• Hazelden Renewal Center

The Devastating Consequences of an Addiction

It’s hard to imagine myself drinking or using again. It’s been so long since the last time I got drunk or high that it seems like an alternate life. The old me is a far away, distant memory. No more hangover headaches punishing me for the previous night. That past life of alcohol and drugs is gone and I’m so much happier for it. My battle with addiction started as a battle with depression. I started having depressive thoughts in 8th grade and, over time, those thoughts slowly ate away at me until my depression became all-encompassing. I began to … Continue reading

Living a Better Financial Story

In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, Donald Miller tells a powerful story he calls, “How Jason Saved His Family.” After returning from Los Angeles, where he took part in a storytelling workshop, Don got together with his friend, Jason, and learned of some trouble Jason and his wife were having with their 13-year-old daughter. She was dating a guy who was bad news; she was even experimenting with drugs.With the workshop fresh on his mind, Don made an offhand comment that Jason’s daughter “wasn’t living a very good story.” Jason was intrigued and asked Don to … Continue reading

Alcoholic’s Who Are Deaf Can Now Access A.A.’s Updated ASL Translation of “The Big Book”

ASL interpreter for AA Big Book

With over 35 million printed copies sold, the book Alcoholics Anonymous is now available in an updated abridged translation into American Sign Language. Commonly referred to as “The Big Book” this basic text of the worldwide Fellowship that bears its name is now available on DVD to the Deaf community, the Hard-of-Hearing community and the hearing community as well. https://5c8bc2b386.site.internapcdn.net/aa/ASL-aaws/AAWS_2019_Long.mp4 DVD features: Professional ASL signers and DVD video production Updated translation inspired and reviewed by A.A. members who are Deaf Audio track and subtitles for use among ASL and non-ASL users The basic principles and practices of the Fellowship that have provided a … 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

The Gift of Self-Forgiveness

“If I had to live my life again, I’d make all the same mistakes—only sooner.” — Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) One of the most hidden and powerful aspects of human identity is how many of us have shame and harsh judgments towards ourselves. Some of us are barely aware of our self-contempt; others are drowning in a sea of self-revulsion and have no way to save ourselves. Most of us alternate between denial and harsh self-criticism. We are so overwhelmed by this self-devaluation that we often unconsciously choose to not acknowledge it in ourselves. Often, we don’t know why we hate … Continue reading

Prayer Primer

“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God….” Step 11 What is prayer? Prayer is conversation with an inner voice, a higher power, a felt presence. Many call this conversation partner God. Some use other names: YHWH (Jehovah), Allah, Gaia, Spirit. Whatever the name we give it, we seek contact through prayer and meditation. I learned the basics of prayer as a child. Since then I’ve learned to read beyond Dick and Jane and solve problems beyond arithmetic. Too often our prayer skills stop at a third grade level. As I age, my conversations with friends … Continue reading

Overdoing It With Kids: Is It Really All That Harmful?

Our children will not go to hell in a hand basket if we occasionally spoil them. All of us could use a little pampering and a day off work from time to time. Children who are given excess attention and protection are at least getting the message that they’re loved. Unfortunately that’s only half the message children need to learn from parents. The other half is at least as important…our children also need to be taught to love themselves. If we regularly make our children’s lives too easy for them they will feel loved by us but they will likely … Continue reading

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