June, 2022 | Issue 20
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!

From the Desk of Ana Gopoian

The Benefits of Exercise for SUD and Mental Health Wellness

Personally, if you were to go back in my story, prior to finding recovery on July 13th, 1995, I have tried to stay active in a variety of ways. I don't know that I ever connected being physically active to the importance of a quality state of mental health and any success in my life. Prior to finding recovery, I was competing in powerlifting and bodybuilding, and, at that time, believed my outside physical appearance was what was needed to find approval, strength, safety, and social acceptance. I remember in early recovery saying, 'I hope one day my insides will match my outsides.' What a person saw and how I presented myself to the world was far different from the heavy darkness inside of me. Funny; not funny. I still work to find balance between my insides and my outsides, progress not perfection.

I'm not one to make New Year Resolutions; that has regularly proven to be a setup for failure. I do have goals, I make plans, and I know I have choices. I also know I don't want to sabotage myself. Just for Today or One Day at a Time are incremental ways to create change. "Stink'in Thinking" can creep in. Some may say, "Change a thought, move a muscle." Anything that includes the word change may come with its challenges and discomforts, but it is possible if done in increments, slow and steady and with a supportive community. While making it to recovery was a miracle in itself, staying in recovery and changing everything in my life felt almost impossible since first making the decision. In hindsight, I can confidently say it's not impossible; I've learned to let go sooner and stop negative thoughts and behaviors faster. Now, I make more new mistakes than repeat old ones; so hang in there...There is Hope!

It wasn't until I approached my 20th year in recovery that I had a mental health crisis. I formulated an exit plan and landed up locked on a psychiatric floor for 10 days. Thank goodness, along the way, I had learned some skills that helped me advocate for myself. I witnessed firsthand how these additional needed services carry another heavy layer of challenges and stigma.

I made it to recovery and stayed (in recovery and on this planet) because of the amazing people who surrounded me. Life held excitement, attraction, and possibilities that carried me forward. I will be forever grateful for the second life I have been afforded because of the path of recovery I chose, but, when faced with such darkness, I needed outside help, too.

For a point in time in my recovery, I felt like the break in my mental health was a direct reflection of failure in my recovery program; not today. As I become more educated about the disease of addiction and the possible co-occurring mental health challenges, I am more able to quickly recognize and confront old wounds as they rise in me. I have gained more empathy and compassion for others while working on myself. I have had to accept my own judgments and limited understandings, while being committed to learning how our system of healthcare does and does not work.

I truly do believe what we do with our bodies and what we put in our bodies can create our demise or our SUCCESS! We, as a society, are being very challenged to find new routines. Our lives have been turned upside for over 2 years with COVID. There is a greater reliance on technology and social media for connection to our loved ones, employers, recovery, and communities.

One of my favorite passages from the Dao De Jing is, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I have reframed this small phrase to gain perspective when looking at a task or goal as "a short-term situation, for a long-term outcome."

Excerpts from an article I read are what set this conversation into motion. Please give yourself the time to consider any of the needed selfcare options and information below. Change is possible, and you are worth it!

While regular exercise certainly has obvious physical benefits, evidence has suggested that it may be an often-neglected intervention mental health care.2 I'm personally ready to make a call to my health coach and contract for another 6-month commitment to achieve my next 30lb weight loss goal. Additional thoughts and actions for my success will be to document any and all engagement, connect with our featured spotlight in this month's newsletter, Dylan Howard from The Lefty's Cycle Project, and involve myself with The Pheonix - Connecticut. The Phoenix fosters a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are recovering from a substance use disorder & those who choose to live sober. (2) The Phoenix - Connecticut | Facebook

Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have proven to reduce anxiety and depression.3 Exercise improves mental health by reducing negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.2 Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.3 

It seems to me, there are two areas that physicians and mental health professionals do not emphasize enough when advising their patients: hydration and regular exercise! An estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and as many as 50 million Americans are living sedentary lives, with fewer than 1 in 4 getting enough exercise regularly!

Perhaps the health benefits from exercise should be emphasized and reinforced and a “prescription” for hydration and physical activity should be issued by doctors! Benefits include the following:

1.    Improved sleep
2.    Increased interest in sex
3.    Better endurance
4.    Stress relief
5.    Improvement in mood
6.    Increased energy and stamina
7.    Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
8.    Weight reduction
9.    Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness

There is a great event coming up that will get us on track to a healthier lifestyle and help TriCircle raise funds for our vital mission. The Charity Challenge Twisted Trails 5K Color Run at Tamarack Lodge in Voluntown is sure to surprise and delight you! This explosion of color and fun is for all ages! Details can be found at https://www.thecharitychallenge.net/5k-trail-run

This month's Spotlight is on The Lefty Cycles Project. Please take a moment to read Dylan Howard’s inspiring story. The mission of his organization is to perpetuate, manifest, deliver and apply goodness to our recovering community by delivering bicycles for transportation, exercise, hobby, or sport. 
Together WE are Stronger! 
Do you enjoy reading our newsletter?
Do you know someone who might also like to
receive The TriCircle Connection each month?
Click here to sign them up.
Together WE are Stronger!
TriCircle is looking for people who are action oriented and passionate about our cause to work with the Fundraising & Events Advisory Board. Our 2022 calendar is being filled with exciting opportunities, and we need YOU! This month, on Wednesday, June 29, at 6:30pm, this committee will meet in the upstairs conference room at 6 Way Road, Middlefield. We welcome you to join us! Please use the rear entrance. Light refreshments will be available. Take a look at our events calendar to see what is in store!
Our June Spotlight

Dylan Howley

Founder of The Lefty Cycles Project

Dylan Howley is the Founder of The Lefty Cycles Project, established in 2020; He is a one-armed athlete, finishing his first Ironman 140.6 last year, supported by his family due to the official race being canceled. On July 24, 2022, he will race for his official finish medal! A positivity pusher, he encourages others to remember that there are 'No more bad days', only bad moments. By not letting bad moments ruin our whole day, we will transform our thoughts and our lives for the better. Dylan is a proud recovering alcoholic. He celebrated 16 years without alcohol on May 2 and relies on his recovering and cycling community for strength, support, and motivation. Motivated to share his passion for helping others, Dylan showcases that anything is possible through hard work and a positive mindset. A Connecticut native, he’s happiest when he’s with his family, enjoying the beauty of Mother Nature and perpetuating pure goodness.

Click here to listen to a podcast interview with Dylan Howard featured on Get Found Recovery!
2022 Save the Dates
  • Wednesday, June 1, Drop in Setback - 1741 Pub & Grill Middlefield, Registration 5pm, 1st game 6pm
  • Saturday, June 4 - 10am-3pm In It to Win It Community Activity Day Crystal Lake Park Middletown
  • Wednesday, June 15, Drop in Setback - 1741 Pub & Grill Middlefield, Reg. 5pm, 1st Game 6pm
  • Saturday June 18 - 10:30am-2:30pm Resources Table at Hebron Summer Day Kickoff Burnt Hill Park 150 East Street Hebron
  • Sunday, June 26 - 8am - 2pm - Twisted Trails 5K Color Run, Tamarack Lodge, Voluntown, CT (VOLUNTEERS NEEDED)
  • Tuesday, June 28 - Hartford Correctional Center Resource Fair
  • Wednesday June 29 - 11am -Resource Table APW a program of BHcare - Echo House Training Center 430 Coram Avenue Shelton
  • Thursday & Friday July 28 and 29 - 9am-12pm - TriCircle's 5th Symposium, with support from the Opioid Response Network (ORN) "Supportive Services, Synthetic Opioids, and Harm Reduction"
  • Wednesday July 13 - 5:30-8:30pm Everyone Knows Someone There is Hope IV, Wallingford Elks Lodge #1365

  • Saturday, August 27 - Raianna's Run for Opioid Awareness
  • Wednesday, August 31 - Overdose Awareness Day

  • TBD - The Charity Challenge Poker Run & Music Fest
  • Sunday September 18, 10am3pm - The 4th Annual Recovery Fun Festival Mountain Mist Outdoor Center Meriden
  • Sat., Sept. 24 - The 4th Annual Outrun Addiction 5K in Enfield

  • Sun., Oct. 23 - 10am-1pm 4th Annual TriCircle Gala Brunch, Wallingford Elks Lodge #1365

  • Sun., Dec. 4 - 10am-1pm TriCircle Annual Holiday Meeting Chauncey Building at Gaylord Hospital Wallingford

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 info@tricircleinc.com.
Join us this Saturday!
Click here for an event link to our Setback games.
Join us for a 50/50 raffle, cash prizes, food and FUN!


June's Suggested Book Title:

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
by Deepak Chopra

Based on natural laws that govern all of creation, this book shatters the myth that success is the result of hard work, exacting plans, or driving ambition. Instead, Deepak Chopra offers a life-altering perspective on the attainment of success: when we understand our true nature and learn to live in harmony with natural law, a sense of well-being, good health, fulfilling relationships, and material abundance spring forth easily and effortlessly.

Filled with timeless wisdom and practical steps you can apply right away, this classic bestselling book is an easy read and can be referred to again and again. Carry it with you and, in less than one hour, learn the seven powerful principles that can easily be applied to create success in all areas of your life.

Thinking of ordering this book? Here is a great opportunity to sign up on Amazon Smile and register TriCircle, Inc. as your charity of choice. See below for details!! Every time you make a purchase on the Smile Amazon site, a donation is made to us! It doesn't cost you a thing!

It is so easy! First, be sure to sign up on Amazon Smile and choose
TriCircle, Inc. as your recipient organization. Do all your shopping online! Then, every single time you make a purchase from the Smile.Amazon site, a percentage will be donated to us! It doesn’t cost you a thing!
Are Available
TriCircle strives to offer Clinical Services that meet the individual needs of those who choose to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their journey toward healing. We are accepting new clients. Our master’s level clinicians offer a range of evidence-based programs, giving clients and their families the opportunity to grow, change and maintain long-term recovery.

Our Clinical Team of Licensed Professionals

Shannon Talbot, LMFT
Michael Black, MA, LADC, LPC-A
Sheila Owen, LCSW, LADC

Click here to learn more about our Clinical Services or call
(860) 349-7074 to set up an intake.
Visit our website to learn more about
TriCircle and consider a donation today!
PayPal Giving and Venmo are also ways to give.
Click the images below or scan the QR code to find out how!