Your Toolbox of Prayers

One Thought Pushes Out Another
                                                             Bilbo Baggins

pray serenity 2It is no accident that most AA meetings end with the Serenity Prayer.  It points to the practice of surrender based on courage and wisdom.  It doesn’t have to be a prayer to an eternal being or to a saint but, rather, a personal bid to do better, be better.  It is an ironic empowering humility.  Standing in full surrender it lifts one to intend to be sober and clean another day.  Spoken in a circle of comrades, holding hands, acknowledging a shared struggle.

It is the realized intention of Step 11, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand them to be, praying only for knowledge of their will for us and the power to carry that out.”  Surrender the wheel as our driving has not worked out well at all.prayer weeder

There is another powerful use of prayer that works much like a weeder, uprooting embedded lazy repetitions that pull us down.  Old triggers, familiar smells, memories live deep in the mind, planted and cultivated in the worst of times.  They patiently wait to capture us in old destructive patterns.  It is that relentless and powerful little dandelion that mocks us.  We thought we pulled up the root to end the cycle.  Bending over, ripping up the green leaves and wispy flower, we have left the seed, the base or a hole calling to be filled.  Habits, unconscious attractions, easy ideas spring up again.

pray affirmationThere is an effective alternative to just pulling the weed, to just saying no.  That is saying yes.  It is filling the hole with prayer.  It can be the Hail Mary.  It can be an affirmation.  It can be favored quotation or poem.  It need only be a conscious replacement to that nagging worry or self-destructive notion.  Repeated again and again until the thought loses its stranglehold.

This new tool is more than diluting the known darkness, it is flooding the mind with new light.  Hopefully it will become the new habit, the new relentless statement.  It will crowd out and, finally, destroy the old tapes. prayer Tool Box 2

Whole Life Recovery offers tools which will last a lifetime.  We work with you personally to give you new perspectives, new alternatives, new ideas on how to stay above the vortex of craving and substance abuse.  You don’t leave with 90 days, you leave with your own custom toolbox; always with you, ready and available.

Assessments & Therapy

Modern Western culture has been lighting on the trifecta of Body, Mind, Spirit as if it is a recent trailblazing discovery.  As the lyric states, everything old is new again.  The recognition of this organic coalition is common place to Indigenous people.  Somewhere in the unfolding of civilization, this natural trio got separated out into three distinct lanes.  Drs. George Engel and John Romano took a step back from their current day models and took the long view.  They saw that humanity lives in a complex hive and each human is a complex combination of body, mind, and spirit living in the hive. Their result is the biopsychosocial approach.

The name, Whole Life Recovery was chosen mindfully, illustrating ourr vision of working with the whole person, developing a whole life plan.  Our assessments include the biopsychosocial model.  In addition, we use Brain Mapping to deepen understanding for assessments and the client’s own self-discovery.

WLR approaches each client as complex person with their unique body, mind and spirit who has lived in a specific environment.  This is how an individual plan is crafted and implemented over the course of the client’s stay.  The recovery plan includes the client, staff, family and friends.  All hands on deck.

THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL APPROACH
The biopsychosocial approach systematically considers biological, psychological, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding the whole person, their mental health, physical health, their environment and their addiction – all with the site set on a whole life recovery.

We emphasize:

  • The most important tool in diagnosis and therapy is self-understanding
  • Health requires healthy relationships
  • Life is experienced as a whole. Context is essential
  • Collectively prioritize biological, psychological, and social assessments
  • Develop a customized multidimensional treatment plan

THERAPY

therapy groupGroup Therapy
WLR focuses on psycho-education surrounding addiction, relapse prevention, codependency issues, dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorders), life skills, mindfulness/spiritual awareness and trauma.   Our group meetings offer a variety of processes which focus on creating healthy and stable lives.  We work on skills to take home, increasingly their ability to live a productive and fulfilled life.

One-On-One Therapy
WLR engages our clients in weekly individual sessions with both a Case Manager and Therapist.   We know that addiction is a family disease and a family program is offered every 8 weeks to those that choose to participate.

Brain Mapping
WLR uses qEEG Brain Mapping.  We are able to accurately assess a client’s key brain functions and track progress over time with their neurofeedback sessions.  We can identify if a specific brain area is operating poorly and provide measured guidance for improvement.  This is an invaluable tool in itself but a secondary advantage is it is a scientific tool which evokes hope and confirms improvement.

therapy light at the endWHOLE LIFE RECOVERY

“Recovery is a process of change through which individuals work to improve their own health and well-being, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.”
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2010

Every person in an addict’s life wants to make the move out of darkness into the light of understanding.  No one is in this disease by themselves.  Our goal is to offer the addict and the non-addict freedom from the shackles of misunderstanding.

Recovery ~ Support Systems & Sponsors

recovery girlThere is no mistaking it, people around the world, for all time, are suffering.  Every religion, every philosophy, every science and worldview see it, address it and, in most cases, offer a conciliation.  It is measured, studied, quantified and, in most cases, shamed.  Ready-made solutions are in more than the Self-Help shelf in a bookstore; they are in every store, bar, church and on every corner.  Nothing is more highly sought or more misunderstood than a way out of suffering.

People are not only looking for a way to escape from suffering but are also looking to recover from suffering.  In a seemingly endless circle, the bottom reached, a new RECOVERY comes into focus.  With luck, one is held together by family, friends, community services, and health professionals to begin a life that manages suffering.  Steps, tools, methods and comradery with like-minded peers, suffering is lifted to service and, surprisingly, reveals a capacity for hope.

Whole Life Recovery understands this complex cycle of cause and effect that brought a person suffering with alcohol/substance addiction to this point.  And understands what it is going to take to partner with an addict to build sustainable, lasting, sober/clean recovery.  Primarily it begins with peers, as words are hardly assembled by the practicing addict.  With one who has been there, done that, the explanation is not required.  Acceptance and unconditional listening is the order of the day.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( SAMHSA) defines recovery as;

A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Recovery is built on access to evidence-based clinical treatment and recovery support services for all populations.

SAMHSA identifies four major areas that support a life in recovery:

  • Health          overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms
  • Home           a stable and safe place to live
  • Purpose       meaningful daily activities
  • Community  social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope


TRUE RECOVERY STARTS HERE

Whole Life Recovery (WLR) starts where the addict is.
Beginning with assessments, WLR pinpoints what each client needs:
1. Abstaining from the use of alcohol, illicit drugs and non-prescribed medications.
2. Scheduling therapeutic sessions, group meetings, neurofeedback.
3. Teaching about healthy choices from nutrition to exercise.
4. The Sober Living Home is a stable, safe place to live.
5. Clients are assisted in building a new life with work, education and social participation.

WLR believes that each person who arrives at their doorstep brings their own individual story.  Though the substance and disease may be the same, the needs of the recovering addict are unique.  Together, in a team effort, a personal program is designed to pave the way to lasting sobriety.  This regimen may include clinical treatment, medications, faith-based approaches, peer support, family support and self-care.

SPONSORSHIP
With a watchful eye on life after Whole Life Recovery’s safe haven, the client is encouraged to begin a strong 12 step program and find an AA Sponsor.  This is more than a therapist, more than a family member, this is a person who knows the lay of the land.  They know how to sort through the BS and the truth and don’t mind pointing out which is which.  That is their service; their invaluable service to a recovering addict who may not know themselves.  There is empathy, compassion and a steady insight that one can make it through THIS 24 HOURS.

Whole Life Recovery can aid the client in finding the right person.
The Sponsor should:

  • have more experience than the sponsee
  • be secure in their own sobriety
  • not be the gender of the sponsee’s sexual orientation preference
  • be working their own steps and regularly attending meetings
  • have time for this new sponsee
  • be able to share confidentially

The Role of an AA Sponsor:

  • able to share their wisdom and experience
  • available 24/7 to hold the line should the urge to relapse be surfacing
  • a good friend – maybe at first one’s only sober friend
  • offers encouragement, praise and positive outlook
  • provides honest feedback
  • warns of signs of relapse
  • good role model
  • guides the sponsee through the 12 steps

recovery villageRECOVERY: IT TAKES A VILLAGE

The worst mistake a person, who is drowning in their addiction, can make is to think they can stop anytime by their own bootstrapping will.  This is a misguided idea that they can bear their secret, tough it out and simply change while living in the same circumstances, with the same ideas and the same gang of buddies.  Just one more drink to get through the day and that day is lost, most likely leading to more days of unmanageable resolve.

The best decision a person, who is drowning in their addiction, can make is to look around and see that others have figured this out.  I AM NOT ALONE.  Destroy the secret.  Recognize that it is the first drink/fix that will kill me as the person making the next decision is not me.

From the very start of AA, the founder Bill Wilson figured this out.  He needed others.  The success and hope sprang from discovering that they needed him too.   The shorthand of it might be that the dependence moved from addiction to substance to addiction to service but the guts of it is that we are not alone.  Whole Life Recovery knows this and offers a strong experienced hand.  Holding a safe healthy space; developing robust support systems of professionals, family, friends and finding a sponsor, WLR is in the business of hope.

SAMHSA defines it;recovery hope 2
Hope, the belief that these challenges and conditions can be overcome, is the foundation of recovery. A person’s recovery is built on his or her strengths, talents, coping abilities, resources, and inherent values. It is holistic, addresses the whole person and their community, and is supported by peers, friends, and family members.

The Bridge at the Intersection of Old and New: Sober Living

bridge house2Before a person, new to recovery, is dropped back into the unregulated, unguided, ocean of society, there is a place where one gets to just breathe for a while.  One gets to be with others who fully understand and share their dilemma.  The concerns of job, home and family may be different but the primary alert, “STAY SOBER,” is shared.  The new life with a new community of shared sobriety is just beginning and the Sober Living House is their safe zone.  It is the solid bridge of old and new that is based in camaraderie.

This is the place where secrets are told and hopes are nourished.  Fears are identified and, possibly, the worst has been loosened in preparation for leaving it behind.  The great equalizer of mutual addictions builds a home unlike any other.  It is where everyone has the same task.  Pen to paper; dreams drawn, plans made, the Sober Living House is where new lives are designed.

The National Institutes of Health states that there is a direct correlation between success or failure based on time spent on this halfway bridge from old to new.  Drug and alcohol addicts who have the opportunity to be a part of a Sober Living House have a much higher chance of breaking old patterns, creating new lives and not experience a relapse.  Moving directly from total immersion residential care facilities, with no safe zone in the middle, to their previous environment, people resume what they know and are more susceptible to recidivism.

group-counseling-sessionsThere comes a time in the immersion of a regulated facility when the client needs to be discharged.  It is not only due to the prohibitive cost but also to prevent new dependency on intensive therapy.  This pause on the way home, the Sober Living House gives one a place to design a plan and start building a new life.  Calls are made, meetings are planned, a sponsor might be obtained; a fresh start comes into focus.

Sober Living Houses are traditionally known as halfway houses.  They are integral in several modalities, such as reentering society from prison or homelessness.  They are designed specifically to arm the graduating client with a tool belt, time to assemble their tools and a create a plan for success.  This intermediate stopover is actually the client’s workshop to build their new sober life.  Instead of the formal regulated treatment of a residential house, it is a collective of both peers and professionals skilled in reentry.

TOOLS for REENTRY

Job Search:            resumes, applications, possibly applying for federal assistance.
Housing Search:    returning to the previous home or finding a new one.
Family Outreach:   working the steps, making amends, repairing what can be repaired.
New Community:   locating help in their hometown, schedule of meetings, looking for a sponsor.
Facing the Future:   group and private sessions about facing a new sober life.

At this point, there has already been a great accomplishment in passing through detox and the intensive therapy of an inpatient environment.  The Sober Living House is the next step in this building process of living life in an whole new way.  Time spent with fellow addicts who are doing the same work of rebuilding their lives offers an opportunity to both receive and give support.  Now the true recovery shines in service to others who have the same tasks, same fears and same hopes.together sober living

In 2010, the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment published their findings that structured halfway houses gave residents a far greater chance of success.  They were significantly less likely to experience relapse.  Moreover, they increased their chances for the positive outcome of success in jobs, home, family and community.

Whole Life Recovery offers a strong Sober Living House model.  Residents are individually and collectively responsible for the fellowship.  This is a temporary family united in a shared mission; to develop plans and skills for a new authentic, fulfilling, and rewarding life.  Supported by therapists, social workers, nutritionist but, most importantly, one another; their Sober Living House is their bridge to success.

Working Dogs & Recovery

dog - tunrspitThe term working dog may conjure a herding collie or a barking guard dog behind a chain link fence but the fact is every dog is always working.  The play of tug-of-war or fetch are derivatives of natural tasks.  Historically dogs search, pull and carry while trainers study the application of a gifted nose, wagging tail and strong legs.  Scientifically, we know that companion dogs can smooth the edges of PTSD and bridge social anxiety.  Nothing is more inspiring that a Guide Dog, sharing the crosswalk with their blind charge.  Nursing homes and classrooms for special needs students benefit from some little wagging joy pooch.  Posts of dogs and puppies calm nerves and videos force bubbling laughter.  As the joke goes, put your dog and your husband in the trunk, drive around the block, open the trunk and see who is happy to see you.  Dogs are an A+ creation.

dog 1From German shepherds to giant schnauzers and, recently, pit bulls; dogs can deter with a growl.  It is easy to tell what is play and what is a warrior’s duty.  Even a barking poodle behind a door can advise an intruder to move along.  Hitler used them in the camps.  Swiss rescue used them in the mountains.  Homeland security uses them to find explosives.  TSA uses them to inspect cargo.  Residential addiction recovery uses them to keep everyone safe and honest.

Scent Detection Dogs
dog 3Using a natural skill, certain dogs are able to take their nose to work and inform their handler that something lies ahead or within.

One ala-non member told a story of her mother hiding scotch in a pump hairspray bottle.  Another talked about hidden stash poisoning the day and the whole recovery environment.  Trust was vanishing as the mystery widened.  Today centers use scent detection trained dogs to keep the residence clean and the residents on notice.  No matter the illusion of intruding or a loss of privacy the treatment center resident has relinquished such autonomy; trading it in for recovery.  Sherlock, the shepherd, is deterring clients from making some bad decisions that would contribute to an addiction relapse.  Miss Marple, the lab, is actually keeping clients accountable.

The Search
Sweeping from room to room, under beds, in hampers or duffles, the dog leads the workforce to assure everyone that the place is drug free.  The handler is giving commands, maybe using a clicker or whistle.  Generally there is an advocate for the clients in the posse.  It is quiet, serious and swift.  The dog moves through and sits upon a discovery.  The handler notes the spot.  The residence manager is given the “treasure map.”

 Dogs have been successfully trained to detect:

  • Popular street drugs (heroin, cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine)
  • Synthetic drugs (K2 or Spice, Bath Salts)
  • Popular prescription drugs (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet)
  • Alcohol

Substance Discovery
Depending on the services employed, handlers carry detection kits and can advise the client advocate on nature of the find.  How the product is disposed of is the decision of the residence management.  Most likely, the handler is not contracted to remove the substances for disposal.

Schools and Detention Centersdog 6
Having an extraordinary sense of smell and an infinite desire to please owners, scent detection dogs are ready to work.  American public schools began using them in Texas, inspecting lockers and book packs. It was seen by authorities as an effective tool for safety and a strong deterrent for bringing drugs and alcohol on a campus.  Current use has widened in application of controlling violence, weapon and substance detection but is, many times, cost prohibitive in poorer public schools.

Dogs are also enlisted in the armed services, law enforcement. border patrol and immigration.  Each is paired with a lifelong handler and trained for specific detection.  Bombs to marijuana are on their resumes.  Stories abound that they would rather be working than taking the day off though it is said that a Guide dog knows when the walking leash is off, they can relax into the usual domesticated dog life of lying on the couch and chewing a bone.

Training
Training is serious business to the handler but is extended play to the dog.  Tugging a towel with lots of praise is expanded into a towel wrapped around the contraband.  The interactive game is the source of joy, not the substance itself.  It is a regimen of association.  Sniffing, discovery, (encouragement), communication of a success, releasing the substance with pride and great praise.

The temptation is to pet, to say hello, to call to the working dog as if it was Lassie or Snoopy but don’t bother.  The working dog is fully engaged in a partnership of importance.
Detection + Praise = Satisfaction.

Addiction Recovery

“Recovery is a process of change through
which individuals work to improve their own health and well-being,
live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.”
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 2010 —

unite photo2Sunday October 4, 2015 thousands of Americans celebrated in the National Mall at the Unite to Face Addiction Rally.  Music by Sheryl Crow and Steven Tyler led a star studded concert.  The fundamental purpose of the event was to begin chipping away at the stigma of addiction.  So few people realize what it really is, what recovery is, that the short and irresponsible answer is to deny work which holds people back on changing their lives for the better.

Their short description, unite photo1
The time has come to UNITE To Face Addiction and stand up for recovery. On October 4, 2015 a transformative event will take place in Washington, DC that will ignite and build a movement to address one of the most pressing health issues of our time.

While addiction and recovery is kept behind the doors of judgment and invisibility , the fact is, millions of recovering people conquer their addiction, one day at a time.  Anonymously meeting in small alano clubs and church basements all over the world, addicts quietly serve one another’s mastering sobriety.  Passing on the street, barely a nod is exchanged as the rest of the world has stigmatized both the disease and the recovery.  While great galas are thrown to party about conquering other diseases, the word drunk remains a punchline or pejorative in HR’s everywhere.    The hosts of UNITE To Face Addiction hope to change that.

The Standard on Addiction Recovery

Whole Life Recovery, a name carefully, mindfully chosen, reflects the facts.  Recovery is not only stopping the use of alcohol / drugs but the adoption of an entirely new way of life; body, mind and spirit.  It radiates from the breath to the outstretched hand.  It means a clear head and a lighted spirit.  The cloudy, misshapen consciousness is surrendered in the relief of clarity.

FOUR DIMENSIONS OF RECOVERY

Health: as addicts, we must recover our health by overcoming and managing our disease, while also living in a physically and emotionally healthy way.

Home: recovery from addiction means having a stable and safe place to live.

Purpose: recovery from addiction means having meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteerism, family caretaking, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income and resources to participate in society

Community: addiction recovery means having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship and love.

PRINCIPLES OF AN EFFECTIVE RECOVERY

Acceptance
We start our journey into recovery on the principle of hope that there is a solution and that we can recover. Many times we find this hope in a 12 Step fellowship through witnessing others who have recovered. We come to accept our condition as a disease and are willing to take actions to recover from it. This small leap of faith — based on the experience of other addicts — gives us the courage to work the 12 Steps. We ultimately address all the areas of our lives, and in doing so reclaim the life we were originally meant to live. Acceptance and hope are the catalysts of the recovery process.

Our Responsibility
Taking charge of our lives is the principle foundation for recovery. Once we accept we are suffering from a disease and take responsibility for our recovery, we make the choice as to which path to take to achieve our goal. We feel empowered by taking an active role in choosing and working with the services and supports that assist us in our recovery. By doing so, we gain the strength and clarity to make decisions about our recovery, and regain control over our lives.

Fellowship Support
12 Step fellowships play an invaluable role in addiction recovery . Fellow addicts encourage and engage with each other, providing each other with the support needed to recover and, more importantly, to maintain recovery. Getting support from 12 Step fellowships has proven to be the most effective means for us to recover. We need the help of each other to overcome a disease that is much bigger than anyone of us alone. Studies have shown those of us who are involved with Fellowships often benefit from improved social functioning, material and family adjustments, and improved psychological adjustments. Working the 12 Steps with the support of the Fellowship enables us to develop an active spiritual life, a greater sense of self-reliance and self-confidence, and a decreased dependence on others.

Another contributing factor in our recovery process is the involvement of people who believe in our ability to recover. In addition to fellow addicts in recovery, this group includes family members, providers, faith groups, community members, and other allies that form vital support networks. Through these relationships, we discover a sense of belonging, empowerment, and autonomy.

It is a Process
Each of us has distinct needs, strengths, preferences, goals, culture, and background – which determine our process in recovery. Unlike other diseases, addiction cannot be treated by a doctor giving us a generic pill to “cure” us. The disease of addiction affects each of us differently, damaging different aspects of our lives — which need to be addressed for our recovery to be successful. For example, addiction drives some to crime and into legal problems, whereas others suffer marital or financial problems. Addressing and resolving these problems have to be part of our recovery process to ensure we don’t go back to using drugs, which has been our usual way of coping with life’s problems. Fortunately the 12 Steps not only help us overcome our disease but also provide us with the tools to deal with all of life’s problems.

Recovery from the disease of addiction is not linear, and many of us relapse during our journey into recovery. This is part of our recovery process. In fact, relapse usually teaches us things we needed to learn about our disease. It does not mean we have failed or that we cannot recover. The basis for our recovery, though, is simple: Abstinence from drugs and a fellowship of people who can support us along the way.

Holistic
An effective recovery should encompass our whole life, which means that all aspects of our well-being should be taken into account. In 12 Step programs, they say that addiction to drugs is only a symptom of our problem. What happens then is that addicts in recovery can point to improvements in all facets of their lives. We finally get to work on rebuilding all the things on which our addiction wreaked havoc. This means we work on improving – or winning back –family relations, our jobs, education, health, spirituality, creativity, social networks, recreation, and community participation – all the elements that define a healthy and human life.

Professionals
An effective recovery should address areas of our lives that may be contributing factors to causing or contributing to our primary disease of addiction. Among these factors are psychological issues like trauma and depression. The experience of trauma (such as physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, war, and disaster) is often a precursor to, or associated with, alcohol and drug use, mental health problems, and related issues. It is important to treat each of our illnesses or conditions as separate issues and seek appropriate help for them.

Some of us may need professional help for detoxification or other mental or physical ailments. It is important to recognize the limitations of a12 Step program and not treat it as a medical or a psychological form of treatment. For example, if you are suffering from diabetes, working the Steps will not cure you, although its principles will help you come to terms and cope with it. We need to go to the right professional for treatment. This is all part and parcel of our recovery – which is ultimately about taking responsibility for ourselves and taking care of ourselves. There is a saying in the fellowship that poses the question: “are you willing to go to any length to get sober and stay that way.” And “any length” often means getting help from doctors or psychotherapists for our non-drug issues.

THE STAGES OF CHANGE IN RECOVERY
Precontemplation (Not Ready)
Contemplation (Getting Ready)
Preparation (Ready)
Action
Maintenance

People may differ in their time in each stage but the order of the stages is not variable.  A person must collect the benefits, accomplish the work and conquer the pitfalls of each stage before moving on to the next.  It is a building process of steady accumulation to reduce resistance, facilitate progress, and prevent relapse.  Along the way a person will most likely fall back and begin collecting again.

Precontemplation (Not Ready)
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have any problems that need changing.   I’m not The problem one. It doesn’t make much sense for me to be here.

People in the Precontemplation stage do not intend to take action in the foreseeable future, usually measured as the next six months. Being uninformed or under informed about the consequences of one’s behavior may cause a person to be in the Precontemplation stage. Multiple unsuccessful attempts at change can lead to demoralization about the ability to change. Both the uninformed and under informed tend to avoid reading, talking, or thinking about their high-risk behaviors. They are often characterized in other theories as resistant, unmotivated, or unready for help. The fact is, traditional programs were not ready for such individuals and were not designed to meet their needs.

Contemplation (Getting Ready)
I have a problem and I really think I should work on it.  I’m hoping this place will help me to better understand myself.

Contemplation is the stage in which people intend to change in the next six months. They are more aware of the pros of changing, but are also acutely aware of the cons. This weighting between the costs and benefits of changing can produce profound ambivalence that can cause people to remain in this stage for long periods of time. This phenomenon is often characterized as chronic contemplation or behavioral procrastination. Individuals in the Contemplation stage are not ready for traditional action-oriented programs that expect participants to act immediately.

Preparation (Ready)
Preparation is the stage in which people intend to take action in the immediate future, usually measured as the next month. Typically, they have already taken some significant action in the past year. These individuals have a plan of action, such as joining a health education class, consulting a counselor, talking to their physician, buying a self-help book, or relying on a self-change approach. These are the people who should be recruited for action-oriented programs.

Action
I am doing something about the problems that had been bothering me.  Anyone can talk about changing: I’m actually doing something about it.

Action is the stage in which people have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles within the past six months. Because action is observable, the overall process of behavior change often has been equated with action. But in the TTM, Action is only one of six stages. Typically, not all modifications of behavior count as Action in this Model. In most applications, people have to attain a criterion that scientists and professionals agree is sufficient to reduce risk of disease.

Maintenance
It worries me that I might slip back on a problem I have already changed so I am here to seek help.   I thought once 1 had resolved the problem 1 would be free of it, but sometimes I still find myself struggling with it.

Maintenance is the stage in which people have made specific overt modifications in their lifestyles and are working to prevent relapse; however, they do not apply change processes as frequently as do people in Action. While in the Maintenance stage, people are less tempted to relapse and grow increasingly more confident that they can continue their changes.

Contax Aria on Fuji Pro 400

As with anything which separates us, understanding is the only bridge.  There was a time when every dis-ease was thought to be an evil godless state of human life.  With each discovery, with comprehensive research, but mostly with an open heart, humanity leaps forward from juvenile myths and puny judgments.  Addiction is still a mystery to most, even the addict.  Recovery is coming into focus which liberates everyone, addict and non-addict, from the shackles of misunderstanding.  Everyone will benefit from their own Whole Life Recovery into the light of understanding and bridging humanity.