I tend to overcomplicate almost everything in my life, or I used to anyway. When I was asked what recovery meant to me, a million different ideas came to mind, and I wanted to put a fancy twist on it. I was a patient at Parkdale May 16, 2016. Now I wish I could say that was my sobriety date, but I can’t.
Despite the Christmas Cookies and New Year kisses, countless people carry pain with them throughout the holidays. It is one of the toughest times of the year for many. Amidst the festivities, one’s losses from the previous year, or even further back, can seem particularly difficult. This may include the loss of a loved one, family strife, and, believe it or not, even the loss of one’s substance use.
You’d be forgiven for wondering what theater has to do with substance use treatment, but it has many benefits. It’s truly effective at helping people in recovery regain confidence, improve communication skills, connect with others, practice empathy, and learn to have sober fun. Parkdale Center patients experience the value of theater in recovery in our Dramatic Expression class, taught by instructor Dustin Richea.
October 1st hits and suddenly everyone is shouting, “It’s Spooky Season!” Seemingly overnight, every house is festooned with fake spiderwebs and a variety of pumpkins and gourds. Every store trots out their Halloween-themed wares. Horror movies stream around the clock. And, of course, pumpkin spice everything.
“Why?” Anyone who has been touched by suicide knows that in their grief, they are consumed with wondering why someone they love has died by suicide. Our grief may not lessen if we lose someone to cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, but we understand that our loved one has succumbed to a disease. Suicide is mysterious, deeply tragic, and harder to grasp. It leaves many unanswered questions, including “What could I have done?”
When you arrive at Parkdale Center, we will be ready and waiting for you. If appropriate, you may leave your personal items in your vehicle until you’re shown to your room. If you prefer to bring them inside, that is fine as well. Here is what comes next:.
The connection between substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring mental health disorders is well documented. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Multiple national population surveys have found that about half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.” Our experience here at Parkdale Center finds co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders to be even more frequent.
Hot dogs, apple pie, and recovery. Fourth of July cookouts, pool parties, family reunions, bonfires, weddings (and their accompanying bachelor/bachelorette parties), Labor Day… Now that more folks are enjoying gatherings again, summer gives us plenty of opportunities to enjoy our loved ones’ company. Yet these events can be tough to navigate for those in recovery. Even our nearest and dearest, even those who know we’re sober, can unwittingly push us to drink at parties.
Parkdale Center’s afternoon sessions are largely educational in nature, but recently we’ve added something new: Creative Expression. Led by counselor Christian Gabrano (who secretly has a background in art), patients spend time completing creative projects designed to encourage reflection and self-expression.