Finding Hope and Help in the Midst of Addiction: Healing Your Family

Deathiversary of my son’s death Yesterday was the fifth anniversary (deathiversary?) of my son’s death of a drug overdose. Brandon was one of those people who are larger than life. He was the life of the party. He had a loud voice, a lot of friends, an infectious smile, and he enveloped people with his bear hugs. He befriended the underdog and defended the helpless. He was intense; he loved and hated with his whole heart. He was the glue that held our family relationships together. He constantly reached out to each person in our family to spend time with […]

A Parent’s Perspective: Finding Help, Hope, and Health

My world was spinning out of control and I had no idea how to fix it. Of my four sons, one was dead of a drug overdose, and another was a severe alcoholic, although I didn’t really understand or believe that at the time. Relationships among family members were fraught with tension and unexpressed feelings, and my marriage had deteriorated severely. Figuratively speaking, I clung to each of my living sons fiercely, leaving my talon marks in their flesh. I demanded that my oldest son, who lives out of town, call me weekly; and I spent most of my time […]

A Life Worth Living

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” William James “Don’t give up before the miracle happens” AA Slogan (Fannie Flagg) The mind is a powerful thing — capable of learning, understanding, reasoning, and creating many things. But for years, there was one silent question that plagued me. Why can’t I stop drinking? I don’t know exactly when I stopped asking myself that question, but I did. I had resigned myself to the facts before me. I would always drink. That’s just how it was going to be. My mind couldn’t conceive of it ever […]

University High School: The Recovery High School of Tomorrow

By Mary H. In Austin, between the Texas state capitol and the UT tower, there is a small Christian church. In the fall of 2014, it will open its doors as the city’s only “sober” high school. University High School will join more than 20 high schools across the nation in the Association of Recovery Schools, serving student populations with substance abuse problems. The school will be unique, as it is the first of its kind located on the doorstep of a college campus. Classes will be held in the meeting rooms of University Christian Church on 21st Street. Lori […]

Out of the Frying Pan and into Addiction Recovery

Remember the frying pan, “This is your brain on drugs” public service announcements of the late 80s and 90s? Fried eggs and “Just say no” did nothing to prevent or intervene my growing drug and alcohol usage during the decades of crack cocaine, Ecstasy and meth. Today, we have colorful PET scans showing brain damage after drug use. While these images are more effective than frying pans at moving someone from a pre-contemplation (I don’t have a drug and alcohol problem) stage to a compilation (maybe I do have a substance use issue) stage, it falls well short of a recovery solution. […]

Holiday Stress in Drug and Alcohol Recovery

Tradition 10: “Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.” The holiday season is right around the corner, and this is a challenging time both for addicts and for their families. Overindulging—both in terms of food and alcohol—is most common during this time of year. Fitness clubs sell the most memberships in January because people tend to put on the most weight during the preceding two months. It is no accident or coincidence that addictive behaviors resurface at the same time of year when families spend the most time […]

Meditation and Recovery: Changing Your Perception

by John Olrech I was introduced to meditation in my early thirties at the beginning of my attempts to get sober from drugs and alcohol. The idea of finding a moment of peace was intriguing, and the ability to slow down the thoughts in my head was a dream. I did not realize how the roles of meditation and the 12 steps would change my life. I, like many alcoholics and addicts, struggled for many years to quiet the thoughts in my head. I used alcohol and drugs to dull my senses and my mind. When I first discovered meditation, I […]

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.’’ […]