Tag Archives: holidays

Gratitude and Recovery On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is upon us once again, a time to join together with friends and family and rejoice. Thursday marks the beginning of the holiday season as well, followed by Christmas, Chanukah and New Years. While the holidays are a special time all around, for those of us in recovery it can also be a trying time, with a high likelihood of one’s recovery being put to the test.

Staying on top of your program…

During this time of the year it is paramount that one stay on top of their recovery program, lest we walk astray. For many in recovery, the holidays bring back old memories (some good, some bad), and feelings can arise that can be difficult to handle. There are many in recovery who are still estranged from their family, it may take years to heal the wounds inflicted by one’s addiction. Do not be discouraged, take comfort in your recovery family and continue making living amends.

Sharing your gratitude…

Be grateful for the gifts you have today because of your recovery. Gratitude can go along way during the holidays, having the power to ground you when times get tough. It can help to make a gratitude list, such as your sponsor and recovery peers. Everyone working a program of recovery has much to be thankful for. Sometimes putting that which you are grateful for on paper makes it more concrete and tangible. You might be surprised how much a gratitude inventory can help.

As with all commandments, gratitude is a description of a successful mode of living. The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us. -Faust-

Celebrating the holiday…

If you are planning on attending a family gathering or holiday work party, you are probably aware that alcohol could be present. For those that are new to recovery, it is important that you tread carefully. If possible, try to find someone who has a significant amount of time in the program to accompany you to such events. It is a good rule of thumb to leave holiday gatherings early, before people become inebriated. It is not only safer for your recovery, it is no fun being around people who are intoxicated.

It is always a good practice to attend your home group during a holiday. It gives you a chance to share how you are feeling with your peers. If you are struggling, you may get some feedback from your peers that helps you get through the day. In many areas around the country, meetings will be held on every hour of the day. It’s not uncommon for people to attend several meetings during a holiday.

At Pace Recovery Center, we wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving – free from drugs and alcohol.

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If you are or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact Pace Recovery Center.

Memorial Day With Heart And Poppies

What we learn by heart

There was a time when our parents and teachers would expect us to learn things “by heart.” Remember? We might be asked to learn a poem or a song, our multiplication tables (because we didn’t have hand held calculators or smartphones to quickly check the answer to 6 X 12), the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem, traveling directions, peoples’ addresses and phone numbers. Another way to define “by heart” is “by rote.” Rote is an interesting word, but perhaps the most fitting when it comes to discussing days like Memorial Day: by rote, from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way.

There is so much more to Memorial Day, beyond what we have learned by heart. So today we thought we would share just a bit more of the history of this day, including why poppies come to mind for those celebrating the lives fallen for our freedom.

In Flanders Field the poppies blow

100 years ago this month, May 3, 1915, serving in World War I a Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the following poem after presiding at the funeral of a fellow soldier.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

You see McCrae noticed that for some reason poppies will grow even in a field serving as a graveyard; in fact historically we learned that dating back to the Napoleonic Wars [1803-1815] a poet reflected on poppies growing among the graves (according to Wikipedia: “…a writer of that time first noted how the poppies grew over the graves of soldiers. The damage done to the landscape in Flanders during the battle greatly increased the lime content in the surface soil, leaving the poppy as one of the few plants able to grow in the region.”

It was just a few years later at the end of World War I when Moina Michael, an American professor, read “In Flanders Field” and determined she would wear a red poppy each day to remember the soldiers who had died in WWI. She worked tirelessly with others and convinced the American Legion to adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

According the American Legion’s website:

The Auxiliary Poppy Program has been a staple of the organization since the Legion’s 1925 National Convention when Resolution 534 was adopted, giving the Auxiliary complete charge of the program. But it is imperative to remember that the Poppy Program is an American Legion Family event where both Legion posts and Sons of The American Legion squadrons are encouraged to partner with their local Auxiliary unit to organize and promote the program, as well as distribute poppies for donations.

Auxiliary Unit 291 in Newport Beach, Calif., recently raised $14,000 for its poppy program by mailing donation envelopes with poppies in them to all 6,000 unit, post and squadron members. The yearly mailing “is an opportunity to make a donation via the mail since not all members are able to attend meetings or events,” said Margaret Myles, Unit 291 president. “The purpose (of the poppy) is to remind our members the reason why we are The American Legion, and to honor those who have served, those who are currently serving and most importantly, those who have lost their lives in the line of service to our nation.”

Honoring our own…

Here at PACE Recovery Center we are honored to have two staff members who served in our armed forces.

Sean Kelly, Chief Operations Officer
Sean Kelly, Chief Operations Officer

 

Sean Kelly is a former Marine who proudly served our country. It is this background that helps him teach the Men of PACE  Recovery Center how to accomplish goals, create discipline, and develop accountability. Sean’s own personal struggle with addiction allows him to meet the Clients where they are at in their own recovery, and help guide them on their recovery journey. Sean is an active member in the recovery community. His philosophy is to treat people with love, dignity and respect. It’s this mentality that allows him to create an alliance, which allows for the therapeutic process to take place between him and his Client. This relationship empowers the Client to gain the skills necessary to recover from drugs and alcohol. Sean studied at Centaur University to become a certified Chemical Dependency Counselor.

Victor Calzada, Resident Manager
Victor Calzada, Resident Manager

 

 

Victor Calzada joined the United States Marine Corps right out of high school in 1995. He proudly served as a heavy weapons operator. While in the service, Victor was recognized for his, honor, courage and commitment. While serving in the United States military, he learned the important characteristics of working as a team.

After his tour in the military, Victor worked for the Correctional Systems for 6 years as a Correctional Officer. Victory was known for his keen ability to listen and help them problem solve any issues they might have been experiencing. An area that Victor is passionate about is working with people who have substance abuse issues. Victor has had his own personal struggles with chemical dependency issues. He believe that the combination of opening our hearts and minds, with the right guidance, we can overcome our issues.

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Thanksgiving Traditions Include Expressing Gratitude With Sharing

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.

Henry van Dyke. American Poet

Thanksgiving really is about traditions…

If you think back to Thanksgiving Day in your own family, you might recall such things as the favorite item on the menu, or waiting for your grandparents to arrive, or tossing a football or Frisbee with your cousins…or maybe your Thanksgiving day memories were just a quiet day spent with your immediate family. The truth is we all have our own private memories of this holiday. We see how it is portrayed in movies, television shows, advertisements…you can even read all about the roots of Thanksgiving Day. Chances are you will find it an interesting read.

We know one family where the two adult sons take an extended bike ride. They get up early in the morning, go riding and arrive home just in time to celebrate the holiday with the rest of the family. Of course, they are teased about how they are avoiding helping with the dinner preparations, but again it is their tradition.

PACE Recovery Center continues a new tradition

You might remember last year when we shared with you that the PACE men would be volunteering their time on Thanksgiving Day to participate in the local Gobble Gobble Give Thanksgiving Charity Event to feed the homeless.

A tradition was born, and this year the tradition will continue. Again this year, we will be volunteering at the Santa Ana, California Gobble Gobble Give event.  If you happen to live in the Orange County, California, area and are interested in participating, then you can visit their FACEBOOK page.

Recovery includes starting new traditions…

Our motto is Positive Attitude Changes Everything! As we’ve said before, we know that as the clients at our addiction recovery center help provide hope to others it will help them realize the positive changes they are making in their own lives.

We wish you all a beautiful, safe, healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

 

Memorial Day ~ Remembering Our Fallen Warriors

Understanding Memorial Day…

On the fourth Monday of every May our country celebrates Memorial Day. However, if you casually ask a friend, co-worker, or even a family member about the meaning of Memorial Day, there is a pretty good chance that they will quickly say “Well, it’s a Federal Holiday to honor our military.” If you pursue the conversation they may not be able to tell you the history of the day or the true purpose of the day. They may remember attending parades, or picnics, or beach parties…perhaps even fireworks. They might mention there are always Memorial Day Sales.

Memorial Day had its beginnings in 1868, known as Decoration Day. While prior to this date it was not uncommon for family members to visit the graves of the war fallen and decorate these graves, it was on May 5, 1868, when Major John A. Logan declared May 30th to be Decoration Day.

Here are some interesting facts surrounding Memorial Day:

  • In 1867 our Congress first established national cemeteries. We now have 147.
  • Historians offer that Major Logan chose May 30th for Decoration Day as by that time of the year every part of the country would have flowers in bloom to lay on the graves of our war dead.
  • By 1882 the name of this holiday was starting to change gradually from Decoration Day to Memorial Day.
  • In 1967, during President Johnson’s administration, the name was officially changed by Federal law.
  • It was not until June 28, 1968, that the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Nixon. This act officially moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May from May 30th, always insuring a three day weekend. This act took effect in 1971.
  • On Memorial Day certain rules apply to how the US Flag is flown. In the morning the flag is raised quickly to the top of the flag pole and then slowly and respectfully lowered to half-staff.  At noon the flag is raised to full staff for the rest of the day.

So how will you commemorate our fallen warriors this Memorial Day?

Now that you understand a bit more about Memorial Day, we thought we would share some ideas of how to make this day about those who served and died, as a result of their duty.  We invite you to take a few minutes to visit a website called Vet Friends. There is a lot to learn by visiting this site. If you are trying to locate a Memorial Day Parade in your neighborhood you can check out this directory. For example, not too far from Battleship IOWA in San Pedro, Ca.

Of course, if a National Cemetery is not located in your area you can visit any nearby cemetery and be able to determine where the veterans are laid to rest. Most graves will bear a US Flag. Stop for a bit and remember. 

Saying thank you to our fallen warriors

Here at PACE Recovery Center we believe in empowering our clients to fulfill their own particular dreams. We believe that a Positive Attitudes Change Everything. Our trained addiction treatment staff helps our clients identify their specific recovery goals, and helps them achieve them. Long-term sobriety is more than simply not using alcohol or drugs, it is about living life. Helping our clients develop life skills, educational or vocational goals, not only teaches them about responsibility and accountability, but also helps improve their self-esteem.

Part of living life is learning and reaching out to others in meaningful ways. This includes taking the opportunity of a federal holiday and learning its history and celebrating it with meaning.

This year we are posting about Memorial Day a little early, so that you have time to check out your area for inspiring events. We wish you a meaningful Memorial Day.

PACE Clients To Participate In Gobble Gobble Give Event This Thanksgiving

 

One of the key components of the recovery is the concept of selfless service. At PACE Recovery Center we believe it is vitally important to help our clients to learn about the value of having a positive impact on their community.

We have found that service work helps our clients to gain a sense of self-pride and this in turn allows for an opportunity to enrich the lives of others. This Thanksgiving PACE clients are participating in the Gobble Gobble Give Thanksgiving Charity Event to feed the homeless. This event helps to feed 600 homeless individuals and provides basic living necessities such as shoes, sweaters, beanies, and tooth brush kits.

We know that as the clients at our addiction recovery center help provide hope to others it will help them realize the positive changes they are making in their own lives.

Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful Thanksgiving.

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