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Bits & Pieces



Today, I present some bits and pieces I have collected over the last few days: a podcast, a website, a book, a song, and a poem by Mary Oliver.

The ODAAT Chat Recovery Podcast

How You Can Recover from Alcoholism and Addiction, One Day At A Time

I recently met and spoke with Arlina Allen, who runs this Top 10 Recovery Podcasts online. . Her site is called ODAAT Chat Recovery Podcast, that is, One Day At A Time, and her interviews can be found at Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Her sobriety date if April 23, 1994 so she knows whereof she speaks.


To quote Arlina, “I’m choosing to share as much as I can, respecting the appropriate boundaries, with the hope that love will heal what hurts, and to get this message to as many people as possible. And while those of us sharing are not professional therapists, counselors or experts, we can share our stories of recovery and lessons we have learned to bring hope to those who have lost it. Take what you like and leave the rest. I do hope you join us, as we trudge this road to happy destiny.”


She is clearly a woman with a mission—to spread the message of recovery love wherever she can. Her interviews, which run about an hour, are as insightful and informative as they are delightful. She interviews those who share their stories, their experiences, and their ideas about personal recovery.

She also runs the Sober Life School, where she works to help others rebuild their self-esteem.

Ridgefield Village Recovery

is a recovery center in Ridgefield, WA. I bring them to your attention because of their website pages devoted to addiction and its treatment.

Understanding Alcohol Addiction includes such topics as includes such topics as Alcohol Blackouts, Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms, Binge Drinking, Chronic Pain and Alcohol, Dementia and Alcohol Abuse, Depression and Alcoholism, Diabetes and alcohol, and Effects of Alcohol on the Brain, and more.

There is an extensive area devoted to each drug of choice, from fentanyl to ketamine, and crack to bath salts. Bath salts? Yup.

Sounds weird, but I once learned of an old addicted physician living in a burnt-out abandoned slum in the Bowery, who injected himself with magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts).

Chem-Free Sobriety

101 Trailblazers share wisdom and insight about their natural recovery from substance use disorders

A book by Suzanne Laura Thistle, M.A., M.L.A.D.C.

Suzanne’s book records the stories of over one hundred people, whom she calls trailblazers—those who have blazed a trail out of the woods of addiction and into the light of sobriety. They share openly and honestly about their disease and their journey into recovery. Each interview asks several questions: When did you start drinking or using drugs, and how did it progress? Looking back, when do you think it was mostly out of control? How are you able to not drink or use daily?

Suzanne 30 years’ experience as a professional counselor have led her to an approach she calls, abstinence-based recovery, a concept I highly agree with.

To quote, “Medication may not be the answer to your addiction. An abstinence-based recovery could be the right path to take. Recovery is simple; it involves a connection to others, support from people who care, as well as understanding and working through your underlying issues…Abstinence-based recovery needs to be “The Gold Standard.”

I heartily agree! Thanks, Suzanne.

An impressive amount of lovingly assembled hard work. Extends and enlarges on The Stories in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. A wonderful addition to my Recovery Bookshelf.

Print and Kindle edition can be found on Amazon. She explains her experience and ideas in an interview on Blog Talk Radio.

Songs about recovery

Somewhere on the internet, someone was looking for the best songs about recovery. My personal favorite has always been Tom Petty’s Square One. Here, he evokes a nostalgic feeling of sadness laced with hope, and wrapped in a love song.

“It took a world of trouble, took a world of tears. It took a long time, to get back here.”

Amy Winehouse’s defiant Rehab speaks for itself.

Eudaimonia lists fifteen more songs.

A Poem by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was a wonderful poet of the world of nature and the lessons she gives us. This poem asks the recovery question—Who are you? Now that you’ve discovered your place in the universe, now that you see the world with new eyes, what will you do with the wonderful life sobriety has given us?


The Summer Day

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean--

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

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© 2020 by Linville M. Meadows