Recovery is a Journey

"Romancing the Past Won't Save the Today…or the Future"

Some folks call it "romancing the past" when we are euphorically recalling our previous experiences with substance use, abuse, and dependence. In fact, we can and do recall our past, leaving out the hurtful, not so fun, aspects of the abuse and addiction, when we are still struggling with some subtle denial or we just really don't want to change. The process of recalling events in this way is not exclusive to addictions. We tend to do this type of remembrance with many of our memories. This will make letting go of people, places, things, memories, and experience more difficult.

So does that mean we have to totally forget all of the past? No, all of our experiences are threaded together, each one contributing to the experiences we are living now. It's just that sometimes we need help recalling the reality of our past and not the fantasy. We tend to like fantasy. Why? We really have no control over the reality of the past, but we do have control of our fantasies. Those fantasies can be dangerous. Recovery brings us a chance to be fully aware of the process of change and growth. If we are willing to acknowledge the realities of the past and focus on the possibilities of today, the new experiences will bring us new understanding, fresh insights, and rewarding personal growth.

Each person's recovery is unique. It is easy to be jealous of another person's growth, their talents, and their ability to be courageous in the adventure of recovery. It just seems that recovery is easy for other folks and hard for us. It is a challenge to be patient with the process… and patient with us. Let recovery and life unfold. Sometimes personal growth is difficult and even painful… just ask anybody who has worked Steps 4 and 5.

So, go to the meetings, check with your sponsor, get a sponsor, get with your counselor, and work through the concerns that may be getting in the way of your recovery. It won't hurt you, and it just might do you some good.

--Rick B.

Progress - Not Perfection

Perfection is judgment
Excellent is acceptance
Perfection is taking
Excellence is giving
Perfection is anger and frustration
Excellence is serene and powerful
Perfection is destination
Excellence is journey
Perfection is control
Excellence is fluid


Craving has been defined as "an intense desire for some particular thing", or "an urgent or abnormal desire". It's not just a thought. It's a mixture of thoughts, emotions, behaviors, visualizations, and perceptions that combine to make the want to use, drink, etc., even more intense. We can crave anything! The process and the mechanism is the same. The consequences vary. Cravings will not last long; 2-3 minutes…if we don't focus on them.

Some common triggers of craving are:

  1. Being with those who are actively involved in the addiction
  2. Being in situations that remind us of our old behaviors
  3. Certain smells or tastes; really, all of our five senses
  4. All kinds of things associated with the past maladaptive behavior; like pay days, bars, sex, movies, and music
  5. Physical illness
  6. Unwanted and/or uncomfortable emotions and thoughts
  7. Stress filled relationships or situations

How many times can you hit a 700 pound gorilla over the head, with a baseball bat, in one minute? "ONCE"…said the gorilla.

Dr. Candace McDaniel
8021 East Thornton FWY, Suite A
Dallas, Texas 75228

Call (214) 328-4848 or

for more information