Monday, February 28, 2011

Bath Salt Abuse is Growing in Pennsylvania

The link below is an article from The Times Leader about the growing use of bath salts in Pennsylvania.

People that are abusing bath salts are risking their lives. Clearbrook Treatment Centers can treat the addiction to bath salts at our facilities for both adults and adolescents who are addicted.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for my positive attitude. Today I will not let disturbances shake my attitude. I pray for the vision to see goodness in the world.

The Fifth Step

"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

The fifth step in recovery is described in the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" as "scarcely any step is more necessary to longtime sobriety and peace of mind than this one." It seems like the principle that we keep hearing through the first five steps is that we are not alone anymore. We do not have to navigate through life by ourselves anymore. It never worked, drunk or sober.

Sometimes there is a great reluctance to do this step. Sometimes we feel that we were just so horrible in the way we lived our lives that we wouldn't want anyone, including God to know about it. Well, God already knows. We think that the inclusion of admitting to God the exact nature of our wrongs is a step in humility. We are seeking forgiveness.

Why another human being? The answer is simple. If our past is not discussed we have the tendency to justify our behavior. When we speak of admittance to another human being the literature suggests that we find a trusting person. A sponsor or member of the clergy who can take an objective look at the past with us is the suggestion.

After we have completed the fifth step, if done 100% honestly, we feel so much better. We now can see why we drank like we did. We see who and how we have hurt other people. Another list has been created too. We now have our list for the amends steps. The feeling of isolation between ourselves, God, and the world often times diminishes.

These are feelings that you do not want to miss.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that I no longer need to argue with everyone. Today I will remain peaceful and calm. I pray that peace and calm will be my companions throughout this day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Going to Meetings

The recovery from the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction is like following a recipe. If we are cooking, and we don't follow the directions of how to make what we want, the food doesn't taste good. The programs of AA and NA if approached the same way will work for us.

Going to meetings of AA and NA are essentials to getting well. These are places that we go and we hear our own stories told by other members seeking recovery. Finally, this is where we find people who understand us. It is truly amazing that other people once felt as we did. What's even better is that when we listen to people in meetings that have long term sobriety tell our stories of heartache, they follow that up by the solution. That is what these programs are about. They are solution based programs to our disease.

We often hear about the two components to the program. One is the 12 steps of the program and the other is the fellowship of the program. Both sides of the program flourish in meetings. Many people claim the best parts of their day is the 20 minutes before the meeting and the 20 minutes after the meeting. We can describe this as the fellowship portion of the program. This is the time that we talk to our new friends about life, about what is going on with us on a personal basis.

By going to meetings it is another way of knowing that we are not alone in the world. When we can identify with other members feelings we are now part of a very large whole.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful I no longer hurt others. Today I will greet others with good cheer. I pray that I may be filled with the spirit of good cheer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fixing Others

For so long we’ve found fault with so many people in our lives. We have even tried to fix them but never took a look at ourselves. We probably never even considered fixing ourselves. Everyone else was the problem, not us.

We find out in A.A./N.A. that this notion is completely off. The truth is, we are the problem. We are to blame for all the insanity going on in our lives because of our drug/alcohol use. It is not until we read the Big Book and gain understanding of our disease, that we even begin to think that maybe it was us all along.

Once we begin to work the Steps we then take an even more in-depth look at ourselves especially in the 4th Step. This step allows us to find out exactly how and where we have been wrong. As we move forward, we are able to recognize our shortcomings and how we play a role in certain issues. We stop trying to fix everyone else and begin the journey of fixing ourselves.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Getting a sponsor in the rooms of AA or NA is the most valuable step you can take when first getting sober. A sponsor is there to help guide you through the twelve steps as they were laid out. We are trying to change everything about ourselves when we get sober, doing it alone just won't work. A sponsor can help us in our decision making as well. For so long we have been making decisions based on what we thought was right. Clouded by alcohol and drugs, bad decision making became habitual. It is a relief to know that now we have someone, that was once like ourselves, that can help us navigate life.

People that have been sober for decades still use their sponsors in their everyday living. Alcoholism is the disease of self, it is never cured. When we are sober even for years our minds still cry out selfishly. To ask another human being whom we trust to take an objective look at what we are doing helps us to make the right decisions.

How has your sponsor helped you???

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Signs of Surrender-"The Turn Around"

Signs of Surrender-“The Turn Around”

1. No longer defensive
2. Living in the “here & now” (present moment)
3. Willingness to follow advice
4. Not blame anyone including ourselves
5. Ability to laugh
6. Can apologize
7. Interested in inventory (becomes curious about the concept)
8. No concern of why I’m an alcoholic
9. Grateful
10. Sense of optimism, hopeful outlook on life.

“Acceptance appears to be a state of mind in which the individual accepts rather than rejects or resists: he is able to take things in, to go along with, to cooperate, to be receptive.”-Harry M. Tiebout, M.D.

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful to be a child of God. Today I will be aware that God loves me. I pray that I embrace a childlike attitude in my heart.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Enjoying Life

We are not a glum lot. We absolutley insist on enjoying life. These are two sentences from the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" that most of us couldn't comprehend when we first got sober. Most of our lives were consumed with worry and fear. Laughter was nonexistent. Our definition of fun was to drink and use as much as we could. At the time this was all the fun life offered us. Then it became too much, and we come to the realization that the life we are living is not fun at all.

When we walk into rooms of AA/NA all around the world, we can hear laughter as soon as we open the doors. Why would these people be laughing? Do they think it is funny what is happening to me? These questions resonate through our brains as we try to figure out just what is going on in there.

The fun part of recovery is that we are no longer in the bottomless pit anymore. We have now found hundreds of people who once felt like we did. The only difference in the beginning is that the others have worked the program of the twelve steps and are now enjoying a new way of life. This new way of life is available to everyone. One of the greatest gifts of having other people is that together we can now laugh at ourselves. No one asks that we totally forget the past. The past is actually our greatest asset. Our past can eventually help someone else, to let someone else know that we were in the exact same spot as they are.

Being happy, joyous, and free is what recovery is all about. To be freed from the prison of active alcoholism is a feeling that you do not want to miss.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for a tolerant attitude. Today I will remain rational in dealing with whatever problems I face. I pray for God's guidance throughout this day.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Putting Others First

For the longest time, especially in active addiction, thinking of others was something we rarely did. Our needs always surpassed those of others. Sometimes we were actually oblivious to those who needed help. Even in recovery it’s easy for us to forget about others and only think of ourselves. Many times we are only concerned with how we feel. We are worried about our issues. This is something that comes natural to us because we’ve been doing it for so long.

We must bring our focus back to others. The rooms of A.A./N.A. are a great reminder of helping others whether it’s a newcomer or someone who shares at a meeting about a struggle they are facing. If we focus on service to others we can forget about our problems. This helps us more than anything because it gives us a sense of peace and contentment to know we could positively contribute to the life of someone else. It can also be a humbling experience. We may think we have a really big problem and then we hear what someone else is going through and quickly realize that what we may be facing may not be as serious as the other persons struggle. To be able to help someone, relate to them and give them hope that it’s possible to come out a better person is a great gift.

In case you didn’t know:

In 2006, approximately one in eight youths aged 12 to 17 reported that they had participated in drug, tobacco, or alcohol prevention programs outside of school in the past year. However, the prevalence of past month use of illicit drugs, marijuana, cigarettes, or binge alcohol was not significantly lower among those who participated in these prevention programs outside of school than among those who did not. (

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful to know that I don't know everything. Today I will try to stay the right size--small. I pray that I remain teachable.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who's In Charge???

Tradition 2:

"For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority-a loving God as he may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern."

It has been said that they highest rank to be achieved in AA/NA is humble servant. It is surely God given to have such a powerful movement, like AA/NA, and not have a governing body. Of course we need people in our groups to make coffee, set up rooms, chair meetings, and handle funds, but they are by no means "in charge".

When AA was around for a while, co-founder Bill Wilson, was approached with the opportunity to make a little money from all the good he was doing. Bill writes in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, that after he was asked if he wanted to be payed for his service at the detox, he thought it was a great idea. When he went home, where they held their meetings, every other member of the group thought it was a bad idea. Bill speaks of how he thought that being payed was in Gods plan. Quickly after speaking to his group he figured out that it was indeed only "Bill's idea". The group conscience had spoken and the decision was made.

The bottom line to tradition two is that no human person is in charge of AA/NA. God is in charge. He has been and always will be. As individuals this tradition takes on the humility of getting help from a source other than ourselves. From a group perspective, this tradition keeps every one the same. We are all alcoholics, suffering from the same disease, just looking for some help

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for new self honesty. Today I will spend time in self examination. I pray for the courage to share with others who I am.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting Happy

When we first walked into the rooms of A.A./N.A. we were nervous, anxious and scared. As we looked around we saw all kinds of people. Yet, we quickly saw a lot of similarities. One of those similarities was that mostly everyone was smiling, they welcomed us, they were laughing, and they were enjoying themselves. That is something we hadn’t truly done in a long time. It made us uncomfortable because we didn’t expect happiness. We may have even said to ourselves, “how could these people be happy about being in these rooms?”
We realized, after watching and listening intently to what they had to say, their happiness had come from being in recovery. The people that had time in recovery, sponsor others and had been through the steps only got happy by living these things on a daily basis. Seeing this example made us want what they have. We wanted to be able to laugh and smile and be comfortable. The only way we could do that was by continuing to go to meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps. Freedom and happiness were in reach if we did these things.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that I take my inventory. Today I will not take another persons inventory. I pray that I remain curious about my life.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Not Differenrt

We can't allow our minds and our egos to trick us into believing that we are different from other people in the rooms of AA and NA. We hear stories from other people that may be worse than our own or not as bad as ours. Sometimes our minds tell us that we were not as bad as the skid row alcoholics story and we believe that we can't identify with him/her. Then sometimes someone tells a story that isn't as bad as our own. We think that they don't understand us and how bad things got for us. Both situations are dangerous for people like us. The important thing to remember is to listen to the feelings that are associated with all these stories. Hopelessness, anger, and fear are three of the most common. Everyone's story is different. Most people's stories contain these feelings.

When we listen, listen closely. What we are looking for is the way out and how people feel today after they have followed the program of action. Hope begins to enter people's minds. The fears that we once experienced begins to fade away. Life has taken on new meaning. These are the feelings that we strive for. With a little work they can be obtained.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that I am no longer confused. Today I will attempt to understand the world I live in. I pray that I may experience clarity.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making Excuses

Throughout our addiction excuses were something that came so naturally to us that we couldn’t even recognize them as excuses. Every chance we got we made an excuse to use. We used when good things happened. We used when bad things happened. We used when we were happy, sad, scared, excited, nervous, angry. We made excuses that someone else was the reason we used. We never took a look at ourselves and said that we used because we had a problem. Circumstances, people and places were the problem and that’s why we used, or so we thought.
After getting sober we saw that all those circumstances were not the reason we used. We realized we were and are powerless over alcohol and drugs. We are the problem, not the people around us, not the things happening in our life. The gift of sobriety allows us to see clearly that there are no excuses. No one or nothing forced us to use. By accepting that we are the ones who are responsible we can move forward in our lives and change for the better.

In case you didn’t know:
Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse disrupts the way critical brain structures interact to control and inhibit behaviors related to drug abuse. (

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that my old ideas are changing. Today I will be open to new ideas from my AA group. I pray that I may develop new ideas that work.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Hopelessness is a common feeling among people suffering from addiction. For years the feelings that we had were that this life was something to suffer through. Every day was the same, probably getting a little worse. It seemed in our minds that we were doomed.

When we give up, and ask for help, that feeling of some hope for ourselves begins. Some of us need to detox and go to a rehab, like Clearbrook. The process starts by acceptance and admitting that we have a problem. Once we give up and realize that drugs and alcohol are killing us we can begin. The feeling of hope, like everything else in recovery is a gradual process. If we find a sponsor and a home group in AA, it makes us part of something again. The friends that we have been looking for our whole life begin to develop. One of the greatest feelings is to know that someone else finally understands us and how we think. The people we get close to in AA and NA let us know that we aren't alone anymore. They let us know that at one point in their own lives, they felt just like we do. Then they tell us how they were helped out of that despair. If practiced as a way of life by us, our lives can be the same as theirs. Like yesterdays blog, this takes time.

Hope is bigger and better than any material thing we can obtain in our lives. We are on the path to repairing broken relationships with ourselves, our families, and with God.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the pain of growth. Today I will be mindful of the saying, "no pain, no gain". I pray that I may accept the pain necessary for growth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

T.I.M.E. Heals Wounds

When we first got sober some of us may have instantly wanted the people in our lives to trust us. We expected them to automatically forgive us for all the things we’d done while using. Maybe we even thought to ourselves, “I deserve for them to trust me because now I’m sober and I’ve changed.”
We quickly realized that we didn’t deserve their trust. We were irresponsible for so long. We lied, we cheated, we stole. Why should they think that we’d act any differently right away?
Those around us were right to second-guess us. We had not built any sort of trust back up. We owed it to them to prove, through our actions that we were worthy of their trust. It wasn’t easy. We couldn’t put any expectations on the ones we love. They deserved time and proof that we turned our lives around. We had to be patient with them because the more we pushed for their forgiveness the more we acted like the person who used drugs and alcohol and manipulated them so many times. The only thing that allowed them to trust us is TIME. It wasn’t easy to say the least. But seeing growth and change is a process and only happens through doing the next right thing. Eventually we regained their trust.

In case you didn’t know:
A survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that on average 13. 2% of all people 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3% of this age group drove under the influence of illegal drugs in 2009. In an average year 30 million Americans drive drunk and 10 million drive impaired by illegal drugs

Daily Gratitude

I am grateful I am able to trust. Today I will put my trust in God's hands. I pray that I continue to trust God with all my problems.

Back to the Basics

For people in recovery, the basics are of utmost importance. As time passes and we get sober, things in our lives start to come together. We are working the steps and we are helping other people that are just coming in. Life has started to have meaning for us. We are able to be good employees and loving family members. It is so easy, as the literature says "to rest on our laurels". Right after that sentence it says, "alcohol is a subtle foe".

The programs of AA and NA are built and designed in 24 hour blocks. It is vital to our recovery to remember where we started. We started with Step One. The easiest way to remain in good balance is to practice the first three steps of the program on a daily basis. When things get tough, as life does for all of us, God is in charge. He will handle it, whatever it is, if you let him.

Although we are always going to make mistakes, the first 3 steps will save our lives. It can keep us in good emotional balance. When practiced on a daily basis this becomes our solution to all problems.

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful that my feelings do not get hurt as easily as they once did. Today I will not allow anyone to hurt me. I pray that I will not be hurt by the words or acts of others

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Moral Inventory

"Made a Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory of Ourselves"

The fourth step is spoken about a lot in meetings all over the world. Often times we hear about how hard it was, how so many people avoided doing it all together. Then we hear that they didn't achieve sobriety. Many people try to sidestep this one or take "half measures".

This step is crucial to sobriety. This step is the truth about ourselvess, about our past. We drank, we thought, because of the taste or the way it made us feel. The question to ask is "why did we always have to feel different? Why did we always need to change that?" Most of us drink and use to escape. This step will help you find out what you are escaping from. How do we fix things that made us drink and use if we don't know what to fix?

We have placed our own desires and our own instincts above all else. That was all we knew. Remember, what we are attempting to do is find out the reasons and the corrections to our past life. To try and align our will with Gods will. Thinking about this doesn't work. Putting our thoughts and defects on paper "lays it out on the table".

Looking at our past can be difficult. It can be painful. It is a humble step though. We are making the attempt to correct our behaviors. We are making an attempt to live happily in this world.

How has the Fourth Step transformed your life?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Facing Issues Head-On

It’s easy for us to run away from things. It’s easy to push people away especially the ones who don’t enable us. When things don’t go the way we want, we disappear emotionally and physically. When things get difficult we leave. In the heart of our addiction we don’t know how to face anything. Most of the time we can’t even face ourselves.
After we finally decide to get sober we look back on all of the running we did. At first we may feel guilt and shame but it is actually something we can be grateful for. We can now look back and know that now that we are in recovery and have chosen to be responsible for ourselves, we have a great example of how not to act. It is a great example of who we aren’t anymore and who we never want to be again. It shows us how we have grown. We are not the person we used to be when we were using.
We have learned that just because it is easier to run away, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Now that we are sober and working the steps we can face things that we would have never faced in our active addiction. To be able to face things with strength and integrity is truly a gift to forever be grateful for.
In case you didn’t know:
The use of illegal drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2009 according to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows the overall rate of current illegal drug use in the United States rose from 8.0 percent of the population aged 12 and older in 2008 to 8.7 percent in 2009. This rise in overall drug use was driven in large part by increases in marijuana use.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Honesty and Recovery

A key component in recovery is honesty. When we come into the rooms of AA and NA, our lives seem to be in a giant knot. It's almost like a big ball of fishing line that is all tangled together. What we are trying to do is untangle that line. You will hear the words, "we have to get honest". The steps call for honesty. When we have finally given up, and we want help, the first step many of us took was to find a sponsor. The relationship between a sponsor and a sponsee is very powerful. This is a person that we can finally trust, a person we can tell what we've done, our fears, and our defects. When we talk about our past, and at times it can be hard, we are merely just telling the truth. The truth about ourselves finally sets us free. It is a rallying point, a starting block to recovery. When the truth comes out, the healing can begin. Without the truth we can't be helped because the help we seek is being steered in the wrong direction.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that I can share my feelings at meetings. Today I will work at sharing how I feel. I pray that I stay open and sharing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Do We Embrace Spirituality

For the newcomer, the concept of spirituality is a difficult one. For some of us that word makes us uncomfortable and discontent. We have struggled for a very long time to gain any kind of understanding of spirituality. Some of us may have dismissed the idea all together and some of us may have thought we were spiritual but really had no idea how to get in touch with that part within us.
Some of us have searched for answers in all kinds of different ways. Throughout our search we probably lost hope because no answer was good enough. No theory or idea filled that void within us. So, when we walked into the rooms and heard about spirituality and a Higher Power, we were skeptical. The true skeptics that we are, we scoffed at these ideas.
It wasn’t until we listened to other people’s experience that we began to open our minds. We saw that through learning and practicing we can gain an open mind and open heart to spirituality. We may have felt that the notion of practicing wouldn’t work but it did. We prayed. We meditated. We had no idea what we were doing most of the time. We prayed but didn’t know to whom or to what we were praying. Yet, the more we practiced, we started to see our Higher Power working in our lives. Things may have gotten worse before they got better but things did get better. Through it all, we learned from the things that happened (most of them we had no control over, our Higher Power was in control). The littlest improvement gave us hope.
The day we came to believe in a power greater than ourselves is the day we became a little less skeptical and a little more hopeful. Through it all we’ve seen that in the rooms we learn, we practice and we grow. This is a great gift that is given to us in recovery.

In case you didn’t know:
Children of alcoholic parents are four times as likely to develop drinking problems as the general population. Sons of alcoholic fathers face up to nine times the usual risk.

Clearbrook Treatment Centers are drug treatment centers in North East Pennsylvania that treat the disease of addiction.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Step 3- Making a Decision

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

Willingness is the word that comes to mind when we speak of the third step. For so long we depended on ourselves and our ideas. The thought of anyone or anything else helping us to run our lives was impossible. When we've walked through the first two steps of the program, we have already made an excellent start. We by now realize just how powerless we are over alcohol and drugs. After the second step we start to see that there is a power out there that can help us. Even if that power is the AA or NA group as a whole, it is better than self reliance.

The third step asks us to make a decision. For so long we have made so many resolutions and trade offs, but we never made a decision. So many of us ask, "What does this decision entail? How do I do this?" Many people that have achieved long term sobriety say that the decision is that you will go on with the process laid out before us. There is a great deal of humility that applies to this step. It shows that we know and want help. It shows us that we realize that without help our demise is an alcoholic death.

One of the beauties of this program is that we do all these things one day at a time. Every day if we can practice the first three steps and realize how important they are to our recovery, the easier it gets.

This is what the Twelve and Twelve of Alcoholics Anonymous says about the steps:

A.A's twelve steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole. (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions- Foreward)

How has the third step effected your life? How did you come to make the decision?

We would love to hear your feedback

Monday, February 7, 2011

Working Towards Serenity on a Daily Basis

Serenity is something we are always striving for. Some days it comes naturally. Other days we break a sweat trying to catch a glimpse of the feeling of tranquility and peace.
The more time we are working our 12-Step program, the easier it gets to acquire serenity on a daily basis. Yet, we are not perfect. We can never be perfect but when we look back to the past we see an obvious improvement. We used to feel crazy. We used to worry about yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our minds ran wild with fear, insecurity and worry. There was no shutting off our thoughts.
We do still get those feelings but after some time working the steps and helping others, we feel a little less crazy. Our minds are a little calmer. This is because we have learned how to be aware of our thoughts, fears, worries and insecurities. We can recognize them, thus making it easier to remember to just focus on today.
On a daily basis we must remind ourselves that in order to achieve serenity we must accept the things we cannot change. We must be courageous enough to change the things we can. We must able to distinguish the difference.
In case you didn’t know:
Synthetic cannabis (Spice/K2), which mimics the effects of cannabis, is four times more addictive than THC. Clearbrook Treatment Centers are treatment centers for people who need rehab for spice addiction.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are You Different Than Everyone Else?

Many of us have felt like we were different at some point in our lives, even in the rooms of A.A./N.A. Sometimes this may be because we didn’t face the consequences some people faced, we didn’t lose our family, friends, and/or jobs. A lot of times we’ve even taken pride in setting ourselves apart from others.
But this is the wrong way of thinking. When having this mindset, we isolate ourselves thus making it difficult to hear the message and work a program. It doesn’t matter that we didn’t lose as much as someone else or that we didn’t use the way someone else did. We are all there because we suffer from the same disease. All of us could NOT use successfully. We all have a common problem. We are NOT different.
Once we open our eyes, we see that we actually have a lot in common with those around us. We quickly see the similarities. We are all working the 12-step program. We are all striving for change. We are all striving to be happy, joyous and free. When we let go of isolating ourselves, we can then share our experience, strength and hope with others. This is one of the many wonderful gifts of the program.

In case you didn’t know:
A.A. consists of more than 2,000,000 men and women in more than 180 countries.

Clearbrook Treatment Centers is an alcohol and drug rehab in PA and is only within 100 miles of NY and NJ. For more information, visit our website

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Step 2- Came to Believe

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Coming out of alcoholic destruction and after admitting that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable, this second step can seem like a big task. So many of us either at one time believed in God or a higher power but thought that he gave up on us. There are others in the rooms that don't believe in a higher power and never did. In the literature, it tells us that if we are just willing to believe in some kind of higher power, a beginning has been made. This shows some degree of humility by at least being open to the idea that this world did not originate out of nothing and means nothing. For so long we were so dependent on ourselves and our own thinking. For most of us that landed us in all kinds of predicaments. Whether it was jail, our total alienation from our families, bankrupt, both financially, morally, and spiritually, we all had our problems. What happens to a lot of people after they became at least willing to believe, they saw just how practical it really is. By attending meetings and listening to the stories of the people that have gone before them, it is tangible proof that something is working in those people's lives. If we go to enough meetings, read the book, and pray, we can and will recover from this seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. Many people may ask, "If I don't believe, than what should I pray about?" Some simple prayers that we have heard work are simple. The simplest being this "PLEASE HELP ME". It is amazing at how many times this prayer has helped so many people.

Recovery from alcohol abuse and drug abuse is very paradoxical. The first paradox is that we must surrender to win. In the second step, the irony is that to become independent we have to become dependent on a higher power.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Reduction of Shame

Shame can be a powerful force in our life. It is the trademark of dysfunctional families.

Authentic, legitimate guilt is the feeling or thought that what we did is not okay. It indicates that our behavior needs to be corrected or altered, or an amend needs to be made.

Shame is an overwhelming negative sense that who we are isn't okay. Shame is a no-win situation. We can change our behaviors, but we can't change who we are. Shame can propel us deeper into self-defeating and sometimes self-destructive behaviors.

What are the things that can cause us to feel shame? We may feel ashamed when we have a problem or someone we love has a problem. We may feel ashamed for making mistakes or for succeeding. We may feel ashamed about certain feelings or thoughts. We may feel ashamed when we have fun, feel good, or are vulnerable enough to show ourselves to others. Some of us feel ashamed just for being.

Shame is a spell others put on us to control us, to keep us playing our part in dysfunctional systems. It is a spell many of us have learned to put on ourselves.

Learning to reject shame can change the quality of our life. It's okay to be who we are. We are good enough. Our feelings are okay. Our past is okay. It's okay to have problems, make mistakes, and struggle to find our path. It's okay to be human and cherish our humanness.

Accepting ourselves is the first step toward recovery. Letting go of shame about who we are is the next important step.

Clearbrook Treatment Centers are drug treatment centers in Pennsylvania. At Clearbrook we know about shame, guilt, and remorse. We can help you and we can promise you hope.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How do we become selfless??

In the midst of our addiction we walked around with blinders on. We saw nothing else but what we wanted to see, ourselves. Our life seemed so much more important than anything else. What mattered the most to us was the drink or the drug. If anyone got in the way of that we either pushed them away or completely removed ourselves from them. Our happiness, our comfort and our “problems” always came first.
Even after getting sober we can still be selfish especially if we are not working a program. The only way to remove the selfishness that has been such a large part of our life is to go to meetings, work the steps and help others. Once we begin our journey of recovery and do all the things that make us selfless rather than selfish, we learn a very valuable lesson: the world and everyone in it is not contingent upon us; the world does not revolve around us.

Clearbrook's Quick Fact:

In 2009, there were 2.6 million people aged 12 or older who used non medical prescription drugs including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives for the first time within the past year which averages out to around 7,000 new users per day.