Before we start to make amends we need to honestly face the impact that our addictions have had on others. This isn’t something that we can do right off the bat. In early recovery we are still in denial about many of the effects our using had on ourselves, let alone other folks. Yes, there are obvious things: financial damage, emotional damage, abandonment, infidelities of various kinds, lack of empathy, inability to fill roles in the family and elsewhere, dishonesty and so forth, but there are other, more specific and far more subtle things that may even have affected the people in our lives more than the obvious ones. Continue reading
If you really want to be joyful, you need to be surprised, often. And to do this, you really need to go outside. There’s only so much astonishment you can manufacture for yourself if you’re in your house or (worse) in your head all the time. You might come up with something unexpected in your refrigerator, but if you thought about it, you’d realize you should have seen it coming the moment you stuck that thing in the used yogurt container and shoved it toward the back. But if you’re outside, paying even a modicum of attention, something is bound to slap you happy.
There’s a D’n’D just up the street from my wife’s workplace that often causes a traffic backup in the right lane. I’ve gotten in the habit of staying in the left lane, then changing lanes ahead of the cars turning into the drive-though.
This morning I was just getting ready to make my lane change, and the “asshole” in the right lane didn’t turn into Dunkin’ Donuts. Boy, was I pissed! And then I thought, “Who’s the asshole here, anyway?”
I’m not really patient with other drivers. Continue reading
Addicts and alcoholics don’t usually like new and unknown things, unless they’re new forms of acting out. We tend to view them with alarm, because they often interfere with our using. Thus, to addicts of all kinds, change equals bad news, until proven otherwise. We don’t like new ways of doing things, or new ways of relating to life and other people. We find the status quo comfortable; we know how to handle it. Even in the frequent cases where things aren’t going the way we’d like, at least they’re familiar. We hate feeling as though we’re out of control — of ourselves, other people, our lives, our ability to get our fix. We hate change, unless it brings some kind of thrill that we’re already anticipating. We want to get our lives just right, and then have them welded. Continue reading
“Our findings stress the importance of evaluating the influence of conditions/behaviors that often accompany alcohol use disorders, such as cigarette smoking, to better understand the factors that may hinder cognitive recovery during abstinence from alcohol,” said Durazzo. “The frequency of cigarette smoking is much higher in those with alcohol and substance use disorders compared to the general public. It is important to emphasize that cigarette smoking alone is associated with adverse effects on multiple areas of cognitive function, such as learning and memory and processing speed. And, just like alcohol use disorders, cigarette smoking and nicotine dependence are treatable conditions. We believe our findings strongly reinforce the growing clinical movement to offer a comprehensive smoking-cessation program to individuals seeking treatment for alcohol and substance use disorders.”