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Posted in Early Recovery

Skipping Your Way to Sobriety

“Skip, skip, skip to my Lou. Skip to my Lou, my darling.”

This song evokes my childhood. I remember dancing to its lively tune. Most children skip spontaneously and without abandon. But then they’re told — explicitly or otherwise — to grow up, settle down and curb their enthusiasm. Kids lose a bit of their childish spark when they lose the skip. Fortunately, that spark can be relit.

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Posted in Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Alcoholism: The Killer That Steals Fathers From Families

On Father’s Day, June 15, grown sons and daughters will return home from far and wide to celebrate with their dads. Meanwhile, younger children will surprise their fathers with homemade gifts and personalized cards that will be proudly displayed on refrigerator doors for weeks. Fathers will be treated to fantastic meals at home or in fine restaurants all across the land, as those who love and appreciate them the most will go the extra mile to show how deeply they care.

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Posted in Recovery at The Ranch

Mindfulness in Recovery at The Ranch

Prayer and meditation have long been the underpinning of many fine addiction and mental health treatment programs. Due to the research that shows the efficacy of mindfulness in relieving a wide range of suffering, The Ranch has taken this a step further.

We have developed a program dedicated to training all clients in basic mindfulness skills. Beyond that, we have further training and opportunities for those clients interested in formal mindfulness practice as a primary support to their recovery.

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Posted in Early Recovery

Sobriety and New Year’s Resolutions

It is probably not surprising that so many people decide to pursue sobriety around the winter holidays, mainly because this time of year signals both an ending an a new beginning. Nothing is more indicative of a fresh start than New Year’s, so making a resolution to quit drinking, using drugs, and/or engaging in addictive behaviors (gambling, sex, eating, video gaming, shopping, etc.) makes perfect sense. Usually, though, simply making a resolution is not enough. This is true even with non-addicts, many of whom resolve to drop 20 pounds every year but never manage it. Of course, a bit of extra belly fat is not usually as life-threatening as a full-blown addiction. The good news, if you’ve resolved to stay sober in the New Year, is that there are a few additional New Year’s resolutions you can make that can help you to maintain that big one.

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Posted in Articles

When There’s No Place to Go But Up

 “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet (1854-1900)

When we are in recovery, whether we are literally coming back from lying in the gutter or just feel as if we’re climbing up from the pit of despair, we know what it means to be at rock-bottom. When we look at our life thus far, we know one thing for certain: When we’ve hit bottom, there’s only one place to go, and that’s up.

This is the good news and the bad news. It’s certainly good news if we vow to change our behavior and not only get clean and sober, but stay that way. It is bad news if we know that we could do something to make our lives better but we choose to remain in our current state. While we may not totally relapse, we’re not getting any further along in our recovery either. So, faced with the good news/bad news dilemma, what should we do when we enter recovery and find ourselves in a quandary, not knowing exactly where to turn? Here are some suggestions.

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Posted in Articles

The Importance of Attitude

“Man’s rise or fall, success or failure, happiness or unhappiness depends on his attitude…a man’s attitude will create the situation he imagines.” – James Lane Allen, American novelist and short story writer (1849-1925)

When we think about having “attitude,” sometimes we think of something bad or too forward or outgoing. As if this is something we shouldn’t project. But let’s take another look at attitude, specifically, the importance of attitude when it comes to our recovery.

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Posted in Articles

How To Gain Strength, Courage and Confidence in Recovery

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, from 1933 to 1945, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, she was an author, speaker, activist for civil rights, worked to enhance the status of working women (1884-1962)

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Posted in Articles

Doing What’s Necessary, What’s Possible, and What Seems to be Impossible

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi, Italian Catholic friar and preacher, founded the Franciscan Order, patron saint of animals and the environment (1181-1286)

How many times have we faced challenges that we think are beyond our capabilities? How often do we struggle just to make it through the day, doing what we know we have to, in order to maintain our sobriety? Sometimes, doesn’t it seem as if we’re treading water, not really making much progress at all, but not sliding backwards either? Let’s take a look at some of these in a little detail and maybe provide some helpful suggestions on how to get past them.

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Posted in Articles

On the Power of Stretching the Mind with a New Idea

“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. author and physician (1809-1894)

Stretching our mind is probably a concept that many of us believe is not possible. After all, our brain is our mind, right? It has a defined dimension or limitation of space. So how can we stretch it? Actually, stretching our mind is a bit of a metaphor. We’re not actually changing the physical shape or altering the dimensions, but we are changing the usable, functioning parts of our brain when we stretch it.

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Posted in Articles

On Being the Best You You Can Be

“Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland, born Frances Ethel Gumm, American actress and singer, died as result of intentional or unintentional overdose of barbiturates (1922-1969)

Why are we quoting Judy Garland here? Wasn’t she a troubled individual, prone to all sorts of emotional difficulties, attempted suicides, abuse of prescription medications and other assorted medical ailments? While this is probably a more or less accurate description of the actress and singer, it certainly is nowhere near the sum total of who Judy Garland was. In fact, she was an extraordinarily talented woman who gave immense pleasure to others who watched her on the movie screen or listened to her sing.

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