Spending the Holidays in Treatment – The Best of Excursions Magazine

Best of Excursions Magazine


This week, we had a visit from clinical interventionist Tom Gilbert of Touch Stone. Tom shared his journey of addiction and recovery with our clients and staff… And a part of his journey was to spend the holidays in residential treatment. It’s something our residents could relate to – with Christmas approaching and the festive season in full swing.

The staff at Sanford House is making the holiday weekend warm, cozy and bright at Sanford House at Cherry Street and Sanford House at John Street. Chef Leslie is cooking up a proper holiday meal (gingerbread men and all), the Christmas trees are up, the halls have been decked with care…

Because we understand that spending the holidays in treatment isn’t easy. The circumstances aren’t ideal. But what better gift to close friends and family than the safety, health, and sobriety of someone they love?


Below are our favorite holiday reads, from Excursions Magazine



10 Things You Should Ask Before Your First Sober Holiday

By: Marilyn Spiller


Sober Holiday

I quit drinking in the month of July, so I had some time to get used to the idea before the onslaught of the holiday season and the reality of a sober holiday. By Halloween I knew I was committed to sobriety. I spent the first abstemious trick-or-treat of my adult life, dressed as a surly Cruella DeVil (a character I resemble a bit too much in the best of times), drinking gassy water out of a champagne glass and diving into the candy bowl with the zeal theretofore reserved for Vampire Chardonnay… [Read more]



Parenting in Recovery

By: Carlee Whitcome



I regularly go to a meeting, where once a month we have a “fireball” format in which the sharer picks someone from the group and gives them a topic. It seems I have been given the topic of “being a parent in recovery” multiple times.  I always get the feeling that everyone is expecting me to talk about how “I bring my kid to meetings all the time, what’s your excuse?” or lament about how stressful being a parent is.  Snapshots of, “Wine: mommy’s little helper,” and other stereotypes run through my head.  But I know what to say… [Read more]



Blue Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday…) Beating the New Year’s Blues…

By: Olivia Pennelle


Winter Blues...

This week started with “Blue Monday.” Blue Monday – January 16th. It’s known as the most depressing day of the year. It is when the post-holiday blues set in, when New Year’s resolutions have typically failed, and when the weather is at its worst. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, there are things you can do to lighten your mood and environment. Historically, the term ‘Blue Monday’ was coined by psychologist, Cliff Arnall, who formulated an equation to describe the most depressing day of the year… [Read more]





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Author Jess Kimmel has always had a passion for art and when she discovered art therapy it just made sense. Jess is an Art Therapist who serves as Clinical Manager, Sanford House at Cherry Street for Women. Jess has a B.S in Psychology and an M.S. in Art Therapy. Art therapy allows her creativity to shine through her work and she thrives on seeing the confidence grow in the individuals she works with at Sanford Behavioral Health. Jess is from Hartland, Michigan and currently lives in Grand Rapids.