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Sober St. Patty’s Day

Sober St. Patty’s Day

photo credit the awkward yeti

First it is important to note that St. Patrick’s day is a time to honor the roots of Irish religious beliefs, feast with loved ones and honor the memory of a guy who was neither a canonized saint nor really named Patrick. The whole green beer, kegs and eggs, kiss me I’m Irish thing came later.

For those in recovery, this may provide some inspiration when navigating the more modern iterations of the holiday: day drinking and overdrinking.

Here are three things you can do today that have nothing to do with green beer, bars or being a drunken hooligan.

  1. Bake some Irish soda bread! 
  2. Whip up some corned beef! 
  3. Read up on the holiday!

 

Whatever you do – remember that this is just another day! You can still eat and be merry but if you find yourself feeling antsy call a friend, get to a meeting, or keep busy by trying your hand at a new recipe.

 

Valentine’s Day Survival Kit

Valentine’s Day Survival Kit

Whether you’re single or attached, February 14th can be a bit of a bear. Nothing like singling out one day in the year to remind everyone how important LOVE is.

For folks that are new in recovery – all feelings are a little more intense and navigating anything related to love is extra tricky. With that in mind, we have put together some inspiration, laughs and resources to help get you through to tomorrow, when everything goes back to normal except that all of the chocolate is for sale.

  1. If you’re single, don’t lose hope. Love happens in recovery every day. Here’s one sober couple’s true story.
  2. A viewing list of movies for any mood you might be in today.
  3. Some helpful reading about where and how to find a relationship courtesy of your Guardians of the Social Galaxy, Facebook.
  4. Looking to be romantic? Whatever you do, avoid anything having to do with these songs.
  5. A sweet list of heart-warming stories about valentines cards.

Love is about  lot more than flowers and candy. It’s about showing up for yourself and the people and things that are important to you. XO

Thank you Dwight Lee

Thank you Dwight Lee

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Dwight Lee, beloved father, friend and member of the Serenity Lane family has passed away. Dwight came to Serenity Lane in 2000, and over the last 16 years served as a residential and outpatient counselor before assuming his current role as Spiritual Adviser. Dwight was a man of deep faith and humility and his love and light touched the lives of countless men and women. He was a mentor, a friend, a spiritual guide and an inspiration. His memory will live on in the hearts of those who knew him.

In October, Dwight Lee was awarded the Serenity Lane Community Service Spiritual Adviser Award. What follows are his remarks on service, spirituality and the road ahead. It is a testament to Dwight that in just a few words he so eloquently sums up what life is all about: to learn, grow and trust that we will be guided in our journey.

Thank you Dwight, you will be missed. (You can watch the video of these remarks here, at the 56:56 mark)

Thank you, it’s an honor. You know one day God opened up the book of life and he wrote our names in it. Everybody sitting here, our path led us all here to Lane County, Oregon, right? Or wherever Springfield or Eugene. But he equipped us in the capacity that we all serve him in. And it’s no accident that we’re all here today. It’s by the direction of the spirit of the living God that dwells in you.

Why do I love my job? I was a chief addict and alcoholic. From my years of sports. Sports opened up a lot of doors for me but it also opened up some dark shadowy doors. All the addicts and dealers of the world followed us around to our games and to our parties. And just gave us this stuff. But that part of my life equipped me for the job that I’m doing today. It gave me the knowledge and wisdom that I needed to be an extension of the God hand. So I thank God for his equipping me with this knowledge. There are no mistakes in life, there are only lessons. We have to get the lesson and grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. That’s what the battle is all about. That we get wise. Become children of light.

I want to thank everyone here and thank Serenity Lane for putting up with me for 16 years. It’s been a wonderful career. I’ve loved every moment of it. Until they run me out of the building I’ll keep coming out there.

I love doing the lectures. I love when the light bulb gets turned on in the hearts of others. And that’s the key. I don’t talk to them because most of them are spiritually bankrupt, but I talk to the spirit of God that is in them and make that connection. And that opens them up, the person,  to receive the message.  Because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. And we have a big battle ahead of us and it’s spiritual. Spiritual.

But have faith, the God that is in you will show you the way.

God bless you, thank you.

Holidays Straight Up: Sober Gift Giving

Holidays Straight Up: Sober Gift Giving

xmas-sweaters

Some people are born gift-givers. You know the type. They listen and they remember. Your hobbies. Things you enjoy. Your favorite foods and places to shop. They turn up with the best gifts while the rest of us are grabbing gift cards and tinted chapstick samplers in a panic at the 11th hour. Another perennial favorite gift for the last-minute gift giver is booze. A nice bottle of champagne as a hostess gift. A 6-pack of some holiday-themed micro-brew. Or wine. Just…wine – the gift for any occasion.

In recovery, this can mean thinking a little outside the box. Or bottle, in this case. Here are some gift-giving suggestions for the people on your list in recovery.

  1. Bangles with purpose: The popular wrist bangle gets a spiritual makeover. Pretty, sweet and a great reminder now and throughout the year how this thing works.
  2. Anything related to coffee: a cool mug, tasty coffee or tea/tea accessories
  3. Things related to hobbies, such as this adorable, personalized kitting bowl
  4. Plants are perfect. Something simple for the indoors, a project for the novice or seeds for the outdoors gardener.
  5. Useful things make great hostess gifts:
    1. Tote bags
    2. This thing
    3. Can’t go wrong with linens!

Good luck and happy shopping! A special thanks to all of the great artists and vendors on Etsy – where most of these unique and lovely items may be found.

Welcome to Turkeypocalypse – er – Thanksgiving

Welcome to Turkeypocalypse – er – Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. National Day of Travel. Tasty foods, piled high and maybe some stress, too. And for those in recovery: welcome to the first leg of the Triple Crown. Whether this is your first sober Thanksgiving or 30th, this is a tricky time of year. Many people in recovery will tell you that the holidays can be a little lonely or bring back difficult memories. But they will also tell you that this is a time of year when they feel a lot of gratitude. Spending the holidays sober means making living amends by showing up, bringing good cheer and helping out as much as you can. This can also be a time to reconnect with friends and family and experience the joys of being present and accepting life on life’s terms.

That being said, life is still, well, life. And there may be some stress, maybe some drama or just a little indigestion from the turkey. Here are some of our favorite Sober Thanksgiving Survival tips and tricks.

  1. Be Helpful. Seriously. Ever hear the phrase “to get self esteem do estimable acts?” Pitching in on the cooking, clearing the table and washing dishes can go a long way towards soothing jittery nerves and lowering anxiety around being with friends and family.
  2. Traveling by air? God help you. Just kidding, it’ll be great. But in case you encounter any delays or snags, here are some travel best practices for ensuring smooth traveling.
  3. Driving? Experts say Wednesday is the busiest time to hit the road and if you’re driving ON Thanksgiving it’s best to hit the road before 10am. Prot Tip: Apps like Waze work wonders for avoiding traffic bottlenecks and seeking alternate routes if there is an accident.
  4. Turkey and Chill: Nothing like watching other people deal with the holidays to remind you to have a sense of humor about it all. Here is a great compilation of movies you can stream right to your handheld device.
  5. Have meetings will travel. If you’re going to be out of time hitting a meeting away from home can be both fun and a serious lifesaver. Nothing like checking in with a bunch of other sober people dealing with holidays and families to ground yourself in your sobriety. Wherever you are going the chances are good there is a meeting there. To find meetings google the town you’re going to + the word “intergroup.” If you’re not familiar with the areas call them up, tell them where you’ll be and ask for recommendations.
  6. Treat Yo’Self. Lavender, hot baths, chocolate and chamomile teas are all proven, natural stress relievers. A little tea with honey and milk, a hot bath and a little aromatherapy seriously work wonders whether it’s getting yourself into a state of zen before facing the holiday melee or taking the edge off after a long day of travel and social time.

Whatever you do: remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Call your sponsor, call a friend, go to a meeting or just ask the universe to help. Just do one thing at a time, accept life on life’s terms and be patient with yourself.

Good Luck!

A Message of Recovery

A Message of Recovery

Ever hear someone talk about trusting the process of recovery? Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness are the principle ingredients along with liberal dashes of love, support, service and fellowship. With this in mind we made a little something to help us remember that when you follow the directions, great things can happen!