• Hazelden Renewal CenterNUWAY Annual Picnic 2019

Coping with Anger – Twelve Steps to Getting a Grip

coping with anger

Anger is probably the most poorly handled emotion in our society. From time to time we all experience this very powerful feeling. Some of the common causes of anger include frustration, hurt, annoyance, disappointment, harassment and threats. It is helpful to realize that anger can be our friend or foe, depending on how we express it. Knowing how to recognize and express it appropriately can help us to reach goals, handle emergencies, solve problems and even protect our health. However, failure to recognize and understand our anger may lead to a variety of problems. Some experts believe that suppressed anger … Continue reading

Jump Sober

collage of books

The author spoke of his earlier self, describing how he so desperately wanted to bring good things into his life to attract the wealth, health and happiness he had always craved. He eagerly and often lined his shelves with tons of books about all things spiritual. This fascinated me, here was someone writing about wanting the same things I did and didn’t start with sterile how-to’s. I was also intrigued with our similar desire for answers — and, I too had shelves filled to the brim with such books. He went on to describe the “ah-ha’s” each book he read … Continue reading

Sometimes It’s Better to Be Sorry Than Safe

scared woman

At some point or another most of us have been told, “Play it safe” or “Better safe than sorry.” Perhaps it was wiser for us to not take a given risk and stay with familiar ways of doing things. The caution we felt from a loved one may have really saved us. However, what if we’re always playing it safe and hardly ever take risks? Is there such a thing as playing it too safe? Yes there is. Marie and I have a big decision to make. We can’t decide whether to get married or not. Marie and I are … Continue reading

Emotions Anonymous: Do You Have a Thinking Problem?

do you have a thinking problem

On July 25, it will be two years since I’ve kissed an old, old boyfriend. He is a modern man, with a hyphenated last name. His first name is Johnny and his last name is Walker-Red. I chose my sponsor because she was beautiful, poised, brilliant, a mother (a prerequisite as I have three children)and, most importantly, a “Country Club Drunk,” just like me. Mrs. Rum Pot…just put it on my tab….Everything tastes better in Waterford! The dear woman took on a hell of a lot more than guiding a dazed and confused Hazelden grad when I asked her if … Continue reading

Healing From the Inside Out: Blame, Shame and the Mind-body Connection

shame mind body connection

Q: I’ve read in books and heard from holistic practitioners that our state of mind contributes to our state of health. In dealing with my own health issues, this leaves me feeling like I just can’t win. When I feel the worst physically and out of control of my body, I have to also look at what I did wrong to cause my illness. It feels like a double burden, and shaming, like a kick when I’m already down. How can this be helpful? A: The idea that we are responsible for the state of our health and, as many … Continue reading

Adult Children of Sexual Dysfunction – Coping, Changing, Growing

ACSD

Adult Children of Sexual Dysfunction (ACSD) is a 12 Step group of women and men attempting to overcome the effects of growing up in a sexually dysfunctional family. Their common goal is to become sexually, spiritually and emotionally healthy. Below, two members of ACSD share their stories in the hope that others will read it and if they can relate, will know that there are other people out there working through similar, but different histories. Jolene’s story Could you describe the sexual dysfunction in your family growing up? My story is pretty atypical. I suffered extreme sexual abuse from virtually … Continue reading

The Road to Resilience

tree in the desert

Our knee-jerk reaction to the idea of being depressed is that it is a terrible state in which to find ourselves: sad, discouraged, stressed out, fatigued, puzzled, hurting, lonely, afraid. It sounds pretty awful. So why is it that some doctors and philosophers put a positive spin on depression, saying that it can frequently be good for us? Why is it that most psychiatrists today would not regard the experience of depression as an illness in and of itself? Depression normal? That’s right, and often necessary. There are times when you and I should feel depressed, and there may be … Continue reading

Healing Through Music

healing and music

Bob Ross, the infinitely relaxed host of The Joy of Painting famously said, “We don’t make mistakes, we have happy little accidents.” And I believe Bob. If you are a musician or performing artist and you live with crushing panic, anxiety, depression, and are paralyzed with fear and self-doubt, I hope you believe Bob too. Although I am not a full-time musician, I recently released a solo EP and am currently writing and rehearsing for a new album with another band that I play in. I understand the grind, the hustle, and the exhaustion of the music business. There seems … Continue reading

Finding Happiness

happiness lemons

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” Albert Schweitzer I am happy to report that after much searching I have at long last found the key to happiness. Well at least I’ve unlocked my personal definition of contentment and I’m happy to share it. It wasn’t long ago I believed happiness could be found only after I’d reach certain goals. The problem with that logic was that when a goal was met there were always others to strive for. If  I failed to fulfill a certain wish did that mean I was doomed to eternal despair? … Continue reading

Shame on You! Understanding the Shame-Rage Connection

shame rage

This article first appeared in our April 2007 issue of The Phoenix Spirit. Many people believe that punishing and explosive anger is a sign of power, confidence and “being on top of your game.” In face, this is not the case at all. Disrespectful anger and even all out rage actually come out of a deep sense of powerlessness, inadequacy and despair. Another word for that place is shame. Shame is a significant part of all human misery. Shame can lead to a whole host of compulsive, addictive, irresponsible, and demoralizing attitudes and behaviors and is a major contributor to … Continue reading