Kind of Courageous

Dave the Horse Whisperer Last week I had the privilege to travel to Sundance, Utah, to visit the world renowned Cirque Lodge. What a glorious place of beauty and healing, all rolled up into snow covered majesty. Among the offerings of cozy lodge sleeps, delicious fireside meals, and an exhilarating helicopter ride, was nestled an opportunity to work with the horses and the legendary Dave the Horse Whisperer. My long time friend and co-worker Caitlin Stowell traveled with me. When we were asked about doing some “horse work” we both immediately thought- equine therapy. We eagerly agreed! But we soon […]

Divine Intervention

BRC Recovery For many years, I bought into the delusion that if I wanted to stop using, I would. “I just don’t want to,” was my response to family members and loved ones who watched me face external and internal consequences repeatedly.  Despite the uncontrollable sadness, anxiety, overwhelming anger, and an overall inability to show up for life, I could not see how sobering up would solve these problems. It seemed impossible, and honestly, I was not interested in a new way of living. At 18 years old, I was faced with a number of legal consequences – consequences I […]

Ethics and Mama Birds

Mama Bird, With Two Babies For the last few weeks my husband and I have been watching a potential tragedy unfold. A mama bird decided to make a nest for her babies. She has been working very diligently on a daily basis to build the best and safest nest for her offspring. Unfortunately, she placed the nest in the corner of our garage, in the midst of a mix of brooms, mops, shovels, and other miscellaneous tools. The placement is precarious at best; a strong wind could bring the whole operation toppling down. In addition, she is unable to sit […]

The Power of Step 12

STEP 12 “We tried to carry this message to other alcoholics.” It still amazes me how this line from Step 12 carries so much power! We learn on pg. 89 of the Big Book, “that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.” With long term sobriety being the goal for myself, I follow these instructions only to find that the real freedom is when I get to carry the message of hope to another alcoholic or drug addict. The key to my freedom today is being able to carry the message of recovery into hospitals […]

A Parent’s Perspective: Finding Serenity

Your phone rings, you see your caller ID, and your stomach churns. You hear sirens and your blood runs cold. You wonder if your son or daughter, your loved one, is in trouble. Will you have to bail him out? Will you have to visit her in the hospital? Or worse? Or it might be other concerns, such as requests for money, help with childcare, or letting him move back in to your home. These questions, fears, and situations are often daily experiences for family members and friends of addicts. Those who love addicts may constantly live in “fight or […]

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 […]

Change is Good and Other Irritating Grownup Sayings

Am I the only one who felt like 2016 was upon me before I was quite ready? My house was just beginning to smell and feel really Christmas-y when I looked up one day and the poinsettias were dried up, the cookies were stale, and it seemed like we were taking down the Christmas tree only a few days after it was put up. To be fair, last fall was a bit of a whirlwind. I sold my house, purchased and remodeled a new one, moved, traveled extensively, started practicing Bikram Yoga and all the while watched BRC Recovery grow […]

There is a Solution

Growing Up In A Town Growing up in a town right outside of Boston, MA, I always felt like I was shielded from the most dangerous elements of society and safe from harm. Warm summers, cool falls, snowy winters and crisp springs made New England one of the best places to live. Leaving home and heading to college at 18, I was about to embark on a journey that would eventually land me in Austin, TX at BRC Recovery. “Did you see the paper this morning? Seven more deaths due to overdoses.” This question, followed by harsh news, became my […]