using drugs and alcohol — it’s about learning … Continue reading

My Story: Getting Clean Young

getting sober young

I’m a person in long-term recovery from addiction. What that means to me, is that I haven’t picked up an alcoholic drink or drug since October 1981. I know to some of you that seems like eons. But to me, it still feels like yesterday. The pain of the end of my use was so acute that I couldn’t imagine surviving it. I had lost everyone — friends, colleagues, family — and the consequences of my use came down on me like a dump truck of bricks on my head. The onslaught of consequences was as relentless as my use … Continue reading

Being Our Brother’s Keeper: A Road to Hope

brother's keeper

These days many of us are having a hard time finding hope. Some of us are overwhelmed by serious personal problems. Others of us live with a foreboding sense of an uncertain future for ourselves and our children. Looming climate change, increasing inequity between rich and poor, and massive dysfunction in our government all add an eerie shakiness to our lives as if we were in the middle of an earthquake. For safety’s sake we don’t know what ground to stand upon. Adding to our gloominess is the increasing ennui and detachment of modern living where friendships are only experienced … Continue reading

Mindfulness and Equanimity: A Way to Stay Steady in Hope

mindfulness

We know we can’t save anyone from their pain and suffering. We know trying to rescue or change someone in the throes of addiction drains us to the point of depletion; it becomes a never-ending cycle of feeling hopeless and helpless. We desperately want to maintain hope and feel guilty if we give up. The good news is, there is a way to maintain hope without burning out, and it starts from inside you. Having worked with clients with eating disorders, chemical dependencies and other addictions, as well as their families, I understand that hearing, “Well, you can’t change them,” … Continue reading

Do the 12 Steps Lead a Person to a Specific Religion?

12 steps lead to religion

The quick answer to the question posed in the above headline is no. The 12 steps are a spiritual program developed through Bill W and others’ experiences of being in the grip of alcoholism. Bill W. was not the first, but was himself the beneficiary of another recovering alcoholic’s testimony of the power of working a spiritual program for recovery from alcohol. Bill W. explained in The Big Book (aka Alcoholics Anonymous) that before recovery he was not an atheist and did not believe many people really were. It was his assertion that atheistic belief would mean, “…blind faith in … Continue reading