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New Meeting in New Bedford, MA!


Thanks to the work of longtime LifeRinger Ewa C. and her co-convenor Jessie F., we’re thrilled to announce the very first LifeRing meeting in Massachusetts will start next Saturday, February 24th, in New Bedford!

Here’s all the meeting information:

WHEN: Saturdays at 11:30 AM

WHERE: First Unitarian Church (enter through side door near parking), 71 8th Street, New Bedford, MA 02740

CONVENORS: Jessie F. and Ewa C.


They also have a Facebook page – check it out here!

We wish Jessie, Ewa, and all new meeting members our very best!




A Sweet Story: LifeRing ePals

LifeRing ePals is a program where anyone who feels like they’d benefit from one-on-one support is paired with a clean and sober LifeRing member via email.

Longtime LifeRinger Julie H. signed up to become an ePal and was eventually connected with a man from China seeking sobriety support. One might think it impossible to even communicate with someone when there’s a considerable language barrier much less create a supportive connection, but in spite of some challenges they’ve found a way.

Here’s an update Julie originally shared in a LifeRing e-mail group. We thought it was such an inspiration we’re sharing it with you here (with Julie’s permission, of course)…

“A quick update on my Chinese epal. For the newcomers who don’t know, he uses translation software to read and send emails between us. His sober time between relapses has been steadily growing and the length of each relapse is shrinking. 

His pattern before would be 3-5 days or maybe a week sober, followed by a 10 day relapse. He’s back with me today after a 2 day relapse which followed 27 sober days straight. 

It takes amazing determination I think and he’s definitely making steady progress. I’ve managed to find an App for English to Chinese which I sometimes use because he really appreciates that. He tells me Empowering Your Sober Self is now available in China which is awesome. 

By the way, I’m in no way advocating relapse but unfortunately it’s a fact of life. What’s important I think is to keep that pilot light on and to never ever give up. 

Julie H.”

If you’d like to get an ePal or become one, please send an e-mail to Craig at and he’ll be glad to get you started.


Hope Springs Eternal In Connecticut

Hey, everyone!

Just thought you should know that we’ve become an important part of what I’ll call “Springtime for Conferences”, the time of year when flowers bloom and people get together to talk about the important stuff of life – stuff like…recovery.

That’s right – in addition to our own little shindig coming up next weekend (more on that in another post a little later), I’m rather pleased and inspired to tell you all about LifeRing’s attendance and presentation at the Multiple Pathways of Recovery Conference, held by the CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery), a leading recovery advocacy and support services community organization, at the Mystic Marriot Hotel earlier this month on May 2nd – 4th  in Groton, Connecticut.

The reason for my feelings of inspiration is that, as the conference’s name implies, its purpose is to broaden the recovery umbrella under which all manner of recovery pathway everywhere are included, accepted, and respected by one another, healthcare and treatment providers and practitioners, and the public in general – something I’ve been personally longing to see since my recovery in LifeRing began. Thus, imho, the vital importance of LifeRing’s inclusion under that umbrella cannot be overstated.

Anyhoo, our involvement started with Cindy, LifeRing’s Northeast Regional Representative and meetings organizer at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT, who got the information about the conference and in touch with Chiara, CCAR conference organizer, and we went from there.

Cindy, Chiara, and Njon

Cindy, Chiara, and Njon Weinroth

The conference introduced the concept of “one size does not, in fact, fit all”, which included groups from the faith-based Celebrate Recovery! to 12 Steps to secular groups like ours, SMART Recovery, and WFS (Women for Sobriety), and to yoga and fitness programs, by featuring speakers, workshops, and presentations throughout, including LifeRing’s presentation given by our own Njon Weinroth!


Njon demonstrates LifeRing’s principle of growing one’s “Sober self” (the “S”) to take over where the “Addicted self” (the “A”) had previously been running the show.

Byron Kerr, LifeRing’s Board of Directors Chair, and longtime LifeRinger Ewa C. also attended, gathered valuable information from the conference, and along with Cindy and Njon made significant contacts with other attendees.

Ewa, Cindy, Njon, and Byron

                    Ewa, Cindy, Njon, and Byron


Ewa shared her notes on the genesis of the concept of multiple pathways:

“The conference opened with a video of William L. White, author of “Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America”, and who has worked in the addiction fields since 1969 in a variety of roles.

Bill White set the stage for further discussion of multiple pathways of recovery. He described recovery as being a fundamental transformation of a person–substance relationship. He pointed out how important it is to look at the language we use to talk about addiction and recovery, e.g. the need to change talk about pathways ‘to’ recovery to pathways ‘of’ recovery, saying this shifts the focus from the ‘addiction story’ to the ‘recovery story’.

I liked what he said about the need for ‘clinical humility’ in the treatment of addiction: the need to keep our ideas and ideology on probation.

Finally, he talked about how single pathway treatment has dominated the addiction field for way too many years and that the concept of multiple pathways into and out of addiction is very provocative and that is it time to move from a so-called ‘program’ to an ever-expanding menu of choices.”


Our group was particularly impressed with Tom Hill, Senior Adviser on Addiction Recovery from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) who also served for 3 years as Director of Programs at Faces and Voices of Recovery and gave a very inspiring talk.  He spoke about the need for fluency across treatment options within the recovery and treatment community and how impressed he was with the passion in the room.  He mentioned LifeRing two or three times – using specific language from Njon’s presentation.

“It was enormously encouraging to hear Tom Hill state that the recovery community must respect ‘all pathways’ of recovery. He mentioned all of the pathways on an equal basis,” said Byron.

Tom Hill, SAMHSA

                                 Tom Hill, SAMHSA


Byron also met one of the founders of In The Rooms – a virtual recovery resource with 29 different recovery communities that offer video meetings of all ilk.  SMART and WFS are members, and it seems to be a place LifeRing should be available as well.  Note the LifeRing books on the table!:

Byron and an In the Rooms co-founder

        Byron (L) and an In the Rooms co-founder

So, as you can see, it seems altogether we made an impact there! And one that will help us continue widening the crack in the opening behind the curtain of recovery that has been closed to us, and to the addicts who need us, for far too long.

Look out, recovery – here we come!

Thanks so much to everyone who attended the conference, and shared their pictures and experiences of it with us!




Making Plans: A Thanksgiving Survival Kit

I'm Not A Turkey


If next Thursday will be your 1st Thanksgiving Day clean and sober or your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 20th, then you might be looking forward to it with anticipation, dread – and possibly both, with a dose of anxiety added in for good measure. While we hope it will be a most pleasant holiday for you, it still comes laden with multiple stresses and people determined to mix alcohol along with their bird, so it’s good to have a plan in place to keep your Sobriety Priority above all else (and pass the gravy, please).

First, a friendly reminder to our face-to-face meeting attendees whose groups may normally get together on Thursdays, please check in with your meeting convenor to find out if the meeting will still take place on Thanksgiving Day – and convenors, please do your best to let your fellow group members know if yours won’t.

But never fear – LifeRing’s still here!

Our chat room will be open at all hours, and with huge thanks to him, meeting convenor Tim S. will be hosting the online Dual Recovery meeting on Thursday evening (6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern).

We have several other online support venues available 24/7/365, so if you’re not already a member of any of them, please feel free to check our e-mail groups here, our Ning Social Network Forum here, and our web forum here. Even if you don’t feel like actively participating, sometimes just reading through posts new and old helps enormously.

Finally, here’s a great blog post that lists 15 excellent ways you can survive Thanksgiving and move on unscathed!

Whatever you do, DD/UNMW (Don’t Drink or Use No Matter What), remember you’re not alone, and take good care – you can do it!