Dr. Hal’s Blog

This is a selection of the most recent blog posts by Dr. Hal. These posts were originally published at blog.journeytorecovery.com. Visit that site to read older posts.

More than a Drug Problem

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

“Burdens shared are easier to bear.” Jesse Jackson A Troubled Beginning By the time he was 13, Marcus had bounced in and through a dozen homes, if that’s what you called them, a pattern which was to continue throughout his 42 years. He was smoking weed regularly by his teen years and had dabbled with a handful of other drugs, which he mostly picked up off the nightstand in his mother’s bedroom. From time to time when his mother was in jail, Marcus stayed with one of her boyfriends or his mother’s sister. It didn’t much matter where he stayed....

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The Seven Wonders of Recovery

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

The Seven Wonders of Recovery

“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” – Zig Ziglar The seven wonders of the ancient world were astounding man-made displays of human ingenuity and creativity in engineering, art, and architecture. They include the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, and others. Recovery, although not equal in scope, can feel like your own amazing achievement, accomplished with great skill, fortitude, and creativity....

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Stick to the Plan

Posted by on Sep 4, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

Stick to the Plan

“Never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill This blog is not about taking vitamins, I promise. However, I do take vitamins every morning and have done so for the past 10 years. I never miss, yet every now and then, I stare mindlessly at the vitamin bottle and wonder silently if I still need to take them. Then, from the far reaches of the saner region within my mind comes this stinging rebuttal: “stick to the plan!” “We’ve been over this. We don’t need to rethink this! You’re not being asked if you enjoy it, are fanatically passionate...

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The Baffling Nature of Addiction and the Surprising Power of Recovery

Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

The Baffling Nature of Addiction and the Surprising Power of Recovery

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling Ronnie celebrated his 40th birthday in jail a few weeks before entering the residential treatment program where I met him two years ago. An unhappy place to celebrate a birthday, I’m sure. But for Ronnie, it was a turning point in his life and his recovery. It wasn’t his first time in jail or in a chemical dependency treatment program. Ronnie started using marijuana when he was only 11 years old. By the time he was 16 he was regularly using alcohol and...

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Tell Me What I’m Doing Right

Posted by on Jul 17, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

Tell Me What I’m Doing Right

Over the years, I’ve noticed that people often want approval and affirmation. They want it, yet rarely receive it or believe it when it finally arrives. Jim would be an example of that. This 35-year-old man who came for counseling stared quietly at the carpet as he gathered his thoughts. Slowly he began to unravel the twisted story of his life, as one would unravel the intertwined fibers of the carpet on which his gaze was fixed. Jim was the first-born son in a family of five children. His mother was a gentle woman, kind and compassionate....

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Do the Thing You Need to Do or…

Posted by on Jul 12, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

Do the Thing You Need to Do or…

“You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation.” – Roger Maris Do the thing you need to do or… get yourself ready… What do you need to do? Do the thing you need to do or get yourself ready to do the thing you need to do. If you need to go to treatment, then go to treatment. If you need to finish school, then go back to school. If you need to return to work, move out of your parents’ basement, or find a new job – then do it. Or get yourself ready to do the thing you need to do. Preparing Takes Time People often come to our intensive...

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Positively Changing Your Life

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

You’ve got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative And Don’t mess with Mister In-Between Johnny Mercer “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” was written by Johnny Mercer and the music was written by Harold Arlen. It was made popular by Bing Crosby and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1945. It lays out, in a classy, upbeat manner, the simple formula for managing your thought life: rehearse the positive and eliminate the negative. It goes on to add further instructions: You’ve got to...

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Positively Changing Your Life

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

Positively Changing Your Life

You’ve got to accentuate the positive Eliminate the negative Latch on to the affirmative And Don’t mess with Mister In-Between Johnny Mercer “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” was written by Johnny Mercer and the music was written by Harold Arlen. It was made popular by Bing Crosby and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1945. It lays out, in a classy, upbeat manner, the simple formula for managing your thought life: rehearse the positive and eliminate the negative. It goes on to add further instructions: You’ve got to...

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Living in an Unsure World

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

Living in an Unsure World

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” – Clint Eastwood This evening we’re celebrating my granddaughter’s seventh birthday. It will be a small family gathering at an outdoor amphitheater performance of Beauty and the Beast. It looks to be a hot and humid summer evening. I’m anticipating the family fun and pleasant moments as much as my grandchildren (maybe more). We checked the weather, no rain is predicted until later tonight – after midnight, but one never knows for sure. We live in an uncertain world. That’s the way it is with picnics,...

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A Quick and Easy Recovery and Other Treatment Myths

Posted by on May 29, 2018 in Journey to Recovery | 0 comments

A Quick and Easy Recovery and Other Treatment Myths

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw Let’s Be Reasonable The confusing influence of addiction is often referred to as “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” It distorts insight into the illness, decreases judgment, and twists expectations about life in recovery. Setting reasonable expectations means wrestling with the uncontrollable, the doubtful, and the difficult. I can’t always control, fix, or bend the uncertainties of life to meet my desires. And I must...

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