It has been said that opinions are like wrinkles: everyone has them, and the older we get the more we have. We give them a great deal of power. Some of us are practically ruled by our opinions, and the opinions of others impact our lives daily in myriad ways: politics, individual human rights — even what we (or our significant others) believe we should be wearing.
When we really think about it, we can see that “our” opinions often aren’t really ours.The majority of the time they are based on the opinions of others that we glean from conversations, the news and infotainment media (usually those that tell us the things we are comfortable hearing), our clergy, friends and social sites. Seldom do we bother to conduct unbiased research, drawing from sources on both sides of a question so that we can form original opinions of our own. In fact, most of the things we “believe” or “feel” are things that someone else wanted us to believe and feel. Rarely can we honestly say that our positions on issues are solely our own.
I’ve been asked why, if this page is called What…Me Sober?, I post stuff about smoking and other issues such as sexual addiction. So, I guess it’s time for a bit of a policy statement, or whatever you want to call it.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine says that “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.”
“Pathological pursuit,” in layman’s terms, means chasing something even though it should be clear that it’s nowhere nearly in our best interest. In short, acting out on a compulsion.
As far as I am personally concerned, “Sober” means free of compulsion. Continue reading
Some of you may notice that the “Health Maven” badge is missing from beneath George’s bit of wisdom on the right. I find that most of Wellsphere’s professionals are waaaay up in their heads, and seem to have mostly theoretical notions about alcoholism and addiction. Beyond that, the site is so diluted by other issues that I see no likelihood of its becoming a particularly useful resource for the recovering community at large. The other sites and online resources in which I participate seem to be far more effective in both attracting and informing folks who are serious about recovery.
I’m sure Wellsphere’s founders have their hearts in the right place, but they are trying to re-invent the wheel. WebMD does it better, as do any number of other sites. As to addicts and alcoholics: they’re dying right now. I don’t have time to mess with start-ups that aren’t — in my opinion — sufficiently focused.