• Hazelden Renewal Center

Sesame Street Uses Muppet to Support Children Affected by Parental Addiction

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, is announcing an initiative to support children and families affected by parental addiction. The initiative features Karli, a 6 ½-year-old Sesame Street Muppet whose mom is dealing with addiction. In new videos and other content, favorite Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Abby Cadabby learn what Karli is going through and help their friend to cope. The resources, which are part of the Sesame Street in Communities program and freely available on www.SesameStreetinCommunities.org, deliver the words children need to hear most: You are not alone. You will be taken care of. … Continue reading

12 Steps to Humility: Seek Progress Not Perfection

12 steps to humility

It’s all very simple. You set a goal for yourself; you determine how you’ll meet that goal, and then you follow some tried-and-true strategies that will help you reach it. Will power! That’s all you need. Determination. Discipline. Ah, if the road to recovery were only that easy. Anyone reading this article, anyone recovering from addiction, anyone seeking the divine in their daily lives knows recovery and re-finding God is more about surrender than struggle, more about journey than destination, more about making progress than achieving perfection. Our puny will power is no match for what God really wants for … Continue reading

Why Good Marriages Go Bad

Success in marriage takes vision, focus, and letting go. Good marriages go bad not out of intent, but from misguided actions. These actions unknowingly undermine trust, respect, honesty, and appreciation. Over time, patience is replaced by impatience, excitement by apathy and pleasure by frustration. To prevent this from happening to your marriage learn how to choose your battles, establish a clear relationship vision, show your appreciation and embrace the necessary communication and problem-solving skills to resolve your challenges. Unsuccessful couples often judge those with successful marriages as lucky. What they fail to recognize is the trials and tribulations these couples … Continue reading

My Recovery Story

Hi, my name is John Tolo. Here is my recovery story. I grew up in the toughest ghetto in New England outside of New York City. My family was the only white family in a neighborhood that was mostly Black and Hispanic. We moved there in 1972, at a time when racial tensions were high. Many Afro-Americans were angry and some felt pushed to the point of a violent lashing at the systems they believed were abusing them. I was nine when my father became part of an inner-city church and we moved into the middle of the area. It … Continue reading

Identity and Parenting: Role With It

man with child

I recently attended a workshop where the speaker asked participants to list ten items that define them. My silent reaction: Ah, I hate this kind of stuff. But I began to write. It was actually fairly easy. I had six items before I ran out of time.  Number six was a little cheesy: “citizen of the world.” Two through five read “teacher, counselor, musician, friend.” In my number one spot, I had proudly penciled “parent.” Many parents today—including me—are having children later in life. Often these parents are set in their careers, have saved a little money and invested in … Continue reading

Doing With Less: Is It Really All That Bad?

less is more neon sign

Let’s face it. When you’re about to lose your house to foreclosure or a job due to layoff doing with less is a bitter pill to swallow. The resulting heartache and worry may make us very reluctant to imagine any good coming from such setbacks. Yet most of us have a different type of tribulation. We have no idea of what it means to be down and out. We aren’t having our houses repossessed, we don’t live in the bombed out neighborhoods of Iraq and we don’t have to scrounge for food on the tundra of Africa. We in fact … Continue reading

After Treatment, Then What?

what to do after treatment

Treatment for addiction is only the beginning of recovery. What happens when you go back home? If you even have one anymore. Here are four stories of recovering addicts in midlife and how they meet their daily challenges while staying sober after treatment. Chris Arrowsmith Bagdon smoked off-the-street cannabis for two years to relieve ongoing pain from a brain concussion and to offset war combat flashbacks. One night he hit a batch that he suspects was laced with the drug PCP. “I started freaking out,” says Chris. It took four cops and a taser to intercept his violently out-of-control behavior. … Continue reading

A Good-bye and Thank You

Julia Edelman

“You’ve got to know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.” — Lyrics by Don Schlitz, 1976 Used to be, I enjoyed risks. The higher the stakes, the bigger and better the adrenaline rush. The bigger and better the adrenaline rush, the higher the enjoyment. It was the perfect cocktail: risk plus adrenaline = fun. And thus, the pleasure center in my brain got used to a healthy dose of thrill-seeking adventures. In my youth, I enjoyed the dopamine surges provided by outdoor water sports. A perfect day … 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

Social Phobia: When You’re Too Scared to Show Your Inner Life to Others

I hate being in a group of people I don’t know. If I can find a way to get out of such gatherings I will. My mind gets nuts with anxiety. I fear that I will be seen as abnormal—that people can see my flaws. My voice usually cracks, sweat pours off my forehead, and I have a hard time thinking of what I want to say. I wish I could be cool like my brother—the golden boy—who can walk into a room and have everybody eating out of his hand. It’s so easy for him; so dreadfully hard for … Continue reading