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Dream Journal

VOLUME XII / DEC 2013


Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

This is a WONDERFUL time of the year. It is a time to celebrate all the great things we are blessed to be a part of and reflect back on valuable and important lessons we learned the hard way. It is a time to give thanks for the ability to live in gratitude "one day at a time" while setting goals for our future. In this month’s Dream Journal we are reflecting on Step Twelve and specifically the topic of being of service. It is a special edition for the holidays and I am thrilled to once again feature original art by our Assistant Art Director, Kara Hamilton. She is really talented and I just love her adaptation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. You will also find an inspiring article by our guest writer and friend of Two Dreams Mr. Terry Shapiro.

I would like to thank all of our Two Dreams Supporters, Dream Journal Readers, the staff at each Two Dreams location, and especially our guest and families for a very special year. I am truly thankful for you all and I wish you all Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

Dream Journal

VOLUME XII / DEC 2013

Dec Cover

Two Dreams is a wellness program led by Andrea G. Barthwell, MD, FASAM that provides individualized care for those who dream of recovering a healthy lifestyle.

NOTE FROM DR. B.

Dr Andrea Barthwell MD

This is a WONDERFUL time of the year. It is a time to celebrate all the great things we are blessed to be a part of and reflect back on valuable and important lessons we learned the hard way. It is a time to give thanks for the ability to live in gratitude "one day at a time" while setting goals for our future. In this month’s Dream Journal we are reflecting on Step Twelve and specifically the topic of being of service. It is a special edition for the holidays and I am thrilled to once again feature original art by our Assistant Art Director, Kara Hamilton. She is really talented and I just love her adaptation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. You will also find an inspiring article by our guest writer and friend of Two Dreams Mr. Terry Shapiro.

I would like to thank all of our Two Dreams Supporters, Dream Journal Readers, the staff at each Two Dreams location, and especially our guest and families for a very special year. I am truly thankful for you all and I wish you all Happy Holidays and a great New Year!


STEP OF THE MONTH

When I initially read Step 12 and heard about sponsorship I had selfish reasons to get to Step 12. I thought, "I will be a great sponsor" or "I will make such a difference in others’ lives". My limited knowledge of the 12 Steps and lack of a true spiritual experience left me in a selfish state of mind although I was substance free.

"Having had a Spiritual Awakening as a Result of these Steps, We tried to Carry this Message to Alcoholics/Addicts, and Practice these Principles in all our Affairs". What exactly is a Spiritual Experience? Your spiritual experience could happen in one glorious "White Lightning" moment, as is described by personal account of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson. Or your experience could be more subtle, a gradual shift that happens over time like psychologist William James describes. Either way, the destination is the same. And the destination is for an individual to have the awareness of their own reality. This individual no longer regrets the past nor chooses to close the door on it. This individual is in touch with their feelings and does not over-exaggerate them or take them for granted. This individual is aware of their surroundings and considers how their actions, thought processes, and behaviors affect others around them. A spiritual experience encompasses being honest enough to know your weaknesses and being willing to let people around you help you with these issues. I have to admit in hindsight I thought I possessed these attributes, though it was only through the step work with my sponsor that I truly developed this awareness.

I want the individual in early recovery to understand that they are currently participating in the second part of Step 12. Their presence in treatment programs or 12 Step Recovery meetings sends messages to those around them that forms a bond of fellowship and lets others in recovery know they are not alone. By striving for recovery they are reflecting the belief that overcoming the disease of addiction is possible. And to those around them that are not suffering from the disease of addiction, this person is conveying to them that change is possible. These are all instances of carrying the 12 Step message by seeking sobriety.

The core principles of a 12 Step program are willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty. The code of any 12 Step program as stated in the Big Book is love and tolerance for others. When I became a sponsor in AA the (I) was removed. I no longer felt that (I) would be a good sponsor or that (I) would have a profound impact on others’ lives. My own personal spiritual experience allowed me to recognize (I) did not have the power to remove the self-pity, selfishness, guilt/shame, and regret remorse. I could finally be freed from the bondage of self and recognize it is the newcomers willingness to want to change and their openness to spiritual principles that would provide the strength for the individual to change. The benefit I received was only to see my higher power working in others’ lives, and this work was evidence that my higher power existed.


NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

First Expansion to Mental Health Insurance Coverage in 50 Years

An expansion of insurance coverage passed in early November is being praised as a historic progress by mental health and substance abuse professionals. The new rule promises that health plans’ benefits will match those provided for medical and surgical treatment and provides equal resources for residential and outpatient care. Mental health and substance abuse professionals are hoping that this change in coverage will encourage people to seek help earlier and with professionals they trust.

For Full Article

According to the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System, studies show that an increasing proportion of distracted driving fatalities involve alcohol. While the distracted driving fatalities relating to technological devices or inattention (such as talking, texting, or eating while driving) have decreased in recent years, the number of deaths that involve alcohol has increased. Alcohol was involved in near one-third of all the distracted driving deaths in 2009.

For Full Article

COMMUNITY

This month on the Banks:

November is the time of giving Thanks and the staff at Two Dreams is very thankful for such a wonderful year! We all shared a feast together, families came and joined into the festivities, and everyone enjoyed a delightful, sober holiday together.

Moving into December, everyone’s listening to those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ding-dingling. We will be showing our holiday spirit this Christmas season through volunteering and being of services to others. The events this month include the SPCA for the furry friends and the Dare County soup kitchen. Guests will be creating some special items for their loved ones and going to look at Christmas lights. All guests are performing assignments and tasks centered on Step 12 within the AA process. The staff is encouraging guests to gain a healthier understanding of the quality in helping others.

Quote of the week:

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." –Marcus Aurelius


FEATURED GUEST WRITER

Being of Service

by Terry Shapiro

We each evolve through the Steps (Solution to Every Problem Sober) at our own pace. Spiritual Awakenings will be different for everyone; however, they WILL come, and this will happen by practicing the Steps every day and living these principles in all our daily affairs.

Let’s face it we are blessed with a new way of living and essentially another shot to do things right before our soul moves on. When we do, cool stuff happens. Here is an example of what happened to me a couple of winters ago.

I had been asked to attend a community event in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The area was having a bad problem with a heroin epidemic, and the youth were overdosing and dying. Going there was a bit of a drive especially after a long, hard day’s work but it proved to be a necessary journey. I would not know just how necessary until the next day when I made a call to Kristin Oppold to order my new Recovery Rosary. Let me back up.

I was part of a panel of presenters that night at a local high school to discuss the addiction problem in the area. I witnessed a young teenage girl tell her story of addiction to heroin and her recovery process. It was an extremely emotional account; she moved through tears of sorrow, nervousness and joy throughout her talk. I was up next. As I spoke, I played with my Recovery Rosary as I often do while speaking publicly. As I took questions from the audience one member asked what I was playing with. So, I explained: "This is a Recovery Rosary, each bead is held while praying in a very specific order. Serenity Prayer, 3rd Step Prayer, 7th Step Prayer, 11th Step Prayer, Character Defects, Gratitude, Others, Serenity Prayer again".

And then I had a Twelve Step moment and called up the young girl who had just spoken and gave her my Recovery Rosary letting her know that she deserved it right now. I taught her how to use it while the evening’s emcee looked on. The young lady hugged and thanked me.

So now back to the part of my story of the call to replace my Recovery Rosary that I had given away to the brave young girl at the high school. I placed my call to Kristin Oppold, owner and manufacturer, and she became so excited. You see, she was one day away from shutting down her business due to the poor economy and lack of orders. She explained that while my order of one was a delight, a great thing had happened earlier that morning. She went on to explain that she had received a call earlier that morning from a woman who had emceed an event at Milwaukee High School the night before. This individual was so moved by a brave young girl’s story and a rosary that she had received from the other presenter that she wanted to make a large order. An order that would keep Kristin busy and in business for quite some time. How’s that for being of service and a Spiritual Awakening?!

Terry is the Executive Director of Kiva Recovery, located in beautiful Vernon Hills, Illinois and brings over 25 years of experience working in the field of chemical dependency. Terry has a master’s degree in counseling and is a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor in Illinois. In addition to being in the leadership of several successful programs and facilities and serving as the executive director for The Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services in Tennessee, he has also developed and implemented prevention programs in schools to provide counseling to youth and their families in Bogotá, Colombia. Two Dreams thanks him for his contribution to this month’s Dream Journal and all he does to help those around him.


THE 3P'S

If you find yourself struggling during the holiday season, please remember that you are not alone. Take part in our version of the 12 Days of Christmas which gives you tips on keeping your holiday season, Happy, Joyous, and Free.

On the 1st Day of Christmas

1st Day of Christmas

Line up extra A. A. activities for the holiday season. Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer the phones at a clubhouse or central office, speak, help with dishes, or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas

2nd Day of Christmas

Be host to A.A. friends, especially newcomers. If you do not have a place where you can throw a formal party, take one person to a diner and spring for coffee.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas

3rd Day of Christmas

Keep your A.A. telephone list with you at all times. If you feel panic or an urge to drink, stop whatever you’re doing until you talk to a sober A.A. member.

On the 4th Day of Christmas

4th Day of Christmas

Find out about the special holiday parties, meetings, or other celebrations given by groups in your area, and go. If you’re timid, take someone newer than you are.

On the 5th Day of Christmas

5th Day of Christmas

Skip any drinking occasion you are nervous about. Remember how clever you were at excuses when drinking? Now put the talent to good use. No office party is as important as saving your life.

On the 6th Day of Christmas

6th Day of Christmas

If you have to go to a drinking party and can’t take an A.A. with you, keep some candy hand. (K.I.S.S. – keep it simple!)

On the 7th Day of Christmas

7th Day of Christmas

Don’t think you have to stay late. Plan in advance an "important date" you have to keep.

On the 8th Day of Christmas

8th Day of Christmas

Worship in your own way.

On the 9th Day of Christmas

9th

Don’t sit around brooding. Catch up on those books, museums, walks, and letters.

On the 10th Day of Christmas

10th Day of Christmas

Don’t start now getting worked up about all those holiday temptations. Remember – "one day at a time".

On the 11th Day of Christmas

11th

Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts – but this year, you can give love.

On the 12th Day of Christmas

12th Day of Christmas

Having had an awakening as the result of these Twelve Tips, carry the message to others in need, and practice these principles throughout all of your affairs.

Illustrations for the '12 Days' series by Kara Hamilton


SID SAYS

There is a song I like and part of the lyrics state, "a hungry man can’t steal what you give." This is a profound spiritual statement. In order for a person to truly be of service to others he or she must have an awareness of others’ needs and the willingness to try and fulfill those needs. This is doing something for the "greater good." This concept also assumes that all of us have an understood responsibility to help. We all have a responsibility to do something for the greater good. Great spiritual leaders have taught that we are part of a greater whole.

Recovery teaches the same concepts. Addiction traps people in the numbness of unawareness where they cannot respond appropriately to their needs or the needs of others. This hurts the addicted individual and all those around a person suffering with an addictive disorder. Because of this, the program stresses "service work" in order to escape the trap and we hear phrases used like people must "get out of themselves." There are many paradoxes in Recovery and this is one. In order to have something for yourself you must do for others. Imagine if everyone in the world turned their life and will over to something bigger than themselves and their desires and helped those around them. AMAZING! What a concept for this day and age. Take a moment and think about what you are doing for the greater good. Think about how you can impact to world around you by just being of service to the greater good. Happy Holidays everyone!


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© 2013 Two Dreams Outer Banks. All Rights Reserved.

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Light regulates circadian rhythms

Why and How We Live Rhythmically at Two Dreams

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken

- Samuel Johnson

Every living organism has a natural rhythm. These rhythms are disrupted by illness, particularly drug and alcohol use. A drug can create false sleep. A drug can stimulate alertness. A drug can suppress appetite. Another can stimulate appetite.

The science behind living rhythmically, strategies that promote and restore natural rhythms, and the role of sleep, nutrition, meditation, and exercise in the 21st century approach to healing oneself in recovery are all important aspects of your journey at Two Dreams.

At Two Dreams the concept of living in the NOW (No Other Way) is central to living a life in recovery. Similarly, mindfulness is a state of active, open, non-judgmental attention on the present. Many treatment programs and practitioners are employing mindfulness in the care and management of patients with mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders- diseases and symptoms which tend to cluster together.

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