Give it a go?

I have recently begun listening to this podcast about alcoholism.  I haven’t really listened to podcasts for the past ten+ years, since I discovered that there would be far more podcasts that interested me than I actually could take the time to hear, and so just gave up on them, instead of being frustrated over having to pick which ones were the most important, being stressed out over feeling like I must listen to them as often as possible, and all that jazz.  However, someone sent me this podcast, and I accepted the proffered link, because of the various degrees of connection various members of my family have with addiction, and specifically alcohol addiction.  (Let’s just say that, while not everyone has it, we’ve had from the slightest to one of the worst cases of it just in my lifetime.)

It’s called “An Addict Named Mary”.  I was surprised to find that, while the podcast is just a girl – I say “girl”, but she is actually a woman in her upper thirties or so – recording with her phone or laptop in each episode, it is actually really interesting.  I don’t know if there are other podcasts done by recovering alcoholics, but I like this one.  She spends the time talking about the experience of addiction and what is involved in recovery and moving beyond the active addiction (i.e. still drinking alcohol) into a fully sober life, which she hadn’t experienced in decades… and it’s kind of fascinating.  I keep coming back to it and listening whenever there’s a new episode, partly because I find it beneficial for myself, as someone who is around people in active addiction, as well as people in recovery, but mostly because I like the girl.  She’s funny and goofy, and she’s totally honest about the b*** underneath at times – it almost feels as though I can see the light and depth in her eyes, the eternal joy becoming manifest at last within them, as she struggles willingly through it all, and aims to make a difference for others however they are ready to have her help.  I also get the occasional glimpse of the sad, outwardly fun, go-getter who desperately just wanted to be loved, little girl who used to hide in a sea of alcohol (and, occasionally, plenty of other drugs)…, and it’s beautiful to see the transformation.

I particularly liked the first two interviews she did (at least, I think they were the first two).  The first was with her sponsee, someone she is sponsoring in recovery, and it wasn’t exactly an interview, but more like just the two of them talking about things.  Specifically, the way they talk about their active addiction days is very eye-opening for me, especially as I saw how many people I know who say the same things these girls were expressing…, but who are not recovering alcoholics…. and it had me wonder about how much I’ve been living with blinders on regarding alcohol addiction/abuse.

The second was actually an interview.  And it was rough, but super good.  She interviewed a guy who admits to being an alcoholic, but who says also that he is not willing or ready to do anything to stop his drinking, despite the many and deep negative effects it has on his life (including, but not limited to his relationship with his young children).  Now this one was…. just wow.  For anyone dealing with a person who is in active addiction, I highly recommend listening to this episode.  For everyone else, I still highly recommend it, because I find it so important for people to see an honest expression of what is going on inside the head of someone who cannot give up an addiction.  We have them all around us in society, and the first step to helping them and our society as a whole is to understand and thereby love them.  I believe that all change, to be true, must come from love.  And this is a guide to the first step involved in loving the people who can not (currently) give up their active addictions.

As a whole, I recommend the podcast.  Like I mentioned, it is not very professional, but the sound quality is good enough to sit through it, and the information is definitely good enough to sit through it.  Give it a go, trust me.

As I understand it, there are multiple ways to subscribe and auto-download the episodes, however, I just check back regularly and listen via my web browser, because I’m old-school and don’t want to download anything else to my phone.  😛  At the beginning of just about every episode, if not all of them, she encourages feedback and contacting her through her e-mail address – anaddictnamedmary@gmail.com, to be sure.  I sent her an e-mail, asking about something a friend and I were wondering, based on something she’d mentioned briefly, but that we totally didn’t get, our not having the alcohol addiction and all.  She replied back, telling me that she’d do an episode on it!  That was just recently, so we’re both anxiously awaiting the episode.  🙂

Here’s the first episode: The Beginning
Here’s the episode I mentioned of the first interview, with the sponsee: Getting Grounded with Ciara
Here’s the a-maz-ing one with the active alcoholic: Dr. Ew Kaleidoscope Dream Theater

And here’s the website to the podcast as a whole: An Addict Named Mary

Enjoy!

Post-a-day 2019

Tough stuff

Just a curious thought that came up tonight – one which I have had many times before, thought usually only passively or, at least, without much depth of consideration – while at dinner: How are people within our society to learn to have healthy and successful and mutually satisfying physical and sexual relationships, as well as healthy relationships with alcohol?

When do we do anything real to teach our growing children and young adults (and any adults, really) this information, to give them concretes and explicit and specific information?

When do we create with them healthy relationships to the topics in the first place?

In my cave people era books, they talk about how females each had a unique ceremony, with a carefully selected older make, to give her the full experience of adult sexual intimacy…. there were people designated in different seasons who were to be guides for the growing adults to learn about sexual intimacy by voluntarily going to any of these people for the honest help and insight an older and more experienced individual could give.

I know these can easily go against various religious traditions of today…, though that does not change the fact that these were ways of helping people to build healthy sexual habits and relationships.

While avoidance has its pros, it also very much has its cons, one of which is the educational side of learning to have positive relationships to and using sexual interaction.

Do note: I’m not aiming to stir up any nonsense here – I’m just sharing the idea that came up tonight, and that I found very interesting and worth considering further.

Anyway, I see it very similarly with alcohol in the USA – we just don’t ever teach our children to have healthy relationships with alcohol, and yet we spring it on them in full power when they’re supposedly several years past being a legal adult, offering at no point any useful and practical guidance on how to approach and to have a healthy relationship with alcohol.

It doesn’t surprise me that we have so many issues regarding it, especially for the younger adults and teens… we ignore it and tell them to avoid it entirely, throwing them to the hungry lions on their 21st birthdays.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

The lonesome night with myself

What do you do when, at the end of the day, all you want to do is talk, chat, hang happily with someone you love and who loves you, and you have no one with you?  When you consider calling any of your beloved friends or family members with whom you usually chat on the phone, but recall that that is usually during the daytime on weekdays, when their own partners in life are off at work, and so they are actually home with their own beloved individual right now, and they really don’t have the time and space to talk with you, nor do they really want to chat with you right now, because, well, they want to spend the time with each of their special persons…, what do you do?

I suppose I could just feel sorry for myself, consider myself pathetic for having to feel sorry for myself in the first place, for not having a someone with whom to talk, for not having someone who wants to talk (at least, not yet).  I think that might even be my inclination at present and on most similar occasions.  As soon as I put the idea into words, of course, it sounds absurd and silly and totally not worth it (though still, somehow, enticing – at least that way, I get to be worth feeling sorry for, which would suggest that people would care about me, because I was suffering in some way).  However, that clearly does not serve my highest self, the best version of myself, but only the lowly sad, and pathetic version that exists mostly in my head from time to time.

Therefore comes the question of Well, what does serve my highest self?

Hmm… I’m not sure.  I’ve considered walking to the store to buy that gelato I want…, but then I feel almost guilty at wanting to get gelato when I want to be good to my body and to have good foods only on my list of intake… I mean, I know I ate that chocolate stuff earlier – which is silly, because I don’t even like chocolate all that much – and I’ll eat likely more tomorrow, but, by not getting the gelato, that is one thing fewer to add to the list of non-healthy things I consume.  Surprisingly, though, gelato gives me a sense of joy and happiness, which I think could be called positive.  And, my excuse about its being dairy and therefore worth avoiding, might as well go out the window, because I consume dairy almost every day anyway – it’s kind of like the candy thing all over again: one thing fewer on the non-healthy things (read dairy) I consume list.  Also, it is more money that I would be spending, and it would be for an ‘unnecessary luxury’, so to speak.

Those are my anti- arguments.

Now the pro arguments:

I like gelato and am happy eating a few bites of it in the evening.  I would have to walk to the store to get it – walking is good for me.  I need another few thousands steps for today, anyway.  It is only a few dollars, and it lasts days, if not weeks, sometimes.  I feel guilty considering having it.  While this one seems like it would be an anti- stance, it is a pro, because I have this feeling that guilt is not necessarily something beneficial for us (if ever)… on way of saying this that I have heard could be that guilt spawns from the devil…, though that isn’t quite how I think of it…  I mostly see it as something worth considering, whenever I feel guilt about something.  Oftentimes, I find that my feeling of guilt has to do with something that happened way back when in my life, when I was super young and super impressionable and didn’t know how to evaluate a specific situation on my own yet, and so took whatever it feels like I was told as though it were hard truth and the only way.  Kind of like how eating candy will rot your teeth out.  I heard it and believed it as a kid.  Now, I understand how sugars work on the teeth and mouth, and I actually have extremely good oral health, for which the dental hygienist always compliments me.  Yet, I still eat sweets.   Though, that isn’t the source of my feeling of guilt for tonight…

I think, actually, my feeling comes from the idea that ‘only fat people sit at home alone, eating ice cream.’  So, the little kid in me, who is terrified of being one of those people who don’t care about their own health, and how dare they be so mean to their bodies, and how could they possibly not play sports all the time?…… the emotions and thinking from that point in my life have me terrified to go get gelato – they peremptorily have me feel guilty about eating the gelato, because I’m not at my ideal fitness level right now.  All of this, just because I find myself wanting gelato… I hadn’t even really considered going to get it yet, when the feeling of guilt had already taken its hold…

Hmm… very interesting… very interesting, indeed.

Post-a-day 2019

Free thinking

I found myself today wondering on the phrase “The sky’s the limit.”

If, when considering ‘the sky’, we are imagining that 62-75 miles or so (100-120 km, for us nerds) of the earth’s atmosphere – as I think most people do -, it has me wonder two things in quick succession.

First: How old is that phrase?

Then: In what kind of sad and limited mental world must one live to have the sky alone, out of the whole universe (and whatever might be beyond), be the limit of one’s dreams and such?

How could someone have gotten to the Moon with such a limitation on one’s thinking?

It sounds – initially, anyway – like a declaration of near-limitless possibilities… today, however, upon a bit of consideration, I must say that it feels rather restrictive and of a field of rather small thinking.

Is this just a matter of timing, that the moon and Mars explorations hadn’t happened yet, and were still too far into the future for anyone to notice?

Post-a-day 2019

Bedtime routine…

I wanted to go read, because I didn’t want to think about what to write…,

But then I thought about how I would be thinking all along in the back of my mind about things I could use for writing, as well as maintaining that semi-constant reminder that also resides back there to make sure I write before I go to bed…

And so I came and sat down on my magical handmade chair… thing – I think it’s possibly a stool, technically, and “magical” just felt right, because it is special to me, not because it is a regular Hermione Granger or anything of the sort – and picked up the little phone – “little” being totally relative, because it is definitely not Zoolander sized, but it also is loads smaller than the first many versions of phones, as well as the most recent iPad-type mobile phones – here to write something…

Apparently this is what I ended up writing for tonight – and “For Tonight” is the name of a musical that is about to have its world premier here in Houston(!)… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Dinner and a shower…

Tonight, I ate the same food at dinner as I used after dinner to scrub my body in the shower.

Slightly absurd and utterly intriguing, is it not?

I’ll just tell you: It is.

You see, when I was living in Japan, I learned first in Okinawa about how this food that was regularly a side dish in Japanese meals was also found as the base for certain jiggling and super-foaming soaps – trust me, this was a very odd and confusing conversation for me to be having, especially in Japanese, as the shop workers tried to explain to me how something that sounds like the Japanese pronunciation/version of a drinking alcohol is actually a food, and that this food is what makes the jiggling, funny soap here in front of me.

Suffice it to say, I bought a few of these spectacular soaps, mind partially blown by the soap itself and partially by the whole discovery of its being something I somewhat often ate.

(The next time I use one, I’ll share photos, I’m almost certain – it is really cool!)

Now, this plant is called konjac, and is pronounced just like the alcoholic beverage.

Therefore, in Japanese, they are both pronounced the same way and written in Roman characters the same way: konnyaku.

(The signs had the Japanese written, too, but it wouldn’t have been the first time that I’d seen a foreign word written as though it were a Japanese word [e.g. using hiragana instead of katakana], so I didn’t trust it entirely.)

However, I eventually understood what non Earth it was – sort of, anyway – and suddenly started noticing it more and more around me in life.

Tonight, I cooked some “konnyaku threads”, which look like little knots made of about seven white strings of rubber each, and had them with some other Japanese-esque food I prepared.

Then, for my shower, I happily pulled out for the first time my “Natural Konjac Puff”, a body scrubber similar in size, shape, and texture to a cut loofah… except that it went from the rough and crispy of a loofah to the soft and squishy foamy of a sea sponge, once it was wet and soaped.

Also, when I first opened the package for the puff, I smelled the puff, and it had a very similar smell to my konjac food from shortly beforehand- that rubbery, slightly salty, and weird smell that isn’t exactly bad, but isn’t delightful either…

Totally odd and crazy experience.

P.S. Here is a great page that talks about konjac in mug more detail.

Post-a-day 2019