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Friday, August 3, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 7

recovery reflections 7It’s so easy to slip

I’ve dug 5ft deep by 2ft wide
I’m digging my own grave
It started with a puff of a joint
Then that Russian water to my lips
Sober was a thing for a while
Then back to the Russian water I went
That lead to a joint pursed to my lips
Next came the shiny crystals
Which shortly lead to lights camera and action
I have to remember one is too many and thousands never enough
And one slip can close my casket for good

Client A

I am on my third month at Canyon and I am starting to feel such a change in myself. I am coming up on my 90 days free of alcohol and I am starting to see the truly beautiful things life has to offer. I have connected with my higher power in a way I have never in my life. I owe a lot of this to my treatment center for supporting me through the good and the bad times on my journey of sobriety. I am making such good friends, and I cannot be any more grateful to be sober and a part of life, instead of running from it.

Client C

Be open to change
Create your own reality
Remember that a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
And you are rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment
These sayings are very important to me. I have a tattoo representing these so I remember them in my everyday life. It consist of a sail boat in water to remind me that a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor with lotus flowers surrounding it to represent that I’m rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment, the flag on the sail boat is an open triangle to remember to be open to change and Viking symbols of chevrons that mean create your own reality. These symbols put together remind me what I’ve been thru and that I’ve overcome them and to keep going in life. I will never forget this and I hope you don’t too. Remember that you are amazing and have overcome rough times in your life and you are still beautiful and stronger than ever.

Client K

It has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. I learned everything is temporary. moments. feelings. people. flowers. i learned love is about giving. everything. and letting it hurt. i learned vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to remain cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft. i learned all things come in twos. life and death. pain and joy. salt and sugar. me and you. it is the balance of the universe. it has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good. making friends out of strangers. making strangers out of friends. learning mint chocolate chip ice cream will fix just about everything. and for the things it cant, there will always be my mothers arms. We must learn to focus on warm energy. always. Soak our limbs in it and learn to become better lovers to the world. For if we cant learn to be kind to each other how will we ever learn to be kind to the most desperate parts of ourselves.

Client M 

I saw God today: the sun shooting rays down between the clouds…
I saw God today; In a rainbow we could not find…
I saw God today: in the tears of a friend who was hurting…
I saw God today in the smile of others and the pride in their eyes.
I saw God today; as I looked in the mirror and realized my eyes were clear
For the first time in a long time…
I saw God today; in every raindrop and in every lightening strike…
I saw God today…
Because I was looking

Client T

Friday, July 27, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 6

recovery reflections
It’s been a rough past week but unknowingly became a blessing. This recovery week seems to be working some miracles. Being at Canyon Crossing I have finally begun to find myself again. It’s amazing how the hard work you put into yourself pays off. I know being here will all be worth it in the end. I am excited to see the outcome of my recovery.

Client K 

I am stronger than I have ever been before. I never could imagine being this happy, loving, excited for life woman that I am today. I am now a spiritual person; I have a God I can rely on. The mental obsession to use has left me; I have had a spiritual experience! My life is slowly but surely becoming something I am proud of.

Client M

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 5

recovery reflections
Client A

Growing up

Growing up taught
Taught me to stay quite
And apologize for
Everything
Growing up taught
Taught me hide me tears
And put others over
Yourself
Growing up taught
Taught me..
Lies
Treatment
Treatment showed me
Me I can express
All emotions
Treatment showed me
Me the…
Truth

Client C

Acceptance 

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today
This doesn’t mean all my problems will go away
If I remember this, my life will be okay
When struggling, the acceptance prayer is what I’ll say

Client H

Canyon has taught me how to love myself. I have truly redefined my definition of beauty. Being around all these strong beautiful women has impacted my life for the better. I’m learning how to see the beauty in everything no matter how small.

Client K

Yesterday was my 6 months clean and sober and I have never been more proud of myself. This is my first attempt at sobriety and the journey has been such a blessing to me. I am finally learning to love myself and am grateful to have my Higher Power carry me through it all. Life is beautiful. My past, all the struggles, and all of my experiences have lead me to this moment and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Client K

Self Love 

I love myself today
Self love is important
Without loving myself I would be in a very dark hole
I haven’t told myself I love myself since I was 12 and now I am 19
It’s a great day to be alive when I love myself
I couldn’t have done it without people loving me until I love myself
I LOVE MYSELF
AND I WILL LOVE YOU UNTIL YOU LOVE YOURSELF

Client L

I was so scared when I came to recovery but I have met the most wonderful people here. They have made the adjustment here so much easier than it would have been. They are a family and they have let me be a part of it and that means more to me than anything.

Client M

I used to tell myself that nobody loved me, I wasn’t worthy, and that my voice didn’t matter. I lived in a world full of doubt and pain. My mind would race with thoughts of self- judgment, fear, and chaos. Today, I have been reborn. I am a new woman, full of hope, joy, and serenity. I owe all of the credit to sobriety. I look forward to the future, knowing that I am intelligent, beautiful, and that I can do anything that I set my mind to. Today, I have many friends who genuinely love me for who I am, not for what I have. It’s amazing, all of the gifts that sobriety has given me. My higher power, my friends and family, and the program keep me on the right track every single day. I have to use all of the knowledge I’ve learned in sobriety daily, to keep moving in the right direction, and to grow closer with my higher power. My heart is full of gratitude, and I am truly blessed to have the life that I do.

Client T

One of my most favorite quotes is “In the depths of winter I found an invincible summer.”

This is so true about my recovery. When I got to CCR 5 months ago I was living in pure darkness. Nothing was ok, I had no hope, no self love, no compassion for others, and I basically didn’t want to live. The recovery I have found here is second to none. none of the latter is true today. I live my life in light. I love being of service and engaging in life as much as possible. I never ever want to live the way I was in my past. CCR has shown me another way. I owe them my life!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 4

thoughts early sobrietyClient A

Ever since I was a young girl I always looked for out-side esteem; since entering recovery I finally realized how to build true self-esteem. Out-side Esteem was one of my biggest downfalls. I never truly felt happy unless I was getting praise from others. Even at my old job I would only feel worthy because I am helping others as a cook; but I would go home and still be judgmental about my writing or project. True self-esteem means for me the ability to be curious, creative and accept everyone’s uniqueness throughout life. My quote to remember this is “remember our mind is like a garden and our thoughts and ideas are the seeds, you can either grow flowers or weeds” thinking of this quote makes me remember no garden is the same they all have their own unique qualities some have roses some have daisies, some have fountains and others do not but what we must remember is that all gardens can grow weeds (we all can have negative thoughts) but some just don’t show.

Client C

Progress 

I had no hope in myself
Thought I was as good as I could get
Didn’t think twice about my health
Felt like I was caught in a net
Now I'm sober and clean
I’m able to do great things
I’m proud to show myself, to be seen
I’m growing up, spreading my wings
I can do this, I know I can
I flew through hell, and now I can land

- A recovering meth addict

Client H

Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down,
Man I hate when I have a frown.
Moments when I do, I walk around town.
I look around at the people, cars and trees,
Enjoying this new life; free.
Living new and strong,
No longer doing the same wrongs.
Thank God my life will be long.

Client J

I have been struggling this week. I feel like I have grown more distant from my higher power. Things are becoming more difficult and I am feeling more and more discouraged. I am hoping that things will turn around and that I will go back to feeling spiritually connected. This of course will require me to become more open and surrender my life to something that I hope can help me. Hopefully the upcoming weeks will be better.

Client K

I am coming to the realization that I am not only triggered by alcohol but I am absolutely terrified of it. Thinking of how my disease affected my life makes me feel absolutely miserable. Thinking of how powerless I am over alcohol makes me feel weak. I know that this realization will only make me grow stronger and make me look at my disease in ways that I have yet to discover. Recovery is tough, but hey.. So am I.

One day at a time.

Client K

I’m healing. Slowly but surely. I’ve got my sponsor and call her every day. I go to my meetings and share as much as I can. I have a home group. I do what I can to help clean up after meetings and help set up. Recovery and service work has helped me so many ways. It helps me stay sober and serine. I am happy now and have a clear head on my shoulders. I surround myself with other people in recovery. Having friends in recovery makes me not feel alone and an outsider. Normies don’t quite understand, they don’t understand that I have a different way of life. A sober way of life.

Client M

Growing Pains

The earth crumbles beneath my feet
I burn alive falling to ashes
Becoming the soil that will grow life
Then the flowers begin to rise from my pores
Searching for the sun
B L O O M I N G

Client M

Run, Run, Run
Physically, emotionally and mentally
I pack a bag where ever I go
Full of hidden resentments and fear
Just in case
That one day comes
Full of fear
I’ll be prepared to disappear
But this isn’t living life at all
Always stuck to something
Not wanting to face the pain
Always ending up in the same place that I ran from
In the end, I was only running from myself
I’m stuck with me where ever I go
No matter what I do
I’m willing to be free today
I’m setting my heart on fire
I’m taking my power back
No more escaping
No more running
I’m free

Client S 

Dear God,

I worship you through being in nature. I feel connected to you when I’m in your creation. I need you to love me and be by my side so I don’t feel alone. I need help to block out the thoughts of hurting myself and for you to take them away from me. I want to be willing to believe in you an believe in your plan for me and my life. When I talk to you I want to be able to hear you answer me. I want to feel as if my needs are important enough to be asked for. I want to surrender my will to you and trust in you. And when my thoughts take over I want to pray to you to take them away. I want to be able to feel your presence every time I walk outside. My life has become a mess and I can’t get it together on my own so I ask you for help. Help me to see the bigger picture and understand the plan you have for me.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Changing Behaviors

changing behaviorsAchieving lasting and sustainable behavioral change when recovering from addiction is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of treating chemical dependency. Most individuals who are challenged to change long standing habits and choices are often resistant and terrified at the thought of change. When attempting to support an individual in initiating behavioral changes we tend to see a predictable series of stages that one moves through as part of his or her process of change. These stages are described in more detail below:



Stage 1: Pre-contemplation

Individuals in this first stage may have some awareness of the negative consequences related to their addiction, however they tend to minimize or rationalize poor choices, unable to see just how detrimental these choices and behaviors have been. During this stage there is not a high level of desire to make any changes, and the individual may not be entirely conscious of the severity of his or her condition.

Stage 2: Contemplation 

As individuals move in to the second phase, the contemplation stage, they become more aware of the impact of their addictive behaviors, yet they may remain ambivalent about putting forth the effort to change. The individual may start to consider changing “someday” but are not quite ready to commit to true change.

When the individual moves toward stage three, they gradually become aware that changing their behaviors outweigh the costs of not changing. At this point, behavioral change becomes a possibility and is given serious consideration.

Stage 3: Preparation 

At this stage the individual begins to assume more responsibility for their choices, decisions, and behaviors. They may set specific intentions to change and begin to gather the necessary resources that will assist them in making important changes. Sometimes these resources take the form of therapeutic support, 12 step meetings or other sober based fellowships. At this point, with resources available, the individual feels prepared to make a commitment to change.

Stage 4: Action 

In stage four, the individual begins to take action to initiate positive psychological, emotional, spiritual, and physical change by immersing themselves in their recovery process. This involves much more than abstinence from drugs and alcohol. It is an entire transformation of cognitions, behaviors, and one’s general approach to life’s challenges. During this stage, the individual continues to take action to create sustainable change in all areas of his or her life.

Stage 5: Maintenance 

Once an individual has reached the maintenance stage they have been able to sustain new and positive behavioral patterns. The individual often discovers that the more consistently they engage in new positive behaviors, the easier and more natural these behaviors become. At this point in the individual’s recovery, he or she is aware of triggers and risky situations that could lead to relapse. The core values that guide one’s recovery and relapse prevention strategies become an integrated part of the individual.

Stage 6: Termination 

At the final termination stage, the individual often presents as an entirely new person. They are able to reflect back on their past and old destructive behaviors while considering it unthinkable to return to that former lifestyle. At this stage, the individual knows that if they maintain their commitment to recovery, they can enjoy a new and fulfilling life.

It is important to note that, although these Stages of Change provide a linear and orderly way in which to view the process of recovery, it is not a simple and straightforward path. Many individuals can move back and forth through the stages, become stuck, or even relapse. When this occurs, it can an opportunity to re-set and reinforce one’s sense of determination to change.

While it is important to understand patterns of behavior and the process by which one can make sustainable behavioral changes, it is equally as important to understand the practical application of this theoretical approach to change. How does one actually change patterns of behavior that have persisted for the majority of one’s lifetime? What happens when relapse occurs? How do I maintain positive behavioral change?

Any individual considering significant behavioral changes, might start by making a list of behaviors that may constitute a pattern. It is important to begin by raising awareness and taking an honest look at the behaviors one has engaged in most of his or her life. While a necessary step, taking such an inventory can be uncomfortable and challenging, often requiring the support of others who have already been through the process.

Behavioral modification approaches help to engage individuals in substance use treatment by providing incentives for progress and ongoing abstinence, modifying unhealthy beliefs and behaviors related to drug and/or alcohol use, and increasing the individual’s coping skills to manage stressful circumstances and environmental risks that may trigger intense cravings. Intensive cognitive and behavioral modification therapies go hand in hand. One of the most common and effective interventions in treating substance use disorders is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The cognitive aspect of this modality addresses maladaptive thoughts and core beliefs, the behavioral aspect focuses on unhealthy habits and actions. CBT helps individuals work through the thoughts, behaviors, and risky situations that contribute to their addiction and relapse risk potential.

Behavioral modification can also help people deal with negative peer influence and interpersonal conflict--two challenges that can make it extremely hard for individuals to refrain from drug and/or alcohol use. Behavioral therapy can help people practice the coping and conflict resolution skills necessary to deal with situations that could place their sobriety and/or mental health at risk.

Relapse prevention education and planning is another important part of behavioral modification therapy and behavioral change in substance use treatment. Individuals are taught to consider all types of situations that could provoke a relapse, and then the individual can practice in a therapeutic setting managing those situations. The individual is also assisted in the development and implementation of a comprehensive relapse prevention plan for when they are faced with overwhelming cravings to use, risky situations and/or people, difficult emotions, and/or any environmental cues that may heighten one’s potential for relapse.

Behavior therapy and behavioral change as viewed through the stages of change can be very effective for modifying and changing unhealthy addictive behaviors and helping suffering individuals to generally improve their lives. If you or a loved one are interested in behavior modification therapy and lasting behavioral change, seek help and support through an initial consultation with a qualified professional, therapy, and support groups. These are powerful ways in which one can begin to make important and lasting changes, ultimately allowing for the achievement of desired goals and dreams.

Marie Tueller, MEd, LPC

Monday, May 28, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 3

stories early recoveryClient A 

Growing up with Disney and Grims brothers has taught me so many lessons. Mulan taught me respect and honor. Snow white showed how being friendly and kind can change those on others. Little red with that big wolf teaches us no matter the size of the person it doesn’t define the amount of bravery inside them. A beautiful tribal princess taught us we can respect the old yet embrace the new. So many lessons but my two favorite lessons were taught two rebellious princesses one who dreamed to escape the sea and the other dreamed of seeing the world. First a curious redhead who teach us curiosity is the key to understanding something new and lastly a princess shows us love has no social class… even a princess can love a street rat.

Client J 

This week I am struggling with living in God’s will. I recently have been starting to question my God and have been less spiritually connected. I originally thought I was a Christian. I was raised in a Christian home by my mother. My sister is a devout Christian. I have been thinking that maybe Jesus is just a man who did great things. I have been thinking that maybe I believe in Judaism rather than Christianity. My sponsor has been very supportive and encouraging me to search for a religion that fits me. I am very grateful to have her and Canyon Crossing in my life.

Client K 

I have never been a very open person and have always internalized my struggles. This has caused me much pain and suffering in my addiction and has continued to cause me pain and suffering in my sobriety. I have a deeply rooted core belief that my feelings don’t matter and shy away from being open about what I’m going through and how I am feeling. I realize how dangerous this is to my recovery and how important it is that I begin opening up more. Keeping all my struggles and emotions to myself is so unhealthy and holding all of that in leads me to the bottle every single time. I am terrified of relapsing and am willing to go to any lengths to stay sober. It’s time to be vulnerable and to connect on a deeper level with the people I love by opening up to them more and showing more of myself, the good and the sad!

Client K 

I Have to Tell You 

6 minutes. That’s all the time I have. I have to tell you… 
That you are beautiful. 
That you are strong. 
That you are worth it. 
That you can do this. 
That you can beat this disease. 
That your feelings matter. 
That you have a voice. 
That you are not your past. 
That people love and care about you. 
That you don’t have to give up. 
YOU GOT THIS! 

Client M 

My skin always felt foreign to me, like I was wearing clothes that were not mine. It did not feel like the home it was supposed to. It was a haunted house I had been locked in away in for years. I was empty and scared of who I was and what I was capable of being. It wasn’t until eighteen years later when I started to see light coming through the windows and flowers started to bloom inside of me. I am alive again.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 2

stories early recoveryClient AJ 

When I came to Canyon Crossing I was angrier than I think than I have ever been. I was mad that I was in treatment and I was an alcoholic and drug addict. I was more scared than angry, that was the underlying emotion. I had many traumas which I had justified my use. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship and was in the delusion that he was the love of my life. I was perfectly okay with going back to my abuser. After going to EMDR therapy and finally believing that I was worth more than I had received, I became a powerhouse in my own recovery and have fought for my life here. I have been here a while, however I am willing to go to any length to say sober. I thank everyday that I came to Canyon Crossing and I thank my higher power that the staff here has given me that love. Now believe that I am loved and that I am worth it.

Client A
PAIN

I am scared because of the feeling of you. I associate everything negative in my life as you being the root cause and I run from you. Feeling emotional pain hurts to the very core of my soul and feels like I will not be able to escape you.

I try to treat you as if you don’t exist and will not get to me by building up barriers in my relationships. When you are able to seep thru a crack in that wall I have tried to numb you out with food, alcohol, drugs, work (business) or relationships. In the end you are still there.

Therefore, I would like to be able to identify and express the emotions that eventually lead up to pain in a positive way. Because of you, I have been able to make positive changes in myself. I would like to know you in not such a destructive way, but instead, as an opportunity for growth. Walking thru pain is ultimately how I find true joy!

Client B 

I found a short poem a few weeks ago, and as a worrier and someone who lives in shame about my past, it really hit home. When that feeling gets severe, I’ve been turning to it…

ONE DAY AT A TIME 

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry; two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed, we cannot erase a single word said—YESTERDAY IS GONE!

The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW with its possible burdens, its large promise and poor performance. Tomorrow is also beyond out immediate control. Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds—but it will rise. Until it does we have no stake in tomorrow for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day—TODAY! Any man can fight the battle of just one day. It is only when you and I carry the burdens of those two awful eternities—YESTERDAY and TOMORROW—that we break down.

Client J

Just before Canyon Crossing Recovery I had settled into a life handicapped by a controlled substance that had taken away the things that meant most to me. My parents and family have always been my life and I had allowed myself to accept a new life without them. I always dreamed of having two or three kids close in age. After having my son, Subutex took that dream away from me and I had lied to myself believing I was fine in a life with only one child. The lies Subutex had me telling myself had me really thinking they were my own thoughts. I was content with a life that I would of said was a miserable life prior to this controlling substance. In recovery I was finally told something I truly wanted to know as true, that there is a happy healthy life without Subutex. There are no more lies. No more false contention. Only truth that I can have the life I’ve always wanted and the dreams I had can come back and be a reality.

Client K
My New Life 

I came to Prescott in February & started yet another treatment center at Viewpoint but due to changes, I came to Canyon Crossing. When I first heard the news that I was switching treatment centers, I was shocked & kind of scared but now that I am here at Canyon, I absolutely love it. I am so happy to be here surrounded by other girls that I feel truly care about me & my well being. I feel this helps me to have more motivation to move forward in my recovery & maintain my sobriety with support around me. My goal is to complete the program here at CCR & make myself & my parents proud. My parents have been surprisingly so supportive & caring throughout all this & I am beyond grateful for their support after all we have been through together.

Client R 
I Come From… 

I Come From Shakopee, Minnesota 
I Come From Peanut Butter Waffles 
I Come From You Are Pretty 
I Come From You Are Stupid 
I Come From Anything Pink With Ruffles 
I Come From In The Ocean 
I Come From The Dark Alone 
I Come From Staying Sober 
I Come From Pushing My Family Away 
I Come From 93 Days Clean 
I Come From Falling In Love 
I Come From My Grandfathers Dock In The Keys 
I Come From Just For Today 
I Come From My Scars 
I Come From My Tattoos 
I Come From In The Forest 
I Come From Promising Myself To Keep Working On Trusting 

Client T 

I WORK THESE STEPS 
THEY HELP 
IM LEARNING HOW TO LIVE 
THROUGH OPENESS AND SPIRIT IM LEARNING HOW TO GIVE 
SUCCESS IT COMES IN MANY FORMS 
SOMEDAYS I CANT BELIEVE 
WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR ME 
IM GLAD I DIDN’T LEAVE 
TODAY I TRULY LOVE MYSELF 
MORE AND MORE EACH DAY 
HEAD HELD HIGH 
I WALK THE LINE 
OF INTEGRITY AND GRACE