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.”
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.
I had an EKG stress test yesterday, and it was good news and bad news. The good news: I got the test done. The bad news: I have some complications that will require more testing, and likely some pretty notable changes in my life.
It got me to thinking about an old Confucian story. In brief, a farmer’s horse runs away. His neighbor consoles him, “Too bad!” The farmer says, “Who knows what’s good; who knows what’s bad?”
The next day, the horse returns with six more horses following him. The neighbor congratulates the farmer on his good fortune, and the farmer says, “Who knows what’s good; who knows what’s bad?” Continue reading