• NUWAY Annual Picnic 2019Hazelden Renewal Center

Video Gaming: The Next 12-Step Frontier

first person testimony

She’s anxious at work because she worries that her boss will catch her playing solitaire again. He’s up at 2 a.m. completing a task in the epic multiplayer game while his wife sleeps. She’s distracted watching her kids at the pool because it’s hard to put down the phone. He’s obsessed with rank and makes appointments for “raids” at family dinner time, causing constant stress. These are just a few ways in which compulsive multi-player and other computer and cell phone gaming are making people’s lives unmanageable. Is it possible to be powerless over technology in the way that many … Continue reading

When a Friend Has Faith

friends and faith

I told my friend I thought my life was a waste. She shook her head no. Through my endless use of profanities, and despite my angry outbursts toward her she still believed in me. She kept calling me back to her side. She never abandoned me. Still, my spirit was raging with fear that my life would never heal from the pain caused by circumstances that were beyond my control, and self inflicted. Then one day my friend’s eyes shone with care, she smiled at me, and for the very first time I heard her gentle words of hope for … Continue reading

Rising Above After a Breakdown

“Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to relocate us to the place we are meant to be.” Life on Purpose – Mandy Hale When I had a nervous breakdown, I was in a bad way. The world I thought I knew had fallen apart. I was supposed to be something else, someone else. Life had passed me by and gradually the world seemed strange and unfamiliar. I had spent my whole life gearing towards an acting career but it never happened. Instead, at 40, I found myself doing nothing of what I wanted to … Continue reading

Too Much To Do

woman on elevator mountain of books

I am relaxed when I stop at the library, having dissolved a truckload of tension on a massage table. The library, not far from the spa, seems like a good place to kill some time before my next appointment. Good chance to pick up a novel and maybe a movie. Oh, here’s a good movie. Looks like it anyway. I’d better get another one just in case. Well, here are two that both sound promising. I’ll just take all three. Maybe I can get to all of them this week.  The CDs catch my eye. Oh, good thing I came … Continue reading

Amber’s Story

first person testimony

I haven’t always been known as a person in recovery, as a matter of fact a label that many knew me as is would be addict, meth-head, felon, thief, liar, and many more. I spent 14 long years loyal to a drug that should have killed me. Yet, I stand. My Life Then By the time I was 19-years-old, I had two children by two different fathers, was in college pursuing a degree, all the while working at 3M as an intern hoping that I would one day become an employee. I had always dreamed of working for such a … 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

Laura’s Story

first person testimony

I grew up in a house with both parents and my older brother. Overall, I was a happy kid who liked school. But there was an undercurrent of pain, a secret I kept: I was abused as a young child. I never told anyone. I learned to hold onto that secret. I was introduced to weed and alcohol when I was 15 years old but since I was the good girl no one suspected me. The secrets kept building. I blamed my parents, I wanted to be a rebel. I moved out at 18 and danced in bars and nightclubs … Continue reading

Free at Last: A Local Chef Breaks the Chains of Addiction

first person testimony

My life was ruining my life. The things I once loved had begun to consume all my time, all my relationships and all of me. From an outsider’s perspective, I looked as though I was at the peak of my profession. I’d traveled, met some amazing culinarians both here and abroad, been in magazines and on TV, worked in some fantastic kitchens, and now I was a chef in a well-respected restaurant at the heart of a city. Inside, though, I was a mess. I was riddled with anxiety and depression. I felt unlovable and alone, even in a crowded … Continue reading

Resting on Our Laurels

resting on our laurels

She sat next to the bed. I hadn’t touched her in months. She didn’t seem to notice – she didn’t say a word. I felt guilty. I felt ashamed. I felt like I had been unfaithful. There had been so many excuses. “I’m too busy. I’m too tired. I’ve got more important things to do.” Excuses all… Finally, I reached over and gently brushed off the dust from her jacket. I opened to the bookmark and started my daily readings – again. Page 85 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous reminds us that we mustn’t let up on those daily activities … Continue reading

The Push of Pain, The Pull of Hope – A Gambler’s Story

I grew up with alcoholics. There were aunts and uncles that gave me boozy hugs, a godmother that called and picked fights after a few cocktails, and a dad that died of cirrhosis. As a result, I have a favorite quote, “If you can’t be a good example, at least be a horrible warning.” My family tree is filled with horrible warnings. At a young age, I decided that I wanted no part of that life at all. While my high school and college friends experimented with alcohol, I was extra cautious, usually serving as the designated driver and babysitter. … Continue reading