Good News and Bad News

by Bill

Been a touch disturbed for the last couple of days.  A writing gig that ran for the past 4 years or thereabouts is ending.  Not only will it put an uncomfortable pinch in the finances, but it’s less opportunity to help folks in recovery.  All good things come to an end, though.  Something else will come up.

The good news is that I’ll be able to focus time and material that I might have placed elsewhere on this site.  I hope that will result in some interesting reading for you, and some insights for me.  I always get insights into myself when I write (which, I suppose, makes this sort of a journal as well as my effort at carrying the message).

With regard to the message: if you like what you read here, spread it around.  If you find a particular post inspiring, reblog it or forward the URL to someone else in recovery.  I don’t make a cent off this blog, and I don’t ever intend to.  I do, however, want it to be as effective as possible, and you can help.  Easy way to do a bit of 12th Step work — for both of us.

Obviously, only do that if you think it’s worth the effort.  If I write b.s., don’t spread it around, call me on it!  I may or may not be gracious about it, but it will make me think about recovery from a different angle.  That’s important to me personally, and to my recovery.

Got some stuff to do before I head for a meeting this evening.  I’ll be back soon.

Keep on keepin’ on!

Going It Alone

by Bill

My wife and I picked up medallions at a meeting last night. We’ve been celebrating with that group since we got out of treatment 25 years ago, with the exception of a couple of years a few years back. My anniversary was the 14th, and hers is today. Although we don’t get to that meeting very often, the group is special to us because it was the first 12-step meeting we attended outside of a treatment facility.

It was great to see old friends and listen to the things the other celebrants and attendees had to say. I couldn’t help but think, as I often do, about the incredible importance of those folks’ support, and the support of many who are no longer with us. There is no question in my mind but that I would have relapsed without it, because my arrogance had me convinced – for much longer than it should have – that I could handle recovery on my own. Continue reading

Genetic Differences Influence Taste For Alcohol

People may differ in the sensations they experience from a food or beverage, and these perceptual differences have a biological basis, explained John Hayes, assistant professor of food science and director of Penn State’s Sensory Evaluation Center. He noted that prior work done in his laboratory has shown that some people experience more bitterness and less sweetness from an alcoholic beverage, such as beer.

“In general, greater bitterness relates to lower liking, and because we generally tend to avoid eating or drinking things we don’t like, lower liking for alcoholic beverages associates with lower intake,” he said. “The burn receptor gene TRPV1 has not previously been linked to differences in intake, but we reasoned that this gene might be important as alcohol causes burning sensations in addition to bitterness.  MORE…


P.A.W.S. It’s where I’ve been.


I wish I’d written this description, but I’m truly happy I didn’t have to go through it again!

Originally posted on The Sober Garden:

Four months ago I hadn’t even heard of P.A.W.S. And now I’m about to post on how I’ve been up to my neck in P.A.W.S. symptoms. Thankfully, the worst of it’s passed (for now) and tonight’s the first time I’ve been able to write in The Sober Garden. P.A.W.S. has had me by the throat so much, I’ve not even been able to read all your posts, for what feels like weeks, nor offer my support through commenting. So I feel a little ‘out of the loop’ but this means lots of reading and saying ‘hello’ to y’all as soon as.

Back in July the very kind Maggie Shores, author of inspirational blog Sober Courage, suggested in a comment she left after my post 61 DAYS and yeah, I am counting! that I research P.A.W.S . Well, I sort of didn’t get round to it.  I’m not pro-active (understatement in…

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The Tribe

by Bill

Tonkawa TribeAs a long-time member of the NFL nation, I just finished watching the current inter-tribal meeting of the warriors (my tribe lost). We humans love our tribal culture; love to identify with a group. Even those of us with no real-world ties have our tribal loyalties: the Marlins, 49ers, Predators and so forth. These affiliations give us a feeling of belonging, of being a part of something bigger than ourselves.  We wear the tribal colors, chant the tribal chants, and celebrate when our warriors triumph (and, in the case of many of us, when they don’t).

That’s a basic human need. We need to feel that we belong. We need to know that we have things in common with others – our “tribe.” These things assure us that we aren’t alone, though in reality we may have isolated ourselves from any real, sincere human contact.

The primary purpose of recovery is to move us in the direction of healthy contacts and interactions with other human beings. Because of our poor self-esteem, shame and other issues, we long ago withdrew from meaningful relationships. We may have thought we had our buddies, girlfriends, etc. while we were using, but the fact is that those were superficial connections, based on superficial things. None of those folks knew who we really were. We made certain of that.

Now, in recovery, we have the opportunity to join a new tribe, or even to help create one. This tribe can be made up of people who understand us and have similar aspirations and ethics. We can get close to and honest with these people, because we know that they are the same as we are – that they will give us unconditional love, and not judge.

Over time we become used to this sort of belonging, and as we develop our interpersonal and spiritual skills, it gets easier to relate to the world at large. We make real connections with non-addicts, and as our world expands we move finally into full participation in the lives of others – and in our own.