1 The Fall 2014 POCONO MOUNTAIN Prayer A NEWSLETTER TO HELP GUIDE YOU Slogans FROM ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS & NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Keith Watson, Treatment Tech Supervisor Finding Strength and Hope Practicing spiritual principles in our daily lives leads us to a new image of ourselves. Honesty, humility and open-mindedness help us treat our associates fairly. Our decisions become tempered with tolerance. We learn to respect ourselves and others. The lessons we learn in our recovery are sometimes bitter and painful. By helping others we find the reward of self-respect, as we are able to share these lessons with other members of Narcotics Anonymous. We cannot deny other addicts their pain, but we can carry the message of hope that was given to us by fellow addicts in recovery. We share the principles of recovery, as they have worked in our lives. God helps us as we help each other. Life takes on a new meaning, a new joy, and a quality of being and feeling worthwhile. We become spiritually refreshed and are glad to be alive. One aspect of our spiritual awakening comes through the new understanding of our Higher Power that we develop by sharing another addict s recovery. From the NA Basic Text, page 52 I ve learned that whatever pain I experience will pass through meditation and sharing. I keep my mind of my discomfort and gain strength by keeping each day simple. Erica Goldschmidt, Treatment Tech Thy will, not mine, be done. The essence of this slogan keeps the peace in my life. Lisa Alnwick, Treatment Tech One day at a time. For me this means not letting myself get too overwhelmed and realizing that all I have is today
2 FROM THE DESK OF THE Executive Director GREGORY VARLEY, M ED., LCADC, CCS Executive Director Pocono Mountain Recovery Center has been an extremely busy place over the last few months. We have had and completed several major construction projects, the expanded medical/nursing department area, the two new courtyards one with a fountain, a lot of general fix up of lawns and walk ways. Amidst the noise and dust many patients have gotten a good exposure to recovery and grabbed ahold with both hands. Recovery is a gift but it comes in a kit and requires daily assembly. What we do is important, the attitude we do it with is important, the people we surround ourselves with are important, not picking up Priceless. It is said that our illness feeds off of self-centered fears and the defects of character that fear churns up. Recovery is about having that daily reprieve from the obsession both with self and using substances by maintaining a spiritual condition. Turning over those self-centered fears of living life on life s or our Higher Powers terms. Acting with, or as if, we have the faith that as long as we keep doing the next right thing all will be ok. Sharing the fears and concerns honestly and following the directions. Seeking to build that relationship with whatever our Higher Power is. Listening for the answers as our Higher Power sends them to us through others or coincidence. Just not reacting but seeking to be clean and sober. These are some of the elements of living in the solution, the willingness, the surrendering that can keep us free. I was told Just stay out of your own way decide to act as a sober adult would as if God is watching, because God is watching. Be well and share the gift! If nothing changes nothing changes!
3 Now that we have our first year behind us we will be sending all of the PMRC families a quarterly newsletter which will tell you what is going on at the facility and more importantly give everyone who is reading it some valuable information to help them stay clean and sober and/or how to help yourself deal with someone in recovery. With the start of each of the 4 seasons we will be sending this out to you. Of course, our alumni coordinators will continue to stay in touch with you and please, please, please call us if you have any questions or need any help. RECOVERY-RELATED Book Recommendations Facility IMPROVEMENTS Over the last few months PMRC has made several facility improvements! We installed new entryway signage showcasing a water feature complete with a pond and waterfall. We created two courtyards, both with pavers and stone walls throughout and one highlighting another water feature with a pond and waterfall also. We added stairs and handrails leading to the athletic center and made improvements to the landscaping. Our medical department has been enlarged to accommodate additional medical staff; the size of our sick bay area has also been increased. Additionally, PMRC s new intensive outpatient program is housed in the recently opened Freedom House. BEVERLY BRAXTON-CANNON, B.A., DIRECTOR, FAMILY PROGRAM, recommends Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody with Andrea Wells Miller and J. Keith Miller as an excellent resource for family members and loved ones coping with the disease of addiction in their family. This book helps to identify codependent thinking, emotions, and behaviors; it also provides an approach to recovery. Pia Mellody describes the five core symptoms of codependence, then traces their origin to emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and sexual abuses that occur in childhood. Recovery from codependence involves clearing up the toxic emotions left over from these painful childhood experiences, as well as learning to intervene in one s own adult symptoms of codependence. Breaking Free by Pia Mellody and Andrea Wells Miller is the accompanying recovery workbook for Facing Codependence. The three-part approach shows recovering codependents how to move beyond denial of their childhood history of abuse; offers techniques to identify concrete ways in which the symptoms of codependence operate in their lives; and guides users through the process of identifying and recording specific instances of improvement in their lives as an aid to greater self-awareness and further recovery. We believe our campus provides an excellent environment for recovery; now even more so with the recent enhancements. Stay tuned for more facility improvements in the coming months!! We do not shoot our wounded.
4 Just a Simple Coin and a Thumb Print on the Wall AL CILIBERTO Clinical Director As I write this article I recall my interview here at Pocono Mountain Recovery Center (PMRC). When I initially set foot on these grounds and wondered if I should accept the position of clinical director, I was taken on a tour of the facility. The first thing I noticed was the calmness and spirituality of the surroundings. On my first day of employment back in December of 2013 I noticed similar feelings of compassion and tranquility. As we made progress getting the facility licensed, I felt a stillness and serenity emanating from the then empty buildings and surrounding grounds. We started to hire staff, with each one bringing their own understanding and empathy to PMRC. Upon accepting our first patients, the spirituality and compassion grew. There s a saying in Narcotics Anonymous, that for an addict not to use for one day is a miracle. We as a staff, with our degrees, licenses and certifications, often get wrapped up in trying to live up to our own personal and professional expectations. We can get so caught up in facilitating groups, completing paperwork, and AMA blocking that we tend to overlook the miracles that occur each and every day. The miracle starts when the patient calls the PMRC admission staff who demonstrate such care and concern over the telephone. It then moves to the kind greetings that patients and families receive when they arrive. Although it is often hard to see, we sometimes see the miracle begin to spark in the pain and emptiness of our patients eyes as they visit our medical department upon admittance. It is in the kindness shown by a fellow patient s simple hug. That then follows through to the therapy staff who work with our patients as they console them when they cry and are there to laugh with them when they are joyful. On a daily basis the miracle grows in the care displayed by all our staff members from the kitchen to housekeeping to treatment technicians to case management. Each day that a patient is here you see that life force coming back in their eyes. The miracle is even there for our patients who leave AMA because we have planted the seed of recovery. We established our Coining Out ceremony as a way to commemorate those patients successfully completing treatment. On the completing patient s final night here, they are given a coin that may cost $1.29. This simple coin is passed around the room to their peers with each expressing their observations and wishes for the completing patient; each expression is impressed upon the coin, giving the coin a unique spirituality. When the coin finally gets to the patient completing treatment, it has become priceless. It represents all the Hungry Angry Lonely Tired
5 patients that have come before and all those that will come after. No bank wants it, no museum will accept it. But this priceless coin is carried in a pocket or a purse, representing that person s own special miracle, another day of recovery. The ceremony then moves to the dining hall where the completing patient leaves their thumbprint on the wall, leaving a little bit of themselves and their spirit at PMRC for all who come after to see another miracle has occurred. Just a simple coin and a thumbprint on a wall takes on a different meaning when we allow the miracle to grow and continue to nurture our daily recovery. As PMRC expands and patients come and go, we admire and revere the significance of the coin and thumb print. Alumni Program THOMAS CANNON Director of Alumni Affairs / Manager of Operations Each of you is an important part of Pocono Mountain Recovery Center (PMRC), and we want to build a strong heritage by celebrating you, your families and your accomplishments. On Sunday, July 13, 2014 PMRC held its 2nd Annual Alumni and Staff Picnic. This event is part of that heritage and has proven to be a staple event during the year. Laughter, tears, seriousness, light heartedness, relaxation and intent listening were all part of the feelings and emotions experienced at the picnic. Whether it was the gratitude of one of our Alum s parents being shared or the comedy of some of the events that occurred during a patients stay with us, we enjoyed listening to them all. I am excited about the Alumni meetings for the remainder of the year as well as getting geared up for an exciting Of late the Alumni meetings have been focused on Step 10 and monitoring our spiritual temperature daily. The capacity to start our day all over again in real time is a great ability to have in recovery and I feel exceptionally privileged to be able to assist our Alum in these areas of their recovery. Alumni meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 6:00pm in the Serenity Center Conference Room. Alumni should park in the upper parking lot (by basket ball courts/fitness center) and follow the path down into the Serenity Center. If you d like to attend please contact my office. Finally, I am exceptionally pleased to announce that we are inviting experienced Alumni (PMRC patients who have completed the program and have a year or more clean and sober) to come back to PMRC and share their experience, strength, and hope with our current patient community. Perhaps one of the most impactful things a patient can experience at PMRC is to see and speak with someone who has actually completed our program and has been doing well for a year or more. If you meet that criteria and are interested in coming to PMRC to speak please contact my office at ext. 123 or me at Thanks in advance for your continued support of Pocono Mountain Recovery Center! God may give you the seeds, but you must plant them.
6 INTENSIVE Outpatient Program PMRC CONTINUES TO PROVIDE RECOVERY OPPORTUNITIES Pocono Mountain Recovery Center (PMRC) has expanded services and announces the official start of our outpatient program. This is a proud moment for the PMRC family as we launched our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for men. Treatment works when we are able to serve the patient and their families for a greater length of time. Our IOP, which follows a residential experience, can make the difference between whether a person just stops or stays stopped. The IOP offers structure and curriculum needed to build the foundation of a healthy recovery lifestyle. The program offers a component by which the patient grows into a recovery lifestyle. It teaches the disciplines of surrender, following direction, and completing tasks associated with recovery principles. IOP meets five times per week, and includes an individual and family session one time per week. At this time our IOP staff includes Clinical Director James Crossan and Primary Counselor Kenneth Ramirez. Our IOP staff will continue to grow as the program grows. MEADOWBROOK MANOR IS THE COMPLIMENT Another opportunity has also arisen that meets the standards of extended care. Meadowbrook Manor Sober Living for men has opened. Meadowbrook, which is a separate entity from PMRC, offers a safe, serene atmosphere in which the patient can focus on a recovery lifestyle while attending the PMRC IOP program. Meadowbrook residents must follow daily schedules, perform house chores, manage their living space, attend daily 12 step meetings, obtain a sponsor and home group, and maintain participation in an IOP program as requirements for residence. Meadowbrook Manor challenges the resident to take personal investment in their recovery while also developing a peer support system with fellow residents working towards achieving the similar goals. Meadowbrook is a 24-hour monitored facility which teaches the resident the qualities of integrity, dignity, respect, and honor. WHAT ABOUT OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CARE OF OUR FEMALES? The same services are now available to our females. Rock Crest housing is also available for our women who are looking to accomodate more clean and sober time in a safe monitored environment. GRATITUDE Overall the PMRC family cannot adequately express the gratitude of how God has blessed us since PMRC s inception. There is something special that happens with treatment at PMRC, which is consistently reported by patients, staff, and families once engaged in the experience. God has seen fit to allow this experience to expand to continue to help patients and families afflicted with this insidious disease. In closing, hats off to the team at PMRC who makes this happen through their daily commitment, dedication, and sacrifice, helping others and believing that we can and do make a difference. KISS Keep it Simple Silly.
7 Thank you for all the help you have given us. You really helped me to be more confident in my decisions. You are simply the best! There are not enough words to tell you how much I appreciate you. A.C. Family PROGRAM We recognize that addiction has a profound impact on family members and loved ones. We understand that those who love or are involved with the addicted person play an integral role in the recovery process. Participation by family members and loved ones in the resident s treatment experience is associated with better treatment compliance and outcomes. PMRC s Family Program helps family members gain a clearer understanding of the disease of addiction and the process of recovery. Our Family Education sessions help family members learn how to appropriately support their loved one s recovery. Education topics include addiction as a family disease, behaviors of early recovery, and support vs. enabling. Speakers from Al-Anon and Nar-Anon also visit the Family Education session monthly to share their experience, strength, and hope, and to encourage involvement in these support groups. Participation in the Family Program and attendance in the Family Education sessions are requirements for all family members and loved ones wishing to visit our residents in treatment. Our Family Program also includes: Private Family Therapy sessions facilitated by the primary counselor or Family Program staff Family visitation and education every Saturday Recommendations for ongoing recovery resources for loved ones Contact and support throughout the program and continuing after the resident is discharged For more information regarding PMRC s Family Program, please contact Beverly Braxton-Cannon, Director of PMRC s Family Program at , ext Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up.
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