Tag Archives: recovery

Sober Living

A profile of an upscale, gay sober living house in the NYT:  Avoiding the Undertow of Temptation.

“A critically important component of recovery for people is a sense of community, not isolation,” said Robert J. Lindsey, president and chief executive of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. In sober share houses, the people “are creating for themselves their own environment, and have the opportunity to be out in one of the most beautiful places in the country.”

Find a directory of sober livings in Los Angeles at soberhousing.net.  Caution: Not all sober livings have sober residents. Look for houses that do random testing, require 12-step attendance, and otherwise seem serious about recovery.

Workaholism and Chronic Pain

Take a look at the Workaholics Anonymous Brief Guide (pdf). In addition to the 12-steps (pretty much the same as A.A.’s, with “work” replacing “alcohol”) and a quiz (“How Do I Know if I’m a Workaholic?”), there’s Tools of Recovery list.  What’s especially striking about them to this reader is how completely they sync up with suggested approaches to undoing stress-related chronic pain.  Here’s a sampling:

Substituting We do not add a new activity without eliminating from our schedule one that demands equivalent time and energy.

Underscheduling We allow more time than we think we need for a task or trip, allowing a comfortable margin to accommodate the unexpected.

Playing We schedule time for play, refusing to let ourselves work non-stop. We do not make our play into a work project.

Concentrating We try to do one thing at a time.

Pacing We work at a comfortable pace and rest before we get tired. To remind ourselves, we check our level of energy before proceeding to our next activity.We do not get “wound up” in our work, so we don’t have to unwind.

Relaxing We do not yield to pressure from others or attempt to pressure others. We remain alert to the people and situations that trigger feelings of pressure in us. We become aware of our own actions, words, body sensations and feelings that tell us we are responding with pressure. When we feel energy building up, we stop; we reconnect with our Higher Power and others around us.

Accepting We accept the outcomes of our endeavors, whatever the results, whatever the timing. We know that impatience, rushing and insisting on perfect results only slow down our recovery. We are gentle with our efforts, knowing that our new way of living requires much practice.

Balancing We balance our involvement in work with our efforts to develop personal relationships, spiritual growth, creativity and playful attitudes.

A pretty good set of principles–workaholic, chronic pain-sufferer, or not.

12-Step Meetings in Los Angeles

Building a list of 12-step groups, with websites and phone numbers, on the resources page.  Another bigger–but possibly outdated–list is here.  See something crucial missing? Please let me know.  Here, in the meantime, are the biggies:

Alcoholics Anonymous: (323) 936-4343

Cocaine Anonymous: (310) 216-4444

Narcotics Anonymous: (818) 773-9999

Al-Anon: (818) 760-7122


Couples Therapy v. Alcoholism

A study shows couples therapy edging out individual therapy for women working to recover from alcoholism:

A new research effort assessed the benefit of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for alcohol-dependent women.  The innovative research design also investigated if CBT was more effective if delivered as couples therapy rather than individual therapy [and found] that both treatment methods worked well, but women treated in couples therapy maintained their gains a bit better than those in individual therapy.