Tag: Solutions

Letting Go of Old Behaviors


It seems obvious to state that our lives in recovery are different from our lives in the disease. But this idea isn’t as simple as it might appear. Indeed, many alcoholics and addicts resist finding recovery because they don’t want things to be too different. That might sound odd but think about it. We’ve all done it to one degree or another. We resist some sponsor direction or the pleading of our conscience or even cling to a character defect that still provides us some twisted benefit. We try to avoid change here and there. People like routines because they are comforting. But familiar and comfortable doesn’t always mean good. Think of the alcoholic or addict who desperately wants to get sober, finds the program of recovery, but doesn’t want it to take over his life and change everything. He just wants to stop abusing substances — he doesn’t want to…

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Picking the Tools Back Up

recovery tools

For those of us who suffer from alcoholism and addiction, it can seem impossible to get a handle on life. We struggle to keep it together, or follow through on our intentions. Thankfully, there is a solution. We find the rooms of recovery, and we are presented the 12-Step program. If we really want things to get better, we can take those 12-Steps and begin our lives in recovery. As we work the program of recovery, we learn how to utilize an array of spiritual and mental habits, attitudes, methods, and actions. These positive new ways are affectionately and more commonly known as the “spiritual toolkit.” There are many tools in the toolkit, and everyone’s toolkit is reflective of their own uniqueness. But of course, there are some indispensable tools that every alcoholic and addict in recovery must have. We each develop and fill our toolkit as we work the…

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Why Doesn’t Self-Knowledge Fix My Problems?

self knowledge

A fair amount of self-knowledge and introspection is necessary for recovery. We must know who we are, what we value, what we want, and how we can best serve others. Self-knowledge helps us discover these things, but self-knowledge on its own won’t fix our problems — it is a piece of the puzzle. It is a useful part of our recovery journey, but taken on its own and out of context it can do more harm than good. Self-Knowledge Is Not Enough We must remember that we are alcoholics and addicts. Our disease has warped our minds, and that’s where our problems are centered. So the knowledge we acquire in our minds won’t be of much, if any, help on its own. We often need the spiritual toolkit found by working the 12-Steps to help that knowledge travel from our mind to our heart. Being alcoholics and addicts, we have…

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Why Do I Need a 12-Step Program?

12 step program

People have been struggling with alcoholism and addiction for as long as alcohol and addictive substances have existed. Over the years, many treatments were devised and attempted. The remedies available to alcoholics just a few decades ago would seem barbaric by today’s standards. In this era of quick fixes, there may be less horrific approaches to solving alcoholism and addiction — but not all of them are for real. While different methods may work for different people and 12-Step programs do not have a monopoly on solutions or spiritual programs of action, what 12-Step programs do have is a pretty long history of helping others. The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been around for a long time, roughly 85 years. Way back then, most alcoholics were given intense sedatives and locked up in asylums or prisons. Addicts were mostly sent to jail or left to go it alone. There may…

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Poetry Workshop

Solutions took a break from our usual Thursday schedule and signed up for a poetry workshop.  It was facilitated by James Nave (www.jamesnave.com).  Once again, when we put ourselves out there and try new things, we are not disappointed.  Here is Solutions client John C’s perspective. I have to admit that when I was told about our four hour poetry workshop, I was less than thrilled.  Prior to being in the workshop my experience consisted of stealing others poetry from the internet, adding a few extra words and giving it to girls as my own work. I went in closed minded and within 2 minutes of arriving, I was called to the front of the room. There were maybe 20 people in the class and I was asked to form a poem from a list of words on the board. I was anxious and scared but as I started to…

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Creative Awakenings at Jaywalker

Life is a journey…What is calling You ? Sheri Gaynor, LCSW Several clients from Jaywalker Lodge and the Solutions program had the opportunity to engage in some Art Therapy at the Third Street Center this morning. The men cut words and photos out of magazines and made some amazing collages. They were also given some prompts to help with journaling. The class was taught by internationally know artist Sheri Gaynor, LCSW. Sheri is an Expressive Arts Therapist, a licensed psychotherapist, and a professional life coach. She has also published her first book, Creative Awakenings:Envisioning the life of your dreams through art. Sheri has dedicated her life to helping others find their authentic selves and reach for their deepest dreams. Art therapy provides a break from the regular talk-out-our-feelings therapy sessions and allows clients the opportunity to express their creativity through hands-on activities. Expressive Art Therapy is a powerful method for…

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Lyons On The Brink

When’s the last time someone shared with you that you had been the answer to their prayers?  Can there be a more humbling observation than that? We as addicts were more accustomed to being the subject of prayers, said mostly by our loved ones pleading with God for our very survivals. Lyons, Colorado is in need of many answers right now.  They are not alone as there are many similar communities in our state who are in need. Solutions spent 4 days in Lyons in cooperation with NECHAMA, a Jewish relief organization, aiding flood ravaged victims who had few resources and homes buried in feet of mud. We dug and we dug and we dug some more. We tore out rotting dry wall and ripped up floors that had turned to sponges. We hauled piles of debris to the curb to be discarded but never forgotten.  We broke bread with…

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On the Road Again

The staff and men of Solutions are back on the road this Mon. traveling to Moore, Ok., sight of a devastating F5 tornado which hit the community on May 20th of this year.  There were 23 fatalities, 500 hospitalized, and over 2 billion dollars in damage as a result of these 30 minutes of hell.  But those are just statistics. CNN can give you those.  What we are privileged to experience when we travel to these sights of mayhem is the power of the human spirit in the raw. There is no stronger “fellowship” than in being a small part of a community banded together to rise from the scrapheap left at their feet.  It is the purpose of our being, the 12th step alive and in full throttle, the running the run. We as recovering addicts are sober today because we did NOT stay down when knocked down. We…

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What is Masculinity?

Dave Landers from St. Michael’s University in Vermont and Steve Rissman from Metro State in Denver helped Jaywalkers understand how masculinity is socially constructed and they discussed the myriad ways it can impede, facilitate or destroy a man’s recovery.  On Tuesday, July 30, the men from the Lodge, Solutions, and Jaywalker U worked together in large and small groups to answer some poignant questions such as (1) how did you develop your definition of a man? (2) what emotions are considered normal for men and what emotions are less socially accepted? (3) how do you want to show up as a man today?  In the future? Dave’s new book, I Wish He’d Taught Me to Shave, will be released sometime this August, and will explore the ways that men and women learn about masculinity. Jaywalkers are incredibly astute men.  They were engaging in the large group and the small groups. …

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JWL Hosts Inaugural CORE Conference

On July 21, Jaywalker Lodge joined with seven leading treatment centers around the country to host the first annual C.O.R..E. conference in Amelia Island, Florida. CORE, an acronym for “Clinical Overview of the Recovery Experience,” was launched to highlight “the critical importance of abstinence-based practices and 12 Step principles in recovery.” The three-day conference, which featured presentations by Solutions Program Director Dan Reed and two dozen other prominent speakers, attracted nearly 400 attendees from 21 states. In his talk, entitled The Therapeutic Benefits of Service, Dan Reed highlighted the Solutions service expedition trips, as well as the various local community service activities of the Jaywalker clients and staff. In addition, Dan was also featured as a keynote plenary panelist alongside Drs. Robert Mooney from Willingway Hospital and Dr. Judith Landau, innovator of the ARISE model of interventions. Bill Corbett of Corbett Business Consultant also hosted a workshop entitled “Heal the…

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