Sometimes You Need to Pick Sides (An Analysis of Boundaries)

After working with a lot of people in addiction recovery, as well as a lot of family members of people in addiction recovery, a very common (but unpopular) theme constantly comes up: “Sometimes you need to pick sides.” Sounds like horrible advice, right? But what if we rewrote it like this: “You need to have …

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There is No Wall

You’ve probably done it. I’ve done it. The majority of human beings who have their basic needs met have done it. We see someone homeless and suffering and we build a wall. And by wall, I mean, a clear distinction between “us” and “them.” A wall of “good choices” and “bad choices” that separates the …

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The Price Tag on Sobriety

There are a lot of challenges that come with getting sober. There are the emotional challenges: facing past mistakes, removing toxic relationships from your life, learning forgiveness and overcoming resentment. There are the mental challenges: learning to manage the underlying issues that substances help mask, handling co-occuring mental illnesses, facing traumas. But there’s another huge …

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Rock for Recovery – A Scholarship Story

Music.  Movement.  And a Really Big Mission. Mission High School is the first publicly funded recovery high school in America, so it’s no surprise that the school plans to make big changes. In keeping with its purpose, Mission High School is offering students a scholarship to help them begin their new, sober lives in recovery. …

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Raised in the Arms of Rigorous Honesty (An Analysis of Therapy alongside AA or NA)

One of the most common treatments for alcoholism / addiction is still AA and NA. AA and NA both offer a program of step work, and step work includes a lot of self-reflection and rigorous honesty. Participants are asked to humbly analyze their mistakes, and then take accountability whenever possible. The way honesty is woven …

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“The House That Built Me”

“The House That Built Me.” For most people it’s their childhood home, the place where they grew up, the place where they made their first memories and learned some of their first lessons. But for some, the “House That Built Me” is a different home. It’s still a home where people learned some of their …

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Transfer of Addiction – Interview with Dr. Lara Pence

During my years navigating the recovery world I had doctor after therapist after specialist after mentor warn me of the dreaded “transfer of addiction.” When people who have struggled with addiction become invested in athletics, careers, families, or other passions, professionals raise an eyebrow. New passions come with heavy criticism rather than praise. However, during …

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Transfer of Addiction

Transfer of Addiction

The mental health field (and for the purpose of this article, specifically the addiction recovery field) is an interesting little world. There are a lot of licenses, degrees, specialities, subspecialities, and certifications. Essentially, there’s a lot of “experts” and “expertise.” There is a glaring irony to all of this. That irony living in the reality …

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