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The Solution News Since 1991

September/October 2010


Happy, Joyous and Always Free!!





The Solution News Contents Page 4 - Dave’s Page: What Have We Learned?

Page 24 - Innovative Audio Player

Page 5 - Prevention

Page 25 - Bill Wilson: Experience

Page 6 - Teen Addiction

Page 26 - You Are A Floridian If.....

Page 7 - Parental Influence

Page 27 - You Are A New EnglanderIf...

Page 8 - Hotlines and Helplines

Page 28 - Cumberland Heights

Page 9 - Watershed Page

Page 30 - Mel B. Interview

Page 10 & 11 - Events

Page 31 - Mel B. Interview

Page 12 - College Drinking

Page 32 - Serenity Prayer Analysis

Page 14 - The Wit of James Thurber

Page 33 - Do You Think Too Much?

Page 15 - The Wisdom of Albert Einstein

Page 34 - Chef Lester’s Sober Sideboard

Page 16 - Are You a Recovering Alcoholic?

Page 36 - Holistic Life Coaching

Page 18 - Dorothy Dix on Happiness

Page 37 - Rebecca B.: Evidence of the Unseen

Page 23 - Giri Beck on Meditation

Page 38 - Parting Shots


Dave’s Page

Recovery Month 2010

What Have We Learned? What have we learned about recovery since the sixties? I think we have learned that 12 step programs work. We have learned that there are so many addicts and alcoholics that NA and AA combined could not have begin to handle all those whose new awareness of their problem needs to be addressed. In my lifetime the words “alcoholic” and “addict” have become less negative. We are perceived as people with a treatable disease rather than low life reprobates. The new awareness through the seventies, eighties and nineties has been due to education. So we know that education works.

Recovery Month is an annual observance that takes place during the month of September.The Recovery Month observance highlights the societal benefits of substance abuse treatment, lauds the contributions of treatment providers and promotes the message that recovery from substance abuse in all its forms is possible. The observance also encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective substance abuse treatment for those in need. Recovery Month also serves to educate the public on substance abuse as a national health crisis, that addiction is a treatable disease, and that recovery is possible. Recovery Month highlights the benefits of treatment for not only the affected individual, but for their family, friends, workplace, and society as a whole. Educating the public reduces the stigma associated with addiction and treatment. Accurate knowledge of the disease helps people to understand the importance of supporting treatment programs, those who work within the treatment field, and those in need of treatment.

Hence the advent of treatment centers, half way houses and sober living environments. The combination of the best medical, psychological, clinical and spiritual information in treatment has created a wide ranging industry devoted to education and recovery. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been given the opportunity to spend quality time developing a foundation for recovery in treatment centers.. These centers have become the launching pad for thousands of individuals who have been wise enough to follow-up their treatment with daily adherence to a12 step program. We have learned that treatment and 12 step programs provide the best possible prognosis for recovery for sick and suffering alcoholics and addicts. It it widely known that individuals who leave treatment and immediately involve themselves in a 12 step program have a much better chance of maintaining sobriety. We have learned that people coming out of treatment, in early recovery, do better in a structured sober living environment than living on their own. We have learned that treatment can be costly.

That it is difficult for the indigent, low bottom, poor and hungry addict and alcoholic to receive treatment unless they are mentally ill. We have learned that there is a tremendous need for government subsidized treatment programs for the poor and the more than 25% of all Americans who do not have health insurance. So we have learned that the solution is education, treatment, 12 step program attendance and sober living environments. What we haven’t learned is that the war on drugs is a failure. That locking up pot smokers is an expensive, jail and court clogging joke on nature and our society. By spending the money we spend on the war on drugs and on locking up minor drug offenders on education and treatment, all Americans would have the option of the treatment, 12 step, sober living solution. As members of 12 step fellowships we are encouraged, (or actually our organization is encouraged) not to engage in controversy. But as the responsible members of society we have become as a result of our recovery it is our responsibility to speak out on policies that are literally killing our friends and fellow sufferers. Instead of a “war on drugs” we should start our own “war on institutional ignorance” and begin to educate our leaders on the true nature of addiction and recovery. After all we are the experts on this subject. Let us think of positive ways to pass this message on to our national leaders.Let us understand tht anonymity does not conflict with advocacy. We are all examples of recovery in action and acknowleding this can only help future suffers find the solution. Bill Wilson asked us to “pass it on” and here is a good way to do just that.

5 P

Prevention Needs a Comprehensive, Community Wide Approach Researchers proved years ago that young people who drink before age 15 are four times more likely to develop serious alcohol problems than those who abstain until their 21st birthday. As a result of research such as that, 37 states currently require alcohol and other drug prevention to be taught in their schools. However, it is one thing to mandate prevention education; it is quite another for schools and teachers to come up with the time and resources necessary to fulfill such a requirement. A recent survey of 3,500 U.S. teachers found that when alcohol and drug education gets squeezed in with all the other things demanded of teachers and students, the effectiveness of the message gets squeezed out. The survey was conducted for Join Together, a nonprofit group established at Boston University School of Public Health that is dedicated to effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention and treatment. In 2006, the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future report indicated that 73 percent of U.S. students had used alcohol by the time they reached the 12th grade, and 48 percent had used illicit drugs at some point during their lifetime. Another survey showed that only 12 percent of parents of 12th graders thought their children had tried drugs, while 45 percent guessed they had used alcohol. Although school occupies much of young people's days, Join Together concluded that we cannot rely on overworked teachers to implement programs for which they have neither the training nor the resources. They need help. Forty-four percent of the respondents said they spend less than five hours a year on prevention education; 42 percent said it is taught as part of other courses; and 32 percent said prevention is taught inconsistently if at all.

Although schools can and should play a role in prevention education, Join Together concluded they "should not be relied upon to act as the principal provider of general prevention programs." What works best, they said, is a comprehensive community prevention strategy that includes parents and other social institutions. Schools should also work with parents and these institutions to identify and support students who exhibit early behavior patterns that might be precursors to adolescent substance abuse.

Communities can help prevention efforts by implementing strategies that help reduce underage drinking, such as raising alcohol taxes (the five states with the highest beer taxes have much lower rates of teen binge drinking); tightening the age and terms of drivers' licenses for adolescents; adopting social host laws where adults who serve alcohol to minors are held accountable; controlling the number of alcohol outlets in a particular area; and doing frequent compliance checks to deter sales to minors. Instead of wasting time and money on inef-

fective prevention strategies, Join Together recommends that schools adopt proven prevention programs that are researched-based, involve parents and community, offer teacher training and support, and use interactive teaching methods. They also suggest that teachers have easy access to prevention materials, and such information be supplemented in after-school and extra-curricular activities. Ideally, schools should also offer opportunities where older students are trained to help teach younger students about alcohol and drug abuse. Finally, when teachers and administrators have substance abuse prevention education specified as part of their job, their performance should be included in their formal evaluations. "As the leading publisher of research-based prevention programs, Hazelden knows from experience how effective such programs are in reducing adolescent alcohol and drug use," said Marty Harding, prevention specialist at Hazelden. "But it takes a solid commitment from communities and schools to provide the time and resources necessary so such strategies can be put into action. Select the programs carefully and make sure teachers are given enough training and time to implement them. And be sure to involve parents. When parents, schools, and community join forces and send consistent messages to our young people, it empowers them to make responsible choices, and amazing things can happen." Go to (click on "Get Involved" and "Resources") to access the complete report, "Prevention Education in America's Schools: Findings and Recommendations from a Survey of Educators." --Published October 29, 2007

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.�



Changes in Brain Increase Teen Risk of Drug Addiction A recent study from Yale University suggests experiment with drugs than people in other age that drug addiction is a developmental disorder, groups. And, those experiments are more likely one that affects adolescents in particular. The to produce addiction. reason: Areas of a teenager's brain that control impulsive behavior are not fully formed, while brain circuits that reinforce drug use are already in high gear. Dr. R. Andrew Chambers, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, led the study, which was published in the June 2003 issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry. Chambers and his colleagues based their findings on a review of 140 earlier studies of addiction and brain development. During adolescence, the human brain begins to release more chemicals associated with new experiences and the desire to repeat them. One of the chemicals is dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in many forms of addiction. Activities that increase dopamine production are highly reinforcing. These activities lead primitive parts of the brain to broadcast a message--in effect: That feels good. Do it again. Overall, this change in brain chemistry serves a positive purpose. Adolescents need to increase their range of experiences and develop many new skills. Instead of playing with toy cars, for example, adolescents learn to drive a real car. They need experiences like these in order to become independent, self-regulating adults in the future. The problem is that adolescent brains reinforce novel experiences in ways that are much stronger--and longer lasting--than those experienced by children or adults. Also, areas of the brain that adults use to weigh the risks of behaviors are still developing in adolescents. The bottom line: Teenagers are more likely to

hol and other drug use, the less their chance of becoming addicted. Previous research, including a January 1998 study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), links early drug use with significantly higher risk of addiction. Programs to prevent drug use must start early, before kids become teenagers. Second, we can no longer afford to dismiss teenage drug experiments as harmless rites of passage. Even a single incident of alcohol or other drug use can have implications for a lifetime. It means early intervention programs for substance abusers are increasingly important. The NIAAA reports that nearly 50 percent of adolescents have had at least one drink by the time they reach the eighth grade--and over 20 percent report having been drunk.

Third, we need to look beyond genetic influences and peer pressure to use drugs as sources of addiction risk. "Several lines of evidence suggest that sociocultural aspects particular to adolescent life alone do not fully account for greater drug intake," says Chambers. The Yale study, he adds, confirms that "a neurodevelopmental stage common to virtually everyone regardless of genetic make-up confers enhanced neurobio"We used to think that the brain you're born with logical vulnerability to addiction." is essentially the brain you live with for the rest of your life," says Stuart Reedy, supervisor of Finally, Reedy points out, "among teenagers Intake Services at the Hazelden Center for who enter treatment for addiction, many of the Youth and Families in Plymouth, Minn. "Now behaviors that we might view as ‘out of control' we know that's not true. The so-called executive are simply adolescent behaviors--products of a functions of the brain are still under construc- developing brain. While in treatment, teenagers tion during adolescence, while the limbic sys- often need more external controls and structures tem, which is tied to strong emotion, is already than we give to adults. When we remember this, we're more likely to provide treatment that active." works." The Yale study has four key implications. --Published Jan. 26, 2004 First, the longer that adolescents can delay alco-


Parents Can Influence Children's Choices Regarding Alcohol The great American humorist and writer Mark Twain once said, "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

nurturing a child's positive self-image. While that task may seem daunting, various government agencies offer free guides to help parents and caregivers promote healthy lifestyles and open up the lines of communication with chil-

Contrary to what exasperated parents of teenagers may often think and feel, family attitudes and behaviors do play an important role in shaping the choices young people make. As the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) points out, a large body of research shows that, even during the teen years, parents have an enormous influence on their children's behaviors, values and decisions about drinking. Now researchers at Iowa State University also say that a child's future alcohol use may be directly influenced by a parent's expectations about alcohol consumption. In analyzing data obtained from a series of interviews with about 800 Iowa mothers and their children, Stephanie Madon, ISU psychology professor and lead author, and a team of researchers found strong evidence that a mother's beliefs regarding her child's likelihood of using alcohol altered her child's self-view in either a positive or negative direction. In other words, if a mother believes her child will use alcohol, there is an increased likelihood that the belief will become reality. "What people believe ultimately has an impact on what actually occurs," Madon said. "But it's not just because they believe it. It's not magic. When we believe something--even if it's wrong-and when we believe it's true, we act as though it is. And sometimes when you act as though something's true, your behaviors will cause the belief to become true. So I think the moral here is to help children develop positive and prosocial concepts about themselves, because children are likely to make choices that match how they view themselves." It's never too early to begin the important job of

Blocks teaches adults to better communicate with children; how to be more involved in their day-to-day activities; how to set and enforce rules; how to be positive role models; how to help children choose friends; and how to do regular check-ins with children. Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol is a booklet by NIAAA geared to parents and guardians of young people ages 10 to 14. Among other things, it provides strategies for communicating with teens about alcohol, ways to spot warning signs of potential drinking problems, and the necessary actions to help teens resist alcohol. The authors say every conversation can be a "win-win" experience if adults communicate without lecturing, actively listen without interrupting, ask open-ended questions, and keep emotions in check when they hear something they don't like.

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." -----Mark Twain dren so they will make informed, responsible choices. For example, Building Blocks for a Healthy Future is an early childhood substance abuse prevention program developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration designed for the parents of children age three to six. The materials are based on six action steps that relate directly to what researchers and prevention professionals term family-related "protective factors." Building

"When children have a strong bond with a parent, they are apt to feel good about themselves and therefore be less likely to give in to peer pressure to use alcohol," according to the booklet. "When the relationship between a parent and teen is full of conflict or is very distant, the teen is more likely to use alcohol and to develop drinking-related problems." Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol and Building Blocks are available online at the NIAAA Web site. Hazelden also offers a wide range of prevention resources for parents in its online bookstore. Someone once said that raising teenagers is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. Parenting is a tough job, but parents need to know that their positive efforts can translate into healthy behaviors. The tools and information provided by these and other resources should make the job a little easier. Published October 27, 2008


Hotlines and Helplines AA BROWARD COUNTY AA FLORIDA KEYS AA HOTLINE, North Palm Beach

954-462-0265 305-296-8654 561-655-5700

AA HOTLINE, South Palm Beach AA HOTLINE Broward

561-276-4581 954-462-0265


954-746-2055 954-746-2055 305-292-8445 800-500-1119















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954-779-7272 800-254-1333 800-848-3792 763-537-6904 800-426-7711


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954.925.4068 813-878-2906

800-510-5553 407-276-4581 1-866-325-0500 352-392-4700 800-891-1740 800-891-0707


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




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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 News published by Sobersolution 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 are those of the contributors. We seek to attract advertisers who represent their products and services with integrity but we urge readers to be wise consumers.


RNS & LPNS For Admissions Department We are looking for Florida licensed LPNS and RNS who are friendly & compassionate and able to work with alcoholics and addicts. The hours are a mix of evenings and nights with weekend work involved. We are also looking for an RN to supervise the clinical aspects of the department and work as an integral part of an allied health professional’s team.


Behavioral Health Techs

Are you looking for a place where the concept of "team" has deeper meaning? We are looking for caring, insightful therapists who are committed to the highest quality care for our patients and who have the desire to support those who are struggling with addiction. Our facilities offer our patients comfortable and safe surroundings to begin their journey of recovery. The Watershed is Joint Commission accredited and fully licensed by the State of Florida. Our therapists provide individual and group counseling to patients in our inpatient treatment program. The therapist is able to develop a relationship with the patient that begins in detox and lasts throughout the entire length of stay. The therapist functions within the limits of their licensure, registration and/or certification. Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Masters Degree in a health-related discipline; licensed and/or accredited applicants preferred. Experience with chemical dependency and/or dual diagnosis programs preferred. The Watershed welcomes recovering individuals to apply! Recovering individuals must have a minimum of 1 full year of abstinence from drugs/alcohol to eligible for employment.

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. People with their own personal recovery experience are encouraged to apply! Must have a minimum of 12 months of sobriety.

Alumni Coordinators

We are currently seeking hard working, customer service oriented individuals with excellent communication skills to become members of our team. The Call-Back Representatives will work collaboratively with the Admissions Coordinators in order to admit new patients into our treatment facilities. This position involves making follow-up calls to individuals who have previously called The Watershed seeking treatment but were never admitted into our facility. Our goal is to reach out to those who may have avoided treatment in the past and assist them with their struggles of addiction, by offering our treatment services. This position is full-time with some weekends involved & located in our Delray Beach, corporate building.A year or more of 12step recovery experience is very beneficial to anyone working in this position. Prior call-center and/or healthcare experience are a plus!

The Watershed’s newest department is that of the Alumni coordinators! Coordinators main focus is in making contact with ALL of Watershed’s 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.

Call-Back Representatives

The Watershed is a Drug Free Workplace and an Equal Opportunity Employer. For more information, please visit: To apply, please go to

Watershed alumni - you don’t want to miss this!!!!

Are you a graduate of The Watershed Treatment Programs? Do you have an interest in personal growth in your recovery? Would you like to be able to help others, even as you were helped? If the answer to any or all of these questions is "YES", then we want to hear from you! The Watershed has a unique one of a kind ALUMNI PROGRAM that is quite literally filled with events, activities & services for you!! It is a place to find support, fellowship and numerous ways for you to be able to reach out and help others. We currently have over 3,100 registered alumni members around the country and we want YOU to be a part of this community! We also have an Alumni Family Outreach Program for YOUR family members to offer them the same connection and support with each other that now numbers just under 2,400!!! As promised .the NEW WATERSHED ALUMNI WEB SITE has begun!!! It includes a NEW FAMILY WEB SITE as well! To register either for the Alumni or Family site, just go to today! You will find a place to register under "ALUMNI" and a place to register under "FAMILY". For each site, there are security measures and a verification process in place to insure that "only alumni" are on the Alumni site and "only families" are on the family site. This is a SOCIAL web site, where you will be able to chat, create groups and meetings, upload videos, create photo albums, find local meetings, be up to date on events, access the new Alumni Magazine, the monthly Alumni Newsletter and Life Saver’s Club Newsletter, and SO MUCH MORE! Those of you already registered; do you remember receiving LOTS of emails from us?? Well, NO MORE! There will now be an email sent out ONCE A MONTH to let you know of all that is happening for the next 30 days and what to look for on the site. EVERYTHING will now be located on the web site. We hope that you will get involved with alumni if you aren’t already. 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 attend. If you are a new alumnus with less than 90 days in recovery, we have special support meetings just for you! The ALUMNI SUPPORT meeting at THE WATERSHED APARTMENTS in Lake Worth, FL on THURSDAY nights, from 5:30 to 6:45pm under the tent by the pool. ALL ALUMNI with less than 90 days should attend so that you can gain important information related to your early recovery AND so that you can receive a 90 day medallion. 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 an 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 and go to Human Resources to place an "on line" application. *You need to have 1yr. clean and sober for most positions* We look forward to hearing from you! You can contact Rebecca Balko at: (or write) 200 Congress Park Dr. Suite 101 Delray Beach, FL 33445 (PHONE: 877-416-9566 ext.88204)


Events November 20, 2010 21st Annual SPBC Intergroup Gratitude Dinner. 6pm - 10pm. Embassy Suites 661 NW 53 Street, Boca Raton (561) 994-8200 There will be 450 tickets at $36 each (tables of 10) and will be sold at the September 30th Intergroup Business Meeting. This is the most popular event of the fall season so get with your groups early to plan to buy a table.

November 5, 6 & 7, 2010 17th ANNUAL COSTA RICA INTERNATIONAL AA CONVENTION Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica AA Meetings, Banquet, Spiritual meetings, Sunday Brunch, Beach, Speakers, fun, English speaking meetings with translation available for those who do not speak English HOTEL MONO AZUL Registration Package starts at $120US, includes two nights hotel and five meals For more registration information, please contact Jennifer For more information, please visit:

Certified by The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling, Board of Addiction Professionals Feel Free To Explore Our Website: Or Give Us A Call:


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April 8, 9 & 10, 2011 54th ANNUAL ALL IRELAND CONVENTION Letterkenny County Donegal Marathon Meetings All Weekend Open Meeting Friday Saturday International Meeting Service Meeting, Meet the Board Public Information Meeting Dance Sunday Round Ireland Meeting Closing Meeting CLANREE HOTEL Tele: (00353) - 74 9-124-3699 For more information:


Changing the Culture of Drinking on College Campuses At its Web site, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says the tradition of drinking on college campuses has developed into a culture entrenched in every level of college students' environments. "Customs handed down through generations of college drinkers reinforce students' expectations that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for social success," NIAAA states. The NIAAA says that these beliefs and the expectations that come with them greatly influence how students view and use alcohol. Keg parties, drunken scenes at sporting events, and weekend get-togethers at bars have become the norm at many colleges. Too often, otherwise sensible young people engage in dangerous drinking activities because of peer pressure that permeates their school environment. But a custom or tradition is not a predisposition. High school students don't graduate hardwired to binge drink, so the key is to challenge those longstanding expectations and change the culture of drinking on college campuses. To help do this, the NIAAA established the Task Force on College Drinking, a blue-ribbon panel of college presidents, scientists and students who conducted a comprehensive review of research on college drinking and the effectiveness of methods to prevent it. Among other things, the Task Force concluded that a change in drinking culture requires intervention at three levels: the individual-student, the entire student body, and the community. Because no two schools are alike, programs must be tailored to address each school's specific alcohol-related problems. The Task Force is confident that this approach can provide schools with techniques that will enable them to realistically assess alcohol-related problems, develop well-documented programs to prevent and reduce the problems, and define measurable outcomes to reflect success or make adjustments. Data from several national surveys indicate that

about four in five college students drink and that about two of every five college students in the past two weeks engaged in binge drinking (defined as consuming five or more drinks in a

BACCHUS Network, which began in 1975 as a student leadership group at the University of Florida. BACCHUS, which is an acronym for "Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students," focuses on providing peer education. More than 32,000 student leaders and advisors work with over 8 million peers on more than 900 campuses to promote healthy and safe lifestyle decisions about alcohol abuse, tobacco use, illegal drug use, unhealthy sexual practices, and other high-risk behaviors. Through the years, BACCHUS has developed a host of prevention materials, and it offers trainings, hosts conferences, and provides speakers on a variety of topics. One basic prevention strategy promoted by BACCHUS is the positive social norms approach. By conducting research and surveys about students' attitudes and behaviors, colleges can determine the "true norms" on their campus, such as "most students don't binge when they drink." The next step is to communicate the true norm to students, with the hope that awareness of those norms will change perceptions about alcohol use and encourage students to rethink their decisions about abusing alcohol.

row for men and four or more in a row for women). As NIAAA points out, at least 1,400 college student deaths a year are linked to alcohol. High-risk drinking also results in serious injuries, assaults, and other health and academic problems. It is a major factor in damage to institutional property. All students (whether they drink or not) and the community feel the ripple effects of campus alcohol problems. As the NIAAA Task Force emphasizes, the culture of college drinking is counter to the culture The Task Force acknowledges that changing a of learning. Although there are no easy answers culture is no easy matter, and it expresses great to high-risk college drinking, the Task Force empathy for college administrators who seek to states that: "More educators are acknowledging implement prevention programs. While interest the existence of a problem. Researchers are disaround prevention efforts is keen and immediate covering new approaches for responding, and if a student dies as a result of excessive drink- communities are becoming aware of their vital ing, the drive to make deep changes or explore role in prevention. Through committed collaboroot causes often wanes after a crisis recedes. It rative efforts grounded in research and supporttakes time and energy to implement an effective, ed by institutional leadership, the Task Force is research-based prevention program, and it is convinced that the culture of drinking at U.S. essential that administrators obtain external sup- colleges and universities can be changed." port from the community, alcohol beverage and hospitality industries, foundations, and other To view the entire Task Force report and recomorganizations. mended strategies for change about college drinking, go to www.collegedrinkingprevenOne organization that has enjoyed success in the For information on the BACCHUS area of alcohol awareness and prevention is the Network, visit

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A CHRIST CENTERED 12 STEP PROGRAM Every Tuesday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm RSVP for Free Childcare New Children’s Recovery Celebration Station FUMC,625 Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton, FL 33432

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



The Wit of James Thurber A drawing is always dragged down to the level It is better to know some of the questions than The dog has got more fun out of Man than Man of its caption. all of the answers. has got out of the dog, for the clearly demonstrable reason that Man is the more laughable of the A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't Laughter need not be cut out of anything, since two animals. make sense. it improves everything. Last night I dreamed of a small consolation All men kill the thing they hate, too, unless, of Love is the strange bewilderment that overtakes enjoyed only by the blind: Nobody knows the course, it kills them first. one person on account of another person. trouble I've not seen! All men should strive to learn before they die, Man has gone long enough, or even too long, what they are running from, and to, and why. without being man enough to face the simple truth that the trouble with man is man. Boys are beyond the range of anybody's sure understanding, at least when they are between the ages of 18 months and 90 years. Discussion in America means dissent. Don't get it right, just get it written. Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. He who hesitates is sometimes saved. Humor is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our greatest earliest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost. Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility. I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance - a sharp, vindictive glance. I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere. I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, Man is flying too fast for a world that is round. sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what Soon he will catch up with himself in a great sort of allergy I had but finally came to the con- rear end collision. clusion that it must be an allergy to conscious Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation. I'm 65 and I guess that puts me in with the geriatrics. But if there were fifteen months in every Old age is the most unexpected of all the things year, I'd only be 48. That's the trouble with us. that can happen to a man. We number everything. Take women, for example. I think they deserve to have more than One martini is all right. Two are too many, and twelve years between the ages of 28 and 40. three are not enough.

The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his. The most dangerous food is wedding cake. The only rules comedy can tolerate are those of taste, and the only limitations those of libel. The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess. The sanity of the average banquet speaker lasts about two and a half months; at the end of that time he begins to mutter to himself, and calls out in his sleep. The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself, but in so doing, he identifies himself with people - that is, people everywhere, not for the purpose of taking them apart, but simply revealing their true nature. There are two kinds of light - the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception. There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else. Unless artists can remember what it was to be a little boy, they are only half complete as artist and as man. Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?

Why do you have to be a nonconformist like If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that Progress was all right. Only it went on too long. everybody else? certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons. Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound With sixty staring me in the face, I have develto lead to confusion and unhappiness. oped inflammation of the sentence structure and It is better to have loafed and lost, than never to definite hardening of the paragraphs. have loafed at all.


The Wisdom of Albert Einstein I believe that a simple and unassuming manner A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; of life is best for everyone, best both for the what else does a man need to be happy? body and the mind. All religions, arts and sciences are branches of I cannot imagine a God who rewards and pun- the same tree. ishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded I do not believe in the God of theology who the individual. rewards good and punishes evil. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity. I never think of the future - it comes soon enough. I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world. I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion. I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either. As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue. Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish. Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized. Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler. Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.

Force always attracts men of low morality.

An empty stomach is not a good political advisGod always takes the simplest way. If we knew what it was we were doing, it would er. not be called research, would it? God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and Gravitation is not responsible for people falling more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and in love. If you can't explain it simply, you don't under- a lot of courage to move in the opposite direc- Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. tion. stand it well enough. A man should look for what is, and not for what Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attenhe thinks should be. tion it deserves. A person who never made a mistake never tried Any man who reads too much and uses his own A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. or are the others crazy?

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.


Are You A Recovering Alcoholic? 20 Questions That Only You Can Answer To find out, ask yourself the following questions, and answer them as honestly as you can. 1. Do you find more time for work these days? 2. Has your home life become happier? 3. Do you find that you are less shy with other people? 4. Is the fact that you are not now drinking affecting your reputation positively? 5. Are you waking up in the morning without guilt and remorse? 6. Are your financial difficulties becoming easier to manage? 7. Do you turn to sober companions and a superior environment? 8. Are you now more concerned with your family's welfare? 9. Has your ambition increased? 10. Do you have a craving to pray and meditate at a definite time daily? 11. Do you feel gratitude when you wake up in the morning? 12. Do you sleep better? 13. Is your efficiency increasing? 14. Is not-drinking affecting you positively in your job or busi ness? 15. Do you deal with your troubles and worries head-on? 16. Do you find it easier to live with yourself? 17. Is your memory improving? 18. Has your doctor recently commented on improvement in your health? 19. Is your self-confidence increasing? 20. Have you ever been asked to share your story with others? If you have answered YES to one of the above questions, you just may be a recovering alcoholic. If you have answered YES to two, it is probable that you are a recovering alcoholic. If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely a recovering alcoholic. (AA GRAPEVINE, October 1983) Most of us, by the time we get around to answering these questions, average more than 15 yes answers . . . I got all 20 . . . after my sponsor pointed out that I had finally quit snivelling and had worked All the Steps!!

NO RECOVERY - NO FEE OR COSTS 660 E. Linton Blvd., Ste. 200-7 Delray Beach, FL 33444 ********** 6100 West Atlantic Blvd., Ste. 5 Margate, FL 33063 ********** 3353 West Mallory Blvd. Jupiter, FL 33458

Call Eliot M. Bader At:



The Watershed WELCOMES YOU to become a member of our newest and most innovative program yet‌.............. THE LIFE SAVER'S CLUB!!! In its most condensed definition - The Life Saver's Club is a service that allows its members, (YOU), the tools and support to help those people in your life currently caught in the grips of the progressive and fatal disease of addiction‌to get the very life saving help that they need. Along with this, the Life Saver's Club will also provide its members, (YOU), with services and information to benefit your life and enable us to recognize you and thank you for the efforts put forth in saving the life of another. The Watershed desires to have (YOU) become a part of this ground breaking, one of a kind opportunity. Because of this, becoming a member is fast and easy! Simply go to our web - and click on the (Life Saver logo). You will then be prompted to a registration form to complete and then click "submit". It's just that simple! As a member you will have resources to begin accessing information for support, to answer questions and enable you in your efforts to help others get the assistance that they need. Upon registering, you will receive a packet with information, Life Saver's Club Assistance cards to aid you in helping others and a gift just for joining! There is also a gift for making referrals, and in the event your referral comes in to the Watershed for treatment - A brick with you name will be placed at a designated site at our Palm Beach facility, to memorialize a life that has been saved. (On the Life Saver's Club site you will be able to see the names of our members, those who've made referrals and those who will have been a part of saving a life.) If the person you are trying to help is someone that will not be able to come in to treatment at The Watershed, no worries! We have a full time Resource Staff that will be ready to help that person locate treatment in their area that will fit into whatever budget or financial situation they may have. The Watershed cares about those suffering and desires to help them in whatever way possible. To refer someone for help there are several options: You can call "with them" to #1-877-97-LIVES; You can call "for them" to get things started or simply provide them with the Life Saver's Club Assistance Card that you will receive. You do NOT have to be an Alumnus of The Watershed to join. The Life Saver's Club is open to anyone that wishes to be a part of saving the lives of individuals caught in the grips of addiction. We look forward to hearing from YOU soon!


Miss Dix’s Dictates for a Happy Life Dorothy Dix (November 18, 1861 – December 16, 1951), was the pseudonym of U.S. journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer. As the forerunner of today's popular advice columnists, Dorothy Dix was America's highest paid and most widely read female journalist at the time of her death. Her advice on marriage was syndicated in newspapers around the world. With an estimated audience of 60 million readers, she became a popular and recognized figure on her travels abroad. Like today’s advice columnists "Dear Abby" and "Ann Landers," Dorothy Dix often received requests to reprint some of her columns. During World War II, one of the most requested columns was her ten rules for happiness.

They are: First. Make up your mind to be happy. Happiness is largely a matter of self-hypnotism. You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself miserable. It is up to you...learn to find pleasure in simple things. If you can’t go to the opera, you can turn on the radio. Nail on your face the smile that won’t come off, and after a bit you will find that it comes naturally.

the end. It is a queer thing, but imaginary troubles are harder to bear than actual ones. There are none of us who have not lain awake at night petrified with dread of some calamity that we feared might befall us and that we felt would shatter our lives if it should occur. Generally it never happened, but if it did, it was not so bad after all and we survived it without serious injury. Enjoy today and let tomorrow take care of itself. There is no sounder adage than that which bids us not to trouble trouble until trouble troubles us. The only good that worrying ever did anyone was make him thin. It is grand for the figure but hard on the disposition. Sixth. Don’t cherish enmities and grudges. Don’t keep up old quarrels. Don’t remember all the mean things people have done to you. Forget them. Hate is a dreadful chemical that we distill in our own hearts, that poisons our own souls. It takes all the joy out of life and hurts us far worse than it does anyone else. There is nothing so depressing as having a grudge against someone. Nothing makes a home so miserable as for the family not to be on good terms. Meeting someone you don’t speak to will spoil any party. So if you have an enemy, forgive him and kiss on both cheeks, not for his sake but simply because it is to making you unhappy and uncomfortable to be stirred up in wrath against him.

Second. Make the best of your lot. Seventh. Keep in circulation. Of course, you’re not everything you want and things are not just right. Nobody is that lucky. Even the most fortunate have a lot of crumpled rose leaves under their forty mattresses of ease. There isn’t a single human being who hasn’t plenty to cry over, and the trick is to make the laughs outweigh the tears.

Go around and meet people. Belong to clubs. Travel as much as you can. Have as many interests as possible. Have hosts of friends. That is the way to keep yourself cheerful and jolly and thinking that this is the best of all possible worlds.

Third. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Eighth. Don’t hold post-mortems.

Don’t think that everything that happens to you is of world-shaking importance and that somehow you should have been protected from the misfortunes that befall other people. When death robs you of one you love, or you lose your job, don’t demand to know of high heaven why this should happen to you and grow rebellious and morbid over your sorrow. We are never happy until we learn to laugh at ourselves.

Don’t spend your life brooding over the mistakes you have made or the sorrows that have befallen on you. What is done is done and cannot be changed, but you can have your whole future life in which to make good. Not all the tears can bring back those we have lost, but we can make life miserable for ourselves and those about us by our unavailing weeping. Quit beating upon your breast because you haven’t as much money as you used to have. Don’t be one of those who never get over things. Have the courage to take misfortune on the chin and come up smiling.

Fourth. Don’t take other people too seriously. They are not so much, anyway. Don’t let their criticisms worry you. You can’t please everybody, so please yourself. Don’t let your neighbors set your standards for you. Don’t run into debt trying to keep up with the Joneses, or bore yourself to death trying to be as intelligent as the Highbrows. Be yourself and do the things you enjoy doing if you want to be comfortable and happy.

Ninth. Do something for somebody less fortunate than yourself. Minister to other people’s trouble and you will forget your own. Happiness is a coin that we keep only when we give it away. Tenth. Keep busy.

Fifth. Don’t borrow trouble. You have to pay compound interest on that and it will bankrupt you in

That is the sovereign remedy for unhappiness. Hard work is a panacea for trouble. You never saw a very busy person who was unhappy.


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OCEANBREEZE COTTAGES Safe Supportive Living Delray Beach, FL Cell 561-523-2806 Call for Info

Tel 561-495-1001 Fax 561-495-1002




National Board Certified Counselor EMDRA trained and certified Clinical Hypnotherapist Specializing in Trauma and Healing for Individuals and Families Curriculum Development and trainer/supervisor of a nationally recognized Recovery Coach Online Training Program Featured in documentary “Sobriety First”, local and state news, Vanity Fair Magazine and the New York Times for community and professional contributions

Holistic Life Coach Specializing In: Recovery/Addiction/Trauma Group & Individual Therapy Clinical Hypnotherapy, EMDR, Recovery Coach Training Offering “koffee and kounseling” as a free service to the community at Gizzies Coffee (2275 S.Federal Hwy, Delray Beach) every Tuesday from 7- 9, all seekers welcome! WEB SITE: EMAIL: FAX: 561.999.8853 OFFICE: 6699 South Federal Hwy, Suite 103, Boca Raton, FL 33487

Phone: 561-542-0941

Giri Beck


Benefits of Meditation

"We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.' Those of us practicing a 12-step program recognize this as the 11th step. The step is clear, it states prayer and meditation, yet how many in the fellowship are actually practicing meditation on a regular basis? Sadly, the answer is, not many. I feel that if people only realized the many profound benefits of meditation, they would have the willingness to develop a daily practice. In no time at all, after feeling the benefits, they would definitely want to keep it up. We are free to choose the type of meditation that suits us from the many styles that are available. I do come across clients who are listening to "guided visualization" CD's that are on the market. These are great and I encourage you to use them. Speaking in a classical sense though, they are not really meditation, as they do not require you to train your mind through any deep concentration. The classical form of meditation that I instruct people in is designed to train our unwieldy minds. Many of us have not been "masters" of our minds, but rather "servants." Alas, there is a way to finally step up as the "chairperson of the committee" in your head. When the mind has been trained to be calm and still, we are able to "hear" information coming from a "higher" place, rather than the ego. With the help of meditation, we can gain knowledge of the Self (with a big S). Meditation is the road to the attainment of freedom, without it, we cannot liberate ourselves from the trappings of the mind. Part of my work is as a facilitator of Transformational Breath (Registered Trademark) In our seminars, we ask the participants what spiritual practices they are using. We hear things like, prayer, walking in nature, reading spiritual material, dancing, chanting, breathwork and selfless service - great. These are all wonderful practices, but are all objective - doing & expressing, they are of a masculine nature. Meditation is more subjective - going in and receiving, it is of a feminine nature. In the beginning, it is a form of concentration, but eventually, all effort ceases. Our western society typically does not support "being" rather than "doing." If we are to have a balanced spiritual life, both are necessary. We ask folks how they feel when they meditate vs. how they feel when they don't. These are typical responses. When Do When Don't connected crazy peaceful stressed happier irritated energy scattered clarity confused complete tired aware angry centered joyless balanced alone focused separate content restless In your value system, which list is you? How much time would it take to change? What's your excuse for not meditating? Are you ready to have more joy in your life now? The meaning of life is found by diving deep within. We can let ourselves become so distracted by our busy lives, we seldom stop, even for a moment, to notice what is going on inside. The mind is being constantly stimulated by the bombardment of perceptions from the senses. Very often, it is not until a person reaches a point of great distress that he realizes it is time to stop and take stock of what is happening in his life.

Meditation is the practice by which there is a constant observation of the mind. It involves setting aside a regular time and place for the specific purpose of discovering that infinite well of wisdom that lies within. In meditating regularly, the mind becomes clearer and clearer, and motives become more and more pure. The subconscious releases hidden knowledge that allows understanding of the ways in which we bind ourselves in daily habits. The ego is slowly eradicated on a broader awareness of the universe and one's relationship to it. Ultimately, the intuitive forces are released, leading to a life of wisdom and peace. Among the benefits of meditation are: inner peace, peace of mind, balanced state of mind, concentration, connection with Self and all, clarity of purpose, and Self-realization. The main practice is to meditate daily, without expectation. You must experience meditation for yourself. Like sleeping, you cannot really teach someone, but you can help someone create the conditions for meditation to happen. Simple steps to begin your practice 1. Set aside a special place for meditation. (keep clean and free of clutter) 2. Choose a time when the mind will be free of everyday concerns (dawn and dusk are ideal) 3. Using same time & place each day conditions the mind to slow down more quickly. 4. Sit with your back, neck and head in a straight line. If possible, sit cross-legged on a mat on the floor. Elevate your hips with a cushion to release the knees. If this is not comfortable for you in the beginning, you may sit up straight in a chair with feet on the floor, crossed at the ankles. If you practice the classical yoga postures regularly, you will find your body is prepared to sit cross-legged on the floor. 5. Instruct your mind to remain quiet for the duration of your meditation session. 6. Regulate your breathing-start with a couple of minutes of deep breathing into the abdomen (through the nose if possible). Then, slow the breath down. 7. Establish a rhythmic breathing pattern-inhaling for 3 seconds, exhaling for 3 seconds. 8. At first, let your mind wander, it will only grow more restless if you force it to concentrate. 9. Now, bring your mind to rest on a chosen focal point (point between the eyebrows for the more intellectual type, or at the heart center for someone with a more emotional/devotional nature). 10. Apply a chosen technique, (either focusing on your breathing coming in and out, or mentally repeating a mantra like om or any other sacred word or phrase). If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the point of concentration over and over again with no judgment. This is the practice. Begin practicing for 5 minutes twice per day, and gradually, as you become established in the habit, increase your time to 20-30 minutes. You will notice benefits in no time. Excerpts taken from "Meditation & Mantras" by Swami Vishnudevananda. Next Issue: Understanding the Mechanics of the Mind Support for your meditation practice

Giri Bek is a certified Yoga & Meditation instructor, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Transformational Breath (Registered Trademark) facilitator offering classes, workshops & retreats in NY and Florida. She is a certified Yoga of Recovery (Trademark) Counselor and member of the Alliance for Addiction Solutions. Giri has been in recovery for over 16 years.

24 I

Innovative Audio Player Helps Addicts Get Sober John Laus' office on Northwest Third Avenue resembles a laboratory focused on identifying the underlying causes of addictions and finding ways to prevent relapses. It's where addicts can find the Recovery Pod, an MP3 player made by Laus' company, Life Addictions, that features 12 messages of clarity, hope, know-how and meditation. Laus, a certified recovery specialist, came to the city five years ago to get sober after developing drug and alcohol addictions. "My family spent over $20,000 to help me get clean," he said. "I thought there's got to be a better, cheaper way, and for the next three years I worked on developing the Recovery Pod." The Recovery Pod comes preprogrammed and charged and has a fold-out laminated guide. Laus said it's much cheaper than traditional means of recovery, selling for $97. The device uses what he calls "neuro-linguistic programming" and is effective, he said, because it's an audio-visual tool that focuses on repetition. Each Recovery Pod contains 12 tracks that can be paused, fast-forwarded and rewound, just like an iPod. The Recovery Pod has caught on with drug addiction consultants, former addicts and even rehabilitation services, with the latter using the device to supplement their programs. Phil Diaz, a Boynton Beach resident and human services consultant, is offering the device to people ravaged by addiction. Diaz was the lead federal official for Drug Prevention USA under President George H.W. Bush and also served under Bill Bennett, the former Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He said the device gives addicts a tool to use when they feel temptation and need a stronger voice. "This Recovery Pod is the most state-of-

the-art tool in addiction recovery," Diaz said. "With John's personal experience with drug addiction and professional training, this is cutting-edge stuff." While Laus has only had the drug and alcohol portions of the Recovery Pod on the market for the past couple of months, there are plans to introduce Recovery Pods dealing with gambling, food addiction and just about anything anyone could indulge in and cause harm to their personal life. Laus has added public relations assistant Santiago Roman to his team and is advertising the Recovery Pod with brochures at the Delray Beach Public Library, Crossroads Club, Shining Through and Koffeeokee. "The great thing about this recovery product is that it's with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Roman said. "It's there when a counselor can't be and no one knows what you're listening to." Recently, Laus received a visit from a northeast Florida couple who had come to the city so that the man could find help for a drug addiction. "They found my brochure for the Recovery Pod at Crossroads Club," Laus said. "We immediately set up a meeting and he left with his Drug Recovery Pod that morning. He really likes it, because it parallels the program they're running at his rehab. It's a selfcontained unit that he takes to the gym and a supplemental tool for meetings and treatments."

For more information on the Life Addictions Recovery Pod: call John Laus at 717-991-4755 e-mail him at or visit

Just Hanging Out Clifford was leaning up against the fence, enjoying a beautiful view from the top of the Grand Canyon, when the wooden posts suddenly ripped from their cement moorings. Seconds later, Clifford was plunging down into the abyss. Halfway to the bottom his desperate arm-waving helped Clifford catch and clutch the branch of a scrubby tree that grew from the canyon wall. Grasping, gasping, he looked both up and down. No way could he climb that sheer cliff, even if he could swing his body toward the wall. But below yawned the chasm, unbroken by any other tree or holding place. To fall would be to die, horribly crushed on the rocks below. No one had seen him fall, and he hung there out of sight, knowing that the wind would scatter his weak voice no matter how loudly he shouted.’ Desperate, Clifford cried out to the heavens: “God help me!” Hearing his own trembling voice, he wailed again, “Please God, help me.” To Clifford’s amazement, he heard an immediate answer, “All right,” came the voice. The initial warmth Clifford felt turned to a chill wind gripping his body as the voice continued: “Let go”. Looking down, Clifford saw the huge boulders waiting below, and he knew again that if he let go he would surely die. Let go? he thought. “But God, you don’t understand!” he yelled up. “I’m too far up, I’ll…. “Let go,” the voice repeated. Silence filled the canyon. Then, in a weak, terrified voice Clifford called out, “Is there anyone else up there?”


Ask Bill

Is A.A. based totally on your own experiences? Let's look. Dr. Bob recovered. Then we two set to work on alcoholics Then we read a book by Dr. Carrell (Man, The Unknown). From that in Akron. Well, again came this tendency to preach, again this feeling book came an argument which is now a part of our system. Dr. Carrel that it has to be done in some particular way, again discouragement, so wrote, in effect; The world is full of analysts. We have tons of ore in the mines and we have all kinds of building our progress was slow. But little by little materials above ground. Here is a man we were forced to analyze our experispecializing in this, there is a man speences and say, "This approach didn't cializing in that, and another one in work very well with that fellow. Why something else. The modern world is full not? Let's try to put ourselves in his of wonderful analysts and diggers, but shoes and stop this preaching and see there are very few who deliberately synhow he might be approached if we were thesize, who bring together different he." That began to lead us to the idea that materials, who assemble new things. We A.A. should be no set of fixed ideas, but are much too shy on synthetic thinking should be a growing thing, growing out the kind of thinking that's willing to of experience. After a while we began to reach out now here and now there to see reflect: "This wonderful blessing that has if something new cannot be evolved. come to us, from what does it get its origin?" It was a spiritual awakening growOn reading that book some of us realized ing out of adversity. So then we began to that was just what we had been groping look harder for our mistakes, to correct toward. We had been trying to build out them, to capitalize on our errors. Little of our own experiences. At this point we by little we began to grow so that there thought, "Let's reach into other people's were 5 of us at the end of that first year; experiences. Let's go back to our friends at the end of the second year 15; at the the doctors, let's go back to our friends end of the third 40; and at the end of the the preachers, the social workers, all fourth year, 100. those who have been concerned with us, and again review what they have got During those first four years most of us above ground and bring that into the synhad another bad form of intolerance. As thesis. And let us, where we can, bring we commenced to have a little success, I them in where they will fit." So our am afraid our pride got the better of us and it was our tendency to forget about our friends. We were very like- process of trial and error began and at the end of four years, the materily to say, "Well, those doctors didn't do anything for us, and as for these al was cast in the form of a book known as Alcoholics Anonymous. sky pilots, well, they just don't know the score." And we became snob(Yale Summer School of Alcohol Studies, June 1945) bish and patronizing.

Coaching....takes a person to a higher level. Coaching is a partnership of equals. It is a one to one interactive relationship that helps you to identify and accomplish your personal and professional goals faster than is you were to do them on your own. Did you know that there is a billion dollar industry built around teaching people to be creative? We will provide you with a process that will help increase your creative problem solving abilities. If you are interested in learning more about being Coached or becoming a Coach contact:

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You Might Be A Floridian If ........... "Down South" means Key West "Panhandling" Pensacola.



It's not soda, cola, or pop...its coke, made houses without pools. regardless of brand or flavor, “What You were 12 when you first met someto kinda coke you want?" one who couldn't swim. Anything under 95 is just warm.

You get angry when people say "Florida isn't really part of the SOUTH"

You've hosted a hurricane party.

You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.

You think no-one over 70 should be allowed to drive. Anything under 70 is chilly. Flip-flops are everyday wear.


Shoes are for business meetings and You go to a theme park for an afterchurch. noon, and know when to get on the You know what the "stingray shuffle" best rides. is, and why it's important! No, wait, flip flops are good for church too, unless it's Socks are only for bowling Easter or Christmas. Orange juice from concenSweet tea can be served at trate makes you vomit any meal. Tap water makes you vomit An alligator once walked through your neighborhood. You never use an umbrella because you know the rain You smirk when a game will be over in five minutes show's "Grand Prize" is a trip or cruise to Florida. A good parking place has nothing to do with distance You measure distance in from the store,but everyminutes. thing to do with shade. You have a drawer full of bathing You pass on the right and honk at the Your winter coat is made of denim suits, and one sweatshirt. elderly. You can tell the difference between You get annoyed at the tourists who You understand the futility of exter- fire ant bites and mosquito bites feed seagulls. minating cockroaches. You're younger than thirty but some All the local festivals are named after You can pronounce Okeechobee, of your friends are over 65 a fruit. Kissimmee,Withlacoochee, Okahumpka and Loxahatchee. You've driven through Yeehaw A mountain is any hill 100 feet above Junction. sea level. You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than have a You could swim before you could read You think everyone from a bigger city boat yourself. [HAHA !] has a northern accent. You have to drive north to get to The Bumper stickers on the pickup in front South You know the four seasons really are: of you include: various fish, NRA, and almost summer, summer, Not summer a confederate flag. >>Every other house had blue roofs in but really hot, and Christmas. 2004-2005 You were 8 before you realized they


You Might Be a New Enlander if...... You measure distance in hours.

Nobody outside of New England can You "bang a left" the instant the light pronounce or spell your hometown. turns green, cutting off the oncoming You know several people who have hit traffic. a deer more than once. You name your pets after Celtics or Red Sox players. You have to repeat what you say three You often switch from "heat" to time, slowing down each successive "A/C" in the same day and back again. You learned to ski and ice skate time, before anyone can understand before you learned to walk. what you're saying. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a You have ever prevented someone You walk twice as fast as everyone snowsuit. from getting in front of you on the else. highway by making it physically imposDriving is better in the winter sible to get between you and the guy if you flash your lights to pass when because the potholes are filled in front of you. you are stuck behind a guy only going with snow. 80. if the curse of Bambino You know all 4 seasons: was taught in public almost winter, winter, still schools instead of the winter, and road construcCivil War. tion. if you think that crossing two or more lanes on a Your local Dairy Queen is single lane change is closed from September "going with the flow." through May, if your sole aim is to get there as fast as you posYour 4th of July picnic was sibly can while preventing moved indoors due to frost. others from doing the same. You have more miles on your if you got yelled at by at snow blower than your car. You think 6" of snow is a dusting. least three grown-ups on your street as a little kid for hitting their windYour town has more bars than church- IYou get a foot of snow, and still have shield with a snowball. es. to go to school. if your friends took you to Montreal on your 19th birthday. You have ever gone sledding off your When someone is being nice to you if you own a snowblower....and have roof. leads you to believe they are from out broken it after four blizzards. of town or want something from you. if you have ever driven to New You think 60 degreee ocean water is Hampshire on a Sunday just to get You think a yellow light means to beer. warm. accelerate. if you have ever intentionally forgotThere are only 25 letters in the ten to brush the snow off your car English alphabet. You think a red light means to accel- before you went to work. erate more. if you honk your horn at the guy in You use "wicked" as an adverb. front of you if he doesn't move withYou know how to drive in a rotary. in 0.1 seconds of the light turning You have ever driven 70mph....within green. 6" of the guy in front of a You think using turn signals is a sign of if your friends from the South are blizzard.... while shaving. weakness. afraid to drive with you. if you drink water from a bubbler.


Cumberland Heights Offers Treatment Alternative Rooted in 12-StepTradition "Each day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic compliant. No mood altering substances of any kind or prescription medtalks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope." ications with abuse potential are allowed on the premises. ~Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. xxii A resident should possess a level of maturity that allows him to concentrate on his studies and balance recovery efforts with recreational activiTo enhance an already broad array of treatment services in the Nashville ties. Applicants are comprehensively assessed to ensure realistic potential area, Cumberland Heights recently opened a 12-Step immersion retreat for success in the program. for men in Lobelville, Tennessee. Founded in 1966, Cumberland Heights is a residential addiction treatment facility providing primary, extended A typical day at begins with a 7:00 a.m. meditation group followed by a care, and outpatient programs for men, women, and adolescents. The 170- home-cooked breakfast. The rest of the day consists of two more group acre campus is located along the banks of the Cumberland River in sessions devoted to step- and book-study assignments. At the end of the Nashville, Tennessee. Surrounded by wooded hills and free of the distrac- 30-day program, a resident will have completed the first seven steps of tions of city life, it provides the ideal setting for recovery. AA/NA. He will have built his own library of recovery literature based on assigned readings and study involving AA text, NA Basic Text, and the The most recent addition to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Cumberland Heights continuum of Traditions. care, Still Waters is a 30-day proFollowing a home-cooked dinner, gram with an emphasis on the spirresidents travel as a community to a ituality experienced from working local 12-Step meeting. The day the steps of Alcoholics then concludes with an accountabilAnonymous/Narcotics Anonymous ity group based on page 86 of (AA/NA). To foster group fellowAlcoholics Anonymous that sugship, the counseling staff lives ongests "when we retire at night we site along with the male patients at constructively review our day‌" this 15-bed facility. The camaraderie and fellowship there creates In addition to learning about recova true sense of community where ery issues such as the disease conmembers strive to help and encourcept, recovery and relapse, Still age one another. Waters emphasizes spiritual principles associated with each of the 12 "We wanted to go back to the Steps. Cumberland Heights' basics; the same principles that Pastoral Services Department also have been getting people sober for provides monthly programs, and a over 60 years," said Jim Moore, two-day Family Services program Executive Director of Cumberland is conducted monthly as well. Heights since 1990. "That's what Residents may elect to extend their Still Waters is all about." stay beyond the initial 30 days at Still Waters. In such cases particiNestled in the rolling hills of Perry pants focus on the Twelve County, Tennessee, Still Waters is a converted private residence near the Traditions as well as the corresponding principles. Buffalo River. It sits amidst large tracts of rural forest and pasture lands. Within this 35-acre retreat, a main house provides dining services, meeting rooms, offices, and housing for counseling staff. A four-room guest- Recreation and exercise are encouraged. Residents can participate in house near the heated pool and pool house can accommodate eight resi- diverse activities, such as fishing in the pond, working out in the exercise dents, who occupy semi-private rooms with private baths. Close by and room, hiking or jogging the half-mile tree-lined drive, playing table tendown the drive is the cottage, which has capacity for six more residents nis or billiards in our recreational center. It is not unusual to see the resiin semi-private accommodations with private baths, plus a living room dents in a pickup game of basketball, playing Frisbee golf, or tossing and laundry facilities. This peaceful setting, where a little creek winds horseshoes. For those less enthusiastic about sports, there are meditation through the gardens, features a gazebo, a fire pit, a stock pond, as well as areas and a covered fire pit, and opportunities to observe wild turkey and deer around the property. ample opportunity for quiet reflection. Still waters opened in September 2009. According to staff, client satisfaction and follow-up surveys have thus far been very favorable.

A suitable Still Waters resident is one who does not need or has already had primary treatment. The ideal candidate will be physically and mental- For more information on programs at Cumberland Heights, contact Tom ly stable (non-mood-altering prescriptions are permitted), has a high level Gentry at 561.531.8842 or Or, dial of internal motivation for recovery, and can be community- and program- 1-800-646-9998.


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Gentle Drunks A Grapvine Interview With Mel. B. {Mel B. got sober on April 15, 1950, in Norfolk, Nebraska.He has lived in Toledo, Ohio, for the past thirty-four years. His home group is the Raab Road Group near Toledo.}

GV: How did you come to Alcoholics Anonymous? At sixteen years of age, I was on the threshold of alcoholism. In 1946, I saw a March of Time documentary film about AA. I had read about AA even before that. The Fellowship was still new and several magazines wrote positive articles about it.

be a young age to join.

Grapevine published one in September of the same year. Seeing your work in print is a big I was having blackouts and I was out of thing. You see it on the typewriter, but when it control. I couldn’t work and had a lot of trouble actually gets into print, that does something to getting along with people. I went to jail several you. times. I was in bad shape mentally and emotionally. Between drunks, I was tense, withdrawn, The next year, 1956, the company magasensitive, and nervous. zine needed an editor and they gave me the job. I didn’t have a college degree or real writing But when I got sober, I could see that using experience, but the company president liked my AA principles helped me solve some of my work. Later, I became their public relations problems and I gained some confidence. I read manager and stayed on with them until I retired. the Grapevine, and I read the Big Book many AA made that possible. times. When Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions came out, I read that, and then I read AA Comes of Age. I admired Bill right from the GV: You were in AA when Twelve Steps and beginning. Twelve Traditions was published. Do you remember what kind of reaction it got? GV: What kept you coming back when many of your peers didn’t? I don’t remember any unfavorable reaction. Although later, in the early 1980s, I interI learned from other people’s mistakes. For viewed a member who was critical of Bill and example, when I was about three years sober, I didn’t like the “Twelve and Twelve.” Later, I met a guy with eight years of sobriety. In 1953, discovered that Bill was depressed when he eight years was a lot of time. He said that he wrote it. At first, I resented him for giving the wasn’t going to meetings anymore. If you had- rest of us advice while he was in this big slump. n’t learned enough in eight years to stay sober Now, I see that the “Twelve and Twelve” has a without meetings, he said, then you hadn’t lis- lot of wisdom. Bill talked about dealing with tened. The man was drunk three months later. real human problems as you go along in sobriety. GV: When you first joined AA, did you have a relationship with a Higher Power?

GV: How did people feel about Dr. Bob?

Mel: I met people who knew Dr. Bob, and none I was an agnostic or an atheist or some- of them spoke of disliking him. It was usually thing. I was bitter about religion. I had been Bill who was the lightning rod. involved in it as a teenager, and it wasn’t a good experience. I see now that it was my poor attiGV: Of the two men, Bill was more outgoing? I went to my first AA meeting in Santa tude. Paula, California, in October 1948, about a Mel: Yes, and he also thought of the future from month after my twenty-third birthday. It was a small meeting, with only about ten people. I GV: You have been a frequent contributor to the beginning. Yev G., an early member of AA, said that when they were just a rinky-dink outfit remember that a guy came in drunk. In thou- the Grapevine over the years. with a handful of people, Bill was already talksands of meetings since then, I’ve hardly ever I’ve always wanted to write. When I first ing about AA as a worldwide Fellowship. When seen anyone come in drunk. Drinking, maybe, but not staggering into the meeting. Everyone came to AA and got sober, I told myself that The Saturday Evening Post said they wanted to handled this man very gently, and one member being a professional writer was just a fantasy. do a story, Bill saw it as a great opportunity for took him home. The way they helped him made People in my family didn’t do things like that, I AA. There’s a picture with the story showing an said. My dad thought I should be a mechanic, early meeting, and Bill’s right in the center of it. quite an impression on me. but I’m a terrible mechanic. I should never get They aren’t mentioned by name but the Post demanded a photograph of a meeting. No photoIt took me another year and a half to get near a set of tools. graph, no article, they said, so Bill made an sober. Finally, in 1950, I went into the Nebraska I got a job doing production control work exception and allowed it. The Post was the leadstate hospital in Norfolk, my hometown. Once again, I joined AA. I’ve stayed sober ever since. in Jackson, Michigan. The company had a mag- ing family magazine then and went into almost GV: What compelled you to join AA at age azine, and I started writing articles for it. My every home. He knew it would be a big breaktwenty-four? Back then it was considered to first article was published in June 1955, and the through, and it was.

GV: Do you think attitudes about the cofounders have changed? We now have more devotion to them. In Akron, there’s Dr. Bob’s house with a monument on the lawn. Stepping Stones is a shrine. Bill’s birthplace in East Dorset has become a shrine. People go to his grave and leave mementos. I have a picture I took in 1958, and there were about three dozen people at Dr. Bob’s grave for a Founder’s Day memorial program. Now on every Founder’s Day, thousands of people visit.

January 1955 issue. It called taking that Step “a big hump” to get over. Today, I still tell people at AA meetings about how that article helped me. Until I read that article, I had held back on taking the Fifth Step because of fear.

GV: Do you have any concerns, as some members do, about the future of AA? Although the membership seems to have leveled off at two million or whatever it is, we may have reached a point where we shouldn’t expect much more growth. We know that a lot of people won’t respond to AA, although we wish they would.

GV: What would you say to today’s young people coming into AA? We have a lot of good young people coming in. A lot of drug stuff is cropping up. The old-timers are fading away and many people coming in today have had some experience with drugs. We should face the fact that many people in AA were cross-addicted before they came in. It is important to be careful and not judge everybody by our own feelings and experiences. I think Bill was always open to change. When young people went to see him, he thought they were terrific. Bill provided a good example of open-mindedness to the people who appealed to him.

On the other hand, the AA principles have influenced far more people than we realize. Today, you can watch a TV show and somebody will parody AA. A guy will say, “Hello, my name is Joe, and I’m a so-and-so,” like it’s an AA meeting. That shows how much AA has become identifiable. But one thing that assures our future, I think, is the literature, and how much of it has been produced. Anyone who wants to know about AA shouldn’t have any trouble finding information.

GV: Today, AAs have meetings online and we hear stories of Twelfth Step calls via e-mail. Does technology have a role in helping us carry the message? What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of technology? GV: What changes have you seen in Alcoholics Anonymous?

I have no quarrel with technology. There was a time when people didn’t have telephones; today, we take it for granted. When I was growing up, we didn’t get a telephone until 1940. Today, the Internet is a better way of communicating. If you ask me to write an article about a subject, first I go online and find out what information is available.

There have been a lot of changes in society over the last fifty years. It’s hard to imagine how many until you sit down and start to think about it. And, of course, some of those changes have come to AA. For instance, in 1950 we didn’t have gay meetings or anything like that. So, that’s one big change. But there is still the basic program and a strong belief in a Higher Power. GV: What are your thoughts about women’s GV: How do you think the information exploand men’s meetings? sion has affected the tradition of anonymity? I think they are necessary because some members need them. My dentist goes to an Al-Anon men’s meeting and gets something big out of that meeting. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them.

GV: Are there any personal moments in your recovery that stand out? Those times when I’ve learned something new. For example, early in my sobriety I postponed taking the Fifth Step for a long time. Then I read an AA Grapevine story, “The Big Hump,” in the

Some prominent people have broken their anonymity, or at least come out as alcoholic, and I think it’s helped. In the 1950s, an actress named Lillian Roth wrote a book called I’ll Cry Tomorrow and broke her anonymity. They also made a movie based on the book, and both were successful. An AA member I knew said he thought that Lillian Roth helped women accept their alcoholism. Some good came out of it, he said, although it violated an AA Tradition. When Betty Ford came out, it probably did recovery a lot of good. She never said she was an AA member, but she certainly made it more respectable to be in recovery.

GV: Do you have any closing remarks about the benefits of the Twelve Steps and the AA Fellowship? Mel: I’m eighty-one years old and I still go to three or four meetings a week. I couldn’t have the life I’ve had without AA and sobriety. ***************************** Mel B. has written sixty articles for the AA Grapevine that can be found in the Digital Archive at The article “The Big Hump” (January 1955), was reprinted in October 1964 and is called “Three Suggestions” in the Digital Archive. He has also had several books published by Hazelden including the two pictured here. A comprhensive listing of his aricles is available at his website as is a Book List and Biography. check it out at:


One Man’s Interpretation of The Serenity Prayer Many folks do not understand the meanings of the Serenity Prayer, and of consequence are left in a limbo of constant confusion as they continue to battle the conditions of life. Let us examine this marvelous Prayer of Supplication to the Higher Power, which speaks to all human beings from deep down within....... God.... A name and concept of this Higher Power, which most folks erroneously conceive to be outside themselves, separate from and alien to themselves, a "Santa Claus" god which is supposed to fulfill their dreams, their wishes and wants, to "make" the conditions of Life comply with their desire and their idea of "religious correctness"... Sorry about that, it just doesn't happen that way.... The Big Book of AA, on Page 55, establishes the conditions and locale of our relationship and understanding which we are to acquire of "Our" Higher Power..... "We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. [[ But of a much greater friend, for in fact it is our own self, Our Own True Self, that portion of localized divinity that He has given to each of His Children. ]] Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us." ..... We are never separate from God. Separation from God is only an illusion that we have created. assure (in its original meaning) a knowingness of the orderliness of God's eternity, a prized condition that we earn through our efforts of learning to apply the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to our lives, not an "undeserved gift" as we hear so many times around the tables of AA.

Me... the I Am, of self, the True Self, defense. The only thing we humans can that portion of self which knows that it do with Reality is change our point of is, in all instances. view, our perspective. Reality itself will remain unchanged. Serenity... Again a word that is misunderstood, that most folks take to mean Courage... The ability to make the a quiet, unruffled, calm, undisturbed, Responsible Decisions Necessary and tranquil condition in the circumstances take Action to DO the things we already of life about us. In truth what it really know need to be done in the face of means is Presence of Mind in the Here unknown outcomes and consequences.. and Now, viewing the Reality of whatev- Our Life is determined by the decisions er conditions and circumstances that and actions that we take and the may be occurring ... Not fighting Reality thoughts that we hold, by no other with illusions of how things should or forces. We must in all cases live with should not be. the consequences of our decisions or our lack of decision. Life cannot be lived any other way. to change the things I can...The only thing that we can change is our perspective as we view Reality, learning to make better Responsible Decisions, living our way to better thinking each moment. And Wisdom to Know the Difference... Wisdom, an acquired trait through the experience of life, a recognition and remembrance of the things which do or do not coincide with Reality, which do or do not work, of the things which are true, which are honest, for that is the meaning of Truth, Rigorously Honest.

To Accept... to acknowledge the Truth of Reality, to take what is offered or given, to receive willingly... As we are given Life, one moment, one condition, one circumstance, one happening at a time...God's Life for God's Kids has to be a happening. It can't be any other way.

It has been said that a Wise Man's education toward understanding his own universe and reality (and to some extent yours) will embrace as much folly as he can afford. It is only to the degree that he can afford it, that he will be able to laugh at himself. If he embraces more folly than he can afford, he will cry.The wise man knows that success in life is achieved by simply putting a whole lot of mistakes together in a way that works.

"Wisdom is not something you think, the things I cannot change....Reality, Wisdom is something you DO!!" period...Reality cannot be changed. It simply is. And no amount of mind bending -- Love and Peace, Barefoot -illusion creating will change it. The Truth is the Truth and it needs no


Do You Think To Much? Do You Think To Much?

It started out innocently

enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?" Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's. I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, "Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..." "I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!" "But Honey, surely it's not that serious." "It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!" "That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I'd had enough. "I'm

going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with a PBS station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors... they didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a noneducational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.


Chef Lester’s Sober Sideboard

Autumn Attitute: Gratitude tribute to the good food aspect by offering healthy recipes in our column. Hopefully our byline steers us in directions for physical stimulus and spiritual growth.

Even though the summer heat is still with us we are looking forward to a glorious glowing autumn. What a summer we've been through with the searing heat, floods, tornados, and the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. It reminds of us how things can be going smoothly in our lives and suddenly something unexpectedly happens that throws a monkey wrench into the works. It is at times like that we need to have ourselves deeply rooted into our solutions programs. Relationship break-ups, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, re-location, and financial difficulties are just part of the list that put pressure and strain on us. There are many situations over which we have no control. Often the results are disastrous. The Serenity Prayer is our constant mantra. We have to stay rooted and grounded in the basics and principles of our recovery program. Keeping ourselves as healthy as possible through proper diet and exercise promotes the right physical/mental strength we need to go through the trying times. That is the reason we emphasize good nutrition, physical activity, and steady spiritual growth. We con-

One thing that works in the spiritual department is keeping a gratitude list. When those "slump" days come, we sit down and write out a "Thank you Higher Power" list. I remember years ago reading Corrie Ten Boom's book, The Hiding Place. This powerful book is an account of survival during her years as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. It details how she endured the holocaust. She wrote that their sleeping quarters were infested with fleas. As she and her sister were going through their devotions she told her sister they needed to thank God for the fleas! Her sister was appalled. She questioned Corrie's sanity. They should thank God for hideous, filthy, blood sucking, nasty biting fleas? Corrie reminded her: the fleas were the very thing that kept the sadistic guards out of the prisoners' sleeping quarters. Ironically, because of the fleas it was the one place the guards would not enter. Corrie and her friends could worship without fear of being tortured or killed! Thanking God for fleas had to be a hard thing to do. Sometimes, learning to tolerate the things we cannot change may be in our best interest. We need to thank God and learn to appreciate the fleas we have to endure in our own lives. We don't know about you, but there are a few fleas in our lives we feel we could do without. We don't understand the adversity that comes our way but there is a reason for it. How does the phrase go: "Grin and bear it!" If that doesn't work, try: "Grimace and bear it!" Enough of all that, let's get down to something that brings us all pleasure: eating delicious food. We have a tasty crock pot vegetable stew that is fantastic. Let's grab our chef's hats and aprons and head for the kitchen.

CREOLE VEGETABLE STEW (Serves 4) INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup coarse chopped onions 1/2 cup coarse chopped bell peppers 2 cloves minced garlic 1 cup each: sliced zucchini, calabaza squash, potatoes, carrots, celery, 1 (14 oz. can) diced tomatoes undrained 1 (14 oz. can) vegetable broth 2 teaspoons Creole/Cajun seasoning1 1 (15 oz. can) cooked white beans* Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. PREPERATION: Combine all ingredients in a 3-4 quart crock pot and mix well to combine. Cover and cook on low setting 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours until all the veggies are tender. *Add the cooked canned beans 30 minutes before serving to just heat them. You can substitute or add okra, turnips, sweet potatoes, or any seasonal veggie you particularly like for the ones suggested. The more the merrier. A time saving tip is to prepare the veggies the night before. Cover them with cold water and hold in the fridge. Drain the water and proceed with the preparation the next morning. SERVING: You can ladle this fragrant stew directly out of the crock pot. We find excellent sides to this are: yellow rice or couscous, and a Brussels sprout salad. A delicious finale is a French Apple tart and coffee. This easy vegetarian dish is so flavorful you won't miss the meat and the beans with the rice or grain combo provides protein. Those who gather at your table for this harvest bounty are going to exclaim: 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 Culinary Arts Academy. Questions, Comments, and Suggestions welcome. E-mail:


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Holistic* Life Coaching*8 *InterDisciplinary .Its been over a year, you have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, and completed an honest self evaluation, made amends where possible, have paid or are repaying some old debts. You are rebuilding family business and personal relationships and helping others, while proudly, re-entering the real world‌.which according to the successful examples preceding you it's a world of endless opportunities and possibilities. Your unwillingness to wallow in a seemingly hopeless state, and blessed with an unusually persistent personality, you embraced the opportunity to accept and implement actions and deeds which have brought you to a point in life in which you are a statistically unique minority of those similarly afflicted with the same condition. Now what? Behind any Successful individual such as Athletes, Scientists, Politicians, or 12 Steppers, is a Coach. Life Coaching clients are people who can now address normal challenges and unfulfilled dreams as a new, unfettered opportunity and freedom to re-design and enhance their life, create and place into motion plans and actions to realize their dreams. The leverage of a Life Coach acting as a partner, mentor and advisor, guiding motivating and facilitating individuals to discover and recognize their unrecognized abilities, to find the right direction and to address challenges along the way. Holistic Life Coaching takes the approach of a work in progress, reaching into the realms of Visualizing then Manifestation, assisting in making and implementing models of that which it takes to be fully effective in creating a path of a more joyful and fulfilling life. The Coach's Most important and valuable contribution to

Henry Silvia McH, Ph.D this process is His or her actual Life Experience, enhanced by education and study. As with any other "Coaching" endeavor, Without the validating contribution of a Life Coach's real life experience and practice, all the study and education available is simply abstract opinion and theory. The holistic Life Coach provides professional services in accordance with their acquired experience and training, giving undivided attention during scheduled consultations to define and then facilitate the Client's goals. Hypnosis may be utilized along with other methods and principles used to help clients discover and enhance their underutilized creative abilities, to develop positive thinking and feeling and to transform undesirable habits and behavior patterns. The goals are to achieve freedom from restrictive thought and beliefs, to assist in solving personal problems, developing motivation and achieving new personal objectives. The Clients may be taught the use of selfhypnotic techniques to assist in achieving goals and resolving issues that have been mutually agreed upon by the Client and their Holistic Life.

Henry L. Silvia McH. Ph.D. Life Coach-Mentor-Master Clinical Hypnotist (PBHI) The National Board of Professional and Ethical Standards The British Association of Therapeutical Hypnotists Professional Board of Hypnotherapy (Canada) Sociedad Espanola de Parapsicologia y Sofrologia {SEPS} “Study, LIVE it Then Teach "



Rebecca B.

Evidence of the Unseen

There is one thing I believe we all become aware of at some point in our recovery and that is - by some "unseen force" we are alive and no longer bound by active addiction. When we first start coming off the alcohol and/or drugs many of us experience a fog. Regardless of the severity or duration of that fog, it does at some point lift. Once lifted, the reality of our lives begins to unfold with a great deal more clarity. This of course brings about some of the more negative feelings of guilt, remorse and shame. Likewise, it also involves memories of moments in our lives that we somehow avoided certain peril. For one this might be the memory of coming out of a blackout behind the wheel of a car, with no memory of how they got in it, where they came from or where they were headed. Soon to be followed by the chilling realization of the many terrible possibilities that "could" have happened, but didn't. For another it might be the memory of the night they decided to go home from the "all night bar", rather than staying to drink and party till the sun came up - as perhaps was the normal pattern. Awakening then to the morning news reporting the story of a lone gunman had come into the bar at 4:30am shooting and killing all the patrons in the bar.

were attempting to get her to let go of the window and jump to safety. However, although the viewing audience could see with great clarity the predicament of this women and the solution that should be taken…she was struggling. The woman did not want to leave the window, but why? Because although she knew how dire her situation was…that ledge was something she could see and touch. It had saved her so far. In order to be live she was going to have to jump from the safety of her window and trust that she would be rescued.

In 1979, a woman jumped off the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, and LIVED.29-yearold Elvita Adams jumped off of the observation tower on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. As luck would have it, a 30 mph gust of wind blew her straight back up and she landed on a ledge on the 85th floor. She suffered only a fractured hip, and a security guard promptly brought her back inside through a window. Adams: "I guess the good Lord didn't mean for me to die just yet."

For one young mother it is the memory of being home with her 2 ½ year old daughter and deciding it would be ok to take a shot of dope in the hopes of "relaxing and taking the edge off"…only to wake up many hours later to find her daughter, thankfully safe, facing the wall, looking upward and laughing. When she asked her why she was laughing she pointed up towards the ceiling and said, "Him make me laugh!"

Regardless of the story, there is that common theme…that common reality that each memory holds - which is the inescapable reality that "something or someone" kept us, and often times those we loved, safe. However, something else often happens as more time begins to pass Fear begins to creep its way into our newly found sober lives. We begin to look at the world and ask ourselves, "How am I ever going to make it? What is going to happen to me? How will I stay clean and sober?" Let's face it; the "Unseen" is hard to trust because quite frankly…we can't see it! I watched a video once that showed an inferno at a high rise building in Miami, FL. The media had their cameras fixed on a woman who was standing on the ledge of her window. The flames were visible from behind as black smoke billowed all around her. Below firemen

For those of us in recovery, we have had this same type of experience. In my own life, the way I was living was dangerous on many levels and ultimately was killing me. There were those in my life telling me that all I had to do was to leave my surroundings and do something that would save me. I'm certain that to those around me, (who could see the whole picture) the answer was obvious and the decision was simple. However for me, it wasn't. All I knew was that those chemicals, (though they were killing me), had for the longest time "saved" me. To give them up and get help, seemed terrifying and inconceivable! However, there was something...unseen - that I know today gave me the ability to say "Yes, I will accept help". It did not come from me…it could not have come from "me". I just didn't posess the belief or faith to take such a step at that time on my own strength.

Our lives everyday are a living testament to the Unseen hand that has and continues to not only hold us, but guide and direct our paths on a daily basis. We see this evidenced in the very fact that we wake up clean and sober - knowing what we did the night before; That a day sober is not an agonizing experience, but rather one filled with promise, possibilities and purpose; that every day there are men and women, who were once consumed with nothing but themselves, now striving to offer their hand to help others expecting nothing in return; children enjoying relationships with parents they had either thought were lost or had never known; spouses and parents looking forward to their loved ones coming home rather than dreading it. It is when we have the experience of sharing our stories and someone comes up afterwards to say, "You told my story-- that really gave me hope". Indeed, our lives are a patchwork of experiences filled with ups and downs, turns and twists, laughs and tears…but ALL telling of a miraculous and incredible journey detailing evidence of the Unseen. A friend told me once - "You can argue a man's theology…but you cannot argue his experience." How true that is and what an incredible blessing and honor to able to trudge this road to happy destiny! Rebecca B. (


It’s A Dog’s Life


Royal Recovery Resources Whether you have been a part of recovery in the past, are coming directly from treatment, or embarking on this journey for the first time, our program was created for YOU. Royal Recovery Resources is acutely aware that the first 30-90 days of sobriety are some of the most difficult times in recovery. Research shows that relapse rates are highest in the first year. Royal Recovery Resources offers activities, resources, and aftercare services to improve these results. The Royal Program offers access to various outpatient treatments to provide individualized services with structure. This provides the necessary gradual transition recommended by all treatment facilities. The transition prepares residents for the return to a substance free lifestyle, long-term recovery, and success.

Royal Recovery Resources PROVIDES: -Transport three times daily to local 12 step meetings -Transport to grocery store as well as sober social activities -Private Resource room with computers, printers, phones, and a fax machine to assist with tasks such as finding employment, volunteer activities or enrolling in school -Relapse Prevention Workshops -Sober extracurricular activities to encourage community support, social skill development, and fun without substances. Efforts to begin a softball and bowling league are underway. -Access to a variety of means of support and structure to assist the development of responsibility and accountability. Staff members have many years of professional experience in Substance Abuse and Mental Health as well as personal 12 Step experience. 7 to 10 on property staff members are available during the day, 5-7 on property staff members are available during the evening, and 1-2 AWAKE on property staff members are available over night. -Once weekly community meeting with food and local 12 Step speakers -Nightly check ins with staff members upon return to property in conjunction with curfew checks -Client Cash Program to assist in budgeting, money management, decreased impulse purchases, and accountability -Daily 8:30AM morning inspiration meetings for those in the process of obtaining work, volunteer, or school -Quantitative and Qualitative Laboratory Drug Test Screenings 2-3 times WEEKLY Royal Recovery Resources helps residents live in the present while making resources available to mend the past. Royal Recovery Resources is a fresh start towards realizing dreams, recreating life, and becoming self-sufficient.


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