Boundaries and Self-Care

setting boundaries

A big part of self-care is setting boundaries. This is because laying out your boundaries allows you to prioritize your own wellbeing. It helps you to define and let others know what you need (physically and emotionally), how you expect to be treated and to recognize your right to have feelings, beliefs and personal time. It forces you to put you and your recovery first and to take a giant leap in self-worth. Creating healthy boundaries can be a powerful tool for lasting sobriety. Setting and enforcing limits can increase your self-respect and self-esteem and help to create a supportive network […]

Gratitude in Early Addiction Recovery

gratitude in early recovery

What are you grateful for today? There’s so many possible answers: To be alive, to be sober, to have your family talking to you, to see the sun shining, to feel the grass on your feet, to have the chance at a better life. Having an “attitude of gratitude” can be a pretty powerful tool in early recovery and beyond. While it will likely take some work – it requires adjusting your mindset and thought patterns – learning to be grateful can have some big benefits as you begin the road to recovery. Gratitude can help you to… Stay motivated […]

Why Are You Laughing?!?!

“We are going to Africaaaaa!!!” – Those were the words I joyfully announced last September at my husband’s 50th Birthday party. Having been a veterinarian for over 20 years and an animal lover his whole life, traveling to Africa for a photographic safari was right at the top of his bucket list. I was delighted to secretly make the arrangements and surprise him with this gift at the party. For months we planned and tweaked the itinerary. Rwanda, Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater, briefly Kenya and finally South Africa. We were lucky that we had a BRC Alumni family friend who owned […]

Makana Means Gift

Flying home from an awesome weekend in Charlotte, NC, spent with Ward Blanchard and Associates presenting to their Family Program, I was struck remembering the honesty and vulnerability with which the participants shared their personal stories. During open remarks, the families were asked to introduce themselves, share who they were there to visit, and on a scale of 1-10 share how much they felt they knew about alcoholism and addiction. The crowd was prompted for a volunteer to begin, and on the back row, the hand of a blonde haired twelve-year-old boy shot up. As he stood, with a quivering […]

5 Ways Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment Improves Recovery


Men and women can be driven to addiction through similar circumstances, but both groups experience addiction and recovery differently. As such, it’s beneficial for treatment to be customized to suit the unique needs of men and women. 1. It removes expectations. Recovery requires vulnerability. Many men and women find it easier to be vulnerable and speak candidly about the issues they are facing while in the presence of members of the same gender. When men are with men and women are with women, there is no need to put on a facade to cover up your feelings. 2. It fosters […]

5 Benefits of Community-Driven Treatment


Of all the ways to describe the disease of addiction, “lonely” and “isolating” are among the most accurate. It’s much easier to isolate ourselves than to face our problems head-on. Although isolation may provide some temporary relief, it doesn’t address the negative thought patterns, unstable emotions and destructive behaviors that lead to and are exacerbated by addiction. The benefits of community-driven treatment cannot be overstated. Surrounding ourselves with positive influences while making contributions to the community only improves the likelihood of achieving a successful, lasting recovery. 1. It changes your outlook. It’s human instinct to want to connect and bond […]

Better is None of my Business

The Holidays are here! That wonderful time of year when the temperatures drop, comfort foods are abundant and families and friends alike gather to celebrate. What they believe or celebrate may differ but the feeling of hope for “better” is common among most. This evening I was driving alone to my office to finish up a few things when my oldest son called. I was telling him ALL the Holiday plans (read MY Holiday plans) – what time church was, when presents would be opened, what time dinner would be on Christmas Day, what the family plans were for New […]

Boundaries and Codependency

Before our daughter agreed to surrender and receive help for her addiction she was deep in the trenches of that chaotic life and my life was in shambles.  I am a mom to 3 other grown children and a wife, but those were all put on the back burner so I could attend to her. My life was consumed with her. Her mess was my mess, her bad decisions seemed like my bad decisions, her bad days were my bad days. Her life was out of control and my life was at an all-time high with trying to fix her. […]