Using Hope as a Tool in Treatment

hope in treatment

It is nothing less than heartbreaking to suffer from alcoholism and addiction. Not only for those afflicted directly but all who know and love them. It is a devastating disease that wreaks complete havoc on so many lives. It is precisely this aspect of alcoholism and addiction that calls for nothing less than real and powerful hope in response. This is not a pop psychology, New Age treatment for the disease — it is a working part of the 12-Step foundation of lasting recovery. Without at least the possibility that every aspect of their life can improve by finding and maintaining recovery, alcoholics and addicts may not find enough incentive to do the work that recovery requires. After all, alcohol and substances provide temporary relief of mental, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain. If there is not a strong chance for healing and transformation, there may not be enough momentum…

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Don’t Forget To Study the Big Book

studying the Big Book

Studying isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite way to spend time, though most of us have at least a few things we enjoy learning about. For those of us who are alcoholics and addicts, we come into contact with the book Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly known as the “Big Book.” This vital literature actually contains the 12-Step program of recovery, along with information about the causes, conditions, and consequences of the disease of alcoholism and addiction. It also contains testimony and stories from people who have worked the 12-Steps and found recovery as a result. This book is simply a necessity for those who wish to recover from alcoholism and addiction. It will be the sourcebook used to work the 12-Steps with our sponsor. We can read it when we need a meeting, but can’t get to one. It will help us understand the deadly disease we suffer from. Reading it regularly can…

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Putting the Past in Its Proper Place

moving on from past trauma

Everyone has something in their past that weighs on them or still troubles them in other ways. We all have a moment of regret or remorse, something we wish we had done differently or hadn’t done at all. Perhaps there is something we wish we had done. It’s quite common to have some negativity in our past. Some of us even have trauma from our past that still hangs around. In an ideal world, we could effortlessly process our experiences, grow and learn from them, and then move forward. Unfortunately, most people don’t learn how to do this until later in life. For alcoholics and addicts, we usually don’t pick up on any of these techniques until we find the program of recovery. And even then, it’s quite a steep learning curve. Our pasts before our disease took hold are often filled with painful memories or feelings of shame and…

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How Can I Have Self-Discipline and Self-Control?

self-discipline

The quest for self-discipline and self-control goes way back in human history. There are answers aplenty, theories, practices, and opinions, with no shortage of things to try to seek resolution. For most of the world, it’s just a matter of choosing which theory seems to suit them best and finding out whether it works or not. For those of us who are alcoholics and addicts, we come out on top in this age-old search. As if we weren’t already the luckiest people on earth, saved from the gates of death and given the tools to live a life beyond our wildest dreams, we now also have some very effective answers for problems that the whole world deals with. Don’t We All Have Some Already? Sure, everybody has a bit of both in different areas of life. But on the whole, most people think they would be happier with significantly more…

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Emotional Extremes (and Why We Should Avoid Them)

emotional extremes

Emotions are a part of human life. No matter who you are, what you are, or where you’re from, it’s incredibly likely that you have feelings. Some of us may be more sensitive than others, while others may have lost touch with their emotions or tried to bury them. For those of us who are alcoholics and addicts, it’s just as likely that we are in any of these camps. Typically speaking, alcoholics and addicts are more susceptible to our feelings and emotions. They affect us more acutely, often causing outbursts or drastic actions to avoid them altogether. Our sensitivity to our emotions can be a hard thing for us to admit, but the literature of recovery is pretty clear about it. We drank or used because we liked the feeling. We celebrated happily and indulged even more. Then we did it too much and lost control. We suffered consequences that…

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Relationships and Love

relationships in recovery

No matter who you are — alcoholic, addict, al-anon, double-winner or otherwise — relationships are a huge part of human life, whether we are managing, acquiring, or ending them. Relationships occupy most of our emotional energy and a huge portion of our daily efforts, whether we seem to do well in our relationships or struggle to find and keep meaningful ones. Relationships can go a long way in making our lives feel full, our sorrows lessened, and our joys multiplied when they are shared. This is what makes relationships and love often go hand in hand. Love isn’t separate from many of our relationships, but it’s also big enough to be a category all its own. Love is the great engine behind hope, change, and joy. Love is sought after when it’s missing and is typically viewed as the single most important ingredient to a good life. We not only…

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How Do I Find a Higher Power of My Own Understanding?

finding your higher power

That’s quite a big question, isn’t it? Perhaps the big question. Finding and understanding our higher power is a quest that mankind has engaged in since ancient times. But we’re not going to go back that far; we’re going to start right here and now. For alcoholics and addicts, the higher power issue is one of the most controversial, necessary, and misunderstood aspects of our recovery. Despite the magnitude of this question, we do have some helpful ideas and suggestions. What if I Have an Issue With the Higher Power Concept? To put it simply, we all have an issue with the higher power. All alcoholics and addicts have the spiritual malady — it is a symptom of our disease. Even for those of us who have a good relationship with a higher power already, we still suffer from this spiritual sickness. Therefore, all who arrive in the program seeking recovery…

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Revealing the Value of Treatment

the value of treatment

In the field of recovery, it can be quite difficult to break from typical medical-style mindsets. When a doctor sees a sick patient, he or she gives a prescription that will cure the disease. The doctor expects the patient to trust him or her and take the medicine as directed. Though it might not always happen this way, in most cases the doctor is in the position to assume the patient wants a cure, as he or she has sought out medical attention. From there, the doctor rightly assumes the patient will follow the course of treatment to receive healing. Though sometimes patients do not follow doctor’s orders for any number of unique and perhaps questionable reasons, the doctor can at least rest assured that he or she has done his job. A patient sought a remedy and the doctor provided it. However, this is one of many areas in…

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We Believe, #8: Every Day Matters!

every day matters

At Jaywalker Lodge, we don’t do anything we don’t believe in. It is following our heart that separates us from the pack and allows us to help so many. We don’t take any of this lightly because it’s the stuff that saved our lives, and we know that it can do the same for others. Not only are we guided by the best of what has worked for us through personal experience, but we have brought these lessons together and put them at our core. Right next to the 12-Steps, we have another set of core values, guiding principles, and philosophies. We thought it was only appropriate that we should also use the number 12, so when we boiled down everything we’ve learned, we got 12 unwavering beliefs. These guide every single thing that happens at Jaywalker Lodge, every single day. They’re what we truly believe in. Let’s look at…

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Men’s Issues: Ch-ch-changes

dealing with change in recovery

At Jaywalker Lodge, we deal exclusively with helping men find recovery from alcoholism and addiction. We specialize in helping those who have had difficulty achieving or maintaining recovery. We were like that ourselves, and it is a great joy to share the things that helped us overcome our chronic relapse and find lasting recovery. In the course of doing just that, we see men struggle with a variety of issues. These range from mental and emotional health issues to trauma, spiritual crises, and even things like societal pressures. Over time, we have begun to see such troublesome issues arise enough to be considered common. Though we each have a unique life experience, there is much that unites us in commonality. Just as we share the disease of alcoholism and addiction, and we also share in the solution to that problem —  the 12-Steps of recovery. There are other problems and…

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