• Hazelden Renewal Center

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

Black Hole in Space Not Unlike Energy of Subtracter’s on Earth

subtracters

I just had a personal encounter with a black hole, It was the strangest thing; I bought a tube of lipstick, tucked it into a small pocket but when I went to retrieve the tube, it had vanished. Once again I purchased another tube, stuck it in the same purse pocket, and theorizing the lipstick had spilled out the top of my purse, I mindfully zipped the zipper to seal it shut. This went on several more times, until I finally happened to pick up my purse from the bottom, and felt several strange bumps. When I inspected my purse … Continue reading

How to Keep Your Sanity During the Holidays

how to keep sanity during holidays

I hate the holidays. I know that seems like a strong statement, but — even at nearly six years sober — I still find the holidays incredibly challenging. It’s a time loaded with expectations, increased tensions in relationships, competing priorities, stress, and good old family dynamics. As if that isn’t enough, we can start to feel sensory overload in every direction: sounds, crowds of people, flashing lights, food everywhere. Conscious of my limitations and sensitive nature, I just want to crawl into a ball and hibernate at this time of year. That said — like anything in recovery — we … Continue reading

When You Want Somebody Else to Change

wanting others to change

When we want somebody else to change we often make mistakes.  We either get too passive and expect change to happen without any effort on our part.  Out of fear of rocking the boat we may excuse another’s behavior by saying “Well that’s just the way the other person is.” Alternatively we may try to strong-arm another into change.  We may use coercion and threats to get someone else to alter their habits. We may declare, “If you don’t change, then such and such terrible thing will happen to you.” Unfortunately neither the passive or aggressive approach works when it … Continue reading

Money Woes

money woes

“Money makes the world go ‘round” may be a great song title, but all it seems to do in your household is make things come to a screeching halt. Let’s say it’s the holidays, and you can’t believe you and your wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend are fighting about money-again. She goes out and buys a ridiculous set of unbelievably expensive ornaments for the tree, which thank-you-very-much will only be seen for two weeks out of the entire year, and then she has a fit when she finds out you bought a remote control that allows you to coordinate the VCR, TV, and half … Continue reading

Can I Leave My Partner After Years of An Unfulfilling Relationship?

marriage and divorce

Our greatest life decisions are always made on the basis of incomplete information. ~Sheldon Kopp, psychoanalyst and author Probably the most difficult decision we’ll ever make in our lifetime is deciding to stay or leave a life partner when the relationship has been continually unfulfilling. Certainly the right decision is generally unclear to us. Most of us can’t even stand the thought of ever separating from a loved one even when we are continually unhappy. We automatically put our own happiness on the back burner and stay loyal to the bitter end. We deny how bad things really are. This … Continue reading