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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Turning Your Life Around Through Addiction Recovery

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The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team swept the World Cup for their second consecutive victory. Naturally, Megan Rapinoe (co-captain) and the rest of her teammates are elated, as is the rest of the country. For Rapinoe and her family, 2019 has been a great year. Aside from taking home the cup, the family has something else to be proud of: Megan’s older brother, Brian, has been clean for 18 months after a long battle with addiction.

Megan, 34, is an inspiration to people around the world; the powerhouse midfielder is the oldest player to score in a World Cup final. Her list of achievements is long, and she is an outspoken advocate for gender equality and LGBTQ rights. Like many star athletes, there is some controversy attached to her name; but, she seems to do everything with good intentions in her heart.

The soccer star stayed focused on athletics in school, but her brother found himself on a very different path, far from the soccer pitch. Brian began smoking marijuana at age 12; three years later, he was arrested for bringing meth to school, ESPN reports. Moving forward, Brian would be in and out of jail and prison for the better part of his life.

“Right from the start, I was hooked,” he says. “One drug always led to the next.” 

Heavy drug use and crime would take over Brian Rapinoe’s existence. At 18, he was using heroin and breaking laws that landed him in prison, according to the article. Behind bars, he aligned himself with a white prison gang and got swastika tattoos. He told ESPN that the symbols were not about prejudice—he got them to survive. Supporting his addiction demanded that he be “an active participant in prison culture.”

Addiction Recovery and Hope for a Brighter Future


There is not enough time to run through Brian’s long list of misdeeds and personal struggles. After spending about half his life in prison and battling active addiction, Brian had a moment of clarity. In 2017, Mr. Rapinoe had what many people call an epiphany while serving time in California’s notorious Pelican Bay prison. A botched injection angered Brian so severely that his cellmate said something that clicked.

“I freaked out on him, really lost it,” Brian says. “And he said to me, ‘Look at how you are acting right now.’” 

Ostensibly, that was the moment when Brian Rapinoe, the brother of a world-famous soccer star, decided he had enough. Many addicts and alcoholics have a similar instance in their life that led to a paradigm shift in thinking. His experiences and all its heartaches came to the surface of his mind, as did all the good his sister had accomplished in her life. Making drastic changes for the better would become his single mission, moving forward; today, he wants to make a difference.

Brian enrolled in self-improvement and rehabilitation classes; his sentence was reduced with each completed course, according to the article. He is now 18 months clean and sober after 24 years of using drugs. Toward the end of June, Megan’s brother started the Male Community Reentry Program in San Diego, CA. He is taking classes, and he is hoping to work with kids in the juvenile delinquency program after he is released.

“I want to make a difference,” he says. “I want to be like Megan.” 

In recovery, there are not any guarantees, but if men and women keep doing the next right thing, then anything is possible. The Rapinoe family is not much different than millions of other families; siblings whose lives take divergent paths despite the same upbringing. Brian Rapinoe’s story is proof that no matter how destructive one’s journey is, there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow thanks to recovery.

SLO County Addiction Treatment


The Haven at Pismo can help you or a loved one get on a path toward long-term addiction recovery. Our commitment to excellence and our use of evidence-based treatment modalities assist clients in many ways as they begin an unforgettable journey of healing. Please contact us today to learn more about our program. The Haven is the perfect place to renew to your best today.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Prioritizing Recovery on the Fourth of July

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The Haven at Pismo would like to wish everyone in recovery a safe and sober Fourth of July. We grasp that holidays are not always the most pleasurable times of the year for many people who work a program. For newcomers or men and women in their first year, a significant holiday can present considerable obstacles.

Feelings and emotions accompany special days of the year. Such sentiments can elicit happiness; they can also bring melancholy. The program teaches people how to cope with uncomfortable sensations and memories, but it’s not always easy to implement one’s tools during holidays that are typified by heavy alcohol use.

Across the country, millions of adults find themselves beer-in-hand on July 4th. Men and women in recovery do their best to avoid situations that involve copious amounts of alcohol, which isn’t easy on Independence Day. Taking steps to mitigate one’s exposure to booze can reduce temptations to use.

If you are in your first year of recovery, then sticking close to your support network today is strongly advised. It’s worth reminding yourself that the disease of addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Always best to err on the side of caution, even if you think you can handle being around drinking. Triggers can happen in an instant, and there is always the possibility that urge will become too potent to resist.

Conversely, shutting yourself in for the day is not beneficial either. Like any day in recovery, striking a balance between program and pleasure is the best course of action. One’s sobriety must be the priority number one; each person has a responsibility to safeguard their progress.

Prioritizing Recovery on the Fourth of July


On days of the year when Americans overprime their drinking pumps, some men and women in recovery are inclined to isolate. They would do just as well to avoid exposure to the one thing on the planet they cannot have; on the surface, checking-out for the day appears sound. However, a closer examination reveals the opposite; avoidance via isolation can compound the feelings of exclusion. The sensation that one has when they feel like they are missing out can be depressing.

Sadness can lead people down unfortunate lines of thinking that could result in even stronger desires to use drugs or alcohol. In an effort to avoid the risks of solitude, people in recovery are best served by taking action on the Fourth of July. Attend meetings, be of service, and seek out pleasurable opportunities to bond with one’s support network.

Attending parties that involve drinking is not conducive to furthering people’s goals; but, going to recovery-sponsored gatherings today is beneficial. Men and women in recovery like to have a good time, just like everyone else. However, they can enjoy themselves in such a way as to not jeopardize all their hard work.

During significant days of the year, sober people host dinners, cookouts, and dances. Recovery asks people to work a program and have fun too; shutting the door on life is not a viable option. A good recipe for holidays is to listen to the needs of your program and take part in sober festivities. If you do not already have plans, then go to a meeting and ask your support network what they are doing for the rest of the day. There is a good chance that something fun will follow.

We hope that you will resist the temptation to isolate and avoid taking unnecessary risks. Staying sober during a holiday can be just like any other day of the year, with the help of your support network and a plan of action.

SLO County Addiction Treatment


It is not uncommon for men and women to decide to seek the help of recovery services during a major holiday. Stand-out days of the year can be excellent times to turn people’s lives around. Please contact The Haven at Pismo if you are struggling with addiction; our center is the perfect place to renew to your best today.