Monday, December 19, 2011

Drug Treatment during the Holidays


The holiday season is a very stressful time for some people. When we are talking about people that suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction the holidays can produce very bad feelings that accelerate use. As a drug rehab in Pennsylvania, we see an increase of admissions to our facilities during and after Christmas and New Years. Why is this? Many times the reason is because the addict may be ready to give up and surrender to their disease. They see how hurt their families are, how irresponsible their behavior has been, and their lives spiraling out of control.

For families that have suffered from a loved ones addiction, although it can be difficult, when someone gives up that is the first step in recovery. It can be tough to be dealing with this when it should be a happy time of year. The good news is that if the addict/alcoholic stays surrendered, the holidays that come in the future can be drastically different.

Our Treatment Centers are located in North East Pennsylvania can assist people from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. If you or someone you know is in need of a new york city drug rehab, please call us first. We can help when no one else can.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Simplicity is Key

When we were using our lives seemed so complicated and mostly because we complicated everything. We complicated our lives and the lives of those around us. We can only see it now that we are sober how complicated we made things when they didn't have to be. Now, with the gift of sobriety we can see how keeping life simple truly benefits us and those we love.

The simplicity of life is just so beautiful and we could not see this while we were using. We are sober and now see clearly that the simplicity of life is a blessing. We must hang out to this simplicity because it will help us on our road of recovery.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

In the spirit of Thanksgiving we are given a great opportunity to be reminded of what we are thankful for. Being grateful is sometimes hard to do when life doesn't go the way we want it to, but we know that we are powerless over many things.

Today, let's be grateful for our recovery because with that we wouldn't haven't all the other good things in our lives. From our recovery stems our relationships with family and friends that we are grateful for. From our recovery stems our careers that we are grateful for. From our recovery stems who we truly are that we are extremely grateful for. So today, take a look at how blessed you are. It's a miracle that we've become who we are today!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Service To Others

When we were using we could not be of service to others because we couldn't even manage our own lives. One of the many gifts of sobriety and recovery is that we can help others. With a clear mind we are able to offer ourselves to others who need it. We are so fortunate to be able to give to others. We are able to really epitomize selflessness rather than selfishness like in our past.

Today let's do something nice for someone or lend a hand! It's a gift we've been given through our recovery, now let's pass it on.

November 18-Daily Gratitude
I am grateful to be of service to others.
Today I will attempt to offer my service in all situations where it can help others.
I pray that I develop a spirit of service to others.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Beginning

Every day we are granted a new beginning. A chance to start a new, a chance to do the next right thing, a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. The only reason we have been given these opportunities is because we are sober and working a program.

There is no way we would be where we are if it weren't for the rooms of A.A./N.A., the 12 Steps, our sponsor, our support group, our higher power. So today, try to do something better, whether it's for you or for someone else, make a positive step in your life. Tomorrow you can do it all over again! This is a gift that we are grateful for.


November 9-Daily Gratitude
I am grateful for all the new beginnings in my life. Today I will identify the new beginnings before me. I pray that I recognize the opportunity for new beginnings in life.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feeling the Pain

Feeling pain for the first time in recovery is one of the hardest things we ever have to face. We don't know true pain until we go through it with a clear mind. It hurts so much when we are going through it but somehow as we work through it, it gets better. At the time, we feel like it will never get better but one day you cry a little less, you are not so angry, you laugh, you smile, you open up again.

This is the true gift of sobriety. Today we can feel our way through life and come out stronger on the other side. Today we can be grateful for our clear minds and our clear hearts. What progress we have made!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heroin Addiction



After speaking to the history of the drug heroin, we would like to talk about the addiction to it. Heroin, like all drugs is dangerous and fatal when used. It does not matter in what means you are taking the drug. Whether you smoke, snort, and shoot the drug, the effects are deadly.

When someone uses heroin for the first time it is immediately detrimental to the mind and body. After the user feels the euphoric high that heroin produces they become instantly addicted. If only in the mental sense that is all it takes for someone to become an abuser of one of the most fatal drugs out there. After a period of abuse, the user begins to feel that nothing in the world matters except for finding more. As with any substance, the abusers tolerance to the drug will increase making it more difficult to find the financial means to remain as high as they want. That is when a drug addict will begin to steal and break laws or just do anything they would not normally do in order to obtain more.

The health concerns of heroin abuse pose so many different risks. Heroin, which is often injected, can lead to AIDS, HIV, and hepatitis. Sharing needles is common among heroin addicts. Often times respiratory and cardiovascular problems arise soon after people use the drug.

The withdrawal from heroin is painful. When an addict can't find more and is forced to not use, without medical help this can be painful. The detox from heroin lasts anywhere from 3-10 days. It is the suggestion to find a Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut heroin rehab to come off this drug. Clearbrook Treatment Centers can provide a full medical heroin detox in Pennsylvania. Please call us to speak with an admissions specialist.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heroin Treatment Center


The History of Heroin and Heroin Abuse

This week we are going to focus on heroin addiction, the effects, and the statistics of the drug. Heroin abuse has grown in the US by alarming numbers over the last century. This drug is blamed for more overdoses than any other drug out there. First, we would like to give you the history of where heroin was derived from.

In November of 1898 the company Bayer and a chemist named Heinrich Dresser launched the product Diaceylmorphine. The company Bayer is well known still as the inventor of aspirin. It is still made today and people consume over 40 billion tablets of Bayer aspirin a year. When launched, heroin got its name because employees of the Bayer company tested the product for sore throats and coughs. When they consumed this product by drinking it they all said they felt heroic. Thus the name heroin was thought of. The drug was 4 times as powerful as morphine and more effective. It was first marketed as a non-addictive substance. In those days heroin was packaged in a bottle and consumed by drinking it. The intravenous needle did not come till much later. In 1899 Bayer produced over a ton or 2000 pounds of heroin and sold it to over 23 countries including the United States.

From 1910-1912, the United States government started seeing a drastic rise in heroin abuse. People were overdosing and using the substance for recreational purposes. It took another 22 years for the United States to make the possession and consumption of Heroin illegal. Bayer had stopped production of heroin in 1913 only to have other people making it illegally and more powerful. That is when people started using needles to inject heroin and the powder to ingest through the nose.

Clearbrook Treatment Centers are Pennsylvania heroin rehabs that are close enough to serve as New York heroin rehabs, New Jersey heroin rehabs, and Connecticut heroin rehabs. Please call us to speak with an admissions specialist today.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Equal to Others

October 17-Daily Gratitude
I am grateful to know that I am equal to others. Today I will attempt to remain the right size. I pray for awareness of my similarity to others.

When we are using, we think we are different from everyone else. We think that no one understands our situation because we are unique. We think we are better than other people. Our ego creates these delusional thoughts.

When we walk into the rooms of AA/NA and here the stories of others we realize we are not different. We actually realize that all of the people around us are similar in some way or another. We must embrace these similarities because it helps us relate to others and helps others relate to us. Thus making it possible to support each other in the program. So for today, enjoy how equal you are to all of those around you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Prescription Drug Treatment Center PA NY NJ




Clearbrook Treatment Centers can serve as the facility for your adolescent that has an addiction to prescription drugs. In today's world, these drugs are being abused by our teenagers in some places, more widely than the more common and well known street drugs like cocaine, heroin, or marijuana. The first step in getting these children help is a drug treatment center in PA, NY, or NJ, that has the capabilities of safely treating this illness.

The drugs of oxycontin, percocet, and vicodine are being distributed at alarming rates on our streets. Many people wonder where these drugs are coming from. Medicine cabinets in our homes have drugs in them that are addictive and exactly what the addict is looking for. Take a look in your medicine cabinet and see what is in there. If you don't know what it is, take it to a pharmacy and find out. If you don't need it, tell them and they will dispose of it. Doctors and pain clinics are the biggest offender in this new drug epidemic. We do realize that these medications do serve a purpose and are used to treat pain, but there are some places out there that serve as legal drug dealing offices. Short of getting into the politics of this problem, something needs to be done.

Our teenagers are dying everyday from these drugs. They think that it isn't that bad because they aren't abusing the everyday street drugs. These drugs in a lot of cases are just synthetic forms of these drugs. Oxycontin for example produces the same euphoric high as heroin. Ridilin can produce the same effects as cocaine. These drugs are dangerous and you should be educated on them.

If your need a PA, NY, or NJ drug rehab, call Clearbrook and speak with a member of our staff. We can help you. We will help your loved one. Drug addiction is a disease that requires experienced medical help and the therapeutic physcological treatment can be accomplished at Clearbrook Treatment Centers.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Presctiption Drug Rehab/Detox PA, NY, NJ, CT



Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic that is sweeping the streets of our country. In the northeast, prescription drug abuse in PA, NY, NJ, and CT, is up 26% from 2006. Our teenagers are abusing these drugs, most notably, oxycontin and roxicontin. A poll of high school students revealed that one in twenty admitted to taking one or both of these drugs. Oxycontin is synthetic heroin. It was invented in Germany as a pain reliever without the high euphoric effects of heroin or opium. It was made to be time released when swallowed in a pill form to regulate the high the drug produces yet relieve pain. Teenagers and adults have found ways to abuse oxycontin by injecting the drug intravenously or by grinding up the pills and ingesting them through the nose. Pharmacy robberies have soared through the roof in the last ten years. Home invasions of people who are prescribed this drug have also increased. Adolescents have also been mixing these pills with alcohol. The combination is extremely deadly. Parents or loved ones should listen for the code names the addict has given these drugs to know whether or not they are taking them. The words to watch out for are Oxys, Roxis, blues, and OCs.

The treatment for prescription drug abuse in NY, NJ, PA, and CT, can be handled successfully at Clearbrook Treatment Centers. The first step into successful sobriety from these drugs is a fully licensed, medical detox. The addict on prescription drugs faces a tough road in regards to detox, but can and will be accomplished if they follow the treatment plan outlined by our addiction specialists. Sometimes people that are on prescription drugs think that they are not as bad as those who use the street drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is denial and this denial needs to be addressed. These drugs are killing the same if not more people on our streets every day. Depression during the initial detox can occur as well. This is a physcological dilemma that is also immediately addressed by our staff.

Often times when our loved ones are addicted we don't know what to do. If you are looking for help and to save the life of yourself or someone you love, we assure you that we can help when you thought no one else can.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guidance

September 28-Daily Gratitude

I am grateful for the guidance in my life. Today I will make myself available to guidance from others. I pray that I will be encouraged to reach out for guidance.

Today, the Daily Gratitude is focusing on guidance for others and guidance for ourselves.

The guidance we offer to others can be by sponsoring someone or also just being a source of support for some one who needs help. You don't have to be someone's sponsor to help them. Sometimes offering guidance to someone else also helps us in our own lives. It can teach us a lot.

Reaching out for guidance is not always an easy thing especially if our ego gets in the way. Sometimes we are humbled by asking for guidance. But don't be afraid to ask for guidance. That's what we have a sponsor and a support group for. It helps us learn and grow as we are less fearful of asking for guidance and ask for it more frequently. You don't have to do this alone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Roxicodone Rehab/ Detox NY NJ PA




Roxicodone- Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine. It was developed in 1916 in Germany, as one of several new semi-synthetic opioids in an attempt to improve on the existing opiates: morphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin), and codeine. (www.dictionary.com)

Prescription drug abuse in NY NJ and PA is the fastest growing category of drug abuse. From early teens to adults, prescription medication can be easily obtained in doctors offices and on the streets. Many people are disillusioned into thinking that they do not have a drug problem because a doctor is prescribing them the medication. A drug called Roxicodone is one of the most widely abused drugs out there. The abuse of this drug, like the common street drugs, is often times fatal. In the state of Florida these drugs can be obtained by teenagers easier than alcohol can. Florida produces about 80% of all presciption drugs that are being sold illegally on the street. The laws in the state of Florida allow people from as far away as Canada to readily obtain these pills at a low cost. They bring them to their towns and cities all over America and sell them for a hefty profit.

What is Roxicodone
The pills are usually blue and come in 5,15, 30, 45, and 80 milligrams. The pill was invented to deal with moderate to severe pain. It will slow the brain function down to trick the body into not feeling the pain the pill was prescribed for. Taking Roxicodone can cause depressed breathing, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The ability to preform every day tasks becomes severely impaired including driving and operating machinery.

Signs of Roxicodone Abuse

1) The pupils will remain pin sized. Opiates ignore the ability for the eyes to properly react to light.
2)Are you missing money. These drugs can cost up to $100 a pill on the street. Many people who are abusing roxicodone can take up to 20 pills a day.
3)The drug suppresses appetite. Watch for weight loss.
4)Constipation often occurs when taking this specific drug
5)Sleep patterns will vary. Often times after taking the drug, people will have a lot of energy, followed by a crash that makes them sleep for long periods of time.
6)Look for drug paraphenalia. These drugs can be swallowed but are also injected, smoked or ingested through the nose.


Clearbrook Treatment Centers are drug treatment centers in PA. People in need of a presciption drug detox in NY NJ or PA can feel assured that Clearbrook can help when the sufferer is ready. Tomorrow we will talk about the treatment for roxicodone abuse.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey Alcohol Detox




The first step in ridding the body of alcohol and getting sober is to detoxify the body. This can best be accomplished by going to a medical, fully licensed, and monitored alcohol detox. The definition of alcohol detox is the time necessary to overcome the physical dependence of alcohol. Without medical help, the effects of coming off alcohol can be very painful and sometimes fatal. When someone is attempting to rid their bodies of alcohol, withdrawal symptoms almost always come into play. They can range from small symptoms like sweating and mild shaking to very severe including seizures and hallucinations. That is why it is imperative to seek a medical professional in order to control the symptoms of withdrawal. When the detox process starts some ways of helping with the withdrawal symptoms is to administer certain medications in order to help with the physical aspect. Water is key to getting the alcohol out of the body so that the physical symptoms can begin to subside. The average time for alcohol detox is between 3-7 days. Some may be shorter and some may take a little longer. This is by no means an easy process. Without it though there is often times no chance at long term sobriety. The disease of alcoholism is both mental and physical. We can not start the mental healing process if the body is still crying out for more alcohol.

Clearbrook Treatment Center has been helping in the field of drug addiction and alcohol addiction since 1972. We have a full Pennsylvania alcohol detox and can serve people who need a New York alcohol detox and New Jersey alcohol detox. We built and opened a new building in the summer of 2010 and made two components to the recovery process. The first step in this process is our medically monitored detox unit. With 21 beds and staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our patients are on the road to recovery after completion.

If you or a loved one have questions on alcohol detox, please do not hesitate to call us. We can help when no one else can.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Decisions

Looking back on our lives in active addiction we can see that a lot of the decisions we made were less than favorable, even though at the time we may have thought they were correct. Now that we are sober and working a program our lives are completely different. There are decisions to be made but maybe we are apprehensive to make them because of our past bad decisions.

We are not perfect. But a wonderful gift of recovery is that we can now clearly way the positives and negatives to our decisions and we can take responsibility for them. We must trust ourselves that today we can make better decisions. We will still make wrong decisions in our lifetime but at least we know how to deal with issues in a different way that is more positive for us and those around us!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey Alcohol Rehab



What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism defined (www.Dictionary.com)- a chronic disorder characterized by dependence on alcohol, repeated excessive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of withdrawal symptoms on reducing or ceasing intake, morbidity that may include cirrhosis of the liver, and decreased ability to function socially and vocationally.

Alcoholism today is a growing problem in our country and throughout the world. It affects people of all races, ages, religions, and social status. When someone is diagnosed as having alcoholism, it can be fatal. Nearly 14 million Americans suffer from the disease. In a poll recently done, over 53% of the people asked have said that some close family member suffers from the disease. The physical problems that happen to the person who has alcoholism can be catastrophic. Cancer of the liver, throat, and larynx can develop after years of drinking. Cirrhosis of the liver is very common for the alcoholic. This disease is characterized both mentally and physically.

Some may ask, "Why can't they just stop? Show some will power." The answer to the question is that the alcoholic, no matter how much will power, can not stop. They are consumed with a physical craving that can outweigh any amount of will power. Add on the mental obsession and they are in trouble without some help. We by no means will say that we have a cure for alcoholism. There has never been a cure. Some can stop on their own. We have found that most can not.

Signs of Alcoholism
1) Have you questioned whether or not you are drinking too much?
2) Are other people criticizing you for drinking too much?
3) Do you suffer from overwhelming guilt and shame from drinking?
4) Do you drink in the morning?
5) Have you lost your memory while drinking?
6) Are you missing work or school due to excessive drinking?

These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself. If you are answering yes to one or more of these, you may have a problem. This problem can be helped if you honestly want it.

Treatment for Alcoholism

Clearbrook Treatment Centers offers help for the suffering person due to alcoholism. If you need a NY Rehab, NJ Rehab, or Pennsylvania Rehab, we can help. You will be screened by our admissions staff for the proper treatment. We have a full medical detox, followed by a 28 day inpatient drug treatment program. Our families are also affected by our drinking. We have a family program at Clearbrook that can help to repair the family structure.

When you think that no one can help, that is where we would like to step in. Like we said before, alcoholism is not curable, but it can be treated. Please call us with any questions or to speak with an admissions specialist.

Thank you to www.medicinenet.com for information pertaining to this blog.

Relax Today

September 19-Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for my ability to relax. Today I will make time to relax. I pray that I may know the importance of relaxation.

Coinciding with today's daily gratitude we take the day to relax. Even if it's just for a moment today. Take a breath. Realize where you are, how far you have come and how far you can go. Today, recovery has given us the blessing to move forward and better ourselves. So let us relax. Embrace serenity. Take a breath. Where you are is where you are supposed to be. Enjoy every minute of it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Past The Present and The Future

The present moment is really the only thing that we need to live in. What an easy statement to write and a hard statement to live. We are by no means going to be able to practice this princeable with perfection.

We worry, we're human. We think about the past and how we wish we could change some things about it. Well, that is never going to be possible. I heard someone say that worrying about the past is one of the biggest wastes of time in the world. There is nothing that we can do to change our past. Our pasts have made us what we are today. If we are sober today, and living a life beyond our wildest dreams, it would not be possible if we didn't have something to compare it to like the past.

Worrying about the future is probably the second biggest waste of time. We are, by nature, not the best projectors of the future. When we are thinking and worrying about the future, we usually make it out to be much worse than it is going to end up anyway. When we worry about the future it is almost like we have taken our will back, and we are again managing the whole show.

The present moment is the easiest to live in.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Promises

"If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and selfpity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves."

This excerpt from the Big Book is one that a newcomer may scoff at. It's a challenge to show the newcomer that this can be true for their lives. The only way they see that it works is through the people around them working the program. After working the steps themselves they will see a change little by little. They will see the promises coming true in their lives. Until they see it in their own lives, sponsors and those in the rooms must be an example. When you look around the room and you see someone happy and free, realize...that can be you if you just work the program whole heartedly!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thinking VS. Actions

We hear all the time, "It doesn't matter what you think, it's how you act." That sentence is very important especially in early sobriety. When we first get sober, sometimes the obsession to drink will still be there. When talking about thoughts and actions, we need to not listen to what our minds are telling us. We can not drink, and not drinking is the action we need to take.

Alcoholism and drug addiction are described as a physical disease of the body and a mental obsession of the mind. After we have overcome the physical part and we are sober, we have to begin to live our lives productively. It doesn't matter what we think it matters what we do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Be grateful and lend a hand

Due to the recent flood in our surrounding area, although Clearbrook was not affected, we wanted to take a minute to be grateful for what we have. We saw first hand how fast lives can change. Although we may have not lost anything, many others did. So please lend a hand where you can. Give whatever you can. Whether it be food, clothing, shelter, or helping others clean up the wreckage, the time is now to lend a hand.

Whatever you can do will go such a long way. We are sober today. Today we can be of use to someone in need. We are grateful for our recovery, without it we would not be able to help in this time of need.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Once an alcoholic...always an alcoholic

So many people have tried after some period of sobriety to drink or use like normal people. Usually this ends in disaster. In the literature of AA/NA we read so many stories of people that realized that they had the addiction of alcoholism and or drug abuse, got sober for some time, and thought that it would be different if they tried the old game again. We can say that we have never heard a good ending to any of these stories. Most people that are able to get back tell the story that in a short amount of time they were as bad off as they ever were. It just proves to us that if we have the disease of addiction, and we pick up again, we get worse and never better.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Take a look at your life

Feeling vulnerable is normal especially when we first enter recovery. It is a good thing. In order to get in touch with the real you, we must become vulnerable. We must open our minds and hearts to anything and every thing so we can really take a look at our life and evaluate the way we have been living.

Take a look at your life. It's not that scary. It may seem that way but once you progress in recovery, you find out that taking a look at yourself and your life is a beautiful. Don't be afraid. We are at an advantage because we know what to look for. Some people go through life and never truly see themselves. We've been blessed enough to survive this disease and move forward to bigger and better things with it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clearbrook- NY, NJ, PA Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Located in NE Pennsylvania Clearbrook Treatment Centers geographically can help patients from all over the Northeast. If you are in need of a NY drug rehab, NJ alcohol rehab, or Pennsylvania drug rehab or Pennsylvania alcohol rehab, please click here to view our website and see our programs.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Are We Following the Program

What is the test to tell if we are following the program correctly? First, the most important part is are we physically sober? If we are continueing to drink we are not even on the first step of the program. After we know without a doubt that we can't drink like other people we can move on to the other steps.

The next part of sobriety is knowing that without help from others, we most likely won't make it either. That is the second step of the programs of AA/NA. At first we may use our sponsor or our home group as a whole as the power greater than ourselves to get us into right thinking and acting. That power, often times, morphs itself into something greater. Something that is not human and we can not describe.

The third step of our program has us turn our thoughts and our actions over to that power. This can seem like a big task. We assure you that it is not. We don't have to complicate this step. We only need to ask for help for the 24 hours ahead of us. We ask that we think and act on a plane that is spiritual. We ask that we treat others the way we would like to be treated. After time turning our will and our lives over to the care of God means different things to different people.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Traditions

The traditions of the programs of AA/NA are there to make sure that our fellowship stays alive and concentrated on our primary purpose. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and to help others to achieve sobriety. What the traditions talk about and state is that our programs or as a whole that comes first. Followed by us as individuals. Without the traditions bad things would develop and crush our society. Making money and having high cash reserves would begin to infultrate us and replace that primary purpose. If that were to happen, many of us would die or be locked up.

The traditions are surely a God given list of princeables. With the egos floating around the rooms we should be thankful that we have them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do you need help........

Are you ready to get sober?? I think the first question is "do you want to get sober?" The easiest way to answer that question is simple. Have you had enough of the life that using drugs and alcohol has given you? Are you family relationships badly broken? Troubles at work? These are things that happen to people when they are in active addiction. Clearbrook Treatment Centers can help. We are a Pennsylvania drug rehab and alcohol rehab that can start a new journey in your life, if you want it. Please call us or visit www.clearbrookinc.com .

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Walking Miracle

Sometimes we get caught up in the daily activities of life that we forget to be mindful of who we are and what a walking miracle we are. Yes, we are a miracle. We are sober. We are working the 12 Steps. We are working toward a better life every single day. When we looked at ourself in our active addiction we thought there was no hope for us.

But, take a look at yourself! You are a walking miracle. Today, amongst your job, kids, family, friends, take a second and just breathe it in. Breathe in and think about how wonderful it is to be alive and sober!!!!! Your day will be filled with great things if you take a second to embrace the miracle!

Being Accountable

Being accountable in our lives is a component of sobriety that is sometimes overlooked. When we get better and our lives improve does not mean that we are going to live like saints. We are going to make mistakes in life that can create turmoil and bad thinking. That is allright though, we can get through it without picking up again.

Holding ourselves accountable in our mistakes is the first step in getting around it. To thine own self be true is a great phrase for this discussion. As alcoholics and addicts no one can learn from their mistakes better than we can.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't Forget the Past

Many of us have a past that we'd rather not remember. We instinctively try to forget the bad things in our past when we were using. When we get sober and look back on how we behaved, we can become ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated and afraid. These are normal feelings.

What helps us overcome those feelings is embracing our past. Realize what the past was and learn from it. Everyone's past is different but there is so much we can learn. We learn that we never want to go back to being that person we were in the past. Mistakes are some of the best lessons. In our case, our past using has taught us many lessons and if we take those lessons and apply them to our new sober life, we can live better than we did in the past. Embrace that blessing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guilt....How do we deal with it?

Guilt and shame are words synonomous with our addictions. For many of us we drank and used to squash the feelings of guilt and shame. The alcohol and drugs, so we thought, allowed us to not feel these feelings. The next day though, those feelings were even worse than they were when we started. Then comes the vicous cycle of using again and again so that we don't have to feel.

What is the solution to it? First off, we have to stop drinking and using and put a halt to the behaviors we are exhibiting. Then we start on the steps of the program. Once we have gotten through the steps the guilt and shame of the past either completely dissapears or can be accepted in knowing that we have changed.

Even in sobriety we can fall back on our old behaviors and start to feel guilt and shame about the way we are acting sober. The answer to this problem is to go to our sponsor and be honest about what we are doing. If we can go to them before we start acting out situations that produce the guilt and shame we can be helped back into serenity.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Steps Four through Nine

After we know without any doubt in our minds that we cannot drink safely anymore, that no human power can relieve us of the compulsion, and we turn our lives over to the care and direction of something greater than ourselves we are ready to move on.

The steps are designed as a way of life. When we get to the fourth step of the program we are going to see why our lives shaped up into the way they did. We then move on to steps 5 through nine. What usually happens at the end of the ninth step. We hear of these promises that begin to come true in our lives. They do if we have not skimped on the steps preceeding nine.

The guilt and shame of the past begins to disappear and we realize that our pasts can be our best asset into helping another.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Insecurities

A lot of us felt our insecurities disappear when we were using. They didn't exist at all. It wasn't until we were alone or sobered up and had to look at ourselves in the mirror that we felt the insecurities come back full force. What did we do to get rid of them? We used again. We kept up this cycle for a long time but it never took the insecurities away. We had to try something different.

So, when we entered recovery we looked at our insecurities and most of the time they made us cringe. The last thing we wanted to do was feel them and embrace them. Although, if we didn't feel them we could never change them. We cannot change unless we truly face issues head on. Facing our insecurities head on is what we need to do. So, with time and talking about what we feel insecure about whether it's a physical insecurity or something like being insecure that you are not good enough for anyone to want to love you. Things like that take over us unless we address them and try to change them. The more you talk about them and try to look at how fear-driven and ridiculous the insecurities are, the more we can get over them or at least get better at dealing with them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Spiritual Experience

What is a spiritual experience when it pertains to sobriety? Is it going to happen for me? The answer to the second question is, YES!! It will happen for you if you want it to and allow it to. The only pre-requisite is that we follow the program as it was outlined. We should be following the steps in order from number one through number twelve. The first sentence is the twelvth step reads "Having had a spiritual experience as THE result of these steps......" What that is telling us is that if we follow the other eleven steps we are sure to have something spiritually happen to us.

We may ask in what way. They come to different people in different ways. The belief and absolute faith in knowing that a power greater than ourselves is guiding us is one way. As the writer of this blog today my spiritual experience happens every day of my life. Every day I would wake up thinking about drugs and alcohol. I was consumed and obsessed with when I was going to get it and how I was going to get it. I have not had that thought since the first day I got sober. That is spiritual to me. We hope and pray that every one of you reading this finds your experience and is able to tell the newcomer how it happened.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting to Know Ourselves

In recovery, the more work we do on ourselves the better we get to know who we truly are. At first, this notion is a scary one. Most of us don't really like who we are when we are not using. We're afraid to genuinely know ourselves because we've never done it before. It's something totally new.

When we get sober and get a sponsor we see that getting to know ourselves isn't as bad as we thought it was. We actually start to look at who we are and are excited by who we can be. When we ask for help through this process it becomes even easier. So we must open up and be excited about getting to know this new person....OURSELVES!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Believing in God...

Some of us come into sobriety with the undoubted knowledge of God or a higher power. Some of us don't and feel that we will never be able to believe. There is a whole chapter in the book " Alcoholics Anonymous" that deals with the belief in something greater than ourselves.

If we take a look at our lives as addicts and alcoholics we can see that our human power of will and guidance really did not work. There is so much evidence of that. What can we do about it though? The answer is to try and find something that can help solve that problem. At first we may use our sponsor or our home group. We can see scores of people who are happy and found a way out of a life of depression and misery.

Often times what happens is, we listen to these people and we end up finding a power that is not human and can't be defined. It is a lot of people's opinions that if we can define God, then it is not God. We will leave that up to you though.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quiet Contemplation

Today's daily gratitude on the Clearbrook Treatment Centers Facebook page is about contemplation. Most of us probably don't take a moment for ourselves and contemplate. Life gets busy. We've got certain priorities and responsibilities that we try to meet on a daily basis so it's easy to go weeks, months and maybe even years before we really take a breath.

This is where some quiet contemplation comes in handy. To sit down and just reflect on our life, what direction we want to go, the people in our life we love, what we are grateful for, etc. are some things can be focused on while we do this. It's quite an enlightening experience. Contemplation like this can actually keep our feet on the ground and keep us focused on what's important. Try it. It's refreshing and cleansing for the mind.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why Faith? What is Faith?

The ability to believe without any tangible evidence. That is a definition I heard recently and wanted to write about it. Why is faith so important in our lives as recovering alcoholics and drug addicts? Well, without it we are going to believe our own minds. Most of us don't wake up in the mornings and have absolute faith that everything is the way it is supposed to be. We're more of the mindset that something is not right. That things aren't OK in the here and now. That is alcoholism or addiction as a whole. That is where faith comes in. That is where step 2 and step 3 can infultrate our lives and make us feel comfortable.

Faith. The belief that we are going to be OK under any and all conditions. That we can navigate this life with whatever higher power we choose and that higher power has what's best for us. This is a one day at a time deal we have. Usually when we are worried and scared it is something that we THINK is going to happen to us in the future. If we practice faith we can begin to calm down and get back to the present moment.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Alumni Picnic

This weekend, Saturday, July 30 will be our Alumni Picnic where our alumni come to celebrate recovery and their time at Clearbrook. There's good food, good friends and a speaker meeting! John H. from Sanford, FL will be speaking and it will be a day to remember!

The picnic starts at 10:30 a.m. and will be held at 890 Bethel Hill Road Shickshinny, PA 18655.

Come join us and celebrate recovery the Clearbrook way!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Patience

Patience is not a word that is practiced with complete ease when we first get sober. Things are changing but our disease wants to tell us that it is not changing fast enough for us. That is the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction talking. That is how our disease wants to sabotage us into giving up sobriety and start using again. Some things that have helped people is to know that a lot of what the mind tells us as addicts is not true. We can look in mirrors today and know that the lies of the mind are just that, they are lies.

We can always rely on the programs of AA/NA for the mental part of this disease. When negative thoughts creep in we can go to our friends who can look at our lives from an objective point of view. Things did not get better for the majority of the people in the rooms by mistake or coincedence. They have worked the steps of the program and achieved a degree of happiness beyond what they thought possible. We believe this is available to all. We need only patience and the faith that it will work.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Remembering Compassion

Today let us all take a moment to show someone compassion. A lot of things in our lives move so fast and we have so much going on that we frequently forget to take a minute for ourselves or for someone else. Whether it may be just listening to someone or doing something nice for someone, remember to be compassionate.

For a minute, if we can just be a little less consumed by life and the things around us it will be easy for us to do for others. Love and compassion are some of the greatest gifts that we can give to those around us. They go hand in hand. So today, let's try our best to look at things with a little more love and less frustration and a little more compassion and less indifference to the world around us!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Step Meetings

There are all kinds of different meetings that we can go to. There are speaker meetings, As Bill Sees It, topic meetings, and step meetings. Today we wanted to talk about the importance of step meetings and how they can help you.

We can read and re-read all the literature that is available to us. We can memorize it and study it. If reading and studying about our disease were enough we wouldn't have to go to meetings in the first place. In a step meeting, the format usually is to read the step out of the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions". After the group has read the step, most groups have one member share on how they worked that step with their sponsor and how the step has affected their life.

Their is a practicallity to all this. Nothing helps us more than hearing another person share what it was like, what happened, and what it's like now. We can identify with other people that feel the same way as we do. The greatest benefit is usually that the people who have worked that specific step prove to us that by working the steps of AA/NA their lives have changed for the better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Listening to Others

Listening isn't something we've always done. In fact, some of us when we first got sober had to re-learn how to listen and take in what other people are saying. In our addiction, we were so concerned about ourselves and what we had to say and about being right or defending ourselves that we were never actually hearing what people were saying to us. Most think listening is something easy and to some it does come easy but not for some of us.

Who knew that there was actually a way to listen and hear what people are saying, not hear what we want to hear. It's amazing what we learn from others when we look into their eyes and objectively listen to what they have to say. So, as much as possible we must be aware of what others are trying to communicate to us. This is so important because we not only get the facts but sometimes we can feel what others feel through what they are saying to us while we listen intently!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!!!!!!!!

If you don't go to meetings your chance for long term sobriety diminishes. For the most part the previous sentence is true. When we see someone come into the rooms, then we don't see them and they drank again. When we hear them talk the first thing most of them say is that they stopped going to meetings. Then a whole bunch of other things come out of their mouth. THEY STOPPED GOING TO MEETINGS!!! That is the important part of the explaination.

Meetings are where we are going to find the solution to our problem. The members who are there day in and day out are the people we should listen to. They can help when we can't help ourselves. Meetings are where our friends are.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The AA Promises

1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed
before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience
can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -
sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Reprinted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. World
Services, Inc.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Keeping It Simple

When we first got to the rooms of A.A./N.A. the phrase "Keep it simple" could be heard all the time. It was something we constantly told ourselves because it was in our nature to complicate everything. Eventually we learned that keeping it simple really does work. It brings a sense of serenity and patience to situations we never thought we could be serene or patient with.

Even after many years in recovery we can sometimes forget to keep it simple. We get into a routine and maybe something disrupts this routine, our minds automatically go to complicated. Yet, all we need to do is look back on how crazy our lives used to be and we remember to keep it simple and things get a tiny bit easier!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The First Three Steps

The first three steps of the AA/NA program is the base of our recovery from alcohol and drugs. In the first step we have to concede to our innermost selves that we can not use alcohol and drugs in any form at all. The second half of the step tells us that while using drugs and alcohol that our lives are unmanageable. If our lives can't be manaaged by us then we have to find something else to manage it.

That is where the second step flows right in. When we look around the rooms, we see hundreds of people that have changed their lives. These people have come to believe that a power greater than themselves could restore them to sanity. The only thing this step asks is that power not be ourselves.

In the third step we turn our lives over to that power. That sometimes brings on a little confusion. The easiest way of knowing if we have gone through the third step is by asking ourselves if we are ready to continue on with the other nine steps. If we can we have gone through the step.

The twelve step programs are practiced as a way of life. With that said, we need to do these things on a day to day basis. When you do, your life improves dramatically.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Compassion, Love and Tolerance

No one is perfect whether it be emotionally, physically or spiritually. Sometimes we watch the way people act or hear the way they speak and we get irritated. Someone doesn't do something our way and we are annoyed. Yet, if we could just remind ourselves a little more that no one is perfect even if we or they are in recovery. We and other people are not always going to do the right thing but if we are tolerant of ourselves and others we can learn compassion and love at its very core.

The saying that we should treat people we want to be treated holds true in every aspect of our lives. We have a responsibility as a human being to try to live this every single day. Treat others with compassion, love and tolerance, even if they don't treat you the same. It will open your mind and your heart in ways you can't imagine!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Clearbrook- A Pennsylvania Drug Treatment Center

It's never an easy thing to admit that you need help. We've all been raised to be self-sufficient and tough it out, and for too many people, this attitude carries over when they're trying to break the grip of a drug addiction or chemical dependency. The problem is that it's often this very attitude, the idea of self-medicating, that fosters and enables chemical dependency in the first place. Chemical dependency and addiction is not an easy problem to fight. It's not a character failure. It's an illness, and like any other illness, it requires the right treatment to get it under control. Whether you're fighting a battle with alcohol, prescription painkillers or another drug, Clearbrook Treatment Centers have the capacity to help you get sober and change your life for the better.

How Drug Rehab Helps You

Chemical dependency has many components, some of them physical, some environmental and some emotional. When you try to break a drug habit by simply not using, you're only attacking your problem from one angle, and it can be a dangerous angle to take. The professionals at Clearbrook understand the complex nature of addiction and dependency, and use a multi-pronged approach to helping you get clean and stay clean.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Service Work

Some of us have always had it in our nature to want to help others but when we were using we were always too consumed by ourselves that helping others was simply a passing thought. It wasn't until we got sober that it became more real that we could actually help other people.

In the beginning of recovery it could be something as simple as opening the door for someone. Just paying attention to those things is a drastic change from when we were using. We know we were selfish and self-centered. That is why it is such a great gift that we can help other people. Even helping outside of A.A./N.A. is such a wonderful thing. For example, volunteering at a soup kitchen, a local church or temple, etc. Anything that is giving of yourself freely can impact a life. Try it! It can be one of the most rewarding things!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Four Horseman....Keeping them at Bay

The literature of AA talks about the "hideous four horseman, terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair. As people that are in recovery we know these feelings all too well. In our minds, while using and drinking, the only way to make these feelings go away was to have another hit or drink. It temporarily solved our problems of our minds. The problem is that "the problems" only got worse for us.

Many people speak of the moment of clarity they had. They came to the realization that another hit or drink was only driving them deeper into the horrible feelings. We then realize that there is a permanent solution so long as we do some daily work. We find powers that are greater than us to help us find that solution.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Feeling Stuck

When we are using there are many times that we've felt stuck. Some of us felt that there was no other way than the way we were living our lives but we knew it wasn't right. We didn't know of any other way to live because we had been using so much for so long. We felt stuck because we truly didn't know how to move forward in this part of our life.

Then something happened for us. Something in our lives pushed us toward treatment and/or A.A./N.A. It opened our minds. It may have taken a while but it truly opened our minds and we didn't feel stuck. We felt a bit of freedom because we saw through our actions and others actions that we don't have to be stuck. We don't have to live our lives using. We could have a life in recovery. It truly was and is possible! What a gift!

Once we embrace the 12 Steps and others in the program we can truly be free and live a life drug and alcohol free and we can move forward!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reservations

Reservations on drinking and using are things that we cannot afford to have. The literature of AA also calls them "lurking notions". They come in the form of "if this happens then I can drink." "If I get my job, family, and community standing back, and stay sober for a year, I can drink again safely."

In the "Doctors Opinion" of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" the author (Dr. William Silkworth) describes two classes of people. He talks about people that have the allergy to alcohol and the people who don't have it. Now, if you have it, you keep it. You won't return to or become the person who doesn't have the allergy. He says in his essay that the only answer to the disease of alcoholism is complete abstinance. What that means is that we can't drink no matter how good things may get or how bad things may get. If we take a drink, the craving returns, and we won't stop. Reservations are dangerous. They are deadly.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trusting Others

When we put expectations on people we want them to be what we want them to be, not who they are. When they don't meet our expectations, we are let down, disappointed and hurt. Sometimes we use these experiences to blame people or situations for having trust issues. Not being able to trust people, we attribute that to our "bad" experiences.

When we take a look at ourselves we must see that putting expectations on people and situations 99% of the time hurt us. This is because we try to control the way people act, what they say and who they are. Trusting others is easy when we don't put expectations on them. Because our expectations are based on self-centeredness, we become angry and distrustful when our expectations are not met.

Gaining confidence in who we are helps us with trusting others and a lack of expectations. This can be done through honesty within ourselves. Our motives must be pure and if they stay pure we can trust others easier and put less expectations on us and others.

Friday, June 24, 2011

If you need help....

If you or anyone you know has a problem with chemical dependency, call Clearbrook. We can help! 1-800-582-6241

Our residential inpatient treatment program along with a 21 patient detox unit is focused on helping clients reach sobriety; utilize the 12-step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous; and begin a new lifestyle that is chemical free. The steps of these programs become an integral part of the patient communities daily activities and efforts. Clearbrook’s approach to understanding, assessing, and treating the disease of addiction is based largely upon the Minnesota Model. Clearbrook Treatment Centers specializes in treating addictions such substances as alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs (Crack, Crystal Meth / Amphetamines, Hallucinogens (LSD, etc), Ketamine, Marijuana / Cannabis, MDMA / Ecstasy, Opiates (Methadone / etc), Solvents / Inhalants, Bath Salts, Spices, K2, Salvia).

The mission of Clearbrook Treatment Centers rehabilitation programs is to help the alcohol/drug dependent person achieve two long-term goals: abstinence from all mood altering chemicals and an improved lifestyle. Of necessity, the final realization of these long-term goals is a lifelong pursuit and the rehabilitation program is viewed as only the beginning of what must be a continued effort to maintain the lifestyle conducive to remain free from all mood-altering chemicals.

You can also check out our website. www.clearbrookinc.com

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What it takes to stay sober..........

As alcoholics and addicts we share some of the same difficulties. The propensity we have to complicate things is amazing. Sobriety is easier when we don't over analyze things and just go with the program the way it was laid out and the way our sponsors ask us to do it.

There is one simple way in order to do this. It has been recommended thousands of times and has kept millions sober. First, we don't drink or use no matter what. We should read the literature and talk to our sponsors about it and how it pertains to our lives. We should pray. Even if you have trouble believing in something greater than yourself, pray anyway. Ask that power for help. Lastly, we should go to meetings. The more meetings we attend the better.

This formula will work if you allow it to.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daily Inventory

Becoming complacent could be dangerous for addicts. Sometimes when things are going well we tend to forget about some of the things we've learned in the program. Sometimes when we are in pain we are more connected to the program than when things are going well. It's okay to enjoy when things are going well but it's easy to get lazy at times like those.

This is where a daily inventory comes in handy. This is the time to look at where we are and where we are going in our every day lives. Are we living in the solution or the problem? To get into the solution we must take action. Take a daily inventory and keep connected to the program, no matter what is going on in our lives.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are We Working a Program

Adversity in life is going to strike at some points in our lives. We are not necessarily going to have the answers to the reasons why, but we need to handle it differently than we have in the past. Drinking and using is a subtle foe as it says in the literature.

Changing our behaviors is essential to a happy and sober life. Many times our minds are going to lie to us and tell us that we are no different and doom awaits us like it always has. A lie is exactly what this thought is. In the book Alcoholics Anonymous, it tells us in the Doctors Opinion that our minds are just as warped as our bodies. Our thinking is not on the same parralle as other people. This is very dangerous for people like us because we then use alcohol or drugs to relieve the thoughts and feelings.

What is the solution?? That is what we should constantly be thinking about. There are many ways to help ourselves. People that have come before us can help us by telling their own stories as to how they got out of these periods of bad thoughts. We choose our own conception of God, ask him to help you. Practice being satisfied with everything you have. It works when nothing else is.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Came to Believe......

Many of us come into sobriety very beat up by drugs and alcohol and do not believe in any kind of power or God. How could a loving and powerful God let the things that have happened to me, happen. Our egos and minds tell us that there can't be anything other than our will that will help us.

The first step to getting over this is to realize that our minds and thoughts are lies. Look around the rooms of AA/NA, and it is proof enough that the people who have made their own conception of a higher power are the people that are smiling and who have good lives.

The second step only asks us to be openminded and willing to believe that there is something other than our will power that will help us. However small that belief is OK to start. After that you are on the road to happy sobriety.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Step 9

How many times have we said we are sorry to people for our behavior while using and gone on to to the exact same thing over and over again. This is especially true when we are talking about the people that are closest to us. The ninth step was not designed to go to people and say we are sorry again. These people have heard the "I'm sorrys" for years and we never changed anything.

That is what this step about, change. The step is also the ninth step because without the eight previous steps we can not change. When we get to step nine we should be ready to humble ourselves to people and discuss the past. We should be ready to make the changes neccessary to repair relationships and take responsibility for our actions. Many times we hear that the people we have hurt ask them to not drink anymore and that is enough for them. We know for ourselves that just not using anymore will not do. We can be helpful and caring to those people now.

The word amend means to change something by addition or subtraction. Think about the definition of that word and it tells us that just not drinking is not all there is to it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Embracing the Goodness

Embracing who we are is a hard thing when we first get sober. That's mostly because we don't even know who we truly are in the first place. At first this could be a bit scary but once we get into the program and start working it we realize that getting an opportunity to find out who we truly are is such a blessing.

We are completely rebuilding ourselves and have the chance to become whatever we want. We've always known we were a good person deep down but that NEVER came out when we were using. Finally, as we are finding out who we really are we get to see the real goodness within us. We realize that everyone is filled with this goodness but not everyone truly gets to embrace that. We are blessed because the 12 Steps help us see such goodness. This goodness can only come from one thing and that is our creator, our Higher Power, or our God.

Realize the blessing. It's within you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is Just Not Drinking Enough?

For the most part the answer to that question is no. We all drank and used for reasons other than "it tastes good". We drank because of our inability to cope with life, anger, and mostly fear. Drinking and using became habitual rituals for us because that is what our minds told us to do.

Finding out the character defects that lead up to our drinking is what we want to uncover. If we don't uncover these we will continue to operate the same way in our daily living and ultimatly we will drink and use again. That is all we know what to do in dealing with life. The process of finding these things out is not such a difficult task. Our friends in AA/NA will help us.

Your life can't change without us changing how we live it. What has helped you in changing your life? How did you do it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Willingness to Grow

When we came into the room so A.A./N.A. there was a sort of willingness for us to even get there. Not realizing it at the time but that willingness is something that we must hold onto for the rest of our lives. We’ve got to stay willing to move forward and grow.

In the beginning some of us are willing to do some things but not others. We realize that doesn’t work. Even after years and years of recovery we must stay willing because if we lose that willingness it will be easy for our disease to take over. The more we stay willing and the more we continue and look to grow from the things in our lives, the better we will become.

So whether you’re just entering the program or have been in it for a long time, stay willing. Having willingness in your recovery is the ultimate growth to being better than we ever imagined.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Can I have fun Sober??

Can we have fun and enjoy life without chemicals in our system? This is a question that many people ask themselves and ask other people in sobriety. When we are using we think that we are having fun, have good friends, and enjoy life. That is all a lie that our mind or if you wish, the disease tells us. When we are using we are in jail. We have no freedom and all we know is how to drink and get high.

What happens after we get sober? We have to find other people and activities that we like without the use of altering our mind. So many people rely on the fellowship of AA/NA to find these people and these things to do sober. Many people have to find out what they like to do and then just go and do it. Stop thinking about it. Action, action, action is the word we hear so often.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We Can't Do This Alone

We can’t do this alone. When we first come into the rooms we quickly see that this program is all about asking for help. When we were using we thought we could do anything, especially by ourselves. We thought we were invincible and could get through anything, with a drink or a drug.

Now that we don’t have those chemicals, we sometimes don’t know how to ask for help especially since it was something we may have NEVER done in our lives. Yet, when we walk into the rooms of A.A./N.A. we see that the only way we can begin to change our lives for the better is by asking for help. In this sense, we cannot support ourselves. That is why we need a support group. That is why we need a sponsor. They provide support for us. All we have to do is ask. It may be difficult but once we do it we can receive the many miracles of this program.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Relapse

Relapse into the disease of alcoholism is not a requirement in getting and staying sober. We do hear many stories of people going back out and drinking and using again. Some of these people have many different reasons as to why this happened. They will tell you that they stopped going to meetings, had no higher power, hung out with old friends. This list can go on and on and on. The most important part of sobriety is to not take the first one. You cannot get drunk if you don't take the first one.

There is no guarantee that we will get back to a treatment center or the rooms of AA/NA. We may kill ourselves before that happens or we may go to jail before that happens. This is not a fun subject to write about but it is neccessary. We pray that all of you who read this stay sober and stay sober for a long time. That can't happen if you pick up though. If you don't pick up, your life will get so much better.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family

Family is one of the most important things. Most of the time they are there when we need them. Yet, in our days of using it seems that sometimes they get the brunt of our manipulation, anger, resentment, fear, etc. A lot of times we don’t even realize that our disease affects them but it does.

When we finally decide to get sober and change our lives we see our family as a gift. Most of them support us and our decision to get sober. Sometimes we expect everything to go back to normal with our family. We want our relationships with them to go back to the way they used to be before our lives got out of control. We even expect them to trust again wholeheartedly. We get angry when they are apprehensive about trusting us. We don’t understand why they can’t see that we are sober and have changed.

What we don’t realize is that after all the years of hurt and pain and worry that we have put them through, it is going to take quite a bit of time for them to trust us again. We must realize that we have to build those relationships back up since we destroyed them when we were using.

The beauty of recovery is that after a while, they do start to trust us again if we are doing the right thing. Things can get better if we just work for it and unconditionally love our family especially since in the midst of our addiction they unconditionally loved us.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Third Step

"Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood him"


There are so many important words in the third step of the program. Decision, will, care, and God to name a few. Let's take a look at them. The decision part is very important. Many times in our lives we have thought about things but we never made a decision. Many AA/NA members tell us the decision is to go on with the rest of the steps.

The care part of the third step tells us that there is something out there that is going to look out for our best welfare. Whether that be God or the AA program as a whole it is a great start.

We were given free will as humans. This step does not say that our free will is taken away. What it is telling us is that our proper use of our free will is going to begin to change.

The third step, like all the others is crucial to us getting and staying sober. Ask your sponsor or another AA member if you are having a problem. They will tell you of their experience and how they did it. That is usually the best way of figuring out anything we are having trouble with.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Life Takes On New Meaning

Life takes on new meaning when we get sober. As we begin to work the Steps we are able to really take a good look at ourselves. Some of us may not recognize what we see. While we were using, most of the time we wore a mask. We put on an act, we were everything we thought we should be. We were not our true selves.

After getting sober, we see at our very core that we are good, although we probably never really thought so when we were in our active addiction. We slowly begin to build ourselves up. We start seeing positive characteristics, some we never even knew were there. Thus life takes on new meaning in the sense that we can actually use the good in ourselves to do good and do anything we can imagine with these new discoveries within. This is one of the great gifts of the programs of A.A./N.A. and the Steps. It has allowed us to open our eyes to who we are and re-routes our life on the road to new and exciting things.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Will My Life Improve????

When we first start getting sober it may seem like such an uphill climb that is going to take forever. Sometimes many of us have drank and used for so many years that the damage we have done seems unfixable. That is really just our minds and the disease telling us that we have done too much damage and that it is not even worth trying.

When these thoughts come up we need to seek out help. We need to talk to our friends and sponsors in the program to help us get back on the right thinking track.

When we do these things, most times we are surprised at how much our lives begin to improve. So many times you hear stories of families being put back together, people getting jobs, and our thoughts about who we really are can be reversed in a short period of time.


There are no promises in the program except that if we don't pick up, we can't get drunk or high. The other things that happen to us are direct results of not using or drinking. These things have happened for millions of people throughout the world, and they can happen for you. Believe, if you have to, because we believe it for you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Patience

While we were using, patience wasn't something we were probably known for. We wanted everything at that moment and didn't care how we got it. We had no patience for those around us and circumstances. We wanted things how we wanted them and never wanted to wait for things to happen.

It wasn't until we came to A.A./N.A. that we quickly learned that things don't happen in our time. We have no control over when things happen or how they happen. Thus we are pushed into patience, which for us is a good thing. The more we work through the steps and know that we are powerless and that God has got us, the more we realize that we must be patient. Things will come they just may not come in our time. They will come in God's time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Commitments

Being a Pennsylvania drug rehab, we count on people from 12 step programs to come in and speak to our patients. They need to hear from people that have recovered from the disease of addiction. Below is a testimonial of one of our former patients. He tells how speaking at a drug and alcohol treatment center helped him also.

I have been told since the day that I got sober that one day my story is going to help save someones life. I never really believed the people telling me this. I always felt like I was a little bit worse than the other people in AA. That was until the other night when my home group in AA had a speaking commitment at a local treatment center. For the most part out of the 60 people it looked like maybe ten of them were paying attention to me. The others were talking or sleeping or laughing quietly at me. I know today that those are the people that don't make it. That is a story for another day though. When I was finished speaking I felt great. My story from start to finish was able to take me back to where I came from and where I am now. Often times in my sobriety I always think that I am falling short. That is until I hear my own story from my own mouth. What the miracle of the evening was, someone came up to me after the meeting and told me that his story is the same as mine. No money, in troube with the law, family won't talk to him, owns only the clothes on his back, and hates himself. He said his name was Adam. His next sentence was "I want my life to be like yours". I have to tell you that a tear came to my eye. Four years ago no one wanted a life like mine. I told this broken 22 year old guy that he can have what I have. It isn't that difficult. All you have to be willing to do is twelve simple things and your life doesn't have to ever be like it is now. I can honestly say that he seemed to believe me. I think that you can actually see hope in someones eyes, and that is what I left this kid with. I learned that nothing in the world feels better than the delivery of hope to another suffering human being. There is not enough money in the world that can bring that special feeling. This is a credit, for me, to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the wonderful people who have taken me in and built me into a man.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Giving It Up To Our HP

One of the hardest things we face is giving up control. Although we think we had our lives under control while we were using, we didn’t. We realize this when we get sober. Yet, even though we realize this it is sometimes a struggle to give up trying to control everything.

When we completely surrender to this disease, we know we are powerless but sometimes forget we are powerless over other things in our life. For example, being powerless over other people in our lives is a concept that we sometimes overlook. We may not like the things people close to us do but we must give it up to our Higher Power. The best solution to trying control is our Higher Power. Without giving it up to our HP, we feel crazy. Our thoughts get the best of us. We also forget that we are responsible for ourselves and not other people. Other people are responsible for themselves, unless they are asking for help of course.

We must constantly practice giving it up to our HP. It will get easier the more aware we are and the more we actually do it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speaker Meetings

There are all kinds of different meetings that we can go to. There is step meetings, As Bill Sees It, topic meetings, and speaker meetings to name a few. What we want to talk about today is speaker meetings and their benefits. Typically, at a speaker meeting the chairperson chooses a speaker that will share their experience, strength, and hope with the group. Sometimes they can speak for a portion of the hour and leave the rest of the time for comments, or they speak for the full hour.

What are the benefits? One is to allow our listening skills to improve. It also allows us to hear from the beginning of someones life to present day. The speaker tells us what happened, what it was like, and what it's like now. For the newcomer this is where we are going to hear our own story told by another human being. They will tell of the total destruction that alcohol caused them. Even more important, they tell us the way out. What happened to them by attending the program. What the steps did for them.

Have you been to a speaker meeting lately? What do you like or dislike about them? Let us know.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Al-Anon: Helping Familes Recover

We believe that alcoholism/chemical dependency is a family disease. It affects the entire family. Because of this notion, a lot of family members go to Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon is a 12 Step program where family members are strongly advised to go when a loved one goes into treatment or when the family is impacted by an alcoholic or chemically dependent member. It is a place where people go to share their experience, strength and hope with others who have a loved one suffering from this disease.

This disease can be very difficult for family members to understand, especially their role in the life of the addicted.

We watch a family member or friend suffer with this disease. We watch them hurt themselves, us and everyone around them. We try to reach out, we try to help but sometimes they don’t take our help. Even if they do take our help we are left with our own issues of anger, hopelessness and denial. That is where Al-Anon is helpful. We believe Al-Anon is an excellent resource for families to learn about the disease, connect with others and start the healing process.

Do you think Al-Anon is useful in helping families recover? Please share your experiences with us. We’d love to hear from you!

The Fellowship

The programs of AA and NA consist of two parts. The first part or the program is the steps of the process in getting sober. The other part is the fellowship. The fellowship consists of who we are talking with, hanging out with, and having fun with. In our active addictions we thought we had great friends. The people we saw and used with was all we knew. So many people when they share their stories at meetings will tell us when they got sober they didn't see those people anymore. It was as if they never existed. The reasons for this not seeing these people anymore are because now being sober we may be a threat to them. Most of us in active addiction don't want to take a look at ourselves, these using friends are no different.

When we find people in the programs, they are our new friends. These are people who have been where we once were. They understand us. These are the people that we are going to go to dinner, Christmas parties, and play golf with. The program is based on one alcoholic helping another. We can find these people in large numbers in meetings. Then we can commence to find a happier and joyous life with them.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Going to Meetings

There are so many essential pieces to getting and staying sober. We hear about them all the time in meetings. That is what we are going to talk about today, meetings. Why is it so important? Simply stated, that is where everyone else that wants to get sober is. Going to meetings is where people who have one day sober go for help. There is no better way of remembering how bad our past was than to hear it from someone else.

Going to meetings is how we can give back what has been so freely given to us. When we are at a meeting and someone shares their pain, that is when we can be of maximum service. We can help people when no one else can.

If we don't go to meetings on a regular basis we begin to slip into our past. We think that "we can handle it". The problem with that is, we can't handle it. Not only have the programs of AA/NA expelled the drugs and alcohol, they can allow us to live happily. That is what we have wanted all along.

How has getting involved in AA/NA meetings changed your life??

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sobriety=Freedom

Freedom is a great feeling. As a society, living in this country, that is what we have. For some of us, a lot of years have been spent in captivity. The captivity of active alcoholism. Alcohol and drugs defined us. It told us what we were going to do and when we were going to do it. Our lives were goverened by it.

When we achieve sobriety though, we have personal freedom. We are no longer running our lives on when we are going to get our next drink or fix.

Let us know the personal freedoms you have experienced through sobriety.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do Not Drink......No Matter What!!!!

Going to a drug treatment center, getting a sponsor, and going to meetings are all important to staying sober. The only absolute in staying sober is that we cannot, under any circumstances, drink or use drugs. The program does not work if we pick up a drink. Many of us have gone back out thinking that if it gets bad again we can always come back. There are two delusions in the previous statement. First of all, it is not if it gets bad, it is going to get worse if we drink again. The second is that we are not guaranteed to make it back to the rooms or to a treatment center if we drink again. We may die. We may end up in jail. If either of those things happen to us, there might not be another chance for us. The bottom line is this. There is nothing out there that a drink will make better. To drink is to die.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Service Work

What is service work in terms of recovery and the rooms of AA/NA?? Well, it starts with just going to meetings. It shows the newcomer that there are other people out there that come to meetings and got better, and that maybe that can happen for them to. Where would AA/NA be without a coffee maker? Taking a job like that in your home group gives us a sense of belonging and a purpose. When we speak at a meeting that is a high form of service. That is where the newcomer is going to hear their story. This is often times how sponsorship starts. There is nothing more beneficial in the program than to sponsor someone and take them through the steps. Not only does it save someone else's life but the rewards for ourselves are tremendous.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No Regrets from the Past

When we first get sober and truly surrender, some of us may experience the feeling of embarrassment or humiliation for what we have done in the past. We look back on the not-so flattering things we’ve done and cringed at the thought of our transgressions. This feeling is normal at first.

It isn’t until we hear those around us and share our experiences that we realize that all those things have actually made our story what it is. Sharing that story is the true gift. Even though we felt embarrassed, we share to relate to others and the beauty of the process is that someone else out there has been where we are. They can relate to us and us to them. Our shameful experience really aren’t shameful experiences. They are a most powerful tool in helping others. When a newcomer feels that they can relate to you, the process of recovery gets a bit easier for both parties.

Now, looking back on our past is not painful, it’s joyous because we know that all those experiences have helped us grow and more importantly, helped a newcomer realize they are not alone.

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for my new personality. Today I will attempt to be aware of my new personality. I pray that I do not return to my old ways.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Self-deception

Self-deception comes in many forms. Most of the time it creeps up on us when we least expect it. Some people come to the rooms of A.A./N.A. and work the program for a little while, never fully committing to the recovery process and after a while self-deception begins. A good example in this case of self-deception is when we stop going to meetings and think we don’t need them anymore because we learned enough or we think we’re “okay”. That kind of self-deception is what can make us use again. We lie to ourselves.

If we were 100% committed to the program we wouldn’t be deceiving ourselves. We would know that this disease doesn’t disappear. We constantly have to work for our recovery for the rest of our lives. It can be a beautiful thing if we have truly embraced the notion. To fight self-deception (which is part of our disease) we must always be honest about our disease and honest about our shortcomings. If you are honestly and whole-heartedly working the 12 Steps and going to meetings and talking to you sponsor and support group, it makes it virtually impossible for self-deception to come up.

Sometimes it will but when you are armed with the 12 Steps and the Rooms, you can combat self-deception and walk right through it.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the pain of my illness. Today I will remember how good I have it.I pray that I not forget the great pain of my disease.

Monday, May 9, 2011

One Alcoholic Helping Another

This is the cornerstone of how we get well. There are so many people who talk about others in their life that tried getting them to see that their behavior and abuse of their drugs and alcohol was ruining their life. Many times our parents, wives and husbands, judges, and law enforcement have tried to get us to see this, but we never heard them or listened.

When we come into the programs of AA/NA, there are people there that have experienced and lived exactly what we are feeling. At first it is all about how to stop drinking. There is nothing quite like another person telling that story to someone that is suffering the disease of active addiction. Many times the feeling that comes to the sufferer is that someone finally understands them.

After the obsession to poison and kill ourselves with chemicals the benefit of other people does not stop there. What these people in our lives can do is to help us live life on life's terms. The delusion of thinking we know what's best for us seems to vanish and we begin to pass our thoughts through others before they become our actions. These are all humble steps that will keep us sober for years and years to come.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sharing with another Human Being

Being that it is the fifth month of the year we are going to talk about the fifth step of the program. It asks us to admit to God, ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. It does not ask us to write an autobiography and then read it to another person. What this event in our life is trying to accomplish is why we did the things we have done, either while drinking or not while drinking.


We are trying to uncover our character defects, or our sins. It will point us in the right direction as to why we did and do the things we do which are the opposite of what God's will for us really is. Alcoholism is a sickness of not only the body, but the mind too. Our minds have been warped. Many people share that even before they took a drink their minds and thoughts were of the abnormal variety. When they poured massive amounts of alcohol on top of that it was like putting gas on an already out of control fire.

Our sponsor, or a trusted person of our choice can listen to what we are saying and objectively help us on another path. We are going to have to trust in order to do this. Once this process is finished we can feel relieved for many different reasons. Two of them are that now we have someone we can trust and it begins to melt away the guilt of the past.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gratitude

Some of us came to A.A./N.A. simply grateful that we were alive. Some of us didn’t know how to be grateful for anything. How could we be grateful when we saw everything wrong in our lives? When others spoke of gratitude, we couldn’t grasp the idea. It even made some of us angry because we had no idea how to be grateful.

For some of us, it wasn’t until we saw a Higher Power working in our life that we even knew how to be grateful. Others slowly but surely became more grateful for the simple things as our sponsor and support group pointed out the wonderful things in our life that we just couldn’t see. We were blinded by the insanity in our lives but the people around us helped us open our eyes and be grateful just to breathe, to be sober, to be living a life of recovery. Today and every day we stay grateful and even though in the beginning gratitude wasn’t something that came easy, now it is a part of our daily life.


Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for a loving and caring partner. Today I will show my appreciation for my partner. I pray for the sensitivity to cherish my partner.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alcoholism Does Not Discriminate

Recently in a meeting, one of our members told a very interesting story which a lot of us can relate to.

The person in the meeting told us that he was speaking at a Pennsylvania drug rehab as part of his service work one evening. When he was finished and the meeting was over one of the patients came up to him and said thank you and that he did a good job. He proceeded to let the member of AA know that he was an attorney and scholar of high standing in the community and that he should be proud that a man of his stature gave him such a compliment. Our AA friend made a very wise comment in the meeting, "But you're wearing a braclette with your name on it and I am going home".

That is what alcoholism does to us. It tells us that we are not as bad as everyone else because of our professional accomplishments or that we have a house with two cars in the driveway. What alcoholism does not tell us is how badly we are treating everyone around us. The bills can be paid, we can go to work every day, and drive the nicest cars, but the active alcoholic is a person destroying others lives. It is impossible to see in active addiction. When we come into AA and follow the suggestions this damage can be repaired.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spiritual Condition

In the book "Alcoholics Anonymous", on page 84 it talks about not being tempted or effected by alcohol anymore. There is a program laid out though through the first 83 pages that precede this. Those are the first nine steps or Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the beginning, we often think that we just need to stop consuming the chemicals that is making our lives unmanageable. We think that we wouldn't act or think the way we did if we could just stop. What the program teaches us is that it is a lot more than that. Alcohol and drugs were our solution to our inability to adapt to life. We did not handle life well and the only thing that made the feelings go away were booze and chemicals.

What we learn through the first nine steps is all the real reasons why we almost killed ourselves, or if you want our character defects. Even more important, how to overcome them to live a happy and purposeful life.

What the book says is that if we can keep in fit spiritual condition the obsession to drink and use drugs will not return. We will look at situations involving alcohol with a mind of neutrality.