Lakeview Health Alumni Newsletter!
The goal of the Alumni Newsletter is to help alumni stay connected to Lakeview and to the other individuals they met here while in treatment.
The quarterly newsletter is intended to inform you of what's new and exciting at Lakeview Health Systems, share with you the hope and inspiration gained by staying clean and sober, communicate the joys and triumphs of Lakeview Health alumni and staff, and keep you informed of upcoming alumni social events, support group schedules and other recovery resources.
We thank you for allowing Lakeview to be a part of your recovery and your new way of life. If you have any ideas or suggestions for this newsletter, please let us know!
Living free from drugs and alcohol is a gift you give yourself, your family and your friends every day of the year - ONE DAY AT A TIME!
Alumni Social Event Mexican Fiesta March 24, 2011
The alumni services department holds quarterly social events. On March 24th Lakeview Health hosted the second alumni social for 2011. The Mexican Fiesta theme set the tone for a fun, gratifying evening.
A great big hug to all the LVH alumni who turned out to share with one another their experience, strength and hope since leaving treatment! The stories were a great help to the clients currently attending Lakeview Health.
Staff members were present giving alumni a chance to exchange thoughts and feeling with those who helped them during treatment. Such exchanges inspire everyone, including staff.
Please mark your calendars for our next alumni social scheduled for July 28, 2011 at 5:30pm. It will be summer time and that means Barbeque! We are anticipating a huge turnout. As always, we need the alumni to register and to tell other alumni about the event. Until then keeping going and growing!
Inspiration for others can begin with you and your story.
Lakeview Health Systems’ program of recovery is based upon the concept that one alcoholic or addict can help another stay clean and sober. You can play an important role in helping others stay sober by sharing your own experience, strength, struggles, and hopes –your story. Sharing your story might just help another struggling alcoholic or addict to enter or re-enter treatment. It might also give another addict or alcoholic the strength to continue to maintain recovery.
If you would like to share your story, please call Joanna Painton-Hathaway at 1-800-833-9057, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for ideas and suggestions for additional topics for our newsletter that will help you in the ongoing process of recovery.
In This Issue
1. Alumni Support Meetings
2. "Spotlight" Featured Alumni
3. Quote Corner
4. "Thoughtful Moment's"
5. Time for a Change
6. "Healthy Lifestyle Changes" Webinar Series
7. Popular Acronyms
8. Alumni Outreach
9. Buddy Program
Alumni Support Meetings
Jacksonville – Lakeview North
April 13th, May 25th
*There will be no meeting in the month of June
Broward and Palm Beach County - TBA
April 25th, May 23rd, June 27th
"Spotlight" Featured Alumni
Rob L., 39 years old
What is your sober/clean date?
What were your drug(s) of choice?
Drugs, alcohol, and gambling.
What made you decide to come to LVH/SSCR for inpatient treatment?
I was out of options! I made a phone call to LVH and arrangements for my admission were made immediately.
Did you make the decision to enter treatment on your own, or did your family, work, courts, or church help you with the decision?
I chose to go to rehab because nothing else was working.
What did you learn about yourself and your disease while you were at Lakeview Health Systems?
I learned I had created my own problems in life. That my addiction was the result of failing to deal with life on life's terms. I was taught the only way I was going to live a happy, free, and joyous life was to change everything and turn my will over to a higher power. I also learned that I needed to treat my bipolar [disorder] along with my addictions. That was equally important to my recovery. LVH gave me the confidence that I could do this successfully.
While in treatment you were introduced to the idea of changing people, places and things? What changes have you had to make on your journey of recovery?
Instead of hanging out with people who are using, I was told to find friends in recovery. Instead of hanging out in bars, I was told to go to meetings. After 90 days of doing this, I realized I had found a home in AA. I see a doctor regularly to treat my bipolar. I have also setup a support system in my life so that I can be accountable for my recovery.
How do you maintain your sobriety today?
I pray, go to meetings, talk to other alcoholics, and call my sponsor. I do service work by chairing meetings, cooking breakfast at the Alano club, and by being the GSR [general service representative for his AA home group] at a [Intergroup] meeting [larger service meeting for AA groups]. I have recently begun the process of visiting jails and prisons so that I can carry the message to those incarcerated. [For those unfamiliar with AA, there are speaker programs which provide institutions, hospitals and other meetings with speakers].
What would you say to someone to help them make the decision to go to in-patient treatment?
Give yourself a chance to recover in a loving and safe environment where you can have immediate help at all times for any condition or circumstance.
Give an example of a situation you have done differently since maintaining your recovery.
My career was heading for disaster when I started recovery. When I applied the principles of AA and recovery to my everyday life, I began to show up and do my work one day at a time. I always remember that I have a purpose and that today my purpose is to do my job as directed. Within three years, I have been promoted to an officer level in a large corporation. Something I had wanted for the last 10 years.
How did your experience of inpatient treatment help you to transition into the real world as a sober productive adult free from alcohol and drugs? Would you recommend inpatient treatment to others?
Inpatient recovery happened in stages. First I was watched closely while the drugs and alcohol left my system. I did as suggested inside the inpatient treatment facility and I was able to continue doing these things in the real world. Through these stages, my freedom and responsibilities in rehab increased and LVH helped me prepare for the return to the real world. I have found a new purpose in life and if anyone is suffering or [feeling] hopeless due to the disease of addiction, I would recommend giving LVH a chance to save their life.
"Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught."
- J.C. Watts
"My life is my message."
Nothing is so bad that relapse won't make it worse.
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on."
- Robert Frost
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
- Theodore Roosevelt
"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
- Newt Gingrich quotes
In an effort to maintain a connection with alumni, and for the staff share more of themselves with everyone, we are introducing:
Jamie Stevens, Therapist
We asked Jamie Stevens: Given the intensity of the task of helping people become clean and sober, and the challenges that face both the therapist and the patients, why she did this type of work?
I have been working at Lakeview Health Systems for almost eight years. On a daily basis, I get to witness people grow and change. It inspires me to see a patient begin the treatment process and [watch them] graduate on their last days. I also have many patients who over the years keep in touch with me to share how their lives continue to change because of their ongoing recovery. I have seen families heal, people reach their goals and hope be restored. It isn't just a job but my job does inspire me.
Help Yourself by Helping Others
If a family member or friend is in need of help, call an Admissions Coordinator for advice. They can get you a copy of our Intervention Guide, a “how-to” kit for convincing a loved one to get treatment. Call 1-800-884-1727.
Time for a Change
by Joanna Painton-Hathaway
"Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice."
Prior to recovery from drugs and alcohol I had no idea it was possible to change. I did not know that I had a choice or that the choices I was making caused the problems in my life. I blamed people, circumstances, anything so that I was not responsible. When I made the decision to get clean and sober, I had no idea that meant I would have to change everything.
I can look back and see how disconnected I had become from myself, my life and how my abuse and use of anything took me out of myself. Admitting that I needed help was a huge step but then, I also had to ask another person to help me. Asking for help from a sponsor was a change too. As I began working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I saw my life and my choices revealed to me, I could no longer blame others. I was able to see that I was the problem.
Once I became aware I was the common denominator in every situation, I knew it was time to take personal responsibility and that too was a change. But, that was not enough. I had to make real changes to how I lived my life. My sponsor and my support system shared their experiences with me and gave me hope that I too could change. I learned that I had to change the way I thought, felt, and behaved. If I was to start over and live a new life in recovery, I had to change everything.
There are no excuses for not living the life I want. Creating the life I deserve necessitates doing the work to make my desires a reality. I change one thing and that leads me to change another and another. Soon my responses to people, places, and things will also have to change. What I do today affects my present and my future.
I have learned that the past is the past, nothing I do now changes the past. But the 12 Steps teach me to accept my past, “not to regret the past nor wish to close the door on it”. I have learned that I am not my disease. Today, I am living a productive, sober life free from drugs and alcohol. I may make mistakes but still I can and do change for the better. It is empowering to know that.
Though change may seem overwhelming at times, I have learned that all I need to do is to start with now. Keep it simple. If I stay in the present moment and do the next right thing in front of me, change happens.
"Health Lifestyle Changes" Webinar Series
LVH Recovery Webinars Series
Lakeview Health Systems in partnership with Stepping Stone Center for Recovery and Recovery Connection has launched a new recovery webinar outreach program for graduates of the treatment facility and those in recovery.
This webinar series, coordinated by Alumni Services, is available to all graduates and anyone working on recovery.
The focus throughout the series will be maintaining sobriety, providing new drug and alcohol information, offering tips and exercises, guest speakers, and other issues of concern to our viewers. The webinars are designed to help recovering addicts weather the daily stressors of living, strengthen their sobriety and continue to grow personally.
Viewers can mark their calendars in advance for the last Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm. This project was designed to help graduates and their friends stay connected to Lakeview Health Systems as a vehicle for ongoing support.
We look forward to your comments, suggestions, and questions. In addition, the link below will allow you to review any webinars that you wish. They are always free.
Should you ever need help with recovery, please give us a call at 1-800-884-1727.
Face Everything And Recover
[Don't get too] Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness
Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery
Good Orderly Direction
Sobriety Losing Its Priority
We are very excited by the response we have had to our new alumni educational webinar series. Continuing to be open to learning new ways of coping while on your journey of self discovery through the recovery process is another way to put space and time between you and your last drink or drug. We began the webinar series in February 2011.
Webinar Topic: Healthy Lifestyle Changes
This series is intended to provide people with information to help them live a sober lifestyle. Our first three webinars focus on the mind, body, and spirit connection as they pertain to recovery. The first session focused on managing change and our altering our perceptions. The second session focused our respect for our bodies through healthy diet and exercise and the impact of those two issues on the recovery process. Our third webinar, in this series, is scheduled for Tuesday April 26, 2011; it will address spirituality, defining a personal concept of spirituality and how that concept relates to recovery.
If you would like to you can access the last two webinars they will be archived for your convenience on the Lakeview Health website under webinars. Registration, which is free, is required to register to access the archived webinars. Register for the next webinar
Things to remember that will help reinforce your sobriety on a daily basis:
Attend 90 meetings in 90 days to create a healthy habit of meeting attendance.
Read the suggested literature of the program.
Listen to learn and learn to listen.
Find a sponsor that you can call on a daily basis and begin the process of forming a healthy relationship or friendship.
Complete step work to help propel your recovery forward, release the secret guilt we carry, and provide a road map for daily living. For many years, people have used the steps to maintain sobriety and to continue personal growth.
We are in the process of building a buddy program and need alumni to help. This program is designed to connect newly discharged patients with recovering alumni. The buddy system will help those just out of treatment stay focused while they build their local support group. If you are interested in becoming a buddy volunteer, you must have at least a year clean and sober, be attending meetings, and working the 12-step program. If you are interested, please contact Joanna Painton-Hathaway at 1-800-833-9057, or e-mail her at email@example.com .
Your participation will help you and others stay clean and sober. “You have to give it away to keep it.”