Reinventing Ourselves

by Bill

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

Smoking interferes with recovery during abstinence from alcohol

“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.”

More… http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-10/ace-siw101414.php

“THE FDA, E-CIGARETTES, AND THE DEMISE OF COMBUSTED TOBACCO”

The popularity of E-cigarettes could lead to the “demise” of cigarette smoking and save thousands of lives, but not until they are proven safe and are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That’s the message from two Georgetown University Medical Center researchers in a perspective piece published Oct. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“If e-cigarettes… are thoughtfully regulated, they could play the same role as NRT, but at a truly national population scale. Their use could shift smokers permanently away from lethal cigarettes to cleaner, safer nicotine products, saving innumerable lives…” 

http://gumc.georgetown.edu/news/%20nejm%20perspective-the-fda-e-cigarettes-and-the-demise-of-combusted-tobacco

Dear Homeless Guy: I Don’t Care If You Buy Crack With The Dollar I Gave You

I forget the particulars of his pitch and the ways in which he managed to sweet talk me, but before I even knew what was happening, I was reaching into the pocket of my suede fringe vest and handing him the ten dollar bill through the open passenger side window. I didn’t need to look over and see the murderous look on my friend’s face to appreciate the gravity of what I’d just done.

https://medium.com/@linnyinlala/dear-homeless-guy-i-dont-care-if-you-buy-crack-with-the-dollar-i-gave-you-a370006be09f

There, but for the grace of God…

2014-10-16 15.46.59Down here in Southeast Florida we have a lot of panhandlers. Our moderate weather makes the living endurable, if not easy, so not only our own homeless but those from other states tend to migrate south and stay here. Unless the local constabulary chases them off frequently — some do, and some don’t — you can bet there’ll be a man or woman with a sign at the side of each expressway ramp, or in the median of major suburban intersections. Most of them hold signs ranging from simply “Please Help” to long dissertations regarding their health and the needs of their families.

Many people view these folks with contempt, and I’ve heard disparaging remarks about them from people you’d think would know better — people supposedly in recovery. Continue reading

Know Thyself

The poet tells us to “know thyself”; yet how many addicts really want to? Especially if we grew up in dysfunctional circumstances, many of us believe other people’s definitions of who we are, and have trouble accepting that we exist without their regard.

Who and what we are is not fixed.  We are not meant to be defined by others, but others are always there, willing and available to tell us who we “should” be.
Continue reading