Substance Abuse Recovery. Let’s Get Creative.

We drink a lot. We, meaning people in the 21st century, people during pandemics (this is being written during the COVID-19 pandemic), people in distress, people hanging out with their pals, people everywhere. As a therapist who has worked in the mental health world  for decades, I have had a front seat to observing this tremendous growth in addiction issues, especially women. Oh my.

I don’t usually write blog posts around a book, but the book pictured above, called, Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker is by far the VERY BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE RECOVERY. I have read TONS of books, led hundreds upon hundreds of art therapy groups in rehab places over the years, and met with people in all different stages of recovery. There are a ton of great ideas out there, but this book is different. It includes loads of disturbing facts about the alcohol industry, loads of information about how alcohol negatively  impacts a woman’s body, why AA isn’t always the best choice for women, and loads of information that can help you be an informed individual as you navigate our super complicated world.

Please consider buying this book for yourself, a friend, or a family member. Please consider having that uncomfy conversation with a loved one if you think they have a problem. Please consider having the uncomfy conversation with yourself if you think you have a problem. Sobriety is a beautiful thing, and trending.


Revealing Secrets

Got a secret? Sometimes carrying one around for too long can be stressful, painful or even debilitating to your physical and emotional health. Art making can be a powerful vehicle to let secrets out without the viewer of the art even realizing that they are looking at your deepest darkest secret. Please find some paper or something more elaborate if you are feeling crafty. Please write or draw your secret now. You might actually write out the real secret or you might reveal it in a more cryptic fashion such as in a code or symbol. Can you share this secret with someone you trust? Chances are high that you might not feel comfortable doing this yet. Now rip up your paper with this secret, but do not discard the scraps. What can you do with the scraps to aid in the cathartic activity of revealing your secret? “The truth will set you free” is an annoying cliché heard over and over for generations, but in connection with mental health, this is truly the case.

Yesterday’s Project: How did you honor your extra day this year which came in the form of a leap year? Do you carve out enough time for yourself? Do you feel guilty when you do something idle or frivolous with your time? This exercise was meant to think about your relationship to time.