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The Solution News Since 1991 January/February 2010

Recovery

Happy, Joyous and Always Free!!

Growth

Renewal


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The Solution News Contents Page 4 - Dave’s Page: New Year, New Program?

Page 23 - English Mountain Recovery

Page 5 - Overeaters Anonymous

Page 24 - Lip Balm Anonymous

Page 6 - Gamblers Anonymous

Page 25 - More Twelve Step Humor

Page 7 - Hotlines and Helplines

Page 26 - Jack Handy: Deep Thoughts

Page 8 - Debtors Anonymous

Page 27 - Defriending Facebook

Page 9 - Watershed Page

Page 28 - For Your Inspiration

Page 10 & 11 - Events

Pages 30, 31 - A Delray Beach Memoir

Page 12 - Al-Anon

Page 32 - Wit of Will Rogers

Page 14 - Alateen

Page 33 - Wisdom of Michelangelo

Page 15 - Dual Recovery Anonymous

Page 34 - Chef Lester’s Sober Sideboard

Page 16 - Rebecca B. - 5 Actions of Recovery

Page 36 - Alcoholism Around the World

Page 18 - Twelve Step Humor

Page 37 - Addicted Computerholic?


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Dave’s

New Year, New Program? Doctor Bob Smith discovered the healing power that is received when two individuals with the same affliction share their experience strength and hope with each other. As more and more people join in this sharing, that power is magnified. That said, I will elaborate a bit on some ideas about the many anonymous programs.

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Over the years I have watched many recovering alcoholics and drug addicts settle for less. By this I mean that when we put alcohol and drugs behind us our life becomes so good in comparison to our lives before recovery that we often neglect other issues. Many of us then fail to deal with one or several of the other life threatening addictions. It’s almost as if we say I gave up alcohol and drugs but don’t expect me to (1) quit smoking, (2) lose weight, (3) exercise more, (4) stop acting out sexually, (5) stop running up debt, (6) quit gambling (7) put down the caffeine and Red Bull. I know I have been guilty as charged on several of these things by thinking, as I did with my alcohol and drug addiction, that it wasn’t that bad or I would change the behaviors tomorrow. I was 19 years clean and sober before I finally quit smoking. I struggle with weight issues and a recent attempt to cut down on caffeine was half-hearted at best.

Happy New Year! The new millennium is now ten years old and the decade really flew by. The next decade looks promising in spite of the generalized economic woes. It seems as if we have dodged a collective bullet and as the old blues song says “been down so long it looks like up to me”. One thing for certain is that those of us living in a state of perpetual gratitude really understand the “down so long part” so that our lives on “the sunny side of the street” make all the worldly problems seem less painful. I often It wasn’t until I watched many of my old say that I am truly blessed to be able to be among the finest people in the world simply by friends die in the last several years from the effects of tobacco, obesity and generally spending an hour in a 12 step meeting. unhealthy lifestyles that it occurred to me to The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous make some personal changes and to provide have become the foundation for more than one more material to my readers about other hundred twelve step based programs. The power avenues toward physical and emotional growth unleashed within the practice of the twelve steps through the other twelve step fellowships. I has freed millions of people from other serious often joke at my latest 12 step discovery, and life threatening addictions. Bill Wilson and Debtors Anonymous, that there are not enough

days in the week for all the twelve step programs I qualify for or have attended over the years. As a matter of fact I have considered starting Meeting Makers Anonymous for people who go to too many 12 step meetings but since attending one of its meetings would only be contributing to the disease I changed my mind and started Mind Changers Anonymous. Seriously though, it really makes no sense for me to continue unhealthy behaviors or addictions armed with my experiences in AA regarding the solution to alcoholism. If being over weight bothers me or smoking or getting all jumpy on coffee then this very “bother” is something that I didn’t get sober to feel. I can do something about it by applying the steps and tools that were so successful with my alcoholism to other issues. And the good news is, I can do this with others who are having trouble with the same issues. My experience in Debtors Anonymous over the last two years is a case in point. So aside from being able to write down my thoughts and observations on this topic I am truly blessed to have the platform of this paper and my website solutionnews.org to not only share my experience but also to share a part of the solution. In this issue you will find articles on several twelve step programs that offer help and hope to millions of people suffering from a variety of addictions and behavioral problems. Included are website links and phone numbers for contacting them.We hope that at the start of this new year and new decade that you have the courage to explore the healing energy found in the twelve steps to remove any and all roadblocks to becoming truly happy, joyous and free. ------Dave F.


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OA Offers a Spiritual Solution to Compulsive Overeating "I did not enter my first meeting with hope," recalls one member of Overeaters Anonymous. "I entered with despair. But I left with hope, because it was the first time in my life that I realized or heard that I was not morally imperfect, that I was not weak-willed, that I was not some defect. I had a disease--the disease of compulsive overeating." These words capture some core principles of Overeaters Anonymous (OA). One is that its members have an abnormal relationship with food. Another is that no plan for healing this relationship can succeed when it's based on personal willpower alone. As an alternative, OA suggests reliance on a "power greater than ourselves," also referred to as God or a Higher Power. This frankly spiritual approach sets OA apart from other responses to overeating. Atheists and agnostics may well express skepticism: What can a relationship to God or a Higher Power possibly have to do with overeating? What can possibly work other than dieting, exercise, and self-control? OA offers three answers to these questions: First, you are free to define God or Higher Power in any way that you choose. These words refer to any source of help outside ourselves-for example, fellow members of OA. No belief in a supernatural being is required. As a result, OA's doors are open to atheists, agnostics, and members of any religion. Second, any solution to overeating must address mental obsession with eating. "Overeaters Anonymous," the group's core text, includes stories of people who lost dozens of pounds through dieting, exercising, and purging--only to regain the weight later. Even when these peo-

ple shed pounds, their thoughts focused on food.

be found to relieve us of it, if we were to stop eating compulsively and stay stopped."

One OA member describes this mental state: "My whole life was about getting the food, buying the food, preparing the food, sneaking the food, and hiding the food from morning until night."

This solution might sound vague or impractical. But OA offers practical suggestions for getting daily guidance from a self-transcending source. For example:

Overeaters Anonymous Another person said, "I used food for everything. It was my excitement. It was my entertainment. It was my antidepressant. It was my social life." Driven by such compulsion, OA members recall doing things that no sane person would do: Eating stale, spoiled, or rotten food. Stealing from other people's plates. Picking up food off the ground. Third, abandon all attempts to remove the obsession by yourself. After all, your attempts to do this in the past have consistently failed. Instead, turn to your Higher Power for help. "Overeaters Anonymous" the book puts it this way: "This mental obsession was something we couldn't be rid of by our unaided human will. Another power, stronger than ourselves, had to

* Rather than eating in response to a craving, attend an OA meeting or call someone in the program. * Meet regularly with a sponsor--someone with longer experience in OA who serves as a mentor. * Instead of acting on impulse, pause to pray or meditate. You can learn more about OA by calling 505891-2664 or going online to www.oa.org. The Web site explains how to find OA meetings and related resources near you. The above quotes from OA members are samples from "Hearing Is Believing: OA Members Speak," a recording available from OA on CD or cassette. The following books may also be of interest: * "Overeaters Anonymous, second edition" (Overeaters Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2001). * "The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous" (Overeaters Anonymous World Services, Inc., 2002). * "Compulsive Overeater: The Basic Text for Compulsive Overeaters" by Bill B. (Hazelden, 1981). * "Twelve Steps for Overeaters: An Interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous" by Elisabeth L. (Hazelden, 1993)

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

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

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


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GA: A Compulsive Gambler's Guide to Recovery Carol's gambling, financed by 13 credit cards, luxury cars, servants, yachts and social prestige Twelve Step principles. For example, GA memleft her $100,000 in debt. Her husband left her flow inevitably from a highly individualized bers: and she filed for bankruptcy. system for placing and winning bets. * Make a "searching and fearless moral inven"At that point I still thought I could gamble nor- More often, the consequences for compulsive tory"--a personal investigation of the beliefs and mally. Then the following March I missed my gamblers include mounting debt, a repossessed behaviors that sustain their compulsive gamhouse payment. I called my brother and asked home, time lost from work or school to gamble, bling. him for help. He said yes, but on one condition: * Become willing to release those beliefs and that he take over my finances and I start going to behaviors. Twelve Step meetings." * List people they've harmed by gambling and make amends to them whenever possible. Carol joined Gamblers Anonymous (GA), a mutual-help fellowship of people with a history * Share the GA program with other compulof compulsive gambling. The only requirement sive gamblers. for membership is a desire to stop gambling. Helping people achieve this desire is the group's GA members act on these principles by turning only purpose. GA sustains itself through volunto an outside source of help called a "Higher tary donations. There are no dues or fees. Power." Individual members define this term in any way that they choose. For some GA memGA grew from a chance encounter between two bers, it is God as defined by a religious tradition; gamblers in Los Angeles. The group's first meetfor others, it is simply a fellow GA member or ing took place on Friday, Jan. 13, 1957. Today, a pattern of lying to family and friends, illegal GA group. As a spiritual rather than a religious GA meetings occur in all 50 states and 36 other activity to finance gambling, and even thoughts program, GA welcomes atheists and agnostics. countries. of suicide. Carol, who has stopped gambling, describes her According to GA, compulsive gamblers typical- For all these reasons, GA members see gam- spirituality primarily as a change in attitude. ly: bling as more than a financial issue. It is an emotional disorder paired with a pattern of self- "There's a little phrase: Change your attitude * Persist in the belief that they can control defeating behavior. and the world changes. Spirituality is your opentheir gambling--despite a total lack of evidence mindedness, kindness, generosity and humility. for this idea. GA bases its program of recovery on the Twelve You put all those things together, and what more * Feel discomfort when they are not "in Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Step One could you ask for?" action"--at the poker table, slot machines, the calls for telling the truth. Like alcoholics, GA racetrack, or another place where they can gam- members admit that a compulsive behavior has To learn more about GA, write to the group's ble. taken over their thinking and behavior, leading International Service Office at: Gamblers * Remain emotionally immature, fueled by to severe consequences. After placing the first Anonymous, P.O. Box 17173, Los Angeles, CA the belief that they can achieve a life of materi- bet, they simply cannot count on themselves to 90017. You can also call 213-386-8789, go to: al abundance without work or effort. stop. http://www.gamblersanonymous.org.email isomain@gamblersanonymous. The latter characteristic sends compulsive gam- Abstinence is the only real answer. In turn, a ----Published in Alive in Free hazelden.org. blers into a dream world--one where mansions, lifetime of abstinence depends on living by

Gamblers Anonymous


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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

DEPRESSION AND MANIC DEPRESSION DEPRESSION - OVER 55 FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM FLA. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE

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

FLORIDA BAR LAWYER’S REFERRAL

800-342-8011

954-462-7202

FLORIDA HIV/AIDS HOTLINE

800-FLA-AIDS

AA MIAMI DADE

305-371-7784

ABUSE REGISTRY

800-962-2873

ADD PARENTS SUPPORT

954-473-8644

AL ANON HOTLINE, Palm Beach

561-278-3481

AL ANON HOTLINE, Broward AL-ANON/AL-ATEEN

954-491-1915 8884ALANON

FLORIDA INJURY HELPLINE FLORIDA INTERGROUP AA FOOD ADDICTS IN RECOVERY FLORIDA PET GREIF SUPPORT GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS HEPATITIS-B HOTLINE

ALIEN ABDUCTION SUPPORT GROUP

954-698-6926

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION

954-726-0002

ALZHEIMER’S COMMUNITY CARE AT RISK YOUTH PROGRAM BIG BROTHERS & SISTERS CAPITOL CITY YOUTH SERVICES

561-278-6649 727-726-8829 561-966-4120 850-576-6000

CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF ORLANDO

407-658-1818

CDC NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE

800-342-2437

CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE

800-4ACHILD

COCAINE ANONYMOUS CODEPENDENTS ABNONYMOUS CONSUMER HOTLINE COSA (co-dependents of sex addicts) COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING

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

CRIMESTOPPERS CRIME LINE

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

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

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

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FOUNDATION

800-441-7055

NTNL. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE NAR-ANON, Broward

800-799-SAFE 954-584-6578

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Palm Beach NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, Broward

561-848-6262 954-476-9297

800-458-TIPS 800-423TIPS

NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS gold coast

954-476-9297

NAT. CTR. ELDERLY ABUSE

800-96-ABUSE

DASH (Divorced and Separated Help)

561-451-2312

NATIONAL RUNAWAYSWITCHBOARD

800-RUNAWAY

DEBTOR’S ANONYMOUS DEPRESSION & BIPOLAR SUPPORT

954.925.4068 813-878-2906

NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE

800-SUICIDE

OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

954-746-2055

The Solution News 640 Beacon Street, Manchester, NH, 03104

Phone:

561-305-3380, 603-657-5580 WEBSITE: solutionnews.org Email: solutionpublishingcompany@gmail.com

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.


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Relieving Financial Pressures: Debtors Anonymous What is Debtors Anonymous? Debtors Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt. There are no dues or fees for D.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. D.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stop debting one day at a time and to help other compulsive debtors to stop incurring unsecured debt.

Is DA Right For You? Most compulsive debtors will answer yes to at least eight of the following 15 questions:

response when you are subject to a credit investigation? 14. Have you ever developed a strict regimen for paying off your debts, only to break it under pressure? 15. Do you justify your debts by telling yourself that you are superior to the "other" people, and when you get your "break" you'll be out of debt overnight? How did you score? If you answered yes to eight or more of these questions, the chances are that you have a problem with compulsive debt, or are well on your way to having one. If this is the case, today can be a turning point in your life. We have all arrived at this crossroad. One road, a soft road, lures you on to further despair, illness, ruin, and in some cases, mental institutions, prison, or suicide.

Debtors Anonymous

1. Are your debts making your home life unhappy? 2. Does the pressure of your debts distract you from your daily work? 3. Are your debts affecting your reputation? 4. Do your debts cause you to think less of yourself? 5. Have you ever given false information in order to obtain credit? 6. Have you ever made unrealistic promises to your creditors? 7. Does the pressure of your debts make you careless of the welfare of your family? 8. Do you ever fear that your employer, family or friends will learn the extent of your total indebtedness? 9. When faced with a difficult financial situation, does the prospect of borrowing give you an inordinate feeling of relief? 10. Does the pressure of your debts cause you to have difficulty in sleeping? 11. Has the pressure of your debts ever caused you to consider getting drunk? 12. Have you ever borrowed money without giving adequate consideration to the rate of interest you are required to pay? 13. Do you usually expect a negative

The other road, a more challenging road, leads to self-respect, solvency, healing, and personal fulfillment. We urge you to take the first difficult step onto the more solid road now. Debtors Anonymous General Service Office, PO Box 920888 Needham, MA 02492-0009 Toll Free: 800-421-2383 781-453-2743 781-453-2745 (FAX) Online and to find a meeting: www.debtorsanonymous.org Meetings in South Florida: Solvent Serenity 7 p.m. Tuesdays St. Anthony’s Church 901 NE 2nd Street Chapel in front of church Ft. Lauderdale 33301 On Prosperous Ground Sunday: 5:30 PM Lambda - Dade Clubhouse 212 NE 24th Street Miami, FL 33137 Friday Night DA Friday 5:45 PM Crossroads Club, Delray Beach, FL


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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.

Therapists

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: www.thewatershed.com. To apply, please go to www.thewatershed.jobs.

Calling All Alumni! 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 2,500 registered alumni members around the country and we want YOU to be a part of this community! Our Alumni Web Site now has over 800 members. If you would like to learn more, register and become active, go to www.watershedalumni.com to learn more about The Watershed’s Alumni Program. As a member of our web site you will be able to connect with other alumni AND find out more about other Alumni Programs and Events available to you, such as The Life Saver’s Club! You are also able to access pictures, the Alumni Newsletters, contribute to forums and celebrate alumni anniversaries with us! UPDATE: We have EXCITING NEWS!!! Coming around mid-winter, the Alumni Department will actually have a NEW WEBSITE that will be MUCH larger and with far more capabilities than that of our current site. It is under development now and will be run much like Facebook, to allow alumni greater communication ability with each other and more creative freedom to interact and express your own unique individuality. The site will be set up securely with individual areas for "Alumni Only", "Family Only" and then a "Common Area" where everyone can meet and share together. Keep your eyes and ears open for our kick off date! We have the Alumni Speaker Meetings EVERY SATURDAY from 9:30am to 11:30am at BOTH the BOCA and BOYNTON facilities. You MUST have 90 days clean and sober to speak. If you are a new alumnus with less than 90 days in recovery, we have special support meetings just for you! We have ALUMNI SUPPORT and ALUMNI MENTORING meetings at THE WATERSHED APARTMENTS in Lake Worth, FL from 9:30 to 11:30am under the tent by the volleyball court. ALL ALUMNI with less than 90 days should attend. For directions or further information or questions, contact Rebecca Balko at the contact information listed below. Last but not least if you are an alumnus and have 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 www.thewatershed.com and go to Human Resources to place an "on line" application. We look forward to hearing from you! You can contact Rebecca Balko at: Rbalko@thewatershed.com (or write) 200 Congress Park Dr. Suite 101 Delray Beach, FL 33445 (PHONE: 877-416-9566 ext.8204)


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Events COCOA BEACH 20th SPRING CONFERENCE

"The Woodstock of AA" May 6th-9th, 2010 Lodging Info Holiday Inn – Oceanfront 1300 N. Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 1-800-315-2621

For Details: http://www.woodstockofaa.com


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Events 2010 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS The 2010 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous will be held July 1-4 in San Antonio, Texas with the theme “A Vision for You.” A.A. members and guests from around the world will celebrate A.A.’s 75th year at this event with big meetings held Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning in the Alamodome. Other meetings, scheduled or informal, will take place throughout the weekend in the San Antonio Convention Center and local hotels.

46th International Women's Conference Come join us for the 46th Annual International Women's Conference to be held February 11-14, 2010. The 46th International Women's Conference will be held at the

THE DOUBLETREE HOTEL

Registration opens in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Wednesday June 30, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. Registration will continue Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The opening Party in the Park starts at approximately 8:00 p.m. Thursday evening, July 1 and ends at midnight.

At the entrance to Universal Studios Orlando

5780 Major Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819

Marathon meetings will begin at midnight on Thursday, and run around the clock until Sunday morning. Meetings start at the Convention Center on Friday at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 5:00 p.m., with the same schedule on Saturday.

407-351-1000 Toll Free 800-327-2110

Friday night and Saturday night from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., we gather in the Alamodome stadium for Big Meetings. The Flag Ceremony will take place before the meeting on Friday night, and Saturday we will have an oldtimers meeting, where A.A.s with more than 40 years of sobriety will share.

On-Line Reservations:

www.doubletree.com

The closing meeting will take place in the Alamodome on Sunday from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Note, this takes you directly to the 46th IWC booking page. For Info:

Fopr Information go to:

www.aa.org

www.internationalwomensconference.org/

Women in Recovery Retreat: February 6-7, 2010 Speaker Meetings Recovery Countdown Drumming Meditations Resentment Releases Indian Feather Circle of Hope Comfortable Chickee Dorms Linen and Pillows Provided

Location: Billie Swamp Safari

Take Alligator Alley , I-75 from Ft. Lauderdale or Naples to Exit 49 then go 19 miles to park entrance

Arrive Saturday at 8:30 AM - Noon Sunday

Includes continental breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sunday continental breakfast.

Cost $100.00 Laura Kelley 1720 NW 21st Ct. Delray Beach, FL 33445 561-577-3083 AONECOACHING@yahoo.com

Dr. Darlene Silvernail PO Box 18745, West Palm Beach, FL 33426 561-642-3103 ICUcoaching@aol.com


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Al-Anon Offers New Life to Families of Alcoholics Alcoholism touched every aspect of Brenda's family life. She lost a father to alcoholism, and her brother developed the disease. She also married a problem drinker. They had a large family, and her husband left the job of parenting to her.

It works. Today more than 26,000 Al-Anon actively hiding the facts about the alcoholic's groups exist in 115 countries. behavior.

* Guilt--family members' belief that they are Al-Anon begins with the principle that alco- somehow to blame for the alcoholic's behavior. holism is a family disease. And those who care most about the alcoholic are affected the most. * Insanity--defined in Al-Anon as "doing the "I had out-of-control children at home," she says. "There was no structure--no rules, no bed- Al-Anon literature compares life with an alco- same thing over and over and expecting differtime schedules. It was just chaos." Brenda tried holic to a drama where people develop stereo- ent results." to structure the household but found that she typed, almost scripted, roles. Their behaviors With help from their peers, Al-Anon members couldn't do it alone. Some of her children devel- center on the alcoholic and are dominated by: learn an alternative--detachment with love. This oped behavior problems at school and eventualhappens when family members admit that they ly abused alcohol themselves. did not cause their loved one's alcoholism; nor can they control or cure it. Sanity returns to famFor nearly a decade, Brenda searched for supily life when members focus on taking care of port. She went to parent meetings at school. She themselves, changing the things that they can, went to marriage counseling. She went to and letting go of the rest. churches and Bible study groups. Finally, a therapist suggested Al-Anon. "I remember listening to people at my very first Al-Anon meeting and thinking, this is where I belong," Brenda recalls. "The stories I was hearing there were about the very kinds of things happening in my life." Al-Anon offers free and confidential support for anyone affected by an alcoholic or problem drinker. This includes parents, grandparents, spouses, partners, coworkers, and friends. Alateen, a part of Al-Anon, is a recovery program for young people impacted by a loved one's alcoholism.

Al-Anon

* Obsession--going to great lengths to stop the alcoholic's drinking, such as searching the house for hidden stashes of liquor, secretly pouring drinks down the drain, or listening continually for the sound of opening beer cans.

As a result, alcoholic family members are no longer shielded from the consequences of their own behavior. This, more than anything else, can help them face the facts about their addiction and admit their need for help. "Since I've been in Al-Anon, my life has totally changed," says Brenda. "I filed for divorce and set up my own household. Now my children are getting a lot more of their needs met with a lot more stability in their lives, and I'm a much happier parent. Since I moved out, my son has been on the honor roll at school and my daughter has had the best two years of her life."

* Anxiety--worrying constantly about the Founded in 1951 by the wives of two Alcoholics effects of the alcoholic's drinking on the chil- To learn more about Al-Anon, call 1-888-4252666, go online to http://www.al-anonAnonymous members, Al-Anon is based on dren, the bills, and the family's future. alateen.org/, or send an e-mail message to AA's Twelve Steps. There are no dues and no * Anger--feelings of resentment that result wso@al-anon.org. A basic text, "How Al-Anon fees. Rather than relying on mental health profrom being repeatedly deceived and hurt by the Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics," fessionals, members lead self-help meetings in a alcoholic. explains the Al-Anon program in detail. spirit of mutual help. The purpose is to share their hope, strength, and experience in dealing * Denial--ignoring, making excuses for, or ------hazelden.org Alive and Free with an alcoholic loved one.

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Recovery Bulletin Board A CHRIST CENTERED 12 STEP PROGRAM Every Tuesday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm RSVP for Free Childcare New Children’s Recovery Celebration Station nrunhaar@FUMCBocaRaton.org 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

JOSEPH R. BRYAN, Director


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Alateen Offers Strength, Support for Children of Alcoholics "When dad drinks, he becomes a different person. I get scared. What should I do?" asked Tim, 14. "I never have friends over after school because I don't know if mom will be drunk. I would be so embarrassed," said Susan, 17. Children who live with an alcoholic are affected by the alcoholics behavior. They often experience anxiety, anger, denial, broken promises, neglect, and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

Alateen is Al-Anon for young people. Like AlAnon, a mutual-help support group for adult family members and friends of alcoholics, Alateen uses an adapted version of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous as a guide to

Alateen

Alcoholism is a family disease -- a disease of relationships, write the authors of Alateen: Hope for Children of Alcoholics. The people involved with the alcoholic learn to react to his/her behavior. Much of the child's time is spent trying to figure out ways of changing the alcoholic, but nothing works. living. Meetings are held once a week and last Children of alcoholics can survive and grow by an hour or more. Alateen members range in age building on their strengths, changing their atti- from 11 to 19, and they run their own meetings, tudes, being kind to the alcoholic, and learning with assistance from a sponsor from Al-Anon. to detach from their loved ones problem. That's where Alateen, a fellowship of young people whose lives have been affected by a loved ones alcoholism, can help. "At Alateen meetings we focus on the solution and not the problem," said Bill, a Minneapolis Alateen sponsor. "We don't try to fix people. No one tells the young people what to do. Each person talks about their own experiences and learns how to make their own decisions. They learn they can’t control or cure the persons alcoholism. Alateen provides the tools to help young people take care of themselves emotionally."

about everything," said Jeff, 15, an Alateen member. "I'm learning how to deal with my problems. At first I was scared to say no to my dad when he was drunk. I've learned how to take care of myself and I've learned I don't have to be a slave to my dad." "Alateen helped me talk to other kids who understand what it's like to live in an alcoholic home," said Tim. "People care what's happening to you, and you hear other people's problems and their successes. We learn to help each other." Sponsors Michael and Bill identify several key concepts for Alateen members:

* Anonymity is crucial; what you say stays in the group. * Young people learn better ways to respond to life and the alcoholic. * You're not alone in your experiences. * Most young people think they are part of the alcoholics problem; this is not true. * You cannot control another persons behavior; Most meetings begin with introductions by first you are not responsible for the alcoholic. name only and a reading from Alateen -- A Day * You learn to detach from the alcoholic. You at a Time, a book of meditations for children of can hate the disease of alcoholism, but still love alcoholics. A modified version of AA's Twelve the person who drinks. Steps and Twelve Traditions is read, followed * You learn to stop trying to fix other peoples by an in depth discussion of a step, slogan or problems. topic. The group then breaks into small groups * Your job is to accept and take responsibility in which each teenager has an opportunity to for your own life. talk about what is happening in his or her life; share their success stories, strength and hope; Alateen groups meet in every state. For information on how to find an Alateen group near and tell how they are caring for themselves. you, visit the Al-Anon/Alateen website or call "Alateen is the one safe place where I can talk their national headquarters at 1-800-344-2666.

Enjoy Recovery Humor? Check out the best collection of recovery humor on the web at:

solutionnews.org


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Help For Alcoholic/ Addicts With Mental Health Issues Bill Wilson cofounded Alcoholics Anonymous, which psychiatrist and beliefs such as, "People should always behave exactly the way I want," or author M. Scott Peck called "the greatest positive event of the twentieth "I always fail when I try something new." Psychologists call these irracentury." Wilson also experienced bouts of depression so profound that he tional beliefs. found it difficult to get out of bed. Also crucial is sharing our inventory with other people and making amends to any To cope with the problem, he tried vitamin people who we've harmed. Step Ten sugsupplements. He tried psychoanalysis. He gests that we do things every day. And even experimented with LSD. Step Eleven reminds us to keep asking for Today, we understand much more about help. depression, anxiety, and other mental health Step Twelve plugs us in to the power of issues. Powerful new treatments are availcommunity, suggesting that we join with a able, and there's a growing understanding group of others who adopt these princithat the Twelve Steps of AA--which Wilson ples. wrote--comprise a set of universal principles for mental health. According to Step Twelve, we need the presence of a supportive commuFor example, Step One suggests that we stop denying the presence of a nity to sustain long-term changes in our own beliefs and behaviors. The condition that needlessly restricts our thinking, feeling, or behavior. late Dan Anderson, a psychologist and Hazelden's president emeritus, Healing begins when we accept the truth. This insight applies to addiction liked to express the paradox of this healing principle as, "You alone can do it, but you can't do it alone." and any other mental health problem.

Dual Recovery Anonymous

Step Two calls for a further admission--that we are powerless by ourselves Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) is an organization based on the to solve the problem. People in Twelve Step programs refer to this as the Twelve Steps as principles of mental health. Members of this group have been diagnosed with addiction and another psychiatric disorder. DRA principle of surrender. publications condense the group's program of recovery into three senStep Three, however, reminds us that surrender is not the same as giving tences: up. Rather, it means accepting help from any source outside ourselves--a "Higher Power." This term can refer to the God of traditional religions. * Today, I will be free of alcohol and other intoxicating drugs. But it can just as easily refer to a therapist, support group, or any other * Today, I will follow a healthy plan to manage my emotional or psyform of mental health treatment. chiatric illness. * Today, I will practice the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability. "For people who have struggled with a mental health condition, it is really a relief to acknowledge that it's not about them, that they're powerless Another popular summary of Twelve Step principles reduces them to just over being able to resolve it by themselves," says Sue Hoisington, execu- three words: honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. Here is a protive director of Hazelden's Mental Health Services in Minnesota. "They gram for anyone who seeks a life free from the limitations of mental illcan say, 'I've been trying so hard to get rid of this depression or this anx- ness. iety, and finally I can surrender, get the needed help, and let go of it.' " More information about Dual Recovery Anonymous is available at Steps Four through Nine offer more principles for restoring ourselves to http://www.draonline.org/. To learn about mental health services from sanity: Take an inventory of our strengths and weaknesses and be willing Hazelden, call 800-257-7810. to release them. An inventory for people with depression, for example, often includes --Published November 1, 2004, hazelden.org


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Rebecca B.

~ The 5 ACTIONS of Recovery ~ Big Book, Sponsor, Meetings, Steps and Prayer “To the exact degree that I take these actions, is the degree by which I will receive the benefits of them – up to and including ongoing sobriety and quality of life.” It is not just that I have read my Big Book… but rather am I using it as a TEXT to look for my problems and the solutions offered for them. It is not just that I can name a sponsor or that I even talk to my sponsor…rather am I being honest with my sponsor? Reviewing my days, listening, following suggestions and taking the directions given to me am I recognizing my sponsor as the physical extension through which my Higher Power will often work? It is not just that I have worked the steps or that I know how to use them…rather am I applying the steps on a daily basis, relying on the direction of my sponsor and the ability given to me by my God? Am I working the steps as an action to grow in intimacy with the God of my understanding? It is not just that I go to meetings or even that I can name a home group…rather: am I an ACTIVE MEMBER of my home group, contributing to it in some way on a weekly basis? (Whether that is done by greeting people, giving my number to newcomers, helping set up, helping clean up, reading, giving out chips, etc…) It is not just that I believe in God or that I talk to God in the morning and/or at night…rather: am I actively seeking God throughout the day? Am I asking for guidance in each questionable situation? Am I relying on God; and in doing so, recognizing my own limitations…leading me to grow in humble intimacy with Him? I have known plenty of people that would say (having come back from a relapse), “I did all that stuff and it didn’t work!!!” But in my experience (when we probed a little deeper and looked at the degree by which they took the 5 spiritual actions and applied them), it had not gone below the surface. The reliance (if any), that had been built - had been built on “people” rather than on “God”. The Big Book says, “we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid ” Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.” And so we will find this to be true in our recovery efforts. I have to remember “Who” keeps me sober and what role the 5 actions play: The Big Book is a text that guides me in (a) Understanding the problem; (b) Gaining insight to the solution, and; (c) In the applicable plan of the 12-steps as they are laid out…leading me to develop a relationship with God. - The Sponsor is there to guide me in the understanding of the Big Book and the action of applying the 12 steps to my life. - The Meetings are there to support me in my recovery efforts and to allow me the opportunity to get out of myself and be of service to others. - The Steps are there to enable me to develop a personal and intimate relationship with the God of my understanding. - Prayer is there to remind me that “I” am not my answer and “God” always is. So you take the 5 spiritual actions and add them together as if doing basic math: Big Book+Sponsor+ Home Group+Steps+Prayer = RECOVERY??? NOT QUITE! To get the full result, the BOTTOM LINE TOTAL…we must add one final piece to the equation: + Helping Others When this is added we get: Sobriety, Wholeness, Happiness, Purpose, Fulfillment, Life …and the list goes on. ~ To the degree that I desire these things in my life…is the degree by which I will have to take action in these areas.

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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 site:www.watershedalumni.com - 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!


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The "Forwarder's" 12 Step Program Sometimes friends have to tell you things you might not like to hear, but need to. If you are one of those people who like to forward every e-mail you get, please repeat the following ... 1) I will NOT get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if I DON'T forward an e-mail! 2) I will NOT hear any music or see a taco dog, if I do forward an e-mail. 3) Bill Gates is NOT going to send me money. Victoria’s Secret doesn't know anything about a gift certificate they're supposed to send me. 4) Ford will NOT give me a 50% discount even if I forward my e-mail to more than 50 people! 5) I will NEVER receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coca Cola, Cracker Barrel, Old Navy, or anyone else if I send an e-mail to 10 people.

12 Step Internet Recovery Program 1) I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my newspaper like I used to, before the Internet. 2) I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing. 3) I will get dressed before noon. 4) I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Internet.

6) I will NEVER see a pop-up window if I forward an e-mail! (If you do, you have a virus or trojan.)

5) I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Internet-deprived.

7) There is NO SUCH THING as an e-mail tracking program and I am not STUPID enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an e-mail to 10 or more people!

6) I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Internet.

8) There is NO kid with cancer through the Make-a-Wish program in England collecting anything! He did when he was 7 years old. He is now cancer free and 35 years old and DOESN'T WANT ANY MORE POST CARDS, or GET-WELL CARDS!

7) I will read a book…if I still remember how.

9) The government does not have a bill in Congress called 901B (or whatever they named it this week) that, if passed, will enable them to charge us 5 cents for every email we send. 10) There will be NO cool dancing, singing, waving, colorful flowers, characters, or program that I will receive immediately after I forward an e-mail. NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA!! 11) The American Red Cross will NOT donate 50 cents to certain individuals dying of some never-heard- of disease for every e-mail address I send this to. The American Red Cross RECEIVES donations. 12) And finally, I WILL NOT let others guilt me into forwarding an email by telling me if I don't I am not their friend or that I'm a bad person. Now, repeat this to yourself until you have it memorized, and send it along to at least 5 of your friends before the next full moon or you will gain twenty pounds in the next three months!

8) I will listen to those around me and their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Internet. 9) I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email. 10) I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not. 11) I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Internet. 12) Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime … and the Internet will always be there tomorrow!


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Next Workshops Feb 21 March 21 May 2


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JO LINDA BROWN

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Tel 561-495-1001 Fax 561-495-1002 www.obcottages.com


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Wanna Play? Come on a Gratitude Cruise 561-702-2312

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English Mountain Recovery Offers Hope and Help On a Mountaintop The road to recovery has often been compared to climbing a mountain. The path is long and hard with peaks and valleys but the goal is to reach the top. On a recent trip to Tennessee I had the opportunity to visit a treatment center where men and women literally find their personal recovery at the top of a mountain. The mountain is English Mountain east of Knoxville and the treatment center is English Mountain Recovery. English Mountain itself has a rich tradition as a healing center. In the thirties and forties its mineral baths were an attraction to people from all over the world. A resort hotel stood on the property where the treatment center now resides. Franklin Roosevelt utilized the mineral baths while President and it is said that when he and the Secret Service arrived the local moonshiners were in a panic thinking that the "revenuers" were there to close their stills. Physicians from all over the south met on a semiannual basis to discuss how to deal with their own alcohol and drug excesses. They found the resort and the mountain to be a place they could freely discuss personal issues. There is an old concrete stairway leading to a landing that amazingly consists of 12 steps. These events serve as a remarkable foundation to the present day recovery center English Mountain Recovery. English Mountain Recovery was founded by a couple from Florida whose lives had been touched dramatically by twelve step recovery. Alcoholism had threatened to destroy their lives and marriage until they found the programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. Their gratitude for the new lives they had found in these fellowships made them feel the necessity to give back what they had been so freely given. Their love of the mountains brought them to Sevierville and on a visit to the top of

English Mountain they found the property that was a perfect fit for a treatment center. Their vision was shared with a group of like-minded individuals and English Mountain Recovery was born. This mountain resort property with its rich history combined with the founder’s love of recovery has translated into a remarkable treatment center that offers quality affordable treatment to thirty six men and women. This dedication to the Twelve Steps and the spiritual solution is best described in their Mission Statement: “English Mountain Recovery is dedicated to providing the highest quality of recovery services to individuals and their families at the most affordable costs. We are committed to client service while emphasizing a spiritual foundation true to the original concepts of the Twelve Steps. We are committed to promoting awareness and understanding in a supportive environment so that our clients can experience freedom from active alcoholism and addiction.” The program utilizes lectures, films, Twelve Step Introduction, equine therapy, creative arts, and individual and group sessions. The program works with and encourages families to be involved with their own personal recovery process to promote family healing and supportive processes. It is mandatory that the families participate in family sessions if they wish to have visitation. Most all of the staff are people with long term recovery in a Twelve Step based program. This enhances the empathetic piece so important in establishing strong therapeutic connections. The client’s days are full at English Mountain Recovery with all activities structured to attract clients to the positive experiences recovery affords. The Twelve Steps offer a spiritual solution and belief that one's connection with a Higher

Power can be found through people. Many find their personal connection to a Higher Power through nature and the serenity of the Smoky Mountains. The mountain views and wildlife make it virtually impossible to not find a connection to a Higher Power through nature. English Mountain Recovery utilizes natural setting to its fullest, providing hiking trails, sightseeing trips, ropes courses and recreational opportunities such as tennis, basketball, beach sand volleyball and swimming in the on site pool. Also the experiential activity groups are held outside most of the year. Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit literally hundreds of facilities related to recovery and my experience allows me to evaluate the efficacy of these programs. There are many ways to form a final perception of these facilities. The appraisal of these facilities includes talking to clients, talking to staff especially the support staff, observing groups and participating in group activities. I was able to spend those two days at English Mountain Recovery and was very impressed by the positive responses of all my conversations. For many people who go to treatment, the first days can be difficult and some want to leave. The clients nearing the end of their 90 days were finding it difficult to think of leaving. They had found a safe haven that was the beginning of their recovery. After two days in this beautiful life affirming facility I was also reluctant to leave. People come from all over the United States to receive treatment at English Mountain Recovery which is nestled just a few miles from the Smoky Mountain National Forest entrance. David A. Cunningham, the Executive Director of English Mountain Recovery offered me an open invitation to return and you can be sure that I will take him up on the offer. (Dave F.)


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Rule 62 Page

Lip Balm Anonymous Self-Test for Lip Balm Addiction 1. Do you ever use more lip balm than you planned? 2. Has the use of lip balm interfered with your job? 3. Is your lip balm use causing conflict with your spouse or family? 4. Do you feel depressed, guilty, or remorseful after you use lip balm? 5. Do you use whatever lip balm you have almost continuously until the supply is exhausted? 6. Do you ever wish that you had never taken that first application or hit of lip balm? 7. Do you have an obsession to get lip balm when you don’t have it? 8. Are you experiencing financial difficulties due to your lip balm use? 9. Do you experience an anticipation high just knowing you are about to use lip balm? 10. Without using lip balm, do you have difficulty sleeping without taking a drink or another drug? 11. Are you absorbed with the thought of getting coated even while interacting with a friend or loved one? 12. Have you begun to use lip balm while alone? 13. Do your lips, nose, or other areas hurt when you avoid Lip Balm? 14. Do you ever have feelings that people are talking about you or watching you? 15. Do you use larger doses of lip balm to get the same protection you once experienced? 16. Have you tried to quit or cut down on your lip balm use only to find that you couldn’t? 17. Have any of your friends or family suggested that you may have a problem? 18. Have you ever lied to or misled those around you about how much or how often you use? 19. Do you use lip balm in your car, at work, in the bathroom, on airplanes, or other public places? 20. Do you occasionally coat heavily after a disappointment, quarrel or rough day? 21. When under pressure, do you always use more heavily than usual? 22. Can you handle more lip balm now than when you first started using?

23. When using with others, do you try to have a few extra coats when they won’t know it? 24. Are there certain occasions when you feel uncomfortable if lip balm is not available? 25. When you start using, are you in more of a hurry to get the first hit than you used to be? 26. Are you secretly irritated when friends or family discuss your lip balm use? 27. Do you usually have a reason for occasions when you use heavily? 28. Have you tried to control your lip balm use by switching brands or following different plans? 29. Have you often failed to keep promises about controlling your lip balm?

30. Have you tried to control your lip balm use by changing jobs or moving? 31. Do you try to avoid family or friends while using? 32. Are you having an increasing number of financial and work problems? 33. Do more people seem to be treating you unfairly without reason? 34. Have you ever decided to stop using for a week or so, but only lasted for a couple of days? 35. Do you wish people would mind their own business about your lip balm use–stop telling you what to do? 36. Is lip balm affecting your reputation? 37. Do you crave lip balm at a definite time daily? 38. Does lip balm cause you to have difficulty sleeping? 39. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of lip balm? 40. Are you afraid that if you stop using lip balm your work will suffer or you will lose your energy, motivation, or confidence?

41. Do you spend time with people or in places you otherwise would not be around but for the availability of lip balm? 42. Have you ever stolen lip balm or money from friends or family? 43. Can you apply lip balm with one hand? If you have answered Yes to any of these questions, you may have a lip balm dependency problem.

About Lip Balm Anonymous Without a doubt, the tradition that Lip Balm Anonymous continues started many years ago with Bill W. and Alcoholics Anonymous. Since then, other similar groups were founded. Lip Balm Anonymous continues the tradition. In early 1995, Kevin C. was a suffering Chap Stick addict. Though others had mentioned to him that he had a problem with lip balm, Kevin figured that since it was legal there was no problem with his usage. But, deep down, Kevin knew that his lip balm use was unhealthy–both physically as well as mentally. But, Kevin was weak and he did not know where to turn for help. Kevin C. was alone with his addiction. Later that year, Kevin had several friends who used 12-step programs to overcome alcohol or caffeine. At last, Kevin knew there was a chance. He quickly read the 12-steps and adapted them for his own purposes. He enlisted his 12-step veteran friends to counsel him. Just three weeks later, Kevin C. was free from lip balm. Once free for over 200 days, Kevin C. decided to spread the faith. He met informally several times with friends and convened the first official meeting of Lip Balm Anonymous in a meeting room in Mountain View, California. Several new members urged Kevin C. to make available the story of life without lip balm to the rest of the world. That effort resulted in the our website. We try to adhere to the 11th Tradition and as such do not actively seek to promote our organization as a whole. We do promote this Web site as a way of disseminating information about our organization.

www.lipbalmanonymous.com


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Over-Serious Anonymous 12-Step Program

Thinkers Anonymous

1. We admitted that we were powerless over seriousness -- that our lives had become unmanageable.

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.

2. Came to believe that only by lightening up could we achieve a state of non-seriousness.

I began to think alone – “to relax,” I told myself – but I knew it wasn’t true.

3. Made a decision to turn our constant self-criticism over to our sense of humor and learn to "lovingly and wholeheartedly" laugh at ourselves. 4. Decided to give ourselves a break once in a while, instead of constantly doing searching and fearless moral inventories of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being that our wrongs were often in our heads. 6. Were entirely ready to accept that our characters were as good as anybody else's and possibly better than most. 7. Quit harping on our shortcomings. 8. Made of list of all persons we thought we had harmed and saw that they'd forgotten all the crap we'd blown out of proportion. 9. Quit making amends for breathing air and taking up a few square feet of the planet's surface. 10. Resigned ourselves to the fact we were going to criticize ourselves at times, but would try to stick to our guns when we knew we were right. 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to calm down and realize we're not responsible for everything. 12. Having experienced immense relief from these steps, we would try to carry this message to other over-serious people and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.

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, “ 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 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….but 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, simpering 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 Thinkers Anonymous poster. It is responsible for what I am today—a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational 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.


26

Remembering Jack Handy of Saturday Night Live Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And Whenever you read a good book, it’s like the author is right there, in the I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it. room talking to you, which is why I don’t like to read good books. To me, it’s a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them you walk around. That way, if anybody says, “Hey, can you give me a down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. hand?” You can say, “Sorry, got these sacks.” Instead of a trap door, what about a trap window? The guy looks out it, Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, and if he leans too far, he falls out. Wait. I guess that’s like a regular flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he’s carrying a beauti- window. ful rose in his beak, and also he’s carrying a very beautiful painting with If I ever get real rich, I hope I’m not real mean to poor people, like now. his feet. And also, you’re drunk. If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let’em go, The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face. because, man, they’re gone. Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then on the way out, slam the door. because I bet that’s what REALLY throws you into a panic. To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography If you’re a cowboy and you’re dragging a guy behind your horse, I bet it would really make you mad if you looked back and the guy was readand the dancers hit each other. ing a magazine. Probably the earliest fly swatters were nothing more than some sort of One thing vampire children have to be taught early on is, don’t run with striking surface attached to the end of a long stick. wooden stakes. I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I’d just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was Consider the daffodil. And while you’re doing that, I’ll be over here, looking through your stuff. thinking about doing that anyway. Sometimes you have to be careful when selecting a new name for yourself. For instance, let’s say you have chosen the nickname “Fly Head.”Normally you would think that “Fly Head” would mean a person who has beautiful swept-back features, as if flying through the air. But think again. Couldn’t it also mean “having a head like a fly”? I’m afraid If you go flying back through time and you see somebody else flying some people might actually think that. forward into the future, it’s probably best to avoid eye contact. Somebody told me how frightening it was how much topsoil we are losIt’s easy to sit there and say you’d like to have more money. And I guess ing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got that’s what I like about it. It’s easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and scared. forth, wanting that money. Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words “mank”and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery and that’s why so is mankind.


27

To Deal With Obsession, Some Defriend Facebook Facebook, the popular networking site, has 350 million members worldwide who, collectively, spend 10 billion minutes there every day, checking in with friends, writing on people’s electronic walls, clicking through photos and generally keeping pace with the drift of their social world. Make that 9.9 billion and change. Recently, Halley Lamberson, 17, and Monica Reed, 16, juniors at San Francisco University High School, made a pact to help each other resist the lure of the login. Their status might as well now read, “I can’t be bothered.” “We decided we spent way too much time obsessing over Facebook and it would be better if we took a break from it,” Halley said. By mutual agreement, the two friends now allow themselves to log on to Facebook on the first Saturday of every month — and only on that day. The two are among the many teenagers, especially girls, who are recognizing the huge distraction Facebook presents — the hours it consumes every day, to say nothing of the toll it takes during finals and college applications, according to parents, teachers and the students themselves. Some teenagers, like Monica and Halley, form a support group to enforce their Facebook hiatus. Others deactivate their accounts. Still others ask someone they trust to change their password and keep control of it until they feel ready to have it back. Facebook will not reveal how many users have deactivated service, but Kimberly Young, a psychologist who is the director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Pa., said she had spoken with dozens of teenagers trying to break the Facebook habit. “It’s like any other addiction,” Dr. Young said. “It’s hard to wean yourself.” Dr. Young said she admired teenagers who came up with their own strategies for taking Facebook breaks in the absence of computer-addiction programs aimed at them. “A lot of them are finding their own balance,” she said. “It’s like an eating disorder. You can’t eliminate food. You just have to make better choices about what you eat.” She added, “And what you do online.” Michael Diamonti, head of school at San Francisco University High School, which Monica and Halley attend, said administrators were pondering what the school’s role should be, since students used Facebook mostly at home, although excessive use could affect their grades. “It’s such uncharted territory,” Dr. Diamonti said. “I’m definitely in support of these kids recognizing that they need to exercise some control over their use of Facebook, that not only is it tremendously time consuming but perhaps not all that fulfilling.” In October, Facebook reached 54.7 percent of people in the United States ages 12 to 17, up from 28.3 percent in October last year, according to the Nielsen Company, the market research firm. Many high school seniors, now in the thick of the college application process, are acutely aware of those hours spent clicking one link after another on the site. Gaby Lee, 17, a senior at Head-Royce School in Oakland, Calif., had two weeks to complete her early decision application to Pomona College. Desperate, she deactivated her Facebook account. The account still existed, but it looked to others as if it did not. “No one could go on and write on my wall or look at my profile,” she said. The habit did not die easily. Gaby said she would sit down at the computer and find that “my fingers would automatically go to Facebook.” In her coming book, “Alone Together” (Basic Books, 2010), Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who is director of the Initiative on

Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, discusses teenagers who take breaks from Facebook. For one 18-year-old boy completing a college application, Professor Turkle said, “Facebook wasn’t merely a distraction, but it was really confusing him about who he was,” and he opted to spend his senior year off the service. He was burned out, she said, trying to live up to his own descriptions of himself. But Facebook does not make it easy to leave for long. Deactivating an account requires checking off one of six reasons — “I spend too much time using Facebook,” is one. “This is temporary. I’ll be back,” is another. And it is easy to reactivate an account by entering the old login and password. For Walter Mischel, a professor of psychology at Columbia University, who studies self-control and willpower, “what’s fascinating about this is that it involves spontaneous strategies of self-control, of trying to exert willpower after getting sucked into a huge temptation.” Professor Mischel performed a now-famous set of experiments at Stanford University in the late 1960s in which he tested young children’s ability to delay gratification when presented with what he called “hot” temptations, like marshmallows. Some managed to stop themselves; others could not. “Facebook is the marshmallow for these teenagers,” Professor Mischel said. Rachel Simmons, an educator and the author of “The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence” (Penguin Press, 2009), said Facebook’s new live feed format had made the site particularly difficult to tear oneself away from. “You’re getting a feed of everything everyone is doing and saying,” Ms. Simmons said. “You’re literally watching the social landscape on the screen, and if you’re obsessed with your position in that landscape, it’s very hard to look away.” It is that addictive quality that makes having a partner who knows you well especially helpful. Monica said that when she was recently in bed sick for several days, she broke down and went on Facebook. And, of course, she felt guilty. “At first I lied,” Monica said. “But we’re such good friends she could read my facial expression, so I ’fessed up.” As punishment, the one who breaks the pact has to write something embarrassing on a near-stranger’s Facebook wall. After several failed efforts at self-regulation, Neeka Salmasi, 15, a sophomore at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Mich., finally asked her sister, Negin, 25, to change her Facebook password every Sunday night and give it back to her the following Friday night. Neeka quickly saw an improvement in her grades. Still better, she said, is that her mother no longer visits her room “every half an hour to see if I was on Facebook or doing homework.” “It was really annoying,” she said. Last year, Magellan Yadao, 18, a senior at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, went on a 40-day Facebook fast for Lent. “In my years as a Catholic, I hadn’t really chosen something to give up that was very important to me,” Magellan said in an e-mail message. “Apparently, Facebook was just that.” In his follow-up work, Professor Mischel said he found that some of the children who delayed gratification with the marshmallows turned out to be higher achievers as adults. Halley said she and Monica expect their hiatus to continue at least through the rest of the school year. She added that they were enjoying a social life lived largely offline. “Actually, I don’t think either one of us wants it to end,” she said. --------By KATIE HAFNER, New York Times: December 20, 2009


28

For Your Inspiration The Tomato Company

Time passes and at the end of the fifth year he owns a fleet of nice trucks and a warehouse that his wife supervises, plus two tomato farms that the boys manage. The tomato compaAn unemployed man is desperate to support his family of a ny's payroll has put hundreds of homeless and jobless people wife and three kids. to work. His daughter reports that the business grossed over He applies for a janitor's job at a large firm and easily pass- one million dollars. es an aptitude test. Planning for the future, he decides to buy some life insurThe human resources manager tells him, 'You will be hired at ance. minimum wage of $5.35 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that we can get you in the loop. Our system will Consulting with an insurance adviser, he picks an insurance automatically e-mail you all the forms and advise you when to plan to fit his new circumstances. Then the adviser asks him for his e-mail address in order to send the final start and where to report on your first day.' documents electronically. Taken back, the man protests that he is poor and has neither a computer nor an e-mail address. To this the manager replies, 'You must understand that to a company like ours that means that you virtually do not exist. Without an Email address you can hardly expect to be employed by a high-tech firm. Good day.'

When the man replies that he doesn't have time to mess with a computer and has no e-mail address, the insurance man is stunned, 'What, you don't have e-mail? No computer? No Internet? Just think where you would be today if you'd had all of that five years ago!' 'Ha!' snorts the man. 'If I'd had e-mail five years ago I would be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making $5.35 an hour.'

Stunned, the man leaves Not knowing where to turn and having $10 in his wallet, he walks past a farmers' market and sees a stand selling 25 lb. crates of beautiful red tomatoes. He buys a crate, carries it to a busy corner and displays the tomatoes. In less than 2 hours he sells all the tomatoes and makes 100% profit. Repeating the process several times more that day, he ends up with almost $100 and arrives home that night with severI found it was difficult to change the world, al bags of groceries for his family. so I tried to change my nation.

New Year’s Resolution: Change the World

During the night he decides to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he is getting up early When I found I couldn't change the nation, every day and working into the night. He multiplies his prof- I began to focus on my town. its quickly. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, Early in the second week he acquires a cart to transport sev- I tried to change my family. eral boxes of tomatoes at a time, but before a month is up Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is he sells the cart to buy a broken - down pickup truck. myself and suddenly I realize that, if long ago, I had changed At the end of a year he owns three old trucks. His two sons myself, I could have made an impact on my family. have left their neighborhood gangs to help him with the tomato business, his wife is buying the tomatoes, and his daugh- My family and I could have made an impact on our town. ter is taking night courses at the community college so she can keep books for him. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could, indeed, have changed the world. By the end of the second year he has a dozen very nice used trucks and employs fifteen previously unemployed people, all Anon. selling tomatoes. He continues to work hard.


29

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30

A Refuge Bearing Fruit to the Community "What do you do?" the priest asked me. "I am a writer." He was sometimes in a wheelchair, this priest. He often wore Hawaiian print shirts. It was a hundred and ten degrees in Maryland that week. Intimidated and nervous, I was scratching my head with my pen. I kept the pen in my hair at all times. "You are a writer who writes on her head." Every day at around three p.m., the priest came to visit with the patients at the hospital. We were sitting at a round table in the dining room. He had a staff of security guards with him most of the time. They wore black shoes, pants, ties, and blazers. They had walkie-talkies, making them look even more official. I mention his entourage because it lent to the mystery surrounding the priest. I know why they were so loyal to him. They were not highly paid, but he had saved their lives just like he saved mine. It made him seem like a thug or some kind of crime boss. He was a legend in certain circles. His name was on the hospital. He did not run the place, but he was the boss. He was sending some of us to Florida to stay with his friends. We were sick and we were going to try to get better. Florida would be a place to heal. "Delray Beach is known as the drug addiction recovery capital of the United States and has the country's largest recovery community and relative number of halfway houses (Wikipedia)" . The priest's attention went to the young woman sitting next to me at the round table, "Well, you will have to buy me dinner the next time I go to Florida." She looked at him puzzled, "Father, I don't have any money." He paused before responding to her. It was like every sentence he spoke was carefully formulated with wisdom, humor, and fatal seriousness. With a mischievous look in his eyes, he said, "You still steal, don't you?" He raised his chin slowly as he pronounced the "eeeel" in steal and fixed his eyes on her while his eyebrows did something very catholic, very intimidating. Maybe they taught it in seminary. Before the uncomfortable laughter subsided, one of the security guards was wheeling him away. The city of Delray Beach began in 1876 as one house called "The Orange Grove House of Refuge" in Florida (Wikipedia)." The house was one of five on the coast, built to rescue and shelter shipwrecked mariners and their passengers. The houses were operated by "The United States Life Saving Service (Wikipedia)." The agency eventually merged with other United States agencies to form the U.S. Coast Guard. All of the houses were run in the same manner. The shipwrecked mariners' quarters were upstairs and the Keeper's family lived on the main floor (Wikipedia) The orange groves did not fare well after a major freeze. By the 1920's the main crop became pineapples, which were farmed by the Japanese. There was a Japanese colony in Boca Raton, a twenty-minute walk from Delray Beach. The colony was called "Yamato" which attracted a man named George Morikami who bought land and later donated the land back to Delray Beach on the condition that the city would always honor the proverbial bridge, which was built amongst the Japanese, American and African cultures. His land, was, at one point, taken over by the military during WWII. It was used as a training base.

sity. She used to be a waitress, but since then, devoted her life to running the women's portion of a halfway house. From the outside, it appeared to be like any other condominium complex in the neighborhood. Inside each apartment, self-help slogans were taped to the walls in the kitchen and the hallways. House rules and chores and curfews which must be abided by, or else, residents would be forbidden to return for a period of at least two weeks. The main rule was that a resident must not drink or use drugs. Mostly, people who were kicked out, never returned of their own volition. It was a safe place to go for someone who wanted to quit drinking, for example, or kick a nasty drug habit for good. Families, husbands, children, boyfriends, who were fed up with the drinking usually encouraged a stay at the halfway house. One girl who no longer wanted rules, called for her father, who sent a limo to pick her up from the half way house. It was about 9am on September 11th when the limo pulled up out front. The other girls woke me up to say goodbye to her and television was on. We watched a plane crashing into a building in New York. I started pacing, contemplating the omen. The girl who was leaving, was thinking, maybe she shouldn't leave. (I remembered the priest yelling at someone at the hospital, "Can't you read the SIGN?" The priest had not been talking to me, but the way he yelled it, and the symbolic phrase was poignant to my situation.) I had a choice to make at this time in my life, just like the other girl. I could stay or I could leave. All the roommates had been awake at 2 in the morning listening to the girl verbally contemplate her exodus from the halfway house despite the fact that medical doctors had advised that she stay longer to maintain structure in her life. I paced, as if I knew that that plane crashing into the building meant that my roommate was going back to Philadelphia to start shooting heroin again. It was a sign. It was a warning. All I could do was figure out what it meant for me. She wheeled her suitcase out of the apartment, came back in, gave me a hug, looked me in the eyes and acknowledged she knew what the sign meant. She shook her head 'no', and said, "I can't (deal with the ramifications of this moment right now)." I felt letdown like I had to grieve her death right there, because I was watching her make the conscious decision to do the wrong thing, despite the warning. Everything was like this for a year. There were signs of warning, deaths of friends. I was shipwrecked and in my place of refuge. People came home drunk sometimes to find the locks changed, their keys no longer fit the lock, a 'tough love' move their husbands never had the heart to try. We were told to ignore the knocks on the door and call the manager of the house to notify her. Soon, instead of warning signs, I began to see positive signs around me; they came in the form of fruit. I found things to do with my time, like trying to teach myself to juggle using the grapefruits that grew in the yard by the pool at the halfway house. I never could quite juggle the grapefruits or the lives of so many chaotic people surrounding me. I just listened to their stories and filed them in my head, hoping they might help make sense one day. My first job in Delray was at a school called Morikami Park. It was named after the Japanese man who donated land to the city. I started learning about the culture of Delray and started tying stories together. With such a transient place, it was hard to find something continuous there; except the fruit, which told stories about the community and the history. It was a link for me, a signal. It was a sign like the priest said. For me it was something good.

When I arrived in Delray Beach in 2001 it was August 29th. The priest had friends there who owned the majority of the condominiums in a complex less than one mile from the Atlantic Ocean. The manager lived In the 1920's, around the time Flagler bought land in Florida to on the third floor with her boyfriend who taught math at the local univer- keep the United States tourist money domestic, instead of in the islands,


31

A Delray Beach Memoir

by Meghan Hardy

Health Farms cropped up. There was one particular place where mangos grew. The oral tradition was carried from the 1920s about The Florida Health Resort, which had 13 different varieties of mangos on its property. Each mango had healthful benefits. The patients with various illnesses would eat only mangos and spend time in the sun at the beach. They would return to their wealthy families looking tan and fit. Problem solved. Today, although, more modern, the concept is the same. The Health Resort became a halfway house for many years, carrying on the tradition of healing in the community. Eventually, I became an assistant teacher at a private school, the director of an after school program and ran a summer camp. I made enough money to get a tiny apartment. When the landlord showed me around the building, he made sure I knew the history. That town was a transient place; it was his responsibility to pass on the tradition. He made sure I knew the history of the trees. The biggest palm, about 60ft tall had coconuts. When the coconuts dropped, they yielded other trees because the coconuts themselves were the seeds. He pointed to each tree, largest to smallest, and pointed back to the tree it came from. At least once a season, I would be woken up by loud Creole voices outside my window, followed by the grenade-like sound of coconuts falling 60 feet onto the pebble garden. The first time was alarming. I looked out the window to find a Haitian man in the tallest coconut tree. "Wop wop. Wop, dwep wub dwa." They were loading coconuts into a truck to sell. It took about three minutes to realize this was a good thing, because I couldn't get them down myself, and a coconut falling on my head at that speed would definitely be lethal. Those Haitians saved my life! They came every year. The milk would be drunk, and the fruit could be eaten. "Up North," this would be considered theft, but in Delray, it was an understanding in the community. It was more of a harvest time. During the summer of 2007, I was given the opportunity to manage a halfway house. There were four residences; one of the buildings was called the 'Pineapple House.' Fruit had been a sign of good things. The job was, to enforce curfews. At night, I sat in the women's house and made sure no one came home drunk. On occasion, urine tests had to be administered. The better, easier, test was the saliva test or the old-fashioned Breathalyzer. In the mornings, I went to each house and made sure no one was sleeping in, made sure everyone had a job. The first Indian variety of mango was given to a man in Lake Worth, Florida, which is a one-hour walk from Delray Beach. Lake worth was then known as "Mangonia (MU Mounts, 346)." "Monthly meetings on Tropical and Sub-Tropical Fruits of the Florida State Horticultural Society: The major interest in all agricultural activities was to transpose such interests into acreage sales and much of the interest and activities of those early days were of such transient nature (M.U. Mounts, 220)" There was a real estate boom in the early 2000's. Properties, like my tiny apartment building, were gradually being sold, for large amounts of money. Many of them were demolished and half-milliondollar-town-homes were erected in their place. When the new landlord raised the rent and began remodeling, it was the signal to leave. Another opportunity arose immediately. A friend sent an email wishing to rent her three-bedroom house. There was a catch. The house was being used as a men's halfway house. The management had gone awry and the place was in shambles. The men were not following the rules, were using drugs, and had refused to pay rent. It took a lot of work to clean

once I moved in. There was, even, blood, spattered on the wall where someone had syringe-mishaps while shooting up. It was worth every minute spent bringing the house back to life. The house was pink and charming, surrounded by four large mango trees. The house was completed in 1951 according to real estate records, but the style lent to the 1940's. There was an addition added in 1951, which went on record. The trees could have originated in India as two different varieties of mango were brought to the area between 1930 and 1940. I spent my last three months in Delray Beach living at the Mango House learning my final pleasant lessons about the history of the city, and the place I had in that history. Once the cleaning was finished, I waited for the mangos to grow. Once the mangos blossomed and turned to fruit, the painful realization came that I could not reach them by myself. I needed my neighbors to lend their mango-picker. A few days later, I was awoken by the, now, familiar grenade-like sound of fruit hitting the ground. "Wop. Dwe wop wop." It was a sentimental time because I was leaving. I was not wealthy like those at the health resort in the 1920s, but I ate fruit every morning; my skin was dark and tan. With no family, I had shown up shipwrecked. Seven years later, I was handing out mangos to every friend who came over. One thing that did not change in Delray Beach for over a hundred years was the transience and the concept of refuge within the community. I was taught by shaman healers that if something grows at your house, it is something that you need. The fruits appeared, in a place where people needed them. Beginning with the ancient orange groves, needed by shipwrecked sailors, to the pineapples for the Japanese settlers, to the coconuts for the Haitians and the mangos for everyone, the fruits were a symbol of the community. The fruits of Delray carried on the tradition of refuge, the kind of America that people daydream about. The real America where people trade culture, remember where they came from, feed each other with fruit from the backyard, and heal together as a community after hard times.

One of the joys of long term sobriety is watching people grow in the program over a span of years. I met Meghan early in her Delray stay and we became friends. I knew she had creative aspirations as so many of the young people I met during those days did. I also knew from my own experience that recovery offered the realization of those dreams. Meghan will graduate from college with a degree in English, a wonderful gift with the written word and a bright and abundant life ahead of her. I am truly honored to present this beautiful memoir which will resonate with all of us who have experienced the healing energy of Delray Beach. From this issue on I hope to showcase the creative talent of writers, poets and essayists and anyone who wishes to submit materiial. Space in the paper is limited but my worldwide internet site solutionnews.org has unlimited real estate so I can sart a section of readers writings on the site. If you or anyone you know has a submission you can email it to solutionpublishingcompany@gmail.com. --Dave F.


The Wit of Will Rogers Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock. Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it... You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.

I have a scheme for stopping war. It's this - no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one. There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.

When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds. When you put down the good things you ought to have done, and leave out the bad ones you did do well, that's Memoirs.

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.

Why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as well as prohibition did, in five years Americans would be the smartest race of people on Earth.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

Worrying is like paying on a debt that may never come due.

Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn't have to advertise it.

Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious.

There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education.

Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else.

Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.

Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.

Money and women are the most sought after and the least known about of any two things we have.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies.

Things ain't what they used to be and never were. Things in our country run in spite of government, not by aid of it. We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can. We can't all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by. What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

Now if there is one thing that we do worse than any other nation, it is try and manage somebody else's affairs. People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing. People's minds are changed through observation and not through argument. Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated. The best way out of a difficulty is through it. The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don't let it get the best of you.


The Wisdom of Michelangelo A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

My soul can find no staircase to Heaven unless it be through Earth's loveliness.

A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.

If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendour of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes.

The best artist has that thought alone Which is contained within the marble shell; The sculptor's hand can only break the spell To free the figures slumbering in the stone.

Carving is easy, you just go down to the skin and stop. Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all.

Even if you are divine, you don't disdain male consorts. Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.

The best of artists has no conception that the marble alone does not contain within itself. The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. The greatest artist has no conception which a single block of white marble does not potentially contain within its mass, but only a hand obedient to the mind can penetrate to this image.

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.

The marble not yet carved can hold the form of every thought the greatest artist has.

From such a gentle thing, from such a fountain of all delight, my every pain is born.

The more the marbles wastes, the more the statue grows.

Genius is eternal patience.

The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.

Good painting is the kind that looks like sculpture. I am a poor man and of little worth, who is laboring in that art that God has given me in order to extend my life as long as possible. I am still learning. I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint.

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection.

If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.

I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.

It is necessary to keep one's compass in one's eyes and not in the hand, for the hands execute, but the eye judges.

I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.

It is well with me only when I have a chisel in my hand.

I live and love in God's peculiar light.

Many believe - and I believe - that I have been designated for this work by God. In spite of my old age, I do not want to give it up; I work out of love for God and I put all my hope in Him.

I live in sin, to kill myself I live; no longer my life my own, but sin's; my good is given to me by heaven, my evil by myself, by my free will, of which I am deprived.

There is no greater harm than that of time wasted. Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. What do you despise? By this you are truly known. What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed? Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.


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OUT WITH THE OLD…IN WITH THE NEW! Well another new year has rolled in as the old year rolled out! We here at Sober Sideboard always exclaim the same sentiment, "My how time flies!" Of course we have all heard the expression that time and tides wait for no man. I guess to be political correct we need to add "no woman" also. We do pray that the beginning of this New Year finds you in good health and eagerly anticipating the good things that are going to come your way. Last year was a year filled with joy and sorrows. One of the beauties of our program is that it helps us learn to deal with sorrows and disappointments in appropriate productive ways. It amazing how a simple 12 step program that began with just 2 people helping a few other people has developed into a world wide program involving millions helping millions. As we all know the original concept has ventured into every area of people's lives and is used to help others, from folks with eating disorders to practically any behavioral difficulty encountered on this planet. It all boils down to people helping people. The original premise of "people needing people" has proven over the years to be the most successful and effective approach. May we as a "recovering community" never lose sight of that fact. Our programs have reinstalled and reinforced the honesty and integrity we have always held and the principles we strive to practice in our daily lives. Let those who decide differently go about their way. Our mission is to share the path we have been so unselfishly shown. Let us live our lives in such a way those who observe will realize there is hope and a way out of a life of hopelessness and desperation. The remarkable thing it is

"free" to all to wish to pursue it. A buck or two in the donation basket and a little time making a pot of coffee or sweeping the meeting hall ain't gonna kill anybody! One important thing is to STICK WITH THE WINNERS! Help the lost! Help those scratching to make it, but don't forget to SOAR with the eagles. One of the goals of our column and this newspaper is prove there is a better way and lend encouragement to all who wish to lead a clean and sober existence. We know we can not force others to join us. The way is simple and there are plenty of guideposts along the route. For those who wish to return to their old ways…misery is always waiting with open arms. On the other hand, we also wait with open arms to all who wish to join our path and all who wish to return. Enough philosophizing! It's wearing this food columnist down! This is the beginning of a NEW YEAR! It is time to be joyous! It is time to get down to the business at hand which is… food! DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS, GLORIOUS FOOD AND GOOOOOD EATING! We have an open-up-your-eyes spicy Cajun dish to start off the New Year. So grab your aprons and let's head for the kitchen.

SEARED STEAKS WITH CREOLE SAUCE (Serves 4) INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 1 to 1 1/2 inch sirloin strip steaks (Creole Sauce) 1 small onion thinly sliced 1/2 green bell pepper thinly sliced

2 cloves minced garlic 1 cup canned tomatoes with juice 2 tablespoons Cajun/Creole spice Ground black pepper & kosher salt PREPARATION: Add oil to a medium-high heated fry pan. Lightly salt and pepper steaks and sear 4 minutes per side. Remove to a heated platter and cover. Let steaks rest and prepare the Creole sauce. In the same pan sauté the onions and green bell pepper 2 minutes. Add garlic, sauté additional 1 minute. Add tomatoes and spice. Bring to a boil. Simmer three minutes. SERVING: Top steaks with sauce. A terrific side with this entrée is rice pilaf. Additional goodies are an orange/avocado/radish salad atop your favorite greens and dressed with a pomegranate dressing. Any of the seasonal veggies available such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or squash are great veggie sides. Then top it off with an old fashioned French Apple pie from your favorite bakery and your fragrant hot coffee. This family or company meal will delight everyone. They will be telling you: "That's DEE-licious!" "Try it your tummy will be glad you did!"---Chef Lester

Chef Lester, author, columnist, and television host chef is a graduate of the Culinary Arts academy. Questions, comments, and suggestions? E-mail: cheflesterlee@yahoo.com

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EMAIL: ICUCoaching@aol.com


35

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Alcoholism Around the World China BEIJING — A Chinese policeman who died after drinking too much at a banquet he was made to attend has been deemed a martyr who died in the line of duty, in an apparent attempt to meet his family's demands for compensation, a state-run newspaper said.

expected of everyone, especially lower-ranked the damage binge drinking and intoxication officials, according to Xia Yeliang, an econom- caused. ics professor at Beijing University. "This has led to Operation Crusader and lately "Even those with liver problems or are driving the new peak-loading roster to dramatically are forced to drink, because their bosses will increase the number of staff on beat patrol at night in the central business district," he said. "The weekend shows that this consistent approach is starting to pay off and we can assure the community that we intend to maintain this high-visibility focus, policing around town at night."

Heavy drinking at business and government functions is almost mandatory in many parts of China, where "Gan bei," or "Bottoms up," is the official toast. Many of the banquets are covered by government funds. The China Daily reported Tuesday that Chen Lusheng, a traffic officer in the city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, was off-duty when he was made to take part in a banquet with local officials. After rounds of toasts, Chen vomited, passed out on a couch and accuse them of being disrespectful if they suffocated, the newspaper said. refuse," Xia said. "It's even harder to refuse, because the alcohol is free. The government It said that after being pressured by his family, needs to set clear regulations, especially for law police designated Chen a martyr – someone who enforcement officials, that state no public funds died in the line of duty – so that his relatives are should be used on any alcohol at banquets." eligible for up to 650,000 yuan ($95,000) in compensation. The newspaper said the family is Chinese academics have estimated that governdemanding at least 4.8 million yuan ($700,000), ment officials spend about 500 billion yuan ($73 and has set up a mourning hall at the police sta- billion) in public funds each year on official tion to pressure the department. banquets, nearly one-third of the nation's expenses on dining out. A spokeswoman for the Shenzhen police, who gave only her surname, Wang, had no immediate comment. Chen's death is not the first reported in China this year from excessive drinking at an official function.

New Zealand Australia

Senior Sergeant Phil Dean, of the Christchurch police, said intoxicated people who had not committed an offence could be held in a police cell until they sobered up, or police could take them home. If people were so intoxicated that their health was in danger, police would take them to hospital. Police monitored people who were repeatedly intoxicated and arrested, and collated "the top 10" monthly to look at ways to address their alcohol problems, he said. Assistant Commissioner Viv Rickard said the weekend blitz should be a "stark reminder" of the problems caused by alcohol misuse. "Success for police would be having a weekend free from public drunkenness, from young people being arrested for breaching liquor bans, from public violence fuelled by alcohol-related offending and from family violence where alcohol is a factor," he said. "Sadly, that wasn't the case at the weekend. There were too many arrests and too many violent incidents where people were affected by alcohol."

The operation was launched to demonstrate the "united resolve" of commissioners to change the In November, a Communist Party official in More than 2,700 drunk people were arrested in culture of binge drinking in public places and to eastern Anhui province died from alcohol poi- a trans-Tasman blitz targeting alcohol-fuelled challenge the drinking public to take greater soning after drinking heavily while entertaining crime. responsibility for their conduct. business associates during an official banquet, the China Daily reported at the time. New Zealand and Australian police joined for "Alcohol-fuelled violence is one of the most Operation Unite – a 48-hour operation at the pressing social challenges of our time," Rickard Two government officials in southern China weekend involving nearly 10,000 officers. said. died in separate incidents earlier this year after they fell into comas following official banquets Christchurch police arrested 111 people for "It is costing us millions of dollars each year and that involved excessive drinking. alcohol-related crime, including liquor-ban shattering many young lives and, quite frankly, breaches, fighting and assault. police on both sides of the Tasman have had The cases highlight the heavy ritualized role enough." drinking plays government circles in China, District commander Dave Cliff said where downing the potent rice liquor, bai jiu, is Christchurch police had known for several years


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Are You an Addicted Computerholic in the 21st Century? 24 Questions That Only You Can Answer To find out, ask yourself the following questions,and answer them as honestly as you can: 1. Is your reason for not staying in touch with family because they do not have Email addresses? 2. Do you have a list of 15 phone numbers and E-addys, or more, to reach your family of three? 3. Do you call your children's beepers or send them an Email to let them know it's time to eat? 4. Do they Email you back from their bedroom, "What's for dinner?" 5. Does your daughter sell her Girl Scout Cookies via her web site? 6. Do you chat several times a day with a stranger from South Africa, but you haven't spoken with your next door neighbor yet this year? 7. Have you checked the label on a can of chicken noodle soup to see if it contains a web address to report your dissatisfaction for the little lump of chicken included? 8. Has your grandmother asked you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver? 9. Do you pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to call or send an Email to see if anyone is home? 10. Do you notice if every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen? 11. Have you bought a computer and 6 months later became angry and frustrated because it is out of date and now sells for half the price you paid? 12. If you leave the house without your cell phone and laptop, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 years of your life, is it now a cause for panic, and do you turn around to go get them? 13. Do you use real money, instead of credit or debit or computer bill-pay, to make a purchase? Of course, real money is a hassle and takes time and planning. 14. Does cleaning up the dining room mean getting the fast food bags off the top of the computer desk and up off the floor? 15. Have you ever tried to enter your password on the microwave? 16. Do you consider second day air delivery of snail-mail letters painfully slow? 17. Is your dining room table now your flat filing cabinet? 18. Is your idea of being organized multiple colored Post-it notes stuck on the monitor? 19. Do you hear most of your jokes via Email instead of in person? 19. Did you get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls? 20. When you disconnect from the Internet do you get this awful feeling as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one? 21. When you get up in morning, do you go online before getting your coffee? 22. When you wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom, do you check your Email on your way back to bed? 23. Have you ever burnt food in the kitchen because you were sitting at your computer and forgot about what you were cooking? 24. Have you started tilting your head sideways to smile? :-) To find out how you did, count your "YES" answers,

Are you an addicted computerholic? If you answered YES to one of the questions, this is a warning that you may be addicted. If you answered YES to any two, there's a good chance that you are an addicted computeroholic. If you answered YES to three or more, you are definitely an addicted computerholic. These test questions are a useful help in determining whether or not a patient or family are definitely addicted to cyberspace and are computerholics. Don't Sweat It - Most of us by the time we get around to answering these questions average more than 15 yes answers . . . but I, for one, am determined to stay in denial!!!


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Parting Shots Signs Of The Times


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The Solution News - January/February 2010  

South Florida's leading journal of information for the recovering community.

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