The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 50

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 50 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 2018 film, A Star is Born, is the fourth remake of an original 1937 film about an aging star and a young new prodigy.  This one stars Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, a famous C& W singer, and Lady Gaga, as Ally, a struggling lounge singer whom Jackson takes to stardom.  The story is impeccably done by Cooper and Gaga; its power is in the truly profound impact it seems to have on many of us in recovery.  This recent version also tracks almost precisely with two prior ones, a 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason, and a 1976 version with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

In this version, Jackson is a serious alcoholic and addict who stumbles into a back-street drag bar, desperately needing a drink between gigs;  he  finds Ally as a waitress who also sings in the small club venue.  The connection, both in the acting and in the energy Cooper and Gaga bring to the roles, is mesmerizing.  Predictably, and in line with its predecessors, they form a bond and perform together.  The bond leads to an affair of the heart.  Soon Ally’s career begins to take off while Jackson’s is continuing a drunken downward spiral.   

While Ally remains fully committed to Jackson, he becomes a major liability to her career.  He vacillates between loving attention to her and mean-spirited comments and abuse. Her manager does everything he can to try to keep Jackson away from Ally in various phases of her development and touring.  But Jackson’s drinking and drugging just keeps getting worse.  At the Grammy’s, when Ally goes up to accept the Award of Best New Artist, a falling down drunk Jackson goes up with her and, on stage, he wets himself and passes out.

Jackson does rehab and seems to be recovering, but the damage he believes he has done to Ally’s career and the constant pull of the disease lead him to a deep state of remorse and regret.  While Ally is singing at a major concert at which Jackson was to be present, he hangs himself in their garage.

It is interesting that this story seems to have a basic fundamental power…it has been told and retold in the span of generations over the last 80 years…with the players having the same general presence in their generations as Gaga and Cooper do here.  While, to this alcoholic, the option of suicide is never a valid one, there are untold examples where the bottom reached in a drinking life seems to present no other recourse to the sufferer.  It is a sad, sad, tragic reality.

How wonderful it is that many of us have been able to move beyond that point of “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization” and put the probability of such a tragedy well behind us.  

How Do You REALLY Keep Your Kids Safe From Addiction?

New YouTube video from the Addiction Policy Forum highlights 10 things parents can do to keep kids safe from addiction.

The Council on Recovery and the Center for Recovering Families have programs to help you implement these useful suggestions. Call 713-942-4100 for more information or contact us here.

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 24

Bob W.

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 24 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.

In classical and renaissance academia, there was an idea of an Astral Plane, a spirit world above the physical that may or may not have been equated with Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. It was seen as a place of spirits, maybe the soul, where otherworldly beings existed to whom we might appeal or supplicate ourselves. It also showed up in the world of psychics and mediums in recent centuries.

In more recent times this idea has been used in various sci-fi or action hero genres, in movies like the 2016 Dr Strange, based on an action hero first created by Stan Lee of Marvel Comics in 1963.  The hero, Steven Strange, is a renowned, but massively egotistical, neurosurgeon whose hands are irreparably crippled in an automobile accident. He explores all sorts of traditional and experimental systems in an attempt to heal himself. He journeys to the far side of the world in such pursuits and is eventually transformed into a powerful mystic who is able to access and employ unusual energies and systems. His transformation process takes him to a higher plane and is much like ours in the development of our sober living ethos. The paranormal abilities he gains in his transformation now make him much less interested in his former skills as a surgeon; he is now compelled to pursue his new gifts and energies in attempts to save mankind from various cosmic dangers.

This seems to be an uncanny, if a bit weird, analogy for those of us who see our journey in sobriety leading us to much higher levels of service than we could ever have imagined in our days in the disease.  In the constant exploration of whom and what we were in our disease and who and what we are in recovery, we begin to discover the core, the soul of our most authentic inner selves. We are naturally drawn to explore ways to be of service to everyone and everything, in everyday simple and massively expansive ways.

We see that, in carrying the message, in working to help others, in gaining a sense of the profound meaning of service to the cosmos, we are able to move to a plane of existence that is truly glorious. We now live a good part of our lives on a very real and present Astral Plane.

The Council on Recovery’s Adolescent Services Program Confronts Teen Issues of Addiction, High-Risk Behaviors, & Mental Health Disorders

In response to the alarming escalation in addiction, high-risk behaviors, and mental health disorders among teenagers, The Council on Recovery has assembled an all-star team for its Adolescent Services Program at the Center for Recovering Families (CRF) to confront those issues head-on.

Dr. Susan Delaney , Adolescent Service Manager
Dr. Susan Delaney

The Adolescent Services Program team is led by Dr. Susan Delaney, an accomplished clinician with a deep background in mental health services for children and adolescents. Prior to joining The Council, Susan held key clinical positions with UTHealth and DePelchin Children’s Center that focused on trauma care, interventions, and counseling. In addition to her Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology, Susan also holds a MBA degree, which affords her a unique and valuable perspective on the business of delivering mental health services. Continue reading “The Council on Recovery’s Adolescent Services Program Confronts Teen Issues of Addiction, High-Risk Behaviors, & Mental Health Disorders”

Crystals Can Enhance Your Meditation Routine

Meditation is the key for some who are in recovery. It helps people feel more energized, gain focus and relaxation and can increase consciousness. All of these are important so that the recoveree can maintain a healthy life balance each day. Crystals can assist recoverees with these goals and aid in the discovery of their sober identity.

Amethyst crystal. Photo Credit: The Corner Crystal.

Amethyst

Amethyst distracts you from addictions and withdrawal symptoms. This crystal helps recharge the mind, body, and spirit. It helps recoverees reconnect to their own spirituality, open their minds to wisdom, and wash away negativity.

Carnelian crystal. Photo Credit: The Corner Crystal.

Carnelian

The bright orange Carnelian crystal is used to help those who struggle with overeating and marijuana addiction. The Carnelian is a form of quartz that makes users feel both energized and protected. When the Carnelian is held in the right hand and the Azurite crystal is held in the left hand, users can feel relaxed. Drinking Carnelian infused water or wearing jewelry will ease fears and give you more determination during recovery.

Clear Quartz crystal. Photo Credit: The Corner Crystal.

Clear quartz

This crystal can help those with a history of substance abuse. This not only works for those recovering from opioid and chemical drugs but for those wanting to resist caffeine and sugar. Clear Quartz helps cut down stress, ease withdrawal symptoms, and tries to block addictive thoughts.

Lepidolite crystal. Photo Credit: The Corner Crystal.

Lepidolite

This crystal helps develop hope, trust, serenity, and acceptance within a person. Lepidolite helps transform recoverees by encouraging self-love, patience, and optimism. This stone is especially helpful for people who have PTSD or manic depression because it stabilizes emotions.

Rose Quartz. Photo Credit: The Corner Crystal.

Rose Quartz

This crystal is known as the stone of love and can help you see the reality of toxic relationships. This stone is also effective for people recovering from addictions such as nymphomania. Rose Quartz calms and encourages recoverees to rediscover their love of the arts, music, and writing.

Crystals can be used alongside physical meditation activities such as yoga. They help those in recovery transform their mind, body, and spirit. If you are in need of relaxation and meditation, The Council offers weekly yoga classes. For more information, please click here.

12 Tips for Partying Sober During the Holidays

For a recovering addict or alcoholic, holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s can be annual versions of The Bermuda Triangle. To stay out of the danger zone, it is best to prepare yourself for the potential threats to your sobriety before you encounter them. Here are 12 Tips you can follow for partying sober during the holidays:

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Freedom from Want,” 1943.
Story illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” March 6, 1943. Photo Credit www.nrm.org.

1-Prepare your mind

Have a few lines handy for when someone offers you a drink at a holiday party. “No thank you, but I’ll take a Coke.” If you are constantly asked, be repetitive and consistent with your answers and answer firmly, “No.”

2-Volunteer

Spend time helping at a soup kitchen or helping children’s charities. You’ll find that giving your time will feel amazing and still give you the ability to be social during the holiday season.

3-Be the designated driver for the evening

By being the designated driver, this will make you look responsible and will prevent more people from asking you to drink with them.

Continue reading “12 Tips for Partying Sober During the Holidays”