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The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 2

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob Wagner presents Part 2 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

The Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, has said that “the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”  For those of us sufferers of addiction, the first step in the Journey to Sobriety may seem more like “a giant leap for mankind.”  Few of us are able to take that step without great difficulty and without many, many mis-steps.  The step to commit ourselves to the pursuit of a sober life can actually be the most difficult one in our lives.

In the concept of the Hero’s Journey, as it is known in literary and psychical circles, the first step results from a very poignant internal “call to adventure.”  It is the call to pursue a journey to gain some desperately needed boon for one’s self, for one’s family or for one’s community. For the addictive personality, mired in the terror of mindless consumptive or behavioral activity, this call is a deep internal cry for help.  When that cry finally hits us as unavoidable and impossible to ignore, we finally begin the journey…we enter the “rooms.”

We may have begun this before, perhaps many times. In the Hero’s Journey, there is a phase called “refusing the call,” where intense fear of the journey causes hesitation and procrastination.   For we sufferers of the diseases of addiction, the required admission of powerlessness to begin the journey can be elusive. Each time, the ability to reject the notion that the substance or behavior pattern that consumes us is too “valuable” to relinquish, looms as impossible.  Each prior time we couldn’t make that leap.  But then something hits us, that internal call to “adventure,” the call to pursue the life we see more clearly as absolutely necessary, strikes deep in our soul…and we begin. We embrace all the women and men who are standing by to help. We open our ears and we finally begin to listen. It still hurts, it still pains us to live each moment, each day without the drug…but we do, because we must, because to not do so is, eventually, to die.

…and, by doing so, by beginning, by surrendering, by just listening, we slowly but surely start to grow….

Lecture Series | The Family Hour–Focuses on Relapse & Renewal, March 11th, 10-11:00AM

Relapse & Renewal is the topic of the next Family Hour, the popular new lecture series at The Council on Recovery, Saturday, March 11th at 10 AM. The lecture will focus on the emotional, mental, and physical stages of relapse that can precede a “slip” anytime during sobriety. Effective ideas for preventing relapse, safe-guarding sobriety, and renewing confidence in recovery will be discussed.

The Family Hour, held on the second Saturday of each month, is a lecture and Q&A series that focuses on the disease of addiction and its inevitable impact on the entire family. Hosted by The Council’s Center for Recovering Families, the Family Hour is facilitated by the Center’s Clinical Director Lori Fiester, LCSW-S, MAC, CIP.

This community series is free and open to all families, loved ones, and members of our community who seek up-to-date, accurate information about addiction and related issues.  Registration is not required, but seats do fill quickly, so plan accordingly. Adult-themed.

For listing of upcoming Family Hour lectures at The Council, click here.

For more information about The Family Hour, contact the Center for Recovering Families at 713.914.0556 or email events@councilonrecovery.org

The Council on Recovery’s New Website!

The Council on Recovery’s newly redesigned website has just launched to an overwhelmingly positive response from Council constituents and site visitors.

Many months in the making, The Council’s website has been redesigned to create an engaging experience for visitors while providing immediate help those seeking it.  The site’s landing page now contains “Get Help Now” buttons to get immediate access to The Council’s services in-person, or by phone, messaging, or email. Individuals can request help for themselves, families can seek help for a loved one, and there’s even a simple “Do I have a problem?” self-quiz.

Navigation on the site has been improved to make getting around easier and more intuitive. All of The Council’s programs and services pages are well-identified and laid-out, and many contain links to PDFs of brochures, flyers, and other descriptive materials. The site contains a history of The Council’s rich 70-year history, as well as an active newsroom and robust resources section full of publications, research, and statistics.

The revamped website is also now a one-stop source for information about all of the events sponsored and hosted by The Council. Starting with our Spring and Fall luncheons, the website provides specific details about these popular fundraising events and allows for quick and easy on-line registration. In addition, the “Events” section of the site lists the full range of classes, workshops, and lectures. There is also a complete schedule of the myriad of Twelve Step meetings held at The Council.

The Council’s new Blog page is a vital source of information, as well as a source of inspiration, guidance, and support for all-things-recovery. The page will also feature guest bloggers on a wide range of recovery-themed topics and will keep readers well-informed on important issues that really matter.

The Council’s website is now broadly linked with a variety of the most popular social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. We invite and appreciate everyone’s involvement with The Council through these and other social media, and we welcome everyone’s comments, questions, and suggestions at our Contact Us page.

Visit The Council on Recovery’s website today and let us know what you think!

New Lecture Series | The Family Hour–Focuses on Shame Resilience, Feb. 11th, 10-11:00AM

family_hourShame resilience is the topic of the next Family Hour, the popular new lecture series at The Council on Recovery, Saturday, February 11th at 10 AM.

The Family Hour, held on the second Saturday of each month, is a lecture and Q&A series that focuses on the disease of addiction and its inevitable impact on the entire family. Hosted by The Council’s Center for Recovering Families, the Family Hour is facilitated by the Center’s Clinical Director Lori Fiester, LCSW-S, MAC, CIP.

This community series is free and open to all families, loved ones, and members of our community who seek up-to-date, accurate information about addiction and related issues.  Registration is not required, but seats do fill quickly, so plan accordingly. Adult-themed.

For listing of upcoming Family Hour lectures at The Council, click here.

For more information about The Family Hour, contact the Center for Recovering Families at 713.914.0556 or email events@councilonrecovery.org

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 1

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 1 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a PhD. in mythological studies.


For those of us who suffer from the incurable disease of alcoholism, in all its forms, whether the compulsive consumption of various mind-numbing substances or the penchant for aberrant, dangerous behaviors, the quest for sobriety – physical, emotional, and psychological sobriety – is a life-long exercise.  Our genetic make-up or our early life traumas doom us to a lifetime of dealing with this disease.

But the quest for sobriety, a deep seated commitment to pursue the multitudinous avenues to change our behavior, can make for a life of true joy and contentment, despite the remnants of the disease that never go away.  In point of fact, our life in sobriety can turn out to be measurably better than that for those who have never experienced this disease.

This is what is to be explored in these notes….for it is clear to the thousands of us who are successfully traversing this path that the life of an ongoing quest for sobriety has no rival in the experience of man.

The pursuit of sobriety is truly a spiritual quest…not unlike the quest for the Holy Grail by Percival and Gawain and the Knights of the Round Table.  The commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve and maintain a sober state, the acceptance of our powerlessness to deal with all that happens around us, the embrace of the processes to connect with a higher power in and around us, and the will to deal with people, places and things in a commitment to service, sets us out on a quest to connect with the world in a truly glorious manner.

The Journey is one of choices and discovery…and it mirrors the idea of a Hero’s Journey in very close parallel.  From the calling to cross the threshold, a meeting room threshold or a line in the sand signifying the initial commitment, to the journey through an underworld of discoveries and realizations, to the gradual awakening of what the pursuit of sobriety can bring, this Journey is real, personal for each and every one of us, and mythic in its ramifications for us and those around us.

So this note, the first of many, begins a mythic quest of understanding for all of us…what are the elements of a truly deep seated quest for sobriety that will allow for a lifetime of joy and contentment we may never have experienced before, one whose energies and characteristics might resemble the majestic quests of mythology.

A Chance for Family Healing: Kids Camp at The Council, March 16-19, 2017

Alcoholism and drug addiction in families are really hard on children.  That’s why The Council on Recovery sponsors Kids Camp for children ages 7-12 from homes affected by alcoholism and drug abuse. For children whose parents are struggling with addiction, Kids Camp is a break from it all—a chance to have fun, expresses feelings, and heal the hurt. The next Kids Camp at The Council is March 16-19th and registration is still open to all.

Kids Camp at The Council helps kids learn they are not alone and that other kids and families have similar experiences. Through art, games, role-play, and fun activities, kids learn to identify and express feelings, develop self-care skills, and deepen communication with their family.

Parents, caregivers, and teen siblings join the children for portions of the program, including family education and support. All services are provided in a safe and confidential setting.

Kids Camp at The Council helps parents and children open lines of communication and heal the hurt in their relationships. By learning about addiction in an age-appropriate way, kids gain valuable insight and understanding. The entire family learns new skills and is given the tools to recover.

It takes great courage to address the struggles and obstacles your family may be experiencing. Now is the time to show your children that family can prevail, healing is possible, and there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

To register for the upcoming Kids Camp at The Council, March 16-19th, call 281.200.9299 or email children@councilonrecovery.org.

Kids Camp at The Council is offered throughout the year. To see the dates of upcoming Kids Camp, click here!