December, 2022 | Issue 26
The TriCircle Connection
We inspire families and individuals to overcome the disease of
addiction by creating real, long-term solutions!
Click here to visit our website today!


We are so excited to announce our new location:

169 Colony Street
Second Fl. Room 28
Meriden, CT 06451

We are sharing space with the Women and Families Center. This will allow for wonderful opportunities for us to expand the reach of our resources and support services as we cultivate this collaborative partnership. This location also provides increased accessibility with bus and train stops close by.

Together WE are Stronger!
There is still time for Giving Tuesday!

Please consider starting off the holiday season with a recurring donation to TriCircle! Help fulfill our vision and dream of a brighter future for those affected by substance use disorders and the disease of addiction! This year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of GivingTuesday, Meta is matching donations up to $100 for new donors who commit to recurring monthly donations. Meta will donate up to $7 million to thank people for becoming monthly donors between Nov 15 and Dec 31.

From the Desk of Ana Gopoian

What We Focus On GROWS

As we move head long into the December holidays, we may still have some stray Halloween candy hanging around the house, or perhaps we have just finished up our Thanksgiving leftovers. For the love of Pete, we don’t dare get on the scale. It seems every year goes faster and faster. We are always stunned that another 12 months has passed us by as we begrudgingly gear up, resolutions in hand, for yet another trip around the sun.

It seems most of us were taught from an early age that we must work hard if we want to have enough, to overcome obstacles, to get ahead, and to solve all our problems. I have finally realized that quite the opposite is true. While there is plenty of room for busy schedules and inspired action, focus is the name of the game! What we dwell on grows. Giving attention to the things that we do not want brings more of the unwanted. The snowball effect is real.

Have you ever had a day where you wake up thinking negative thoughts? The morning begins with the coffee spilling on your white shirt, the hot water running out in the shower, the toast burning, the car not starting, and you haven’t even left for work yet…your thoughts continue in a downward spiral, and the day ends as miserably as it began with all the negative thoughts still swirling.

That being said, the opposite is true! Have you ever had a day where you wake up feeling grateful, blessed, blissful and completely satisfied? You climb out of bed, stretch, yawn and look out the window in awe of the sunrise. You think to yourself what a miracle life on this planet is. Every day, without effort or hesitation, the sun comes up, the birds sing, the grass grows and the trees bow to the breeze…it is just what they do! The earth we inhabit hangs in perfect balance, in perfect proximity to other planets, allowing us to experience life through all of our senses! Somehow, the rest of your day is filled with delightful little synchronicities: you win a contest you entered, everyone you greet is smiling, you bump into an old friend in the Post Office that you were just thinking about, your son lands the job he was hoping for…and the list goes on!

Thoughts become things, and what we focus on grows! We get what we think about whether we want it or not! In the absence of shortage or lack consciousness, therein lies abundance. Let’s start the New Year with a resolution to carefully choose our thoughts and to focus on and give attention to what we want to see grow!!

WE wish you peace, health, and happiness through the holidays!

Our December Spotlight
Bernie Staggers

 The One and Only...
From his infectious smile to his talent as a photographer, from his wit and charm to his culinary skills, Bernie is a volunteer extraordinaire who brings all of it to the TriCircle table with wisdom, humility, and grace. He is keenly interested in supporting people who are affected by the disease of addiction and can be found offering sage advice to those who are fortunate enough to cross his path.

When asked about his career and what brought him and his talents to TriCircle's doorstep, Bernie responded:
"I have over 46 combined years in the service industry, 20+ years in the food industry, starting in 1976, successfully learning the craft of line cooking and food prep from other individuals and chefs who taught me what I needed to know. I loved the challenges that came with cooking, and I also loved feeding people good, tasty, nourishing meals. I also have 20+ years in the Photography & Digital Imaging field, having earned a degree late in life at Paier College of Art in 2000, starting with the traditional styles of film photography. At the same time, I learned how to navigate the new world of digital imaging when the old ways were replaced with the new ways of doing things. I also earned a Certificate from Gateway Community College Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counselor Program as a “Substance Abuse Counselor” in 2016. My intentions were to retire and go into the field part time, but I find I can best use that skill set and my 27 years of working with others in the substance abuse/recovery arena to serve a larger community that goes unnoticed at times and to have real conversations about the disease itself and who or how it affects us all in one form or another."
Bernie is clearly part of the solution for others. Now semi-retired, he is currently managing the Kitchen and Dining Services part time at Master's Manna Food Pantry and Resource Center in Wallingford, CT. Bernie helps to enlighten and support those he encounters in any way he can and volunteers at every opportunity to help TriCircle achieve its mission and vision. He can be found preparing amazing culinary creations for any one of our many events throughout the year or taking touching photos and capturing moments to preserve the memories we make along the way. He freely and generously brings his talents to the table and genuinely loves to make a difference in the lives of others.
Bernie is well aware of the destruction that comes with the disease and how it affects whole families and all of the relationships around the individual who is struggling. "The isolation created by substance use is crippling for not only the individuals themselves, but also the families, friends and co-workers they associate with," he offered, "and the holidays are especially tough because someone, somewhere, is missing one way or another. We are all missing people at this time of year, whether it is through their physical death or the induced isolation created by the disease." Bernie's desire is to bring about much needed change by helping TriCircle continue to create long term solutions that will positively impact those seeking recovery or by just helping to plant the seed of how it is possible to those who are not ready to live in the solution yet. The message he would like to deliver, "If you are struggling, you are not alone; there are many who have experience to share. So, speak up, reach out for help and know that you have a beautiful life waiting for you in recovery." We help provide the tools for success and
Together WE are Stronger!
2022 Save the Dates
  • Thursday, Dec 1 - 9AM - NOON - Zoom Webinar - Opioids: A Multifaceted Approach From Tapering and Withdrawal Treatment to Chronic Treatment and Overdose Prevention. 1.5CE hours
  • Sunday, Dec 4 - TriCircle 5th Annual Meeting
  • Fundraising and Events Committee - looking forward to sharing our 2023 schedule in January
  • New website launch coming soon!
9 AM to NOON

Opioids: A Multifaceted Approach From Tapering and Withdrawal Treatment to Chronic Treatment and Overdose Prevention

This session will explore the opioid epidemic from a variety of aspects. Following the professional presenter, there will be a panel discussion including people with substance use lived experience.

Feature speaker: Stephanie Nichols, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, BCPP, FCCP, is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy in the UNE School of Pharmacy, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Tufts School of Medicine, and Core Faculty for the Maine Medical Center/Veterans Affairs Addiction Medicine Physician Fellowship Program.

Spread the Seeds of Change for Children Gift Drive 2022 is hosting our Spread the Seeds of Change for Children Holiday Gift Drive! Click on the link below to see how you can help brighten the holidays for local kids!

Click here for an event link to our Setback games.
Join us for card games and fun at 1741 Pub & Grill at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield!

Together WE are Stronger!
TriCircle is looking for people who are action oriented and passionate about our cause or have a need for community service hours to work with the Scholarship Committee or the Fundraising & Events Advisory Board. Without additional volunteers, we will not be able to continue to offer all of the events and services of the past. We welcome you to join us for the Fundraising & Events meetings; the schedule will be shared in the January issue of The TriCircle Connection. Please contact: for information about joining Fundraising & Events! Stay tuned for information on when and where our next Scholarship Committee meeting will take place! If you are interested in honoring your loved one through our TriCircle Scholarship, please join the committee by contacting Trish Williams at

Has TriCircle helped you find
Hope and Support?
We are seeking testimonials to feature on our NEW website. If you have found benefit from our support groups or clinical services and are willing to share a testimonial on our website, please send your submission to:

If any of our readers know of an organization, group or idea that will add strength, availability and reach to our collaborations and services, please reach out to us at

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