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 survival of our offspring and ourselves. 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 “Post-acute Withdrawal–Why The Quick Fixes Don’t Work”
I’m a touch typist. I’ve been comfortable at a QWERTY keyboard of one kind or another for well over half a century, but there’s something about digital writing that seems ephemeral to me, unreal in some way, as though it can’t really last, or won’t be treasured by someone years hence who happens across it, or something like that.
I confess to a preference for handwriting in a journal. I’m especially fond of the Moleskine© “Cahier”, the soft binding and archival paper of which suit my purposes nicely.
I can’t journal comfortably on a computer, even though I’d probably be more prolific (and since I’m accustomed to thinking while typing, perhaps even more spontaneous). But I guess I’ve been captured by the image of the mysterious diaries found in old trunks and old treasure maps brown with age from the books of my youth. Those things are probably unheard of among today’s generations; their Treasure Islands are in video games, and their maps have GPS coordinates.
I guess another thing about it is the underlying conviction that there really is no privacy in the digital world that doesn’t sacrifice at least some spontaneity. Continue reading “Journaling”
I was at a meeting last night where the subject was defiance. I don’t recall ever having heard that suggested as a topic before, but it’s certainly a good one! Defiance is the earmark of many a newcomer’s early program, and I have exhibited a bit myself from time to time
It’s perfectly natural when you think about it. Addicts don’t like to be told what to do, especially when it threatens the deep-seated need to use that we have in early recovery. We haven’t yet replaced the “comfort” of our addiction with the relief of recovery, and while our conscious mind is telling us that we want to quit, the rest of it is saying “Help! We need our drug!” Put the two together and you’re likely to find a certain…ah…resistance in the average newcomer when a bunch of relative strangers start making suggestions.
Continue reading “Defiance”
Early in my recovery from chemical addictions I knew a guy who used to say, “I drank when the dog ran away; then I drank because the dog came home.” At the time I didn’t get it, but it rang a bell in some back room of my head. I’ve since come to find out that it’s so, so true – but now I know why!
When we use outside things to make us feel good – whether alcohol, some other drug or behavior – their initial effect is to distract us from the real world and make us feel better by altering the chemical balance in our brains. As we continue to use, their ability to make us feel better wanes. Eventually we reach the point where we have to use in order to keep from feeling bad. We’re addicted.
We fall into a pattern of using not to feel good, but simply to numb reality. Continue reading “Numb”
New post on the Sunrise Detox Blog:
There are a variety of characteristics that make up what we refer to as “spirituality,” but it seems to me that tolerance stands out as one of the primary things we need to work on in recovery. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines tolerance as 1. capacity to endure pain or hardship; and 2.sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own. Both of these are important for recovering people to remember.
We addicts know The Way Things Ought To Be. We tend to be hard-headed and prone to black and white thinking…
Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” We don’t like change. Hardly anyone does. Humans like predictability. We’re like the musician who said he was going to get his guitar tuned and have it welded. We want to get everything in our lives just the way we want it, and then weld it in place.
This just went live over at the Sunrise Detox Blog, if anyone’s interested.
The comedian Dave Gardner used to remark, “Folks are always saying, ‘Let’s do this again!’ But friends, you can’t do anything again! You can do something similar!”
I think about Gardner’s bit of wisdom when I hear people in early recovery talking about returning to their families and friends and “making it up to them.” (This also brings to mind the idea of pushing toothpaste back into the tube.) We say these things with the idea that we will be able to return things to the way they were “before” — if there ever really was a before.
That’s a lovely idea, but it’s not the way reality works. Read More…