• Hazelden Renewal Center

Are Sports Conducive to Recovery? [Opinion]

competition and recovery

I am a big sports fan. I like to play sports, although I don’t do that as often as I used to, and I follow all of the major sports. I talk sports at work, and listen to sports talk radio and sports center on T.V. just about daily. I think that I am aware of the arguments in favor of sports for a variety of healthy lifestyle reasons. But recently I have given some deeper consideration to sports as it relates to recovery. Some weeks ago I went to watch a basketball tournament put on by a local radio … Continue reading

Amber’s Story

first person testimony

I haven’t always been known as a person in recovery, as a matter of fact a label that many knew me as is would be addict, meth-head, felon, thief, liar, and many more. I spent 14 long years loyal to a drug that should have killed me. Yet, I stand. My Life Then By the time I was 19-years-old, I had two children by two different fathers, was in college pursuing a degree, all the while working at 3M as an intern hoping that I would one day become an employee. I had always dreamed of working for such a … Continue reading

Finding Happiness

happiness lemons

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” Albert Schweitzer I am happy to report that after much searching I have at long last found the key to happiness. Well at least I’ve unlocked my personal definition of contentment and I’m happy to share it. It wasn’t long ago I believed happiness could be found only after I’d reach certain goals. The problem with that logic was that when a goal was met there were always others to strive for. If  I failed to fulfill a certain wish did that mean I was doomed to eternal despair? … Continue reading

Do the 12 Steps Lead a Person to a Specific Religion?

12 steps lead to religion

The quick answer to the question posed in the above headline is no. The 12 steps are a spiritual program developed through Bill W and others’ experiences of being in the grip of alcoholism. Bill W. was not the first, but was himself the beneficiary of another recovering alcoholic’s testimony of the power of working a spiritual program for recovery from alcohol. Bill W. explained in The Big Book (aka Alcoholics Anonymous) that before recovery he was not an atheist and did not believe many people really were. It was his assertion that atheistic belief would mean, “…blind faith in … Continue reading

Facing Fear

facing fear

Fear stalks our world, brazen and shameless. I expect fear to occasionally sneak in and out of alleys, but to see it parade through public streets as though a welcome visitor is…..frightening! There are public and private fears; they embolden each other. Like bullies on the playground, they compete for space and power. Who will be the scariest today? Fear is dangerous because it paralyzes, like the sting from a scorpion. It stops my thinking and problem solving brain. It lights up my reptilian brain – the one that responds with fight, flight or freeze, the one developed for survival … Continue reading

Laura’s Story

first person testimony

I grew up in a house with both parents and my older brother. Overall, I was a happy kid who liked school. But there was an undercurrent of pain, a secret I kept: I was abused as a young child. I never told anyone. I learned to hold onto that secret. I was introduced to weed and alcohol when I was 15 years old but since I was the good girl no one suspected me. The secrets kept building. I blamed my parents, I wanted to be a rebel. I moved out at 18 and danced in bars and nightclubs … Continue reading

The Benefits of Giving Unconditionally

giving unconditionally

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill Some might say that giving unconditionally is the path of true abundance. Stepping beyond our self-interest and thinking of others is a gift in and of itself, especially for those in recovery. It is not only scientifically proven to make us happy, but it is also recommended by some of the world’s greatest leaders, spiritual and religious figures, and psychologists. I spoke to recovery scientist, researcher, and therapist Austin Brown about the benefits of giving unconditionally for people in recovery. By … Continue reading

Choosing Joy

choosing joy jumping women

You ever have that day where everything is going great, you’re excited for the day and then something comes up that just throws off everything?! A text, a call, something someone says to you… Lovely. Now my perfectly good day is ruined. All thanks to one person. One thing. You know what I’m talking about? I think we all actually go through experiences like that daily, but the one thing that differentiates one person’s experience from another’s is a thing called choice. In those hard moments we all have a choice to make. You can either let that person or circumstance dictate … Continue reading

Developing a Forgiving Attitude Sets You Free

forgiveness

David Richo, in his book, The Five Things We Cannot Change, claims that we must accept certain realities.  Among these are: All things change and end. Things do not always go according to plan. People are not loving and loyal all the time. Pain and suffering are a part of life. Life is not fair. I will add some additional realities. All of us will inevitably make some mistakes.  We will sometimes hurt someone else, and also ourselves. We have all experienced pain and disappointment because others have either intentionally or unintentionally hurt us.  This might include parents, siblings, teachers, … Continue reading

Beyond 12 Steps: There Are Many Paths to Addiction and Many Roads to Treatment and Recovery

beyond twelve steps

When we think of recovery programs for substance use disorders or addictive behaviors, many of us automatically think of the Twelve Steps. No surprise, since millions of people throughout the world embrace this philosophy that sprung up in the 1930s when the first Twelve Step group, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), was founded. Today there are Twelve Step mutual support groups for individuals and families that focus on other drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, or prescription pills. There are Twelve Step groups for those with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders. There are Twelve Step groups for people addicted to gambling, … Continue reading