Category Archives: 12 step


What is a support network? Well, in recovery, it’s a group of people that you incorporate into your day to day to help you remain abstinent. Every person you include can help you deactivate your triggering events, be a person to vent to, cry to, laugh with or whatever.

Remember, who you add is up to you. Sometimes you need to watch and listen before you add ANYONE to your network. Keep this in mind, everyone in treatment or in the rooms may not be serious about recovery!  That’s why you have to watch, listen, screen, ask questions of the person you choose to include.  YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON ADDING WORTHY INDIVIDUALS. And this could include people that you would like to work 12 steps with, to mentor you, spiritual leaders or friends, therapists. . . Any person that you think will add value to your group.

Again, before making these choices, complete a pros and cons list for the people. Act like you are hiring these people. Ask serious questions about their lives and their recovery. Ask how long they have been clean, who is their sponsor or mentor, how are they staying abstinent.

Here is a hand out that you can print and use for building your own group.chart-for-support

And yet again, you can use this one as a guide to create your own flow


Hope this helps…drop me a line!




Life on Life’s Terms

What does that mean when you are in recovery?

Think about it…

I know that, today, I can handle some pretty difficult circumstances without running to the liquor store, refrigerator or shooting a bag of heroin. Today, I don’t want to numb myself.

Why? That’s a good question for me to contemplate…Why? Because I want to experience everything that my life hands me, throws at me and craps on me.  I want…no I need to be an active participant in the day to day living and dying of my life.

You see, today, my mom has basically lost the battle she was fighting with dementia. I’m about to go and get her from the hospital, where she has been for 5 days, and bring her home. My mom has sooooo many illnesses that she is trying to live peaceably with. It’s not working. Her lungs are shot (COPD). Her heart, well that old thing is tired, worn out and struggles to keep the blood flowing through AFIB, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and Type 2 Sugar.

This is my mom at Christmas in 2011-with her first great grandbaby

This old gal stood up to the courts of heaven and cried, screamed and plead during the throws of my addiction.  She lived it all as I numbed myself to escape the pain, she lived it.  So now it is my honor and privilege to enter the courts of heaven myself and cry, scream and plead. I want to be sober and vigilant. I want to be in my right mind as I battle this battle for her.

Oh Hon, don’t get me wrong, IT IS VERY HARD. I am a drama queen, a loud mouth piece, arguer, fighter- I am THAT WARROR who doesn’t know the meaning of stop or surrender. But through all that, through the anger that we may throw around, through the mean words spoken by both of us, I love that old girl.

I REMEMBER the days that I came home to try and hustle some money with my latest lies and schemes only to have her hand me a bag of food and send me on my way. She told me that she would cry for hours after she sent me on my way. I didn’t know that at the time. I do now. All the anguish and pain she was experiencing as I numbed myself every day for years.

Now I am the night watchman on the wall. When she cries out at night in fear, I quiet those fears and then I bombard heaven until I fall asleep again.

When she is confused and doesn’t know what is reality and what is not, I am here trying to be vigilant; trying to be the keeper of her memories.

I sometimes go along for the ride when she doesn’t know fact from fiction. I’ve been told that this will help her quiet her agitation. After all, when we are in the throes of our addiction, don’t we live in a fantasy world that we created so we don’t lose our sanity?

So that is why I live my life on the terms that the good Lord sees fit to send my way. I trust HIM enough to go along with the trials and triumphs that we call life. He is after all THE GOOD LORD.

So as you read this, look honestly at your trials AND YOUR TRIUMPHS! Look at how far you’ve come. Even with the mistakes you’ve made, you are STILL better off now than you were in your addiction

Put the work in

One of my biggest pet peeves with the Newbie to recovery is that they don’t want to put the work in. What does that mean??? It means that they often put themselves in harm’s way to get the money for the drug of choice, to find a place to use it and then to be high only to come into treatment and whine because they have to go to meetings or group!!!!

Are you kidding me??? Are you for REAL??!?!?!?! We sold our souls, stole from our families, our kids, we sold our bodies, we would do ANY THING that the corner boys told us to do to get a tester, a blast, out of the gate…BUT 2 weeks into recovery, we cry because getting up to go to a group or meeting is just TOO DANG BURN HARD.

hard work from

(Thanks to for the picture)

I am sure I felt the same way. But when I entered recovery, I had a group of women around me that pushed me, believed in my recovery and went out of their way to help me get to where I needed to go and do what I needed to do.  Also my mom was my biggest fan. She provided the free babysitting that helped me get back to work within 5 months.

One of my mentor’s quoted over and over, “No correction feels good (Click the link to see Hebrews 11:12 in several translations)  at the time you receive it, but in the end it is very profitable for your recovery (Growth, success, etc.). That one saying carried me through celebrating 16 years of recovery 7 days ago.

Everyone’s story is not the same. It’s as unique as the individual. One thing that is consistent throughout the recovery process is that there are people who are willing to help. Even with all of the mess we bring into recovery. Just like in anything else in life, you have to find your tribe-your path.

And let me tell you, it does get easier! Otherwise we could not or would not recover. Addicts do NOT like pain-Why else would we put ourselves and our people through all of that if we could just walk into recovery and feel no pain.  IT HURTS TO RECOVERbut buddy o’ pal I wouldn’t change the journey at ALL (except for the pain I caused to my loved ones). That struggle, the pain, the tears all of the blood and gut wrenching pain has made me who and what I am. That Recovery Drill Sergeant that will fight with you until it is settled and you are on the other side of that moment when you chose recovery.

We’ve all heard the phrases and slang in the rooms or in jail on the wall –

“This too shall pass” or “My worst days in recovery are better than my best days in addiction” and oh how about this one “Recovery is not for people who need it, it’s for people WHO WANT IT.”

I like that one. Basically when I started in recovery I could only do it 5 minutes at a time. Then it went up to 10 minutes, a group length, a day, a few days, then weeks, months and now years.

freedom next exit

But any time I start to whine about the work or the struggle or whaaa whaaa whaaa , I turn to My Higher Power, my King and His Spirit encourages me, and lifts me back to my feet and brushes me off so I can finish the race.

I tell my client’s all the time. “We are either working on recovery or we are working on a relapse. There is no sitting on the fence and taking a time out. Because your addiction has been sitting in the recovery groups with you so it can learn what you’re learning and can throw that monkey wrench in your workings. It is crafty, devious and DEADLY!”

My goal is always to encourage and to lift up those in the struggle. I do NOT do this by hand holding and paddy caking. That’s not what a drill sergeant does. They get ½ inch from your face and scream at you and put foot to butt so that when you leave treatment, you will not die as soon as you get home. Or in other words, you won’t go cop as soon as you hit the hood.

Stop whining!  Or if you have to whine, whine as you keep crawling forward. Whine as you pick yourself up. Whine and WIN this thing.  How about this; instead of whining how about thanking your Higher Power for waking you up ad giving you one more day on this glorious ride we call living!

Thankful and humble people make it until the end of the race!

Here’s one of my favorite C. S Lewis quotes…

cs lewis hardships

 If you would like, I would welcome your feedback. Until next time! Live long and prosper dude!