I’ve never crashed a car or received a DUI, never drunk while pregnant, never been fired from a job, never punched someone in a bar, and never set the house on fire. My marriage is long and happy, my daughter excels at school and is socially happy, and I have a successful career in an competitive field. Yet I was also a lush for twenty years, and wine increasingly eroded my productivity as well as my enjoyment of daily life. Most bothersome, wine—drinking it, planning around it, figuring out how to get enough of it, recovering from it—was a squatter on my psychic landscape. Its role in my life had grown too large, but (like many people who drink too much to cope with stress), I found it difficult to moderate. “In for a glass, in for a bottle” was my usual approach. I didn’t identify with the word alcoholic, at least not as a label of who I am, but I knew I needed to quit drinking in order to preserve the other things I am. Still, I found it difficult to maintain the motivation to quit for more than a month-long “liver holiday” now and again.
One of the appealing things about SMART Recovery is that it doesn’t insist you have to hit “rock bottom” to know that your life could be better. Continue reading
May 16, 2015, 5:00 pm (edt)
Webinar: Stanton Peele on Addiction Treatment in the 21st Century
“Recovery is about purpose and meaning in life, not “sobriety” and meetings.” ~ Stanton Peele
Dr. Stanton Peele, author of Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict and Reclaim Your Life with The Life Process Program will return to SMART Recovery to discuss “Recreating Addiction Treatment in the 21st Century” with Dr. Tom Horvath, President of SMART Recovery.
Saturday May 16, 2015 at 5 pm edt.
Advance registration is required for this event. Please visit www.smartrecovery.org/events
Dr. Peele has devoted his career to providing people with facts about addiction, and salient approaches, for both individuals and policy, based on those facts. Dr. Peele’s point of view is global. His revolutionary framework encourages people to look at addiction recovery in the context of their lives, rather than limiting themselves to any single label. Join us on May 16 for a conversation led by Dr. Tom Horvath. Treatment of those with addictions is continually evolving. Choice and empowerment have become accepted wisdom as keys to personal change. This discussion will take a bold look into the future of addiction recovery treatment.
Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D. has been a pioneer in applying addiction beyond the area of drugs and alcohol, social-environmental causes of addiction, harm reduction, and self-cure of addiction. Continue reading
In preparation for our SMART Recovery special event, Tom Horvath and I have developed the following outline for our webinar on Addiction Treatment in the 21st Century.
The Three “C”s of Addiction Treatment: Change, Choice, Commitment
Tom and I will explore where we have been and, more importantly, the continuing direction of change in the addiction field. We will try to project the future of addiction treatment. In order to accomplish this, we have come up with three key organizing principles:
“Look beyond the walls of therapy, towards independence and empowerment.”
In Recover!, Ilse Thompson and I liken your addiction to the noise of the surf that you dive under in the ocean. You then come up fresh on the other side of the wave. That image is an example of a mindfulness exercise or meditation through which you translate your thinking into a concrete image that you can identify with your addiction and manipulate mindfully.
Mindfulness means slightly different things in psychology (à la Ellen Langer) and Buddhism (à la Tara Brach). In Langer’s formulation, mindfulness is the awareness of what impels you to behave as you do, emotionally and situationally. In Buddhism, mindfulness is the acute awareness of your presence in the world, the here-and-now. Langer’s mindfulness allows you to control your environment and yourself; Buddhism’s to experience the world directly and instantly.
The first formulation allows you to feel your agency—that you are directing your life in place of being driven habitually and emotionally. The second allows you to be at peace with yourself—the notion of radical acceptance.
And both types of mindfulness are tools with which to attack addiction. Each of them shows you Continue reading
“Gentoo” – SMART Recovery FUNdraising Volunteer
(originally posted 1/28/2014)
“I got myself into this, and I wanted concrete, practical, science-based,
proven information about how I could get myself out – and for good.”
I just celebrated 3.5 years as a non-drinker with SMART Recovery peer support, particularly SMART Recovery Online.
I drank heavily for decades. I developed a physical addiction to alcohol, where if I didn’t drink for an hour or two, I got shakes, sweats, anxiety. Then, drinking almost took my life. I had a serious fall when drinking, and it resulted in a traumatic brain injury. In ICU I was given a 50-50 chance to live. This caused pain to my husband and family. Thankfully, I made it. But I had to learn to walk again. And I had destroyed my career.
I attended an outpatient treatment center for alcohol and drugs where we were expected to attend one “outside” recovery meeting per week. We were given the choice of attending 12-step or SMART Recovery. And that’s how I learned about SMART.
I didn’t want to go to AA Continue reading
Those Spooky Old Woods (A True Story)
~Written by ‘fen’, SMART Recovery Volunteer
I have been playing in my woods for several weeks now. When I say playing, I mean I am clearing away years of neglect. My woods are seriously overgrown and difficult to walk through. There are scrub trees. There are trees that have been twisted by vines and are not healthy. There are brambles, small patches and great clumps of them as big around as a car and in some cases they stretch higher than I stand tall. There are vines everywhere, some as big around as my wrist.
When we built our house, over 12 years ago, I knew I needed to do something but I averted my eyes and found other, more pleasurable things to occupy my time. All the while those woods grew more and more tangled. On occasion I would look at them and say to myself that one day I would get around to taking care of them.
So I finally decided to do something. I gathered up my tools, such as they were, and entered the woods. Continue reading