Category Archives: Family

Easter Sunday


With every passing Easter Sunday, the idea of rebirth and starting over, sober and clean of drugs and alcohol is seen everywhere. From nature being reawakened from its winter slumber to the Christian belief in the rebirth of Christ, this time of the year has always had a special importance people in many different facets. It is a time of new beginnings, addiction recovery. Easter reminds us that even in the longest and darkest of nights, the morning will come and the sun will rise.

For many, this time is also the beginning of a process of a personal rebirth, to begin again in our own lives by righting our wrongs and starting to walk a new path. A rebirth is precisely what recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction is. Our staff at Hickory Wind Ranch will help you put the drugs down and gain even just a little clarity, we realize that we truly do not have to continue living the life of a drug addict and become an entirely new person—the person we were meant to be.

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A Mother’s Story

We received this letter in the mail from the mother of a former Hickory Wind Resident. We would like to share it with you all. When our residents work to improve their lives and stay away from addiction, it radiates throughout their family and friends. We’re glad to have been able to help.

Graham was homeless at the Austin, Texas airport in December, 2010. This was the second time he was homeless and he was so scared. I remember that he called me and we cried together because we didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t help him anymore. Nothing I ever did for Graham helped him. I just had to let him go. Graham had heard about Hickory Wind Ranch and Polly Parsons and he called her not having anyone else to turn to. She actually answered the phone and talked with Graham. Not long after that someone was picking Graham up at the airport and taking him to Hickory Wind Ranch. Since then Graham has stayed sober and has flourished under Polly’s care. She gave him back his dignity and confidence. We call Polly Parsons our beautiful angel.

I’m not sure when we realized that Graham was an alcoholic. Finding a case of beer in the trunk of his car when he was in high school should have been a warning sign, but we thought it must be one of those things a typical teenager would try. About that same time he seemed to be having mental health issues. His first year of college was horrible. He was sleeping in his car and couldn’t go to the cafeteria to eat because he couldn’t stand to be around all the people. This was when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. From 2004 to early 2010, my husband and I tried everything we could to help Graham – the best psychiatrists, the best psychologists, and every kind of medication you could think of. He was in jail for a DUI charge and served one year probation. After he successfully completed his probation, he relapsed. We finally had to get him out of our home. He was ruining our family life and his younger sister was scared of him. She started locking her bedroom door at night out of fear.

We found an alcohol rehabilitation facility in Lubbock, Texas, which Graham succesfully completed in six weeks. He then relapsed within a week of living at a sober living facility. He continued to relapse after a week at each new sober living facility until we had to move him to Austin because there were no more available facilities in Lubbock. Once again, he relapsed after one week and became homeless for the first time. He was mugged twice at gunpoint and they stole his cell phone and shoes. He was ultimately arrested for Public Intoxication and spent time in jail. After his release there were more alcohol rehabilitation centers, sober living facilities and living with friends until he ended up homeless at the airport and talked to Polly.

Graham has been sober for a year now. He has a great job and has been promoted. He is no longer seeing any mental health providers nor is he taking any medication. Graham is also getting to do what he loves most – play his guitar and sing. Thank you, thank you, thank you Polly Parsons, our beautiful angel.

-Lynn, Graham’s mother

Gifts for Recovering Addicts

Well, its that time of year again. Little Bobby wants a new Transformers toy. Dad wants that new flat screen TV and Mom has had her eye on a new Cuisinart for a while. But what do you do when faced with the prospect of getting a gift for a recovering addict?

Gifts that not only say “Happy Holidays” but also help out the recovering addict in their trying time are difficult to come by. Here’s our list of some simple suggestions to brighten the holidays for those in recovery.


Although the majority of these are free, they could make a great gift to someone who doesn’t yet have a mobile app for recovery and could use a little daily help. Only recently have we become aware of the abundance of addiction recovery apps available for mobile devices. iPromises is among one of the best that provides daily tracking of their progress, and a great way to contact others in recovery as well. Other suggestions: Steps Away, Friend of Bill, Sponsor Support



We know that this may not be the most exciting gift option in the world, but a great addiction recovery book – be it self-help or non-fiction – can be an awesome gift to help those in recovery maintain inspiration and occupy their time. Suggested: Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, The Addict by Michael Stein, America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life by Benoit Denizet-Lewis


In the end, what says Happy Holidays and “I care about you” more than a nice dinner out and a corny holiday sweater. Take your recovering addict out to their favorite restaurant, or to a really nice sit down place and talk. Or, you can write them a personal letter, let them know how you’re feeling about the relationship and how happy you are that they are in recovery and doing the right thing for themselves.

The holidays don’t always have to be about big presents. It’s a great time to let your loved ones know that you’re proud of them and want them to continue on their path to recovery.


Welcome to the Hickory Wind Ranch blog!

Polly Parsons at Hickory Wind Ranch

The Hickory Wind Ranch community sure is a special bunch.  Each week, many of you share your love and support with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.  While we appreciate all you do for us, we want to give back to you, too.

That’s what this blog is all about: helping our friends create more healthy, balanced lifestyles.   Between work, the kids, and whatever else you may have going on, it can be a challenge to live well.   Here, you’ll find advice on balancing the scales of life and living a fuller, healthier one.

Also, we’re keeping quite busy over here at Hickory Wind Ranch and we love giving our most loyal fans a peek at what’s going on with us.  Consider this your go-to place for the latest news on Hickory Wind Ranch.  We’ll be updating regularly with news, photos, and touching stories from real clients and former addicts.

We hope you’ll take this journey with us.  You’ll always have a home at Hickory Wind Ranch.


Polly Parsons & the Hickory Wind Ranch Team