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The Solution News Since 1991 May/June 2009

Recovery

Happy, Joyous and Always Free!!

Growth

Renewal


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The Solution News Contents Page 4 - Dave’s Page: Passing It On

Page 20 - Brain Teasers & Horoscope

Page 5 - Al-Anon Helps Alcoholics

Page 23 - For Your Inspiration

Page 6 - Veterans Courts

Page 24 - Inside Look At Drug Court

Page 7 - Hotlines and Helplines

Page 26 - The Wisdom of Ben Franklin

Page 8 - Remembering Larry

Page 27 - The Wit of Mark Twain

Page 9 - The Watershed Page

Page 28 - Father Martin Leaves a Legacy

Page 10 & 11 - Events

Page 30 - Taking Care of Your Inner Child

Page 12 - Energy Drinks and Alcohol

Page 31 - Mel B: The One Minute Solution

Page 14 - Snowbriety

Page 32 - Rule 62 Page

Page 15 - Penelope Love

Page 33 - Calling In Sick?

Page 16 - Rebecca B.: Mr. Biggs

Page 34 - Chef Lester: Praise & Blame

Page 17 - Reverend Leo on Spirituality

Page 36 - Crime Doesn’t Pay

Page 18 - Florida House Experience

Page 38 - Parting Shots & Word Search


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Dave’s

Page In 1977 I was beginning my life in sobriety, I had hit my bottom, attended my first meeting joined a home group and gotten a sponsor. I heard some talk at a meeting that a man named Father Martin was doing a talk at an auditorium in Manchester, New Hampshire. Somebody gave me a ticket and I got a ride with some folks in my group to go see him. He gave a great inspirational, educational and humorous talk. Even though there were about five hundred people in the hall that night Father Martin had the ability to make everyone feel as if he were talking directly to them. After the talk he stayed to greet everyone who wanted to talk to him. His personal warmth was tangible as was his humility. His eyes sparkled as he took a minute to encourage me to stay sober. His encouragement was an important part of my early sobriety. Over twenty years later I had the opportunity to spend some time with Father Martin when he came to Delray to be the speaker for a

Passing It On Crossroads Club fund raiser. He very humbly accepted my thanks for being instrumental in my sobriety. Father Martin literally had this influence on thousands of people in his lifetime of service to recovering people. In 2001 I moved into a mobile home park in Boynton Beach. There were about ten of us in recovery with mobile homes in the park. Two doors down from me lived a guy named Larry Drummond. We had become friends in the program and attended the same meeting for some time. As we got to know each other in the park I learned that this bridge tending biker was a computer genius and that he had actually been a software code writer at IBM. At that time I was struggling to keep The Solution News a viable publication. I didn’t have a lot of money and I was working with an old computer. Over the next couple of years Larry literally kept me in business by constantly rebuilding and enhancing my hardware and software. He never took a nickel for his services and because of his kindness I was able to keep the presses running. Both Father Martin and Larry Drummond are eulogized in this issue as they both recently went on to the “Big Meeting”. One was a world famous personality and the other a regular guy just getting by but both understood the importance of giving away what they were so freely given. They gave their hope, love and service by using the wonderful quality of human kindness. Both will be sorely missed by those whose lives they touched but both are still with us as we return their gift to others yet to come. Many years ago as I was searching for a solution to my own hopeless condition. I found the phone number of a man I had met in a court ordered substance abuse group therapy session. The man’s name was Tom C. and when I called for help he took me to my first meeting. He had

a wife and six kids and was living in a cold water apartment in Nashua, New Hampshire. He had made many attempts at sobriety but had never been real successful. He answered the phone, picked me up and took me to my first meeting. We travelled the “road of happy destiny” together for about four and a half years. Tom was instrumental in my recovery but was not able to hold on to his own. We drifted apart and I relocated to Florida. Last week I got a phone call and did not recognize the area code. I was curious so I answered it and was surprised to hear my old friends voice at the other end. We talked about the old times. Tom was apologetic and felt as if his relapse was in some way harmful to my sobriety. I was surprised because all these years I have felt that Tom was instrumental in saving my life. It was truly a privilege to be able to thank him after all these years for his kindness. In studying and learning about my disease for over three decades I have come to the conclusion that we are not dying from alcohol and drugs but instead from our self-centeredness. Our founders understood for the first time that the solution was to get outside of ourselves and help others. The truly successful people in recovery understand this and manifest it by simple acts of kindness to those seeking help. Our recovery begins when we are touched heart to heart by another person who is the living channel through which God works. Our good works not only touch and change lives but help us save our own. Love and service to others is the key. Father Martin, Larry and Tom all understood and practiced this principle. As a result I have been blessed with a new life second to none and given the wonderful opportunity to keep the healing energy flowing by as Bill Wilson often said by “Passing It On”.


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Recovering Alcoholics Can Benefit From Al-Anon R.J. has been clean and sober and an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 20 years. He lives the Twelve Step program each day, one day at a time. He attends AA meetings faithfully, reads the literature, meditates, and asks his Higher Power for guidance. He has told his story many times and listened with loving acceptance to the stories of others, as AA members are encouraged to do. He thought nothing about addiction could surprise him at this point in his life and recovery.

Next, R.J. sought help from others. His first impulse was to issue an edict telling his son not to come around until he got straight, but a counselor at work cautioned that things could get worse if his son felt abandoned, with no safe places or safe people to turn to. "She suggested I establish clear rules so he wouldn't come here

that he was very nervous at first but said the familiar Twelve-Step meeting structure eased his anxiety. "Then I said, ‘I'm an alcoholic--the reason you're here--but now I need help.' It broke the ice, and they welcomed us with so much warmth and generosity."

"At AA we learn that we're powerless over alcohol. At Al-Anon you discover that you're powerless over others," explained R.J. He thought the Al-Anon members he met also gained by meeting two recovering alcoholics who embrace the same Twelve Step philosophy they do.”

Then he discovered his 20-year old son had a drug and alcohol problem. "I felt so stupid," he said. "I know this stuff, and it never entered my mind that my son was using. He was the good boy, the one who got straight A's. He knows I'm a recovering alcoholic and that his mother (my ex-wife) is a practicing one. I thought knowing about us would keep him sober. But he got to a point where he seemed paralyzed; he couldn't stay on track. One day I said, sort of in passing, ‘You act like you're on drugs.' He said, ‘I am.' When I asked what kind and he said he'd tried ‘just about everything,' I was stunned. I didn't know what to do."

Not knowing what to do, R.J. did nothing the night of his son's revelation except listen. "I told him I wouldn't preach or yell, but I asked him if I could tell him when I heard him giving me the ‘standard' addict's lines like, ‘I have it under control.' He said I could, and we talked until 4 a.m."

high or use here, but let him know that I love him and I'd do whatever it takes to help him when he's ready." When a long-time friend (also a recovering alcoholic) suggested going to Al-Anon, R.J. said he was "blown away" by the idea. Like many recovering alcoholics, he had always viewed Al-Anon as a Twelve Step mutual-help group for "them"--the family and friends of the alcoholic--and AA as the Twelve Step group for "us"--the alcoholics who affected their lives. R.J. and his friend went to an Al-Anon meeting where they were the only men. He confessed

Because it is not unusual to have more than one problem drinker in a family, it makes sense that recovering alcoholics can also be affected by another's alcohol or drug use, and that they could benefit from the fellowship and support of AlAnon. Except for one word in Step Twelve where Al-Anon has substituted the word "others" for AA's word "alcoholics," the Steps of the two groups are identical.

"At AA we learn that we're powerless over alcohol. At Al-Anon you discover that you're powerless over others," explained R.J. He thought the Al-Anon members he met also gained by meeting two recovering alcoholics who embrace the same Twelve Step philosophy they do. R.J. said it was a profound experience to view addiction "from the other side of the fence" at Al-Anon. "It struck such a chord when a woman there told me I've got my story, but my son is still writing his. I can tell him about my path and show him a path exists, but I can't walk it for him." Al-Anon meetings are held in 115 countries, and there are over 24,000 Al-Anon groups worldwide. For more information, call 8884AL-ANON or visit http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

ADVANCED RECOVERY CENTER 1300 Park of Commerce, Delray Beach, FL 33435

Phone: 561-274-7417 Fax: 561-274-8715 TOLL FREE: 1-877-ARC-HOPE “Advanced extended care for the complicated and treatment-resistant addict.”

TO TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR GO TO: www.arc-hope.net


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Veterans' Court Follows the Lead of Drug Courts Veterans in this country are over represented when it comes to substance abuse, driving under the influence, unemployment, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological problems. Tragically, studies also show that veterans are twice as likely as the general population to commit suicide. When Judge Robert Russell and his staff in Buffalo, N.Y., noted 300 veterans coming through their court system last year, they knew something was going on. They suspected the illegal behaviors might be linked to mental health problems related to the veterans' military experiences. "We realized that one in five returning veterans experience symptoms related to PTSD, major depression and traumatic brain injuries," Russell said in an interview on National Public Radio (NPR). "We wanted to be participatory rather than reactionary." For Russell, participation meant establishing a veterans' treatment court, fashioned after the more than 2,000 drug courts and about 200 mental health courts in the United States. In contrast to traditional courts where court involvement generally ends when an offender is sentenced if found guilty, these alternative courts offer qualified participants an opportunity to participate in court-supervised, community-based treatment in lieu of typical criminal sanctions. Studies on drug courts have found a lower post-program criminal recidivism rate and a bigger cost savings than traditional court approaches. In the best of these courts, all concerned (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, probation officers, substance abuse and mental health treatment specialists, vocational experts, community leaders, and families) work together toward a holistic outcome that focuses on recovery rather than incarceration. Defendants in Russell's veterans' court have

generally committed non-violent offenses such as driving while intoxicated, drug possession or theft, although he has also dealt with domestic violence or bar fight cases. Veterans who participate must stay clean and sober, get mental

health or addiction counseling, find jobs, and get their lives back on track. The court meets with the defendants weekly at first and then monthly, usually for a year or more. If participants make enough progress, their charges are reduced or their cases are dismissed. If they fail to comply, they risk facing their original criminal charges and could be sentenced to jail time. One integral component in Russell's court is the teaming of each veteran offender with a volunteer veteran mentor who adds additional support and encourages the defendant to make all meetings and follow his or her treatment plan. The concept of a veterans' court makes good sense to Don Elverd, a Hazelden psychologist and Vietnam combat vet who works extensively with troubled vets. "Our soldiers train and train and train to operate on missions, but does anyone train them to go back to civilian life when they're discharged? It takes two to three years--

sometimes more--for veterans to settle down and shake the things they've experienced out of their heads," he said. Elverd said the transition from military to civilian life is difficult and that veterans often isolate themselves or turn to alcohol or other drugs to try to cope with what they experienced as soldiers. He said that while we can see substance abuse, domestic problems, anxiety disorders, depression, or problems with the law, a vet's primary problem--PTSD--can be harder to detect. Elverd sees the value of vets supporting vets and urges troubled soldiers to talk with other soldiers as they do in Buffalo's veterans' court. Vietnam vets who are familiar with PTSD and related problems have proven to be a valuable resource for Iraq vets. Our vets are in trouble, yet a 2007 Pentagon task force warned that the military health care system is overburdened and lacks sufficient resources to meet the needs of troops suffering from PTSD and other psychological problems. VA hospitals and clinics were often found to be understaffed and lacking properly trained workers to provide appropriate screening for mental health problems, putting vets at increased risk of suicide. Vets courts help fill the gap in services, as do programs like Vets4Vets, the Soldiers Project, Give an Hour (where mental health professionals provide free counseling to veterans and their families), or the new VA suicide hotline (1-800273-TALK) that received 55,000 calls in its first year and averted 1,221 veteran suicides. As Russell said in the NPR interview, "Many vets have a warrior mentality and think getting help is weak. We are working to change that paradigm and try to convince them that it takes the strength of a warrior to ask for help." {Articles on Page 5,6 and 12 from Haxelden Alive & Free at www.hezelden.org}


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Hotlines and Helplines AA BROWARD COUNTY AA FLORIDA KEYS AA HOTLINE, North Palm Beach AA HOTLINE, South Palm Beach AA HOTLINE Broward AA MIAMI DADE ABUSE REGISTRY ADD PARENTS SUPPORT AL ANON HOTLINE, Palm Beach AL ANON HOTLINE, Broward AL-ANON/AL-ATEEN ALIEN ABDUCTION SUPPORT GROUP ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION ALZHEIMER’S COMMUNITY CARE AT RISK YOUTH PROGRAM BIG BROTHERS & SISTERS CAPITOL CITY YOUTH SERVICES CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF ORLANDO CDC NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE COCAINE ANONYMOUS CODEPENDENTS ABNONYMOUS CONSUMER HOTLINE COSA (co-dependents of sex addicts) COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING CRIMESTOPPERS CRIME LINE DASH (Divorced and Separated Help) DEBTOR’S ANONYMOUS DEPRESSION & BIPOLAR SUPPORT DEPRESSION AND MANIC DEPRESSION DEPRESSION - OVER 55 FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM FLA. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE FLORIDA BAR LAWYER’S REFERRAL FLORIDA HIV/AIDS HOTLINE FLORIDA INJURY HELPLINE FLORIDA INTERGROUP AA

954-462-0265 305-296-8654 561-655-5700 561-276-4581 954-462-0265 954-462-7202 305-371-7784 800-962-2873 954-473-8644 561-278-3481 954-491-1915 8884ALANON 954-698-6926 954-726-0002 561-278-6649 727-726-8829 561-966-4120 850-576-6000 407-658-1818 800-342-2437 800-4ACHILD 954-779-7272 800-254-1333 800-848-3792 763-537-6904 800-426-7711 800-458-TIPS 800-423TIPS 561-451-2312 954.925.4068 813-878-2906 954-746-2055 954-746-2055 305-292-8445 800-500-1119 800-342-8011 800-FLA-AIDS 800-510-5553 407-276-4581

FUTURE MEN-TEEN BOYS HELP FLORIDA PET GREIF SUPPORT GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS HEPATITIS-B HOTLINE

417-546-4171 352-392-4700 800-891-1740 800-891-0707

HEPATITIS HOTLINE HIV/AIDS HOTLINE HOSPICE HOSPICE/HOMECARE BY THE SEA JEWISH FAMILY& CHILD SERV LAWYER ASSISTANCE RECOVERY, INC LUPUS FOUNDATION OF S. FLORIDA MARIJUANA ANON. MIAMI HELPLINES

800-545-2437 800-352-2437 954-467-7423 800-3923189 561-684-8443 800-282-8981 561-642-1722 561-279-8606 800-766-6779 305-358-4357

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FOUNDATION

800-441-7055

NTNL. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE NAR-ANON, Broward

800-799-SAFE 954-584-6578

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Palm Beach NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, Broward

561-848-6262 954-476-9297

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS gold coast

954-476-9297

NAT. CTR. ELDERLY ABUSE

800-96-ABUSE

NATIONAL RUNAWAYSWITCHBOARD

800-RUNAWAY

NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE

800-SUICIDE

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

954-746-2055

OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS, Palm Beach OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS, Broward

800-273-1696 954-476-9297

PARENT HELPLINE

800-FLALOVE

PALM BEACH COUNTY CRISIS LINE PLANNED PARENTHOOD RECOVERIES ANONYMOUS, 561-452-0533 STEP FAMILY ASSOC OF AMERICA SEX & LOVE ADDICTS ANONYMOUS

561-547-1000 954-561-1905 954-825-7218 800-735-0329 561-478-5128

TEEN LINE

800-852-8336

TOURETTE SYNDROME HELP

321-783-3248

The Solution News 2014 South Federal Highway, Suite B-102, Boynton Beach, FL 33435 Phone: 1-561-789-8850, email: solutionpublishingcompany@gmail.com website: solutionnews.org The Solution is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12 Step Program although our content is directed towards those who have found the 12 Step philosophy to be a significant factor in their lives. The Solution is published by Florida non-profit corporation Sobersolution, Inc. six times a year for people actively working on their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. We are committed through articles and advertising to provide a broad spectrum of recovery, renewal and growth information. The opinions and facts are those of the writers and contributors. We seek to attract advertisers who represent their products and services with integrity but we urge readers to be wise consumers.


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Lawrence Drummond A Very Special Contributor to The Solution News January 22, 1949 to March 14, 2009 (1991-2009) {I had the privilege of being Larry’s friend. We met at Central House and were neighbors in a trailer park in Boynton for several years. Larry was singly responsible for keeping the Solution News in business during a period of chronic computer problems. Larry was available and gave freely of his time and expertise to keep the “presses rolling” at The Solution News. Larry had a wry and clever sense of humor a sparkle in his eyes as he made you laugh. He was extremely intelligent but never condescending. As a friend he had no peer he was always there for you. We will all miss this great guy who gave so much to so many. The following is from a celebration of Larry’s life on the Third Tradition’s web site at www.3tmf.com.} Dave F.

friends. His brother Steven Drummond, his sister Vickie, 2 nephews and 1 niece survive him.

He is and always will be a member of The Third Tradition Motorcycle Fellowship, although for a long period his heart belonged to the first clean and sober motorcycle club he belonged to. The colors of that club were offered to him to be cremated with him, but he stated on his deathbed that “No, I'm Third Tradition forever”. The strength he exhibited in the hospital, knowing that he would not be returning home to see his cats was a special gift, one that he hoped everyone would get when they needed it most. At one point during his time at the hospital, he even came out of a deep sleep to 12 step a faltering brother. He was at peace with his Larry “graduated” the AA Program Saturday, higher power and himself, to the point of saying the 14th of March. He was a true brother and how wonderful it was that he could see everyfriend to many people in the recovery based one that came to visit him. motorcycle culture and around the rooms of AA. His favorite meeting was a 6 AM meeting To our brother, Love, Hope, and see you again in Delray/Boynton, where he had many special on the great highway in the sky.


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Medical Insurance Specialist

Behavioral Health Techs

We are seeking an experienced Insurance Specialist for our Admissions Department located in Delray Beach. The Insurance Specialist is responsible for verifying the coverage of prospective and current patients of The Watershed. He or she is also responsible for verifying the current employment status of prospective and current patients. He or she will undertake and complete in a timely manner additional assignments as issued by supervisory personnel. Requirements: Undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Professional experience may substitute for degree requirement. A minimum of one year of professional experience within a hospital/inpatient setting in admissions office. Working knowledge of insurer eligibility systems for various healthcare insurance carriers. Ability to verify coverage requirements, exclusions, and limitations of prospective and current patients.Full-time M-F 8a4p (Overtime may be required)

Are you a caring, compassionate individual? Are you able to provide supervision and support for others in a thoughtful, respectful manner? If you have these qualities we encourage you to apply for a position as a Behavioral Health Technician, (BHT). Our BHT's are directly involved in providing quality care for patients as part of the overall team and are responsible for conducting meetings and providing structure for our patients during their treatment experience. As a BHT you are the frontline staff member, having frequent interactions with the patients throughout their stay. As a result you are in a position to have a positive impact on the patient's view toward recovery. The average day for a BHT involves a variety of activities; there isn't a lot of time spent in one place since our patient's care is conducted in different areas of the facility. The BHT should have a clear sense of personal boundaries and be able to enforce clearly established guidelines. One (1) year experience in addiction treatment services is preferred. People with their own personal recovery in place are encouraged to apply.

CALL BACK REPRESENTATIVES

ALUMNI COORDINATORS

We are seeking dedicated service oriented people with excellent communication skills to become members of our team. Call back rep’s work in collaboration with our Admission Coordinators in an effort to admit new patients into our treatment facilities. Our goal is to reach out to those who may have avoided treatment in the past, are being confronted with all the struggles faced as a result of active addiction and work to assist them in gaining treatment services.Work hours currently are: Mon.- Fri. 8am to 5pm at our office in Delray Beach. A year or more of 12-step recovery experience is very beneficial! High School diploma or equivalent is preferred. Prior call center or health care experience is a plus. The Watershed is a Drug Free Workplace & Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Watershed’s newest department is that of the Alumni coordinators! Coordinators main focus is in making contact with ALL of Watersheds alumni dating back to it’s doors opening in 1998! Through this effort any alumni who may have encountered relapse and needs help can be given a means to get back into their recovery and those who are maintaining recovery can be orientated to our current program which offers a variety of services, activities and opportunities to our alumni & their families.Work hours currently are: Mon.-Fri. 10am to 6pm at our office in Delray Beach. Six months or more of active 12-step recovery is needed and being an alumnus of The Watershed is preferred. Having basic computer & phone skills is a plus.

For more information, please visit: www.thewatershed.com or call toll free 866-577-4766. To apply, please go to: ww.thewatershed.jobs OR stop by our corporate office located at: 200 Congress Park Drive, Delray Beach, FL *Suite 214

Calling All Alumni! Hello Watershed Alumni!!! Our Alumni fellowship is TRULY growing in numbers!! We currently have over 2,000 registered alumni both here and around the country! We are currently emailing over 3,000 alumni and family members on a regular basis and our new Family Outreach Program is rapidly approaching 1,100 members!! Just over 2 months ago we introduced our new Watershed Alumni Web site and currently have 150 registered members. We hope in time to have all of our alumni involved. If you have not yet registered, please go to www.watershedalumni.com and follow the registration link! In this community you will be able to connect with other alumni via the Forums and share through the Blogs. You will also have access to both previous Alumni Newsletters, as well as our monthly newsletter that will begin in the month of May. We have also added a photo gallery, where you can look at photos from all of our past Alumni Events! You will be able to find information that will be helpful to you and keep up with what is going on and what is coming up for alumni. We will also be posting monthly anniversaries being celebrated on a monthly basis! When you register you will see where you can mark if you want to be a part of The Life Saver's Club. This is a new program that is for ALL alumni, family and even those not previously involved with The Watershed…that are interested in helping those in need of treatment services. You will be able to read all about The Life Saver's Club and it’s 3 levels of involvement. You will be mailed a one of a kind Life Saver's T-shirt JUST for joining! We hope to hear from you soon! If you are a LOCAL alumnus or even an out of state alumni who wants to speak in front of the patients: We have the Alumni Speaker Meetings EVERY SATURDAY from 9:30am to 11:30am at BOTH the BOCA and BOYNTON facilities. You MUST have 90 days clean and sober to speak. For alumni with LESS THAN 90 DAYS, we have ALUMNI SUPPORT and ALUMNI MENTORING meetings at THE WATERSHED APARTMENTS from 9:30 to 11:30am under the tent by the volleyball court. ALL ALUMNI with less than 90 days should attend. For directions or further information or questions, contact Rebecca Balko at the contact information listed below. Last but not least…if you are an alumnus and have in interest in working in the field of addiction recovery and/or in our Alumni Department, The Watershed wants to hear from you! If you are interested in seeking employment you can either contact Rebecca Balko or go directly to our web site at www.thewatershed.com and go to Human Resources to place an "on line" application. We look forward to hearing from you! You can contact Rebecca Balko at: Rbalko@thewatershed.com (or write) 200 Congress Park Dr. Suite 101 Delray Beach, FL 33445 (PHONE: 877-416-9566 ext.8204)


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Events The 8th Annual Conference on Addictive Disorders May 26-28, 2009 Fort Myers, Florida Offering 21 CEU's Presented by the Florida Addictions Institute

YOU:Asked for more sessions and learning opportunities in your conference session evaluations WE: Listened, and came up with our most exciting conference ever, offering 21 CEU's, Five Conference Tracks, and 52 Workshop Sessions! Full information, including our Conference Brochure, Hotel Information, and a Convenient Online Registration Link can be found at: http://www.fladdictionsinstitute.org/Conference_About.html

53rd Florida State Convention July 29th - Aug 2nd, 2009 Hyatt Regency Jacksonville 225 East Coastline Dr Jacksonville, Florida 32202 www.jacksonville.hyatt.com Speakers from around the U.S.A. Marathon Meetings-Family Workshops-Young People Meeting Buffet Friday-Golf Tournament-Horseshoes Tournament Comedian Jeff Allen-5k Run/Walk-Ice Cream Socials Dances and Entertainment-Non-English Speaking Meetings Grapevine-Dr. Bob's Archives-Old Timers Meeting Meditation Meetings-Al-Anon & Alateen-

Onlne registration: http://www.53.flstateconvention.com/ Heading for Separation or Divorce? Willing to commit to each other and the relationship? We bring experience, strength and hope through a 12 step program of Recovering Couples Anonymous. Our primary purpose is to stay committed in a loving and intimate relationship and to help other couples achieve freedom from addicted and destructive relationships. When: Weekly Meeting on Sundays 6:00pm to 7:00pm Where: Trinity Lutheran Church 7150 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, 33024 Information: Jerry and Vicky at 954-432-8167 SouthFlorida@recovering-couples.org

October 16-18, 2009 Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA) 9th International Convention Conference

“Riding the Wave of Recovery� Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA) is a 12 Step fellowship of recovering couples committed to restoring healthy communication and caring and increasing joy and intimacy, To find out more about RCA or to download the registration form for Riding the Wave of Recovery, go to:

www.recovering-couples.org.

Early registrants may save as much as $25.00 per person. To book a room, go to

www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/RCA2009 or call (954)920-3500. Questions about the convention maybe e-mailed to: FloridaConvention@recovering-couples.org or call (954) 432-8167


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Events Soberstock 2009 Speaker and campfire meetings, fishing and karaoke at camp Brorein (Tampa Area).Tent camping only--no RV’s/Pop-ups. Food and drinks included for weekend $35.00/per person for weekend/ 1 day pass=$25.00 visit www.soberstock.com for info and registration... August 28 - August 30, 2009 Florida Conference of Young People in AA Annual Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) event with Al-Anon & Alateen participation. FCYPAA. August Marriott Courtyard, Hutchinson Island Oceanside, Jensen Beach INFO @ www.fcypaa.org/fcypaa

23rd Gathering Of Eagles May 22-24 Dallas, TX over Memorial Day Weekend. Celebrated over 8,500 years of sobriety in 2008. Long-timers, special speakers and Gail L. (Akron archivist). Visit www.dallasgatheringofeagles.org


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Energy Drinks and Alcohol: A Dangerous Mix Slick marketers appear to have found a lucrative gold mine peddling energy drinks to vulnerable teens and college students who are all too eager to believe their hype. "Tired is in your head. Wake up your brain and your body will follow," they tell the young people and other users who spend billions each year on these highly caffeinated--and potentially dangerous-drinks. These products are packaged in sleek cans with edgy graphics designed specifically to appeal to young people. Names like "AMP Overdrive," "Burn," "Speed Freak," and "Wired," to name just a few, make no pretense about the intention to market these beverages to consumers looking for a liquid lift. Some manufacturers are so bold as to lure people further by applying drug-related names to their beverages like "Cocaine." Although the Food and Drug Administration successfully halted the sales of the Cocaine drink in June, another product called "Blow"--a white powder that is mixed into beverages--quickly emerged to take its place. In addition to high amounts of caffeine, which range from about 80 milligrams (the equivalent of a cup of coffee) to 200 milligrams, the energy drinks usually contain other stimulants such as ephedrine, guarana, and ginseng. Taurine, an amino acid that the body produces naturally, is also added, but according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), not much is known about how it works or how much is too much. The main worry, however, is caffeine, which speeds up the central nervous system--the main processing center that controls the body's organs and systems. Experts caution that caffeine is a

drug--a stimulant upon which people can grow dependent and that can cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mood swings, and poor concentration when they attempt to stop using it. High levels of caffeine can dehydrate your body, speed up your heart, and raise your blood pressure, making energy drinks especially unsafe. It is important not to confuse energy drinks with sports drinks that are designed to help athletes

cated as you really are. But no matter how alert you feel, your blood alcohol concentration is the same. Despite these risks, some beverage manufacturers saw a profitable opportunity in the practice of mixing energy drinks with alcohol and began producing flavored malt beverages that contain 12 percent alcohol by volume in addition to the ingredients of energy drinks. Here again, creative marketers came up with brands designed to entice young people. One called "Spykes" drew the attention and ire of a group of 29 attorneys general. In a May letter to Spykes' manufacturer, Anheuser-Busch, the AGs criticized the company for promoting what they termed a "youth-oriented starter drink" on their Web site by offering free ringtones and wallpaper downloads for computers that appeal to adolescents. Spykes attracted underage drinkers because of its fruit and chocolate flavors and its two-ounce cans designed to be mixed with beer and other drinks, or taken as a shot. Although they denied their product was intended for anyone under 21 years, Anheuser-Busch announced that it would discontinue production of Spykes just a week after the AG letter. A report released in August by the Marin Institute said that the alcohol industry is irresponsibly marketing alcoholic energy drinks to youth. It calls upon the alcohol industry to cease selling these products and recommends that the federal government investigate potentially deceptive marketing aimed at youth.

rehydrate and replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates. Of particular concern is the dangerous popularity of mixing energy drinks with alcohol. "The stimulation from a caffeine-heavy energy drink can make a person feel less intoxicated than he or she really is," warns SAMHSA. "As a result, the person may keep drinking or take a risk such as driving without realizing the danger. In addition, because caffeine dehydrates the body, alcohol becomes harder to absorb, which makes its toxic effects much more damaging to the body." Fatigue is one way the body signals you've For more on this topic, visit SAMHSA online at had enough to drink, so stimulants can fool you http://family.samhsa.gov/monitor/energyinto thinking you aren't drunk or not as intoxi- drinks.aspx.


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Recovery Bulletin Board Pat’s Cleaning Service No Job Too Big or Small

Patricia Drummond Owner

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 954-687-3292 patriciadrummond@comcast.net

The BEACHCOMBER Family Center For The Treatment Of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction 4493 North Ocean Boulevard Delray Beach, FL 33483 Telephone: 561-734-1818 From Broward County: 421-6226 From South Palm Beach County: 276-6226

JOSEPH R. BRYAN, Director


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Snowbriety

No one is ever going to try to pour booze down your throat …or are they?

I've explored different careers in sobriety and at one point, I made a career attempt into the world of private aviation. It was, and still is a boy's club of big toys, expensive cigars, and an exclusive good old boy network. It was fun, exciting and if I were 20 years younger, I would have tried to break into that industry. My brief involvement included going to an aviation show with executives one weekend. I have been sober a long time, and even owned nightclubs and restaurants and am comfortable in those business situations because I have a strong program to follow and I have a reason for being there.

my back. They had no idea they were actually threatening my life, but I did.

One night after dinner that weekend, we went to a party one of the fuel suppliers were hosting. We were having a good time, but several of the men thought it peculiar that I was not drinking. As the night wore on, it bothered them more and more they decided to do something about it. Much to my shock, the CEO of one company pinned my arms behind my back while the other executive tried to pour Jell-O shots down my throat. They may as well have had a gun to my head as I fought for my life like they did. I kicked and pulled and pushed in terror until I got loose and ran back to my hotel. I was appalled, terrified and grateful that God once again had

No matter where I want to go, what I want to do, I take God with me, I take my devotion to the program with me, I pad either side of the journey with fellowship and try to surround myself with it like warm blankets. We have been blessed to be awake for all the colors, flavors, joys and sorrows of this life and I don't want to miss any part of it. No matter what, no one can steal your magic and I know for a fact, God will meet you anywhere.

Yes, we can say stay home, pull the curtains down, not go to work, wear brown bags over our heads, or we can get on our knees every day and have a conscious contact with God and live a conscious life. I have found that following the steps and program to the best of my ability on any one given day allows me the total freedom to participate safely in this banquet of life, no matter how many crazy people I run into.

When did you have a run in with alcohol like this? (Contact Snow at snow@sobercelbrations.com)

Women's Recovery Network www.WomensRecoveryNetwork.com Helping women in recovery by providing information, education, referral, networking. Our mission is to inform you and your families of the valuable gender specific resources and recovery events available within your communities. Overall it is our desire to help promote and empower women to maintain a healthy productive lifestyle. Assisting women to achieve their personal and professional goals through information, education, referral, and networking.

www.WomensRecoveryNetwork.com


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A Friendly Riddle: What Expects Nothing and Accepts Everything? Last week, I met a perfect stranger in a cozy Costa Rican cafĂŠ built from someone's old house. Perhaps it was the chipped-white window ledges with bright blue walls, the gentle creak of the wooden floors or the scent of freshly baked empanadas and coffee in the air-something put us right at home. Amidst such comfort, our brief encounter inspired a lifetime of profound reflections on the all-important question: What is a true friend? Our meeting had been scheduled, and what transpired could not have been planned. Armed with banana coladas, Mae's vegan black bean sandwich and a mountain of chicken fajitas with fried plantains, we casually began to discuss her memoir and the how-to of cultivating the courage and emotional awareness to put life's most intensely raw experiences into words. Though not typically present at client meetings, my husband joined us, sharing my fajitas and listening carefully to our discussion. Together the three of us connected over progressively more intimate details of our lives, nimbly morphing the cafĂŠ ambiance into one of sheer vulnerability. Low and behold, the topic of friendship surfaced and my husband at last chimed in: "Penelope and I don't have a lot of friends."

In my observation, people zealously label others as friends based on having known them for a long time, or for whatever reason they were validated through our being drawn to them. And how do I know this? I've been there myself. Regardless, it seems fair to say people use the "f"-word to categorize familiar people. So how do we distinguish between a friend and an acquaintance? If there is a motive of control or neediness by either party, can this constitute friendship? Because I've noticed that many "friendships"-particularly those that develop during crisis periods in our lives-have been forged from the mold of the advice-giver and the advice-receiver. Yet only time reveals that those relationships in no way should be considered friendships, particularly when the advice is not solicited. Sound familiar? What I've learned: Whenever someone seems overly eager to give advice, their motives should be challenged. Precisely because the advice might not be the wisdom of experience, and in such cases, they could be experimenting with your life so as to not test it their own. In light of this possibility, the most loving counsel of a true friend is: asking questions with the intent of assisting one to find their own truth, rather than recycling Cosmo rhetoric and seizing the opportunity to appear superior, or at the very least more intelligent. Here's a key: Advice is usually sought by one who thinks they are not capable of recognizing the truth. So if we find ourselves on the giving end, perhaps it is wiser to look in a mirror and consider whether we're confusing that friend with our projections, rather than supporting or accepting exactly who they are in each moment. So what is the key ingredient in a friend?

My breath stopped and I think I might have blacked out to be stirred again only by a lump of unchewed fried cheese plunging toward my belly. The twisting of Mae's brow reflected my distress perfectly. Yet all one can do in such a situation-especially with a potential client-is remember: "be present and speak from the heart," which is exactly what happened as we not-long-ago strangers reflected on what is friendship.

They expect nothing and accept everything. There are no exceptions to this rule.

This considered, my husband's surprise statement actually summed it up perfectly. Though as a writer, I may have taken a slightly more poetic approach, because true friends are like mangoes in the arctic and I can So what makes a friend? Let's make a list. Someone who keeps us from count them on one sticky hand. How about you? feeling our loneliness? Someone with whom we intoxicate ourselves via substances or entertainment in avoidance of feelings? Someone who tells ************************************ us pleasantries about ourselves and acts charmed when we reciprocate? A secret confidant who indulges us in gossiping about others whom we Penelope Love is a writer, publishing consultant and the former editor of avoid discussions with? Someone who gives us free advice? Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals. She welcomes your e-mail at penelope@livinglovebooks.com.


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Rebecca B.

The Case of Mr. Biggs

Once upon a time there was a man by the name of Billy Biggs who had a very long…yet somewhat unsatisfying life. Billy Biggs was born of humble beginnings at St. Mary's hospital in Richmond, VA. When Billy was delivered into this world he immediately became aware that it was cold and Billy did NOT like cold…so he began to scream. Billy was cleaned, given a little bitty diaper, wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket and taken to a room with many other babies. As he scanned the room, Billy realized that he was three rows back from the viewing window, (not up front), and did NOT like that. He also noticed that the baby beside him had a much "fuzzier" blanket than his…but what really got to him, was that the baby in front of him, (whose diaper was being changed), had a monogram on his diaper! Billy WANTED a monogramed diaper…and he began to scream! Well, time went by and Billy Biggs was about 36 months old, sitting in the front of the grocery cart…sucking happily on his passy. Billy's mom was looking at veggies when Billy noticed the baby in the cart beside him had a REALLY cool passy in her mouth…and Billy wanted that passy! So do you know what he did?? Why he screamed out, "GIVE MEEEE DAAT PASSSSYYYYY!!!" and yanked it right out of that babies mouth and stuck it directly into his own! His mother was horrified! She tried to reason with Billy because when she was finally able to retrieve the passy and return it, he was screaming his head off. Billy Biggs finally began school…his tendency for dissatisfaction having only grown worse. The school he went to was not the one he wanted to go to. The teacher he had, (no matter which one), was not the right one. The subjects that he took were either to boring or not the right kind. His mother found that no matter what clothes she bought, they were the not the right color, style or just plain wrong. Even when Billy made friends…they were never the right friends, because Billy always wanted the friends he didn't yet have. Billy made it to High School and had a 4.0 average, but could never be content with that. He argued with the school board that there should be something "higher than average". Billy Biggs somehow managed to get a girlfriend. She was a very sweet, beautiful, kind, intelligent and incredibly patient girlfriend at that. But as you might guess, Billy Biggs want-

ed somebody "better". Billy graduated at the top of his class, but wasn't happy. In fact he had never wanted to be the top of his class…he had wanted to be the top of the class the year ahead of his. Billy went off to college and of course, shortly after arriving was quite unhappy with the school, its faculty and curriculum. He spent his college career trying to show everyone how

looked at him and said, "Billy! Come on in!" Billy, (irritated with being called Billy), said, "The name is Mr. Biggs and what's more, who are you? You don't look like Peter." Howard stared at Biggs, (somewhat amazed), and said, "St. Peter is out right now, I'm St. Howard. Is that a problem?" Biggs looked him up and down and said, "I haven't come all this way to be let into Heaven by a little saint named Howard! After all, I'm Mr. Biggs, don't you know anything??" Howard, (trying to be patient), looked at Biggs and said, "Well, I'm it and coming in here is a one shot deal. Either you come in with me opening the gate…or you go to the other place." Howard could NOT believe his ears when Mr. Billy Biggs announced… "I'll go there! It's GOT to be better than here!" Of course, this is just a story…just make believe. But although an exaggeration, haven't we all known a Mr. Biggs or better yet, BEEN a Mr. Biggs at one time or another? Isn't it easy to lose the joy found in each moment, each experience, each gift…when we allow ourselves to give in to the idea that there is something MORE…something BETTER…something BIGGER?

things could be better. Billy graduated at the top of his class again and decided that from this day on he did not wish to be called "Billy", he preferred Mr. Biggs. When he obtained his first job at a prestigious law firm he quickly became disappointed in both the firm and his boss, because he noticed how much both were lacking, comI know that for me, this tendency can be pared to what ideas "he" had on how they could so subtle in nature. For example: When I had 30 be better…BIGGER! days sober…I wanted 60. When I had 60 days, I wanted 6 months. When I had 6 months, I wantSo Mr. Biggs decided to begin his own ed a year. When I had my first car, (which was law firm and even his own advertising…BIGGS used), I wanted a new car. When I got my first LAW - We are better and We are Bigger! He ulti- apartment, I wanted to have a house.When I got mately was very successful, although he could a house, I wanted new furniture, etc. However never enjoy it…because he couldn't escape see- I've found that 9 times out of 10, when I am feeling how it could be better…BIGGER, if only ing dissatisfied and unfulfilled, it is almost they worked a little harder. Mr. Biggs never always because my eye has wandered, I've married, because he could never find that "per- "compared myself" to someone or something fect" woman. He never had kids. He made else and have lost what was once a feeling of TONS of money, but could never be satisfied, joy, gratitude and contentment. Of course the because there was always someone who had solution is quite thankfully an easy one: more. Biggs had a REALLY BIG house, (many of them), but there were always bigger houses I remind myself that I shouldn't even be and people who had more than him. He owned here. I should have perished many years ago. many cars and boats, but alas he could NEVER However I was spared and given another be satisfied. One day, in his BIG house, with his chance. All that I have and all that I am is beautiful furniture, looking out at his BIG because of grace and mercy. Not what I have pool…Mr. Biggs died - all alone. "earned", but rather what I've been "freely given". Remembering this I find myself filled He arrived at heavens gate anticipating with peace and contentment… my mind then FINALLY meeting St. Peter. However, it turned eagerly geared to what I can "give" rather than out Peter was on vacation and the saint working what I can "get". the gate that day was named Howard. Howard (Rebecca B.) BeccainBham@aol.com


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Spirituality: A Spot of Grit We often forget that it is that little tiny bit of grit that is needed to create a pearl. And I'm suggesting that recovery, healing, surrender is that essential piece of grit that will eventually affirm sobriety or "the good life". Maybe you've never thought of yourself as that little bit of grit or more precisely having within you that spot of grit that truly makes all the difference. It is always a challenge to talk about spirituality because it usually takes us into the 'poetic' aspects of life. It's a little like talking about God, words can never do justice to what we want to say, our feelings concerning the divine often become restricted when we attempt to put them into words. Spirituality faces a similar challenge. A definition of spirituality includes words like energy, breath, life and we are forced to explain these words by giving examples: A spiritual person exudes a positive energy that radiates love and generosity It is said in scripture that God breathed into the first humans and gave something of himself in the creation of life. A recovering person experiences a spiritual awakening that affirms life For years I've known that the spiritual life necessarily involves the poetic and the challenge for any writer is to use examples that clearly explain what they are intending to say.

This brings me back to a spot of grit. The example of a pearl is opposite because it is considered a gem of beauty and I'm suggesting that this is what recovery, healing, sobriety looks like. Our lives are slowly changed into being something wonderful, wholesome, and good in every sense, indeed some would say a miracle, and it comes from what I'm calling a spot of grit. What is the grit? Well, again this is poetic-speak, a metaphor for the moment we accept that we need to change a behavior that is killing us. It is that point of surrender when we give up fighting, we give up denying, we give up the pretense of suggesting that everything is okay. All this is what I'm calling a spot of grit; it is the beginning of the process of healing. I believe in nurturing our spirituality and conferences are wonderful ways we can feed our spirituality, not only to teach, but to learn. As many of you know, I speak at Conferences throughout the United States, always seeking to explain spirituality in the process of healing. In January I spoke at the NOVA Conference in Dallas and at the US Journal Conference in Clearwater, Florida discussing how, for me, addiction becomes a part of the grit that, when confronted, can lead to happiness and peace. When I think about my life today in recovery, I'm so aware that I'm living a charmed existence; a pearl. And I know I'm not the only one. I hear from people who, because of recovery, are able to live the good life. They are falling in love, getting married, enjoying financial security, going back to school, planning trips, exploring other countries, spending more time with their loved ones and taking care of their health. Many have returned to church, found a God or Higher Power that accepts and loves them, more importantly, they are enjoying an adventure into spirituality. It must be interesting for you to consider that a part of our make-up involves a spot of grit but I want you to hold the vision of the emerging pearl. The message is clear: you are exquisite

Reverend Leo is an internationally acclaimed author, lecturer, and trainer on all aspects of spirituality and recovery from depression, addictions, or compulsive behaviors and low self esteem. He is the Spiritual Advisor to Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches in FL and the author of Say Yes to Your Spirit published by Health Communications Incorporated.

Contact Rev Leo: email:fatherleo@fatherleo.com website: www.fatherleo.com


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The Florida House Experience: A Sober Living Campus Community In the famous myth the phoenix was a beautiful bird that built its nest out of twigs. The bird then ignited the twigs and out of its ashes a beautiful new bird was born. We often hear this story as an analogy for our recovery. Many of us know of grateful individuals in recovery who having achieved sobriety go on to work in the field of addictions and dedicate their lives to the service of other recovering addicts and alcoholics. The Florida House CEO, Sherief Abu-Moustafa has become a living embodiment of this experience, not only in his personal life but in his awe inspiring transformation of the Florida House from a traditional halfway house to an all encompassing, comprehensive, quality treatment program. The Florida House Experience is located on a beautifully landscaped, 3 acre self contained sober living campus. The programs include intensive residential licensed treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, with housing as well as long term sober living. The Florida House Experience offers an innovative, reality-based approach to treatment and is dedicated to providing consistent long term quality care at all levels of treatment. The commitment is continuity of care that is conducive to recovery and long term sobriety. Sherief was an exceptionally skilled psychiatric nurse when his own addiction led him to the doorstep of the Florida House in search of recovery. While there he was greatly influenced by the twelve step approach to recovery as personified by Dave DeOreo, the Florida House manager at the time. Sherief came to realize that an integrative approach, combining a clinical and therapeutic process and the twelve step model could be fashioned into the best possible prescription for recovery with lasting outcomes. His stay at the Florida House saw the birth of his vision and after completing the program he invested in the Florida House and soon became its CEO. He realized the need to give back the gift he had been given and his vision evolved. Sherief invested both time and money in upgrading and expanding what was the Florida House, the halfway house. He began improvements and renovations which included blacktop, tropical landscaping and building extensions to the existing property. With a vision in mind his mission continued to expand and over time he acquired surrounding properties incorporating them into the lush sober living campus. Now the Florida House Experience consists of a beautiful 3 acre campus complete with fully equipped apartment style housing for 200 residents, a community meeting hall called The Room and newly built JoJo's Café, a beautifully terraced full service café and restaurant providing meals to residents at all levels of care. Sherief took a long hard look at what has become known as "the Florida model of treatment." He found it to be lacking in consistency and long term care that most professionals recognize is pivotal in fostering lasting sobriety. He also found that traditional 28-day treatment approaches lacked the camaraderie of a sober living community. The "Florida model" currently consists of providing treatment in a facility such as an office park or store front and housing residents in nearby rental communities or condos. Residents are typically shuttled back and forth to meetings in the all too familiar "white vans" and programs are traditionally 28 days and extremely costly. Just as residents begin to become comfort-

able in their surroundings they are moved to another different locale for sober living. Many elite centers claim to provide a "continuum of care" however, unfortunately few are able to substantiate this and addicts and alcoholics newly in recovery increasingly experience chronic relapses following this model. Sherief's vision for the Florida House Experience was to combine the best possible clinical treatment with the traditional twelve step philosophy all on a sober living campus where residents would have the opportunity to engage and interact in a community

from intensive treatment to independent sober living; a campus that would become a "nest" of safety as they learn the life skills and tools necessary to maintain lasting sobriety. "The Florida House Experience" is much more than a treatment facility, it consists of several unique elements that set it apart from other facilities. It features The Room, a 12 Step meeting hall on campus that allows residents to attend AA/NA meetings and providing a sense of community to all members of the Florida House community. Guest speakers are invited to participate and chair meetings and this creates an opportunity for residents to begin to build relationships with recovering individuals in the local South Florida community. Another addition, JoJo's Café, provides an atmosphere for clients to socialize in a healthy and positive environment. With outstanding food and service it has quickly become a gathering place not only for the sober community but the general public at large. These two features allow the Florida House to be a welcome neighbor and maintain a positive relationship within the surrounding community. With a better understanding of what the Florida House Experience is, how does it relate to client care? Just as the physical location and campus style sober living takes care of residents' physical needs the Florida House Experience provides a series of innovative treatment modalities that accommodate all the psychological, clinical and medical needs of clients as they begin their journey into recovery. The multi phase gender specific programs guides clients from admission all the way to independent living. Sherief believes that "discharge planning begins at admission" and the treatment program begins with a comprehensive intake, assessment and evaluation of new clients with an eye toward fashioning the best possible customized program for each new resident. Dr Aldo Morales, psychiatrist and addictionologist is on site and available for all residents' psychological and pharmacological needs. For individuals who require detoxification services the Florida House Experience works closely with leading reputable facilities that offer safe, medically monitored detox. Consistent quality of care is maintained to assure a smooth transition from detox facilities to the Florida House Experience Sunlight program.

Residents begin the Sunlight Recovery program which provides quality intensive residential treatment incorporating a clinical, behavioral, spiritual and 12 step model approach. This treatment combined ensures residents will form a strong foundation for successful, long term sobriety. The Florida House Experience employs a staff that is experienced, licensed and credentialed in addiction treatment, trauma and other dual diagnoses. An important component of Sunlight Recovery is the Family Workshop which is a 2 day program where families and loved ones are invited to participate in intensive group therapy sessions and explore family dynamics that maintain the addictive processes. Family of origin issues are addressed in an effort to further the understanding of addiction and help struggling loved ones form and maintain healthy, positive relationships. Following the Sunlight Recovery program residents are gradually transitioned into Innovations which is an intensive outpatient program that includes a highly structured 30 day integration to sober living that provides groups, workshops and individual therapy. Residents have the opportunity to meet with the psychiatrist, nurse practitioner and individual therapist as needed to address any medical, clinical or pharmacological issues. They are also required to seek and maintain employment, pursue academic endeavors or volunteer in the local communities. Upon successful completion of the Innovations program residents' transition into The Florida House, a safe and supervised, gender specific sober living community on the campus. They are encouraged to get a job, develop a community support system and work a twelve step program. Counseling is still available as are on-campus meetings. Here, the Florida House Experience offers residents an opportunity (at an affordable cost) to learn to become productive members of society and enjoy the joy and satisfaction of a sober life style. A wonderful and unique final phase allows clients to live off campus with other recovering individuals in the Graduate Housing. While the campus is close at hand and always welcoming and supportive, clients are encouraged to gradually attain their independence and follow their dreams by utilizing the newly acquired skills as they look towards a clean and sober future. With a strong belief in guided recovery, a spiritual 12-step foundation and a sense of community, Sherief and his staff have fashioned a truly unique and innovative approach to recovery from addiction. Sherief says, "Having the good fortune to be in the position to develop this program has been nothing short of a blessing from God. My sincere hope is to provide the best possible environment and services for our residents for them to receive the same blessings that I have." This sums up the feelings of the staff and residents. The phoenix has truly risen at this oasis of recovery that is the Florida House Experience. Grab a bite at JoJo's Café and stop in at the office for a full campus tour. The campus is located at 505 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach, FL. Alternatively you can call 24/7 for any additional information or inquiries at 888-342-1460. Check out the web site: www.floridahouseexperience.com


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Your Recovery Horoscope

BRAIN TEASERS Family Sport

Aries (March 21-April 19): Someone needs to comfort the disgruntled and smooth things over for the ruffled. Your warmth and sincerity make you the No. 1 choice. You can’t keep it unless you give it away!

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Is it possible for you to give someone a raise or a fat tip? To do so in times of cutbacks and layoffs will send a powerful message. You believe in an abundant universe and you stand by your beliefs. God will provide.

Gemini (May 21-June 21): When you put your mind to it, you can change someone else's mind. Observe and strategize. It's not time to wage your attack. There is a gentle way to do this, and you will figure it out. Live and let live.

Cancer (June 22-July 22): Friends may need you more than is good for any of you. Encourage others to be strong instead of codependent. Spend little time sympathizing and more time building them up and read article on Al Anon.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Someone loves your ideas and style. Nail the structure and context of your project. That's what will take you from "amateur" to "professional" one day at a time.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): You have a good estimation of where you are going; still, you could be pointed in the right direction by someone who knows. Ask to be mentored and call your sponsor.

Three brothers share a family sport: A non-stop marathon The oldest one is fat and short And trudges slowly on The middle brother's tall and slim And keeps a steady pace The youngest runs just like the wind, Speeding through the race "He's young in years, we let him run," The other brothers say "'Cause though he's surely number one, He's second, in a way."

DOUBLE-NITIONS Many of our everyday words have more than one meaning. Below are eleven pairs of definitions. Both definitions in each pair fit the same word. When read down, the first letters of the eleven answers will spell out the name of a beloved TV celebrity. 1. Spend time idly or bread unit 2. Worker's organization or marriage 3. Pine tree fruit or ice cream holder 4. Feeling of curiosity or savings account accrual 5. Land parcel or considerable quantity 6. Illumination or not weighty at all 7. Typewriter type style or the VIP crowd 8. Baby's toy or city square 9. Weapon or upper body appendage 10. Bowling group or three nautical miles 11. Stand at a slant or thin

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): You get pleasure from watching people develop. You will coach others in your own quiet way. Your support may not be verbally recognized, but it is strongly felt. Keep sharing the message.

Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21): You'll be swimming with the sharks. You can be fierce when you want to be. Ratchet your attitude up and let everyone know you're a contender. Be assertive but not aggressive.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): You are being asked to deliver a result that is unusual and perhaps difficult. If you know that this is not your talent, call in reinforcements. Ask for help.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Friends and colleagues may

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try to sway your choices. You are too sophisticated to let someone else dictate to you. Rebuff anyone trying to make a power play on your life. Be true to yourself.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Remember those people you helped along? You told them they were doing all the work, but no one grows alone. Your assistance favorably impacts the world today. Reach out to those in need.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): There are benefits to going with the flow. Operating under the radar you'll have great freedom, which overrides your need to state strong opinions. You are one among many in a “we” program.

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For Your Inspiration Is This Jar Full? A while back I was reading about an expert on the subject of time management. One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes." Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him. “Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" "No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!" "No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all." What are the 'big rocks' in your life? A project that YOU want to accomplish? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. So, tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks' in my life or business? Then, put those in your jar first.

How Big Is One? As a man walked a desolate beach one cold, gray morning he began to see another figure, far in the distance. Slowly the two approached each other, and he could make out a local native who kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he hurled things into the ocean. As the distance between them continued to narrow, the man could see that the native was picking up starfish that had been washed upon the beach and, one at a time, was throwing them back into the water. Puzzled, the man approached the native and asked what he was doing. "I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen." "But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach," the man replied. "You can't possibly get to all of them. There are just too many. And this same thing is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?" The local native smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea he replied, "Made a difference to that one!" Each of us is but one person: limited, burdened with our own cares and responsibilities. We may feel there is so much to be done, and we have so little to give. We're usually short of everything, especially time and money. When we leave this shore, there will still be millions of starfish stranded on the beach. Maybe we can't change the whole world, but there isn't one of us who can't help change one person's whole world. One at a time. We can make a difference.


24

An Inside Look At Drug Court By: Myles B. Schlam, J.D., CCJAP As a Clinical Treatment Consultant and Criminal Justice Addictions Professional, my job is to assess each client in the Criminal Justice system and to determine the best treatment option for that individual. A good deal of my time is spent in the Circuit Drug Court. Defendants are diverted into the Circuit Drug Court when they have been charged with a Felony possession of Narcotics or over 20 grams of marijuana. When a defendant is diverted into Drug Court, there are certain procedures and protocols. Here is a description of what typically occurs when a Defendant enters Drug Court in Broward County: When the Defendant first appears in Drug Court the Judge will ask if there are any legal issues. The State Attorney then has the opportunity to object to the Defendant being admitted to Drug Court if they are a habitual offender or if the Defendant is charged with Trafficking or Delivery or Attempted of either one. If there are no objections and the Defendant is accepted into Drug Court, they will be assigned to a PTI (Pre-Trial Intervention) Officer to whom he or she must report to once a month. They will be subject to urine drops at these visits and PTI will report at each status hearing whether Defendant has attended and the results of the urinalysis. Most defendants will be placed into the County Sheriff's Department Treatment Program. There are three phases to the program and the length of the program is designed to be one year, although defendants often are set back due to relapses or other forms of non-compliance, including lack of payment of fees for treatment and court-costs. When Drug Court clients finally graduate, the Court will dismiss the charges against them. This is called "deferred prosecution" which then becomes a Dismissal. At that point, the client may be eligible for either a sealing or expungement of their criminal record, depending on their prior arrest history and other factors. On Phase I, the Defendant must attend treatment 4 days per week for an hour each night. On Phase II, they must attend only 2 days per week and on Phase III only once a week. Phase I is generally for the first month of the program, although as stated, a client can be held on a phase longer as a result of relapses, non-com-

pliance or Counselor Judicial discretion. A higher level of care may be recommended by BSO include a 28-day residential program, a 30-day in-custody program, a 90-day in-custody program or some combination of residential and out-patient treatment. The ultimate decision will be made by the Judge. The Judge may order, in addition, that the Client attend a certain number of AA/NA meetings per week and bring sign-in sheets to Court as proof of attendance. That is usually something that is

suggested in any event. The Defendant usually must report to the Court at a Status Hearing once a month, but the Judge can order shorter or lengthier resets at his or her discretion. If a Defendant wishes they may "opt-out" of Drug Court and fight their case on Legal grounds in another Felony Division. If they are found Guilty in another Division, they may be adjudicated and sentenced to jail time or felony probation. They will not be eligible for Sealing or Expungement of record, unless the adjudication is withheld, they are acquitted of the charges or the case is Nolle Prossed or dismissed for some other reason. What most Defendants do not know, and are not usually told, is that they have alternatives to the County Treatment Program. There are many excellent private as well as not-for-profit treatment facilities which will provide treatment that will meet all the Drug Court requirements. These clients will receive more individualized attention to their unique individual needs. Many Drug Court Clients are duallydiagnosed which means they have co-occurring

disorders. The County-run facilities are not usually equipped to address these issues due to low funding and budget issues and staff who are overburdened with astronomic case-loads and are paid very little. Don't get me wrong. Some County facilities do an excellent job, considering the limited resources they have and tremendous case-loads. However, it is literally impossible for them to give the same level of care that can be provided in a more intimate, private setting. The private treatment programs are usually much more flexible and accommodating towards the clients because they can afford to be. The County run programs are over-booked and under-funded. There are waiting lists which can exceed 6 weeks just to be admitted into certain County programs. In the mean time, the Judge may order that the client wait "in-custody" until a bed becomes available. Furthermore, some clients are under the impression that the County programs are free. This is a fallacy. Fees will accumulate and may be in excess of several hundred dollars when all is said and done. The Defendant's case will not usually be dismissed until all fees and court costs are paid. Most of the private treatment facilities accept most major insurance providers as payment. Others even accept Medicare, Medicaid, or sliding scales for self-pay clients.When a client elects to attend a private treatment program in lieu of County Treatment, the Judge will usually order the client to that facility for a certain length of time. The program must be approved by the Court. The County Treatment will be deleted from the order. Any client wishing to by-pass the County Treatment program in lieu of alternate treatment programs should be advised by a Professional Treatment Consultant as to what his or her best options will be. The Treatment Professional will guide the client through the process and make the necessary recommendations to the Court. Any questions or comments regarding this article can be addressed to Myles B. Schlam, J.D., CCJAP - Legal - Clinical Consultant. He can be reached at (954) 804-6888.


25

The Solution Directory


26

The Wisdom Of Ben Franklin A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats. A good conscience is a continual Christmas. A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence. At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every as the body. new year find you a better man. A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one. Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing. A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleepBeauty and folly are old companions. ing enough in the grave. A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.

A place for everything, everything in its place.

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

A small leak can sink a great ship. Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

Beware the hobby that eats.

Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.

Buy what thou hast no need of and ere long thou shalt sell thy necessities.

All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones.

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.

And whether you're an honest man, or whether you're a thief, depends on Creditors have better memories than debtors. whose solicitor has given me my brief. Diligence is the mother of good luck. Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

Distrust and caution are the parents of security.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. deserve neither and lose both. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Applause waits on success. Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure.


27

The Wit of Mark Twain I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know never happened. for sure that just ain't so. I can live for two months on a good compliment. I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress. It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

I don't like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool friends in both places. than to open it and remove all doubt. I have been complimented many times and they It is better to take what does not belong to you than always embarrass me; I always feel that they have to let it lie around neglected. not said enough. I have made it a rule never to smoke more that one cigar at a time. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. I make it a rule never to smoke while I'm sleeping. I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week sometimes to make it up. I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare. It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions. It is not best that we should all think alike; it is a difference of opinion that makes horse races.

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deterio- a good impromptu speech. rate the cat. It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderIf you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. ful to miss it. In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made It's good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. school boards. In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense. hours. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we the parts that I do understand. can have some conversation.


28

Father Martin Passes On Leaving A Legacy of Love and Hope To Us All The Rev. Joseph C. Martin, whose battle with alcoholism inspired him to become a national leader in the fight against the disease by speaking, writing books, making videos and starting a treatment center, died March 9 at his home in Havre de Grace, Md. He was 84.

Father Martin became such close friends with Mrs. Abraham and her family that he eventually moved in with them, staying for more than 38 years. He became inactive as a priest and took a job with Maryland’s alcoholism agency as an educator. He came to regard Mrs. Abraham and her husband, Tommy, and son, Alex, as family.

The probable cause of death was heart failure, said Rosemary Ostmann, a spokeswoman for Ashley, the highly rated treatment center Father In addition to them, he is survived by his brother, Edward, of Lilburn, Martin started near Havre de Grace. The center, sometimes called “the Ga.; and two sisters, Frances Osborne and Dorothy Christopher, both of Betty Ford Clinic of the East,” says it has helped more than 40,000 peo- Baltimore. ple, including several celebrities. In 1978, Mrs. Abraham told Father Father Martin first became widely Martin she feared that his accomplishknown through a talk he gave on the ments would die with him. She sug12 steps of recovery propounded by gested that they open a treatment cenAlcoholics Anonymous. He someter. It took seven years to raise enough times began with a preface similar to money to open Ashley, which is the one every alcoholic uses to named for Mrs. Abraham’s father, the address meetings of the organization, Rev. Arthur Ashley, and is on the forchanging it to give his full name: “My mer estate of Millard Tydings, a name is Joe Martin, and I’m an alcoUnited States senator from Maryland. holic.” It now has 85 beds. With no preaching or moralizing, he Joseph Charles Martin was born on spoke plainly of alcoholism as a sickOct. 12, 1924, in Baltimore. His father ness, not an evil. He used a blackhabitually got drunk on Friday, payboard and chalk, and in 1972, the day. Three of the four sons developed Navy filmed the speech to use for drinking problems, The Sun reported. mandatory addiction training, titling the movie “The Blackboard Talk.” At Loyola High School in Baltimore, The speech came to be known as “the Father Martin was valedictorian and chalk talk,” and subsequent videos of was voted best debater, best actor and it and more than 40 more talks that class member with the best smile. He Father Martin made were used in attended Loyola College in Maryland, other branches of the military and then studied for the priesthood at St. throughout the federal government as Mary’s Seminary and University in well as in hospitals, corporations and treatment centers around the Baltimore. He was ordained as a priest in 1948 and became a priest of world. He wrote three books. the Society of Saint-Sulpice, whose chief mission is to educate seminarians. “We alcoholics drink because we can’t not drink,” Father Martin declared in his many talks. His motto: “Have chalk, will travel.” He then taught in the order’s seminaries in California and Maryland and discovered he had a taste for gin. In 1958, his drinking prompted his Betty Ford wrote to thank him for the video, which she saw while she superiors to send him to Guest House, a Michigan treatment center for was in treatment. the clergy, where his recovery began. One person who said her life had been changed by Father Martin was Lora Mae Abraham, a housewife from Havre de Grace, whose drinking had spun out of control in 1964. She went to Baltimore to hear Gov. Harold Hughes of Iowa, an alcoholic who often spoke to other alcoholics about his own recovery.

Father Martin often used humor in discussing alcoholism. He told of a police officer who saw a drunk with a penguin and told the drunk to take the penguin to the zoo, where it belonged. The next day, the officer saw the same drunk with the same penguin and demanded to know why the drunk had not taken the bird to the zoo.

When Mr. Hughes did not arrive, Mrs. Abraham saw that a Catholic “I did,” the drunk replied. “He loved it. Today, we’re going to the priest — Father Martin, as she learned later — was about to speak library.” instead. She stayed to hear his message. But Father Martin’s best-remembered words were probably his custom“He removed the shame from me,” she said in an interview with The ary welcome to each troubled patient at his treatment center: “The nightBaltimore Sun in 2008. “It changed my life forever on.” mare is over.” (New York Times Obituary)


29

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Brain Teaser Answers FAMILY SPORT The hands on a clock (hour, minute, and second). DOUBLE-NITIONS 1. Loaf 2. Union 3. Cone 4. Interest 5. Lot 6. Light 7. Elite 8. Block 9. Arm 10. League 11. Lean Celebrity: Lucille Ball


30

Our Readers Write

What Have You Done For Me Lately? Taking Care Of Your Inner Child While in a drug treatment center four years ago my therapist informed me that I have an inner child. And that I needed to nurture her. At the time I thought to myself, this woman is a kook! Nurturing myself is one thing, but having an inner child? I was confused. What was this woman talking about? Well I now I know. It took me four years, a few workshops, and a lot more therapy, but I finally figured it out! Our inner child is basically us when we were children. Young and innocent, learning right from wrong and good from bad. Sometimes, along life's path, our inner children get hurt, abused, or learn things that aren't exactly true. These things tend to stick with us and effect us as adults. Our inner child dictates our feelings. So when we're angry or irritated, it usually has something to do with a childhood issue. Our inner child is our truth. It is who we really are. I was told in treatment that I needed to help my inner child heal by a.) Treating her like she really does exist. b.) By not abusing her anymore with negative self talk. c.) By not listening to that inner critic we all have in our heads, telling us we can't do these childlike things because after all we've got to be responsible adults. And d.) By learning to stop and let my inner child enjoy things, enjoy life.

So I left that workshop, went straight to McDonalds and bought my inner child a happy meal. I ended up getting a toy racecar as a prize. It was obviously for a boy, but I decorated it with the flame stickers that it came with anyway. I made that car look so cool. Then I proceeded to play with it. Believe it or not, I really did enjoy it. I actually had fun and I think my inner child was happy. Since then I've found myself doing the strangest things. Recently on my way into a restaurant, I walked past a bicycle shop and stopped dead in my tracks. There in the window was the coolest pink girl's bike I'd ever seen. It had pink striped fenders and seat, a pink horn, and pink tassels dangling off the handle bars. It was awesome! At first I wasn't sure why my mouth was hanging open over some pink bike. I don't even ride bikes anymore. Then I realized it wasn't adult Melanie that was in awe, it was little Melanie. So I stood there for a few extra seconds and let her take it all in. I've taken up painting again, something I did as a child. And it's not only relaxing for me, but fun for her too. I try not to get caught up in making it perfect. Just paint and enjoy whatever comes out.

I've gone to the sea turtle rehabilitation center in Juno to see my little turtle friends and chat them up a bit. The employees there must think I'm crazy, but to tell you the truth, I really don't care. Little Melanie and I are One night a few months ago, I attended an inner child workshop. There having a good time. And amazingly enough, I'm happier. Isn't that what I met a lady who shared with the group how she nurtured her inner child. really matters. Once a week she'd take her inner child somewhere fun, like the zoo and So go out. Buy your inner child some M&Ms, go to the fair, ride your let her enjoy the animals. Of course, I'm sure, this nice lady benefited from her visit with the animals as well, but it was her inner child she was bike, and have some fun. trying to please. And it hit me! A light bulb finally came on in my head. ----Melanie M. It was so simple! Nurturing my inner child meant doing things I enjoyed {The Solution News encourages its readers to submit articles, poems, etc as a child or would've enjoyed as a child! and will publish a reader’s submission in every issue}

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31

The One-Minute Solution We hear at meetings that gratitude will help eliminate self-pity and resentment, as well as some of the other demons that seem to afflict alcoholics even in sobriety. But how does it work in practice? Is there a quick, easy way to put this principle into operation?

It's hard to pat yourself on the back while struggling through the snow with loads of clothing, though. And I had no sooner finished praising myself when some dark thoughts began to hit me. I thought about my own problems growing up during the Great American Depression, and the fact that my parents had neither the desire nor the means to send me to college. I lashed myself for my failure to take advantage of the GI Bill after World War II, which gave veterans such as me a generous stipend for four years of college. I groaned inwardly at the way drinking had destroyed other educational opportunities. (I had finally received a college degree at age fifty, but that didn't seem to be the same as getting one at twenty-two. I didn't even recall that my father had sent me congratulations and the price of a new watch when I finally got my degree.)

I think I stumbled onto the one-minute solution for selfpity back in the winter of As I continued to let these angry thoughts seethe in my soul, my mood 1988. Our daughter, Lynne, became darker and darker. I was feeling really bad, and there were still was in her first semester at mountains of clothes and other items to bring back to the car, which was Kent State University, and I now covered with snow. On top of that, we would have to drive back to had driven from Toledo, Toledo under difficult road conditions. My gloom and self-pity deepened. Ohio, to bring her home for the Christmas holidays. But first I had gone to Cleveland for a brief business But then I returned to the dorcall and began encountering conmitory and saw Lynne chatting siderable snow as I headed south We hear at meetings that gratitude will help eliminate with her friends and apparenttoward Kent, Ohio. self-pity and resentment, as well as some of the other ly enjoying all the benefits of

When I arrived on the campus, I demons that seem to afflict alcoholics even in sobri- college life. I suddenly started to feel grateful that she could discovered that I had to park about ety. But how does it work in practice? Is there a have this experience and that seventy-five yards from Lynne's dormitory. The snow was getting quick, easy way to put this principle into operation? she was making the best of it, as she had done earning honworse, and I had not brought overors in high school. I immedishoes. I also discovered that Lynne had to take mountains of clothes home because of some college rule that ately felt grateful that AA had kept me sober for thirty-nine years so my I didn't understand. I found myself making several trips to the parking lot, income and my wife's earnings could go for such things as tuition, books, staggering under each load of clothes, fearful that I would lose some of and dental care, instead of booze and bad trips. I thought of all the other the garments in the snow. My ankles were cold and wet, and the fierce nice things and experiences our family had, all due to AA. And as my gratitude for this increased, the dark feelings and self-pity simply disapwind and snow were tearing at my face. peared. This probably took all of one minute, but it worked. Snow or no As I struggled, the thought came to me that I was a wonderful dad to be snow, I suddenly felt great. helping Lynne in this way. My second thought was that lots of other dads were perched in front of the TV drinking beer or weren't even around to Because of road conditions, it took longer than usual to drive the 150 assist their children. My third self-congratulatory thought was that I had miles home to Toledo. But I felt pretty serene and happy all the way. If I been a great dad for a long time, as we had previously trekked over to still thought I was a great dad, it was only because Alcoholics Kent State during the five years our oldest son was studying architecture. Anonymous had helped me become what a dad should be. Gratitude My wife and I had also put ourselves out for our other two children and works, if you work it! our young grandchildren as well. Not bad for a sixty-three-year-old dad Mel B .Toledo, Ohio who had once been a high school dropout!


32

Rules for English Usage

Bad Analogies

These rules aren't taught in elementary school.

I saw her sitting at the bar. I approached. "Hello," she said in a voice so husky it could pull a dogsled.

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

Mitzi's wet T-shirt clung to her torso like paint on the nose cone of a jumbo jet.

Avoid clichĂŠs like the plague (they're old hat). Also, always avoid annoying alliteration. Be more or less specific. Remarks in brackets (however relevant) are (usually) (but not always) unnecessary.

The sun rose over the horizon like a great big radioactive baby's head with a bad sunburn, but then again it might just have been that Lisa was always cranky this early in the morning. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies. No sentence fragments. Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous. One should NEVER generalize. Comparisons are as bad as clichĂŠs.

Just like (or as) a bicycle rider lifts his butt from the seat when he sees a bump coming, so Bob pulled back, emotionally, when Alice got angry. She danced with the grace and elegance of a pregnant cow. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

Don't use no double negatives.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice. Kill all exclamation points!!!

The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.

Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.

She was sending me more mixed signals than a dyslexic third-base coach.

Puns are for children, not groan readers.

She felt used and unwanted, like the two chocolate halves of an Oreo cookie after someone has already licked the cream out of them.

Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

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33

Calling in Sick? Here are actual excuses given by people who called in sick (from CareerBuilder.com):

One of the walls in the employee's home fell off the night before.

Employee was poisoned by his mother-in-law.

Employee's mother was in jail.

I'm too fat to get into my work pants.

My wheelchair broke down.

A buffalo escaped from the game reserve and kept charging the employee every time she tried to go to her car from her house. I accidentally flushed my keys down the toilet.

Employee broke his leg snowboarding off his roof while drunk.

Employee was feeling all the symptoms of his expecting wife. Employee called from his cell phone, saying that he was accidentally locked in a restroom stall and that nobody was around to let him out. I had to help deliver a baby on my way to work. Employee broke his leg snowboarding off his roof while drunk. Employee's wife said he couldn't come into work because he had a lot of chores to do around the house. I cut my fingernails too short, they're bleeding and I have to go to the doctor. God didn't wake me.

A skunk got into the employee's house and sprayed all of his uniforms. Employee had a bad case of hiccups. It's way too cold outside to leave the house.

It's way too nice outside to be in the office. I had race tickets for Sunday's race, which was rained out, so they are running it today. Employee blew his nose so hard that his back went out. Employee's horses got loose and were running down the highway. Employee was hit by a bus while walking. Employee's dog swallowed her bus pass. My house lock jammed, and I'm locked in.


34 CHEF LESTER'S SOBER SIDEBOARD

Praise and Blame are Kissing Cousins

Praise and blame often go hand in hand. We all want to be liked. Yet not everyone is going to like us. Some people see us one way…others… another. Dealing with the disapproval of others is hard. Remember the cliché about pleasing all the people all the time. In an election one candidate wins another loses. There were voters who disapproved of the winner. It is humbling. Often in recovery we are trying extra hard to make up for past failings. We make amends, but there is only so much we can do. We each evaluate others differently. Our view is not always the view of others. Many struggle against this unavoidable fact. Remember the story of the three blind men and the elephant? One felt his trunk, one his tail, and the third his leg. Each gave a different description of the elephant. Our approval rating with family, friends, and co-workers is often varied. We need to share. We all have troubles, but telling them to everyone, doesn't work. I remember being told, "Don't tell your troubles to just anyone. 50% aren't interested in YOUR problems and the other 50% think YOU GOT WHAT YOU DESERVE!” Let's face the facts…NOT everyone is going to like us, no matter how SWEET we are. We all want the approval of others. When some folks don't like us we need to develop an attitude of, "that's okay!" It happens to all of us. Then, we can be more grateful and appreciative when we get the approval for which we are hoping. There are days when I receive praise and blame. Someone will rave about my cooking. Someone else won't like it. I once prepared and attempted to serve a meal to a ladies church group. I presented them with one of my signature meals. Only as I started serving this lov-

ingly prepared gourmet meal of sirloin beef tips, apricot glazed carrots, and fresh strawberry pie was I informed over half of these ladies were diabetic vegetarians who were allergic to strawberries! Some folks hire me to speak or cater an affair…others don't! One call brings good news… another bad. One person comments on what a nice person I am and another complains I am selfish because I haven't returned their phone call. Some days you can't win for losing. Approval and disapproval is part of life. I prefer approval over disapproval. However, the more content I become, the less I depend on the approval of others. The food offering in this issue is one I am sure you will appreciate…but if you don't…my life will go on! This delicious gourmet stuffed pork chop entrée has put smiles on lots of sad sack faces. Grab your apron and head for the kitchen.

GOURMET PORK CHOPS (Serves 4) INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons canola oil 4 (2 inch thick) rib pork chops 2 Tbs Dijon mustard mixed with 2 tablespoons fruit jam (orange/apricot-your favorite) 4 thick slices Swiss cheese 8 Tbs thawed frozen spinach 8 thin slices ham 4 toothpicks 1 cup flour 2 cups Japanese bread crumbs (Panko) 3 eggs (beaten) Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

PREPARATION: 1) Heat oven to 400 F. 2) Cut a pocket in the round side of each chop. Lightly salt and pepper each chop then spread some of the mustard/jam mix inside the pocket. 3) Heat the oil to medium in an oven proof fry pan. 4) Top each cheese slice with thawed spinach and wrap with 2 slices of the ham. Tuck a ham package in the slit in the chops and secure with a toothpick. 5) Set out the bowl of beaten eggs then place the flour in a lipped plate and bread crumbs in another. 6) Dredge each chop in flour then dip into the beaten egg. Next press a handful of bread crumbs onto each chop. 7) Fry the chops until lightly brown on each side. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake approximately 20 minutes until done. SERVE: Place chops on a chop platter. We like to use apricot jam for the mustard/jam mixture so we serve and decorate our platter with apricots. Side dishes that are great with this are top of the stove herb stuffing and fresh asparagus. If you want to precede this entrée with a soup we recommend a corn chowder and a great salad would be any combination of salad greens with red and yellow tomatoes. Finish with sorbet and coffee. Call your herd to the table and all the lil' piglets will be oinking your praises with: "That's DEE-licious!" …"Try it…your tummy will be glad you did! ********************* Chef Lester, author, columnist, and television host chef is a graduate of the Culinary Arts Academy. Questions, comments, and suggestions? E-mail: cheflesterlee@yahoo.com

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36

Crime Doesn’t Pay Motorist Stopped by Police For Laughing

A Liverpool motorist was stopped by a police officer and questioned - for laughing at the wheel of his car. Gary Saunders was using a hands-free phone when he burst out laughing at a joke told by his brother-in-law. A few moments later he noticed a traffic officer flashing his lights at him and gesticulating at him to stop his Renault. When Mr Saunders got out of his car, the policeman told him: "Laughing while driving a car can be an offence." The officer spent half an hour questioning the company director and ordered him to produce his licence and other documents at a police station. Mr Saunders, managing director of Spontex Workwear, said the delay meant that he missed an important appointment. "I couldn't believe it when he told me I'd been pulled over for laughing," he said. "I was driving very safely in the Birkenhead Tunnel and took a call." He said something funny and I was laughing - simple as that. I never took my eyes off the road and was in full control of the car. " I definitely wasn't speeding so I asked what the problem was and he told me I was laughing too much." Supt Kevin Hagger, of the Mersey Tunnels Police, said: "There is no record of the incident so it seems the gentleman was just spoken to by the officer and the matter not taken any further."

Convict Caught Breaking Into Prison

An escaped prisoner has been arrested in the US after guards caught him trying to sneak back into the jail. Harry Jackson, 25, was spotted trying to slip back into the prison with 14 packs of cigarettes allegedly stolen from a nearby shop, authorities said. Sheriff Tommy Gregory said Jackson had opened the door to the

Toddler 'grassed up' dad A Canadian marijuana grower was busted - after his 11-month-old son called the police.The 29-year-old man had given the little boy a phone to play with, reports the Globe and Mail. And the little lad accidentally dialled '911' bringing mounties calling to their home in White Rock, British Columbia. Officers, who thought somebody had called them then hung up, broke down the door when their knocks went unanswered." The gentleman was quite surprised," said Constable Janelle Canning. The father insisted he hadn't called the police and claimed his son was far too young to have made the call, until officers saw him playing with the phone.

exercise yard and climbed under a fence to escape, reports the Daily Telegraph. Officers have alleged that Jackson walked a few hundred yards to a convenience store, took the cigarettes, and returned to the prison. Jackson was in jail in Camden County in southeast Georgia for charges including possession of a controlled substance and violating probation. He now faces new charges of breaking out of jail and burglary.

"We saw him playing with the cordless phone and just pressing all the buttons, so evidently he had called 911," Const. Canning said. With that mystery solved, officers began inspecting the residence and soon discovered a 500-plant marijuana farm. The father was arrested and faces drugs charges. His young son was taken into care but later given back to his mother who does not live with the father.


37

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The Recovery Word Search Chef Lester provides great recipes so in his honor we presnt the culinary delight word search. See how many culinary treats you can find.

Signs of the Times


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