I began this blog before the Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting. This horrible event, involving young school children, got much world attention. History reports that mass shootings scatter people, and then bring them together. Survivors gather in mutual and sustaining support. From history and now today, we hear the words— together we shall… Uvalde is over 80% Hispanic with a Hispanic shooter. It is a small community with interlocking family, friends, and relatives. A faith-based community that has community heritage and bonds. A sense of common purpose brings order, fellowship, and brings understanding, love, and care for fellow beings. “Lean into the future—complaining isn’t a strategy.” Jeff Bezos.
On February 27, I celebrated my 90th year on the planet. In all the years, alcohol was my only drug of choice. It served me well until it didn’t. Upon my return to California in 2019 we started a new non-profit called The Purpose of Recovery. As I finished research, I noted that Alcohol Awareness was being diminished by all else going on. As I did some research, I determined to edit language to feature alcohol. What I noted is that my language works in any month. I have been active in the recovery movement for many years. Ok, who do we help and what do we ask them to say about alcohol? Particularly, how do we guide their research on talking to kids.?
A 2021 report in the Courier Journal listed the concerns of Louisvillians.
The recent attempt on the life of one mayoral candidate has affixed that issue in a noticeable way for him and many others.
A national survey by the Pew Research Center study from the same year listed a wider list but overlapping items including Education (58%), Crime (52%) Criminal Justice (45%). The Pew list also noted Healthcare Costs (61%), Jobs (52%), and Poverty (44%). One item ranking low on the Pew Research list would make a substantial contribution to at least eight of these issues – treating and reducing addiction and substance abuse.
Recently we wrote that the popular view of addiction in America is misinformed. The impression that addiction to alcohol and drugs is a problem for the homeless portrays only a fraction of alcohol and drug use, abuse and addiction. What does substance use, abuse and addiction look like? There isn’t a bright line; it isn’t that simple.
Vim: energy and enthusiasm.: Vigor: mental and moral strength. Virtualocity: The ability to move about among faces and places for learning opportunities. With vim and vigor, I can always go there, without leaving my chair and absorb things to share. I don’t forget diet and exercise, spiritual imperfection, and knowing real recovery.
In order to write a worthwhile little, I have to watch, listen and read a lot. I look for other’s words to capture, contemplate, and pass along. I saw a quote from Oprah that said. “The world is upside down” The context related to a tragic incident of lawlessness but had broad application. Perception is in the eye of the beholder. Drugs drive crime in multiple ways. I thought of a familiar statement and changed it to fit the moment. Ask not what drugs will do for you, but what you will do for drugs.
As a nation, we celebrated Thanksgiving with thankfulness and civility. It was indeed a grateful deed. Though we should give thanks for many things each day, we single out this day to express gratitude. As planned, it is a time of family, fellowship, food, and fun —as it should be. We still love parades and football. For those of us in active and sustained recovery it is a special day to gives thanks. Family dynamics may differ, cultures play a role, but at the core is thankfulness and gratitude with family and friends. Those who experience the fellowship of AA recognize that the two most favored subjects for meeting discussion are gratitude and acceptance. My activity in mindfulness always includes both. At this point, I will add a bit of humor. During Holidays at family gatherings, discussing politics may result in saving money on Christmas gifts. Considering inflation, it could benefit.
I don’t use the words “mental illness” a lot. Brain Disorder, in our society at least, does not seem to have as negative a feel to it. When I realized very early in our marriage that my husband suffered from a serious addiction to alcohol and other drugs, I sought help from a 12 Step Program for wives and family members. It was the difference for me between sinking or swimming.
We celebrated September as Recovery Month. For me and others, October has been Discovery Month. In that regard, I am reminded of the quote from Albert Einstein, “Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance,” We have heard the expression mind over matter. The science of addiction tells us that the brain is very active in determining the best ways to handle pleasure and pain. For pain it wants less of it and for pleasure it wants more of it. The brains receptors are tuned to how the chemical dopamine is produced and the best neuron pathways from which to receive reward. As addiction progresses, it blocks other functioning pathways to the other parts of the brain. It guides reason and rationale in harmful ways. Cravings crowd out thoughts beyond the many ways to sourcing dopamine. Mind over matters seems not to matter.
Recent reports rightfully focus on the increase of homicides nationwide in 2020. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that homicides increased between 2019 and 2020 by 30% to 21,570 deaths. Such an increase is alarming and telling of trends in the nation beyond the author’s expertise.