Women, Addiction and Recovery

There is a range of biological, social and environmental factors that denote risk of addiction, including gender. Although men and women are at an equal risk of developing a substance use disorder, women who have an addiction are also dealing with an entirely different set of circumstances than men. The differences between genders can be hugely influential in the development of addiction and warrant a gender-specific approach to treatment. How Does Addiction in Women Begin? Men typically begin using drugs or alcohol earlier in life and more frequently than women, but both genders, once introduced to substances, are equally likely […]

#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 […]

Delight

Recently, BRC was asked by our good friend Ken Seeley of Intervention 911, and the producers of The Doctors TV Show to accept a patient struggling with heroin addiction for treatment. I flew to LA to meet with Ken, the family of the patient, and for the taping of the episode. What an exhilarating, whirlwind experience! Returning home, pretty tired, I stood impatiently at the airport baggage carousel waiting for my luggage to appear. All the while, texting my husband and slightly irritated about the delay – I was tired and past ready to be home! At the end of […]

Fear and Acceptance

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Fear of accepting Many fears kept me on the fence with sobriety for a long time. Fear of accepting I had a problem, fear of the label of alcoholic and the fear of a new way of life I heard about in recovery. When I drank, I felt free of my overwhelming emotions and problems. Drinking was my solution to dealing with fear and how could I handle life without it? What would life look like without alcohol? How would I manage to handle things? I was afraid. Today I know exactly what life looks like without alcohol. The fear […]

A Call to Action

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BRC Recovery I recently met with a photographer at Bayside Park here in my hometown of Colchester, Vermont. He was taking a picture that was to be used for the upcoming article for the local newspaper. I was asked to share my story and give my experience on what pathway to recovery worked for me. As I stated to the reporter time and time again, my experience showed me the only way to recover was to abstain from all mind-altering substances and to experience an entire psychic change.  Then it hit me like a Mack truck. So many people out […]

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 […]

Coming Full Circle

BRC Recovery’s Bringing Real Change To some it may seem that moving back home to the Northeast in the midst of a heroin pandemic was completely irrational, but today I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been given the rare opportunity to carry the message of hope to those suffering from the disease of addiction in my community through BRC Recovery’s Bringing Real Change NE Citywide Meeting. Growing up in small town New England was everything out of a story book.  The fresh cut green grass, the vibrant colors of the autumn leaves and the cheering on the […]

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 […]