New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to improve our mental health…. many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.
Most of us wouldn’t stick our hands into a bag of rattlesnakes to find out if they’d bite.
If you don’t want to slip, stay out of slippery places.
Heard around the rooms
No plan survives contact with the enemy.
Ageless Military Adage
It is in the nature of human beings to try out new things. We hate change, but we love discovery. While this has led us to great advances, it can also get us into big trouble. Another adage that comes to mind is “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Continue reading “Slippery Places”
Twenty-seven years ago today I checked into treatment for my alcoholism and addictions to other drugs. It was a terrific relief.
I’d known for a long time that I was an alcoholic. I was totally unaware of AA’s existence, and that there was an effective treatment for addictive disease. In truth, I couldn’t have been entirely unaware, because I’d been dealing with drunks and addicts for years as a police officer. It had simply managed to escape me that AA and other programs were anything other than a place to dump problems that turned up back on the street later anyway.
By the time my boss more-or-less forced me into treatment, I’d had most of the jackpots: divorce, foreclosures, evictions, loss of other people’s money as well as tons of my own, estrangement from relatives — all the fun things that we addicts collect along the way to perdition. My denial about my surface problems was pretty weak, and it didn’t take much for me to become accepting about treatment, then hopeful, and then enthusiastic. I ended up damned grateful to the Chief of Police and whoever advised him about how he should deal with his relatively high-ranking and increasingly visible problem.
So I got sober, haven’t had a drink or used since, and became a credit to my mother, my school, my family, my country and all that stuff. I worked in the recovery field. I talked recovery. I even became a bit of a recovery guru, writing about addiction on my own and for treatment facilities that needed a down-to-earth approach to some of their material. But, to a great degree, I was a fraud, and I didn’t even know it myself. Continue reading “Don’t Wait ‘Til No Ladies Sing”
The mortality rate for white men and women ages 45-54 with less than a college education increased markedly between 1999 and 2013, most likely because of problems with legal and illegal drugs, alcohol and suicide, the researchers concluded. Before then, death rates for that group dropped steadily, and at a faster pace.
An increase in the mortality rate for any large demographic group in an advanced nation has been virtually unheard of in recent decades, with the exception of Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union. MORE…
“ADDICTION IS ADDICTION, NO MATTER WHAT THE
DRUG—AND IT’S NOT ABOUT WILLPOWER”
“GENES AFFECT YOUR PROPENSITY FOR ADDICTION,
JUST AS THEY DO FOR ANY OTHER DISEASE”
“ALL AMERICANS HAVE A RIGHT TO ADDICTION
TREATMENT UNDER THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT”
One of the fellowships that I attend is focused, in the early stages, on the process of overcoming obsessions. Obsession of one kind or another is a big component of most addictions, but some more than others.
The interesting thing about obsession is that it is a vice best practiced while alone. Our brains go ’round and ’round, and we are unable to shake the undesirable thought pattern no matter how hard we try. Our minds keep coming back to it, him, her, that, those, and it can seem as though ridding ourselves of the thoughts is like trying to push toothpaste back into the tube. But put us in the presence of another human being with whom we have to interact, and things are different.
Continue reading “People Need People”