Category Archives: Windows into Hickory Wind Ranch

Sober Living Testimonial – Group Male Interview – April 2012

Sober Living Testimonial

On April 5th, 2012, the Hickory Wind Ranch crew sat down with two current male residents and one alumni to discuss their experiences at Hickory Wind Ranch, a sober living community for those recovering from alcohol and drug abuse.

sober living home

In the video above, learn more about each of these three individual’s experiences with recovery from addiction and how Hickory Wind Ranch played a part in their lives. If you or someone you love needs help, contact us today.

HWR’s Family Dinner Night

Every so often, we like to get together with current and past residents and celebrate the great journeys made through Hickory Wind year after year. Most recently, we hosted HWR’s Family Dinner Night on Thursday April 5th, 2012 with plenty of good company, food, and great music. Some of our friends were kind enough to come out and document the evening. We’ll be posting some resident interviews from the dinner soon, but in the meantime here’s what you missed! xoxo


Letters From the Ranch

Hey folks! We’ve got another inspirational and heart-warming letter that we would like to share with you. The sentiments shared below are exactly what we are all about: providing a safe haven where our individuals can grow and find that sense of willingness to dream again after addiction takes it away. Enjoy!

It wasn’t so long ago that my life was too dark to dream at all and everyday was the same tired cycle of self abuse and insanity that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I was the kind of undesireable, so-hell-bent-on-self-destruction person that I couldn’t see any other way to live. Recovery wasn’t in my vocabulary and A.A. with its big book and bible-thumping evangelism – well – that just wasn’t for me.

Early on, I romanticized the rock ‘n’ roll rebellion of narcotic inertia. Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop…they played songs that made heroin sound like the coolest thing since central air in the Texas summer. But those are just some of the few who survived, the exceptions, NOT the rule. After a long, hard road of personal experimentation, I can now testify and I am sure they would agree: being a junkie is unequivocally and indisputably NOT COOL!

When I arrived at Hickory Wind fresh out of treatment, I stumbled in with eyes as hollow and empty as the living dead. I had burned every bridge I’d ever travelled.

My family, having watched me in my addiction for over a decade, had finally thrown up their hands and given it to god. My friends had fallen by the wayside long ago. But at Hickory Wind, I found a safe haven from myself. The warmth and compassion I have been shown here has given me the srength and courage to shed the scales of my addiction and to remember who and what I want to be.

THANK YOU Polly Parsons and Hickory Wind from the bottom of my heart for giving me back my dreams!!!!!


Letters from the Ranch

Every now and then we get letters from former residents. With their permission, we like to publish them on our blog to give visitors a window into the Hickory Wind Ranch experience both as a house guest, and after. Please enjoy! XOXO

Dear Polly,

Thanks you so much for the expereince you provided mat at Hickory Wind. The last three months of my life have been absolutely amazing!

I have gotten so much out of Hickory Wind. I’ve met some really special people who I’ll be friends with for life. I’ve learned how to play guitar. I can cook now. My confidence has returned . I’m sober. And, most importantly, God is back in my life.

Cogniflex is a nootropic equation that guarantees to soar your fixation and lift your inventiveness utilizing research-upheld regular fixings. Here’s our Cogniflex Reviews. Cogniflex is a dietary supplement that comes in bundles of 60 cases. By taking two cases each day, you can purportedly appreciate nootropic benefits.

You played a huge role in this Polly, and for that I am forever grateful. I really appreciated all of our candid conversations and your “calls to action” for me to stand up and be somebody. I finally did and the results have been amazing – and they get better every day!

I’m excited to discover what other plans God has in store for me as I continue on this lifelong journey. I’m also looking forward to staying involved with Hickory Wind and helping other individuals like me recover. I think I have a really neat story to share and can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives. 🙂

What an amazing journey this has been! Thank you so much for helping to make all of it possible.

Your friend forever,


How I Rediscovered Creativity Through Sobriety

This post was provided by a former Hickory Wind Ranch resident, Shane M.

After a quick run to my local hobby store, I pulled out charcoal and a large pad of drawing paper.  “Just start! Just go for it.  Let it come out. ” My mind repeated these words over and over in my head. I put the charcoal to the paper and began to draw.  What eventually showed up on the simple white, blank sheet of paper blew my mind.

Before I moved into Hickory Wind Ranch Sober Living Community, the owner, Polly Parsons, said that it was an environment that “promoted creativity”. “ Yeah, right,” I thought to myself. “ I lost my creativity years ago.  She is crazy if she thinks that I will be able to have some sort of miraculous change in my mind and all of a sudden the flood gates will release my artistic ability.”

(That sounds a little dramatic, but I was an addict at the time.)

It had been years since I had put medium to a piece of paper. While in college, I minored in art and did a little writing here and there – starting journals and never even completing them.  It wasn’t exactly brain science, but I remember the sense of serenity that it had brought me, and the freedom and pure joy I felt when I was creating something.

But that was several years ago., and I had so much hesitation built up inside me.  I had been filling myself down to the crevices of my soul with alcohol and drugs, masking anything and everything, not daring to let things out.  I had been lying, cheating others and myself, existing in an overall gloomy and shameful environment I had created.  “Could I feel that sense of peace again?” I wondered.

There is a common misconception among addicts that over time they lose their sense of creativity for good.  We all have different levels in our abilities. We all have inventiveness about us, whether it is writing, drawing, painting, music, or many of the other outlets. For addicts in recovery, being imaginative may be a little more difficult after the damage we’ve done to our bodies and brains through the use of drugs and alcohol.  But, the imaginative ability is there and it has NOT gone away.  It just needs to be nourished.

There is so much change going on as we begin our new lives in sobriety.  We are learning who we are all over again.  Spending time with new friends, in new places, doing new and old things that we haven’t done in many years.  Every day we are expanding our cognitive capacity to enjoy life and our new freedoms.  We are coming out of the fog that trapped us in a dark hole for many years. Every day, we become clearer and clearer and our physical state becomes healthier.  The healing process is in full force, both physically and emotionally.

Creativity is by no means the solution to all of our problems, but it is an energy force that can help your mind in the healing process.  It may even bring some issues to surface before you even realize it.

For me , creativity allowed me to be honest with myself, to let things out that I didn’t even know I was holding back. As they slowly and sometimes quickly poured out of me, I was able to come to terms with them, accept them, and move forward.  Sometimes I would write. Sometimes I would draw. Sometimes I would meditate..

Being imaginative, helped me realize the endless possibilities that this new life holds for me.  I could get creative in my ideas, but I came to find that they are way beyond anything I could have imagined before. I have gained confidence, hope, and overall, happiness from this release.  Working the twelve steps with a sponsor, being close to my higher power, and helping others are the most important things in my sobriety, but healing and forgiveness comes along with them. This is what creativity encourages for me.

Today I feel so free. Free from my hesitations, from judgments, and free to let my heart glow from the joy of my imaginative and artistic productions. I am creating my own beauty. I don’t have to be loaded to pull myself away from the darkness.

Sit in a quiet place where you can be alone so you will not have any judgments or distractions. Maybe turn some music on for inspiration.  This is just for you and no one else. Put a pencil to a piece of paper and see where it takes you.  If you want a real challenge, promise your self not to erase anything.  Just feel free, free to let go, free to create whatever your mind can imagine.

“I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”

~Joseph Campbell