Thursday, May 3, 2012

MOTHERS & MULLETS: TurningLeaf Foundation's 1st Fundraiser

Come One!  Come All!  

TurningLeaf Foundation, the non-profit side of TurningLeaf Inc., is having its first Fundraiser on Saturday, May 12th, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

We chose this Saturday to honor mothers and the Fundraiser is entitled MOTHERS AND MULLETS.  It will be held in the parking lot of TurningLeaf Wellness Center at 1240 East 100 South (Troon Park).  Admission is $2.50  for adults and all kids are free. 
There will be a live band, “The Band of Outsiders” and a Mother’s Day Style Show.  There will be chances for prize drawings with the Grand Prize being a Springdale Get-a-Way!  Come as Stevie Nicks or Steven Tyler and there is also a prize for the best look alike! 
You will also learn more about TurningLeaf Foundation.  As you know, there are many people who want and need help with addictions treatment and mental health issues and they are unable to afford counseling and therapy.  It is our goal to raise monies to help those in need.  We have contracted with Stable Environment to provide Egala certified Equine Therapy and with other experiential therapies.  
Scott and Ranae Wulff have voluntarily been holding a monthly support group at TurningLeaf Wellness Center for Chronic Pain and Amputees.  Many of these people, also, have needs that are not being currently being met. 
There will be fun booths of various services in our area.  If you want to set up a booth for your business or cause ($25 booth fee; bring your own chairs and table), volunteer to help or to donate money if unable to attend, please call Sue at (435) 652-1202 or Ranae at (435) 705-9558. 

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


We are truly a quick fix or immediate gratification society.  We have drive-through fast food, drive-through pharmacy, drive-through car wash, etc.  Whatever the need or want the quicker it is met the better.  Alcohol and drugs are perhaps the ultimate “quick fix”.  I can escape life and not feel emotional pain.  However, how many others ways in life do we each look for the quick fix or easy way. 

I had a total hip replacement surgery the end of February.  My first question for the doctor was:  “when can I go back to work?”  He told me I could go back part-time in 2 weeks, however, he did not add that I could not drive for 4 weeks and I would still perhaps need pain medication.  Being on pain medication was a reminder of how easy addiction can slip in.  I noticed and other peers noticed that my clarity of thought was compromised on the pain medication.  I was unprepared for the “recovery” time needed.  It is almost 6 weeks since the surgery and I am still working toward a full recovery. 

When others decide to stop using alcohol or drugs, we talk about “recovery” and that it is not easy.  It is actually hard work.  Often the value of living in the moment, one day at a time, is recognized as the best way to live and work a good recovery program.  The value of patience with myself and others is encouraged as we begin to let go of guilt or shame or blaming others.  If we are “working” recovery, this impacts those around us as I begin to live true to myself and my values.  It often calls for changes from loved ones and friends.  Hopefully, I begin to make changes or grow toward a balance of self-care.   Learning to forgive myself and others and to love myself is critical for accepting help from those around me.  All growth and change calls for patience from me.   

I found all those recovery tools to recovery from addiction were applicable to my recovery from surgery.  However, while my recovery from a health issue may have an end in sight, recovery from addiction is a life long journey.  So can we be patient and enjoy the journey whether it is short or long term?

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The founders of TurningLeaf Inc., and TurningLeaf Wellness Center have long been concerned about inadequate funding and care for persons experiencing mental health, substance abuse and chronic pain issues. We realized with the ever changing economic times the need was becoming even greater.  For the past year, Scott and Ranae Wulff have been providing a Chronic Pain and Amputee Support group, hosted at the TurningLeaf Wellness Center office, the first Friday of every month and the response has been fantastic. 
In January 2011, TurningLeaf Foundation was formed and applied for a 501C3, non-profit status.  This is a lot of work to apply and we are indebted to Shelley Lantz for her organizational skills and interest in non-profits.  Without her help with the entire process, the Foundation might still be just a dream. 
In October 2011, we got a letter from the IRS approving our non-profit status.  We are finalizing the Board of Directors and hopefully in a matter of months the Foundation can begin helping those who need help.  Only those with monies are able to get the treatment they need for mental health, substance abuse or chronic pain.  We see this as an atrocity, a big concern and a huge liability for our communities.  Only less than a third of the citizens in our area are getting the help they need.  So we made an unmitigated commitment to further the care by the use of grants, fund raising, direct donations, and philanthropic support. 
Turning Leaf Wellness Center and TurningLeaf Foundation are two separate entities.  The Foundation’s application process will be open to all needing help in these areas.  So much depends on the generosity of others that can give.  If you are interested in more information, would like to volunteer in some area, or can give financial help, please contact the Foundation at (435) 705-9558.

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC 
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


How often have you heard someone say, “Everything happens for a reason”? 

Did you ever watch the Hercules series on TV in the 90’s?  Right at the height of his career, actor, Kevin Sorbo, of Hercules fame, experienced a major health crisis.  He tells his story of his personal tragedy in his book, True Strength, My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life.  Like Jill Bolte Taylor, he also suffered a stroke in his 30’s, actually 3 strokes.  He was in great physical shape at the time and yet struggled to heal the brain.  He talks of a physical, spiritual (he went back to the Christian Church with his wife Sam and they prayed together) and psychological (emotional) healing.   He talks about going to a Jungian psychiatrist who helped him with accepting his “humanness” or his shadow side.  “We all have our shadow, the part of us we don’t want.  The ego wants to leave it behind, but Jung said that the purpose of life is to integrate it.”  He admits he had liked his Hercules identity and coming to terms with this “weakness” or being mortal and human, coming to acceptance of this and not feeling ashamed of “being human”, was part of the healing process. 

Most addicts or alcoholics have a hard time asking for help and accepting that as a part of their humanness. His body and his mind “were telling him to take a rest”.  He began to find balance in his life.  He describes his wife, Sam, as his “motivation”.  She supported him and recognized the mind, body, spirit healing process.  From this same Jungian psychiatrist, he also learned that finding gratitude daily for what was working helped him be more positive.  This is a great step to stay positive in recovery too. 

Finally, we can be grateful all life’s experiences, especially the challenges because they can help us grow. Kevin and his wife, Sam, now have 3 children and he is a spokesman for A World Fit for Kids, a non-profit mentoring organization in Los Angeles.  Hockey player, Wayne Gretsky in his recommendation of the book states:  “Hockey is a contact sport.  So is life…An inspiring and uplifting journey into the world of never giving up.”  Fellow actor, Tom Selleck states:  “Tragedy can transform us for the better.  That is Kevin’s message.”  Pick up the book and read it and tell me what you think?  Better yet, let me know how your challenge in overcoming addiction has transformed you for the better.   

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC 

Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Last fall, I talked about three areas of recovery.  The first is a need to be committed to the process of recovery and to doing the hard work required.  And, it is tough work.  It is “my” work and no one can do it for me.  Therefore, I am accountable for my choices and consequences of my choices.  The second area was balance and the six areas of balance were identified:  physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and financial.  The third area is living in today or “the present moment”.

My last blog post I talked about the book, My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.  She talks about the amazing healing power of the human body and brain.  There are amazing gifts to each of us.  Believe it or not there is a need for balance of the right and left hemispheres of the brain.  Prior to her stroke, Ms. Taylor states that she lived much of the time in the left brain of analytical thinking.  Since the stroke was in the left brain, her right brain now became dominant.  She describes this as “gaining access to the experience of deep inner peace in the consciousness of my right mind when the language and orientation association areas in the left hemisphere became nonfunctional.”  She further states that her goal during her process of recovery has been to find a healthy balance between the right and left hemispheres, and also to be aware and in charge of which (right or left) dominated her perspective at any given moment. 

In recovery work, there is a saying of needing “to talk the talk and walk the walk”.  We also refer to how our head (left hemisphere) as the thinking part and it is telling us to do one thing while our heart, feelings or intuition (right hemisphere) is telling us the opposite.  There are numerous ways to describe the two hemispheres and she believes they are very separate and distinct.  Therefore, it is important to honor both thoughts and feelings and to find alignment here.  She used the phrase “step to the right” when she found she was over thinking and needed to relax and allow the feeling/intuitive right brain to come forth.  Just spend some time checking in with yourself?  Which hemisphere of the brain is more dominant?  Can you choose to “shift to the right”?  Often addicts, substance abusers (alcohol/drugs) use their addiction to avoid the right hemisphere feeling brain?  How comfortable are you with your feelings?  How comfortable are you with working with feelings and thoughts and finding that balance? 

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC 

Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Friday, February 3, 2012


I have been challenged to blog once a week and I am making a commitment to do so.  No, this was not originally one of my New Year’s Resolutions, however, it now is. 

I recently finished reading the book My Stroke of Insight, a Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.  At age 37 she suffered a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain.  She states it took 8 years, however, she has now healed her brain completely and her book recounts her journey.  It is a powerful read in further understanding the brain, the right and left hemispheres, and the brains amazing capacity to heal. Since alcohol and drugs also affect the brain, I learned some important tools that can apply for healing the brain in recovery from addiction.  In her Appendix B at the back of the book, she lists Forty Things I Needed the Most.  I am not going to repeat all 40, however, I am going to paraphrase the first 5 and compare healing in recovery from addiction. 

Number 1 – I am not stupid, I am wounded.  Please respect me.  When someone is wounded physically it is easy to see and be empathetic, however, when one’s brain is wounded, it is hard to see and appreciate just how severe the wound may be.  In the process of recovery, it is important to respect ourselves and how we have wounded our brain enough to do the work of healing.  Dr. Taylor spent eight years working and challenging herself to heal her brain completely.  She is living proof, it can be done!  Yes, she had a great support group, however, she did the hard work. 

Number 2 – Come close, speak slowly and enunciate clearly.  Here she talks about how energy can be positive or negative to our healing.  Those who are loud and speak fast with nervous energy is counter-productive.  How is our own energy and how is the energy of others around us. 

Number 3 – repeat yourself, assume I know nothing and start from the beginning over and over. So many times I hear from client, “ I know all that, I have been to treatment before”.  Perhaps repetition is needed for my brain to internalize and for me to take action? 

Number 4 – Be patient with me the 20th time you teach me something, as you were the first.  The average for treatment experiences by clients with addictions is 8.  How patient can we be with ourselves and with others in the recovery process? 

Number 5 – Approach me with an open heart and slow your energy down.  Take your time.  Hopefully, we can approach our recovery and healing with an open heart and offer the same to others. 

Again, any thoughts and comments from others is greatly appreciated.

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SPIRITUALITY - We are all spiritual beings having a human experience

Time flies and another week is here.  Today let's talk about spirituality as a part of the six areas of balance.  As Carol Lynn Pearson says in her great little book, "Embracing Coincidence", "I have lived my life by faith, choosing to believe that life has to make sense, choosing to believe there is Spirit behind matter, choosing to believe consciousness survives death, choosing to believe there is a God and that God is good."  Today, I believe this with all my heart and mind.  As a child growing up I was taught to fear God if I was not "good enough" or if I was not perfect.  As stated in the title we are human beings here having a spiritual experience.  Being human, I learn and grow through trial and error.  I am not perfect, nor do I need to be.  It is enough to "always do my best".  Today, I know God's love is unconditional and that I can choose to live in love or fear.  I choose LOVE.  In his book, "The Four Agreements" Don Miguel Ruiz gives us four important truths to guide our life.  First, is be impeccable with your word and to cultivate faith.  "To have great faith is to have great power, because your intent, your will is undivided.  When your work isn't dissipated by doubt, the power of your work becomes even stronger."  Faith is not sure knowledge it is more a belief.  What do I believe?  Do I believe in God and his love for me and his desire for me to become the best me?  Do I believe there is a higher, best me and I can become better?  Do I believe that God or the Universe supports my growth?  Don Miguel Ruiz's fourth agreement is "always do your best". My "best" is differenct from day to day.  Ruiz states:  "You do your best when you are enjoying the action or doing it in a way that will not have negative repercussions for you.  You do your best because you "want" to do it - not because you "have" to do it; not because you are trying to please the judge, and not because you are trying to please other people."  Have you heard it said, "It is progress not perfection"?  Am I better today than yesterday, am I better this year than last year?  How is my progress? Spiritual balance indicates the need for progress and so recovery is about continual growth.  To me an important part of spirituality is gratitude, being grateful for all good gifts and grateful for my life just as it is today.  Do you have a gratitude list?  To increase spirituality, it is helpful to write down each day, five to ten things for which you are grateful.  It is a great reminder of how blessed I am and I try to do this daily.  Give it a try, perhaps it will work for you too.  In her book, "Lovingkindness", Sharon Salzberg reminds us:  We may look for that which is stable, unchanging, and safe, but awareness teaches us that such a search cannot succeed.  Everything in life changes.  The path to true happiness is one of integrating and fully accepting all aspects of our experience.  Ying and yang, circle half dark and half light....  Unity, integration, comes from deeply accepting darkness and light, and therefore being able to be in both simultaneously.  We must move from trying to control the uncontrollable cycles of pleasure and pain, and instead learn how to connect, to open, to love not matter what is happening.   I will close with the Serenity Prayer said at the end of 12 Step meetings.  "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.  Today, I choose LOVE and light even living amidst the darkness.
Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor