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Looking Up

October 29, 2015 1:59 am

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It is Fall in Nebraska.

When I was drinking I lived in a world that consisted of looking at the tops of my shoes and never, EVER looking up.

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When I was newly sober, it was suggested to me to look up.   This is a suggestion that I have never forgotten and utilize frequently.

This is what Fall looks like in the Mid-West when I look up:

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Try looking up.  It is amazing what is all around us!

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“Keep Looking Up… That’s The Secret Of Life…” – Snoopy

Home….

October 19, 2015 7:07 pm

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At home.  On the Central Coast of California.

It has been a long time….

The longest that I have been gone in over a decade.

Everything is just as I remember, but it all seems smaller.  My home, the town, the streets, our garden….  The summers of my entire childhood were spent here…  I feel like I belong.

I am grateful for the time that has passed and all that has changed in my life….  Most of all I am grateful to return and see that it is all the same.

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Thought For The Day….

October 9, 2015 7:12 pm

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Keeping It Simple with my Thought For the Day:

Try to focus on what I AM doing rather than on what I am NOT doing……

Now apply to life.

It is the little “wins” doing things for others and being of service.

Have a great weekend!

Impulse Control

September 30, 2015 7:54 pm

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The inability to control impulsive behavior has a long standing link to alcohol and drug use…..  It is linked to the initial urge to drink and do drugs as well as to relapse behavior.  In recovery, learning to control impulses is essential for recovery.

Today my impulses are pretty rudimentary.  Here are some examples:

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Do I write in the wet cement?

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Should I jump the fence for a quick dip in the pool considering I have ridden my bike 15 miles, it is 104 degrees out, and I have 15 miles to go?

I actually consider doing these things if only for a fleeting moment……

My past behavior would have demonstrated impaired decision making and/or poor impulse control – writing in the wet cement, jumping in the pool, drinking THREE 40 oz of malt liquor!

When it comes to drinking, I have been able to resist the impulses.  I have developed the ability to think through the consequences of my actions.  This is not only with drinking, but also in all areas of my life… 

For those who do know me….  I do still demonstrate impulsive behavior when it comes to picking pretty flowers however. 

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Echoic Memories – Oceans of Corn

September 10, 2015 8:53 pm

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Last night the fields of corn behind my Mid-West home were blowing fiercely.  The sound they made blowing in the wind reminded me of waves crashing throughout the night during my childhood on the Central Coast of California.

It’s funny how sound can bring up such nostalgia.  It sure made me miss the crashing waves…..

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I am also reminded of how powerful memories of all the senses are and what can be triggered by such memories.  What comes to mind is when it was suggested to me, in early sobriety, to listen to different music.  I did not understand it at the time, but I followed the suggestion.

Listening to the same music that I listened to when I was drinking could have triggered me to drink, just by association….  This is because of the potential for the strong maladaptive association between alcohol and the environmental stimuli (in this case music) to prompt cravings and drug-seeking behavior thus leading to a relapse…..

I still pay attention to this….  Even after an extended period of abstinence our brain remembers associations….  These associations or triggers come out of nowhere, just like the corn triggering my memory of ocean waves……

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Thank you!

September 10, 2015 12:48 pm

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When I was just two months sober I received a hand written thank you note from a friend for just attending her 1st year sobriety birthday…..

I had never been to an AA birthday party.  I did not know that the ladies from my Home Group brought each other gifts.  I was just touching down to Earth and it was all I could do to go AND to be social.

This note meant the world to me.  Not only did it help me to feel welcome, but it taught (and reminded) me the importance of saying thank you.

Now in my life, I send thank you notes frequently.  Not just a text or an email, but a hand written note…  I am a believer that the hand written note still has personality, warmth and shows gratitude….  I also believe that people like opening the notes…..  I know I sure do!

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Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds

September 6, 2015 11:40 pm

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Today I have been alive for:

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I am not one of those folks who thinks that they would have died before their 30th birthday of they kept drinking.  I am, however, one of those folks that thought they would never, EVER be happy again.  I could see no light, no new beginning…..  I was wrong.

My life did start again.  To be exact it started:

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Today I am happy.  Most of all I never thought I would have the family, friends, husband, and puppy that I do today…  I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  I am convinced it is all a result of stopping drinking and taking action of doing the next right thing.

Like they say, it isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it!

Emotional Hangover

August 30, 2015 10:47 pm

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When I was drinking I had HORRIFIC hangovers and despite these hangovers, I drank time and time again.  It has been so long since I have had a hangover, I almost forgot what it was like…….  Emotional hangovers are good reminders….

In sobriety, I occasionally experience the ‘emotional hangover’.  It has been quite a while, but I have been suffering from one ALL weekend!

What is an emotional hangover?  According to Urban Dictionary an emotional hangover is:

The feeling you wake up with in the morning after an emotional breakdown from the night before. This feeling is sometimes a result from an argument, a deep sadness, an unfortunate loss, a break-up, drama, strong feelings of regret, conflicting emotions, etc.

What do you do for your emotional hangovers?  Me?  I stew in it for days, feeling sick and miserable before I even realize what is going on.  Once realized my current ‘hangover’ was DRAMA related I had my solutions:

  • I get to reflect on myself and my behavior – the spot check inventory.…..  Step 10, “…every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.”  -pg. 90 12&12.
  • I have a choice: to remain in the negative, emotional situation OR not to participate in the drama….  Today I choose not to participate.  IT IS NOT WORTH IT!

It never ceases to amaze me how close the emotional hangover feels to that of my drinking days….  I hate the feeling…  I am blessed that I know the solution!  Even if it takes a few days to remember… 🙂

Why Volunteer?

August 22, 2015 11:49 am

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Why not?  I have volunteered for causes since my teen years.  Whether it be in rural South America teaching sanitation, reforestation, and dental hygiene or helping to build homes for families in need or locally cleaning up our beaches.

In the end it is selfish.  I always get more than I give.

Through volunteering:

I have made new friends.

I have explored the world.

Supported my local community.

Gained skills.

Gained confidence.

Gained a sense of feeling needed and the work I was doing was important.

Made beneficial connections.

Gotten OUTSIDE.

Put energy towards things I believe in.

Seen projects to fruition.

Developed leadership skills.

and most of all HAD FUN!

Beacon HouseSM is coming together with Save our Shores for an Annual Coastal Cleanup Day at Lovers Point Beach.  This is an AWESOME volunteer opportunity to give back to our community and to help keep our beautiful and loved beach clean.

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For details please visit: http://beaconhouse.org/events/

 

 

Kurt Johnson

August 14, 2015 12:26 am

<img class="alignnone wp-image-995 aligncenter" src="http://beaconhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FullSizeRender-250×258.jpg" alt="FullSizeRender" width="146" height="151" srcset="http://beaconhouse preise viagra apotheke.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FullSizeRender-250×258.jpg 250w, http://beaconhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FullSizeRender-120×124.jpg 120w, http://beaconhouse.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FullSizeRender.jpg 550w” sizes=”(max-width: 146px) 100vw, 146px” />

Meet Kurt Johnson.

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Kurt is has been with Beacon HouseSM for over three years.  He began working with us in the capacity of a Case Manager on the Residential side of our program.  Recently he has taken on the role of Manager of the Beacon HouseSM Outpatient Program.    Kurt is fun, smart, quick witted, and compassionate about the people he helps and he is determined to see folks get better!

Fun fact about Kurt:    Kurt has been a musician since he was a teenager and still loves to play, write, and sing.   He also likes chess, crosswords, and trivia!

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Kurt was also a super cute kid with what appears to be a little bit of attitude!

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Check out the Kurt’s bio on our website at:

http://beaconhouse.org/staff/kurt-johnson-ma-ras/

And our Outpatient Program at:

http://beaconhouse.org/treatment-programs/outpatient/