#GivingTuesday: Give Life

As the holiday season approaches, I’ve been thinking about the act of giving and receiving and what it means.  How one thoughtful gift can make an average day extraordinary.  How one donation—big or small—can spark a never-ending ripple effect in the lake of life that can change the course of someone’s life and the lives of countless others. Yet I quickly lose sight of the spirit of giving amid the twinkling lights, fancy ornaments, stockings, and presents.  I am completely swept away by the hustle and bustle the holiday ushers in. I forget that two years ago, with a broken […]

Tears into Determination

DETERMINATION Throughout the course of my journey in recovery there have been ups and downs, times of joy, and times of tribulation. One of the greatest joys of my recovery is the fact that my two oldest sons have joined me on this journey. I believe that because of their bearing witness to my own struggles and ultimate triumph they were able to raise their hands for help decades in their lifespan, before I had the voice to do so in my own. As I watched them struggle, surrender and rise again, the mom in me, and the treatment professional […]

Sober Living in Austin, Texas

One of the greatest fears for a person in recovery is transitioning from inpatient treatment back into “the real world”. Multiple studies conducted by The National Institutes of Health highly support the importance of high accountability sober living and the impact it has on potential relapse. With this knowledge, BRC Recovery extended our continuum of care and in 2012 purchased our first company owned sober living apartments in central Austin, Texas. Austin, Texas offers many great resources to those in recovery. From fellowship meetings to recovery conferences, sober lounges and community centers, there are so many opportunities to participate in […]

Create the Fellowship You Crave

My struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction My struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction began at the age of twelve years old. I have experienced darkness that neither I nor my family were prepared to encounter.  From multiple hospital and psychiatric unit stays, to jails and twenty-five residential treatment centers it continued for what felt like an eternity.  I was the garden variety drunk who chronically relapsed.  Nothing could keep me sober and I tried everything that I thought possibly would, except the 12 Steps of course.  I reconciled that I would likely spend the rest of my life in […]

The Family Afterward

Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous Appropriately titled The Family Afterward, the ninth chapter in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous begins to answer the first question I am asked by those surrounding their newly sober loved one. Now what? The alcoholic has begun their journey and the family is curious as to where to place their own energy and what role to play moving forward. This chapter applies to many beyond the scope of a family member. It could in fact be titled, “To Anyone Who Loves an Alcoholic.” The disease of alcoholism and addiction is so deeply rooted in […]

The Power of Hope

I must be the Greatest When he beat Liston in 1964 and said “I must be the Greatest”, I was 11 and average. From that moment on, I wanted to be great.” –Thomas Henderson, former Dallas Cowboy I had the opportunity last week to attend the West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders. What an amazing event held in beautiful (albeit HOT) Palm Springs, California! On Saturday night BRC hosted an intimate gathering of old and new friends to network and discuss treatment solutions, have a nice meal and enjoy fellowship (and air conditioning!!) I was seated next to an employee, […]

Waking Up

BRC Recovery My name is Caroline Holderfield, and I am a Recovery Coach with the Women’s Segue Program of BRC Recovery. During my active alcoholism one of the most painful parts of each day for me was waking up. I still very clearly remember the mornings when I would awake fairly sober to suffocating fear that felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I would immediately reach for whatever substance I had to calm my nerves and allow me to breathe. When the Big Book talks about the Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair— it perfectly describes the state […]

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 […]