Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from recoveryBox

Wish you all a wonderful and sober Christmas and holiday Season!

~ the developer of recoveryBox, the iPhone app for Addiction Recovery

Friday, December 20, 2013

Surviving the Holidays During Addiction Recovery

 Surviving the Holidays During Addiction Recovery

We all know that this time of year gets to be, well super CRAZY!  Holiday parties, shopping, lights, festive music, people being merry and so much more.  For some the holidays are the hardest time of the year to get through. I'm not here to offer the perfect way to achieve this, but I do have a few tips that I can pass along.

First, remember the "Reason for the Season".  I know it's an over used phrase but it really does remind us why we are celebrating.  God gave us an amazing gift so very long ago and it would do us well to ponder what that means to us.  If we think about how God sent Jesus to "give us a second chance" we realize that we did nothing to deserve this.  God didn't just sent Jesus without giving the necessary tools to achieve this gift of freedom.  And just like our recovery, we have a second chance complete with a set of tools to not just help us cope, but to succeed.

Second, remember what your tools are.  Always go back to what gets you through each and every day. Just because it's a "special" time of year does not mean it's time to let go all that we worked for.  Make a list of what helps you, and refer to it often during these next few weeks.  Is it a picture of your kids to motivate you? It is knowing that you have a lifeline through an accountability partner or sponsor?  Is it your spiritual life? What about your friends and family?  Ponder on how these tools help you remain grounded and use them to stay sober.

Third, don't put yourself in a situation where you might be tempted to relapse.  In recoveryBox, these would be your yellow lights.  Being with a person, or at a place, or possessing an item that is a temptation are warning signs to take caution (hence the yellow light as in a stop light - take caution).  Be on guard.  

  • If going to a staff party is going to be filled with alcohol, then have a plan.  Perhaps have a tumbler of water or coffee in your hands at all time.  You already have your drink so no need to get another.  Or if the temptation is just too much then either go with someone you trust to help you or don't go at all!  
  • Shopping addicts find this to be an incredibly tempting time of year.  And it's so easy to "justify" the buying because it's what's expected right?  OK, first again, focus on the "Reason for the Season" and you will be reminded that NO this time of year is not all about buying.  Some practical tips include go shopping with someone you can trust to help you say "no". Make a list and keep to it!  Shop with cash only - yes, leave the credit cards at home.  Make a budget and stick to it.  Or even consider giving a different type of gift in honor or a person - perhaps find an organization that you feel the person cares deeply about and give a donation in their name.
  • Another easy trap is for those who have addictions to pornography.  Sometimes it's easy to say well I'm going to shop online and not head out to the stores.  Well, perhaps that will lead to just "surfing" for the best deals or that perfect present.  "Surfing" is not healthy with any type of sexual addiction. Know exactly where you want to go on the internet to shop.  Stick to the major players like  Have a trusted person sit beside you while you shop online..yup, do it together.  And of course I'm a huge believer of having your house all set up using (it's free for home use and it's awesome!)
  • For those with an eating addictions, this is such a tricky time of year.  All the goodies and wonderful smells that linger in the air.  Yup, I myself have a hard time here even though it's not my addiction.  But, again when going to a party make smart choices.  If you eat too much then use a small plate or brush your teeth before you go (or even during - sounds funny but who likes to eat with minty fresh breath), or drink a lot of water before you go to fill your tummy.  If you don't like to eat then make a plan of what you need to eat or even eat ahead of time.  Sometimes nibbling along can help us get what we need.  
  • Isolation around this time of year is easy to do for so many reasons.  But it's the worst thing to do.  Being alone is a trigger for many so make sure to mingle in the celebrations to be with others.  Or attend spiritual events to keep you focused.  When we isolate ourselves we tend to revert to bad habits.
These are just a few tips for specific addictions.  I can't pretend to know everything that is helpful nor do I know your specific triggers.  But, your accountability partner or sponsor should, so have a conversation with them.  They should be able to offer more specific ideas to you.  

Fourth, and this can be a doozy for some...let go of past resentments.  Many times these are between family members and since we often get together with our families at some point during the holiday season it can be awkward to say the least.  Part of your recovery is letting those resentments go to make yourself healthy again.  Who knows, maybe this is the year to even make amends during this season. This could be a great time to open up and be honest.  Being vulnerable is very tough to do, but it is where healing happens.

And lastly (OK, I could make this go on forever, but let's face it we are busy people), I would say minimize your stressors.  Stress can be one of our biggest triggers.  So if you stress about not having all your shopping done, tackle a bit each night. Set realistic expectations too of yourself and others. We all know what our stressors are.  Goodness, for me sometimes you can just say a certain name and the hair on the back of my neck starts to rise.  But thinking it through and making a plan to deal with the stress can be helpful. And remember nobody is perfect.

I wish you a blessed holiday season.

~ from the developer of recoveryBox

PS.  Don't forget to record it in recoveryBox the app.  It will be wild to see how this year's holiday will stack up again next years.  If you don't own recoveryBox or want to gift it to someone, visit the iTunes store or follow this link to recoveryBox in the iTunes store..

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Version 3.2 of recoveryBox Addiction Recovery App is HERE!

Version 3.2 of recoveryBox, Addiction Recovery Sobriety Toolbox is now available with new features (and a few bug fixes).

~ Be Engaged In Your Recovery
~ Be Accountable To Yourself & Others
~ Be Rewarded For Your Hard Work
~ Be Supported By Many Others

Download it today!

What's New in Version 3.2

Customize Your Yellow Lights! 

~ Besides the provided yellow lights for people, places or things that can act as a trigger, we added the ability to add customized yellow lights for any newly created addiction.

Bug fixes
~for iOS6 users, retain preferences for number of lights is fixed.
~badge frame is aligned
~ability to cancel deletion of custom lights or addictions
~for some iOS6 users, addiction color bug
~fixed data integrity (users must save data before moving between tools)

Better reporting and multiple addiction dates is coming very soon! Be supported!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Testimony Requests

I'd love to start a series on Tuesday's called "Testimony Tuesday"

This is where I need your help!

Are you willing to share your testimony? I'd like to feature your story on the blog. 

Email me at

Help inspire and encourage others on their journey to addiction freedom.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Random Resource ThuRsday ~ Dr. Brene Brown and Connection

Dr. Brene Brown from the University of Houston talks about connection and vulnerability.  I must say that I do love this video.  If you have 20 minutes it's really worth the watch.  When I was in counseling myself I think I watched it at least 3 times not only because it was a great topic but because she is funny too (an goodness knows we need laughs during such intense times).

I love how she talks about how connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.  It's why I built recoveryBox addiction recovery app to focus on's a way to connect with a support person in a vulnerable yet safe way.

Have a great Thursday and don't forget to enter your lights today!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Acting Out - Yes the Red Lights

UPDATE: please know that you can create your own red lights to really tailor recoveryBox to your needs.  Be supported!!

First, I must say I hope that you never have to record a Red Light because it does mean that you have broken your sobriety.  BUT, please don't be overly hard on yourself.  If you do indeed need to record one then do so and move on.  We all make mistakes but the difference is if we learn from them.

How Red Lights work in recoveryBox.

  1. Each addiction will have a different Set of Red Lights.  They are specific to your addiction.  Until this point, all Green Lights and Yellow Lights have been the same for all addictions.  recoveryBox wants to make this specific for your addiction.
  2. Record a reason why you acted out.
  3. Consider entering any triggers that you can think of that might help understand why you acted out.  Even if you just can't make sense of it, enter the triggers anyway.
  4. Send the text/email to your accountability partner.  Please don't skip this just because you have entered a red light.  This is the most critical time that you need to honest.  It might leave you feeling vulnerable but you are not alone.  This is where you are going to get the support you need through a sponsor or accountability partner.
  5. recoveryBox WILL automatically adjust your sobriety date (if you are using that module) based on the red light that you enter.  You don't need to worry about entering it in 2 different places.  
Please don't feel ashamed and wallow in a relapse.  Know it happens, pick yourself up and learn from the mistake.  It's what you do with it that counts.

Below you will see different Red Light scenarios based on 3 different addiction types.  

Alcohol Addiction

Pornography Addiction

Eating Disorder Addiction

There are over 50 addictions to choose from in recoveryBox AND you can even choose multiple addictions at the same time if you need to.

Want to try out recoveryBox,
the iPhone app for addiction recovery, 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bridget and Julie talk about the Yellow Light

Bridget talks to Julie at the movies about her yellow light. Each day Bridget has been using recoveryBox the app for addiction recovery to track her daily activities, called "Lights". She had a yellow for the first time. A yellow light meaning she was in a situation that could lead to relapse. See what happens between Bridget and her sponsor about the yellow light.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Paul and Bridget meet for Coffee

Paul and Bridget meet for coffee to talk about how their addiction recovery is going. Bridget has just started using recoveryBox the iPhone app for Addiction Recovery and in a short time is noticing that her recovery is headed on the right direction.  She's now sober for 14 days.

Bridget talked about how she likes the color coded system as well.  She had some yellow lights and her sponsor noticed something interesting.  They talk about how to use light system with a counselor or accountability/sponsor for a 12 Step program or Celebrate Recovery program.

Bridget has set some goals in order to better take care of herself.  And they both get to add this meeting as a G2 Green Light since it is about Emotional Self-Care.

Don't have recoveryBox yet??  Get it here!

Monday, October 28, 2013

recoveryBox 3.1 is released

Thanks for the users who asked for help, we heard you and responded!

New to this release, the ability to add comments for the Green Lights as part of your accountability messages. Some of you mentioned wanting to have green lights comments as part of the communication piece so that your sponsors better understand your daily habits.  

Please note: this new setting is not on by default. If you want that added feature, please turn it on under the Settings. Also, we kept this setting separate from the Yellow/Red Light comments. We know that not everyone will want this option turned on.

Also new to this release, is the Light Category headings for the text/emails communications to sponsors or accountability partners.

And one last addiction is a new algorithm to speed up creating the email/text accountability message. I noticed I could make it go a bit faster and so I made that change.

~ Be Engaged
~ Be Accountable
~ Be Rewarded
~ Be Supported

Download recoveryBox App Today and Begin your Recovery Journey
Addiction Recovery iPhone App

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

recoveryBox is now iOS 7 ready!!

recoveryBox 3.0 has finally made it through the approval process..yeah we are iOS7 compatible. Here are just a few of the new screen shots.

I know many of you are anxious and have emailed about when it's coming out and what's new so here you are...straight from Apple's site.

You will notice that some screens look exactly the same, while others have been tweaked as well as some entry controls have been changed.  We really worked hard to figure out how to minimize the number of touches to get your data into recoveryBox - as compliance is the key to beating an addiction.

While some screens have some changes, overall I think the users will enjoy the same "easy to use" experience as in iOS6.  AND....if you decide to stay with iOS 6 DON'T WORRY! We actually incorporated those same data entry flow changes into your version as well. So make sure to update to receive all the same benefits.
Congrats on your continued journey to freedom!!

Addiction Recovery is possible and recoveryBox is just one of your tools to make it happen.

New in Version 3.0

~ iOS7 Support : and it looks really nice too!

~ User Experience : we worked with testers (and yes these are real people who have addictions and are currently in treatment) and worked to streamline data entry. In some cases we saved one click, in other cases we just redesigned. REMEMBER: compliance is key to breaking the addiction.

~ New Badges : it's always fun to see what your recovery journey using recoveryBox will earn you..and so with the help of those in the addiction community, we came up with a few more badges to motivate you.

As always, the recoveryBox team wishes you the best in breaking free from your addiction and living the life you deserve.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paul introduces Bridget to recoveryBox the iPhone Addiction Recovery App

Meet Paul and Bridget. Paul is introducing Bridget to recoveryBox, the iPhone app for Addiction Recovery.  Bridget is frustrated with her recovery and how she just doesn't have a good handle on it.

Stay tuned for more to see how the life of Paul and Bridget becomes a relationship of mutual support for themselves and others.

recoverybox, the iPhone Addiction Recovery app!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

recoveryBox Named One of 2013's Best Eating Disorder Apps

Top Apps for Eating Disorder Patients 2013

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder at some point.
Although these apps may not be magic, they may help people with eating disorders cope with symptoms. These supportive apps can improve attitudes toward food. They can also track important progress indicators on the path to recovery.  
recoveryBox, a complete toolbox for overcoming addictions, hurts, habits or hang-ups has been named one of the Top Apps for 2013 by Healthline.
To download recoveryBox and begin your recovery journey from an eating disorder or addiction, visit the iTunes store.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Break Down of a G2 - Emotional Self-Care Green Lights for Accountability

recoveryBox the mobile iPhone app for addiction recovery uses a system called your "Lights" just like a traffic light.  Green Lights are your good lights meaning go!.  Yellow lights aren't necessarily bad activities but they are the ones that can lead you into some sort of temptation either by being with a person, being at a place or possessing an item that could lead to relapse.  And Red lights do mean an instance of relapse.

If you remember, G1 Green Lights focus on Physical Self-Care during addiction recovery.  These are the healthy daily activities that you do to actually take care of your physical body.  I wrote about how you need to take care of those physical needs first in order to even have a chance of thinking straight and making good choices.

Today I want to focus moving past the physical self care into activities that start to become a little more challenging for us to do.  It's the G2 category of the Green Lights.  G2 lights are the second tier of green lights and  focus on the emotional and treatment activities.  These are the activities that we do to start building connection and make us vulnerable.

Today's green light is G2 - Emotional Self Care.

Emotional self-care is a huge part of recovery.  Most addicts will tell you that they can't even name the emotions they feel even if they are letting themselves have that feeling.  This is where a G2 light comes in.  These are activities for treatment that deal with identifying/acting/dealing with emotions and how that relates to our self-care.

There are tons of resources out there for dealing with emotions so I'm not going to actually go into I am not qualified to do that.  But as you work out emotional self-care in your treatment for your addiction recovery, this is where you would add a light for that.

Some example include journaling, reading, spending time with others.  Perhaps for you it's as basic as even identifying your emotions each day or being vulnerable with someone and telling them how you feel.  Those are activities that indicate you are taking care of yourself.

Now these emotions might not always be pretty or even easy to identify but I can speak from experience and say that it is freeing to finally be able to label even the ugly emotions.  For me, I do count identifying an emotion as a G2 because during my journey I needed to identify what those emotions were and to expand my vocabulary.

Perhaps you can easily identify the emotion you are feeling (great are ahead of most addicts in that case) but you need to deal with the emotion in a healthy way.  So perhaps your G2 Emotional Self-Care is more advanced and needs to deal with reacting properly to the emotion.

Or perhaps you just don't allow yourself the time to connect with others or yourself.  Go to coffee with friends and just have a conversation..and it doesn't have to be heavy hearted either.  Read that book you have been wanting to but putting off.  Allow time to take care of yourself from a mental perspective.  These are all G2 Emotional Self-Care activities.

Work with your counselor and accountability partner/sponsor to build a list of activities that you need to work on for G2 - Emotional Self-Care.  I believe that this Green Light is such an important part of addiction recovery.  Identifying emotions and taking care of one-self emotionally is very tiring but it's also healthy.  Once we begin to do this as part of our lifestyle, the heaviness begins to fade and it become part of who we are..and that's a good thing.

Don't have recoveryBox yet?  Download it from the app store now and begin your journey to freedom.

Connect with others on Facebook and "Like" the app page.  Feel free to tell others about how recoveryBox app is part of your journey for your addiction recovery.  And don't forget to count that as a G2 - Emotional Self-Care activity too!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Random Resource ThuRsday - "I'm No Angel" by Kylie Bisutti

Today's Random Resource ThuRsday is a book titled "I'm No Angel" by Kylie Bisutti.

In the book she talks about the fashion industry - and the motivation behind it. Let's face it folks - we know sex sells.  If it didn't, pornography and sex trafficking wouldn't be such the problem that it is.  But why is it that viewing the Victoria Runway show, or bra commercials during early morning TV shows is considered OK?  Kylie has written about how it's not OK and her decision to leave it behind.

Below is the description of the book..I highly recommend the read. Great book even for young girls to read. Very tough choice and her decision should be applauded.

In December 2011, 21-year-old Victoria’s Secret model Kylie Bisutti stunned the fashion industry when she chose faith over fame and fortune and made the switch from supermodel to role model. 

In I’m No Angel, Kylie shares her story—from her early years struggling to make it big in the cut-throat world of modeling, her “big break” winning the Victoria’s Secret Angel competition, and the disillusionment and spiritual warfare that followed, to the moment she realized that she could no longer reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs, surrendered her life to God, turned in her Angel wings, and dedicated her life to preaching a message of modesty and inner beauty. 

Along the way, Kylie talks about her personal struggles with inadequacy, low self-esteem, and her near-constant quest for approval in a world where you can never be thin enough, pretty enough, or sexy enough. She helps readers understand that true beauty lies within and that real fulfillment comes from knowing, loving, and serving Christ.

If you have a problem with a pornography addiction, please check out recoveryBox, the iPhone App. It's a complete toolset to help you break your addiction.  Like Kylie, break free from a world where sex defines who we are.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What makes up a "Green Light"??

Since recoveryBox iPhone addiction recovery app is build for the purpose of being accountable to yourself and to others, it would help to understand well what does it mean to be accountable?  I mean what does accountability really mean?

Not getting too fancy, I'll say that being accountable means taking responsibility for your actions.

For starters, there are all levels of being accountable to both yourself and to your sponsor/partner.

Today I'm just going to talk about what a G1 Lights are.  It's called "Physical Self-Care" but what that looks like for everyone is different.  The premise behind Physical Self-Care is MUST first take care of yourself physically before you can even think about the "next stuff".

And these taking care of yourself activities are good things..hence why they are green..meaning go go go and go some more. See, it's really simple, green lights are good.  You want to fill your day with lots of green lights all day long and as many as you can get.

Think about it, ever notice how when we are sleep deprived or hungry our judgement goes out the door.  I am not going to even pretend to be a medical doctor and tell you all about it..I don't think I need to.  I think you already know what I'm talking about because your yourself have experienced it.  Right?!?  I have.

So each day we need to be responsible for taking care of ourself physically by doing certain activities. And yes these basic activities make up our G1 Green Lights.  Yes the app does have some pre-canned examples that you can use right out of the box such as eating meals, sleeping, exercising, etc.  BUT, you can customize that list by adding what is important to you. Perhaps taking a shower needs to be on your list?  Or putting on makeup?  Dunno...because  only you can decide with the help of your counselor.  (want a hint?? to access the list hit the comments will allow you to select from a list)

So start thinking about what should your G1's look like!  Make a list and work with those who are keeping you accountable and see if they make sense.

Next post is going to be about how to actually enter those comments to begin building your list for each Green category.  Then I'm thinking we will touch upon how flexible the app is for entering your lights...stay tuned for lots more to come.

Feel free to download recoveryBox iPhone addiction recovery app from the iTunes store.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Random Resource - Home Run Movie

Sometimes a good movie comes along that stands as a reminder that God's gift of grace is always within our grasp and that freedom from an addiction is ours -  if we want it.

My husband and I saw Home Run this weekend.  It was very well done and spoke about broken lives due to addictions - alcohol, lust, drugs, eating disorders, and more. But the power of the movie came when the main character Cory came to see life differently.  While attending a Celebrate Recovery program, he realized that we all have broken lives and must deal with our problems - and that Christ is at the center of our healing.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot so I'll stop there, but I encourage all to watch this movie. For those who are in recovery for an addiction, it's a reminder of how we can encourage others while on our own journey, and for those who haven't taken that step yet toward freedom - well, let this movie show you that yes, you can be free.  Our God is a God of second chances!!

Home Run, it's in movie theaters find where you can view the movie locally or to learn more about the movie, visit the Official Home Run movie website.
Addiction Recovery Mobile App

Thursday, April 11, 2013

recoveryBox Update! Custom Addiction and Red Lights!

We have gotten a lot of great feedback from users about various addictions and how to better meet their needs.  We did add a few generic addictions that we thought would benefit a lot of people, however, there were some presented to us that just didn't fit the addictions listed.  And so, we heard the requests and added a great new feature.


You create custom addictions at the same place as the addiction list.  More Tools -> Settings -> Manage Addictions.

It's pretty easy to add you own custom addiction and red lights.  When you look at the entire addiction list, you will now see that your custom addiction is at the top. We thought it just made more sense from a user perspective.

Add details about the addiction here.

Create custom red lights. Even give the red light a priority.

Want more information about recoveryBox, the Addiction Recovery iPhone Mobile App?
Check out our the website for more information and begin your recovery journey today!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Look for a New Version..Coming Soon

We've heard you and listened.

Coming Soon .. The ability to create your own Red Lights to customize an addiction that represents your personal needs.

And there might be a few more goodies too. Coming soon!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Preferences

Wondering Exactly How the Preferences Work?  

It's very simple..say perhaps you are the type of person who doesn't enter today's "Lights" as they happen but you like to enter then the day after.  Remember, use recoveryBox any which way you want..just use it to help break the addiction.

OK, so you are entering yesterday's date..and you are finished creating a G1 - Green Light.  Then you want to enter a G2..but the date reverts back to today's date.  Well, the default behavior is always today's date in the hopes that you will track "lights" real-time.    BUT...if you want to keep the date (as your default behavior) on the date of the last date you entered..then go to More Tools->Preferences and turn on the "Retain Date"; That setting will always retain the last date you entered.

And now it's obvious what "Retain Category" and "Retain Number of Lights" is right??

These options were asked to be included by the pilot group who were truly tracking their daily "Lights" and it became obvious that we don't all use recoveryBox in the exact same fashion.

"Enable Comments" is all about having any comments you enter for Yellow or Red Lights as well as Triggers be included in the Text/Email communication piece that gets generated for your accountability partner. Not everyone is comfortable with having a text or email with private thoughts being sent out into the world wide web..but perhaps only want a count for the Yellows or Reds. It's about maintaining your privacy as well as making it flexible for the user. Turn it on for comments to be included in the email/text or turn it off to keep that private.

And lastly, "Accountability Preference" is the default setting for the communication generated.  You can always select what you want on the screen, but why not have one less key stroke and have a default?!?

If you have any questions about any of the preferences or any other part of recoveryBox, don't forget to send support an email.  They will respond me..I know!

recoveryBox, the iPhone App for Addiction Recovery

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Wishing everyone a Blessed and Happy Easter!

~ recoveryBox

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Random Resource ThuRsday - Filtering Software

Looking for other options for filtering software for your computer, visit resource section.

2 of the resources on the page I have already blogged about..but perhaps there is another resource that might work better for your family. Regardless, help protect everyone's eyes!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the Badge Center

Did you know that you can go and view all the badges you have earned during your recovery from your addiction? Yes it is true, recoveryBox is created so that you don't have to use the entire app.  Perhaps you only want to track your sobriety date..well then just track that.  Or maybe you want to track only your triggers and nothing else - then go ahead and do that. But you will earn badges for all of your hard work.

I was reminded of the importance of tracking "Lights" when I went to test the app on a fresh device and the list came up empty. The message really hit home "Recovery is about replacing bad habits with good ones.  Tracking your Lights will help your accountability as well as help you see patterns in behaviors!"

Well, that about sums it up..nice to get a reminder..huh!

Oh yeah..if you want to see all the badges you have earned then go to More Tools -> Badge Center.  And be prepared to be amazed at how well you are doing!

recoveryBox, the iPhone mobile app for Addiction Recovery

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Protecting Your Lights From Other's Eyes

Today's post is more of a housekeeping want to use recoveryBox, but are afraid that if a child or a coworker uses your device that they might accidentally open the app and there "it" all is.

To password protect your recoveryBox app, go to More Tools -> Settings -> Password

That's all for today!
Addiction Recovery iPhone App

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I Just Can't Remember..HELP ME!

With all the crazy things we have going on in our lives, taking the time to enter our "Lights" (i.e., our daily activities) or remembering to text our accountability partner our numbers can sometimes fall to the back burner.

However, just like those who are training for a race and keep track of data, or wanting to lose weight and watch their calories, those in recovery for an addiction must keep track of what they are doing.  The idea is to replace bad habits with good ones.  If you don't keep track of anything, how will you know you are making progress?  How will you be able to talk with your sponsor about what "really" went on during the week?

I TOTALLY get how it's just not easy to remember.  So, recoveryBox does come with some reminders that you can set up to help take the pressure off a little.   Our solution..we call them Motivators.

To find them, More Tools -> Settings -> Motivators  so easy to find and set up.

You can have daily or weekly reminders.  You decide the time. You decide the day!

recoveryBox will not automatically send your numbers to your sponsor...and that is by design!!  You must take ownership of your recovery. We just try and give you some tools.

To find out ore about recoveryBox, visit our website and download it today!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Importance of the Sobriety Anniversary - Random Resource ThuRsday

Outsiders may not understand

From Stepanie P @ Hub Pages::

I recently overheard a comment from someone who said “Sobriety anniversary? Who would ever want to celebrate being sober?” And to that I replied, “Well, for someone who was destroying their lives with drugs or alcohol, being clean and sober every passing day just happens to be a big, freaking deal!” People outside AA, NA, CA, and other 12-step or recovery-related programs often do not understand the importance of the sobriety anniversary.
As an addict in recovery, I can speak for many people that sobriety anniversaries are extremely important. They are major accomplishments! I cannot express the utter amazement I experience every passing year of continued sobriety. A customer of mine described her sobriety as a wonder to her that through "one day at a time" she was able to put together over 21 years of clean, sober, happy living.
Sobriety birthdays are events that are nothing like a regular birthdays: it's not something we dread as we get older, but rather it's another year of freedom from addiction. Another 365 days of rebuilding our lives and going from complete self-loathing to find meaning and purpose.

How can others help?

We must absolutely recognize sobriety birthdays both in and outside of fellowship. Sisters and brothers in fellowship, friends, and family should acknowledge the sobriety anniversary. Because it is an indescribably important day in the addict/alcoholic’s life, we can offer our presence at meetings where we accept chips marking another year of sobriety, or we can offer gifts commemorating that special day.

The numbers become real motivators

During my first year of in recovery, I remember watching people in the program celebrate their anniversaries and this actually made me envious. I often thought bitterly , "if that person can do it why can't I?" and this became a huge motivator for me. So as the months passed and I accepted more chips, the challenge became greater and I had finally reached my first year. That number "1" became a motivator in itself because I didn't want to break it and have to start over again.
After a few years of sobriety under my belt, sometimes the idea of remaining clean and sober became somewhat abstract; however, breaking the number was not. There were times when I thought, "I'll just have a little this one time, no one will ever know..." but then I couldn't stand the idea of starting over. What's more, I would feel hypocritical if I would have ignored that one occasion and pretended it never happen. The competitive part of me and I'm sure for many others in recovery believe it is healthy and an example of how the program is a system of interlocking motivators.
Narcotic Anonymous Key Chain with 25 Years Clean
Narcotic Anonymous Key Chain with 25 Years Clean

My personal touchstone

When I first entered recovery, I started making my own jewelry bearing the Serenity Prayer as a touchstone, something to re-direct my thoughts whenever I needed to, especially during those early days of sobriety. On my fifth sober birthday, I made myself a special reminder with a big 5 on it that wore close me. It became a constant reminder of how far I'd come. It was something I could touch or look at in the mirror at any time.
I'd been offering serenity prayer jewelry and gifts, but it never occured to me to offer the anniversary piece because it was only relevant for one year. Then someone in the program reminded me of the tradition of passing your number along to another sister or brother in recovery whenever they reach that birthday. I now offer several types ofgifts customized for sobriety anniversaries for both men and women . I invite to stop by and view my artwork at

Random Resource ThuRsday - Spiritual Self-Care

Tuesday we posted about Spiritual Self-Care the last of the green lights in recoveryBox.  So that was a quick how to get it into the app and why it is listed as a G3 (third of the self-care items).

I thought for today's Random Resource ThuRsday I would bring a different flavor to spiritual self-care.

First how do we take care of ourselves spiritually?  Below, is a site I came across when I was looking up spiritual self-care.  I was thinking about God and all he has created. Then that lead me to thinking about nature which lead me to thinking about plants..and this lead me to ...

Using Flower Essences to Establish and Maintain Spiritual Needs.  This is from The Desert-Alchemy's website and I found it interesting.  They talk about spiritual needs on man levels including having a Higher Power, Meditation, Contemplation and yes, flowers.  Please read as I think you will enjoy.

to Read more from that site, visit

The Core Issue

Spiritual Self-Care

An exploration of flower essences to establish and
maintain support for your spiritual needs

spiritual self-care

  1. the activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a Higher Power and deeper meaning for our lives
How do we take care of ourselves spiritually? Spiritual self-care is the activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a Higher Power and meaning for our lives. Just as it is essential to nurture your body with food, it is necessary to nurture your soul with spirit.
There are many spiritual paths and spiritual support systems. Some of us may find that one particular spiritual path feels right and helps us find meaning and understanding for life. Others may find spiritual meaning through an eclectic blend of different spiritual traditions. Still others may blaze their own path.
Regardless of where you find spiritual meaning, a certain amount of effort and discipline are necessary for establishing and maintaining spiritual nurturance.

Higher Power

Perhaps spiritual self-care begins with feeling connected with a greater energy source, with God, a Higher Power, GodSelf, or Universal Oneness. All of us have a vital life force within that animates and brings meaning to life. When we feel this presence, we are connecting to our Higher Power. A Way to the GodSelf Formula helps us experience this connection.
When you are moving along nicely in your life you don't usually think as much about your Higher Power. Yet, when times become challenging, when you most need support and reassurance, you often lose a sense of connection to God or your Higher Self. It is not uncommon to feel as if you have been cut adrift and you are not sure of how to proceed in life. You may even think that you just cannot go on. Saguaro Cactusflower essence helps you find that the inner wisdom and strength that you seek is located right within yourself, and you can go on for one more breath, one more hour, or one more day.
Whether you are in the midst of a life crisis or experiencing a time of peaceful growth, there are a few practices that can help you on your spiritual journey, no matter what the path you are following. Two of them are meditation and contemplation.


One common thing that many folks say is that their key to balance and inner harmony is meditation. If you have a daily meditation practice, even if it is for fifteen minutes a day, it can be amazingly effective. Meditation is so simple that you might think it couldn't possibly help.
Every day we clean our teeth, yet how many of us clean out our minds on a regular basis? Meditation is sitting quietly and detaching from your thoughts, even if just for a few minutes or even a few seconds.
Meditation can also be body movement with complete focus on the present moment that moves you out of your thoughts. Some people experience this state when they exercise and "get into the zone." Many Olympic athletes do this, and their performances have a quality that entrances those who watch.
Meditation is a simple, natural part of life. Scientists have found that children naturally meditate. Every hour or so a child's eyes will glaze over as his or her gaze turns inward for ten to thirty seconds. The child is present, yet detached, and usually will not respond right away if you speak to him or her. This is a natural phenomenon.
As we grow up our society teaches us to be more engaged in doing or accomplishing, and we lose this natural tendency. We learn that we should constantly focus on everything outside of ourselves, and we forget how to look within. If we sit in meditation for just fifteen minutes a day, we can recapture the feeling of refreshment and restore a sense of harmony to our lives.
Those who meditate on a regular basis say that their lives seem more manageable. After meditating you feel refreshed, you are able to detach from worries and concerns and you are usually restored to a sense of balance.
There are many different challenges to being able to meditate. One flower essence, Rainbow Cactus, can help you if you have difficulty in detaching from what your mind thinks. When you meditate, you do not stop thinking, you just allow your focus to go beyond your thoughts. Rainbow Cactus helps you move from one state of consciousness to another.
"We have a natural ability to go within ourselves to different levels or planes of consciousness. When we know to what plane of consciousness we want to go, this flower essence helps us arrive there.
"During normal daily awareness, we listen to our minds and function from this perspective. This is one level of consciousness. When we meditate, we go beyond what our mind thinks. This is another level." [1]

Rainbow Cactus can be an excellent support for moving easily into "observer consciousness", where you detach from what you mind thinks and simply observe. When you allow your thoughts to be background music instead of the main attraction, you slide easily into meditation.
Queen of the Night Cactus is another flower essence that helps with challenges to meditation. This night-blooming flower provides a flower essence that supports you in turning your focus within. Queen of the Night takes you deeply inside, through the inner corridors of darkness, to find that we are connected to all of creation through sensing and feeling.
This essence awakens you to feminine qualities of receptivity, subtlety, intuition, psychic impression, and deep feeling. It helps you find a state in which you can easily meditate. It can help you value your inner, intuitive self, especially if you have been taught that rational logic is more important than intuition.
When we meditate, some of us may fear losing control. As you let go of focus on your thoughts, you may have a feeling of falling, or of moving to the unknown. Sacred Datura is the essence of choice to help us let go, or surrender, into meditation. It is through letting go that we attain everything. It helps us to feel safe and protected as we let go of the known or familiar. This flower essence helps us to find comfort in formlessness. It supports us in dissolving our ideas about reality so that we can widen our experience of life and ourselves.
Another challenge to meditation is fear. You may find yourself afraid that you will be overpowered or taken over by dark forces or something that you don't know if you meditate. Scorpion Weed is the essence to use for these fears. This great flower essence can help you find that the strength of innocence and direct confrontation overcomes fear and paralysis. It supports the restoration of trust in your essential goodness and light.
If you want to begin or renew a meditation practice, you can take four drops of each essence in a glass of water, and then sit for ten minutes. At first you may just hear your mind thinking all of its thoughts. That's normal. When you meditate your mind does not stop thinking, but you learn to go beyond your mind's thoughts, to just observe them and not be engaged by them. Even if you sit and listen to the thoughts in your mind for ten minutes each day, congratulate yourself. This is how the practice begins. After time, the desire to meditate will arise spontaneously. In the beginning it takes effort to commit to sitting, but after some time it will come naturally.
It can be helpful, but not essential, to sit for meditation at the same time every day. If you want, you can extend the time you sit to fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, and then half an hour. Don't worry that you will spend too much time meditating. Before you sit for meditation, tell yourself how long you want to sit. You will naturally come back from meditation in precisely that length of time.
Within a few days or weeks you will find that you naturally want to sit for meditation. It will become easier to let go of your thoughts, and you may find that as you let go, you begin to experience "nothingness." As you go deeper into the "nothingness", you ultimately experience great bliss and joy.


Another important part of spiritual self-care is contemplation. When we contemplate, we review an event or a question and we study it with our minds and hearts. It is a way to help us to find higher meaning with the daily events of life. The word contemplation itself shows us its meaning: "con" means with; and temple is the root of "templation". It means being with the temple within you, or seeking inner spiritual wisdom.
When you contemplate, it is like meditation, only you invite your mind and your heart to be equal and active partners. You may contemplate especially difficult or challenging events in your daily life. Or, you may contemplate the especially easy things that happened in your day. Through contemplation you invite the truth of your heart to show you a deeper meaning to the mundane events of life.
The Saguaro-Queen Formula is an excellent support for contemplation. It contains two important flower essences that help balance cognitive function with intuitive listening: Saguaro Cactus and Queen of the Night Cactus.
Queen of the Night Cactus can help you pull your focus inward, to counter the compelling outer focus that your life brings. If you fear or distrust your intuition Queen of the Night can help you to cultivate a new relationship with intuition, which is an important part of contemplation.
Saguaro Cactus helps you recognize and listen to your inner wisdom. It can support you in translating your intuitive impressions into words and understandable concepts. It helps you recognize that true wisdom and the answers you are seeking reside within you.

For those who love to rush off into new life situations without contemplating and making wisdom from what we have experienced, Periwinkle can help. This flower essence inspires you to review and integrate an experience so that you may discover its inherent wisdom, before you rush off into a new event or situation. Periwinkle helps you extrapolate wisdom from experience so you have a greater foundation as you move on into new aspects of living.


Perhaps the biggest question we attempt to answer in life is our purpose for living. When you have a sense of a higher purpose, the daily events of life become rich with meaning. When you feel that your life has meaning, you experience a greater sense of well being and confidence. You also can more easily let go of blame, regret, guilt and many of the things that leave you feeling anxious and stuck.
Connecting with Purpose Formula is a composite essence that helps you recognize your purpose. The chapter about this flower essence, on page 366 of The Alchemy of the Desert - Second Edition book, describes an exercise you can use along with the flower essence formula to help you define your purpose.
When you are clear about your spiritual ideals and want to integrate them into your daily life, Cliff Rose is the essence of choice. This essence helps keep you connected to your source and bring that quality of energy into manifestation. It helps you actualize your spiritual perspective in mundane situations.

Spiritual Support

Spiritual support is available in abundance if you ask for it. The tricky part is remembering to ask. The Giving & Receiving Support Formula is excellent for helping you remember to ask. It also helps you if, after asking for support, you tend not to allow yourself to receive it.
When you want to consciously have the boundless support of the angelic realm, you can use Invoking Celestial Guardians Formula from our Angelic Awareness Kit of flower essences.
It is helpful to have the support of people following the same, or similar, path by being involved with a spiritual community. Churches, meditation centers, and other spiritual groups can provide support through regular meetings and rituals that celebrate life events. For those who may be timid to join a group, Community Spirit Formula can be of special support. This essence can help you feel more comfortable being part of a group without giving up your individuality.
Nature can be a powerfully gentle ally in helping you recognize spiritual support. To consciously develop a deeper relationship with nature, you can use Deepening Inner Union Formula.
Spiritual self-care is as important to a balanced life as food is for the body. When we care for ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, we naturally find a sense of peace and meaning for our lives.

Selecting the Most Appropriate Flower Essences

Not every flower essence mentioned above will be appropriate for every person's specific needs. Different people have different issues with spiritual self-care. The process itself of exploring and contemplating your issues is important. It is the foundation for successfully selecting the most beneficial flower essences. Usually, careful self-examination can clearly show you which of the above flower essences are most appropriate for your particular needs.
Though you can use more than one flower essence together, you probably will not need to use all of the ones mentioned here. After contemplating your relationship to this issue, select the flower essences that apply for you, or use an intuitive method to select among them. (For more information on how to do this, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.) A general guideline is to use four drops at a time, four times a day, in water. However, it is fine to follow your intuition and use them as often as you like. Most people find that they tend to use them more often in the beginning and less often towards the end of the cycle. Unless otherwise indicated, a cycle is usually two to four weeks. [more]
For information on how to clearly evaluate the effects of the essences you have used, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.