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Trust can be an elusive thing, but we know when we have it and we know when it’s gone. The other day someone told me their goal was to “earn back the trust I have lost.” In recovery from addiction, return to trusting can be a long road.

When did the trust arrive? How long did it take? When did the trust leave? Trust can sneak out the back door without saying a word or can give a thousand kisses and stay for dessert before it finally exits. …


“Loving connection is the only safety nature ever offers us.” -Dr. Sue Johnson

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We aren’t big mammals with sharp talons or teeth. We are social creatures and pack animals that rely on our connections and communities for survival. Even if we sometimes feel alone or isolated, there is a vast network of people who help us in small and big ways: making our clothes, making scientific advances that we benefit from, picking fruit in another state or country to end up in our grocery store shelves. An extensive network of interdependence allows us to thrive. Relationships are the bedrock of being human. …


THE SCIENCE OF ALCOHOL

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“We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy.” -Dr. William Silkworth, AA Big Book

One of my frustrations with Alcoholics Anonymous has been the naming of alcohol use disorder as an allergy. I have enjoyed many aspects of twelve-step communities and the support and resources they provide. However, the science that is repeated is extremely outdated. It’s almost 100 years old! The original publication date of the AA Big Book was in 1939. Since that time we have made medical advances in almost every…


“Wherever you go, there you are.” -Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Always the dream was somewhere else, further off, and I took a series of geographical cures in search of myself.” -Alcoholic Anonymous, p.338

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When I was around 25, I embarked on what my father would later dub my “Magical Mystery Tour.” I was working at a job I enjoyed but felt monotonous. I was not healthy and felt stuck. I needed something radical. I shaved my head and embarked on said tour. In one year I roamed the southwest for several months spending time with various family members. Then I spent time…


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While the pandemic has been an enormous challenge for many, some silver linings exist. For those getting sober, the year of no parties, sporting events, or packed bars has been a welcome reprieve. Those getting newly sober often worry about how to manage socializing with friends and family.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do at my cousin’s wedding.”

“What am I going to do when I go to the game?”

“I will feel out of place at the business dinner.”

These are common refrains from folks struggling to stay sober on a daily basis. Many have been thankful…


“We admitted we were powerless over ______________ and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

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Step One in the Twelve Steps can be a tough pill to swallow. No one really likes to admit powerlessness, especially in our individualistic culture. The American way tends to value the kind of bootstrapping that looks down on defeat. To admit powerlessness is equated with admitting defeat. However, there are lots of things we are powerless over: the weather, traffic, other people. …

Ana Maria Martinez

Hi. I’m a psychotherapist in Colorado writing about recovery, therapy, and self-care. I think growth itself is a spiritual path. I love art, nature, and food.

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