Happiness in Recovery – Reset Your Day!

  I’ve been feeling down lately. I won’t burden you with the details. And sure, there’s nothing wrong with feeling down. Happiness is not a prerequisite of recovery for my clients. Personally, I practice coping skills to move through the rough patches: physical exercise, following a routine, and asking for help. I’m also fortunate to […]

Recovery Expectations vs Reality – I’m Sober, What Now?

  We have a nasty habit of glamorizing “getting well.” Our recovery expectations envision peak health… how our lives will look (perfect) and bodies will feel (also perfect)… The thoughts we’ll have and the ones we won’t. Sometimes, we use the idealized and far-off future to excuse our behavior. Once I’m not using, then I’ll […]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Recovery)?

  The holidays present a slew of stressors, especially this year. They include financial pressure, over-commitment, and the expectations of a “perfect” memory-making scenario (while keeping everyone safe). For individuals new to recovery, the holidays may also present a surplus of triggers. Celebration of any kind, be it a birthday, promotion, or end of the […]

Codependency: Children of Alcoholics Making it All Better…

Codependency is a subject I am interested in. And I love self-help books.  It’s embarrassing… but I’m, like, drawn to them. It may be the natural counselor in me. I’ve read: French Women Don’t Sleep Alone: Pleasurable Secrets to Finding Love; Succulent, Wild Women: Dancing with Your Wonder-Full Self; Radical Self-Love: A Guide to Loving […]

Fear of Inadequacy – Is Good Enough, Good Enough?

Inadequacy. A feeling we “aren’t supposed” to have as competent, put-together adults. An emotion I’m certainly barred from as an advice-wheeling expert-in-the-room, right?    Growing up, we’re told to approach all things with confidence. We’re expected to push through doubt, advised to hide our insecurities. And while confidence is an important skill to master, it’s […]

Walking Through an Empty House/New Life in Recovery

In the span of six days, I moved house and purchased a new vehicle. I’m still rummaging through boxes for socks and toothpaste, eating off paper plates. I drive a Forester now, which may as well be a truck compared to my old subcompact. And in the midst of all of this rapid change, I’ve […]

Quit Brooding – Be Happy in Recovery!

  I’ve been feeling down lately. I won’t burden you with the details. And sure, there’s nothing wrong with feeling down. I practice coping skills to move through the rough parts: physical exercise, following a routine, and asking for help. I’m also fortunate to have a handful of folks who bestow help when I ask. Sometimes […]

Shame – Being VS Doing Something Wrong …

I struggle to facilitate conversations about shame. And I’m transparent about that with my clients. This is for a few reasons: shame is difficult to conceptualize. Unlike “coping skills” or “aftercare planning,” shame is nebulous. Open for discourse. Dependent on our unique perspectives and past experiences. Additionally, I’ve yet to master managing shame in my […]

Gracefully Welcoming Change: Recovery in an Ever-Changing World

Change. Many of us struggle to navigate it gracefully. To create meaningful change, we have to do things differently. We must engage in some self-reflection. And practice self-awareness. And admit our shortcomings… It’s a lot of work.   I could draw a metaphor, here, about the changing seasons (it’s finally starting to feel like spring […]

Coping with Life’s Ordinary Moments in Recovery…

Are things honestly ever “just fine” in early recovery?   At Sanford House , we begin group therapy sessions with a check-in. Clients are asked to identify how they’re feeling today. (Sure, sometimes therapy is just as on-the-nose as one may imagine.) I challenge my clients to reframe answers like “fine,” “good,” or “I don’t […]