Perhaps you’ve noticed over the past few months that I’ve been posting more material on sex addiction and related areas. That’s because it became apparent last year that I had issues of my own that date back to molestation when I was a pre-schooler.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to arrange to go to treatment for 30 days to work on some things that have been a problem my whole life. I’ll be leaving on the 5th, and returning to The World on March 7th. I won’t be posting during that time, but bear with me. I should have some interesting stuff for you when I return.
I’d also like to point out that I’ve been clean and sober from alcohol and other drugs for close to a quarter of a century. Sex addiction is an entirely different issue, and I can tell you that close to 100% of the people in my related 12-step group had multiple years of chemical sobriety before deciding to look at their other issues. You might want to take a look at your own attitudes toward the attractive gender. Just sayin’.
After the final play of the Super Bowl, millions of fans will go through withdrawal symptoms from not being able to watch football for months. This especially applies to fantasy football aficionados. Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist Dr. Angelos Halaris describes the effects this has on the brain and offers tips on how fans can cope.
[Editor's note: Football withdrawal is one thing, but being a Denver fan makes it brutal!]
Read it and weep for the thousands…
“There is no clear evidence that e-cigarettes help with smoking cessation and the lack of FDA regulation has led to the use of at least 19 harmful chemicals in the devices, some that are cancer-causing carcinogens.”
This video was posted on NPR along with commentary about the recent problems of Justin Bieber. Although well before Justin’s recent notoriety, it bears on him as well as the people that Ferguson mentioned.
One of my great-nephews asked me for my opinion on the video and the subject. Here was my answer:
Wellll…let me put it this way. If I were still working in rehab, every single one of my clients would watch this video.
As far as Justin Bieber is concerned, it certainly isn’t his fault. For most of his life he’s been coddled, encouraged to do whatever he likes as long as he keeps working and bringing in the bucks. He’s had no healthy family modeling, and emotionally he stopped growing — probably — at the time he got involved in the dysfunctional lifestyle, long before he began using chemicals. If not then, certainly when he started drinking, drugging or both.
We drink to excess initially because it makes us feel different. There is something that we are trying to fix — a bad feeling, an emotional pain, feelings of not being good enough, or whatever. Drinking doesn’t make us feel good, it makes us feel better: better looking, more sociable, less bothered by poor self-esteem, maybe even loved and safe, whatever. But eventually, we drink because the alcohol has modified our brains and our thinking in such a way that we can no longer imagine living without booze or some other mood-altering chemical. Then we lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that we are just fine, thank you very much. Until it become apparent that we aren’t.
Addiction isn’t fixed by stopping temporarily, or even permanently. It’s on the way to being fixed when we are desperate enough to confront whatever it is that causes us to think we need to drink and/or drug, and begin healing — and growing — toward being an emotionally healthy, well-balanced person.
Along with the drugs (alcohol is just a legal drug), addiction is a habit: of thinking, of behaving, of dealing with discomfort. Quitting is the essential first part, because intoxication is chemically-induced insanity, and the whole point of sobriety is moving toward sanity. But until we have made the habits of a sober, sane person more powerful than those of a drunk — until we have learned to be not only abstinent but sober — we are in danger of falling off the wagon at any time. It’s not an event, it’s a process, and it takes a long time, and it takes balls.
As far as Ferguson goes, he told my story too. The details were different, but the story was the same.
Now, please watch the video and enjoy it. Ferguson’s a funny man, even when he’s being serious.
Addictions can sneak up on you. I embraced my alcoholism with open arms, but became addicted to prescription drugs without realizing it, and entirely because of ignorance on my part and the part of my (then) doctors. As an example, it took 5 days to detox me from alcohol, and nearly three weeks to do so from benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc.). I’d been taking them for years, and rarely if ever took even the prescribed amount. I had no idea that I was in danger of addiction, or that I was addicted. Surprise!
This sort of thing happens to a lot of good people who are just seeking relief in the manner recommended by their physicians. It’s an excellent reason for NEVER doing something or taking a medication just because one doctor says to do it. Sites like Drugs.com, Clevelandclinic.org, Mayo.com and various government sites — SAMHSA.gov is a good place to start — have clearly presented, easy to understand information about drugs, drug interactions, and potential for addiction.
And remember: when it comes to prescription drugs, your pharmacist (not your doctor) is your best friend. Doctors are scientists who specialize in the various functions and malfunctions of the human body. Very few are experts in neuropsychopharmacology. In addition, very few are trained in, or really understand, addiction. In this, as in all health issues, you have to study and be your own advocate.
This article from the BBC is a good example of the ways bad things happen to good people.
“The whole stigma attached to substance misuse still exists and that is a key element in people remaining silent regarding their addictions.
“For all the positive work we see on high-profile TV campaigns about removing the stigma of alcohol and substance addiction, we have many people coming in to FASA who don’t want to tell anyone about their addiction.”
A variety of interventions — especially combinations of them — have curtailed freshmen drinking on campuses across the country, according to a systematic review of more than 40 studies documenting 62 interventions. Given that efficacy, colleges should consider assessing alcohol risk among all new freshmen and providing multifaceted interventions for those who report drinking, the review’s authors recommend.