Wednesday, June 29, 2011


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.

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 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 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


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.