• Hazelden Renewal Center

Getting Through the Dark Times: Two Stories of Hope

Living with an emotionally distant, rageful father left Deanna Broaddus hungry for attention and solace. Men – lots of men – were her first recourse, and then alcohol and drugs. Except for a suicide attempt at age 18, Broaddus did well, working and pursuing a master’s degree so that she could follow her passion to teach. When she graduated, Broaddus was performing so well as a wine sommelier that her employer offered her the equivalent of a teacher’s salary to keep her on. Abandoning her dream career, she said yes. “I could drink on the job,” she explains. Then the … Continue reading

One Step at a Time

woman runner

I stood at the edge of a parking lot near the zoo in Duluth, Minn., waiting for the sun to come up and for the mosquitos to quit biting. They were merciless that July morning, and I had not thought to bring insect repellent. I paced and swatted, hoping my constant movement would make me a less desirable target. A gentleman offered some bug spray, which I gladly accepted. He asked me my name and introduced himself and his companions. He then asked if I had run this race before, as if he could not tell from my pink shoes, … Continue reading

A Hopeful Gaze Into 2020

2020 year of hope

“Hope is passion for what is possible”. Søren Kierkegaard I am looking into the New Year with a hopeful gaze. As a glass-half-full person, I grab for ribbons of hope rather than entangle myself in webs of despair. Moving into a new year and a new decade I ask myself, what gives me hope? Greta Thunburg, the 16-year-old woman who withstands social criticism and personal challenges to fight for our endangered earth, gives me hope. She is joined by many young people across the world clamoring for climate awareness, insisting we recognize the huge problems we are leaving for the young and … Continue reading

The State of Recovery Meets the State of Hockey

The news that Minnesota will host the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is a brass-ring opportunity to celebrate all things State of Hockey, from pond and muni-rink pickup games to high school and college rivalries, to pro-level playoff runs. This “big tent” is part of hockey’s great appeal. And with nicknames like Gump, Rocket, Moose or anything with a “-sie” or “-er” tacked on, even players at the highest levels somehow seem just a little more relatable to the rest of us. The Wild-Calgary Flames tilt Sunday Jan. 5 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul was great proof … Continue reading

Acceptance

I had on my brown Ecco shoes. They have rather large, funny heels anyway, but when I looked down just moments after the car accident, my right heel was moved over to one side. I put my right hand on the bottom of my thigh and my left hand on the top, and knew it was broken, but my heel is the daunting memory from the accident. It reminded me of someone who has a permanently deformed, disabled, disfigured foot. I didn’t see my heel again for three weeks because it was in a cast. However, when my sister took … Continue reading

My First Sober Holiday

How three leading women in the recovery community handled their first holiday season sober. Holidays aren’t always picture perfect, with families sitting around the dinner table, laughing and joyful. This is especially true of families in recovery, as the effects of addiction weave throughout the family unit: Dysfunction, codependency, stress, and burnout are common themes among recovering families. This scenario can be especially challenging for anyone in recovery to navigate, but particularly so for those in early recovery who are less practiced. It is possible, however, to get through a Holiday, maintain your recovery, and keep your sanity. Who knows … Continue reading

Recovering the Joy of Giving

With the Holiday season drawing near, my thoughts are turning to Christmas gift-giving. Who should be on the list? What should I give? Do I have to give a gift to co-workers? Bosses? Mail delivery persons? In the midst of all this mind chatter I like to slow down, think and get clear about the spirit of gift-giving. Why give gifts and what is gift-giving about? I’m not even a practicing Christian anymore. What does Christmas mean to me? In our culture, it’s become a secular Holiday as much as a religious Holiday and has become conflated with gift-giving. Sorting … Continue reading

Three Stories of Hope

first person testimony

The following testimonials are from Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge in Minneapolis. Some edits have been made for length. Tiffany’s story I struggled with a 15-year addiction to meth, opiates and alcohol prior to coming into Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge (MnTC). My physical health was in shambles and my mental health was unstable. I overdosed and was hospitalized. I had been in over 15 treatment programs. I was disconnected and homeless. I lost my career as a drug and alcohol counselor. I destroyed my relationships with my family members to the point where no one had contact with me. … Continue reading

A Look at Peer Recovery

Esteemed recovery historian, scholar and advocate William White notes that the concept and principles of peer recovery support has deep roots extending back to the original mutual self-help group Alcoholics Anonymous and spanning forward from that time to be a fundamental aspect of the substance use recovery movement. In 2019 Peer Recovery Support Services (PRSS) have become a recognized and integrated part of addiction treatment in many areas of the country. However, despite the extensive education and advocacy efforts of Recovery Community Organizations (RCO) such as the Minnesota Recovery Connection, Peer Support Services have only become formally recognized in the … Continue reading

What You Should Know About Addiction

In 2008, an estimated 20.1 million Americans aged 12 or older used illicit drugs within a month prior to a survey done by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA). This estimate represents 8 percent of that population. During that same time an estimated 22.2 million persons (8.9 percent of the population aged 12 or older) were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year based on criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). Of these, 3.1 million were classified with dependence on or abuse of both alcohol and illicit … Continue reading