September, 2022 | Issue 23
The TriCircle Connection
We inspire families and individuals to overcome the disease of
addiction by creating real, long-term solutions!
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From the Desk of Ana Gopoian

Loneliness and Isolation Provide a Playground for the Disease

September is here! Before we know it, the winds of winter and the holiday season will be knocking down our doors.

In recovery, we often find a sense of loneliness and isolation blowing up our barometers as we attempt to navigate harsh weather and holidays and as we hear reference to phenomena like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). While it is crucial to surround ourselves with friends, family, and networks who will support us in our sobriety, it’s just as important to learn how to overcome the inevitable feelings of loneliness that are part of the weather map, the big picture.

Loneliness, or even boredom, can compound substance use. We are tempted to abuse substances to cope with feeling isolated from friends, family members or society in general. While these feelings are woven into the fabric of the process, loneliness and boredom do not have to be permanent. There are many ways to contend with these feelings, the first of which is to recognize that we are not alone in experiencing them.

While using drugs or alcohol, our friend group was most likely made up of people who did the same, individuals with a substance use disorder. However, when we began an addiction recovery program or decided to stop using drugs or alcohol, we found that the people we used to spend time with were no longer conducive to our healing journey.

Whether you are a parent, guardian or loved one needing community, joining a support system, such as TriCircle's Hope & Support or Hope After Loss groups, or finding like-minded people in recovery, such as those playing Setback on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month, may offer new opportunities to forge healthy, lasting friendships.

The array of emotions we experience, from minute to minute, on a daily basis, can be overwhelming at best. These feelings have the potential to increase our likelihood of relapse so it becomes essential to find ways to overcome, avoid or simply distract ourselves from them. The roller coaster is real!

If we are to succeed, we must stop staring and focus elsewhere. These tips were published in an article written in a Baart Programs, November 2020 Newsletter, called "7 Ways to Battle Loneliness in Recovery."

  1. Restore your relationships. Rebuilding your relationships with supportive family members may help you battle feelings of loneliness and reattach you to an essential social circle.
  2. Take a class or join a club. Taking a class or joining a club are excellent ways to get out of the house and meet new people.
  3. Connect with yourself. There are numerous ways to connect with yourself daily. These include talking to yourself, keeping a journal to document your thoughts, learning to enjoy solitude or meditating for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Confront and accept your emotions. To deal with and overcome your feelings of loneliness, you must confront them.
  5. Take yourself out to dinner. Being alone doesn’t mean that you have to be lonely. Solo dining is not uncommon. It’s a great way to enjoy your meal rather than focusing on conversation.
  6. Exercise. Exercise releases dopamine and endorphins to flood your body and brain with positive feelings.
  7. Avoid excess time spent on social media. A study published in the American Journal for Preventative Medicine suggests that people who spend more time on social media may experience heightened feeling of social isolation.

I would also add, read a good book that transports you to another place and time, connect with nature, it is incredibly healing, listen to a podcast or YouTube video that helps you center, develop your passion and purpose around the cause, so many need your valuable experience and guidance along the way! Sometimes, we just have to sit in our discomfort for a spell, so get used to it! After all, every one of us is perfectly imperfect, essential to the equation, and yes, lonely at times, but always remember, we are in this together and...
Together WE are Stronger!
Below are two incredible opportunities for self-care offered by TriCircle and Story Barn for our Hope & Support and Hope After Loss group members at no cost to participants. Only 35 seats are available in each session, so hurry and sign up today!
Our August Spotlight
Kelly Fisher and Alex's Army
Family and friends remember Alex as a loving and giving young man. He was months away from earning a business degree. 
Kelly Fisher (right) and her daughter, Danielle, created
The Alex Fisher Foundation which honors the life and
legacy of a beloved son and brother.
Now more than ever, The Alex Fisher Foundation continues to educate the public on the perils of opioids and substance use.

The foundation was formed to honor the memory of Kelly Fisher's son, Alex, who died from an overdose Sept. 30, 2016, just months away from earning a business degree and taking over the family’s construction operation in Enfield. She started the foundation shortly after Alex’s passing. She now devotes herself to raising awareness and educating others about the dangers and the signs of drug addiction. In the past four years, in loving memory of Alex, the foundation has raised $60,000 in scholarships for high school seniors and $3,000 in Kindness Awards to the community.

“We decided we couldn’t sit around and do nothing. We needed to help other people,” she said. “We try to educate parents and make them aware of what’s going on and stop that stigma.”

She said addiction does not discriminate, is not exclusive to one group. It cuts across all ages, backgrounds, and economic backgrounds. Everyone knows someone. The Alex Fisher Foundation seeks to build awareness around the the ongoing and escalating opioid epidemic.

Kelly also wants people to remember her son. She said, "Once people learn about Alex, more often than not, they take me aside and confide in me that their son or daughter struggles with addiction. They think they’re alone and they are not. It’s out there, it is everywhere you turn.”

The family assists in helping with an upcoming annual event called the Outrun Addiction 5K, which will be held on Sept. 24 at the Enfield Education Annex, 124 North Maple Street, Enfield. Click here to join Kelly's Team called Alex's Army! A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit TriCircle!

2022 Save the Dates

  • Sat., Sept. 24 - The 5th Annual Outrun Addiction 5K at the Enfield Education Annex, 124 North Maple Street, Enfield, CT
  • Sat. and Sun., Sept. 24-25 - 2:00 - 6:00 pm Self Care Retreats at Story Barn, 952 Main Street, Somers, CT (scan QR codes on flyers above)

  • Sunday, Oct. 2 - Noon to 7:30 pm The Charity Challenge Tamarack Music Fest, at Tamarack Lodge, 21 Ten Rod Road, Voluntown, CT
  • Sunday, Oct. 2 - 43rd Annual YMCA Apple Harvest Road Races (register on Team Tyler)
  • Sun., Oct. 23 - 10am-1pm 4th Annual TriCircle Gala Brunch, Wallingford Elks Lodge #1365
  • Sat., Oct. 29 - Alex's Army Health & Wellness Fair

  • Sun., Dec. 4 - 10am-1pm TriCircle 5th Annual Holiday Meeting Chauncey Building at Gaylord Hospital, 50 Gaylord Farms Road, Wallingford, CT

Coming soon!

Don't miss the 5th Annual Outrun Addiction 5K! Run or Walk this fun event and help raise money and awareness for our cause!

Also come and enjoy some incredible music, good friends and lots of fun! Proceeds from these two
great get togethers benefit TriCircle!
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
Click here for an event link to our Setback games.
Join us for a 50/50 raffle, cash prizes, food and FUN!

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 Tuesday, September 13, 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!
Has TriCircle helped you find
Hope and Support?
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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.

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Shannon Talbot, LMFT
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Sheila Owen, LCSW, LADC

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