Of all the addictions, food has to be one of the trickiest. Let’s face it: we don’t really need tobacco, heroin, cocaine, booze, shopping, sex, religion and so forth in order to survive, although we may think we do. It’s hard to convince an addict who’s shaking it off cold turkey, or an alcoholic who’s in the midst of an unsupervised detox, but people do survive these things every day and, despite how it may feel, no one is going to die if he doesn’t get laid today.*
Play for its own sake is essential to most sentient beings. Animals and birds play. We don’t know what they get out of it, but we know that they seem to enjoy it — even seem to find it necessary. Kittens roll and tumble and chase their tails. Dogs chase sticks and frisbees. Birds play with balls and talk to themselves in mirrors. Otters slide down river banks, over and over again. Dolphins frolic just because they can.
Play, activity done just for its own sake, comes naturally to children. Small children spend hours pretending, playing make-believe with dolls and other toys, with or without fellow dreamers. When there are others, especially parents who can still play, tell stories and pretend — and who will take the time to do it — playtime becomes even richer. Continue reading →
As much as we might like to have it otherwise, healthy pleasure isn’t constant. Pleasure is the body’s way of rewarding us for doing things that benefit us: survival of our offspring and ourselves. But when pleasure becomes the norm, rather than the reward, the system breaks down. We begin to pursue pleasure for its own sake, to the neglect of nature’s original intentions. Continue reading →
I just had a tooth pulled. It was a simple extraction: took about 2 minutes (really), including the cleanup of the socket (eeeeew!). Never felt a thing.
Afterward the dentist gave me all the standard instructions, including his recommendations for analgesics if needed, and said if I needed something stronger to give him a call. I explained that I’m in recovery and don’t do drugs, but that I’d gotten through abscesses before with nothing but ibuprofen and I was sure I’d be okay.Continue reading →
Researchers estimate that each year 1,825 college students ages 18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle collisions. About 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, with one in four college students report adverse academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.