Alcohol rehab

Begin, Again

They shattered.

Into a million little pieces.

Bleeding out across the floor, and pooling around my worn out running shoes. The blood of their father, the weight of his name, the memories of their childhood, his smile, his large hand wrapped around theirs, were soaking the floor.

Stretching out for them, they crumpled like binder paper. As if, I was reaching for a ghost, as hard as I tried, I could not keep them from fading out of sight. In a second of time, my children, evaporated, right in front of my eyes.

I have never seen those children again.

My family died the day John shot himself.

I had to find a way to rebirth my son and daughter.

With no map or human understanding of what had happened, I had to put them back together. My children had become a shattered puzzle, blown apart with the pull of a trigger. I desperately shuffled through the pile, and piece by piece, began to rebuild.  

I took great care in their reassembly.

I did not want my children to fall into the belief that they need to be defined by their loss, or have his death be their legacy. I wanted them to love themselves, to honor their father and to keep the very best of him alive. I was not going to allow my children to fall victim to the trauma or use it as an excuse not to live their best lives. I would not allow his loss to rob them of the ability to achieve their goals, to experience the beautiful feelings of success and the disappointment of failure or to dream big and grand, and, one day, to fall madly and deeply in love. I would not allow to shrink.

 We live in a culture that pathologies and diagnoses much of the human experience.

The way we grieved did not follow the outline of a clinical study or the chapters of self help books. I wanted them to heal, in their own time and on their own terms.We each did the best we could to recover from the loss of John. I made mistakes. Some big mistakes but what I did perfectly right, was love my children. My world became very dark and I did my best to fumble through the lightless road in front of me. My son did not speak his fathers name for years, and my daughter threw herself into weekly therapy and writing. We three, chose our own paths to ease the ache we felt. Our journeys were different but the destination was the same, arriving at the start, where the world was new and the horizon, expansive for exploration to become new people and rebuild the foundation of self and family.

Since Johns death, I have raised my children with the belief that they do not need to attach to the label of trauma survivor, rather, they can heal. They can move forward. They can thrive. I wanted to protect them from the pressure of being sentence to a life where they are defined by their fathers suicide, having their successes and failures, tainted by the choices of the generation before them.

With the love of family and friends, the strength of their dad, and a faith in God, they are strong confident people, with the uninvited wisdom, that terrible things can happen, we can feel unspeakable pain and in an instant, whole lives can shatter. They also know, that we can begin our lives again, from the rumble of a life blown to pieces, we can rebuild, we can rise, and beautiful joyous days will come again.

None of us are the same people we were, the years before September 5, 2011.

At the age of 40, 11 and 9

We were reborn.

And we Began, Again….

Sober and Shameless, Kw

 

 

 

Welcome to Full Circle Addiction & Recovery Services

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Full Circle Addiction & Recovery Services has been providing professional, compassionate and highly effective intervention, long term recovery care and premier sober living for over 20 years.

Full Circle’s team of exceptional certified addiction professionals and licensed clinicians provide individualized and intensive relapse care for our clients. Our personalized and nurturing treatment approach ensures that the experience in our care, will address the specific needs of men and women in early recovery. We work closely with our clients in order to provide them with the very best individualized and professional addiction treatment.

I am very proud of our highly respected team, who are passionate about recovery and dedicated to providing the highest level of care for our clients. We consider it our privilege to guide our clients, their families and our sober living guests through the despair of addiction and into a life of long-term recovery.

As the founder of Full Circle Addiction and Recovery Services, I have been working in recovery for over 20 years and have continued to stay on the cutting edge of intervention and treatment modalities. Motivated through years of personal addiction and 25 years of long-term recovery, I have made it my life’s work to study and understand addiction and the advancements in the treatment of the disease. I believe in recovery. I believe in hope and change. I am an example that it is never too late to find recovery and that the possibilities of sobriety are endless.


Full Circle Intervention

Full Circle Intervention was founded in 1995 and for the last two decades has been providing professional, compassionate intervention for families and addicted individuals. Internationally recognized as a leader in the field of intervention, I have been invited to speak for conferences
across the US and in the UK sharing my innovative process of inclusive, invitational respectful
intervention process. Working with families to intervene on active addiction and enabling with
uncommon sense of transparency and honesty that results in long-term recovery for the whole
family. As the founder of Full Circle Intervention, I have been invited on Good Morning America
as their addiction specialist. My intervention work has been the highlighted on two televisionground breaking documentary series.

Addicted, which premiered on TLC, went on to win the prestigious Prism Award, for the most
realistic depiction of addiction and mental health issues. Codependent, which premiered and LMN and currently airs on both on LMN and A and E channels, allows viewers a real life insight into the complicated and loving ties of codependent addicted relationships.


Full Circle Living: A premier Sober Living Community

With the passion, mission and my desire to change the face and quality of sober living environments, I founded Full Circle Living in 2015. I believe that sober living, should be a warm
welcoming environment, where guests can feel supported and encouraged to continue on the,
often very difficult journey of early recovery. FCL guests feel at home, as they transition back into their daily lives. Located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, Full Circle Living homes are premier sober living communities that promote a culture of family and connection for our guests. To help raise the success of sober living, every guest receives complementary recoverycare services. The FCAR care team offers professional recovery case management while living at FC.


Full Circle Relapse Prevention Program

To expand our circle of care, the Full Relapse Prevention Program, an outpatient treatment service. The RPP is a successful solution for our clients who need treatment services while maintaining and building their active lives. The RRP is a monthly service, which provides, private sessions with a Full Circle Recovery Care professional, two 2-hour process/education groups weekly along with drug testing. The Relapse Prevention service is a clinical addition to continuing care plans for men and women who are needing the support of an ongoing therapeutic group process.


Please call the office directly, 415 202 6255, for questions and admissions.

Sincerely,
Kristina Wandzilak, CAS, CIP
Founder and CEO

Everyone is so Beautiful on Instagram

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"Everyone is so beautiful on Instagram. Their lives look so perfect. What is wrong with me?" my 17 year old female client said.

We as a culture are assaulted everyday with pictures of perfection. Photos that are edited with filters and lighting posted with quotes of the great spiritual giants, of past and present, raising the bar of everyday life so high, that no one can achieve it. Our teen girls are comparing themselves, their value and purpose to the Instagram feeds that display perfect bodies, perfect relationships, and perfect lives.

We need to teach our girls not to believe everything you see on social media. No life is perfect. Everyone will experience pain and loss in their lives. Every body is flawed and it is the flaws that make us unique. Eating gluten free bagels and drinking green juice, posing for photos, in some of the most beautiful places on earth does not mean a person has life figured out, or is on higher spiritual plane. Trust me, gluten free bagels taste like cardboard and green juice will give you diarrhea, if you drink too much.

What Instagram doesn’t show:

High school can suck.It can be painful and girls can be mean.

You will have days that you miss your lunch because you are hiding in the locker-room with your beautiful face buried in your hands, because your best friend snap chatted a party you were not invited to.

You will be left out at times.

You may have your heart broken by the boy you have had a crush on since 7th grade.

You may fail a test, or a class, or mess up on that stupid useless dance routine you have to learn for PE.

Your tampon may drop from your bag in front of the football team, turning your face bright red and your legs and arms will feel numb with searing embarrassment.

You might not be invited to prom, and the dress you bought in hopes that the cute boy from math class just might ask you, will hang in your closet. Unworn. Or maybe that cute boy from math class, will ask your friend to the dance. And she might say yes. It will hurt but it will pass and you will survive.

You might have sex for the first time, drunk at a party, with the totally hot senior, that all the girls like, only to be ignored the next day.

And you will fight with your parents, screaming that they don’t understand you, slamming your door and dive into your bed, safe under the covers, watching Netflix and hiding from the world.

Most of the time you will walk around feeling lost, confused and awkward, doubting yourself, trying to hold it all together, smiling widely, so no one actually knows how lost, confused and awkward you feel.

And at the end of all this, on your bed at night, you will look at Instagram and Snapchat, and all the stunning pictures of perfect bodies and lives, only to end up feeling less than everyone else. Do not go to battle with IG, by comparing your insides to the outsides of your followers, you will lose. Every time.

The pictures you see on social media platforms are only pictures. It is not real life but an image captured, in perfect time, to show a perfect story in a seemingly perfect life.

The most unforgettable moments will be captured in your mind and on your heart, not on a camera. The feeling of a first kiss, when your knees go weak and your head spins with exhilaration, the feeling of passing your Chemistry final after weeks of anxiety and hours of studying, and the feeling of your mom or dad, sitting at your bedside, touching your back gently and reminding you how much they love you, cannot be captured in a video or a photo.

Do not believe what you see. Behind every perfect photo is a great camera. I promise, in only a few years from right now, no one will remember how drunk you got at the senior prom, kissed a boy that was not yours, and threw up in the back seat of your best friend’s car.

Life is not an Instagram feed.

Sober and shameless, Kw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Failure and Success

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In our relapse prevention group the question of success and failure often arise. Many clients
struggle with the feeling of failure as a consequence of relapse, feeling crippled with shame.

I do not believe in success or failure. I believe in experiences. Some more enjoyable than others, but all of them opportunities to learn and expand as a person. The terms success and failure are a creation of ego and a social barometer of a value of a person and their choices. I moved away from the labels many years ago.

Relapse is not failure. It is a deeply shaming to attach the judgmental term to a disease and the
process of recovery. This belief keeps people from seeking help once relapse has occurred and is a breeding ground for the internal torture that cripples’ addicts from ‘coming back’. Shame is the universal haunting of the addicted mind and the most powerful kindling for the raging fire of self-hatred and regret that follows a relapse episode.

We need to move away from viewing relapse as a failure.

When guided by a trusted professional, relapse can be a turning point in a person recovery.
What is viewed as a failure or a setback can be the greatest lesson in a person’s life which in
turn, can lead to lifelong sobriety. There is no shame in relapse, only an opportunity to learn.
Full Circle is a safe and inviting place, for clients to return for help, guidance and inspiration. If we can can make it as simple and gentle to return to treatment or self-help programs, by dispelling the belief of success and failure, reducing shame, addicted men and women will return and will begin again.

In my 24 years sober I have learned that I can never sit in judgement of another’s path. I believe that my spiritual and professional purpose is to keep the back doors to recovery as wide open as the front. My many years working in the treatment industry, have shown me, that although I may not be able to understand the journey of another, I am in no position to question it but rather help guide through the emotional mine field and help find the life lesson.

Some of the most considered successful people I know, are the least I admire and equally, some
who are considered failures, those who struggle and continue to fight for themselves, are my
greatest teachers. Once I let go of defining my experiences, both professionally and personally,
as successful or failures, life became a playground. A wide-open space to try new things, take risks, to say yes to opportunities that are terrifying and to fall down and get up again. I have said yes to every opportunity that has presented itself along my way, no longer afraid of failure but open to the challenge to face my fears, be brave and learn humility. I take no pride or shame in the outcome of any of my adventures, in life or career.

No longer defined by the terms and labels, I am truly free, to live large and be brave. Since letting go of any attachment to the outcome of my choices, or how others view me, life has become an arena of endless opportunities. I hope to inspire others to say Yes. To be unafraid. Take risks. Be uncomfortable. Be brave. Play, Struggle, stand still and hurt, take chances and through all of life’s experiences, evolve into people who simply, inspire others to live. Relapse is not an end but the beginning of someone new. I will stand my post, without shame or pride, hold the doors of recovery open and keep the fire of hope burning. Come home. We are waiting.

If success and failure, are illusions, what would you do with your one life?

Sober and shameless, Kw