Friday, April 29, 2011

The Fourth Tradition

"Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole"

The fourth tradition tells us numerous things. First off, any two people getting together for the purpose of sobriety can call themselves an AA group as long as they have no other affiliation. If they are sitting and talking about how they can get and stay sober, they may call themselves a group. That is how all this started. One alcoholic talking to another in order to save his own life.

We hear in meetings, sometimes, the quote, "they don't do it right or the same way they do it in my home group". The reason is because each group, by group conscience, can decide how they are going to run their meeting, as long as it does not interfere with AA as a whole. What constitutes interference is not up to an individual though, it is up to the group.

When we internalize the traditions they can mean a lot to us personally as well. It is no longer just about me, me, me. The group comes first. We have no President. Without the group as a whole AA will die, and then we as individuals will die soon after. Surely, all the steps and traditions of AA are written by the hand of God. How could a society with no leadership or dues survive and save as many lives as AA has. Today I will remain grateful for everything the program has to offer.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Some of us may have never committed to anything ever in our lives. Whether it was to another person, job, organization, etc., most of us really could never fully commit. This is part of our disease. Taking responsibility is not something we do and if we come close to it we usually run in the other direction.

It wasn’t until we either went to rehab or went to A.A./N.A. for the first time that we saw that it takes commitment to stay sober and live a responsible life. At first this scared us because we really hadn’t committed or been responsible before so we were apprehensive. But as we saw the people who had time in recovery and we saw the work they were doing and saw that they were living happy, fulfilling lives, we began to realize what we needed to do. We needed to do the work. We needed to make an all out commitment to the program. Our commitment in this program has been the first thing that we’ve ever taken responsibility for. It’s the first thing we’ve ever committed too and as time went by we saw that positive results come from our commitment.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the grace I have received allowing me to survive my illness. Today I will be mindful of the grace I have received. I pray for awareness of all the grace I have been given.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Enjoying A New Life

"We absolutely insist on enjoying life". This quote comes from the book "Alcoholics Anonymous. Like so many other phrases in the big book it means so much in a small amount of words. When we were drinking we only thought we were getting everything out of life that it offers. It is scary to think we can enjoy life without our substances. Giving up a best friend is not fun or easy to do. That is what we are doing when we get sober. We are giving up something that has meant so much to us for so long. It is such a drastic change in our lives.

What happens is the twelve steps of the program start to replace the booze and the drugs. Helping others, having TRUE friends, and living a completely opposite life takes the place of the disease of addiction. If we don't fight the system and give up, a life beyond your wildest dreams is what awaits you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Some days are harder than others. We suffer from the disease of Alcoholism/Drug Addiction. It will never go away. We must work every single day for the rest of our lives to better ourselves and better our lives. Most of the times we can see the blessing in this. Some days it’s hard for us to see so clearly.

The blessing is that each day we are aware of how to live our lives the best we can. Some people never see themselves clearly. Our disease blinds us sometimes. When we have a bad day it’s hard for us to realize the blessings and be grateful. But there is hope on these bad days. That’s when we must push through it. Through talking to our sponsors, going to meetings and working the steps we work vigilantly toward a better life. Hard work and diligence is what keeps us going.

So, on our harder days let us be more aware than ever that we must work for our recovery. We must move our feet. We must remember it’s one day at a time and just for today we must be the best we know how to be.

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for my new-found security. Today I will embrace my inner well-being. I pray that a sense of security may grow in me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Disease

The disease of alcoholism and drug addiction are not like any other disease. It is what is called a three fold disease. For many of us, we lost our morals, spirit, and values first and then we started having physical problems. Hangovers, liver problems, just to name a few. When we get sober, the three components of the disease come back in the opposite order.

After a short period of time we start to feel physically better. We can fall asleep and wake up for work. We don't have hangovers anymore. Often times this can be dangerous if that is all we were looking for because the chemicals we were putting into our bodies will tell our minds that it wasn't that bad. It tells us that we can now work, and be part of life. As the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" tells us, "alcohol is a subtle foe." What that is telling us is that there is more than just the physical aspect of sobriety. What that is also telling us is that we have to get to the root of the problem. Why did we drink in the first place? Why would we destroy our lives? The good news is that the answer is in the 12 steps of the fellowships of AA/NA. If practiced as a way of life, we can expel the obsession to use drugs and alcohol.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Helping Others

What makes us feel good??? Making money, getting some new "stuff" are two things that come to mind. When we get sober material things start coming back into our lives and there is nothing wrong with that. Things can make us happy but that is not going to keep us sober. Helping another suffering alcoholic is protection against drinking more than anything else. When we first got sober, so many people reached out to us and helped us. Now it is our turn. Every day across the world there are new people looking for a new way of life. If we try to help them and let them see there is another way, it is the greatest personal feeling in the world. You do not want to miss this, we promise.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Helping People Throughout the Northeast

Clearbrook Treatment Centers will be adding a new page to our website in the next week or so. We want to thank everyone who supports our efforts to help anyone who is suffering from the disease of addiction. We pride ourselves in being able to help anyone, anywhere, who wants it.

We are always looking at where our patients come from. Most of our patients came to us from Pennsylvania, looking for a Pennsylvania drug rehab or Pennsylvania alcohol rehab. Clearbrook stands out from all the rest. There are people in our surrounding communities that are also looking for help. There are thousands of people looking for a drug rehab in New York or drug rehab in New Jersey. Clearbrook can extend their hand to the residents of these states for a multitude of reasons. Our facilities are located just two hours from the 5 boroughs of NYC and 2.5 hours from Long Island. Parts of upstate NY are less than 2 hours away. New Jersey residents looking for a treatment center are even closer.

Clearbrook also has contacts and affiliations with sober living houses, long term treatment centers, and aftercare programs for the residents of other states. We want to offer our expertise and care for anyone seeking a way out of the life of addiction.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nick-ism for the Day: Are you willing to look for hope?

When we enter the rooms of A.A./N.A. we are broken down. We are hopeless. We have hit bottom and don’t know where else to turn. We realize that we don’t have the answers. Treatment and A.A./N.A. have the ability to help us find the answers.

When we become willing to do whatever it takes to get better we can find hope. We find hope in the people around us who wear smiles and who radiate happiness through sharing their story of recovery. By working the 12 Steps we are shown the possibility of tomorrow. As we heal inside we begin to see that through recovery we can do anything.

We can choose how we look at life when we are in recovery. We can make sound choices because we are sober and working the Steps. They not only give us hope but teach us how to choose the right things.

“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”- Viktor Frankl

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the constant change in my life. Today I will not resist change. I pray to remain open to the changes in me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Self Deception

Often called "fooling ourselves" this practice can be very dangerous. Rationalization is another word synonymous with self deception. The fourth step of the AA program is our first practice out of this paralyzing character defect. Often times we are the kind of people who cannot decipher the difference between fact and fiction. We don't know what the real truth is. Thank God for the people that we have turned to in order to help us. If we can be honest with another human being about what is going on in our lives then we can begin to come out of fooling ourselves on what the truth really is.

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for my ability to play. Today I will attempt to be playful. I pray for the desire to play.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How has Clearbrook Changed Your Life???

Clearbrook Treatment Centers are Pennsylvania drug rehabs that have helped tens of thousands of people recover from the disease of addiction. Our approach is simple. The person who is using alcohol and drugs to change their lives are sick people. At our adult inpatient facility or our adolescent treatment center we can offer the addict and their families hope for the rest of their life. The first step on the road to recovery is to ask for help or to agree to be helped.

Did you go to Clearbrook?? Has your life changed. Please comment below and let us know what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nick-ism for the Day: Are you willing to develop a sense of humor?

Deciding to surrender to the disease of alcoholism/drug addiction is a very difficult thing to do. Many of us have felt like we don’t know how to live without any kind of mood-altering chemicals in our lives because that’s the only thing we’ve known for so long. But we quickly see, when we enter the rooms, that there is hope and we can live a happy life.

When we first came to A.A./N.A. we saw a lot of people around us who were happy and laughing and enjoying themselves. We immediately decided we wanted what they have. In order to get happy and free we must learn to have a sense of humor about life. So many of ourselves take life too seriously. This life is such a blessing and finding humor in things makes it easier for us to not sweat the small stuff.

So, when we face times that things are exactly easy or we are struggling, we must find something that will make us laugh. Because it is very true…Laughter is the best medicine.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the warmth of sunshine on my face. Today I will seek the warmth of the sun to fill my being. I pray that the warmth I feel now remains with me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Self Pity

Our lives have not been filled with success and a lot of high points before we got sober. Then we get sober and things begin to change. Our families structure begins to get repaired, our ability to earn a living comes, and we have friends in our lives. What happens though, and this happens to everyone, is we morbidly reflect on the past. We beat ourselves up for the things we did. Then we feel bad for ourselves sometimes. That is when this becomes dangerous for people who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. This is when the mind begins to work on us. We may not be thinking about drinking but the disease comes disguised in all kinds of forms. It tells us we are no good no matter what changes we have made in our lives. What it is really doing in a nutshell is blocking any spiritual growth.

What is the answer to this recurring problem you might ask? The answer is simple and yet so rewarding. Go help someone else. Help someone that is less fortunate than you are. When we do that we climb out of the hole of self pity and see how good we have it. We are miracles. Remember that and life takes a new meaning.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful to know who and what I am. Today I will appreciate myself as I am. I pray that my life is made clear to me as I work the Steps.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nick-ism for the Day: Are you willing to take YOUR inventory?

In our addiction we were always pointing the finger at everyone else. We had no qualms about telling the people around us what their problem was. It didn’t occur to us while we were using to actually look at what our problem was.

Most of us thought we were different than every one else in so many aspects of our lives. Again, pointing out what was wrong with others and how we were different than them. But as we got sober we learned that we don’t get better by looking at how we’re different, especially in the rooms of A.A./N.A. No matter how different our stories are from each other we still all suffer from the same disease.

We can recognize if we are getting better by identifying with others. The only way we can do this is by taking our own inventory; taking a look at ourselves and looking at where our resentments come from. If we take our inventory we can move forward and identify with others and in turn, we become a part of, we become more willing, we can move forward on our journey of recovery.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that I am able to suffer the trials of life. Today I will see the wisdom to be gained from suffering. I pray that I do not lose sight that suffering has its place.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Are you Willing???

Some of the stories we here in the rooms are about how willing people are to do what ever it takes to get and stay sober. A good sponsor will ask you what you are willing to do in order to achieve sobriety. When our answers are "anything, absolutely anything" we are on our way. Some of us don't know what they are asking of us. The first thing we need to do is to not drink or use, no matter what. We need to make a deal to make a phone call or go to a meeting before we pick up that drink. Then we need to be willing to keep an open mind. The spiritual side of the program comes next. Those of us who have agnostic or atheist beliefs need to hear the other side, the side we don't believe in.

What we are saying is that we should be willing to walk through the twelve steps with another human being who can help us. Some of us say that the steps are just suggestions and they are not 100% neccessary to sobriety. Well, when we jump out of a plane it is suggested that we have and use a parachute. There is no definite that we'll die but it's pretty certain that we will. The steps if approached in the same way can save our lives.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful that I am able to look past the negative and see the goodness in my fellow human beings. Today I will look for the good in all people that I meet. I pray for the gift to see the good in every person.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pennsylvania Drug Rehab

Clearbrook Treatment Centers accepts both adult and adolescent patients suffering from the disease of addiction. Our new facility in Laurel Run Pennsylvania is for adults. Alcohol detox and drug detox are done at Clearbrook so that there is no need to go to another facility for these services. After detox, the client will spend 28 days at the inpatient treatment center in Laurel Run PA.

Adolescent drug rehab is also available for those whose children need it. Located in Shickshinny Pa, we pride ourselves at being the best at handling teenagers. Please visit our website for more information.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nick-ism for the Day: Are you willing to stop blaming?

When we were using it was second nature to blame others for things that were going wrong in our lives. Taking responsibility for anything became virtually impossible. As long as you’re blaming, you can never be responsible. Without being responsible there is no way you can do what you have to do.

We used because someone hurt us, we used because we weren’t hired for a job, we used because people around us weren’t doing what we wanted to do. This is a great example of how we blamed others and the circumstances around us.

In recovery, we can see that the only way we can start getting better is to be responsible and take responsibility for our actions and our feelings. Taking a look at ourselves before we point the finger at someone or something else is a step in the right direction to getting healthier.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the telephone. Today I will use the telephone to be in touch with my A.A. friends. I pray that I can use the telephone to stay connected with others.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Fatal Nature of the Disease

Alchoholism is a disease. It is a fatal disease. At Clearbrook we are faced with the fatal nature of this every day. Getting sober is not easy, but staying sober can be. Once we come to the honest fact that we want to get sober because it is going to save our life, we can begin to crawl out of denial.

Some people want to get sober for their job, the courts, to have their families back. These are not neccesarily bad reasons, but the greatest reason to get sober is to not allow this disease to kill us. Most people when they achieve sobriety often get back the things they lost. The one thing we can never get back is our life. If the disease kills us, we can't start over.

This is a scary thought and not easy to write about. It is the truth though. Happiness comes out of this when we see the people come in broken and get "fixed".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


One of the best ways to embrace humility is by helping others. We only learn this from experience. When we help others, especially another addict we may not realize it right away but they are helping us more than we could ever help them. Although we can gain a different perspective when we see how much another person is suffering.

Helping others can really open our eyes to how fortunate we are. When we do lend a hand it is only the beginning of our humility. Another great test of humility besides helping others is accomplishing something and being modest. Of course if you accomplish something it is good to celebrate but a good example is in the fellowships of A.A. and N.A. When we celebrate our anniversaries, the purpose of getting up in front of everyone and receiving a coin is not so much to help us receiving the coin but it is truly to help a newcomer. Being 30 days sober and seeing someone celebrate 20 years is a great eye-opener for the newcomer because they see that the program really does work.

So when we are helping others and celebrating our recovery, let’s keep in mind that we must stay humble, not only for ourselves but for the newcomers who may feel hopeless.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful I was accepted when I came to A.A. Today I will remember to feel the acceptance that surrounds me. I pray that the acceptance I feel in A.A. will be experienced by others.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nick-ism for the Day: Are You Willing To Live, Think and Act in the Present?

Are you willing to live, think and act in the present?

As addicts our focus is never present when we aren’t working a program. We constantly want to fix something from yesterday and think about the future. The present moment rarely exists in our minds.

When we surrender we must continually remind ourselves to focus on the present moment. We must ask ourselves what we can do right now and how we feel right now. When we answer those questions on a regular basis, we will become more apt for living in the present. We will quickly see how blinded we were by thinking of the past and the future so much.

If we stay focused we will see that all the power lives right in the present. Our minds will be freer and the way we think, act and feel will change for the better.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful to know that knowledge is not all-powerful. Today I will practice not depending on my knowledge alone. I pray that I learn to depend more often on grace.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nick-ism for the Day: Willing to follow direction?

In keeping with the theme of surrender there are multiple questions we must pose. The next few Nick-isms will ask some of these questions.

The first question we are asking you is…

Are you willing to follow direction?
Unless we surrender we cannot possibly follow direction thus we need to ask ourselves this question. We not only have a drinking and drug problem, we also have a behavioral and feeling problem that gets in the way of our surrendering. We find it difficult to give up because we try so hard to make our lives work while using but it NEVER works. We cannot successfully live a life and use.

The behavioral and feeling problem make it clear that there is something wrong inside of us that the only way we felt okay when we were in the midst of our addiction was with those chemicals inside of us.

If we have surrendered to this disease we have the experience to know that WE DON’T NEED DRUGS OR ALCOHOL TO FEEL OKAY. We have seen and experienced for ourselves in recovery that when we work this program we are MORE than okay!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for knowing I am not perfect. Today I will look for the humor in my imperfections. I pray for the ability to find humor in what is not perfect in me.