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Along the Road to Recovery
Devora Shabtai
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Spiritual and Personal Lessons Learned from AA, the 12-Steps, and Addiction Treatment
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Showing Results 1 - 7 (7 total)
Purim, Puzzles, and Addiction Recovery
Author: Devora Shabtai
February 25th, 2021
Working in substance use treatment has unmasked new insight into Purim’s key themes.  Here are two lessons I have gleaned from those in recovery from addiction that have helped to inspire my personal Purim experience:   Lesson 1: What it looks like to turn to a Higher Power in times of despair and threat On Purim we recant a story of evil plots and ultimate redemption. And all the twists and turns along the way. Yet, in contrast t …
30 days of Spiritual Sobriety
Author: Devora Shabtai
October 27th, 2020
"I picked up my red [30 day] chip today...As proud as I am, I've been down this road before. Now's when I gotta really start working to keep my sobriety. Relapse can creep up so fast if I get too confident." As my client shared this milestone, I realized that today, too, marks my own 30 days "in recovery" of a different sort. 30 days ago today, I experienced the rigorous, spiritually rehabilitative process of Teshuva. On Yom Kippur and the 40 day …
In Rehab, Discovering the Power of the Yomim Noraim
Author: Devora Shabtai
September 26th, 2020
Each year as I sit to chart my resolutions for the Yomim Noraim, I tend to grow frustrated as I discover, yet again, that my list so closely resembles the one I penned the year before. I never would have imagined I would receive a transformative lesson on how I could more fully embrace this period as a therapist at an in-patient treatment center for substance abuse. Here are four of the major insights that I have gleaned from observing the &ldquo …
Addiction Recovery and Tisha B'Av: Lessons from the Frontlines of Pain
Author: Devora Shabtai
July 26th, 2020
"It is enormously difficult to organize one's traumatic experiences into a coherent account- a narrative with a beginning, a middle, and an end." - Bessel Van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score   As we enter into a period dedicated to commemorating our nation's traumas and catastrophic events, and to integrating these experiences into a coherent and purpose-driven narrative, we can draw inspiration from those in addiction treatment …
Accepting Resistance: Lessons for Shavuos from Rehab
Author: Devora Shabtai
May 25th, 2020
Dave*, a 33 year old businessman from West Virginia, is sitting in my office at a treatment center miles from family and from the comfort of his daily routine, for one goal: to learn how to live without alcohol or substances. To learn how to move past the vicious cycles that have brought him to the verge of destruction time and time again.  This desire for change was something he shared with his wife in between sobs on their bedroom floor af …
From Chaos to Seder: Lessons from Addiction Recovery
Author: Devora Shabtai
April 3rd, 2020
"We are going to know a new freedom”-Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83.   I have always marveled at the paradox that our nation’s liberation from the bondage of slavery is marked by the quintessential period of restriction. A holiday that requires us to adhere to strict guidelines and detailed instructions with such profound exactitude and measure. To distance ourselves from something that in the rest of the year we engage in uncond …
Placing our Faith in Faith: The Power of Spiritual-Religious Coping
Author: Devora Shabtai
March 29th, 2020
Amid this period of uncertainty, many of us continue to exert effort to tap into inner resources and reservoirs of strength. Some do so through stepping up to take action. Others find strength through meaningful time with loved ones, engaging in enjoyable activities, or within the quiet of solitude.  Yet, in this whirlwind of chaos there is one response that appears to be somewhat global- that of turning to God or a Higher Power.  …
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