Judy Garland & the Pervasive Stigma of Addiction

I went to see the movie Judy recently. There was a moment toward the end of the film when I thought to myself, Oh for God’s sake – why doesn’t she just get her act together? While a thousand ticket holders waited at a venue in London to hear her sing, Judy Garland was drinking […]

Welcoming the Sober Holidays – 10 Tips to Make them Manageable

My family has a legend we talk about from my non-sober holidays past. It’s about the time “Mom”, with a bottle of chardonnay coursing through her system, put hot stuffing into a Pyrex bowl. And while the rest of the Thanksgiving meal was sliced, mashed and dolloped into serving dishes, attempted to keep the stuffing […]

My Loved One is Angry & DUI – Should I Call the Police?

  Living with Addiction: If you live with someone who drinks or drugs too much, the following scenario should be familiar. The argument begins (as it always does) about mid-way between sobriety and your loved one’s peak inebriation and ends in DUI. It may start because of a missed milestone or unbecoming behavior in public. […]

Recovery Kayaking – The Uncomplicated Joy

Sobriety, once you get the hang of it, makes life uncomplicated. Take kayaking for example. In my active addiction, a kayaking trip would have been an elaborate affair. I would leave the sunblock, water and bug spray behind, but stockpile wine in plastic water bottles. My balance was so bad, I would never have been […]

What is Early Recovery? And When Do I Graduate?

I was hiking with a group of people who are new to recovery. And out of the blue, one of them asked, “What’s early recovery?”   Before I could answer, someone else said, “Yeah. What is early recovery and how do I get out of it?”   Still a third said, “I have a friend […]

The Restorative Health Benefits of a Michigan Summer

  Michigan summer… It’s finally Michigan summer. Last weekend I was mired in a rather “snakey” looking bog on the edge of Big Seven Lake. I could hear, but not see, the frogs with their burping, throaty chirps. There were tiny dragon-flies hovering over the water lilies and my inflatable kayak was listing to starboard. […]

WHO is Your Addiction Treatment Experience?

In the past two weeks I have spent more time than I would like in a hospital. In fact, any time spent in a hospital is too much for me. But I have an ailing mother and there is something so sad about a hospital inhabitant without a plethora of primrose toting visitors. So I […]

Social Drinking, Social Anxiety and the Open Bar…

What is it about an open bar at a lively party? Friendly wait staff in bow ties and damask draped folding tables.The inevitable lineup of soon to be new best friends. And for anyone like me, with social anxiety, the open bar is the ultimate event ice-breaker.   New Friends, Open Bar….No Social Anxiety Here.… […]

Fear Not Sober Vacations – Great Escapes for Sober Sojourners!

A newly sober friend of mine was looking meaningfully into his coffee. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “I’m going on a sober vacation to St Martin next week and I’m really nervous about my recovery,” he said. My immediate thought was a sarcastic, Poor you – that’s the kind of problem I’d like to have. But […]

Neuro-Reflexive Therapy – Dry Needling for Addiction Aftercare

  I am lying on a wide padded table breathing in through a “hole in my head”. I am breathing out through my hands and feet. There are neuro-reflexive needles in my face, hands, ankles, hips, and the top of my head. And behind my eyes I see cobalt blue squares. When I tell the […]