Category - North Central Vermont Recovery Center

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Proactive Self Care
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The Scarlet Letter of Addiction
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The Bigger Picture
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Family Recovery
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The North Central Vermont Recovery Center
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Grateful Alcoholic
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Lisa Mugford, The North Central Vermont Recovery Center

Proactive Self Care

By: Emily Neilsen

The term “self care” is everywhere, yet its definition is squishy, at best.  The term often conjures images of stressed out moms taking group trips to the spa, getting massages, and going on yoga retreats. Certainly, these things can be self care. But, self care can be much simpler and is often most effective when it is integrated into everyday life. It also does not need to cost anything.

At its most basic, self-care is simply taking care of oneself and one’s needs.  It stems from the idea that we cannot give endlessly (to our loved ones, our careers, those in need, etc.) without also taking care of ourselves. In fact, self care is much more effective if we approach it proactively, instead of reactively, by incorporating simple routines into our lives, and maintaining them even when we feel good. These habits can also be renewing and energy conserving, allowing us to move through the world more calmly and peacefully.

What is proactive self-care? Truly, anything you do that supports your mental, physical, and spiritual health before you feel burnt out or exhausted.

A few examples:

  1. Doing something ahead of time to increase calm and decrease chaos during busy moments: Making your bed in the morning, laying out clothes for next day, meal planning for the week, or doing anything that will help you feel calm, organized, and centered in the future.
  2. Creating a short bedtime routine that allows you to feel relaxed and grounded before heading to sleep: e.g. journaling, meditating, taking a bath, or reading.
  3. Getting extra sleep before you feel over tired or scheduling time in your calendar that is reserved for relaxing, not accomplishing.
  4. Addressing your physical and emotional health before symptoms arise. This could mean changing your diet, incorporating more or different forms of exercise, sleeping more, or seeking counseling, among many other possibilities.  
  5. Self care can also be about asking for help or saying “no” to invitations and requests that are draining or don’t easily fit into your schedule.

As with any new habit or goal, you may find that integrating proactive self-care can be challenging. Start small, by identifying and incorporating one or two small changes that fit well into your life. Be patient with, and kind to, yourself (that’s self-care, too!)

Here are a few articles for additional information: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201810/7-tips-good-self-care

https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/5-tested-tips-battle-burnout-better-self-care


Emily Neilsen is a mother and educator, who loves asking big questions, digging in the soil, swimming in natural bodies of water, and playing outdoors. She is a 500-hour and Prenatal certified yoga instructor. Emily currently plans arts & cultural events and reading initiatives, and works with first-year students at Northern Vermont University-Johnson. She cares deeply about health and believes mental health, movement, and diet play essential roles in wellness. Emily lives with her husband and 2-year-old, as well as a husky and a calico cat in Hyde Park, VT. 

The Scarlet Letter of Addiction

By: Megan Dorsey, Pathway Guide, North Central Vermont Recovery Center

People in recovery from substance use face many challenges and have to make many changes in their lives to have success in recovery. For starters: Everything.

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand (or more) times: “No one chooses a life of addiction.” Some are born into it through a gene pool, not of their choosing. Some have been prescribed medication to take away pain after a serious injury. Some simply had a bad day and took something or had a drink to ease the pain, and their introduction to addiction spiraled out of control from that point.

Unfortunately, this group of people is still looked down upon by many. They are called a burden on society, a menace, thieves, and worthless. Though their behavior while under the influence of a particular mind-altering substance may have been less than savory, that was the disease within the human working, not the human themselves.

Working in the world of recovery, I get to see the human instead of the disease. The people I work with are strong, determined, honest, and compassionate towards others. They have had to uproot themselves from everything, everyone, and every place they knew as home, and start over completely.  That takes serious grit. While sometimes they struggle, and sometimes they briefly slip back into old ways, they keep trying. And all along the way, while picking themselves back up, they are lifting others. They are the ones helping, volunteering, holding doors, mentoring, and supporting others who are new to the journey they’ve walked with courage and pride.

I have heard many people in long-term recovery say they are now grateful for the disease of addiction they have within them. Without it, they wouldn’t have become the amazing people they are today and wouldn’t be working diligently every day to maintain a new way of life they can be proud of.

So, the next time you see someone struggling in the throes of their addiction and behaving poorly due to their angst and constant struggle, I encourage you to be compassionate. Remember the person they are about to become with the right help and support.

They are about to become someone who helps so many others find their way.

The Bigger Picture

By: Emma Benard 

What has been most helpful in my personal recovery, as well as in my work with others in recovery, is the concept of looking at the bigger picture.

The bigger picture includes those things outside yourself that make life exciting, fulfilling, and complex. The bigger picture includes family, friends, occupation, nature, and hobbies. The bigger picture includes your life, years and years from now, and your personal goals and aspirations. The bigger picture also includes hope, faith, and courage!

Remembering the bigger picture can help immensely when you may be feeling stuck in your recovery, afraid or hesitant to move forward and to move past or eradicate behaviors that are no longer serving you for the better. This is because it challenges you to see more clearly all life has to offer and all you have to offer to life!

The opposite of the bigger picture is what you could call your own inner world. This particular inner world I am speaking of may be fully or partially run by your addiction, obsession, disorder, negative self-talk, etc.

Though I do very much believe there are different kinds of inner worlds, some being very healing and positive, for this blog post I am focusing on the inner world that keeps you trapped in some way. This kind of inner world is often what blocks out any hope that is being offered by the bigger picture of life. This inner world is what keeps you focused on the things that in the long run, are making you feel miserable and stagnant. This inner world is focused on “me” and has trouble viewing the world apart from that focus.

When this inner world is in charge, life revolves around all of the behaviors and urges associated with your personal struggles in recovery. This often leads to feeling alone and terrified of change, especially positive change, because that is of a whole other realm. That means bringing in the bigger picture and allowing yourself to look past your troubles and to the possibility of change and personal growth.

I challenge you to honestly reflect on how you are currently living your life in regards to the bigger picture versus your inner world. Are they balanced or is one overpowering the other? What does the bigger picture mean to you? What do you really want for your life, considering the bigger picture?

My inner world wants to keep me small, wants to stifle my voice, wants to punish me, wants to control me. My inner world is currently run by fear, anxiety, sadness, and pain. When I take in the wisdom that comes through looking at the bigger picture, I suddenly and powerfully remember that I want to feel free, that I want to share love and compassion, and that I want to make a positive difference. This is the core of my recovery and keeps my light burning inside. This is what I hope for you to find and to nourish, your wisdom through the bigger picture!

Family Recovery

By: Lisa Mugford

family-recovery-banner

Recovery is a process. All of us in recovery are at different stages and in different places. We follow our own path with guidance from our peers, our family, and our communities.

Lamoille County is a community which supports recovery with many resources. The North Central Vermont Recovery Center in Morrisville supports all paths to recovery including writing, art, and music. That being said, I want to share a couple writings by my 23- year- old daughter, Emma. Emma is in recovery at this point in her life and I am so very grateful. Addiction in my family is prevalent, touching all of us. With many prayers and a lot of recovery work, I am proud to say my family now celebrates recovery.

Here are just a couple powerful writings my daughter Emma has created to express herself in her recovery. We hope they can help others who identify in some way.

 

The Moons Behind My Eyes

Look into my eyes and notice –
they are darker than a nightmare,
swimming with secrets and thoughts
that I can’t tell you because they would make you shiver,
because for some twisted but understandable reason
these negative forces feed into the part of me that wants to be punished
for who I am.

Nobody wants to feel this way unless it,
for some reason, becomes familiar and even safe
to feel this way
But even then…

To remember this, helps:
We all seek belonging
in a world where we are all connected
yet at times feel painfully alone
We are all born from the stars
My heart is made of angel wings
My skin is birch bark that peels in the summertime
and my lips – the petals of a white rose
What are you made of?

My eyes have turned black as the thoughts race through my veins,
ache in my stomach But behind my eyes are two full moons,
and the moon never ceases to appear,
glowing through the dark

Warriors

You say I’m a warrior
But why do I feel like the war zone itself
Tangled up with ashes and blood
There goes a stream of dark tears
Watch it turn into a river I swear
It will

You say I’m a warrior
But I’ve been killed in my own war many times
The will to live resuscitating my body
Afraid to die, afraid
To live
Like this

You say I’m a warrior
I’m trying to believe
I am courage, light, spirit

Thank you for saying that I’m a warrior
Sometimes it takes another warrior
Who has also been through trials and immense suffering
To remind you that you’re one, too

You say I’m a warrior
Please look in the mirror
Let’s stand together
Our smoky eyes of war
Gleam with peace

Both poems by Emma Benard


Lisa Mugford volunteers and works part time at The North Central Vermont Recovery Center in Morrisville. The Recovery Center provides a supportive, welcoming, safe, and substance-free environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol. Lisa writes for the Recovery Center, which means her blog posts are inspirational, real, and sometimes heart breaking. She lives in Waterbury, VT and owns a business in Stowe.

The North Central Vermont Recovery Center

My name is Stefani Capizzi and I am the director of North Central Vermont Recovery Center.

North Central Vermont Recovery CenterI’m here to tell you that the Lamoille County’s Recovery Center is a really special place. One of the most unique and important qualities about the Recovery Center is that most of the people who work there (including myself, the paid staff, and the 20 plus volunteers) are people in long term recovery from addictions to alcohol and other drugs.This is AWESOME because it says people who struggle with addictions CAN and DO enter into recovery and go on to lead amazing, fulfilling lives. AND, any person who walks through our doors can meet and get help from someone who has probably walked in their shoes and can serve as an example of hope and possibility!

That being said, I am going to tell you what a person can expect when they walk through our doors. First, ALL of our services are free of charge. Yes, free.

An individual having trouble with addiction can find people who will connect them to resources like addiction treatment centers, housing, food, mental and medical health, education and employment, as well as a variety of recovery meetings and support groups held at our center and elsewhere. They will find recovery coaches who are trained to work individually with them, guiding and supporting them throughout their recovery. They will find a safe place to visit, have coffee and a snack, use the computers, read, learn, and sometimes join in social activities.

Loved ones (including grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, spouses, children, or friends) of people with addictions can also find help from family support groups and recovery coaches who work with family members.

Lastly, I’d like invite you to stop by and check out the Recovery Center (275 Brooklyn St. Morrisville, VT) any time we are open during the day:

  • Mon: 9am-12pm
  • Tues-Fri: 9am-6pm
  • Sat-Sun: 11am-4pm

Learn more on our website at www.ncvrc.com.

Grateful Alcoholic

By: Lisa Mugford

 

Addiction recovery

Grateful by definition: Deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.

Alcoholic by definition: One who has a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.

Let us take the term “Grateful Alcoholic.” Do you understand it? Connect with it? Disagree with it? Sounds like an oxymoron to me, but let’s explore the deeper meaning of this term and how it relates to my own recovery, which in turn might allow you to discover what it means to yours.

My name is Lisa and I’m a grateful alcoholic in recovery. Yes, grateful.

Am I grateful that I drank alcoholically for so many years? NO! Am I grateful that alcohol got me into trouble many times throughout high school, college, and into adulthood? Negative! Am I grateful for countless missed opportunities, most which I am probably unaware of? Heck no! Am I grateful that I lied, cheated, and stole to get alcohol? I think not! Am I grateful that I chose alcohol over my family, friends, and co-workers? Nope!

You might ask then, why am I grateful? Take a guess! I have a feeling you might be able to figure it out. And if you’re a Grateful Alcoholic yourself, or a grateful individual despite any hardships such as mental or physical illness, please share below why you are grateful, or why you are not.

Thanks so much for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.


Lisa Mugford volunteers and works part time at The North Central Vermont Recovery Center in Morrisville. The Recovery Center provides a supportive, welcoming, safe, and substance-free environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol. Lisa writes for the Recovery Center, which means her blog posts are inspirational, real, and sometimes heart breaking. She lives in Waterbury, VT and owns a business in Stowe.

Lisa Mugford, The North Central Vermont Recovery Center

Lisa MugfordLisa Mugford volunteers and works part time at The North Central Vermont Recovery Center in Morrisville. The Center provides a supportive, welcoming, safe, and substance-free environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery from drugs and alcohol. Lisa writes for the Recovery Center, which means her blog posts are inspirational, real, and sometimes heart breaking.

Lisa has been in recovery from alcohol addiction for eight years. Recovery is the most important thing in her life, because it has changed her life! She lives in Waterbury, VT and owns a business in Stowe.