Tuesday, March 30, 2010


outside my window

the wind whips the
barren field.
the sky an ominous blue-gray
stubborn tree limbs
refusing to yield.

what is it that controls
all this sun, air and land?
far too complex to comprehend
down to the tiniest grain of sand.

so unimportant, the who and why...
do I see and feel the beauty around me;
appreciate the majesty of the sky?

these are the sights to ponder
the splendor of nature;
diverse, yet beautiful wherever
I wander
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday quotes

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill

Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you. Wally 'Famous' Amos

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. William James

Order is not pressure which is imposed on society from without, but an equilibrium which is set up from within. Jose Ortega y Gasset

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln

The farther behind I leave the past, the closer I am to forging my own character. Isabelle Eberhardt

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values. Ayn Rand

A successful individual typically sets his next goal somewhat but not too much above his last achievement. In this way he steadily raises his level of aspiration. Kurt Lewin

Our lives improve only when we take chances - and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Walter Anderson

Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success. Brian Adams

If you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness. Eleonore de Lespinasse

Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings. Arthur Rubinstein

Good habits result from resisting temptation. Ancient Proverb

Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past. Eric Hoffer

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. Marcel Proust

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

a balanced life

like so many trilogies of life,
the elements of balance are
mind, body and spirit.

how each day unfolds depends
on perception and outlook.
being aware of our thoughts and
the things we choose to ponder.

we all know the myriad of sayings
about the past, present and future.
no, we can't change the past, but we
can learn from our mistakes.
by letting yesterday impact today,
we remain burdoned by the past.

thoughts of the future can also cause
fear or anxiety. not to say that we
should not plan and set goals;
but keep those goals within a
reasonable time frame.

most importantly-don't focus on
what you need to stay away from,
but rather what you want to achieve.

we all have a fairly good idea of what
it takes to maintain a healthy body.

spiritual balance may vary from
person to person, but aligning the
mind and body tends to foster
that connection to a deeper power.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

balance continued

focus time and energy on the
important aspects of daily life
know when to say "no" to things
that detract from your priorities.

plan ahead; become proactive
rather than reactive.

be willing to make adjustments;
set reasonable standards;
understand that everything
planned may not be done, and
it's ok.

daily routines-
give yourself a break everyday;
allow time for whatever refreshes

ask for support from family, friends
and co-workers. make yourself
available for others in return.

don't over-commit or take on more
than you can handle.

where to start...
photo from

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

seeking balance

balance brings harmony;
it ties together all the crucial
areas of our lives.

the things that important to
most people are health, family,
relationships, career, personal
growth and social activity.

a common problem with folks
in recovery is delving too deeply
into one aspect.

I've come across an interesting
concept called the "exchange theory"
based on give and take, it is a way
of examining what we put in, and
what we get out of a relationship.

this involves a comparison of
that ratio and how it varies from
person to person.

how to bring balance into our lives...

picture from

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

life's little bumps

last night we went bowling;
a little recreation in the local

on my very first approach I
slipped and went down like
a sack of potatos.

pulled a muscle in my hip,
and the evening was over
for me.

my first thought was, 24
years of fighting fires in the
busiest areas of the largest
city in connecticut, and here
I am crippled by lane 5 at
"Coon bowl", in Coon Rapids,

thankfully, i limped away
with a smile, returned my
rental shoes and watched
the rest of the guys have
a good time.

before i had the chance to
feel sorry for myself, one
of the younger guys told
how, on his first day here,
he twisted his ankle, and
was out of commission
nearly 6 weeks.

just another lesson;
things could always be worse

accept the cards as dealt,
and move forward.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

substance abuse antics

some of the latest alcohol and drug related stories from;

Miami Heat's Dorell Wright Faces DUI ChargeMiami Heat player Dorell Wright has been charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license after South Beach police saw him speeding in his 2005 Bentley. He was also charged with driving 52 MPH in a 25 MPH zone and not having proof of insurance.

Rapper DMX Sentenced to Six MonthsThe rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, has been sentenced to six months in jail for violating his probation by using drugs. The rap artist admitted to authorities that he was using cocaine and not complying with the terms of his probation.

Girlfriend of Cameron Douglas SentencedKelly Sott, who was arrested along with Michael Douglas's son Cameron on drug trafficking charges, has been sentenced to the seven months she has already served in jail since her arrest. "I learned a good lesson," Sott told the judge. "I just want to leave all that behind me - the drugs. ... Thank you for giving me a second chance."

Drunken Thief Returns Singer Justin Moore's GuitarCountry singer Justin Moore says he understands how a rowdy fan got drunk and decided to steal his favorite Gibson guitar valued around $4,000. Moore said he was just glad the guy returned the guitar after he sobered up and decided it was a mistake.

Man Too Drunk for DUI SentencingA Nebraska man managed to avoid getting sentenced for his DUI conviction - he was too drunk. Authorities said Jason Botos, 30, who was driven to the courthouse by his father, was so drunk when he arrived he had to be helped out of the vehicle and into the courthouse. Inside, his blood alcohol concentration was recorded at 0.43.

Hallucinating Woman Arrested by PoliceHospital personnel thought something was wrong when a otherwise healthy 28-year-old Nevada woman came to the emergency room complaining that she was bleeding from every part of her body. She had driven to the hospital with her 3-year-old daughter and crashed into a concrete wall in the parking lot. Nicole Ray was charged with suspicion of child abuse, driving under the influence of drugs, being under the influence of a controlled substance, probation violation and failure to use due caution.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday quotes

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
Albert Einstein

Speak only if it improves upon the silence.

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
Bruce Lee

Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Warren Buffett

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.--
Margaret Thatcher

Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don't even remember leaving open.
Rose Lane

* Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life
Sandra Carey

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.
Saint Francis de Sales

Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by its breathtaking moments.
Michael Vance

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.
Art Linkletter

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday fun

all photos from

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dr. Phil says...

...the best predictor of future behavior
is past behavior.

not very encouraging for someone attempting
recovery or their family.
while that may be true in some cases,
it can be remedied.

it is imperative for anyone dealing with
an addiction to first identify, then take
measures to alter the mindset and behavior
patterns that lead back to former habits.

wow, what a novel concept;
behavior modification

today rather than obsessing about
staying away from a drink, drug, casino
or twinkie; I can devote my energies to
positive ideas, acivities, and people that
foster an atmosphere of an affirmative and
practical nature, rather than discouraging.

being creatures of habit, this is no
simple task. it starts with small goals
that can be expanded in time.

the satisfaction gained from changing
past behavior is a huge benefit to
self-esteem and a positive outlook.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday questions

do you perform any community service?

have your values changed since starting

how do you combat the blues?

is boredom ever a problem?

what methods do you use to cope when
you are annoyed or angered?

ever tried online meetings?

would you like to confront someone who
has harmed you, as part of healing?

what does your ideal day consist of?

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

accentuate the positive

while I certainly have a myriad of
experience admitting wrongs, making
amends and rehashing all my past
transgressions, my 12 step journey hasn't
allowed much opportunity to examine
my assets and positive qualities.

there was some benefit from listing
character flaws and making amends.

now I view my past recovery as
a decent starting point, but not
sufficient to expand on my values,
goals or continued progressive wellness.

my persona is not that of an alcoholic first
and foremost as I was exposed to in aa.
I am a father, a son and a partner who
developed a drinking problem.

as I address the internal struggles and
external forces that contributed to
addiction, I am better prepared today;
by drawing on my strengths and
abilities rather than the former
admission of powerlessness and
subscribing to the flawed "disease concept".

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday quotes

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense." –– Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Everyone has his burden. What counts is how you carry it." ––Merle Miller

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." Lou Holtz

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Buddha

"Kindness in words creates confidence Kindness in thinking creates profoundness Kindness in giving creates love." Lao-Tzu

"Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Courage means to keep working a relationship, to continue seeking solutions to difficult problems, and to stay focused during stressful periods." – Denis Waitley

"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results." Jack Dixon
"You have to find happiness in yourself before you can find it with someone."Anonymous

"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response."Mildred Barthel

"Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get."Dale Carnegie

"The first recipe for happiness is: Avoid too lengthy meditations on the past."André Maurois

"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."Allan K. Chalmers

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

two wolves

one evening an old Sioux told his grandson
about a battle that goes on inside people.
he said, "my son, the battle is between two
wolves inside us all".

"one is evil-it is anger, envy, jealousy,
sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, false
pride, self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, superiority and ego.

the other is good-it is joy, peace, love,
hope, serenity, humility, kindness, hope,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth,
compassion and faith".

the grandson thought about it for a
minute and then asked his grandfather:
"which wolf wins?"

the old Sioux simply replied,
"the one you feed".

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Friday, March 12, 2010

week 1


past substance abuse histoy
family and friends
purpose in life
inventory of assets and resources

very different from traditional rehab
theory and practice.
here we accentuate the positive and
and examine the qualities and traits
that make us unique and valuable to
family, friends and society.

no negative listing of character defects;
no lists of people we've harmed,
no talk of powerlessness.

it is so refreshing to eliminate the
self-flagellation and reliance on
unknown or unseen forces to deal
with addictive behaviors.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

the importance of values

values, or lack of, apply to many addictions,
be it sex, shopping, food or gambling, in
addition to substances.

they influence whether you will continue
to indulge in an activity or substance,
and how it affects your life.

values play an important role in the
decision to limit or quit a behavior
or substance.

the power of a good value system is
the influence on desire and the ability
to combat addiction.

what we believe in and truly care
about, are invaluable tools in our
arsenal used to combat addiction.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Values and recovery

according to 12 step teachings, the only way to
address addiction is to admit powerlessness
and accept that "only a power greater than
ourselves could restore us to sanity".

this offends some people's values.
their view is that submission is not the
answer to their problem.

studies indicate that the 2 primary
relapse predictors are lack of coping
skills and subscribing to the disease model.

research and psychological theory show
that is is more empowering and successful
for belief and value in your own strength.

unfortunately, any talk of self-efficacy in
aa is labeled denial; you are told you
cannot succeed on your own.

while I understand the importance of
a support system, the buck stops with me.
I am reponsible and accountable for my
own recovery.
more tomorrow...

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Monday, March 8, 2010

a new approach

I arrived at St. Gregory Retreat sunday night.

this is an 8 week program of cognitive-behavioral
therapy and behavior modification.

the program was designed by Dr. Stanton Peele,
whom I have been following for some time.

this is a non-disease model, and focuses on
behavior patters that cause substance abuse.

the theory is to identify triggers and the
negativity that causes relapse.
we are encouraged to address our faults,
but also to expand our strengths and
positive qualities.

here each person is viewed in their
entirety; and the approach is holistic.
it is the mind, body and spirit that
we take control of.

to be continued...

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monday quotes

"Due to circumstances beyond your control, you are master of your fate and captain of your soul."

"It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."
--George Horace Lorimer

If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

A closed mouth gathers no feet

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Anyone can enjoy good days; those who find ways to enjoy bad days have something going for them!

If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.

To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.

Your talent is God's gift to you. How you use it is your gift to God.

Be careful of your thoughts, they may become words at any moment

Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday questions

how are relationships with family, friends
and co-workers since starting recovery?

do you associate with social drinkers, or
just people in the program?

what do miss, if anything, about the party life?

who is most impressed with your recovery?

where do you go to "get away from it all"?

when life hands you lemons, how do you cope?

why do think long term recovery is so elusive
for many?

do you believe in the "disease concept" of

have you gone to rehab, or came into
recovery on your own?

does recovery contradict or complement
your religious beliefs?

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

wednesday celebrities

more celeb news of the week

Charlie Sheen Enters Rehab

Putting the production of his hit television series on hold, actor Charlie Sheen has reportedly checked himself into rehab. "As a preventative measure, Charlie Sheen has entered a rehabilitation facility. He will take some time off his series Two and a Half Men. He has asked that his privacy be honored. No further statements are planned," his publicist told reporters.

Brittany Murphy Had No Signs of Drugs, Alcohol

In spite of rumors to the contrary, actress Brittany Murphy did not die from alcohol or drug abuse, according to a coroner's report. The autopsy report did say Murphy had "elevated levels" of Vicodin and over-the-counter cold medicine in her system, however.

Michael Douglas' Son Denied Bail in Meth Case

Cameron Douglas was denied bail and a request for outpatient addiction treatment as he awaits sentencing for his guilty plea of drug trafficking. The son of actor Michael Douglas is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court April 14 for selling methamphetamine and cocaine.

Leif Garrett Pleads Not Guilty in Heroin Case

Former teen idol Leif Garrett has entered a not guilty plea to felony drug possession. Garrett's attorney claims police illegally searched him on Feb. 1 in the city subway system in Los Angeles.

'Heroes' Actor Adrian Pasdar Charged With DUI

Actor Adrian Pasdar, star of the television series "Heroes," has been charged with driving under the influence. The 44-year-old actor was spotted swerving over two lanes of traffic on a Los Angeles freeway.

'Deadliest Catch' Star Arrested for DUI

Jake Harris, a deckhand on Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," was arrest for drunken driving after Washington state troopers said the failed field sobriety tests and refused to take a breath test. Harris is the son of the late Capt. Phil Harris, a co-star of the reality television series.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

500 posts! Monday quotes

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
- Helen Keller

A slogan for an interesting life:
Why Not?

I have found that if you love life, it will love you right back

You cannot become what you were meant to be by remaining what you are.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Sorrow looks back.
Worry looks around.
Faith looks up.

When at the edge of the unknown, faith provides the wings to fly.

"Work to become, not to acquire."
-- Confucius

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather, try to become a man of value."
-- Albert Einstein

If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

Your heart understands what your head cannot yet conceive; trust your heart.

If you think the parade of life is passing you by, perhaps you're not listening to the music.

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