• Hazelden Renewal Center

How Culture is Turning Us All Into Unhappy Fools

Those of us in the field of addiction recovery understand all too well the concept of euphoric recall. We chase things outside ourselves to make us happy based on a thrilling memory of how they once did, albeit temporarily. Our pulse rate increases, we get arousing physical sensations and we can’t stop thinking about the magical moments we once had with some ecstatic experience. Indeed it wasn’t the experience itself that made us happy; it was the fantasy around this experience that gave us bliss, a bliss we will never forget. However this happiness is a sham because it is … Continue reading

The Scourge of Electronic Living: Losing Your Identity

“Be careful of how you use your tools as you can become the tools of your tools.” Henry David Thoreau *** My boss told me I need to do a presentation next week at our company sales rep meeting, on my personal philosophy on closing sales. Geeze, just because I was the leading salesperson for the year, my first year, doesn’t make me any expert on winning customers over. I mean, I can do all that power point crap until I’m blue in the face. But standing up in front of a group of veteran salespeople to share my personal … 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

Choosing Gratitude Over Alienation

choosing gratitude over alienation

“Our life begins to end the day we stop being grateful.” -Anonymous It’s that time of year when many of us gather with loved ones intending to give thanks. We experience tender moments with family or at least what we hope will be tender moments. Too often we’ve become disappointed as the actual closeness with family is less than what we had wished for. Sometimes old hurtful patterns still menace us. Perhaps we should have known better; hope always springs eternal. This holiday letdown may be the story of our life. Our heart may have been open to love in … Continue reading

Materialism and Family Life: Good Intentions Gone Bad

“Wealth is the number of things we can do without.” Leo Tolstoy If you’re one of the many people who are going overboard this holiday season, this article may not be for you. On the other hand, it may be perfect for you. So many of us express our love for others by buying things for them. We just don’t know how to do it differently. We equate love with gift giving. We exhibit the expected materialism of our culture and do so with the best of intentions. Unfortunately our best intentions can have some harmful results particularly when our … Continue reading

Winter Blues: Finding Light During the Dark Days

“Every mile is two in winter.” George Herbert The cold, dark days of the winter months can be a breeding ground for despair in some of us. I’ve battled a recurring low grade depression for many years. I never know when it will reappear but it often shows up in the fall when the days starts to get shorter. When a steady rain settled in for nearly two weeks, it didn’t take long for my mood to turn as dark and gloomy as the clouds above me. In my “right” mind I know I have a lot of positive things … Continue reading

6 Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Holidays

Taken from Ball State University press release First, there was Halloween and all its candy. Now comes Thanksgiving and turkey and all the sides. Throw in holiday parties, Christmas dinners and New Year’s Eve celebrations, and the last two months of the year becomes a calorie-laden nightmare for many Americans. But, all hope is not lost, says Christy Tunnell, a clinical lecturer of nutrition and dietetics, who believes that planning ahead is critical for good health during the holiday season. She has a few tips: Remember that not all party food is created equal “The holidays bring lots of gatherings … Continue reading

Spiritually Speaking

I was reflecting on community the other day and thinking back on all the people who have flowed through my life since I joined the community of recovery. There are those that have only come in and out with a face at some meeting or a chance greeting during and after in the halls. There are those that flow through our life and are indelibly posted as having great importance and then move on to other things or other places. One such person that I’ve been thing about lately is John McAndrew. Some of you surely know John or have … Continue reading

Do Manners Still Matter?

“Stop the insanity!” That’s what I wanted to yell at the woman who sat across from me at the beauty salon a few Saturdays ago. She insisted on having her laptop computer in her lap, which forced her stylist to work twice as hard at coloring her hair, because she had to fight to keep the dye from dripping onto the device. After this customer shut down her computer, she stayed in true self-absorbed form, placing call after call on her cell phone, and speaking in such a loud voice nearly everyone in the salon was subjected to her conversations. … 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