Wednesday, December 10

Recovery


"Recovery!"

the announcer screamed ... 


That tense moment when an active thing is floating around and it is finally secured and given a more positive direction towards a goal...

Yeah -  you know me too well - this is not a football blog -  although I do love the Steelers - and it was good to watch Ben in recovery a few years ago -  drunk and very publicly humiliated - his family, his team kicked his butt a bit - now he has his better direction after he fumbled in a big way. He hurt his team, franchise, fans and more, humbled in a big (Ben) way - he is recovering from those mistakes. He learned and moved on.

Recovery can be quick and easy to get - or -...


People trip and recover before falling, bumble a fragile object and catch it before it breaks - we say 'great recovery'... we've done that ourselves - sometime successfully - or not.

People catch the flu, and we wish them a speedy recovery. We've 'been there' most likely, understand the pain - can have empathy - no one wants to puke from the flu... you from the bottom of your heart (and stomach) offer sincere recovery - you've probably been there - done that - not fun!

Broken bones, cancer, surgeries ... you may not have that experience - but they are 'normal occurrences. You can empathize in that there are places to go you know and specific processes and pre-determined outcomes that are public, known, we talk about them in the office, in church. You can discuss them freely because they are 'open' topics.

What about Addiction Recovery? With an anonymous society - some sort of weird spiritual solution that we hear about, no public causes or walks or national telethons to donate to ... yet Alcohol is the third largest killer on this planet and costs the US over $500.000.000.000 annually dealing with it.

It's partially because of the culture promoting "fun drinking"... to escape - to relax. We believe that is a right thing to do - anxiety? Self medicate with wine - Job Stress? Go have a beer. The Holiday season promotes it heavily - gift bottles - gift glass/booze sets. But some people have a LOT of stress - every day. and they feel the need to Self Medicate - Every day, not just the holidays.

By the numbers -  

There are over 20,000,000 people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction today - that's almost 10% of the population.  Another 20,000,000 plus drink too much today according to the CDC - and their healthy is at serious risk... cancer, heart, and more.

They didn't recover from Drinking ...

They made adjustments in their life, dealt with fears and anxieties, corrected situations - made life changing commitments often times to live more spiritually, to live outside of self, to help others. They recognized the problem - their self medicating (escape) - took corrective action - and fixed it... personally -  quietly. Very few offered well wishes of a quick recovery like the flu, bacause they have no experience -  or do they??

2/3 Of Americans are Impacted Directly by Addiction Problems....

I see these numbers -  the most impressive is the 3.300.000 that died this past year - that's one every ten seconds. There is so much more impacted - Prisons, legal, marriages, kids, fiscal, businesses... see www.SoberWorld.org for a look into what we could be doing better. In some way, some family member, some occurrence - you have been impacted; even if it's just your higher medical rates, property taxes and car insurance rates - they are all higher because of this global problem.

Want to understand Recovery from addiction a bit better?  A great video about a large movement underfoot can be seen at http://manyfaces1voice.org/.

I hope you don't trip, fall, get the flu, cancer or addiction...
it's great to recover - it's better to prevent.  :-)  pf




Wednesday, November 26

Providence


I knew it first as simply the capital of one of the smallest states with not much to claim for fame or glory. A place to pass through on the way to a more desirable location.

In a time of emotional darkness - the physical location of Providence became a personal refuge of love and hope. I gained understanding of independence, and the start of a journey into a new life of spirituality. I learned from someone strong enough to let me go ... as hard as that was ... letting go was the only way to free me from decades of ignorance and a helped to eliminate void that was consuming me.

 In celebrating Thanksgiving ... the compound word of Thanks and Giving.... yes, it is a thanks for giving. It is through giving that we receive the most in life. In the past few days, I have heard dozens of stories of gratitude. All shared the commonality of a deep sense of spirituality - and a different "Providence" ... the protective care of God as a spiritual power.

That pure spirituality requires no buildings, books or bully pulpits. It is freely given to all, if we are willing to accept it - and give thanks by practicing Thanks in Giving. In doing service for others, one learns humility, respect and empathy. A deeper understanding and respect evolves, which promotes tolerance, patience and love.

Living in "providence", the spiritual state of mind all the time is difficult. It is so easy to take back ones own desires, fall to the desires of your own ego, and fall to the influences of the day and be distracted from the path. But when you can pull back, and let go... it's quite the fun and enlightening experience - worldly pressures don't go away, but they become almost comical in the grand scheme of things.

The start of my voyage of discovery I am on now began in Providence physically ... and I hope it ends in Providence spiritually. A nice place to live.  Happy ThanksGiving.

Thursday, November 13

Meet Toxic Pat


Remember that awesome Saturday Nigh Live character - "Pat" - The one you couldn't really ever tell whether Pat was a guy or a woman... Hilarious.

On the dating sites -  you pre-select your gender -  and whatever gender you are looking for - so that takes a little of the guesswork out of the equation - for the most part.

But I noticed some fun things navigating one of these sites recently, looking endlessly for the woman who will tolerate me. It seems that along with the critical information about how many kids you have, and how many pets you love and whether they fly, swim or walk... you also need to indicate just how toxic your life is.

They only list (2) of the addictions found in "Package Stores" ... those stores usually carry all three of the legalized addictive revenue generators for state governments... Booze, Smoke and don't forget Gambling.  Not sure why the dating services don't want to measure those habits -  maybe that's another question elsewhere under hobbies or they didn't have a cool icon for it?

And along with the adjustable icons - you can indicate your personal level of toxicity .. Pat smokes daily - I think there are other levels - pretty rare you see people smoke "Once a Week" ... c'mon - a little rigorous honesty please ... who smokes once a week?

This site lists Drinking as "Never" - Once a Week - Daily - or Special Occasions. Never drinkers are either spiritual and really well balanced - or alcoholics (who have become spiritual and really well balanced). Once a week -  is a little vague - it can be either I have a glass of wine with dinner on Saturday ... or I go out and blackout drink in bars until I vomit on Saturdays ... but only do it "Once a Week".

Daily drinking can be odd - it can be really bad - or it can be that 'one glass' every night to relax... mild low dose toxicity - very manageable - low life impact - and even may be healthy! Then you have the "On Special Occasions" selection -  well for the party person; having a hefty bowel movement is reason enough to celebrate as a special occasion. Funniest are those who select that - and then post 9 out of 10 shots with red "Soho" drink cups or Martini glasses from Disney with the kids to the beach ... I guess life really IS a special occasion -  I think so.

Overall - it just seems odd to me that we as a society find it normal in attempting to find a life partner that we match up certain things ... proximity, children, ages, likes... try to envision life with another via a web site... guys trying to understand ballroom dancing, doing yoga... searching key words like football and fishing when looking for a soul mate. Yet in that match up -  we also try to determine just how polluted the other person is ... if they consume a airborne or liquid addictive substance ... how much do they do - how often -  will it affect my kids - or will my new girlfriend eat my goldfish in that 'Once a Week' blackout stupor?  I suppose you need to know those things if that's the person you are looking for?

Hey -  it's personal preference - I quit smoking 20 years ago - drinking 2 years ago -  eventually I will give up dating sites I hope - they don't have an icon for that either.  :-)

Thursday, November 6

The meaning of T.I.M.E.


I play Bass in a band calle T.I.M.E. - an acronym for Together It's More Enjoyable ... To most, we are just a decent slightly beyond middle aged band – playing a few originals, some cool new songs, and some tired dance music from over 30 years ago. Very few know our full stories; almost none know mine.

I heard about the band at an Open Mic at a Recovery Club… I was flipping burgers after six or so months into a walk back from the gates from hell. That cold October night, body weak from weeks of self inflicted malnutrition and intense 24/7 death wish insanity, drinking (self medicating) to ease depression, loneliness and fear. I prayed that night, like so many prayers – God chose not to grant my wish… I lingered and cheated death… barely …and the ambulance came. I lived – another selfish prayed denied by my cruel God.

Thirty five years of partying and what I cam to understand as an addiction and eventually losing everything… were over. Finally! How did it hapen? I don’t know. Why… I can speculate at answers. God let me live that night to mull it over. Near blind, unable to walk, move my arms … 40 pounds underweight that night: now I was at a grill, making decadent fatty cheeseburgers with bacon, doing service work because I knew I needed to. The woman working the counter was droning on of a love lost all night… I was ignoring her until she started talking of a friends departing Band Bass Player too… I was one about 25 years go… I spoke up, and it started – I was given a new chance to touch an old love in my life; music, thank you God for showing me service work... without being there in pain at the grill... doing something selfless... an opportunity would have passed.

The Band's need was urgent ... I had only two weeks to learn about 30 songs, playing on not much more than a friends 3/4 size toy bass, on borrowed amplifier. I squinted through my near blind eyes; nerve damaged from the alcohol… standing on my excruciatingly painful feet… also nerve damaged beyond any hope of repair from the same toxins. The other band members encouraged me … they were healthy, long term recovery folk. I wanted what they had.

First night, walking on a little plywood stage, in front of 200 people and a bon-fire. Carafes of coffee replaced the kegs of beer I knew once. I muddled my way through songs and set lists best I could, my feet seizing up, legs cramping … my eyes tearing at the songs of recovery. Emotions flowed… like I had never felt before. Love, gratitude, joy, serenity… I was not only alive, but I was living again. They talked of “Experience, Strength and Hope” … after we played, people speaking of a strange program. I had only the last one of the three, but hope was enough to give me determination.

Practices and gig load outs were grueling.. I remember well the 25 stairs to our weekly practice spot… 8 the first landing, 17 on the next. I remember because every one was painful, and I would make many trips up and down with equipment, stopping often to rest, my legs were so weak then. I was determined to not feel the searing pain in my feet – play through the pain. I did at every practice … til my feet started to feel better - and my vision slowly returned, my actual sight and my vision for life.

In a few months, I found myself on a stage in Boston, on New Years - supporting a local facility that helps people in recovery. Much strength had returned, I now had the experience of many gigs of pain… and still full of hope. A room filled with young kids in their teens and 20’s … scared, but they had their hope, and like I was – no experience, little strength, terrified of going back out and feeling more pain… looking to us in the band for a few fun hours of sober lyrical escape in song and dance… on a night that promotes chaos and drunkenness, a reprieve from the streets and temptations, surrounded by love, prayers and people who care.

I never felt more important in my life that night … sharing my talents that had lain dormant for decades, with other musicians who had their own version of hell … and survived. Six hours of driving to and from, 5 hours of meeting, performing, packing and praying. I would pay to play in that experience again. So filling, a deep feeling as the saying goes ...money cannot buy.

“So Close” – a song special to me I tear up at almost every gig. I was so close myself to not being here at all… missing on my children's lives ... and so much more. I had survived my first calendar year completely sober in my adult life ever. I had cheated death, fought through pain to crawl up onto stages larger and larger… to share my Experience, Strength and Hope plunking away on my bass in the background.

Together It’s More Enjoyable – for me together is every day, every moment I get to look someone in the eye and smile. Every breath … I am grateful for life itself… and for the opportunity through some music that stirs my very soul, gives me the essential drive of a life ‘TIME’.

When I play now, my feet still hurt a bit, I squint a bit at off lights… my playing chops are back better than ever … Gods gift of hands between my ‘hand’icaps of bad eyes and bad feet I guess? The redundant dance songs from thirty plus years ago get tiresome once in a while… but the opportunity to give hope to people struggling … to work towards that next gig to share what I have found … the opportunity for a life that is healthy, clean and really, really fun an oh so fulfilling… yeah – once more … Play the Funky Music White Boy!  :-)

Follow The Band at www.TheBandTIME.com

Tuesday, November 4

LifeSkule


A friend of mine was going back for an additional degree and a career change after her divorce. She had (3) night classes , and spent many hours doing projects and studying for classes. That made sense to her, but she seemed puzzled by all of my nighttime activities, non official academia ... she is right - I am involved in a lot of different things.

However - when I stepped back to analyze myself as I do often... I realized how similar our lives really were. It's all about learning.

We were both involved in getting educated in aspirations of helping others, Hers is a much more formalized program, designed along a specific goal and career path. Mine... well a lot more ad-hoc.. towards an eventual gradual career change, but when you look at what I am doing as a diverse curriculum of education, it's actually remarkably similar and very positive.

Here is my LifeSkule cirriculum -  5 Classes Right Now
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Advanced Introspection  405
Gain experience from the experienced in this one hour open discussion on life matters. Real life sharing and applications. Course keys off a daily read and an open topic discussion and forum follows after a quick interpretation. Meets Weekly Sunday - 10-11  WRC - Main Lecture Hall
------------------------------
Criminal Reconstitution  (Lab) 911 
Hands on meeting in a real SuperMax prison facility. Meet real long term convicts, ear there stories of societal pressures and failed systems that left them incarcerated. Hear their acknowledgement of their part in wrong-doing and share in their experience, strength and hope in recovery from addiction of drugs and alcohol and their vision for the future. Meets 1st Wed MacDougal Campus
-------------------------------
Intermediate Social Studies  307
Similar to Advanced Introspection - Shared experienced in this one hour open discussion on life matters. This is more granular, dealing with the day-to-day issues in work and dealing with others in a positive way reflecting on your own actions. Meets M-F 530-630 - Flex Schedule - Suggested minimum 2 classes a week. WRC - Main  Lecture Hall
-------------------------------
Board Meeting Basics and Beyond (Lab)  301
Experience the thrill of being on a Board of Directors in this real life scenario. Be a part of shaping the future of a local support facility, learn the interactions of various members, budgets, goal setting, purchasing protocols, and by-law and grant writing basics. Meets 4th Monday 7PM WRC - Main Lecture Hall
-------------------------------
Music - Performing Arts  Advanced 401
Take your individual instrument and experience the dynamics - musically and interpersonal - in a real life band setting, All aspects from Song acquisition, collaboration, performance creation, to the fundamentals of band marketing, time and people management. Not for the faint of heart. Many long hours and little pay potential in this field ... but the emotional rewards can be staggering in the right environment.  Meets 1x a week ...usually - somewhere - Performances 1-2x a Month - somewhere. Schedule TBD by Members - Good luck with that! 
-------------------------------
I won't get a degree, or make a fundamental career change because of all my 'schooling... but I am happy that I watch very little TV and am enjoying life to it's fullest right now in my LifeSkule, learning so much and meeting so many great people a few nights a week beyond my day job.

Seem like lot?  Not really - well over 2/3 of my nights are free for even more fun and frolic! A lot less than her degree program and NO HOMEWORK - NO TESTS!!

I guess my point is life can be educational (even without a large tuition) and fun if you can turn off the TV and walk out the front door every once in a while! Stay active, stay involved in your communities!  

Sunday, July 6

Health and Denial


This could be a book ... a career.

In my role as publications printer, we see a lot of health and wellness magazines, promoting healthy living and lifestyles. Many of them target women's health. A female friend in her 40's on the dating circuit recently shared with me how it seems women in that age range seem to take better care of themselves.. (Due to more reading of the healthy magazines I print and less sports TV I guess?,,, just saying guys -  get off the couch!)

In my role running SoberWorld.org, the educational side of Bills Blend Coffee, I see the devastating global impact of alcohol on women's health. I felt compelled to share a few observations...

MANS NATIONS
In looking at Men / VS / Women statistics on excessive drinking habits, something popped out. Many countries where women are still oppressed show large signs of alcohol abuse in women, but the men didn't even make the chart. Arabic countries, Africa ... very high alcohol abuse among women, I would assume due to life stress in oppression. Psychological and physical torment and pain, driving the need for more medication.

WOMEN And CANCER
So let's call a spade a spade. Booze is toxic, it attacks pretty much every organ in the body when ingested, it disrupts your central nervous system, causing all sorts of weird feelings. But hell, it's really fun in moderation. Escaping from a stress day, cutting back, releasing stress and inhibitions a bit... not so bad right? ... Well...

Many links are becoming very solid, tying drinking directly to not only liver cancer, but many others including breast cancers. So the days of the Wine and Cheese benefit dinners for Cancer Awareness may become an oxy-moron. Kinda like have a Cigar club for the Lung Cancer society.

WOMEN ADDICTS
As a culture in the US, we legalize the liquid drug called alcohol. Dope is on the edge ... addictive cigarettes are legal... and lethal.  We nake available the things that kill us slowly, and the states reap huge Tax revenues from the sale, the marketing, even the legal issues and incarcerations created by booze sales..

Meanwhile society, kids, families, relationships suffer. Many thousands of Moms die each year from Alcohol addiction and toxicity and cancers.

One of the most disturbing FaceBook sites I found was "Moms who Need Wine" last I looked over 600,000 blatantly addicted mothers of children gladly admitting they 'need' drugs to cope with being a parent.Mired in the pretense of 'elegant' consumption in goblets and co-mingled with fine cuisines. But they "Need" it ... where is the dis-like button on FaceBook.

What I try to do in Sober World is simply educate... show the global impact of alcohol and on lives, and society and even the huge fiscal downside of excessive consumption in terms of lost productivity.

Today I will see women in their 20's through their 60's all struggling with addiction. Many have lost dear friends, families, relationships because of what we promote on every street corner in every town in the country and all across the globe.

I pray that this blog touches a few, and changes maybe a few habits ... it's a completely selfish topic for me... I am a guy, and I like you women healthy and alive and annoying me with all your common sense and wisdom and caring. :-)

Wednesday, May 28

State vs State

In doing some research for a site I run, I came across an article about Casino's in PA. They were talking about loosening controls, cutting costs by reducing the amount of police, and allowing liquor sales well past 2AM in the morning.

Along with keeping people drunk longer, they wanted more freedom to allow greater cash advances, cash 3rd party checks easier and allow more access for people to get money they can't afford to spend, while under the influence of alcohol, almost 24/7.

They were doing this, citing declines in profitability due to competing states Casino's which had easier laws. Apparently thinking nothing of the people and their health and well being.

Our States are KILLING us!

In the US - collectively, well over 80,000 people a year die from alcohol related illnesses. That number grows substantially when you add in motor vehicle deaths. The fiscal tool is well over 224 Billion dollars in the US annually.

In my state, the sale of alcohol has slowly crept from 9-5 M-F to now it is later at night, and seven days a week ... over the years, slowly growing to 250% MORE hours per week that you can buy booze. Why? Because it is argued that neighboring states have longer hours, and 'we' are losing revenue from people going there ... they argue the same thing... and just enacted laws allowing booze sales early Sunday mornings... to prep for those "sporting" events apparently.

New Hampshire has State Run liquor stores - that actively tout lowest costs and entice people from neighboring states do drive hundreds of miles to 'stock up' with 'the cheapest booze in the country'. They also have close to the highest per capita consumption of alcohol, and close to the highest amount of alcoholism in their state.

Alcohol is big money - HUGE money in terms of state revenue. Most states bundle the three most addictive legal items - alcohol, tobacco and gambling and "Package" them up and put them on every street corner for easiest access to those who can least afford them. People who suffer the most from poverty, and feel the need to self medicate, are given easy access to the tools to do so ... and the states reap the benefits of it.

It is a tangled mess, with money at the root of it all. So don't expect and positive change any time soon. Just be aware, stay educated, stay healthy and stay alive.

Keep informed at Sober World.


Sunday, April 20

2112

A great album by one of my favorite bands - a turning point in their history where they stuck to their principles and beliefs and said screw you to the record producers, and did what they felt was right.

They produced another side lone story of a guy who fought against the establishment - I won't give away the ending - but as a band -  they won ... huge!

It makes me wonder what a century forward and what 2112 will actually look like. how much more we will evolve ... before we go there -  lets look back.

1912 - a short century or so ago ... we were not very bright ... first world war was starting, women were 2nd class citizens, we drank soda made with cocaine and doused our kids with Mrs Wilson's syrup to get them to sleep - made with pure morphine. Frontal lobotomies were common. Blacks and other minorities had next to zero rights and were heavily oppressed.

But we thought we were brilliant -  cars, airplanes, electricity industry ... so much more. we were MUCH better off than 1812... another century before where we had horses and buggies and none of the slick new items.

The people in 1912 looked back at 1812 and laughed and were amazed at how primitive life was...
in 2012 we are amazed at how primitive life was in 1912...

So what about 2112 ... what will THEY look back at us - all dead by then ... and say - what the hell were they thinking? What today are we doing that when you look at it in hind site?

Keurig cups come to mind ... when they un-earthing many billions of those little buggers still in perfect shape. Plastic bottles, especially water... and the debris field the size of Texas in the Pacific ocean that everyone is ignoring comes to mind. I'm thinking fossil fuels will pretty much be secondary - and the Prius will be like the Model T of today. Lawyers and lawsuits, no one seems to care how much they make and how it affects our medical premiums... health care revolution in general... will we look like barbaric butchers to them? 'Energy Drinks' I'm sure will be on the WTH list -  all that sugar and volumes of caffeine! Fast food of today - please may it go away in the future. Global warming and other environmental nightmares like nuclear rods - and so much more.

I wonder about Drugs and Alcohol -  how much worse it will get before people start to get upset. 2.5 Million a year die today from alcohol alone... what's the magic number -  5 Million? 10 Million ... before we start to look at that problem. Someday they will figure out that if you attack the root cause of WHY people drink themselves into oblivion - instead of laws reacting to it... it will get better. May that day come soon. (Here's a hint - most people with well balanced family life, good jobs and strong spirituality don't need to self medicate).

I pray they do not have to reflect on any more world wars ... two were plenty.

Suffice to say -  we are idiots already in the eyes of those from 2112.... maybe we can start to work today on fixing some of those things? They can look back and say - remember when about 100 years ago someone started a great positive change with a simple idea ... Edison - Bell - Einstein - Gates - ML King ... it's been done before.

Sunday, March 2

Pair a Dockses


It's a Paradox that life is full of paradoxes, and you don't really know it until you experience one. Where what seems to make sense is the wrong thing to do, and the other way around.

A classic medical example is cancer. The paradox is that you are sick with a disease, so you should be made to feel better. Wrong. The only way we know how to battle cancer is to make you feel worse, a lot worse. To almost kill you with toxins and radiation, so that the cancer may die ... and you may live.

On a more spiritual level - the paradoxes read something like:

"When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is increased; when I accept pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when I look at my dark side, I am brought into new light..." Daily Reflections

That quote is from a drug and addiction recovery book, where like cancer, the same rules apply. 

You can run along in life, mildly toxic, ingesting legal addictive drugs your whole life and function fine. These drugs can make you feel numbed, happy, invigorated, or just be a great escape. The paradox plays in when life turns bad consistently, and the drugs that made you happy become more required than recreational. Then they turn, and what was a great release becomes a further burden. The paradox.

Like cancer, it is hard to 'sort-of' cure addiction. If you only partially kill it, it grows back... stronger and more lethal. Like cancer, the best cure for addiction is a paradox. The harder and worse your addiction, the further you get towards real death, the better your chances are for a full and complete recovery the first time. It is a lethal paradox that many millions do not succeed at every year around the globe ... and they perish.

The drun called alcohol is now the 3rd largest cause of premature death on the planet. 

The ultimate paradox is that alcohol is self administered, promoted, advertised, condoned and encouraged. If you choose not to partake in it, you are considered somewhat of an outcast.

Another fun paradox, is that most of those who recover with a program, are introduced to some of life's best coping tools, and are the most spiritually alive and have some og the greatest tolerance and understanding of others.

A great paradox - you have to nearly die, to become re-born a better person.
Hmmm that would make for a great story. Happy Sunday.  Off to my 'church'.

pf

Monday, February 17

Neknominate

Neknominate is the new on-line craze I guess you would call it.
I call it crazy.

A rough description: A kid - usually college, dares another to drink an amount of booze, they video tape it and put it on YouTube. Basically a lot of the stupidity found in college dorms, and frat houses, now posted on an escalated global scale with equally large pressure to 'perform'.

The wires announced a fifth kid died from it this weekend, after guzzling a few pints of Gin and claiming 'who's the boss?'.

Ego pumped testosterone filled young bucks under the peer pressure of global eyes to drink to the point of near death, and in five cases as of this writing, a little beyond near death. Over 1500 College kids die each year already due to alcohol related causes. They don't need global encouragement and enticing.

One of the first things I saw coming in over the wires too was a "call for legislation" controlling YouTube, Putting filters on things like this, not allowing it. In my opinion, we have plenty of laws we can't enforce already. Attempted suicide, derelict behavior, drunken and disorderly... I am sure there are many more.  And putting filters on YouTube is like hauling out Outlook for allowing people to send nasty emails.  It's not the software, it's the people using it.

The Wrong "ATION"....
Simply changes "Legisl" with s more simple and effective "Edu"

Education: Teach these kids about the chemistry of C2H60 - Ethyl Alcohol 

  Chemistry: A natural fit -  the compound, it's properties - the variations
  Biology: How it affects and attacks every organ, how the body fights off this toxin
  Sociology: How did alcohol become so pervasive in our society
 Global Studies: 2.5 Million people dire prematurely every year on this planet - Where? Why?
  Psychology: The addictive nature of alcohol, use as a coping tool in a bad way
  Political Science: The money behind alcohol, lobbyists and the politicians
  Legal: All of the laws, court impact (divorces, death, accidents) around alcohol
  History: Prohibition - why it failed 4,000 years ago and again 80 years ago
  Economics: In the US alcohol costs $224 Billion of Dollars annually - How? Why?

If we're going to sell it on every street corner, why not teach out kids about it in school? The world that they were born into.

I'm sure there are more, but the point is, let's learn from these kids lives. Let's enhance the quality and challenge the kids of the future to "Turn Down the Volume"

ps -  you can help by not watching these dumb videos... people generally don't perform large acts of stupidity for small crowds


Sunday, January 19

Volume Control

It's been hard and interesting to understand how a guy with a pretty good career, three wonderful kids, would be inclined to drink into oblivion and give up on life.

I had been unhappy for a long time in my life. I never 'accepted' the things I could not change and moved on. I had trouble focusing on the positive elements in life, being grateful for what I had.

My stress management tool kit, it was small. Mostly a medication I took often, but in modest doses all along my life journey for decades. It is called alcohol. When life was good, and stress was not so bad, it fit well, I functioned well. When things got bad in my head, every day, every month, every year... the need for more medication arose.

So in traveling down the life highway, I suddenly find myself sideswiped by the (metaphorical) alcohol truck. Major losses, almost dead, stunned ... asking 'what the hell just happened"?

Spirituality and inner peace were missing in my life. Human beings strive towards some greater being, it's in our nature. When that is missing, we thrive on self ego and material items. We feed our cravings and dopamine addictions in so many bad ways. In doing this, we lose site of helping others, and feeling the warm rush of natural Oxytocin - that feeling of warmth when you hug someone you love. A great video on this here.

So into action,  with this new knowledge, I sprang out Bills Blend Coffee, which will keep me distributing recovery books that promote this healing spirituality, dealing with the past and removing resentments and coping with today. Great for me personally, my shot of Oyytocin in every book. It will hopefully helps many others in a small way, the one percent of the population already affected.

But what about the other 99% of the world, "not affected"?

Well -  they ARE in fact affected. Alcohol abuse costs every American on average about $700 a year. A $224 Billion dollar annual problem in the US alone. Over 80,000 people die every year from alcohol, personally affecting countless millions of people.


On a more local level, we see the pervasiveness. On any given Sunday afternoon, in my home town, there are more than two dozen places to get your alcohol fix. Liquor stores in my life are now open more that twice as long in a given week. We are addicted to alcohol, the state government is addicted to money. It's a perfect symbiosis.

Time to turn down the volume a bit?

I created Sober World.org to help educate. To consistently push that message about turning down the volume of consumption; leveraging the music community who is deeply affected by this disease.

I have a vision - beyond all the individual reports and groups and raising my hand and saying more overall... "Hey, can we turn down the volume" a bit on consumption?

No new legislation, no new laws, o new labeling. Just an awareness so that when we choose to consume the legal liquid narcotic called alcohol, with the intentions of getting that buzz so many of us enjoy, we do so respectfully. We do so intentionally, carefully and with our own measured doses, the same as any other drug we take. Watch your own volume levels. Be aware of them.

You can help - be aware of your personal volume. Get educated. Like us on FACEBOOK.

Please share this -  you could save a life.

Friday, January 10

Mental Rental

A guy in his early twenties, I will call him Mitch, wise beyond his years, shared this story.

He said he was at work, and arguing with another person. Mitch was getting visibly upset over what seemed to be a senseless engagement, The first person just seemed to like to push Mitch's buttons and get him riled up. After it was over, another co-worker of Mitch's came up and asked him a question....

"How much rent is he paying you?"
Mitch looked puzzled and said only "huh"?
His friend expanded the question fully...
"How much rent is he paying you for all that space he is taking up in your head?"

In an instant, Mitch knew what he was talking about. He had been consumed with this person, they were always on his mind, always under his skin, and for no reason.
All of the arguments were pointless, the topics were meaningless. the other person was engaging Mitch, only because he took the bait and engaged back. He was able to torment him continually, arguing with him about senseless things, get him all riled up... and leave.

CHANCES ARE THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU
This is a hard concept, but a great one...
If someone is upsetting you... ask first: What is wrong with me?

- Do I need to engage with this person?
- Will they affect my career / family / goals?
- Why am I arguing in the first place?
- So what if I let them be right? Does my ego need to win?
If you are strong in your own mind about what your convictions are, what you are doing is right, that you are doing the right thing, that if you stay the course, others will eventually see the truth... then the suggestion is to not engage.

Do not let others tormented in their own worlds, become an influence in yours. Deal with any situations that arise with grace, poise, character and facts. If you start letting resentments towards another creep in, then the facts get clouded with fear, anger, frustration, envy and so many other emotions.

Sometimes you get in situations where the person has direct influence on you, and will impact you in a negative way, I treat those like a minor car accident in the road of life that was not your fault. Assess the damage, repair what you can, and get back on the highway, saying a prayer for the other driver, that they do no more harm. If you can, smile, wave and toot your horn on they way, they will wonder where you are going that you are so happy after just being in an accident. :-)

Remove that "For Rent" sign on your forehead. Be strong in your own head, make it a nice place to live. Smile nicely and politely close the door when others try to enter into your space and engage you with banter. You will find that they will quickly leave you alone and move on to the next mental rental.