Quit Brooding – Be Happy

  I’ve been feeling down lately. I won’t burden you with the details. And sure, there’s nothing wrong with feeling down. I practice coping skills to move through the rough parts: physical exercise, following a routine, and asking for help. I’m also fortunate to have a handful of folks who bestow help when I ask. Sometimes […]

My Drinking Dreams – They’re a Nightmare!

I get so much out of living my life sober. And I am really working towards happiness and fulfillment. I feel like I am on the precipice of something or someone. But I haven’t quite worked out what or who. I suspect this is my spiritual awakening to a new life. And this time it […]

Fostering Feelings of Awe

Michiganders have always been my favorite group of people for many reasons. I LOVE the way that Michiganders love their state. From Detroit, to Grand Rapids, to Traverse City, to the Upper Peninsula – you would be hard pressed to find a Michigander who did not endorse and thoroughly enjoy the natural beauty of their […]

The Recovery Support Alumni Experience – Staying Connected

  The recovery support alumni groups offered at Sanford Addiction Treatment Centers are a valuable resource that both current and past clients are welcome to take part in. Our alumni meetings are gender-specific. And they take place in Sanford’s residential homes, situated in the Heritage Hill District of Grand Rapids.   A lot goes on […]

Acceptance? The Stages of my Recovery …

Living a life in recovery is challenging. In order to get sober, I had to give in to my addiction and in order to stay sober I have had to learn about addiction. And in learning about my addiction, I have learned a lot about myself and others. I have also learned it’s all about […]

When Loved Ones Enable Addictive Disease

In the world of addiction, to “enable” means to assist the progression of the disease by interfering with the natural consequences of addictive behaviors. As you are reading this, you’re probably thinking, “Why would anyone enable addictive disease? Make the situation worse?”  Unfortunately, and often very unintentionally, family members dealing with addictive behaviors, do just […]

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 […]

Mindfulness, Manageable Stress & Addiction Treatment

When I started to gather information for my graduate degree research project, it was just starting to get colder in Michigan. We were inching toward the winter months, and my anxiety spiked with each grey day on the horizon. The stress that accompanies literature reviews and all-things-research in graduate school appeared to double each moment […]

Recovery Expectations vs Reality – I’m Sober, What Now?

  We have a nasty habit of glamorizing “getting well.” Our recovery expectations envision peak health… how our lives will look (perfect) and bodies will feel (also perfect)… The thoughts we’ll have and the ones we won’t. Sometimes, we use the idealized and far-off future to excuse our behavior. Once I’m clean, then I’ll tackle […]

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. […]