Sometimes the best thing to do is retreat-ag by yaofenji


									                                                        Pine Grove
                                     Quarterly                                                                       FALL 2012

                 Dear Alumni and Friends
                 of Pine Grove,

                   The first ever Days of Hope:
                   Recovery Support Program was
                   beginning the next day and
                   Lauren looked at me and said         Did you find the experience helpful?
“What if nobody comes?” I reared back and said
                                                        “Yes, it was invigorating and inspiring.” • “Yes, it was well planned and beneficial.”
“oh good heavens, they will be here, you just
wait!” But secretly my collar got tight, my throat      What part did you enjoy the most?
got dry and a little bead of sweat rolled down my       “Hearing positive feedback from the patients stating they got something out of our
temple. “What if nobody comes?” I secretly              stories.” • “Being able to hear other alumni’s recovery struggles and achievements.” •
                                                        “Returning and seeing how much I have grown since I left.”
   The next day, there you came, dozens of you;
all smiles and hugs, wide-eyed, not knowing             What are the most important things you learned at Days of Hope?
what was going to happen. You came, open-               “Service is important for my recovery.” • “Hearing other’s struggles, and realizing mine
minded and willing to share. You attended to the        are not so different.” • “You can always come ‘HOME’ to Pine Grove.” • “Others share the
patients with love and tolerance and shared the
                                                        same struggles with reentry into relationships.” • “I am grateful to recovery and God for
truth of life post treatment. You inspired the staff.
                                                        how far I have come.” • “My experience helps others.”
You overwhelmed me.
   I am so grateful for all of you, those who were      Comments:
able to attend and those who really wanted to but       “Thank you for putting this together. It has recharged me. Made me more grateful for
just could not make it happen. I was also thinking      where I came from!” • “Thank you for the opportunity and job putting this event together.
that the things we have been through are the stuff      It has given me a bunch of rejuvenation.” • “I am so glad for the Days of Hope. Thank
of epic novels and movies. The tendency is to           you so much, we do matter!” • “Thank you, Lauren and Carver, for putting this together. I
rationalize, minimize and justify; but not you. You     enjoyed seeing the therapists and the alumni so much! I gave back, but also received so
have turned your stories into the drama of hope         much!” • “It was a wonderful experience to see the treatment team, and for them to see
and what’s more, you are willing to help someone        me! And yes, we are all miracles!”
else with it. In my book, you are all heroes.
                                                        For more information about Days of Hope or to register, contact
God Bless,                                              Lauren White at
Carver Brown, Alumni Coordinator

Pine Grove connects exiting patients with
alumni in their hometowns for support. These
requests to the alumni to participate in this
program are sent via email. If you would like to
know if a patient is returning to your home-
town please email Lauren White at to update your
email address. This is a great way to work the
12th Step!

 Sometimes the best thing
 to do is retreat                                            by Carver Brown

   It was a year ago when I was asked to share      bunch of recovery all weekend long?” Of
at an AA conference in Lafayette, LA. Now I         course we already knew that Beth had a
learned that when the hands of recovery reach       conflict and, with a wink, she said that it
out, I’m supposed to say yes and without much       sounded like a great idea for me to take that
thought, I scanned my calendar for conflicts,       entire time…just for me.
saw the date was free and pronounced, “I’ll be         Well, my Higher Power was thinking of me
there!”                                             even a year ago knowing that today I would
   Of course as the time approached, my             need a retreat and, would not have the sense
internal dialog kicked in with a bunch of           to know it, and voluntarily attend. I would need
derogatory blather along the lines of, “What        a Cajun to call a year ahead and invite me to
were you thinking? You are too busy to run off      speak so I could put it on my schedule for
and do this? Do you know how far Lafayette is?      hundreds of days later. Wow, that God of mine
Are you going to understand a word they say or      sure plans ahead.
vice versa?”                                           As you can guess, the retreat was just what I
   Having been in recovery long enough to           needed. We did meditation meetings every
recognize the voice of addiction, I ignored the     morning, workshops in the afternoon, and
dribble and packed my bag. The next thought I       speaker after speaker shared the solution. I ate
had was the voice of recovery (always the           gumbos made of critters that had squirmed that
second or third dog to bark) and it said, “If you   very morning and puddings of fresh fruit. The
are so resistant to going, and it’s a recovery      people were absolutely delightful and we
event, then you must really need to be there.”      laughed, shared and cried a bit too. I returned
Ouch.                                               renewed and refreshed with a rejuvenated
   Sometimes sanity just takes over and that’s      positive attitude.
what happened next. I said to my wife, Beth,          What I learned was this: Sometimes
“What do you think about me spending the            when the battle rages, the best thing to
whole weekend down there and just doing a           do is retreat.

        The essence of the heroic journey (and recovery) is resilience.
    In recovery, we take the bad and transform it into something good.
                     We face what we have been running from,
                   the stressors that are the drivers of addiction.
                      adapted from The Recovery Zone by Dr. Patrick Carnes
                                                                                   THE 9TH STEP PROMISES
• If we are casual with this phase of our development, we will                     OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
  be drunk before we are halfway through.
• We are going to know a new imprisonment and a new misery.                        • If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be
• We will relive the past and won’t be able to shut the door on it.                  amazed before we are half way through.
• We will comprehend the word CONFLICT and we will know PAIN.                      • We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
• No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we’ll sink                        • We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  even lower.                                                                      • We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
• That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will deepen.                           • No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
• We will gain interest in selfish things and lose interest in our                   experience can benefit others.
  fellows.                                                                         • That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear.
• Self-esteem will slip away.                                                      • We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
• Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will be bleak.                          • Self-seeking will slip away.
• Fear of people and of economic insecurity will grow.                             • Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
• We will intuitively know how to run from situations which baffle us.             • Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
• We will suddenly realize that God would never have done to us                    • We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  what we are doing to ourselves.                                                  • We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do
• Are these extravagant promises? We think not! They are being                       for ourselves.
  fulfilled among those of us who are still drinking and using –                   Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among
  sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.                                             us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we
• They will ALWAYS materialize, if we continue.                                    work for them. 3rd ed. Big Book pg. 83 & 84

“Dear Carver...Pine Grove saved my family”
   Dr. Carnes described me as the Poster Child of       accountability statement to her and my parents.        co-dependency. She said that the entire week it
sex addiction. Unfortunately, there is no money in      Needless to say, I was terrified for my marriage       had been building up in her. Family Week and
that. But in my active addiction, the secrets, lies,    and myself. Oddly enough, the night before my          God had shown her what she really was, what her
anger, depression, distorted thinking,                  wife came to Hattiesburg, her anger subsided and       family really was, what my family really was and
powerlessness, and hopelessness that I could not        she told me later she needed a clear head to           who I really was. We were all very sick people. I
break free from on my own consumed me. I had            process what was coming, though she had no             immediately gave her a big hug and told her I
an event in December that brought all of my lies        idea what it was at the time.                          would do whatever I could to help her. And thanks
and secrets boiling to the surface in a dramatic           Family Week came. I did my disclosure and my        to Family Week, my wife and I left knowing that we
eruption, and alas, I knew I needed help. My wife       accountability statement. We went through the          were going on a journey together to change the
somehow found the love and the strength to help         process, and my parents and wife were given the        future history of our own children. We were not
me find Gentle Path. She had to ask my parents to       opportunity to learn about addiction first hand as a   going to pass on the family legacy to them if we
loan me the money to go, and they were very             family disease. I was surprised how well my wife       could help it.
skeptical and questioned why she would even             took the disclosure. I had expected anger and             Alas, I wish I could say that my parents had the
stick by my side through all of this.                   rage from her, but I received compassion and           same profound experience. The weeks and
   Prior to coming to Pine Grove, I had no idea         understanding. I was now a little confused. We         months following Family Week, I sensed that they
what was going to change about my life. I did not       learned, we cried, we laid the foundation for          still continue to struggle with the information they
see how my life could get better. But upon arrival, I   growth, and we began to heal. At the end of the        have been given. Having said that, it is far fetched
quickly learned that I was in the right place, and      week, Carver gave his notorious presentation on        to ask that Family Week take on the task of
change started – little by little – almost              the 12 steps. At the end of the presentation, my       solving all of my family’s dysfunction. What Family
immediately. I learned so much so quickly and got       wife had to excuse herself to the restroom. Before     Week did do is allow my wife and I to come
the help I needed. Most of my peers and I at            she went, she said she needed to talk to me            together in the truth of us, and chart a new and
Gentle Path feared Family Week. Having to face          alone. Once again I was petrified. I was scared        very different course for our lives. She and I both
our loved ones for the first time to confront our       that this was when she was going to lower the          tribute the current success of our marriage and
sins head-on was very scary. I had invited my           boom and tell me she wanted a divorce, to take         recovery to that week, and for that, we are very
parents and my wife to attend. She had suffered         my children away from me, and to dissolve our          grateful.
vast amounts of pain and anguish from my                family.                                                   I hope that to share this message with other
addiction. Understandably, she was hurt and                Once again, I was wrong. My wife came out of        families and addicts who ask what can Pine Grove
angry. She had been voicing this in my limited          the bathroom, and we found a quiet office for her      do for their family. I can tell you firsthand that it
contact with her prior to Family Week and it was        to tell me what she needed to tell me. It was at       saved mine.
building and getting worse. All of this was before I    that moment she announced for the first time that
had to do a full disclosure with her and an             she was an addict, primarily with alcohol and
                                                            UPCOMING EVENTS
       THE                                    MEETINGS                                   INTENSIVE WORKSHOPS
      WORLD                                   Back to Basics Workshop coming to a city   Call 1-888-574-HOPE or visit
                                              near you. For more information, contact
                                                                                         workshops.html for information on other
                                              Carver, 601-297-6639.
Come visit Pine Grove staff at                                                           intensives including:
these conferences!                            ALUMNI LEADERS                             • Relationship Restoration
                                              Alabama                                    • Physician Professional Boundaries
November 8
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug       Roger L. • 251-575-4570                    • Mending a Shattered Heart
Dependence 63rd Annual Celebration
                                              Boise, ID                                  Breaking Free
Jackson – MS Agricultural Museum
Featuring Joani Gammill, RN, BRI,             Robert L. • 208-861-0282                   December 10-14
Interventionist and Author of                 Gulf Coast Area, MS
The Interventionist                                                                      Christian Personal Freedom
                                              Allen J. • 228-860-0909
Ruth Ann Rigby, attending                                                                December 10-14          Hattiesburg, MS
                                              Wes P. • 601-916-3918                      Facing the Shadow for Men
November 11-13                                                                           December 5-9
Renfrew • Philadelphia, PA                    Jackson, MS
Cathy Reto, PhD, attending                    Anthony C. • 601-259-0092                                                                    2013 DAYS OF HOPE
                                              Lexington, KY
December 7 & January 4                        Steve S. • 859-312-4854                    February 7-8
First Friday Lecture Series • Nashville, TN                                              April 25-26
Monnie Furlong, attending                     New Orleans, LA
                                              Dawn F. • 504-261-2200                     August 8-9
                                                                                         October 3-4
December 14                                   Norfolk, VA
                                              Fred R. • 757-695-6500                     December 12-13
Annual Holiday Networking Luncheon and
Toy Drive • Jackson, MS                                                                  March 22-24 – GP Alumni Reunion
                                              Tupelo, MS
Colonial Country Club at 11:30 a.m.                                                      (GP only)
Ruth Ann Rigby, attending                     Margaret P. • 662-377-3530 or
                                              662-840-7115                               May 31-June 2 – Pine Grove Alumni                                                        Reunion
January 25-26
CAPTASA • Lexington, KY
Monnie Furlong, attending
Carver Brown, attending
Lauren White, attending

       Gentle Path                                                                          Follow Pine Grove events and
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     (all GP spouses welcome)                 YOU’VE GOT MAIL!                                     activities on our blog,
    Wednesday 8:00 pm CST                        Pine Grove Program event                         Facebook, Twitter and
Conference call-in #: 610-214-0000              invitations are sent by email.
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    Please contact Andrea B.                              invitations?
   with questions 205-807-9621
                                                Send your email address to          
*This meeting is run by family alumni                 Lauren White at                                        for links
     and not associated with PG       

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