Tag Archives: addiction recovery

Tag Archives: addiction recovery


Sunday Sermon: The Promise of Freedom, Part 1

October 6, 2019

The AA Big Book promises a life in recovery that is “happy, joyous, and free,” but free from what? This message is the first in a series that explore the depth of freedom gained through the 12-step recovery process and spiritual awakening. This week’s message focused on freedom from substances, freedom from obsession, and freedom from the illusion of control.

Cumberland Heights - Recovery Live Podcast - Life actually has meaning to me now

Todd M Podcast – Sobriety doesn’t make you happy. It removes the things that make you unhappy.

Imagine your drug-addicted lifestyle being broadcast on national television. It happened to Todd M. on the popular A&E show “Intervention.” The season 16 episode followed Todd as he smoked meth and downed pills in his parent’s barn. The experience led him to Cumberland Heights where he now works with three years of sobriety under his belt. Hear how he felt watching that episode for the first time, and why the Californian decided to stick around Tennessee.

Tips on staying sober on vacation

When you’re in recovery most things are bound to look and feel very different, especially when you’re away from home. Let’s face it, recovery changes everything!

If you’re wondering how to approach your next vacation without alcohol or other substances, we have some tips to help you stay sober on your next journey.

Start by picking the perfect destination. 

If you’re traveling during spring break you may want to avoid the more notorious party places. Today there are many vacation packages that cater to those wishing to stay sober while having a fabulous getaway. Likewise, many cities have alcohol free party venues and more and more concerts designate an alcohol free zone in which to enjoy the festivities. In other words, pick a place whose reputation doesn’t necessarily revolve around its bar scene!

Remember that your basic needs haven’t changed. 

If anything, it’s even more important to try and stick to a regular schedule as much as possible in order to maintain a sense of balance.

This includes trying to get a good night’s sleep, for as many hours as you usually do back at home. Don’t forget to eat as regularly and as healthy as you can while being tempted by vacation treats and snacks! If you exercise, stick to your routine and be sure to take as many time-outs as you need in order to stay centered and feeling in control.

Staying sober doesn’t mean spending every single minute focused on that thought. Sometimes it helps to plan ahead so that you have something to look forward to. For example, you can shift your attention to day-planning, scheduling events in advance and also carving out room for spontaneous fun.

Remember that maintaining a sense of structure doesn’t have to come at the expense of spur of the moment fun– don’t get bogged down thinking about what you can’t do! Vacation is time for adventure and trying new things. Why not plan to cross some things off your bucket list, or try something out of your comfort zone—bungee jumping, rock climbing or a scenic helicopter trip all come to mind!

Keep your triggers and stress buttons in mind. 

Mental preparation is every bit as important as the logistical preparations you so carefully make.

For example, flights get delayed, luggage gets lost and inevitably your travel companions bring their own sets of dramas. If you are with a group keep in mind that everyone has different routines, travel rules and conceptions of what having fun means! So by all means, don’t forget to pack plenty of patience along with your earbuds, a pillow and a few munchies!

In other words, expect things to take a side trip (pun intended) from the norm, and be prepared for last-minute changes.

If you’re traveling with a group, communicate your needs and goals. Talk to your friends or family about the importance of your sobriety and share what they can do to support you. Many people find it helpful to talk about potential triggers and to set expectations before you leave home.

Likewise, don’t leave behind all of the helpful tools that you rely on at home. Make sure any recovery apps you use on a regular basis are on your phone and download recovery readings ahead of time. If there’s a playlist that influences your sobriety, make sure to have it handy.

Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t stay connected to your network of support. Call or text the people who motivate your sobriety and don’t forget to call into any online support groups you belong to.

Being away from home will bring its own set of unique challenges

There will still be obstacles, struggles and stress, and it’s very possible that being away from familiar territory will make sobriety harder, not easier.

Because of this, you may want to wait to plan a vacation bash until after you’ve maintained a certain length of time in recovery. While not a hard and fast rule, it is a consideration that many experts recommend you think about prior to making big, complicated or lengthy plans.

Whenever you decide to travel, and wherever you decide to enjoy your next adventure, by all means, don’t spend your entire trip focused on what you can’t do. Yes, the truth is that when you’re in recovery you are missing out on something—an unmanageable addiction that was adversely affecting your life and the lives of your loved ones. Now, instead of carrying that burden, you can wake up every morning feeling healthy and knowing that you’re giving yourself, the world, and your loved ones the very best you’ve got to give.

There’s no doubt that seeing someone downing a beer or sipping cocktails can be a one-way ticket to a pity party. Instead, choose to focus on the positives, like the brand new opportunities that sobriety brings into your life. Being in recovery is a grand adventure in and of itself. There are new things to discover and new people to meet.

Take that vacation, you’ve earned it! And when you do, remember that with just a little planning and a lot of patience you’ll be good to go—literally!

Recovery is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.

Steps to prevent a relapse

Relapse happens. Like some other unwanted things in life we’d rather avoid, relapse is a very real possibility for people in recovery. Relapse from addiction to alcohol or drugs occurs for several reasons. Meeting up with friends who misuse substances can trigger the urge to use. A sudden memory has the power to unleash the desire for alcohol or drugs. And sometimes stress that feels overwhelming can trigger the belief that there is no other, or better, way to relieve the pressure, anxiety or tension.

Of course, all of these thoughts can be countered and the tools learned in treatment can be used to push back on unwanted thoughts or feelings in order to prevent relapse.

Experts Recommend Several Skills to Prevent Relapse

Perhaps the best method to use to prevent relapse is the consistent practice of healthy coping skills learned in treatment. Avoiding risk factors for use, and building and using a support system are other key elements.

For example, cutting back on support group meetings or counseling sessions can be a detriment to recovery. Emotional challenges are part of everyday life, and studies show that a recovering brain is susceptible to anxiety and depression. But without a social support system, alcohol or drug use can look like an easy means of “fixing” problems and feeling better.

Keep in mind that if you stop using appropriate coping behaviors and begin to think that drinking or drug use can be controlled, the risk of relapse increases.

Creating a relapse prevention plan is an excellent prevention strategy. The best relapse prevention plan is simple and realistic and easily accessed. You can work out such a plan with your counselor and it can be as detailed or straightforward as you like.

Hope For The Best, Plan For Challenges

A relapse prevention plan includes the resources you can use if you feel as though you may relapse. With this in mind, be sure that your plan includes someone to call for support, hotline or crisis line numbers, a safe place to go, a schedule of support group meetings in your area and a list of personal reasons for staying sober.

Recovery is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.

The Experiential Healing Center offers a training program in SomExSM: A Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction. Certification is offered to counseling professionals, but the training is open to anyone wanting to enhance their practice with a deeper understanding of the neurophysiology of trauma, emotion, and self-regulation. Some of the professions we have worked with are massage therapists, speech therapists, alcohol and drug counselors, physicians and, of course, psychotherapists.  A professional can participate in one module, or attend all four modules and participate in supervision for certification.

Created by Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport, this modality uses an inter-relational model of somatic awareness and experiential techniques.  It is highly effective in working with chemical and process addictions, trauma, and attachment disorders, with an emphasis on emotional regulation. This four-module training is designed to give therapists the tools to transform the nervous system around issues of trauma.

Participants will:

  • Develop a working knowledge of the neurobiological aspects of trauma on the body.
  • Practice Emotional Regulation techniques.
  • Practice Experiential techniques to help uncouple the freeze in traumatized individuals.
  • Learn interventions for harmony and repair around core attachment wounds.

​Friday, October 4th thru Sunday, October 6th 2019

Cost: $595 each module

REGISTER HERE

When Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport founded the Experiential Healing Center, they were extensively trained and highly skilled experiential therapists, using psychodrama and other action-oriented techniques to help clients access feelings and develop choice making about how they react and repair.

They certified in Somatic Transformation and began to incorporate the somatic techniques to help clients oscillate within their Optimal Arousal Zone in order to touch the edges of their activation and collapse. They began to see that the two schools of thought were not only mutually supportive, but also nearly seamless in their execution, and SomExSM was born.

We don’t wound alone and we certainly don’t heal alone. SomExSM–a Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction–honors this process, connecting the left-brain hemisphere of rationalization , reasoning and meaning-making to the right hemisphere’s capacity for social engagement and emotional processing.  It facilitates the repair of disorganized and insecure attachments of our childhood through somatic engagement and builds resiliency so clients are able to rediscover the Self that lives within all of us–playful, passionate, unashamed, unafraid, eager to learn and grow. At EHC we believe this is the difference between therapy and counseling. Therapy is a co-regulated process where therapist and client embark on a journey to recover and repair the Authentic Self.

SomExSM training will give you a deepened understanding of the neurobiological aspects of trauma, disordered attachment and addiction. It will equip you with a valuable set of skills to facilitate repair and regulation in your clients–allowing them to explore life in the Optimal Arousal Zone known to us here at the Experiential Healing Center as Emotional Harmony.

The Experiential Healing Center offers a training program in SomExSM: A Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction. Certification is offered to counseling professionals, but the training is open to anyone wanting to enhance their practice with a deeper understanding of the neurophysiology of trauma, emotion, and self-regulation. Some of the professions we have worked with are massage therapists, speech therapists, alcohol and drug counselors, physicians and, of course, psychotherapists.  A professional can participate in one module, or attend all four modules and participate in supervision for certification.

Created by Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport, this modality uses an inter-relational model of somatic awareness and experiential techniques.  It is highly effective in working with chemical and process addictions, trauma, and attachment disorders, with an emphasis on emotional regulation. This four-module training is designed to give therapists the tools to transform the nervous system around issues of trauma.

Participants will:

  • Develop a working knowledge of the neurobiological aspects of trauma on the body.
  • Practice Emotional Regulation techniques.
  • Practice Experiential techniques to help uncouple the freeze in traumatized individuals.
  • Learn interventions for harmony and repair around core attachment wounds.

​Friday, October 4th thru Sunday, October 6th 2019

Cost: $595 each module

REGISTER HERE

When Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport founded the Experiential Healing Center, they were extensively trained and highly skilled experiential therapists, using psychodrama and other action-oriented techniques to help clients access feelings and develop choice making about how they react and repair.

They certified in Somatic Transformation and began to incorporate the somatic techniques to help clients oscillate within their Optimal Arousal Zone in order to touch the edges of their activation and collapse. They began to see that the two schools of thought were not only mutually supportive, but also nearly seamless in their execution, and SomExSM was born.

We don’t wound alone and we certainly don’t heal alone. SomExSM–a Somatic Experiential intervention to treat trauma and addiction–honors this process, connecting the left-brain hemisphere of rationalization , reasoning and meaning-making to the right hemisphere’s capacity for social engagement and emotional processing.  It facilitates the repair of disorganized and insecure attachments of our childhood through somatic engagement and builds resiliency so clients are able to rediscover the Self that lives within all of us–playful, passionate, unashamed, unafraid, eager to learn and grow. At EHC we believe this is the difference between therapy and counseling. Therapy is a co-regulated process where therapist and client embark on a journey to recover and repair the Authentic Self.

SomExSM training will give you a deepened understanding of the neurobiological aspects of trauma, disordered attachment and addiction. It will equip you with a valuable set of skills to facilitate repair and regulation in your clients–allowing them to explore life in the Optimal Arousal Zone known to us here at the Experiential Healing Center as Emotional Harmony.

Join us for this informative panel on the music industry and its response to mental health and substance abuse.

Panelists Include:

Paul Williams: President and Chairman of ASCAP, American Composer, Actor

Ken Levitan: Founder and Co-President Vector Management

Judy Crane: Author, Co-Founder & CEO The GuestHouse Ocala, Spirit2Spirit Healing

The Warren Brothers: American Songwriting Duo

*Limited Attendance, reservation required*

*Parking is limited, guests are highly encouraged to utilize nearby pay-parking lots, street parking, or ride sharing services*

REGISTER HERE

How you can build a better life

Life is full of challenges, ups, and downs, hills, and valleys. But research demonstrates that there are two main things you can do to actively manage your well-being. Sound too good to be true?

Research shows that the power of positive thinking is absolutely good for your overall state of mind, and there are two key things that you can do to ensure you flourish in life, rather than flounder. What can you do to increase your level of positivity and by extension boost your level of optimism?

  • Practice amplifying and building on what is positive in your life at this moment.

You can do this by reflecting on your strengths as they exist right here and right now.

Research shows that therapeutic techniques that focus on enhancing our strengths can be more advantageous than techniques that only aim to correct deficits. But, an important caveat to keep in mind is that focusing on the positive does not mean ignoring the negative. There is a time and place to address both our strengths as well as the areas in which we wish to improve.

For example, think of a positive, realistic goal you’d like to achieve. Now, identify one or more of your strengths that can help you get there: courage, hope, spirituality, the list is as unique as you are!

  • Vow to learn from mistakes. It’s unwise to try to forget negative experiences because they are the very building blocks we can use to help us flourish and grow. While we should not allow these experiences to define us, we should allow ourselves to reflect on them in order to determine how to avoid them in the future.

Experts encourage us to start the journey to a more positive life by identifying strengths and building upon them. Would you like to learn more about how you can turn negative life experience into a positive? The professionals at Cumberland Heights are here to help you begin your journey toward healing.

Recovery is possible—recover your unique, purposeful, sober life by reaching out to the dedicated experts at Cumberland Heights.

Addiction is a chronic, progressive and potentially fatal disease. For over 50 years we have carefully provided the highest quality of care for adults, adolescents and families who suffer from, or are affected by this devastating disease.

Our nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center is located on a peaceful, pastoral 177-acre campus on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. We provide a continuum of services through two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes.

At Cumberland Heights, we always put the patient first, and value the importance of family participation in the recovery process. Take the first step toward healing by calling us at (866) 899-5231 today.

An Evening with Travis Meadows: A Benefit for Cumberland HeightsTravis Meadows spent years trying to escape himself. He’s anything but selfish, so he’d find a way to get away––a bottle, a bag, a sermon––and he’d share it with everyone. That was then. Now, Meadows isn’t trying to get anybody lost or high. Instead, he’s trying to get every single one of us to settle in deeply to ourselves––and love what’s there.

“I feel like what I’m doing is giving people permission to be okay with who they are, where they’re at now,” Meadows says. “A lot of us say stuff like, ‘If I’d been married to this guy or this girl, or if I had enough money, or if I had a better job. If I wasn’t an alcoholic, or if I drank more. If this, if that, then, I think I could be a better person.’” He pauses. “I think the key to life is being okay with who you are.”

Meadows isn’t just waxing poetic about the perks of self-acceptance. The 52-year-old has clawed his way to the peace he’s found, and his willingness to map that journey through his songs has saved more lives than his own. On his anxiously awaited new album First Cigarette, Meadows proves once again that when he sings the truth he’s living, he can set us all free. “I’ve always put secrets in my records, but I had this ring of fire that nobody could get in––a defense mechanism from my childhood. Nobody gets too close,” he says. “I think this record is a way of me letting people in a little more, inside the ring of fire.”

Disciples have been dancing by Meadows’ fire for years. Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Mary Gauthier, Brandy Clark, Blackberry Smoke, Hank Williams, Jr., Wynonna Judd, Randy Houser, and others began writing with, recording, and praising Meadows as soon as they heard his work. Songs such as “Riser,” the title track for Bentley’s 2015 album; Church’s “Knives of New Orleans” and “Dark Side”; and Owen’s “What We Ain’t Got” are all Meadows-penned chart-climbers.

Much of the attention began in 2010, when Meadows self-released Killin’ Uncle Buzzy, a raw masterpiece that left listeners stunned. “I was in rehab, and one of my counselors suggested that I keep a journal, so I basically made a record out of that journal,” Meadows says. It became an unlikely phenomenon, handed from friend to friend and artist to artist with whispers of, Listen. It’s the best thing you’ll hear all year. In 2013, Meadows followed Killin’ Uncle Buzzy with the acclaimed Old Ghosts and Unfinished Business. “On Killin’ Uncle Buzzy, you’re listening to a guy trying to figure out how to get sober,” Meadows says. “Then two years later, I was sober, but I wasn’t that guy anymore. That’s what ‘Old Ghosts’ was––me just trying to move forward. I feel like this record is more accessible. People can listen and go, ‘Well, hell. I’ve done that, too.’”

An intimate record utilizing just Meadow’s blues-hewn voice and mostly acoustic guitar with pops of electric and other strings, First Cigarette is an intensely relatable meditation on love, acceptance, and redemption––an artistic and personal triumph, especially for a man whose early life was defined by loss and pain. At the age of two, Meadows watched his baby brother drown. When his parents divorced, he wound up living with his grandparents rather than either of his parents. “My dad went and got married and had a baby, and they were almost a normal family,” Meadows says. “And my mother also went and almost had a normal family, whatever that is.” His thick Mississippi accent makes the ‘r’ at the end of father and mother soft in his mouth. “I was over there with my grandparents like, ‘Well what the hell happened to me? Why am I not good enough to be part of that family?’ I carried that resentment for a long time.”

Adversity would remain a constant in Meadows’ youth. At the age of eleven, he began using drugs. At fourteen, he was diagnosed with cancer. He would go on to beat the disease, but not before it cost him his right leg from just below the knee. Meadows picked himself up and began playing drums––“They’d sneak me in the back door and I would play for people in bars”––but tired of lugging all that gear and picked up the harmonica. “I could put all my instruments in a Crown Royal bag, and I would sing and play the blues,” he says. Then, in his 20s, Meadows underwent another conversion: he became a Christian. He preached across the South and in 20-something countries for 17 years. “Preachers fall hard,” he says. “I had some questions I didn’t like the answers to. So I quit and went back to my old friend alcohol.”

First Cigarette benefits from all of the battles Meadows has lost and won, including his now seven years––and counting––of sobriety. Album opener “Sideways” is a gut punch. A blend of confession and advice, the song explores what happens when emotion is stifled. Meadows wrote “Sideways” after performing and speaking at an adolescent addiction treatment center. He asked the kids there, all younger than 18, if anyone wanted to share their story. A girl raised her hand, spoke, and broke Meadows’ heart. “She floored me,” he says. “I said, ‘Well, I’d want to get high too. How did that make you feel?’ One tear came down her cheek. She rubbed it away and said, ‘I don’t feel nothin’.’ One of the counselors and I were talking later. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you’re going to treat everything in your life like a nail.”

“Pray for Jungleland” channels Bruce Springsteen as it celebrates him, nostalgic for love at eighteen and a world that revolves around Friday night. Written with Drew Kennedy, the song is the first of several on the album that capture youth with misty-eyed levity––a departure from Uncle Buzzy that Meadows is clearly enjoying. “McDowell Road” serves as a thematic bookend for “Jungleland,” while the slow-building “Pontiac” offers anchoring advice and warm memories as hopes for young hearts.

A standout on an album stacked with gems, “First Cigarette” features searing vocals that shift back and forth between defiant muscle and naked delicacy. “I am little more content, I am little more content with who I am than who I was,” Meadows sings. “I have learned to love the comfort when it comes, like the first cigarette the morning buzz.” Written with Connie Harrington, “Hungry” showcases Meadows’ unique ability to haunt and soothe at the same time. “Hunger is the thing that motivates us to get up and try again,” he says. “I pray that I never lose that hunger.” The gorgeous “Better Boat” takes another moving look at Meadows’ hard-won contentment.

“Life can be a little challenging for all of us. It’s beautiful and it’s tragic, it’s awesome and it hurts,” Meadows says. “I hope people sense that through this record and want to come to a show, which is a lot of storytelling, a lot of tears, a lot of laughter. They’ll come face to face with a damn lot of humanity. I hope they see themselves in it.”

This Show is Sold Out!

Generations of well-intentioned professionals have driven home the message to parents of those affected by addiction, “there’s nothing you can do until your child is ready to get help.” The person with addiction is powerless over drugs, alcohol and their disease, but that doesn’t mean that they are powerless over everything. Similarly, parents are powerless over their child and addiction, but they aren’t powerless over everything either.

Objectives for Participants are to:

  • Review The Stages of Change Model
  • Explore the Implications of Action-Ready Parents with Non-action-ready Children with Addiction
  • Identify at least 5 Opportunities for Action-Ready Parents
  • Identify at least 5 Opportunities for Professionals Serving Families Affected by Addiction

About Ginny Mills:

Ginny Mills joined the addiction recovery field over 25 years ago and now leads both Parenting Through Addiction (a web-based education & consultation service) and Full Life Counseling and Recovery (an outpatient private practice) in Winston-Salem, NC. She holds a master’s degree from Wake Forest University and credentials in both general mental health and addiction counseling.

Ginny has experience leading in primary residential, sober living and outpatient addiction treatment settings, including service as the Chief Clinical Officer for Partnership for a Drug-Free NC, She has a strong understanding of both the clinical and parental aspects of supporting those affected by the disease of addiction. Ginny loves to scuba dive, travel and ski with her husband and adult daughters (one of whom is in sustained recovery).

This fall, Ginny will release her new book Parenting Through Your Adult Child’s Addiction: Making Sense of Treatment, Aftercare and Recovery Recommendations.

PLEASE NOTE: There are 2 Sessions are available for convenience, you do not need to attend both.

  • Session One: 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM (registration begins at 8:30 AM)
  • Session Two: 1:00 PM-4:00 PM (registration begins at 12:30 PM)

3 CE credits awarded, approved by NAADAC and NBCC

 

REGISTER HERE


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