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Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Benefits of Transitional Living

Successful long-term addiction recovery doesn’t end when someone has completed a program such as outpatient treatment. Instead, it is a process that involves planning and goal-setting at every step of the way. Nobody should enter recovery without a strong support system in place. That’s why transitional living can be so essential for people to manage their addiction rehabilitation.

What Is Transitional Living?

Transitional living is a safe and structured environment that is designed specifically to remove distractions and provide people who are newly recovered with a foundation for sober living. These residences are set up specifically for people who are fresh out of recovery treatment, and they preserve hard-won sobriety by holding residents accountable. At Canyon Crossing, hallmarks of our transitional living program include:
  • Weekly house meetings and drug screenings
  • Coaching and counseling
  • 12-step meetings and events
  • Holistic care

Advantages of Transitional Living

Many people in early sobriety benefit from a great deal of structure and support as they rebuild their lives and mend damaged relationships. Also, some women may not be able to return to wherever they were living while they were in the depths of their addiction, often because it is not a safe place or it could jeopardize their recovery to go back to that environment.

Transitional housing provides a “bridge” from the routines of recovery treatment to independent life. Addiction puts people’s lives in total disarray, and transitional housing helps them regain a sense of order. If you are concerned about a loved one or are thinking of going into transitional housing yourself, here are some advantages:
  • Learning life skills – Residents hone essential abilities such as time management, communication skills, resume building and budgeting.
  • Surrounded by peers – Since everyone living in the house is in recovery as well, it creates a fellowship and instant support group of women who are all going through the journey together.
  • Sense of responsibility – An essential component of living in transitional housing is developing personal responsibility. Many women who struggle with addiction also fall into irresponsible habits that lead them to develop debt or have trouble holding a steady job. The transitional living environment encourages residents to become responsible adults by holding residents accountable for developing healthy habits.
  • Education – At Canyon Crossing, we help women learn about the nature of their addiction as they change their behaviors and thought processes and develop coping skills to prevent relapse.

Transitional Living at Canyon Crossing

Transitional living is an excellent way for women to embrace their newly sober lifestyle as they ease their way back into society. Instead of trying to go it alone and risking setbacks, there are many advantages for using this tool for your next step of recovery. At Canyon Crossing, we offer women’s-only addiction treatment in Prescott, Arizona. Learn more about our unique programming and reach out to us today.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Debunking Misconceptions About Rehab

If you’re considering seeking addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, you may be hesitant to do so because of the stigma associated with entering rehab, or the way the media portray people with substance misuse. Don’t let pervasive myths or a sense of shame hold you back from getting the life-saving help you need. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about rehab, and why they aren’t true.

Misconception 1: Addicts Must Hit Rock Bottom

It’s a common Hollywood trope that someone with a substance dependency has to reach a “rock-bottom” milestone before they can admit they have a problem and work toward recovery. In reality, anyone with a substance misuse disorder can benefit from seeking a qualified recovery program. You do not have to experience a turning point like losing your job or serving jail time to realize you need to turn your life around and quit using alcohol and drugs.

Misconception 2: Relapse Does Not Equal Failure

Though relapse isn’t always part of everyone’s recovery journey, it can and does happen to many people. For some, relapse is a natural part of the cycle of drug addiction, not a failure to manage it. Having a relapse does not make someone a “hopeless case,” or mean there’s no point in them continuing to try to break free of their addiction.

Misconception 3: People in Recovery Are “Less Than”

Often, there's a bias or stigma associated with people who choose to enter recovery. Many people automatically assume those who seek help are admitting a weakness, or that their lives are lacking in some way. This stereotype could not be more untrue. Science tells us addiction is a chronic disease, one that literally changes our brain chemistry. For someone who has developed a substance dependency, it’s not as simple as walking away from using drugs or alcohol. They need to get professional help to understand and overcome their problems.

Start Your Recovery at Canyon Crossing

Canyon Crossing Recovery is a qualified women’s-only transitional living program in Prescott, Arizona. Through our programming, we aim to help you grow as a person and develop healthy coping mechanisms that allow you to live up to your full potential. Reach out today to get a new lease on life.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

How Pets Help Combat Depression

If you’re one of the more than 300 million people in the world who struggles with depression, you know how challenging the symptoms can be. Feeling constantly sad, lonely or even worthless takes a significant toll on you and leaves you drained. Some days, you might not want to get out of bed or leave the house. Many mental health specialists recommend adopting a pet to help stave off depressive episodes. Here are the top benefits of bringing a pet into your life.

Unconditional Love

Pets will always be happy to see you at the end of a long day, no matter what. Your pet is your only friend who will never judge you and will be there to accept you regardless of your perceived flaws or shortcomings. You can tell your pet anything and never have to worry about hearing a response that makes you feel uncomfortable. Spending time with a pet can also be a helpful break from negative self-talk. It’s hard to dwell on depressive feelings when you look into your pet’s eyes and only see love and affection reflecting back at you.

Personal Responsibility

Bringing a pet into your life entails accepting a great deal of responsibility. When another living creature depends on you for their health, happiness and well-being, it can help you reinforce to yourself that you are capable of caring for others. Taking care of a pet also provides structure in your life. For example, staying in bed all day isn’t an option if you have a dog who needs to go outside for potty breaks. Caring for a dog will also require you to get more exercise in the form of going on walks or jogs with your four-legged friend – and regular workouts are a natural mood-booster.

Improved Health

Touch has indisputable healing powers, and cuddling with a pet is no exception. When a cat curls up in your lap and starts purring, or a dog nudges your hand to ask for belly rubs, it naturally makes you feel good. Stroking your cat or dog and watching their eyes close in sheer bliss can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Research shows petting a dog for only 15 minutes can decrease your blood pressure by as much as 10 percent.

Find Your Way to Peace of Mind

At Canyon Crossing, our mission is to empower women to live with integrity and grace. We work to show all our clients that recovering from drug and alcohol dependency is not only possible, but well worth pursuing. To seek qualified help for yourself or someone you care about, contact us today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Alumni Spotlight

alumni spotlight
I graduated Canyon Crossing Recovery mid-July of 2017, and thanks to the tools I gathered and learned while I was there I have not had to pick up a drug or a drink since. This past year has been eventful. I have lost family members and good friends this past year. Not all of them have been drug or alcohol related, but I still struggled emotionally. Due to learning how to walk through grief at Canyon I was able to walk through it again and again without using. There were some other life changes and struggles that took place as well, but I was able to pick myself back up without using because of what I learned while I was in treatment. The basics they teach you at Canyon Crossing were like reflexes for me when I have stumbled in life. I also have been blessed beyond what I could have imagined for myself before coming into recovery. I have a solid emotional connection with a boyfriend who treats me with respect. I have a family who continues to support me and answer my phone calls. I have friends today who do not cosign my sick behaviors, and who call me out when it is needed. I still work with a sponsor, go to meetings, and work with sponsees. Some of the most rewarding experiences I have had have been working with these girls and taking them through the steps. The responsibility from being a sponsor helps me stay accountable as well as sober. The biggest thing that has happened for me since I have been out of Canyon has been going back to school. Going back to college has been a huge dream for me from the moment my head started clearing, and I realized that I did want to create a future for myself. As I am coming up on the end of my first semester, I feel very confident. I’m doing well in my classes and can devote time to my studies. I do work a full-time job, so I am only going part-time, but I’ve learned how much I can handle and what I need to cut out of my life in order to make this dream happen. I do not believe I’d be where I am at today if it was not for everything that Canyon Crossing taught me about life. 


-Jess Reynolds-
Canyon Crossing Recovery Alumni


Friday, November 30, 2018

The Role of Denial in Addiction

It can be heartbreaking to witness a loved one locked in a struggle with substance abuse and addiction, especially when you know they are in deep denial about the extent of their problem. In this situation, being an observer feels especially difficult when you know how significantly someone you care about can improve her life if she would take the first step and admit to having developed a substance dependency.

Understanding Denial

For many people with the disease of addiction, denial is inextricably linked with their condition. As a bystander, it may be hard for you to understand how your loved one can continue to behave as if she doesn’t have a problem, especially when you can clearly see the toll her substance abuse is taking on her life.

You want the best for your close friend or family member, and that includes wanting to help them break free of addiction and live a healthy, happy life. But it’s challenging getting through to someone who’s using heavily, especially when they deny their addiction at every turn. To understand what’s going on in your loved one’s mind, it helps to think of denial as a symptom of the disease that is addiction. No matter how rudely or irrationally she may behave as a result, her refusal to admit to having a problem doesn’t make her a bad person.

How to Approach Someone in Denial

It’s never easy to bring up the topic of excessive drinking or drug use, especially with someone who is unwilling to admit to her addiction. However, there are ways you can help. First, wait for a time when your loved one is sober to start the conversation. Start by expressing your concern in a clear and honest way, without being critical. Point out specific negative consequences her drug use or drinking has had on significant aspects of her life, like her work or her ability to take care of her kids.

If your loved one isn’t ready to commit to recovery, one conversation may not be enough to break through the denial and convince her to take the right steps. However, don’t get discouraged if your initial attempt doesn’t work out the way you envisioned. It may take repeated attempts to reach your loved one. Every time a new issue arises – whether it is a missed work or school day, a broken promise or a forgotten appointment – use it as an opportunity to mention that your loved one has a problem and needs to seek professional help.

The Road to Recovery Begins Here

Canyon Crossing is a premier residential treatment facility in Prescott, AZ, for women who struggle with substance dependency issues. To learn more about our services and what makes us unique, contact us anytime.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How to Encourage a Loved One to Seek Help

If you have a loved one who has allowed substance misuse to take over her life, it’s likely you’ve noticed the warning signs, but may have felt reluctant to start a conversation about it. You have probably witnessed several ways in which dependence on her drug of choice has begun to negatively affect every aspect of her life, including her relationship with you. However, maybe you are having trouble coming up with a constructive way to bring up the issue. That’s understandable; for many, it can be one of the most challenging conversations you ever have.

You may be concerned that you’re “meddling” in your loved one’s life, or that mentioning the problem could make it worse or even damage your relationship. However, if someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse, starting a conversation could be the catalyst that convinces your loved one to get the professional help she needs to get her life back on track.

How to Bring up the Topic of Substance Abuse

When you mention your concerns to your loved one, you should accept that she may not be prepared to hear what you have to say. Many addicts are in deep denial that they have an issue; in this case, she may entirely reject your efforts to help.

Though it can be frustrating to receive that kind of response, the most constructive thing you can do in that situation is to ask questions to keep the discussion going, then genuinely listen to her responses. Maintaining an open, two-way dialogue may help your loved one reach a place where she is willing to admit she has a problem.

Here are a couple of prompts for starting a conversation with someone you’ve begun to worry about.
  • I’ve noticed you haven’t seemed like yourself lately. Did you want to talk about why?
  • It seems like you’ve been drinking/using drugs more often recently. What’s going on?
  • Do you feel as if your drug use/drinking is becoming a problem?
The best thing you can do after you ask questions like these is to be a good listener — allowing your loved one to open up as much as possible about what’s going on in her life. Remember, you are there to provide as much love, support and encouragement as possible.

Seeking Help for Your Loved One

After opening the door to a constructive conversation about substance abuse, the next step is to help your loved one find a qualified treatment facility. At Canyon Crossing, we offer women’s-only drug rehab in Arizona, and our admissions team is ready to connect someone you care about with the help she needs to start fresh in life. Contact us today.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Practicing Gratitude in Recovery

practice gratitude recovery
Growing up I thought you could only have gratitude for the big things in life and nothing small. Ever since I started this path towards recovery I have started to realize that you can be grateful for anything in life even the everyday gifts such as walking and seeing. Now closer to my eight months I have found gratitude in the ability to feel anger and grief. I can’t wait to see what the gratitude I will have once I am at a year in recovery.

Client A

Gratitude is a crucial component of my recovery. I’ve been blessed with a life full of wonderful people and opportunities, but unfortunately took much for this for granted when I was drinking. My addiction controlled my life and warped my thinking to focus on the negative rather than be thankful for the positive. When I am sober and working toward recovery, everything in life seems to get better. I’m able to think more clearly and recognize how incredibly lucky I am to be in a safe environment surrounded by supportive women in recovery. I’m thankful to getting the help I need to survive and build a happy, healthy life for myself.

Writing out a gratitude list daily and being mindful of my blessings, even the smallest ones, enriches my spiritual connection and makes life more enjoyable. I am grateful for my sobriety and for my past, even the pain and time spent in active addiction; without the unhappy times I wouldn’t be where I am today working on healing and bettering myself. Being sober makes it possible for me to appreciate my blessings and feel hopeful for a healthy, happy future.

Client A

Today I am grateful to have woken up tired. It’s a blessing to have slept in a bed, not to have been awake all night just to continue in a sick cycle of madness. I’m grateful to not have been digging through a dumpster, picking out a needle from a pile of cat liter. Having the opportunity to focus on my health and a new way of living is all I could’ve hoped for.

Client B

Gratitude.. Sometimes I get so lost in the day that I forget to take a moment and appreciate the things around me or the things in my life to be grateful for. Simply being able to walk among the beautiful the sky and fall weather with the beautiful trees and the wind on my face. My family who would do anything in the world to make sure I am safe. The amazing friends I have in my life who I can call at anytime in the day and they would show up for me no matter what they have going on. Most Importantly my Higher Power, without it I would not be able to walk through hardships in recovery sober. When I remind myself of life’s simple pleasures I can turn my day around when I am feeling down. This Is why when I get lost in the day I try to take a moment to appreciate gratitude. 

Client C

Gratitude is the foundation of my recovery; without gratitude I would not be alive and sober today. Through my journey I have learned to be grateful for all the things I experience in life and on a daily basis. I start my day with a gratitude prayer, thanking my high power for the blessing of waking up sober and for all the gifts the day will bring me. When I retire at night, I list all the things I am grateful for that happened within the past 24 hours. Being sober has opened my eyes to the millions of things that I have to be grateful for: the feeling of the wind on my face, orange and blue sunsets, the smell of flowers, random moments of laughter, etc. Most of all I am grateful for the moments and things that challenge me the most. It is out of the hard moments that I am most able to grow. By practicing gratitude I have developed a new outlook on the world: nothing happens to me, but instead happens for me. With gratitude, I am able to learn from every experience. Today, I am grateful for being grateful.

Client J

I have so much to be grateful for in my life today. I just got 6 months sober, I’m on step 10 with my sponsor & all of my court stuff is officially over for the first time in a little over a year. My family & I are mending our relationship & overall I’ve been pretty happy with where I’m at. At this time a year ago I was far from sober, would be just getting out of jail about a week ago from this time last year & if you would’ve told me that I’d be where I am today, I wouldn’t have believed you one bit. But my life has changed since then immensely & I’m beyond grateful for it.

Client K

November is the month of gratitude; it’s time to reflect on all the great things life has blessed me with. Sobriety, I am so grateful to be able to practice every day. I am so grateful to be sober and to have found myself again, I can be the mom I always knew I could be and I have so many sober relationships today. I am grateful to be able to face my fears head on. I push through the darkness into the light. With my addiction, heights, being vulnerable or having to be away from my child at this time for a beautiful future with him. I am so blessed for my ability to walk, talk, see, I have food and water as well. I am so blessed to have these abilities and privileges. I am grateful for my new found happiness alongside my Higher Power facing the world head on.

Client K

Everyday I’m grateful that I don’t have to use when I wake up or go to bed. I’m grateful for the people that love and support me. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for the sun and the moon. I’m grateful for the ridiculous weather changes that are happening right now in Prescott, AZ. I’m grateful for my sweet sweet dogs. I’m grateful for candy. I’m grateful for food. I’m grateful for my body and everything it does for me. I’m grateful for a bed to sleep in, a warm one, and a roof over my head. I’m grateful for vehicles. I’m grateful for engineering. I’m grateful for technology.

The point is I’m grateful for a lot of things, even the basics. The list goes on and on.

Client K

Today I live a life I can be grateful for! I have overcome my depression and my anxiety is manageable today. I have 14 months clean and sober today! I live a life I am proud of finally. I have a connection with my family again, I am learning how to be a successful woman in society, and I am comfortable in my own skin. Every day, I learn more and more about myself and I am continuously growing. I am so grateful for my life and what I have worked so hard for to achieve.

Client M

Gratitude is one of the most important principles to live by. No matter what I’m struggling with, I think about things that I am grateful for, and I always feel a little bit better. I’m grateful for so much in my life; family, food, friends, recovery, the list can go on and on. One thing that I feel the most grateful for is my sobriety. Without it, I would have nothing good in my life, I would be in pain, and misery. My life has become full of greatness; things that I would never imagine have happened to me. I am truly grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given in recovery, even the challenges presented to me. I’ve learned to cope with the most difficult emotions and trials of life, and I’m forever grateful for that.

Client M

I feel so incredibly blessed! I prayed for the most perfect treatment center for me and I ended up here at Canyon. I’m sooooooo grateful! I’m grateful to be here in Prescott. The whole town is super supportive of AA which is awesome. I’m also grateful for the amazing staff here at CCR. I’m grateful to be able to go out in nature here so often. I’m grateful to my family for allowing me to have this wonderful opportunity right now.

Client M

They say a grateful addict will never use. I’ve found this to be true in my own experience. When I have gratitude, I have hope and purpose. I have something to believe in that is greater than myself. I find that the more grateful I am, the more content I am with life. I enjoy my days. I also find that there’s so many things to be grateful for in each day. I practice making a gratitude list each night that is specific to that day. I find my higher power gives me so many wonderful things about each day where I can grow, enjoy life and stay sober. I’m grateful for each day, one day at a time, just for today.

Client M

I have heard many times that a grateful alcoholic will never use. Whenever I’m feeling like the world is out to get me I will sit down and write a gratitude list. I wrote out 200 gratitude’s about a month ago and it reminded me how much beauty I actually see in my world. I have so many little things in my life that I take for granted and when I really acknowledge everything I love and appreciate about my life my life becomes beautiful and it always gives me reasons to live again.

Client P

What do I have to be grateful for this holiday season? There are so many things. I am grateful to be here at CCR they have giving me a life I never knew I could have. I am grateful for my family for giving me a second chance and for never giving up on me. I am grateful for the love and support of all the amazing women around me, but most of all I am ever so grateful for my sobriety, without being sober I would not have any of these things to be grateful for. Being sober has brought so many wonderful things into my life. I laugh again I see the wonderful colors of the world. I have real friendships and know how to be a friend. This holiday season is one I have everything to be grateful for. Thank you to CCR and the love and support of the people in my life.

Client R

So, the topic of gratitude. That’s a big and beautiful one. What do I have to be grateful for right here in this moment? Let’s see… I have to be grateful that I can see- with my intuition and with my eyes. I must be thankful that I know right from wrong and left from right. I have to be grateful for my path, my journey. Every which way I go down, it is the always the right one- in accordance with His plan. I am grateful for God- for His existence, His power, and for His relationship with me. I am grateful for my toes and that I get to wiggle them. I am grateful that I can breathe through my mouth and nose, and that I have the option of breathing through my mouth when my nose is stuffy. I am grateful that I can laugh again, that when I do it is true, and that I frequently do. I am grateful that I can lick my lips and I am grateful for chapstick. I am grateful for bouncy houses, and that I’ve gotten to go on em’. I am grateful for my spit- I detest a dry mouth. I am grateful that I have a fully functioning digestive system. I am grateful for water bottles and Tupper-ware. I am grateful for my lashes, that they flutter. I am grateful for true love’s kiss. I am grateful for the all-important Hershey kiss. I am grateful for scrunchies. I am grateful for the word “stam,” stam (it means “just because” in Hebrew. How useful that they have a word for that!). I am grateful that I can read and write in Hebrew. I am grateful that I can read and write, period. I am grateful for the eight basic emotions, and I am grateful for the complex ones too. I am grateful that I have hair to twirl and food to eat. I am grateful for fairies. I am grateful that I have so much to be grateful for, and I am grateful that I am me.

Client R

I’ve been given a wonderful life today. I can actually look at my life with gratitude and emotion, instead of just existing and waiting for the day to be over. I got to reconnect with my family and we were able to speak honestly about my disease and about things we’ve not been able to talk about before. I left that weekend feeling so much love and gratitude for my family and for the love that I’ve been shown and am able to show today. I can value little things today because I’m not constantly miserable or numb anymore. I can feel my feelings and I can appreciate life.

Client S

Six months ago if you would’ve asked me what I was grateful for I would have said things like food, my car, and my house. Those are all things that we should be grateful for and I’m sure we take for granted but very vague. Two weeks ago my parents came to visit me and my dad said something that really stood out to me. He told me he was grateful for what our family had been through. I was astonished at this. I tried to look at it from his perspective and then mine. I couldn’t understand why someone in their right mind would be grateful for a life like this. I sat with these words for a couple of days. I looked back on all the hardships, the hell our family had put each other through. And then it finally hit me. If it hadn’t been for everything that happened, my family wouldn’t be as close as we are now.

Client S

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Healthy Foods to Boost Your Mood

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet has benefits that go far beyond your waistline. Did you know some superfoods are even good ways to help you regulate your mood, naturally? Next time you feel a little bit down and need a healthy coping strategy, you may want to put one or more of these pick-me-ups on your plate.

Salmon: Research shows foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower depression. Your brain also needs omega-3s to function at its best. As a bonus, salmon is a good source of vitamin B-12, which helps produce brain chemicals that improve mood.

Blueberries: High in a category of antioxidants known as flavonoids, blueberries help trigger brain pathways associated with better reasoning and less cellular deterioration. Blueberries and blueberry juice are linked with having a more positive outlook, and they also have cancer-fighting properties.

Chocolate: If you’ve ever bitten into a piece of chocolate and smiled automatically, there’s a scientific reason why. Chocolate triggers the brain to release the “happy chemical” serotonin. Dark chocolate – with 70 percent or higher cocoa concentration – also has a host of other health benefits.

Leafy greens: Studies show up to 75 percent of Americans are not getting their recommended daily dosage of magnesium, and this deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. Spinach, chard and other dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium, which can positively impact serotonin levels and boost your mood. Beans and nuts are also rich in magnesium.

Tea: Nothing relieves stress and makes you feel cozy quite like a steaming mug of tea. Many teas, such as those made from chamomile, have calming properties. Black, green, white and rooibos teas are also excellent sources of antioxidants.

Avocado: Avocados are high in a B vitamin called folate, which helps regulate mood, improve energy and provide you with a good night’s rest. They also contain healthy fats that create a greater sense of well-being. And avocados are good for way more than just toast and guacamole – check out these 10 easy avocado recipes.

Eat Well to Feel Well

Achieving holistic mind-body wellness starts by knowing what to eat and how to stay balanced in your nutrition. If you are winning your battle with substance abuse, you’ll want to add these superfoods to your arsenal of healthy ways to balance your mood. And, if you are ready to start your recovery process, reach out to our Prescott, AZ women’s-only treatment facility today. We can help you determine which of our programs is best for you.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Why People With a Substance Abuse Disorder Struggle to ‘Just Say No’


We all remember the “Just Say No” ad campaign from a few decades ago. The slogan seems to indicate that it should be easy for anyone to turn down drugs or alcohol simply by using their willpower. However, in real life, the answer isn’t as black and white.

If you have a loved one with a substance dependency, you may have heard them pledge to quit using their drug of choice, only to see them relapse into unhealthy habits a few weeks or months later. You’re probably wondering what makes it so challenging for them to stop misusing drugs, particularly since you have witnessed firsthand how negatively their drug habit is affecting their quality of life.

To help you understand why people can’t just walk away from a dangerous drug habit, let’s consider the effects of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is powerful enough to change brain chemistry and trigger a long-term dependency on drug and alcohol use.

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is responsible for controlling the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. When highly addictive drugs like opioids enter someone’s body, the brain releases a flood of dopamine, creating intense feelings of fulfillment that make drugs progressively difficult to resist.

As someone becomes addicted to drugs, they also develop vivid memories linking drug use with that satisfying feeling. Even people who have vowed to quit using drugs and have remained sober for a long time still remember the sense of gratification that came with using their drug of choice, which can trigger cravings and an eventual relapse. Essentially, drug use changes the brain.

Now that you know more about the connection between dopamine and addictive behavior, you can see why it can be such an uphill battle for people suffering from substance use disorder to “just say no.” If you have a loved one with a substance dependency, you should view addiction as a disease, rather than a lifestyle choice.

Achieving Freedom From Substance Use Disorder at Canyon Crossing

Though successfully recovering from substance misuse is difficult, it is never out of reach. At Canyon Crossing, we believe no woman with addiction should have to fight her battles alone. With our effective, women-only addiction treatment programs, our caring professionals provide the support our clients need to get back on their feet and reestablish healthy, happy lives free of the burden of substance misuse. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sober Ways to Have Fun in the Fall and Winter

Staying sober during any season can be difficult, but fall and winter bring several additional challenges for people in recovery. Both seasons can profoundly affect mood and energy levels, which in turn play a role in your mental health.

What Makes Sobriety More Difficult in Cooler Weather?

During fall and winter, there are fewer hours of daylight, and you can’t participate in as many fun outdoor activities. In addition, memories surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas can make the holiday season a struggle for many people who are working to maintain long-term sobriety.

People in recovery can also be more susceptible to a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD for short. SAD is most common during the winter months; however, it can also affect people during the summer.

When you’re working to break free of addictive behaviors, it’s essential to have a plan to fight back when the fall and winter blues threaten to drag you down. Staying connected with your peers in recovery and finding fun, sober activities to fill your schedule can go a long way toward helping you succeed in your goals.

Sober Activities in Fall and Winter

Fortunately, here in sunny Arizona, it’s easy to maintain an active lifestyle year-round, even in cooler weather, and there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy that don’t have to involve alcohol. To help you fill your free time with sober activities you can enjoy on your own or with a group, we’ve compiled this list for you. Now, all you need to do is get out and have a good time!

Stay Sober Year-Round in Prescott, AZ

Discover a lifetime of sobriety at Canyon Crossing. Our women’s-only recovery programs are here to help you get a new sense of purpose and rediscover the joys of life. Reach out to us today to get started on your journey.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Is Substance Abuse Ruining Your Relationship?

Addiction can take over every aspect of your life, including your relationship with your romantic partner. For some people who struggle with substance misuse disorders, specific relationships can even trigger their desire to use drugs or alcohol, which makes it especially challenging to break the vicious cycle of addiction.

Addicts Can Be Secretive

One of the most common factors that significantly affects loving relationships is the level of deception involved in an addict’s daily life. Open, honest communication is key to a healthy relationship, but someone whose life has begun to center on drug use may become very secretive, going to great lengths to hide how far their life has spiraled out of their control.

“Little white lies” that seem innocent enough at first start turning into large-scale deceptions. Sometimes, a person who is trying to cover up unmanageable drug use will lead a double life, walling themselves off to avoid judgment from the person who knows them best. This isolation and secrecy erode the foundation of their relationship with their significant other.

Loss of Trust

Trust is another building block of healthy relationships that suffers as an inevitable consequence of constant deceptive behavior. If your drug use has led you to isolate yourself from your romantic partner, they may be feeling like they have begun to take second place in your life. Their pain and resentment will eventually begin to fester, especially if they have tried to have a constructive conversation with you about your drug problem and you have turned them away.

Once trust is lost, it becomes much more difficult for someone with an addiction to maintain loving relationships without seeking treatment.

Codependency

Codependent relationships can be some of the most toxic and destructive situations addicted people can find themselves in. If you have a substance dependency, your partner may have become codependent on you without either of you realizing it. Someone who is codependent on a loved one with addiction may be struggling with the far-reaching effects of drug misuse, but also has begun to enjoy seeing themselves as or “taking care of” that person. They may make excuses for their loved one’s behavior, even if that is precisely opposite from the kind of help they need.

Change Begins Here

At Canyon Crossing, we offer women’s-only rehabilitation programs that help our clients reclaim their lives and recover effectively from substance misuse and addiction. If you have decided to seek help for your drug dependency, contact our Prescott, AZ, rehab facility to speak with one of our caring staff members.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 12

recovery stories This past week has had a lot happen in it. I shared part of my Addiction/Trauma Timeline, and then am preparing the second half. I cried in front of everyone for the first time and honestly it felt alright. Today I went to horses for the first time and I fell in love. I love horses so much. We watched them interact with each other and learned about their pasts, and then we guessed which horse was which. I had a really good time and felt happier and calmer after being around them.

Client E

Here I’ve learned how to handle a lot of different things life throws at me. I’ve learned how to regulate my emotions and deal with them properly. Canyon has given me a wide skill set so I can pick which skill I find the most effective. Here at canyon I’ve also learned how to be vulnerable. Recovery isn’t easy but it’s sure worth it.

Client H

Ever since I first started trying to get clean and sober several years ago, I have been told to “act as if.” I “acted as if” I wanted to stay sober until it was my goal for myself. I “acted as if” I wasn’t depressed and eventually it brought me out of depression. Nowadays, I don’t have to “act as if” anymore, but I still do. I am looking carefully at the words I use when speaking to myself and how they affect my day. Often, I tell myself that I should or shouldn’t be feeling a certain way, that I should be farther along, that I should know the answers. When I tell myself these things I’m shutting myself off from the truth of what is really going on inside of me at any given moment; I am robbing myself and others of intimacy and connection. I “act as if” I am perfect, I am better, I know all the answers, and at the end of the day it just means I am beating myself up for any mistakes I have made. My goal today is to be honest with myself in every moment. It is to be vulnerable even when it takes courage to do so. Today I will accept that I have emotions that aren’t always pretty and that recovery isn’t a straight line. I can meet the world as it is even when it takes me by surprise. I don’t have to “act as if” anything is different than it is in this moment, because the truth and reality of the present is exactly where I am meant to be.

Client J

Here at Canyon I have been able to truly find myself again. I have an amazing sponsor and my therapy sessions have really turned my life around. I have been here for a little over four months now and I was hopeless when I walked in Canyon. I have grown so much I have got my interests back, my personality, I have coping skills, and I have learned how to be responsible for my own actions. Canyon Crossing has truly given me an opportunity of a life time. I have changed for the better and I’m still growing because I came here.

Client K

Breezy

October, chilly
55, cloudy and breezy
Kids playing, loving families
A mom and a dad
Dad playing football with the kids
People walking
Dogs
Couples and dogs
People enjoying a walk on this chilly day
Old town, historic
Grass, nice and green
Statues, flags and court house
The famous Whisky Row
The World’s Oldest Rodeo and 14 fine shops
Stores galore in this small down town
They call The Square
It’s a breezy chilly day in October of 2018

Client K

Bloodline

As I sat in the second row back
Looking at the stars through the fogged glass window and
Listening to the voices sing along with a song
Playing on the radio
I felt a rush so strong
It was as if the van had crashed
For the first time I finally felt true love
Love for the women around me
Love for power of our unity
Love for myself
I understand now that we need each other
Every single one of us
To stay alive
We cannot do this alone
These are my sisters
This is my family

Client M

My inner judge is always in the room. He’s taken over my head and for too long I’ve allowed him to distort my reality. I don’t deserve the things he says to me. He’s mean and cold and I won’t stand for it anymore. I’m going to have a self love party and he won’t get an invitation. I now choose better friends like self love, joy and kindness. Those are the kind of people I want around me. I choose my new friends and my new life. I surround myself with love and serenity.

Client M

I’ve been seeing more and more “coincidences,” which I can’t keep writing off. I think it’s a way of having my higher power communicate and make itself known to me. I think I’ve ignored it long enough and it finally got tired of me ignoring what my higher power does for me. I’m happy and proud of myself recently and I haven’t felt like that in years. The promises are starting to come true for me and I’m at a place where I can see them and appreciate my life.

Client S

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sober Ways to Celebrate Halloween

For those who are in the earliest stages of recovery, the thought of Halloween may feel more like a trick than a treat. Though Halloween was once a just-for-kids holiday, today it has grown into one of the biggest drinking days of the year among adults. What are some healthy ways you can enjoy the holiday without falling back into your old unhealthy habits?

 

1. Host a Substance-Free Gathering

If you’re feeling the Halloween spirit, but need to celebrate without spirits, the easiest way to stay sober on this holiday is by becoming the “hostess with the mostest.” While you might think nobody will want to come to a party if you’re not serving cocktails, you might be surprised. Anyone who supports your recovery journey will be glad to come to your sober Halloween gathering, as will any friends with young kids or people you know who prioritize health and fitness.

 

2. Plan a Pumpkin-Palooza

Plan a day where you and your best friends go to the pumpkin patch or your local farmers’ market to choose the perfect pumpkins. Then, everyone can carve or paint them together. Make sure to have lots of tools and equipment on hand so people can make their pumpkin masterpieces a reality! Those who don’t want to carve or paint can still be part of the fun by roasting the pumpkin seeds into tasty treats everyone can enjoy.

 

3. Have a Fright Night

Invite some friends over, pop yourself a batch of popcorn and host a scary movie festival with classic Halloween favorites. As a bonus, this sober party idea is also easy to put together and doesn’t cost much!

 

4. Go All Out on Decorations

String some orange lights, make your front yard into a fake graveyard and get ready to transform your house into the spookiest one on the block. All the kids in your neighborhood will get a huge kick out of it, and so will your friends when you post your photos to social media!

 

5. Find Volunteer Opportunities

Reach out to some local nonprofits and ask if they need any volunteers to help at their Halloween parties. You can also volunteer to take less fortunate kids trick-or-treating. Volunteering is an excellent way to get involved in your community and help people who are in need. Not only will you stay sober, but you’ll go to bed feeling the glow of giving back.

With a little inspiration, you can find ways to enjoy Halloween without reverting to drug or alcohol use. And, if you’re ready to take the next step in your recovery journey, our helpful team is a simple phone call away. Start your admissions process with us today.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Recovering and Working in the Addiction Field

recovering working addiction field
When I was in early recovery at 22 years of age I didn’t have a purpose in life. Alcoholism had robbed me of completing college and created a very deep sense of purposelessness in my life. At this time in 1983 the old-timers of Alcoholics Anonymous would say things like, “Don’t become a counselor because you will drink!” and “You can’t work a 12-step and get paid, it’s against the traditions!” I was 23 years old, sober, and looking for a way to make a living and create purpose in my life. My options seemed limited and my interests were narrow. I wanted to help alcoholics stay sober and I wanted to get paid for it, so I went to school to become a Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) on Long Island, NY. At this time this credential was fairly new and the state of New York had begun requiring training and certification. Prior to this you could work in a treatment center as a recovering alcoholic without any other training than being sober and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Against a lot of advice I attended two years of training, interned at a local treatment center, and took a grueling two day test. I received my credential and got a job in a hospital working with eating disorder clients in an inpatient setting. Throughout my training I attended AA and worked with a sponsor. I remained sober and took great pleasure in remaining so and telling those same old-timers that I was working in the field and staying sober. They would just laugh and say, “Keep coming back!”

After several years of working in the field I started to slack off on my meetings and I didn’t sponsor anyone because I was, “just too busy!” I also succumbed to the misunderstanding that since I was working with addicts all day I didn’t need to, “freely give what I had freely gotten.” This thinking lead to a selfishness, which is every alcoholic’s down fall. It negatively affected my program and kept me isolated from my fellow alcoholics and made me feel like I was different than my peers.

When I got burned out working with addicts and felt as if I couldn’t help another person I took a long break from working in the field. I re-committed myself to AA and working with newcomers because my early sponsors had drilled this concept into me, “you cannot keep that which you don’t give away.” I had become too selfish to give of myself freely, which affected the quality of my sobriety. I was sober but I was isolated. I was sober but I was too professional to work with another alcoholic for free. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous clearly states that in order for me to stay sober I need to work with another alcoholic. I don’t work with another alcoholic for pay, prestige, or purpose. I have to work with another alcoholic to stay sober. I am a better person when I’m sponsoring or being helpful because it’s what I’m supposed to do, not because it’s my job.

I enjoy working in the field because I truly love people and love helping addicts find a new way to live. I also attend meetings and work with fellow alcoholics because I want to keep my sobriety and increase the quality of my sobriety. I will never make the mistake of keeping my sobriety to myself because I suffered from a lack of spirituality when I was acting from my own alcoholism instead of my sobriety. My early sponsor was right, the old-timers were half right, and I’m very grateful that I didn’t have to drink to find out I still need to work the 12th step as it is written and follow the traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Janet E. Bontrager BA 
Primary Therapist

Friday, October 12, 2018

Healthy Ways to Prevent Relapse in Recovery

When you live with addiction, one of the first things to understand is that you have a lifelong illness. And, just like with other chronic diseases, you’ll need to learn long-term strategies to manage it – including finding healthy ways to prevent relapse.

Entering a qualified drug detox program is a positive first step to getting your addiction under control. However, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes, going through rehab isn’t a “cure.” They report that, for as many as 40 to 60 percent of people, relapse is part of the cycle of recovery.

What Is Relapse?

Though many recovering addicts view relapse as a single event, it’s closer to the truth to describe relapse as a multi-stage process:
  • Relapse through thoughts – “I have been sober for long enough to be cured of my addiction. I deserve just one drink to help me unwind.”
  • Relapse through behavior – “My preoccupation with using again is affecting my feelings and how I treat others.”
  • Relapse through controlled use – “Using a substance in a controlled way will help me handle everyday problems more easily.”
People in the third stage of relapse may begin using small quantities of drugs or alcohol, believing they can manage their substance use on their own. However, the compulsive nature of addiction can bring them all the way back to where they were before they sought treatment.

Understanding Relapse Triggers

To be successful in recovery, it is essential to recognize the triggers that can lead to a relapse, and what coping strategies are available to help prevent relapse and keep you sober. Your unique triggers may include stress, anxiety or depression. Or, perhaps you find yourself in situations that remind you of the days when you were using your drug of choice, awakening cravings to use again.

Five Ways to Prevent Relapse

  1. Have a support network of family and friends who will encourage you to stay sober.
  2. Attend 12-step meetings where you can talk with people who have worked through similar challenges.
  3. Start a physical fitness regimen to improve your physical and emotional well-being.
  4. Write down a list of the negative consequences of using again.
  5. Remind yourself you’re not alone in your challenges.

Get Drug Rehab in Prescott, AZ

Understanding how to prevent the relapse process can help you avoid returning to addiction. If you are on the verge of or in the middle of a relapse, reach out to our helpful team to learn more about how our treatment plans can help you get back on the road to sobriety – and equip you with the necessary tools to stay there.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 11

recovery
I am almost 20 weeks in at Canyon and time has flown by. I can still remember the day I came in, not in the best condition mentally or physically. I do not feel like the same girl who was broken on the inside anymore. I am having an interesting week at Canyon right now, it’s pretty tough but I know it’s for the best. I am truly grateful for this program and what it has done for me in just a short amount of time.

Client C

I’m feeling really grateful
for having been born into the family
that I did
with the parents,
that I have.
I’ve been working the steps and I feel so blessed
to have been brought up
knowing that my Higher Power exists
that He is in control of it all
that I can always turn to Him,
and He will always listen
that I can trust Him with anything and everything
that I am never alone
that He is always there for me
and here with me,
that He always will be,
and that He loves me.
Thank you Ma & Pa- for opening my eyes to these truths,
for having done so since the moment my eyes first opened.

Client R

A few days ago I got a job and I just love it. I am a grooming assistant. It has taught me so much in the few days I have been there. It has taught me to be on time. It has taught me patience for others and for animals. How has it helped me with daily life? It has brought calmness to my life. It has also brought light and comfort. I am truly happy today and that is to the help here and for this job. I am so blessed life has never been better

Client R

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.” –Virgil Thomson

This quote is a huge part of my life I like to think of it in my recovery as my first sobriety attempt in 2015 and my second was for a quick week in early 2018 now this third attempt I have stuck with the curiosity of the sober life for six months. I first tried to and not found out it would hurt me so a few years later I retried to learn how to be sober and now I am in my third try seeing how I like it.

Client A

I recently read that “the brightest light comes out of the greatest darkness.” I can honestly say that nothing has ever been truer for me. When I arrived at here I was broken; I was defeated, hopeless, and lost. After only a few months I am beginning to find myself again. Every day is a new adventure where I get to discover a new passion, interest, or strength. A month ago I lost someone to the disease of addiction and I fell under a cloud of darkness. Being here during this time of grief has saved my life. In this time of darkness, my community of sisters helped support me and lift me up. It is because of them that I have found my way through and am able to let the light shine through again.

Client J

Fear is voluntarily threatening our own lives and blaming something else. My fear gets in the way of my life and especially my sobriety. It leads me down a path of self destruction because I put on this fa├žade that I’m fearless and because of that I take risks that put my life in danger. Because of fear of how my life will be sober I take actions to destroy my progress and blame it on the stress that others are putting on me. Fear holds me back from making progress in my recovery.

Client S

Monday, October 8, 2018

How Spirituality Plays a Role in Your Recovery

Spirituality is valuable for people in recovery, who can rely on the strong foundation and sense of purpose it provides. However, discovering – or rediscovering – spirituality in recovery can be a challenge, especially for non-religious people.

Spirituality goes beyond ideology or religious beliefs. For those in recovery, spirituality is a component of the 12-step program, and represents embracing a connection to something that is larger than yourself. Regardless of whether you consider yourself to be a religious person, spirituality can play a significant role in your recovery process.

Are Spirituality And Religion the Same? 

While spirituality can be closely intertwined with religion for many people, they are not one and the same. If you aren’t a devout person, you can view spirituality as a personal quest to find meaning in life and your role within the world.

Although some people express their spirituality through religious observance, others practice it through meditation, yoga, journaling, spending time in nature or any number of secular methods. Anything that helps you focus and be more present in the moment can help you become more mindful, gain clarity and give you a more positive outlook on the challenges of life. There’s no wrong answer, as long as your journey remains grounded in love and compassion as you strive to establish your connection to the universe.

The Importance of Spirituality In Recovery 

Addiction robs you of everything, including your spirituality. The good news is that rediscovering your spirituality can be the spark that helps you find your path back from your illness and give you a renewed sense of purpose. Reconnecting with yourself on a spiritual level can also provide the mental and emotional support that’s so essential to a successful journey of recovery.

Although spirituality may be a key element of recovery, it doesn’t come inherently to everyone – and that’s OK. If you’re struggling to find your spirituality, be open to new and different ways of connecting to your inner self. What may have worked for you before you became addicted may not be the right answer in recovery, so don’t be afraid to explore other methods.

Connect With Canyon Crossing 

If you’re ready to learn more about addiction recovery for yourself or a loved one, contact Canyon Crossing today. We are a unique women’s-only treatment center in Prescott, AZ, offering tools and education to help our clients discover a healthy and sober way of life. Spiritual retreats are one of our many program offerings that help women live a meaningful life without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Boundaries: An Imperative Aspect of Healthy Relationships

What are boundaries? A simple way to describe the concept of boundaries in relationships is where I end, and you begin. They ensure each person in the relationship maintains a sense of self. When a person’s boundaries are weak or nonexistent, they are likely to compromise their sense of self, which can lead to feelings of anger or resentment towards self or others. Boundaries can be physical, symbolic, or even both, and serve as guidelines for behaviors and actions in relationships.

Boundaries are important in all relationships but essential in relationships with those who experience addiction. When a loved one is in their addiction, they are likely to push against your boundaries. Maybe they continue to ask for money when you’ve said no multiple times, extend their stay in your home past agreed timelines, disrespect your space, violate your trust, or even cross physical boundaries. When you hold firm in your boundaries, it forces that loved one to take responsibility for their actions and hopefully, seek help to change their behaviors.

Addiction can turn family members into enablers, caretakers, scapegoats, and doormats. By setting the boundaries necessary to focus on your own well-being, you are taking steps to free yourself from the chaos that can come with addiction, and giving your loved one the nudge necessary to take care of themselves and their own recovery.

When the sole intent is to help the loved one, it’s easy to forget that the word “No,” in and of itself is not only a complete sentence, but a boundary all unto itself. No, I will not give you any more money- for gas, rent, or food. No, you cannot come and live with us. No, we are not bailing you out this time. 

Boundaries need to be communicated to be effective. They cannot simply be assumed, or the loved one is left guessing at what is acceptable in the relationship and what is not. To set the boundary, tell your loved one how their behavior impacts you: “When you say/do this (specific behavior), I feel this way (emotions). If you continue to do/say (specific behavior), I will (take an action) to take care of myself.

Boundaries must be followed through with to be effective. When you set a boundary with someone and then don’t follow through with that boundary, future boundaries will likely not be taken seriously.

When initiating the process of setting boundaries, it is common to be perceived as the ‘bad guy.’ Feelings of guilt can be a withdrawal symptom of the tendency to put others’ needs ahead of your own. You may feel selfish in setting boundaries but try to remember that setting a boundary is self-care, not selfish.

Get support. There are plenty of resources available to those who struggle with codependent relationships. The following are a few that may help to get you started:

1) Alanon
2) Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PALS)
3) The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie 
4) Codependent No More by Melody Beattie 
5) Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody 

Remember, you are not alone. The disease of addiction has now reached epidemic levels. Chances are, you have friends, relatives, coworkers, or peers who are in the same boat. Talk, share ideas, support each other, get help. Chances are, this may be one of the most challenging experiences you deal with. You don’t have to do this by yourself. 


Heather Smyly, BS 
Director of Operation and Family Communications 

References Mellody, P. (2003, 1st Edition 1989). Facing codependence: What it is, where it comes from, how it sabotages our lives. New York, NY: Harper and Row.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Understanding the Unique Needs of Women in Addiction Recovery

Though men are more likely than women to misuse both illegal and prescription drugs, both sexes are equally susceptible to developing a substance use disorder. However, the prevalence of mental health issues such as anxiety and eating disorders is higher in women than in men, which may predispose females to fall into the trap of addiction.

Women may also be more vulnerable to both craving and relapse, which are key phases of the addiction cycle. Women in recovery often have very different treatment needs, and addressing those needs is essential for them to successfully achieve freedom from substance misuse.

Barriers to Women’s Addiction Treatment

Unfortunately, even when women cannot overcome addiction on their own, they are less likely to seek professional help than men. There are many underlying factors influencing this trend, including economic barriers, a more significant social stigma surrounding entering treatment, greater household responsibilities and a history of trauma. In addition, many women who have co-occurring disorders such as depression may seek therapy solely for their mental health, without addressing their underlying substance use disorders.

At Canyon Crossing, our program helps women overcome many of these common obstacles to treatment. We offer both long-term and outpatient treatment options, featuring therapies that center specifically on women’s health and emotional needs.

Benefits of Women’s-Only Therapy

Our comprehensive Arizona drug rehab program is designed to address the gender-specific issues of women, including co-occurring disorders, trauma, relationship issues and relapse prevention. We encourage our all-female clients to pursue total mind-body wellness through integrated treatment options such as experiential therapy, adventure therapy, educational workshops, spiritual retreats and eye movement therapy for trauma.

We help our clients achieve lifelong recovery by allowing them to reconnect with their true selves, getting to the heart of the emotional and mental issues that trigger their substance misuse. Through our women’s-only program, clients can focus on getting past the unique array of challenges that led to their addiction, and emerging as healthier and more well-rounded individuals.

Holistic Healing at Canyon Crossing

At our Prescott, AZ treatment facility, we have crafted every facet of our programming using evidence-based practices and the utmost consideration for the unique needs of women. In our nurturing environment, female clients learn practical life skills alongside addiction treatment and therapy. Our structured transitional living program helps support clients in long-term sobriety. To learn more, reach out to us anytime.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Personal Thoughts, Stories & Reflections From People In Early Recovery: Part 10

recovery reflections
Being in recovery has been really good this time around. I’ve finally found the desire to stay sober & I can honestly say I’ve been really happy for a pretty consecutive amount of time now. I’m starting to see the promises really come true. I’m also moving today & I’m pretty excited about it. It’ll be my first time moving since I’ve been here & I think it will be a nice change.

Client K

He is a son
He was a husband
He is a father
He is talented
He is artistic
He is loving and caring
He has brown hair and blue eyes
He made me giggle and fell like a little princess
He is a drug addict
He is nowhere to be found but confirmed alive
He is my dad and I miss him very much

Client K

“Fear is a signal to become courageous and take action, anything else is giving up on ourselves”

I believe in walking into the things that terrify us the most. My whole life I’ve stood on the sidelines of my own life and stayed on the bench, afraid of the unknown. And every day since I got sober, I’ve taken another step into my fears. I get a little freedom and serenity with each step. My higher power pushes me to follow my heart and hear my 2nd voice. To trust my instincts. To have faith in my abilities. For too long I’ve not taken action and I’ve continuously given up on myself. But I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to fight for my life. One of my favorite quotes goes something like “all you need is 15 seconds of insane courage.” I have faith in my higher power as I finally walk into my fear and take action.

Client M

I’ve just gotten here
a bit ago
and I’ve come to realize
I am not here
to “do my time”
I am here
to save my life.
However long it takes,
(and recovery road is forevers long),
I will march forward
I will show up for life,
for others,
for myself.
Because I am worth it.
Because I deserve this.

-Worth the Work
Client R

I put my cold hands over my heart to feel again. The question of life or death at my fingertips. The chill sinks into my veins and ices over my heart. It spreads through out my body as tears begin to pour. I close my eyes and the water rushes down my face. I dream of a familiar place. With a white sink and gold faucet. And that cold tile floor with drops of red. I quickly down a bottle of Tito’s Vodka then glare at myself and the illusion I’ve become. Then suddenly everything goes black. I awake, my head throbbing, my face and hands wet and sticky. I begin to stand and then crumble back down to the floor. I attempt to push my chest up when blood starts to drip from my head. I reach my hand towards the pain and feel around until I find a deep gash on my forehead. I slowly stand, my weak knees shaking beneath me. Again I see the illusion but this time it’s shattered.

Client S

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Benefits of Equine Therapy

People and horses have had a symbiotic relationship throughout human history. Like humans, horses are highly intelligent and social animals that naturally gravitate toward living in familial groups.

A growing body of scientific research has confirmed being around animals can alleviate stress and help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. At Canyon Crossing, we offer equine therapy to help our clients learn to establish healthy boundaries and develop a routine as part of their recovery from addictive behaviors and substance dependency. Working closely with horses challenges people to view themselves and their world in a new way and encourages them to develop new skills for healthy living in recovery.

Working With Horses Helps People Process Emotions

Equine therapy is a healthy way for people to get in touch with their thoughts and feelings. Thousands of years of evolution have shaped horses to be uniquely responsive to human emotions. If someone approaches them with anger, the horse may become stubborn, whereas horses often act more skittish around people who are anxious. However, being around someone who is calm and composed will cause a horse to respond in kind. Learning to read a horse’s emotions promotes self-awareness and can help people see themselves in a more realistic light.

Equine Therapy Builds Stronger Communication Skills

Many people with addictions and mental health issues become emotionally stunted. However, even those who struggle to relate to other people can still manage to establish close bonds with horses. Though horses cannot speak, they are still excellent communicators. Interpreting and understanding equine behavior can help people learn how to relate to other humans.

While riding can be part of equine therapy, the most important work happens during interactions such as grooming manes and tails and feeding and watering horses. Through the horse’s responses and their therapist’s guidance, clients begin to recognize and correct misconceptions and learn to work through suppressed emotions.

Establishing Healthy Boundaries

Horses are very honest and will clearly communicate when someone has crossed their boundaries. Trying to control or dominate will not work with a horse. Similarly, being detached or submissive may make a horse unwilling to cooperate. Equine therapy can help clients realize valuable connections between the way they interact with horses and the way they react to other people in their lives.

Equine Therapy at Canyon Crossing

At Canyon Crossing, equine therapy is one of the options we offer in addiction treatment for women. If you love animals and nature and would like to learn more about our Prescott, AZ, rehab facility, contact us today.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

September Is Your Time to Learn More About Recovery

september recovery
Addiction is an illness, but not everyone who becomes dependent on a substance does so for the same reasons. People who develop substance misuse bring different physical, emotional and mental burdens and responsibilities with them. Successfully treating each person means adapting to the unique needs these differing factors generate.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has designated September as National Recovery Month. If you are considering seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one, September is an excellent time of year to learn more about recovery, specifically by educating yourself about the many forms of therapy that are available for people who are looking to reclaim their lives and turn over a new leaf.

Getting Involved in National Recovery Month

One of the easiest ways to participate in National Recovery Month is to attend one of the thousands of events – both online and in-person – that are taking place around the U.S. all month long. These events are not only informative, but they also help spread the word that successful recovery is within reach for anyone.

No matter what mental or emotional trauma you are battling, you aren’t alone in your struggle. The goal of National Recovery Month is to celebrate the success stories of people who have been in your shoes and have emerged stronger on the other side. The decision to seek help for addiction can be difficult, but getting involved in National Recovery Month will inspire you and show you that you can do it.

Recovery for Women

Women who are considering treatment shouldn’t overlook the benefits of gender-specific care. Many women thrive in a gender-specific treatment center, and find it to be the deciding factor in helping them achieve lifelong sobriety. All-female rehabilitation creates a safe and supportive space where women feel free to discuss sensitive or deeply personal topics such as sexual assault, eating disorders, body image and self-esteem issues.

If National Recovery Month has inspired you to explore treatment for yourself or someone you care about, we invite you to contact us anytime to learn about our compassionate addiction treatment center in Prescott, AZ.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Life on Life's Terms

life on life's terms“Life on life’s terms.” It’s an axiom one frequently hears in 12 step-based support meetings. This simple slogan infuriated me the first time I read it hanging on the wall of a church basement, cheaply framed and written in nearly illegible swirly script. The crooked saying stood out to me, among the many others reading “Let Go and Let God,” “First Things First,” “Keep it Simple,” and other obnoxious catchphrases. I felt completely duped and wanted my money back. If I had entered these rooms only to be handed some vague spiritual nonsense one would expect to receive from an egomaniacal guru charging desperate people thousands of dollars for ridiculous mantras, I’d have moved to India…or San Diego.

I walked in to these meetings because drugs and alcohol had stopped working for me. I needed someone or something to fix me, so I could move on with Life…on MY terms. I was not at all satisfied with the intolerable conditions Life had laid out for me. I remained convinced that I was an exception to these unjust tenets. That was a lifetime ago, and a few things have changed since then.

I am often reminded of an afternoon decades ago on a skeletal playground that was most likely crawling with tetanus. But I never noticed the rust. I only ever went there to escape on the swings. I was seven. Maybe eight. I can precisely picture myself pumping back and forth on that rickety swing set determined to touch the sky. I had to let go at exactly the right moment to experience complete freedom from gravity. When I got as high as I could possibly get, I let go. I had done this countless times, a thrilling moment of flight before I landed squarely on the soles of my feet. Until that afternoon when gravity got the best of me. On this particular day, I swung with a determined fire igniting each cell in my tiny body. As I let go of the chains, my feet propelled forward with the breathless momentum my insatiable drive had generated. And then gravity violently yanked me down, my back slamming against the ground.

The astonishment of the wind being sucked from my lungs and the soundless gasping into a vacuum paralyzed me. No air could enter. The space between the complete snatching away of all breath before it gradually returns is the shock of absolute powerlessness. The unexpected vacancy that one cannot fill no matter how desperately they fight for air. The bewilderment and terror of an empty breathless interior, not knowing when it will be filled once again. I could not defy gravity.

Since that day on the playground, I have become well acquainted with this interim period of empty breathlessness and the subsequent waiting that follows before the lungs can take in Life. And it is an altered Life. For it is a Life that now knows its own fragility and opposing resilience. It is a Life that will never be as it was before. Because now it is complemented with a silent mourning period as each one of us has sat astounded at the suddenness of the gaping hole left behind after a fall. A starving vacuum waiting to be filled.

That’s what it felt like the day I got sober. I trembled in enraged muted protest as I squarely met “Life on Life’s terms” for the first time in my floundering existence. My breath once again violently torn from my body. Powerlessness, addiction, suffering. These are just a few of Life’s terms that I vehemently detested in those early and precarious days.

I am a recovering alcoholic, junkie, pill addicted, obsessive compulsive, self-damaging, divorced, cancer surviving, religiously damned, battered, broken and healed, miscarriage of a “normal” adult. Furthermore, the course of my Life has typically been directed by extreme perfectionism, an intense need for approval, and a tenacious fear of abandonment. I have a chemically “differently abled” mind and spiritually starving interior. Without help, my moral compass will remain faulty, leading me to blindly guess, often incorrectly, what direction to take. I am terminally self-centered, emotionally erratic, fitfully phobic, and pathologically self-doubting.

Nevertheless, in spite of this vast collection of character defects and mutations there is a narrow window of hope and possibility that I glimpse through each day. And it is through this tiny opening that I methodically adjust my acuity, manipulate my inherent nature, and walk into the light of wellness, joy, and peace. It has only been within these small margins of chance and grace that I have survived and flourished in recovery. That is my condition. I was conceived and born within the container of a gloriously complex, erratic, devastating, and beautiful mess of genes and experiences as each one of us are.

About a month before I got sober, I was driving to the liquor store weeping without restraint. Praying that something would stop me. Praying for death. Praying for the first time since childhood with “the desperation of a dying man.” I was brought to “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization” as I walked through the door to the liquor store puffy and red eyed. I knew on a cellular level that alcohol could no longer treat the internal sense of perpetual aching. It could never again make my existence tolerable. In fact, it had made my existence more intolerable than it had ever been. I knew that alcohol would never work for me again. It could not free me from what I then perceived to be the harshest of life’s terms. Yet I still bought the cheapest handle of vodka I could find and drank it on the way back to my parents’ basement. That is where living Life on MY terms had brought me. And this is what I have since learned about living “Life on Life’s terms.”

“Life is not fair!” This is a particularly unpopular yet inflexible term of Life. As a professional that treats addiction and mental illness, a person in recovery, AND a mother of two young children, I hear that a lot. If Life were fair, I would be dead, institutionalized, or in prison. When shaking my fists at the sky in complete outrage and disbelief, I can quickly forget an important clause attached to this unyielding term of misconstrued injustice: Life also offers second (and third, and forth, and often countless) chances, forgiveness, and healing. It is only through grace, the unmerited and undeserved favor, that I continue to breath in and out. I am infinitely grateful that Life does not offer fairness but instead delivers grace. I continue to imperfectly practice radical acceptance of those ancient axioms that hang on countless walls around the world, in places of healing, and in the homes of those that have “come to believe.” It is through living “Life on Life’s terms” that I have remained in continuous recovery since August 31, 2007.

Throughout my spiraling course of healing and re-healing, I have made many mistakes, but have somehow remained honest, open-minded, and willing to the best of my ability. I have learned that recovery is an erratic process of following (or attempting to follow) suggestions, not dogmatic guidelines. It is a simple suggested pathway to a spiritual way of life and to developing a relationship with a power greater than ourselves. What that power is and the exact nature of that spiritual way of Life is left to our own understanding. I am still figuring much of this out, and the continual process of discovery awakens me to the marvel of greater mysteries.

This is what “Life on Life’s terms” has come to mean to me today: pain, challenges, perceived injustices are opportunities for growth and desperately needed change. The sadness, suffering, and heartache richly color my Life adding a quiet beauty, an unassuming intricacy that robs me of breath. Today I have stopped asking the relentless question: “WHY?” It is the wrong question to be asking, and there is no satisfactory answer. I simply don’t get to know “Why.” The solution is to radically accept the unanswerable ambiguities of Life and the vast unknowns that wait on the other side of this eternal query.

There are a few more fundamental terms of Life I have discovered over the course of my relatively short time here: Today I get to be exactly myself, regardless of the judgments or conditions that others place on my worth. Today I can sit with the unknown, wildly uncomfortable with this at times but eventually coming back to the peace that surrendering to Life’s terms can bring. I can love, and hurt, and need, and fear, and rage, and scream, and laugh, and play, and risk, and lose, and fall, and rise without the old restrictions and inheritance of shame that came with living Life on MY terms. That is freedom.

Today I try not to stifle the suffering, for it holds the power to create, transform, and heal. I allow the pain, uncertainty, aching, fear, and discomfort to pass through me with faith, strength, humility, (and at times reluctant) surrender. And with this comes the knowledge that, no matter what, I am going to be ok. Today my hunger is no longer for diversion but instead for authenticity and thriving.

There is connection, peace, and joy lying dormant within each of us awaiting discovery and expression when we surrender to Life’s terms. And because of this, even though we are, all of us, broken in our own ways, with recovery and with each other our interior light can shine through the cracks. Recovery has brought me into the stream of Life “on Life’s terms.” MY terms had me swimming upstream, and I was drowning.

Life becomes permanently altered as a result of addictions, afflictions, the perpetual process of breaking and healing, the many stumblings, and other “mishaps” that naturally fall across our paths. And yet, it is on the other side of suffering, pain, and fear where I have found Life’s greatest gifts. I have learned that healing, peace, joy, and safety are possible. I have lived it. And I see it within the human beings I encounter every day. I am surrounded by individuals who serve as reminders through their selfless acts of kindness and their resilience in the face of suffering that there is always hope. 

Undeniably, I have become fluent in the language of loss as we all do over time; however, those who continue to patiently walk the path with us speak a different language. It is the wordless yet powerful language of love. That is the fellowship that recovery brings. Living “Life on Life’s terms” has led to the discovery of things that bring passion, truth, love, heartache, joy, and beauty that summon tears. I have sought artificial versions of this because I have not wanted to suffer. But Life is suffering, and it is within the suffering that the human and divine meet inside each of us. It is where both the absence of breath and breath itself collide. It is within this sacred space where, if we surrender to gravity and the flow of the stream, we will ultimately experience the remarkable contrast between the vacancy and fullness that comes with each breath…as well as the unknown space in between.

Marie Tueller, MED, LPC