How to Observe Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week in 2019 is October 6th to October 12th. The U.S. Congress established Mental Illness Awareness Week in 1990. Every year, it takes place on the first full week of October and highlights the efforts of mental health advocacy groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It’s not just NAMI that brings awareness to mental health issues in October; every year, the World Health Organization designates October 10th as World Mental Health Day. October is also National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. It’s appropriate that mental health and substance use awareness campaigns share this overlap. The […]

A Parent’s Perspective: The Dreaded Telephone Call

The Phone Call Every Parent Fears “I’m sorry—we found him too late. There is no hope.” “She overdosed last night and died early this morning.” The phone call every parent fears. While the vast majority of parents never receive it, parents of addicts have a greater probability of receiving it than do other parents. Our call came 11/11/11, just after we touched down in Orlando for a Disney World vacation. As we sat on the tarmac waiting to deplane so we could spend a week at “the place where dreams come true,” the dreaded words knifed through the phone. “Brandon’s […]

Painting Over Insecurity

Most people approach new situations with joy, excitement, and anticipation. BRC Recovery took the female residents on an outing this week that was no different. Looking around the art studio, I observed carefree conversations, laughter, and merriment. The excitement for me, however, was short-lived. Waiting beyond the conviviality was a blank canvas, fresh paint, clean brushes, and the picture we were to paint, ultimately, a new experience. Doubt, inability, and failure immediately clouded the scene. I knew that the picture in my mind’s eye would never be actualized. My ego exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.’’ […]

The Pieces of Vulnerability

Just like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, I take the lessons God presents in my life and connect them to create a cohesive picture. The pieces to my life puzzle this week: -“Triumph of the inner spirit” While sharing his story at BRC Recovery, Mike D. expressed the importance of getting unblocked from the spirit that resides within our hearts and becoming okay with who we are at the core of our existence. -“Perfect and Bulletproof” Brene Brown expresses in her book, Daring Greatly, the seductive features of being perfect and bulletproof. She suggests that we must be willing to […]

13 Tips Gained from 13 Miles

Unlike the Boy Scouts who are always prepared, I arrived at my very first half marathon lacking some fundamental “Do’s” and “Don’ts.” After some practical experience with the process, however, I learned these basic guidelines to make future races a bit easier: 1. Weather—always check the weather forecast! I arrived ill-prepared for the climate change from Austin to Dallas: 84—hot and humid to 51—cold and cloudy. 2. Nutrition—stay away from fiber to avoid unexpected port-a-potty visits and go heavy on the carbs to sustain energy. 3. Transportation—not a great idea to drive 200 miles after you run 13.1 miles! I […]

BRC Recovery: A Sense of Community During Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

On Saturday, March 9, current residents of BRC Recovery, Alumni, family and proud members of Austin’s Recovery Community gathered at the Mark Houston Hall to hear former Program Director Audrey C. tell her story. My house manager said to me once that you know a good story when you don’t look at the clock one time. I didn’t notice the clock or any wandering eyes last night, but I did take a few moments to look around in gratitude. And those in attendance were literally on the edge of their seats, as BRC Recovery went back to its roots. As […]

Never Ask Why

I had a conversation recently with a dear friend about the importance of “not asking why” We agreed that this was one of the biggest lessons we learned from the BRC Recovery experience. I know that when I first arrived, it was hard for me to understand the logic behind the rules. I think I rolled my eyes the entire time my buddy went through the Code of Conduct. I could not understand what “zen-ing” my room and not bringing red cups downstairs had to do with me not shooting dope anymore. How was this supposed to keep me sober? […]

Single Girl in the Middle

Single girl in the middle—that’s exactly where I found myself on Valentine’s Day. I was sandwiched between Courtney’s sweet flower bouquet and Tracie’s chocolate covered strawberries. Yikes! Suddenly, I wasn’t just a single girl…I was an especially single girl. In that moment I felt lonely, incomplete, and insufficient. Basically, not enough as is. However, a quick spot-check, known as the tenth step of recovery, quickly stopped the self-pity express. No amount of chocolate, flowers, diamonds, or even affection will fill the void in my soul. That space is only satisfied with God. As I meditated it became clear that I do […]