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On a Roll

On a Roll

People say it all the time: “She’s on a roll.”  “He’s on a winning streak.”  “They’re feeling it.”  In sports it’s called “in the zone;” golfers say the cup looks a foot wide on those days.  Songwriters say the music pours out of them.  Business people describe...

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Cold Sidewalk

Cold Sidewalk

The holidays are over, and it’s back to the routine.  It’s January, and you hope the rest of the winter isn’t too cold.  You may be looking forward to winter sports, MLK Day and Valentine’s Day, but you still hope it’s not a harsh winter. It’s not that you can’t take...

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Why is forgiveness important to achieve sobriety?

Why is forgiveness important to achieve sobriety?

Who do we forgive and for what? Why is it important for an alcoholic or addict to forgive to stay sober? These are all very important questions that need answers and action for someone to overcome addiction and find recovery. Who do we forgive?...

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Satisfaction

Satisfaction

Everybody went to him for advice.  He knew the history of a lot of the recovery groups in town. He remembered guys who had mended from alcoholic binges in the back room of a Twenty-four Hour Club down by the Ship Channel, when they got left by the tanker that brought them to town.  He knew women who had gone into subway tunnels in New York City, to pull female alcoholics out of service alcoves and take them to the hospital.  He had been around a long time.

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What Others Think

What Others Think

We were all sitting around a big booth table in a coffee shop in a suburb south of Chicago.  A man in his early twenties was talking about his new job, and the anxiety he felt about getting along with his co-workers.  An older woman was part of the group, and as he...

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Don’t Give Up.  Let Go!

Don’t Give Up. Let Go!

Overheard at a mechanic’s garage last week:  “This guy told me to suit up and show up.  Then he told me to always do my best. Then he told me to let go.  I don’t know what that means. Before a game, I can remember my coaches telling me to suit up and show up, and do...

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They Used To Be Afraid

They Used To Be Afraid

At a Twelve Step Club in California, there was a soft drink machine that took quarters only.  People would ask one another for change for a dollar, and the joking reply was always “I used to be afraid of change.” Recovery requires change, and it can be scary, even for...

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Common Sense: Men’s and Women’s Meetings

Common Sense: Men’s and Women’s Meetings

Want to know why you should be hitting some Men’s or Women’s meetings, now that you’re living your life sober?  Gender-specific meetings for males and females are generally available.  Why should you try a few?  The social element of recovery...

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Forgiving Is For You, Not Them

Forgiving Is For You, Not Them

Forgiving a transgression is one of life’s earliest challenges.  Small children must be taught to forgive their brothers and sisters, and later, their playground friends.  Adults can help, if they guide an apology from the transgressor. Adults...

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Asking for Directions

Asking for Directions

A long-standing American joke is that male drivers never ask for directions, even when they’re lost.  There’s some truth to this, and many female motorists do the same thing.  We don’t want to admit we got turned around, or missed a sign, or...

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I want to help.

I want to help.

When a person begins the recovery journey and seeks professional help, many resources are available.  Counseling, medical evaluation, education about addiction, nutritional advice: all these services can be a part of the treatment experience. ...

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Be Honest With Yourself

Be Honest With Yourself

No one wants to be told lies.  When something is important, we want the truth.  People often respond with anger, when they find out someone has been lying to them.  So why do we lie to ourselves?  Is that what people mean when they use the word...

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What’s the Lesson?

What’s the Lesson?

In the recovery community, advice is abundant.  The treasured slogans are repeated in every Twelve Step meeting, and sober friends offer suggestions regularly. “Keep it simple.” “If you hang around the barber shop, you’re going to get a...

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Supporting Women in Recovery

Supporting Women in Recovery

Addiction doesn’t discriminate.  Rich, poor, young, old, male, female—addiction occurs in all these populations.  And while the principles of recovery are the same for all, approaches and strategies may be different for women.  Honesty,...

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Valentine’s Day Revisited

Valentine’s Day Revisited

As we approach February 14th , stores fill with boxes of candy, greeting card companies remind us to get to the card rack early and often, and the chocolate-covered strawberry folks begin their email campaigns.  The jewelry companies remind us...

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Let’s Have a Competition

Let’s Have a Competition

Yesterday, a newscaster referred to Super Bowl Sunday as “America’s Unofficial National Holiday.” Most of us know that the game is coming soon, even those who don’t care much for sports.  There will be a lot of discussion, a lot of analysis, a...

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Which Came First?

Which Came First?

Last week, we saw a newspaper article about Frank (not his real name), a man who had lived as a drug addict for many years. Frank had grown up in gangs, had sold drugs, and had gone to jail.  After several attempts, he got sober in a treatment...

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Happy New You!

Happy New You!

This weekend we celebrate the arrival of the New Year, and we remember the year that is ending.  Every year brings us a mix of events and memories, some happy, some less so.  If you or a loved one are just entering recovery, the year may have...

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