The 12 Steps Backwards

A Note From The Heart

I would recommend the daily reading for the 12 steps backwards to remind ourselves what causes darkness to cover our bright light. When we are walking a path of righteousness, out light starts to shine through. We begin to walk upright, head held high, we believe in ourselves again, or maybe for the first time ever. Recovery Housing adds the support system, structure, and safety net needed by anyone new to recovery, whether it’s your first time, or 11th time, it does not matter.

Step By Step

12. Having detached us spiritually because of ignoring these steps,
we let our fellow alcoholics fend for themselves and practiced these principles sporadically.

11. Let our conscious contact with God as we understood him lapse
by praying only in emergencies for our will to be carried out.

10. Slacked off on personal inventory and when we were wrong, denied or hid it.

9. Reasoned that no one had been hurt by us more than we had been hurt by them
and called it even.

8. Made a game of rationalizing the harm we had done others.

7. Sang “I’ve Gotta Be Me”.

6. Decided that our defects of character were too much fun to give up.

5. Denied to us, to God and to everybody else that we had ever done anything harmful.

4. Quickly cast a weak flashlight over our moral history.

3. Made a decision to keep our will and our lives totally in our own control.

2. Came to believe that since our troubles were of our own making,
we would have to solve them without outside help.

1. We decided that we could control alcohol and or drug use, that our lives were manageable.

Challenge Yourself

I challenge you to try your very best to post-pone instant gratification for one week. Whether it’s not going for the extra ice cream scoop, calling off sick or skipping a meeting because we are too tired, let’s see what happens to ourselves for one week. Would you do it? Could you do it? I believe in you; we all believe in you. In fact, take this challenge and report back how you felt, if it was too hard, or too easy (which if it’s too easy, please help teach us your secret).

We Are Survivors

We are worthy of self-love, God’s love, our brothers and sister’s love, our neighbor’s love. Let’s fill ourselves up from the inside out verses outside in. I have hired folks from our homes to work in our office, as staff, because there is so many of us with untapped potential. How many times were we creative in finding our fix, surviving in conditions not meant for survival, finding energy when we are extremely sick in the morning, creatively creating a plan to get our medicine?  Furthermore, we are survivors from something with a very small remission rate and killing us faster than believe. We should shout out from the rooftops “We beat our own cancer!” Even if only for today. Congratulations. You are a miracle, and we at New Foundations are very proud of you. Keep up the great work!

– Mikella Chrisman, Executive Director


The 12 steps backward is in reference to

6 Ways to Stay Sober on St. Patrick’s Day

Finding ways to stay sober on St. Patrick’s day can be a major challenge for people. It’s a common tradition for people to drink green beer, wear green clothes and party hard. When everything from bakery cookies and cupcakes, to milkshakes and bodies of water are turned green for the occasion. It’s hard to see it all and not have triggering thoughts that remind you of times when you used to party for this March holiday. Moreover, having thoughts of staying sober.

Survey Says

Being sober for St. Patty’s day isn’t impossible however. We’ve spoken to many people in recovery and sobriety in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. We came up with six ways to stay sober on St. Patrick’s day. These are suggestions that could work for anyone trying to avoid partying it up on March 17.


Get together with Sober friends and have your own sober St. Patrick’s day celebration. Or go to a St. Patrick’s Day themed 12 step meeting.


Attend a parade or some other type of event, where you can be around a lot of people and enjoy the festivities during the day time.


Cook a traditional Irish Meal. It can take all day to prepare a good, hearty dish to fill the leprachaun’s bellies.


Get to the craft store and create a green masterpiece to keep yourself busy, and have something amazing to show off to your friends.


Learn an Irish Dance. Ireland has a rich culture of creative arts. Youtube has tons of videos to find.


Be a designated driver for your friends who are able to drink without any problems. But, only if you’re ready for that.

Sober Friends

No matter what option you choose, just making the effort to not drink or party is a huge accomplishment. If you are not a person living with the disease of alcoholism or addiction, you can do something impactful. You can stay sober on St. Patrick’s Day and spend time with your friends in recovery. Furthermore, nothing says friendship more than sacrificing a favorite party day to be sober with your people who just can’t party.

If you drink don’t drive

In other words, if you do go out and partake in the alcoholic beverages, have fun, be safe, and whatever you do, don’t drive buzzed, drunk or high. Get a designated driver.

To Learn How

I remember being full of fear the day I left a ninety-day inpatient residential treatment center in Dayton, Ohio. I was sober and I had to learn how to live life without using drugs and alcohol.  I was heading to recovery housing in Price Hill on the west side of Cincinnati. Thoughts of leaving the locked facility were racing through my mind. I was terrified to go back out into the world again. What do sober people do? Was I going to be liked? Was I going to make it through the doors into the unknown?

I had nowhere else to go. There were no family members that would take me in. There were no friends that would talk to me. I was convinced that I couldn’t provide for myself.

I had burned so many bridges. I had two options. One option was to go back out into the streets. Or I could move into a recovery house with a dozen other women.

Choosing Fears

Going back out to the streets meant sleeping in “bandos”, a slang term for abandoned houses. Dangerous dwellings with no running water, electricity for warmth. No way to shower or cook food. In the streets I found myself eating out of garbage cans and stealing from a gas station for my next meal.

I had to choose which fear would lead me to recovery. The fear of going back to what my life was before treatment. Or the fear of moving into a house full of women that do not know me, my trauma or how I felt. I needed to choose the fear of the unknown.

Coming Home

When I arrived at New Foundations Recovery Housing, the house leader of my new home was standing in the driveway, waiting for me. I was greeted with a smile and a hug. Not the typical look of disgust that I was used to. For the first time in a very long time, I felt acknowledged. I felt welcomed. The Women who lived in this home surrounded me with comfort and love. Immediately offering me support and guidance to help me navigate this journey.

Learning How

I had to learn how to be a different person. I had to learn all new ways of living day to day life in recovery. My housemates taught me how to get up in the morning, they taught me how to develop a routine. The ladies introduced me to recovery and the 12 step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. They gave me rides to and from the support meetings. They drove me to what seemed like an endless number of court dates and appointments to rebuild my life.

One Step at a Time

I was literally living life one day at a time. Some days living one second at a time. The women I lived with were the shoulders I cried on when my shame and self-hate told me I was worthless. They listened to my struggles and hardships, and they lifted me up from many dark places that overthinking could take me to. As well as instilling love and self-worth inside my heart. We weren’t so different. I was not unique. These women were just like me. I found a sisterhood and a family at New Foundations Recovery Housing.

Live and Learn

After just a short time, I become employable and a licensed driver. When I could start visiting my kids again, they stood by my side. I had to learn how to be a mother again, how to be a friend, a good daughter and a good person. I had to learn how to not be selfish and, I became grateful life.


Within 14 months of working hard in my recovery. I saved every penny I could, and I was ready to move out and be on my own again. Something I hadn’t had in over 6 years. My sisters at New Foundations, stayed by my side and continued to help, support and guide me in my growth. I lived with no furniture or a car for the first two months of living on my own. Not once did I feel like I was going without anything.

I Had to Change

I changed who I was inside and out. I found stability in recovery. I stayed motivated and worked a full -time job to be able to provide for myself. In no time I went from only having visitations with my kids, to having full custody again. When I became a full-time mother again, I needed help with rides to meetings and the grocery. I finally had enough money to buy a car.

The relationships that I built were who helped me get to more stability. There was no way that I would take all of this progress for granted. I continued my recovery no matter what. Life just kept getting better.

Life Today

Today, I am certified Peer Recovery Support Outreach Worker. I spend my days going back out to the streets to the places I used to sleep. I work with homeless people with the disease of addiction to get off the streets and into treatment. My goal is to help them successfully transition from homelessness to long term successful recovery. I never forget the long, cold nights and the pain from hunger and loneliness. I never forget the feeling of waking up just to chase that demon all day, every day. A non-stop Groundhog’s Day way of life.

It has been over 3 years since I stepped out of New Foundations into my own apartment. I am thankful every day for the foundation that they provided for me. The roof over my head, the warm bed to lay my head and the hot showers. But most of all for introducing recovery into my life and showing me how to live again. I will never forget the friendships made and the lessons learned for the rest of my life. I am who I am today because I was able to heal, grow and live.



Falling Through The Cracks

In Society

Navigating the roads of homelessness, addiction and mental health treatment, people are falling through the cracks. In Recovery housing we often work with folks who are indigent and homeless and have no identifying documents in their possession. People who end up on the streets get into situations where they sometimes lose their identification, birth certificate, Social Security card and have so much trouble getting new copies, that they give up. Leaving them to fall completely through the cracks of society. Making it almost impossible for them to live and function as a stable person.

Things We Need

Recently I was working with an individual who was born in Florida.  This person came to us by way of Kentucky. When our peer recovery supporter reached out to check in, it was found that the client was running into barrier after barrier trying to get his birth certificate. He had lost all forms of identification except for a marriage license. He hadn’t even been in the local jail system. If he had, we would have had much more ease in obtaining a birth certificate for him.

Falling Through The Gaps

With an entire team of people advocating and working toward a solution for him, we were still running into brick walls. The bigger picture became clear for all of us. If this is what’s happening to just one person, imagine how many people are going through the same situation. A much grimmer reality is how many people have gone through this same situation but were not able to climb out of the dark gaps from falling through.

It’s Important

In reality it is incredibly important that we do all we can to protect our country and ourselves from identity fraud. We are in turn, making it more difficult for those fallen on hard times, to rise above. Making it challenging for those not on hard times but unable to advocate for themselves to figure out the process of this system to get personal identification documents.

Have Compassion

If you encounter someone who is living on the streets. Please remember this and try to imagine these situations that lead them to their current situation. Have Grace and compassion as well as gratitude. Especially in today’s world. Everyone is just a few that breaks away from complete homelessness and indigence.

What To Expect, Looking For Treatment


When you call a hotline to reach out for help with finding an addiction treatment center, you’re often met with more steps than solutions. When we search for a hotline, on the internet for example, the information might not even be for local programs. It’s so challenging to know who is reputable and who has the services you or your loved one need. Finding a place that will help right away, is sometimes found only after calling twenty five other places first. Knowing how to filter your search, will be beneficial in the future. Whether it’s for you, or for a friend. Knowing the best options, are so important.


Until recent years, society has understood addiction to be something that is cured after a 28 day inpatient program in the woods or at a posh Malibu rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Recovery and sobriety only come after the appropriate treatment program, approach, length of time, level of care, after care, housing and support have been offered to the individual. Even then, it may take multiple goes at the options available. Fortunately, for Ohio and Kentucky at least, folks are able to access addiction treatment, almost on demand. We’ve come a long way in our area that has been hit as hard as the hardest have been hit by this addiction epidemic.


When you are looking for a treatment center and want to stay local. Make sure you are looking for the address and location of the centers.

  • Is this the best program to choose?
  • What will all of this cost?
  • How long is the program? This is another question to ask the admissions coordinator or intake specialist.
  • When will my loved one be better?

Not a Cookie Cutter Disease

Check out the services they offer. Ask to speak to one of their admissions specialists, or intake coordinators and ask as many questions as you like. All reputable treatment centers will always advise you of the cost up front before you sign anything. Insurance always dictates the pathway to care. If you are going for inpatient, call your insurance provider and find out what your plan allows. If your plan only allows for outpatient, find a provider that specializes in evidence-based scientific approaches. For a non-punitive approach, look for a harm reduction focused treatment program. The best thing to remember is that Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease. What works for one, may not work for the other. So try to be supportive, patient and focus on the present.


One of the ways that men and women are able to make it through the difficult journey through treatment and have learned tools to live life without illicit drug use, is by having a safe living space to come home to. Can you imagine going through years of addiction, high risk lifestyle, abuse, low confidence and self-esteem, and going through treatment. Only to be discharged from rehab but have no safe living environment to go to. So you go right back into that same, unhealthy situation you just left. Because you have no other option. Now, can you imagine how difficult it would be to not fall back into the same behaviors and drug use? That’s why recovery housing needs to be part of the continuum of care. If there is now where for the patient to and put to good use, the tools they just learned, what are we missing? In order for anyone to survive addiction, they need to have a safe place to lay their head each night. A safe place to heal, grow and live.

New Foundations

New Foundations Recovery Housing is a program that serves over 700 people per year. Located in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, they have eleven properties for men and women. The first recovery housing organization in the area to allow evidence-based medications used in treatment like Suboxone and Methadone. Providing residents with safe and secure on-site storage for self-administration of the medications. The Peer Recovery Supporters encourage the residents to engage in supportive services. Truly helping individuals to heal, grow and live.

Our Very Own Made The List

Our very own made the list. Cincinnati Enquirer’s “People to watch in Greater Cincinnati in 2022” named Amy Parker, our outreach and marketing manager as one to watch this year.

Amy Parker’s face is familiar to people recovering from opioid use disorder and those who suffer from addiction. She’s known to addiction medicine experts, public health groups and others who are fighting the opioid epidemic in Southwest Ohio. Parker is an advocate for people with addiction, and she’s hands on…

Terry DeMio

We would like to thank Terry Demio and the Cincinnati Enquirer for their continued compassion and efforts to share the stories of those impacted by this disease.

Follow the link for the entire piece.

happy holiday

10 Ways to Enjoy an Alcohol Free Holiday Season

Tis the season to be sober

The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to eat, drink and be merry. But, what if you are a person with the disease of addiction or alcoholism? The holidays can also be a very difficult time to navigate and keep your sobriety intact. It’s not impossible though. We put together 10 ways to enjoy an alcohol free holiday season. Spending time with family and anyone who knows your business about your struggles or challenges with drugs or alcohol, can be intimidating. Knowing you have a holiday gathering to attend, where there will be alcohol served, can cause a ton of anxiety for those working hard to refrain from drinking.

Those who have attended treatment programs and have learned coping skills to get through the day, can also attest to those skills coming in handy for holiday happenings.

Here are 10 ways to enjoy a sober season

Make a relapse prevention plan; what are some ways that you can redirect your triggering thoughts and avoid going down that rabbit hole?

Be ready to cancel if you need to; it’s okay to say “this year, I’m just not ready”, and skip the party all together.

BYO-Alcohol-free drink; If you do decide to go to the holiday gatherings, you can always bring your own alcohol free drinks. You don’t even have to say that you’re not drinking because you’re in recovery.

Lay of the land; know who you’re expecting to see at the holiday parties. If you know you’re going to run into someone that maybe you used to drink with, you might feel more prepared to change the narrative. You can rehearse your responses and reactions too!

I get so emotional baby

Don’t let your emotions take over; be sure to do some deep breathing exercises throughout the day.

Eat before you leave home; I don’t know about you but I become a really not-fun person when I’m hungry. I guess that is what they call “hangry”.

Carry something that you can hold onto; kids have fidget spinners to carry for when they feel anxious. Try to find something that you can hold in your hand, that isn’t your phone that you can keep yourself busy with. Stress balls or stress putty that even comes scented with essential oils.

Santa uses the fireplace, you need a safer plan

Have an escape plan; make sure you have a friend that you can text and ask them to call you with an excuse to leave the party to come rescue them.

Plan ahead ride out; if you don’t drive and still need a mobile escape plan, ask a friend to come with you who does drive. Choose a “magic word” that only you and your friend know the meaning is “let’s get out of here asap”!

Be true to you

Just keep it real; for most, the best approach is to just keep it real. Be honest about how you feel and what you need to feel comfortable at the holiday gathering. You never know, your party host might be more than happy to make it a sober event or provide alcohol free options separate from the bar buffet.

Most importantly, stay true to yourself. You know what it takes to keep you sober and in recovery and keep doing that.

Happy holidays.

Giving Tuesday Is Giving Purpose

Giving Tuesday Is Giving Purpose

Having a strong sense of purpose is an important dimension of life. It gives people a sense of motivation. It helps to contribute to better health overall. In short, purpose offers definite emotional, psychological and physical benefits. Did you know that only about 1 in 4 American adults cite having a clear sense of purpose about what makes their lives meaningful?

Special Days to Give

There are specific dates and holidays that hold a certain level of expectation of giving. Birthdays, anniversaries and that major holiday that happens every December. These special days provide opportunity for people to express their appreciation for those on the receiving end of the gifts for the giving.  Make a bigger impact in a way that is much bigger than wrapping up a box of chocolates or putting a gift card in an envelope. In all actuality, gifts don’t express appreciation — people do. Since this first annual day of giving in 2012, nonprofits in the United States have raised more than $1.9 billion. In 2019, nonprofits in the US raised more than $500 million dollars online alone.

Giving Tuesday is Full of Opportunities

Outside of awareness days, days that are significant for individual causes or organizations, or national or international crises, there are few opportunities to drive a large group of people’s attention to giving on any particular day.  Giving Tuesday gives nonprofits with a day filled with opportunities. Society nowadays know what it is and may even set aside money each year to donate on that day, it’s a wonderful chance for nonprofits to highlight their missions, solicit donations, and gain new supporters.

Ways To Make An Impact

This year on giving Tuesday, November 30, 2021 we encourage and inspire you to reach out to a cause close to your heart and make any size of an impact in your community, by giving. Even if you’re unable to give monetarily, you’re able to make impact by supporting that nonprofit organization in other ways. Encouraging others to volunteer their time, dedicating two inspire their community to increase awareness by supporting a mission that is making impact. New foundations Recovery Housing is a 5013C nonprofit organization in Cincinnati Ohio and Northern Kentucky. This giving Tuesday, we ask that you support our mission by going to our social media pages and sharing our posts about giving Tuesday. Going to our website and sharing links about our mission. You could even attend our fundraiser event on November, 30 in downtown Cincinnati. This is the year of giving.


Being Sober or In Recovery For Halloween

Being Sober Can Be Scary

Being sober or in recovery for Halloween can be more terrifying than some scary movies. If you’re new in recovery, having clear expectations for this holiday is sure to help you stay low on the fear factor. Halloween is one of the oldest holidays but celebrating sober might be a new concept for some.  On Halloween people enjoy horror stories and horror movies as popular entertainment. As well as carving pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns. Children dressed in costumes go trick-or-treating, which involves going door to door, knocking and calling out “trick or treat,” and receiving candy in return.

Celebrate Halloween, Safely

Trick-or-treat and Halloween are a day that so many kids and adults alike enjoy celebrating. It’s also a very well known party holiday with costume parties to include a buffet of alcoholic spirits. Bars and restaurants take the marketing opportunity and advertise their specials. Partying on Halloween is all but smacking you right in the face. Especially if you’re trying to be sober and in recovery.
For many people who have had challenges with alcohol and even drug use, Halloween is almost always an opportunity to party. But if you’re trying to stay sober, or refrain from drug use,
you will need to approach this holiday quite differently.

Have a Plan and Commit to it

Whether you need to stay in or if you want to brave it out and about, having a plan is always a safe bet.  Some of the things that you could do are:
  • Have a pumpkin carving contest.  Nothing says nostalgia like a jack-o’-lantern
  • Hold a horror movie marathon with friends – pop up a few different kinds of popcorn, pour the hot cocoa and turn off the lights
  • Host your own Halloween party – instead of cocktails, have mocktails. Mocktails are a fun way to celebrate and not need a designated driver!
  • BYOB: Bring your own beverage. If you are going to a party and you know there will be alcohol, just put your favorite drink in a cup and call it a sober sipper. If anyone asks what’s inside, just tell them it’s a magic potion.
  • Make or bake some spooky snacks. If you’re like me and love to bake, this is some thing you can do every weekend in October. A sweet way to stay busy.
  • Go Trick or Treating with your kids or with a friend and their kids. Get out of the house and enjoy all of the different costumes you’ll see. a night you are sure to remember.
  • Ask a sober friend to support you. Reach out and Spend some time with people that understand what you are going through.

 Don’t Trick Yourself

No matter what you do it’s important that you plan ahead. When you know what to expect, it’s easier to respond and react safely. Have your coping skills ready and remember that or you can still have fun without getting high or getting drunk. The best part is you’ll wake up without a hangover. Stay safe this year and be prepared so that you don’t trick yourself into a treat that isn’t chocolate or candy.

Rebuilding Life in Recovery Housing

Rebuilding In Early Recovery

Rebuilding ones life in early recovery, is not easy. Recovery housing is a great way to slowly get life back on track. It gives a person time to heal and learn from others to create a new way of living in recovery. An important part of getting through the next hour, and the next day, is support and stability. One day at a time, people with the disease of addiction find a new way of life. When people rebuild their lives, families are impacted for generations.

Broken and Homeless

Donna, homeless and broken came from the CAT house. Donna says that through her active addiction, her parents had lost all respect for her, and her children wouldn’t look at her, let alone speak to her. She found herself to be hopeless. After coming to New Foundations Recovery Housing, Donna was connected to a support program called Celebrate Recovery. She went to meetings and engaged with the process faithfully. In other words, she started going to church and found a new faith in God, strengthening her spiritual relationship with her higher power.

Opportunity to Thrive

New to recovery housing, New Foundations presented Donna with an opportunity to become a House Leader. A House Leader at NFRH is the person that makes sure everyone in the recovery home is being honest, feeling supported and using all the resources available to rebuild their lives.  Managing a recovery home, comes with a lot of responsibilities and expectations, like a full time job. However, bound to be successful Donna found work outside of the recovery home.

A New Life

The experience and opportunity to rebuild her life while living at New Foundations Recovery Housing, gave Donna a chance to become stable in more ways than one. She was able to learn how to be responsible for herself, budget, prepare for the month ahead, manage a full-time job and pay all her own living expenses.

Treatment Saves Lives

Cincinnati Center for Addiction Treatment is one of the leading addiction treatment providers, for more than 50 years here in Hamilton County. Providing medical detox, inpatient treatment, and outpatient medically assisted treatment. Jacob Beuerlein said, “Our mission statement at CAT is “We are a united team, working together for the common purpose of saving lives and rebuilding families.” When we can hear how that mission has manifested itself years down the line for one of our own patients – that is always the recharge we need to hear.  With this work, we are often hit with the losses, but being reminded that treatment does work, and individuals can be and are living lives in recovery years down the line and loving it – that is what keeps us going!”

Heal, Grow and Live

Donna says “today I have a relationship with my children, even visiting my parent’s home every weekend. I have my own beautiful two- bedroom apartment, with new furniture, where I feel safe. I have a bank account, and I am financially stable. Now leading a Celebrate Recovery small share meeting every Monday evening. I’m a member of a local church called Revive City Church. Today I sponsor women who live at the New Foundations Recovery homes. NFRH helped me restore my life. Above all, they gave me structure and from that I became accountable, dependable and have been able to heal, grow and now I can live.”