Admissions to Mental Health Treatment: Limelight Interview

One of the most daunting parts of entering mental health treatment is picking up the phone to ask for help. Often, when people call, they are overwhelmed, contacting us on what might be a very bad day. But every person who calls Sanford Behavioral Health will know they are no longer alone. The Admissions team […]

Why Do I Need a Recovery Tool Kit?

  At the start of my recovery, years of people pleasing had dulled down who I really was. I developed an ability to respond to any situation in the way I thought I should rather than the way I actually felt. On top of that, years of drinking dulled the pain of living a life […]

recovery tool kit

Addiction Defenses: Denial, Justification, Deception, Manipulation

  Following is the complete series I wrote on the dynamics and defenses people use as they develop a substance use disorder (SUD). The primary defenses used as addiction progresses are denial, justification, deception, and manipulation.   Denial, Justification, Deception, Manipulation For the family members of an individual developing an SUD, these defenses are known […]

addiction defenses

Anxiety & Teen Eating Disorders: WGVU Morning Show

  Thanks to Shelley Irwin and the WGVU Morning Show for focusing on the rise in eating disorders in the past year. Shelley interviews Sanford’s Gail Hall about the increase in eating disorders, especially in teens.   Eating disorders are a lot about anxiety. And everyone’s anxiety has been ramped up (for good reason) the […]

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 […]

Drinking Problem? How Do I Know if I Have One?

  Our Admissions Specialists regularly take calls from people who are on the fence about whether they have a drinking problem or not.  Oftentimes the caller is obviously in trouble, but they don’t see it. Or don’t want to see it. We appreciate these calls, because it provides us with a nonthreatening forum to discuss […]

Isolation and Addiction – 3 BIG Reasons Folks With SUDs Isolate

  I have a friend who tells a story about the final days of his isolation and active addiction. He says he was smoking then, and he was not allowed to light up in the house. So, he would take a bottle of Jack Daniels to the unheated garage behind his house, sit on a […]

Importance of Connection in Recovery – Limelight Interview

  The historic home at 540 Cherry Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan, has stood the test of time. Now, as Sanford House at Cherry Street for Women, it exudes strength and safety, serving as a port in the storm during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the importance of human connection is clear.   In-Person Addiction Treatment in […]

Alcohol Ruins Relationships and Marriages, Even Brad Pitt’s

      n a spate of articles and talk show banter over the past few years, actor Brad Pitt has blamed his alcohol use for the demise of his marriage to Angelina Jolie. It seems there was a defining incident on a private plane, when Brad was inappropriately rough with one of his children. […]

Exercise and Addiction – 12 Good Reasons to Take a Hike

  “Walking is a superfood. It’s the defining movement of a human.” Kathy Bowman/ Move Your DNA   When I look back on the road to my recovery from addiction, the 12-step aphorism, “putting one foot in front of the other” has literal significance to me. I am always up for a long walk or […]