8 Skills In Recovery That Will Last A Lifetime And Make You A Better Person

skills in recoveryNothing in life comes free.

They say the best things in life are free, but that’s not really true. Anything worth having in life takes time and practice. This is especially true in recovery.

I’ve heard the expression that staying sober is like “walking up a down escalator.” If you are staying still, you are actually falling behind. I find a lot of truth in that.

Learning new skills and tools is very similar. It takes maintenance to keep the blade sharp. The upside however is that learning these skills will improve your recovery, your life and overall make you a better person.

1 – Show Empathy

I struggle with this.

When people relapse and […]

Young People in Recovery Receives $1 Million Dollar Pledge from Life of Purpose

ypr and life of purpose

(Denver, CO)—Young People in Recovery (YPR)—a national grassroots advocacy organization focused on creating recovery-ready communities throughout the nation for young people in or seeking recovery—today announced that Life of Purpose, a South Florida behavioral health conglomerate, has pledged a $1,000,000 unrestricted gift to YPR.

“This unprecedented $1,000,000 gift is about more than just money, it is a call to action for recovery philanthropy to be taken to the next level,” said Justin Luke Riley, YPR President and CEO. “We will use this to leverage our efforts across the youth recovery advocacy movement. Most importantly, this gift represents hope and validates that young people in recovery are extraordinary and worthy of […]

A Bottom That Could Have Been Someone’s Ground Level


I started using when I was 17 years old. I thought I was just like everyone else when it began.

After I graduated high school, I wanted to get out of my home town as fast as I could. I went to the University of Minnesota in Duluth. I made some really great friends, had a ton of fun, and did pretty well in school; I even accomplished a 4.0 my last semester there. I was a cheerleader for football and basketball. I lived with 5 other girls that I had a blast with.

After a year and a half at UMD, loving it, my best friend passed away. Lost and totally terrified of “doing” life without him, my “secret box”, drinking […]

4 Tips To Get Out Of Your Sober Bottom

get out of your sober bottom

This isn’t making any sense…

You got sober, you took the hard road and you succeeded. You haven’t touched a drink in years and yet… you feel like shit.

Why is this happening? What did I do wrong? How can I get back to feeling the way I used to? Where can I find my pink cloud?

It is common to hear people in recovery talk about their sober bottoms. Sometimes, for whatever reason, depression can sit in and get you in a rut.

RELATED: Depression In Recovery

I know first hand what this feels like. Everyone, no matter what your social or financial status, has days where it all […]

5 Ways To Avoid Relapse In A World Of Temptation [Podcast]

tips to avoid a relapse

Relapse is not a requirement.

That feeling when you wake up after a “drunk dream.” The instant fear and disappointment that you just let every body down and you relapsed. Soon after, the comfort comes in and you realize that it was all just a dream.

Some drugs have different relapse rates than others. Most relapses occur from drinking alcohol. The legal drug seems to be the one that causes most of the problems.

Temptation is everywhere. It seems that we can’t escape it. When we hang with friends, when we watch tv, when we cruise on social media, or even if we are alone with our own thoughts it is […]

4 Qualities You Should Look For In A Sponsor

what to look for in a sponsor

All 12-steppers can attest to it.

“Don’t drink. Go to meetings. Get a sponsor.”

Recently 12 step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have been criticized due to ideology differences, alternative options to A.A. and low overall statistics when looking at long-term success rates.

A.A. is still the most widely used, widely celebrated and most recognized track to sobriety. People are very passionate about AA, and they should be. For millions of people, AA saved their lives and gave them a life worth living.

A.A. is not however a fool proof system. One important criteria in completing the 12 steps is to have a sponsor who is willing to take you through. […]

Taking A Daily Inventory. Choose To Feel, Choose To Change

daily inventory

When my head hits the pillow at the end of the day and it’s so quiet I can hear the silence around me. When I allow myself to melt into my bed, my day begins to unravel.

Thoughts circle and spin above emotions I didn’t realize I was feeling all day. My heart is tired and it aches. I stare at the ceiling and decide to let go, to breathe. I decide to let go of control and allow the process to work.

Suddenly the tears begin to fall down my cheeks uncontrollably. Like cleansing drops of rain I release all I’ve held in for the day. There are so many things I’m recovering from […]

If The Media Treated Alcohol Like Other Drugs [Podcast]

if the media covered alcohol like other drugs

Alcohol is legal. Alcohol plays an important role in the American economy and also American culture.

Everyone has a different opinion, my personal opinion is that alcohol should always be legal. Prohibition does not work and we know this from our own history.

It should be noted however that alcohol is by far the most deadly drug in America. There are 88,000 reported alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. every year. Most of the attention goes to harder drugs such as heroin or crack cocaine. However, heroin alone reports 9,000 deaths per year. Marijuana has reported ZERO deaths in the last year, or the last thousands of years […]

Losing Someone To Drug Addiction: 5 Ways To Provide Meaningful Support


With all of the sophistication of modern man with our technology and advanced ways of thinking, the concept of death remains of the great mysteries of life and is a concept that many struggle to face and define.

Like the rising and setting of the sun, the life of life, death and the dash in between is inevitable. One day, we all will die–and we must find a way to come to terms with it, accept it, and find ways to squeeze the marrow of every second we have on this spinning blue orb located 93 million miles from the sun.

When people die in our lives, the process of grieving, mourning and resolution is […]

The Keys To Long Term Recovery

do you want to stay sober

We live in a culture of now.

In our sound byte, bite-size, micro-chipped here today gone later today world, we want results–and we want them yesterday.

We want flatter stomachs and washboard abs, and we want our debt forgiven and our hairlines to return to normal. We want to wash the gray away and diminish the fine wrinkles associated with aging. We buy specially formulated elixirs and hardened pieces of plastic and give our hard earned scratch to gurus in three-piece suits that have the answer to everything.

If only it were 1-2-3.

While we desire the ideal, reality will smack us square in the kisser and we will have to […]

4 Ways To Overcome Resentments in Your Recovery


No matter how much clean and sober time you may have under your belt, your addiction is a cunning and subtle beast–and it will try to find a way to worm back into your grey matter and set up shop.

You can be at the top of your recovery game. You are working your program of recovery like a boss and doing all the things you need to do to stay happy and sober–and yet there are moment where the recovery motor skips a beat and your wheels get mired in the mud.

While getting stuck in neutral is a normal part of the recovery process, staying stuck can be problematic–very problematic. If you aren’t […]

5 Awesome Addiction Recovery Charities That You Should Know About

addiction non profits

A few weeks back, I wrote about a wonderful organization called The Herren Project and all they are doing for the recovery community in raising awareness and reducing the stigma that surrounds addiction.

In this article, I felt it was time to spotlight some other addiction recovery charities that are doing great work in spreading the message that recovery from substance abuse is possible. These recovery charities may not get the gloss, but they work tirelessly educate, advocate and raise funds to provide programs that help those struggling in addiction get the fresh start they deserve as recovering people.

The following are 5 examples of addiction recovery charities that you need to check out and […]

The Other Side Of Drinking – My Mom Is An Alcoholic [Podcast]

alcoholic mom

This week’s Recovery Elevator podcast touches on a lot of different subjects.

First, Paul gives his viewpoint on people who get sober through other means rather than A.A. Paul acknowledges that some people do get sober without A.A. but regardless of your journey, sobriety takes work.

Next Paul talks to Emma. Emma has an amazing and heartfelt story about what it is like growing up with an alcoholic mother. Emma talks about calling the suicide hotline for her mother, and it is very eye opening.

Emma is just 15 years old, she is going to be a junior in high school. Emma talks about what it was like having the conversation with her mother and letting […]

Need Help Finding a Sponsor?: 5 Tips That Will Help Make Your Search Easier


Are you new to recovery? If you are reading this and you answer this question with a solid yet resigned YES, walking into a 12-step meeting can be overwhelming and full of WTF moments.

The sights, the sounds, the smell of strong coffee, strangers engaging in recovery speak that sounds like a foreign language–it can be a lot to take in for someone looking to start a new chapter in their life.

12-step meetings can be a crucial tool in your journey towards recovery. The support, encouragement and fellowship you receive from those who are walking a similar path can empower you to the nth degree and provide you the motivation to gear down, buckle […]

Preventing Relapse: 5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Recovery On Track and Intact


No matter where you are in your recovery, there is no doubt that you have put in your share of sweat equity to keep it center stage in your life. You went through drug treatment and continue to go to 12-Step meetings and other sober support groups, you work with your sponsor and are on point in working your program of recovery.

You had worked hard to built a healthier, better and more sober you. But while you are making the most of this new lease on life, there is that nagging thought that lurks around the back door of your mind and pops up in the rear view–and it is the thought of […]

America’s Prescription Pill and Heroin Epidemic


It is pop quiz time here at Sober Nation.

What is the leading cause of death right here in the U S of A?

If you guessed drug overdoses, you are absolutely correct.

While it may not come as any surprise, drug overdoses have surpassed car accidents and gunshot wounds as the leading cause of accidental death in this country. Yes, the specter of America’s drug epidemic has stayed on the front page of the news and social media and health officials, lawmakers and citizens alike are wrestling with ways to stem the tide.

The biggest concern centers around America’s prescription pill and heroin epidemic. Just by looking at the sheer numbers, it doesn’t take much […]

Heroin Addicted Woman Begs Judge To Send Her To Jail To Get Clean

kayla dempsey Image source – http://www.wfmj.com/

If anyone reading this has ever been addicted to heroin, you know the hopelessness that comes along with the drug.

This hopelessness is what motivated Kayla Dempsey, a 25-year-old woman from Youngstown Ohio, to desperately beg her judge to send her to jail for 30 days so she could get clean. The admitted heroin addict pleaded guilty to possession of a drug instrument and requested that Youngstown Judge Elizabeth Kobly throw her in jail for 30 days so she could get clean.

“There’s no help out there anymore. There’s a three-month waiting list for any rehab around here because of the heroin epidemic. It was faster to go to jail.”

This simple […]

The Otherside Of Alcoholism – The People We Put Through Hell [Podcast]

the otherside of alcoholism

It never gets better. It always gets worse.

There is a strange dichotomy with alcoholism. You want people to leave you alone, yet you wish someone would be there to help you.

How dare them!

My family doesn’t reach out to me about my drinking, even though they can see I am in pain. Yet I am hiding my drinking from them in the first place. Not to mention, I secretly resent them for being a “normal drinkers.”

How could they possibly understand?

The family aspect of addiction is a topic that we have touched on a lot on this website. Addiction affects more than the person with the addiction, it affects everyone. It is terrible […]

5 Recovery Apps That You Can Use Now!


There’s an app for that….

This catchphrase has become common speak in our fast paced, here today-gone later today technological world. Phone apps have become the savior for many who are looking to make their lives easier and more stress-free?

You want to order pizza without picking up the phone? You want to know where the nearest post office is in a new city? Do you want to learn the right way to play “Stairway to Heaven”? You guessed it…there’s an app for that. Dating, gaming, tips for home and garden, exercise, taxes, employment–phone apps have become an indispensable tool.

Recovery, Inspiration, and Motivation–Coming to an iPhone, iPad or Android Near You

With the widespread popularity […]

7 Recovery Quotes From Celebrities That Will Make You Think

anthony kiedes sobriety quote Image Source – http://anthonykiedis.net/

“I’ve wanted to feel pleasure to the point of insanity. They call it getting high, because it’s wanting to know that higher level, that godlike level. You want to touch the heavens, you want to feel glory and euphoria, but the trick is it takes work.

– Anthony Kiedis

jk rolwing recovery Image source – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

-J.K. Rowling

albert einstein recovery quote Image source – http://imgmanta.com/

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind […]