Beyond Recovery Exceptionalism – Bill White

Oppression involves objectification and rendering the targeted person or group as the ‘other.” That distinctive “otherness” is then conveyed in caricatured images that feed stigma, social exclusion, and, in its most extreme form, genocide. The first task of the social reformer is to illuminate the humanity of those objectified and break down barriers between “they” and “we.” The machinery of oppression and strategies of liberation rely on these opposing scaffolds of belief and perception. By projecting recovery stories into the public arena, recovery advocates undermine the demonized addiction archetype. These stories are often first viewed by the public through a lens of exceptionalism—seeing these ennobled individuals as the rare exception to the rule, “Once an addict, always an addict.” As recovery advocates, we can inadvertently contribute to this perception by only thrusting our most attractive, most articulate, highest achieving members into the public eye and characterizing our own redemption as an… Continue reading

How is Your Dependence Serving You? Unlocking Your Truth – Nicola O’Hanlon

Addiction and dependence have many definitions. There are many different opinions and many heated arguments around the subject. For me there is no one clear definition for each person regarding their dependence or addiction. Humans are too complicated and their circumstances too individual to stick a generic prescription on what looks like a similar dis-ease. This is what fits my personal experience; Addiction or dependence is the act of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else to keep me functional. You can define your own experience how you want to. When we think of addiction or dependence, most of us will immediately turn to things like drugs or alcohol to identify the concept. Some of us are or have been addicted to these substances and now see ourselves as alcoholics or addicts. Of course, we know that addiction or dependence covers a vast arena of substances and… Continue reading

How to Get Successful By F*cking Up Your Life; Author, Anna Davids Latest Book.

Anna David was, in every way, groomed for success. She grew up in an affluent community and came from a family that prioritized SAT scores, Harvard attendance and high-paying jobs. The problem was, she had low SAT scores, was rejected by Harvard and spent her early life feeling like the family’s great disappointment. Concluding that success was not for her, Anna focused her energies on an area where she excelled: drugs, alcohol and general mayhem. Washing ashore on the beaches of recovery at the age of 30, she begrudgingly entered a world of sobriety. That’s when she discovered that there were all sorts of ways to define success—and what’s more, that it was never too late to find it. The stories in this collection document her journey from self-indulgent party girl to sober and only semi-indulgent woman. By turns hilarious and touching, disturbing and ridiculous, How to Got Successful By… Continue reading

How to Stop Drinking – By Christine Beck

No point in telling yourself that Chardonnay tastes like Windex. It doesn’t. It tastes like walking under waterfalls, like sinking backwards into bed with the guy you flirted with at the bar. It smells like a necklace made of daisy chains or the waft of Queen Anne’s lace on a summer Sunday. It always has. It always will. Even the fourth or fifth glass (and that, of course is the problem) tastes just as good as the first. Don’t try aversion therapy. Even if they showed you livers corroded into cardboard, like those stone-black lungs of tiny Chinese men splayed open in an exhibit called  ]“Bodies Revealed,” you wouldn’t stop. Face it, some smokers don’t get lung cancer. Some drinkers have livers pink as kittens’ tongues. You know that will be you. The one that gets away with it. You didn’t get caught—no DWI, no blackout at the kids’ concert.… Continue reading

Staying Sober When Your Friend’s Aren’t – Isabella Paola

When I was in college my friends and I liked to party, which I always thought was normal until it wasn’t. Two weeks before my graduation I entered a drug treatment center. I think I was lucky to be able to get professional help. I also think I was lucky because I got to take a little vacation away from my friends, stress at school, and family issues I created. I learned a lot in the four weeks I spent there, one of the things I remember the most was “people, places and things,” and “rescue risks recovery.” If I’m being honest, I didn’t think either of these things applied or mattered to me, most of my friends weren’t going to be asking me to get high with them on the weekends, that was always me. Plus, a decent amount of my friends didn’t do drugs and were what I… Continue reading