inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #51 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Sat 23 Jan 16 13:41
    
Thanks for posting that. Radiolab is a great show. As you said, one
size does NOT fit all. When my drinking got really bad, there was
nothing I wanted more than a pill to fix it. I'm ultimately glad
that never panned out, because it led me to the discovery that my
drinking wasn't the problem so much as a symptom. I had to address
what was underneath the drinking, what had led me to drink in the
first place: My insecurities, my social anxiety, my hatred of myself
and my own body. Without tackling those, I don't think I could have
found the freedom I really craved. 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #52 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sat 23 Jan 16 17:17
    

another question i have always wanted to ask: you refer to all the work on
yrself AA demanded from you and i have heard the same from other folks for
whom AA has worked. my question is: isn't this the sort of work one does
with a good therapist? is AA in part for ppl who never found (or wanted to
find) a good therapist?

not being antagonist about AA --- just something i have puzzled over. how
many ppl in AA also work with an indivual therapist?
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #53 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Sat 23 Jan 16 17:42
    
Sarah, I will answer your question to myself and Ren later.  Right
now I want respond to (loris)'s inquries.

As for why the negative results don't stop us, here is a paragraph
from the AA Big Book, the basic text of the program:

"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have
lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes
practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring
into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the
suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are
without defense against the first drink."

Next:
AA is not therapy.  The key factor in effectively receiving help for
the conundrum described in the above paragraph is not therapeutic
self-examination, although we do take multiple inventories so that
we may understand the depth of our problem.  The key factor is
identification.  Alcoholics of the variety that can be helped by AA
have been told endlessly to stop or moderate by well meaning people,
but those people do not have the depth of authority that comes from
intense personal experience.  I will hand this one off to Dr. Bob:

"The question which might naturally come into your mind would be:
“What did the man do or say that was different from what others had
done or said?” It must be remembered that I had read a great deal
and talked to everyone who knew, or thought they knew anything about
the subject of alcoholism. But this was a man who had experienced
many years of frightful drinking, who had had most all the
drunkard’s experiences known to man, but who had been cured by the
very means I had been trying to employ, that is to say the spiritual
approach. He gave me information about the subject of alcoholism
which was undoubtedly helpful. Of far more importance was the fact
that he was the first living human with whom I had ever talked, who
knew what he was talking about in regard to alcoholism from actual
experience. In other words, he talked my language. He knew all the
answers, and certainly not because he had picked them up in his
reading."
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #54 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sat 23 Jan 16 17:57
    

so the self-examination/personal growth --- happen because one is in company
with other alcoholics. i get the value in this: just, as sarah has referred
to, drinking helped soothe all kinds of holes in her soul. so to rephrase my
question: there is the getting sober and the kind of self-inventories AA
provides; and then there is fixing the holes in the soul.

wouldnt therapy potentially help fix the holes in the soul? help with the
self-discovery? help with developing new self-soothing strategies?

most therapists i have encountered are totally in favor of AA; just it seems
to me some of the wounds drinking is self-medicating for --- might also be
helped with therapy? or is a multimodal approach (AA, exercise + nutrition,
therapy, maybe some drugs) what's usually recommended these days?

perhaps there is no way of knowing, but how many ppl in AA also engage in
individual therapy?
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #55 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Sat 23 Jan 16 21:16
    
That would be correct because AA has a tradition of not having
opinions on issues outside of the specifics of the AA program,
including what AA members do in terms of health matters.  This is
from page 133 of the Big Book:

"Now about health: A body badly burned by alcohol does not often
recover overnight nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a
twinkling. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a
most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from
serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen
remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd
now shows any mark of dissipation.

But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God
has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists,
and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your
health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of
themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try
to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should
never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are
often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case
afterward."
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #56 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Sat 23 Jan 16 22:05
    
How I got sober.

I drank daily the last 8 years of my drinking, pretty much the 80's.

When the time came I went into an outpatient program through my work
health plan.  I went to the early recovery phase two days a week for
two months then it converted to a one day a week long term recovery
phase that lasted for a year.  They were both groups with a
professional therapist.  They mostly consisted of talking about
insecurities and difficulties in our day to day lives.  Despite many
positive effects the lack of the medicating force of alcohol and the
lack of actionable info in the outpatient group was resulting in
greater and greater discomfort on my part.  When the two days a week
dropped to one it got worse so I started going to group counseling
centered on addiction at a local non-profit facility.  I also
happened to start the mandatory class portion of the only DUI
conviction I received, a few months before other circumstances led
me to attempting recovery, so I was being inundated with information
about alcoholism.  I was becoming convinced I was in the relatively
select group of people who cannot drink safely but I had no idea
what to do about it and the cathartic effect of participating in
those moderated groups was short lived and I would always come back
to myself and tremendous personal discomfort.  I was 3 months sober
and more uncomfortable than I had ever been in my life.  An active
member of AA with several years of sobriety who was participating in
my counseling group chose to 12 Step me one day.  (12 Step is the AA
term for carrying the message to a person who is not in AA.)  He did
not talk to me about me, he told me about himself.  I had heard a
lot of references to AA in my groups but didn't see how it could
help me.  Frisco's story was deeply compelling and it led me to go
to my first meeting.  The identification hit me immediately.  That
was followed by very simple instructions about easily actionable
steps.  Taking those actions replaced the need to be medicated by
alcohol and have provided me with an eminently functional life.  I
will conclude with a paragraph from the forward to the book 12 Steps
and 12 Traditions, a book written by Bill W. when he was 17 years
sober to expand on the principles of the program that were first
presented in the Big Book.

"A.A.'s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual
in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel
the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become
happily and usefully whole."

I've been pumping a lot of content into this discussion so I will
give it a rest for awhile, but I am really enjoying it and will
reengage soon.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #57 of 111: (fom) Sat 23 Jan 16 22:20
    
My relative who is successfully in AA also has a family member who is a 
therapist, who participates in supporting her recovery. I think every bit 
of help: helps. 

My relative also has a partner whom she met through AA, and they attend 
meetings together every day. It all seems to be working out really well.

I wasn't a big fan of AA till I saw firsthand how much it can help people.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #58 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sat 23 Jan 16 23:00
    

so peter, you are affirming what i have observed other ppl in AA assert (and
it sounds like sarah would agree): that AA fixes things/feels 'actionable'
the way other healing modalities do not. or the other modalities are
supportive, but not the main thing guiding mental evolution.

as previously remarked, i used to wonder why all the interesting people sat
in the smoking car (back in the 70s); that is, why so many ppl i resonated
with had self-medication going on. all i could figure is that they managed
their psychic pain differently than i managed mine --- but that there was
some -identification- about psychic pain between us. this of course is less
true now --- as i am fond of saying these days, druggies/drunks not in
recovery --- are just boring.

hadn't heard before so clearly about the importance of the 'actionable'
aspects of AA. i attended a few alanon meetings back in the 80s (had to do
with ppl who had -exited- my life, but i was interested in why certain
patterns. of high-functioning ppl with substance abuse issues, kept showing
up ) anyway, the lack of 'crosstalk' felt strange to me and my dilemma didnt
map neatly into 12 steps. in that sense, the few meetings i went to felt the
opposite of 'actionable' (people tell their stories; their stories arent
much like mine; and then everyone leaves). but i think alanon is a more
mixed muted mechanism than AA.

also, am so not a group person that...
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #59 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Sun 24 Jan 16 07:35
    
At its core, AA is one drunk helping another drunk to the other
side. Quitting alcohol is like any kind of grief: You don't
understand the loss unless you've lived through it. I heard this
from someone who lost a son once -- he really couldn't trust people
who hadn't experienced that kind of pain. 

My understanding of AA it that it provides community for people who
tend to isolate and then it offers an overlay of cognitive
behavioral therapy. The other day I heard someone put it this way:
"When I was a drinker, I was a taker. AA made me a giver." That sums
up an important psychological shift. The program pivoted me away
from: Why me? Why don't I get more? And toward: How can I help? That
is a surprising psychic relief. You stop bean-counting all the
things you didn't receive. You become grateful.

I have a wonderful therapist, and many people I know take
anti-depressants to help with the clinical depression we know can
lead to over-drinking. As other people in the thread have said, the
program works in concert with other support systems. And then as I
have said before, it's not the answer for some people. I get that. 

Changing your life is incredibly hard, slow, and painful. Use
whatever resources you can: Exercise, writing, online communities,
therapies, books, movies, health regimens, yoga, meditation. Use it
all! 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #60 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Sun 24 Jan 16 10:55
    

sarah, your explanation for why AA can work is the best i have ever read:
one drunk helping another/identification/community/cognitive behavioral
(re)training. and certainly, i have seen friends choose AA groups also
target to their identity (such as lgbt); the identification seems important.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #61 of 111: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 24 Jan 16 15:47
    
Sarah, loved your book for the writing and the insight. As someone
who's been married for decades and has a daughter and
granddaughters, I've realized over and again how hard it is to think
across gender, to understand with any depth a woman's experience,
when you're a (white privileged asshole) male. Your brave openness
about your experience, not just as an alcoholic but as a woman,
really helped my understanding... I mean, it's a cliche to say that
mean don't understand women, but we really often don't speak the
same language or hear the same kind of voices in our head. I was
thinking how men and women can be what we call "intimate" without
getting close at all, or communicating - that we can still feel
alienated or alone, even when we're "close" to somebody. I wonder
how important making connections with other people of either gender
can be to recovery - or is it more of a solitary process?
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #62 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Mon 25 Jan 16 05:51
    
I’m glad to hear that, Jon. One of the things books do better than
films or television (which do many things well) is to take you
inside the skin of another human being. This is particularly true of
memoir. You get the unique opportunity to experience how another
person operates. People often talk about the “shock of recognition,”
that beautiful moment when an author articulates something you have
experienced but had never heard before. But your comment reminds me
that maybe just as important is the shock of *non-recognition*, when
an author articulates a perspective you’d never even considered, and
it expands your view. Books are a such valuable tool for empathy.

I’ve always loved the company of women, but I truly leaned on them
in recovery. Drinking was very much about men: Proving I was as good
as they were, courting their admiration, or their desire. Sobriety
required safer spaces, which for me, meant a lot of meetings filled
with women and gay men. When I would listen to them talk, their
honesty was such a relief. Why had I never know how universal this
fear? Or that insecurity? A lot of that informs the writing of the
book: Those stories gave me the freedom to tell the truth about my
own life, because I was starting to understand there was no shame in
it. It’s like the saying I quote at the end of the book: “If you’ve
fucked a zebra, somebody’s fucked two.” (Poor zebras. Please, nobody
fuck the zebras.)

In that Claire Vaye Watkins essay, “On Pandering,” which went viral
a month or so ago, she talks about writing for men. I relate to
that. My early writing has a lot of masculine swagger. My early
heroes in adulthood were mostly men: Tom Waits, Tom Wolfe, Tim
O’Brien, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, David Mamet. Those are
D-U-D-E writers, and I was drawn to their style, grit, and
brilliance. But it never even occurred to me that women like me had
very little place in their stories. I just accepted my own
invisibility. Fortunately I had English professors who introduced me
to Toni Morrison, and Sandra Cisneros, and that was such a light
bulb. Oh, wait: You can write about THIS stuff, too? 

When I first heard “Blackout” described as a book for women, I
bristled. I’m not sure it’s a book for women any more than “A
Drinking Life” by Pete Hamill is a book for men. But one Goodreads
reviewer described it as a book about “growing up girl,” and I loved
that. It absolutely is, and was intended to be. I actually hear from
a lot of men who relate to the book, because I drank like them. I
would say my email is close to 50-50. Maybe 60-40. 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #63 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Mon 25 Jan 16 05:59
    
Hmmm, I feel like I wrote a bunch and never quite answered your
question, Jon: The entire experience of sobriety for me was a road
back to people. I'm an introvert with extrovert longings, and
drinking paved the first path, but it ultimately left me isolated
and alone. Sobriety was a way to pave another path, a more
sustainable one this time. I am so grateful for the company of men
and women now, although I was slower to return to the world of men.
It took me two years to even START dating again. Damn tricky stuff,
the dating world. 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #64 of 111: Tom Howard (tom) Mon 25 Jan 16 09:50
    
... catching up here.

> why arent the physiological miseries of alcoholism (the puking,
the hangovers/headaches/general crap feeling) enough of a basic
animal disincentive to stop

<loris>, this really is a good question. If I may, let me present my
credentials. I drank exactly like an alcoholic from sixteen on for
the next twenty-seven years. I've now been sober for twenty-one
years with the help, as they say, of some friends. I have listened
to hundreds of snippets of stories in meetings, and I've also gone
to what's called a speaker's meeting just about every week for the
last twenty-one years. (These speaker meetings are most often
"open," by the bye, meaning anyone, friends, relatives, and those
interested in learning are welcome.) That is, I've heard a lot of
stories.

A doctor friend of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote a letter that is
published as a forward to the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" that uses
the term allergy. For me it is such an accurate description and
oddly, the term allergy had only recently been used, 30 yrs
previously, for the medical sense (OED: 1907/08 US/UK).

I always felt pretty much better by about 5pm the next day, no
matter what happened the night before or that very morning. And at
5pm, mmm, wouldn't just one, or two, drinks be nice? Mmm. Except for
me, for us, after that very first one, many, many more makes more
and more sense. That effect after the first one, is the allergy part
kicking in and grabbing hold.

To your question, one of the greatest things I've heard in meetings
is a guy talking about all the effects of drinking too much, the
blackouts, the puking, the accidents, the hurt, the DUIs, the jails,
the firings, the divorces, the looks from children, on and on.
"That," he says. "That's simply the price we pay." As Sarah says,
it's worth it. Sadly, sadly so.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #65 of 111: Tom Howard (tom) Mon 25 Jan 16 09:50
    
... now back on track.

I, too, applaud some of the recent writings about the differences in
alcohol on women, and completely appreciate the personal story and
the research into your own journey, Sarah. Thanks again.

To jump in on <jonl>'s question. I purposefully go to meetings made
up of men and women. I live amongst men and women, I'm married to a
woman. I need all the connection I can get; exactly for the reasons
Jon noted, helping me to understand.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #66 of 111: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 25 Jan 16 10:43
    
Just quickly noting: I haven't experienced _Blackout_ as a book "for
women." Men should read it.

Gender is a trap, really. A set of rules we should feel free to
ignore.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #67 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Mon 25 Jan 16 12:07
    
Oh, and I didn't mean to suggest you had said so, Jon. It has been
described by other people like that, thanks to the default view that
when men write about their lives, it's a book for PEOPLE, and when
women do so, it's for other women. Fortunately, we're seeing that
idea shaken up a bit, and I'm always thrilled to hear from men and
see them at my book events. I love what Tom said: "I need all the
connection I can get." 

While we're talking about memoirs by women, I want to mention a book
that played a huge role in my recovery: Caroline Knapp's "Drinking:
A Love Story." It's a beautiful story about the tragic romance many
of us have with the drink, and Knapp's book (which came out in 1997)
was a real game-changer in the conversation around "functional
alcoholism." She showed how you didn't have to lose everything to be
lost to an addiction. I am hugely indebted to that book and to
Knapp, an elegant writer who died way too early, at 42. 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #68 of 111: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 25 Jan 16 12:34
    
Got it, I realized you didn't mean me... I'd seen some of those
references to your book; it's the sort of thing that reinforces
gender stereotypes and barriers. Kind of annoying...

If somebody came to you today and said "I've got to stop drinking,"
what advice would you give them? 
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #69 of 111: Tom Howard (tom) Mon 25 Jan 16 13:03
    
I have to say that there are a lot of distracting and annoying
things in AA. God, men, "To the Wives," the people!, and that whole
not drinking thing. There's a lot to argue with. There are, I've
long believed, a million reasons to not go to AA or to not stay.
Pick. Any. Single. One.

However, the one amazing thing is that it is made up of people who
pretty much drank exactly like me. Many levels, many locations, many
backgrounds, but oh so fundamentally just like me. It is one of the
most powerful and wonderful things I've ever experienced. Butting in
here, to anyone who says to me, "I've got to stop drinking," I'd
suggest simply not drinking and going to about 300 speaker meetings.
Just sit and listen. 

And, I'm as interested to hear what Sarah has to say as I would be
with all the many different people in AA. There are no preachers. At
all.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #70 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Mon 25 Jan 16 14:25
    
<63> is exactly my experience, especially 

"The entire experience of sobriety for me was a road back to people.
I'm an introvert with extrovert longings, and drinking paved the
first path, but it ultimately left me isolated and alone. Sobriety
was a way to pave another path, a more sustainable one this time."

Word
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #71 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Mon 25 Jan 16 16:26
    
Re, Jon: “If somebody came to you today and said 'I've got to stop
drinking,' what advice would you give them?”


I don’t usually give advice, because I never took anyone else’s
advice. Quitting drinking is such an intensely personal reckoning. I
would never presume to know how another human should do it, although
“Blackout” is a pretty intimate look at how I did, and I certainly
hope someone trying to quit would find something useful in it.

But what I might say is: “Then what’s stopping you? What are your
fears?” That’s what interests me now. I find people have terrible
psychological hangups and faulty assumptions about what a life
without drugs or alcohol might look like. You think color goes away
from the world, but life fills with color. New sounds, new
connections. So many people are afraid to quit, because they worry
they will lose friends, sexual connection, creative inspiration —
and sometimes they will, for a little bit. But those intimacies and
inspirations will return in time if you hang in there. The fears are
understandable, but they’re not insurmountable. Sobriety is hard,
I’m not gonna lie, but it’s an aliveness worth fighting for. 
 
BTW, I don’t remember who posted that “Radiolab” piece in this
thread, but THANK YOU. It was EXCELLENT. I don’t think I’m spoiling
anything when I say the last line of the piece is something to the
effect of: “How do you live sober?” That’s the question I’m actively
pondering now. How do you negotiate the pain, the rawness, the dull
ache of ordinary life — AND not want to get high all the time? I
like talking to people about that. It’s usually very useful to me,
too. I sure as hell don’t have all the answers.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #72 of 111: Peter Meuleners (pjm) Mon 25 Jan 16 17:09
    
"I don’t usually give advice, because I never took anyone else’s
advice."

I like your style, Sarah.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #73 of 111: Paulina Borsook (loris) Mon 25 Jan 16 23:26
    

another question i've always wanted to ask (and a corollary to my previous
question): if -alchohol- so helps alcoholics self-regulate/self-medicate/is
the only thing that really helps with the pain of life/is worth all the
physical discomforts + life-trashing  it causes--- then lordy

- i marvel that anyone can ever give it up
and
- so in a sense, why should someone give it up? i mean, if there were some
magic pill i could have ever taken that bound up my wounds and made it so i
-didnt care- about whatever side-effects it had/impact on the rest of my
life --- dunno, maybe i would have taken it? depressives who find the right
anti-depressant often have to trade off their sexlives (losing libido and
sometimes, ability to have an orgasm), for example.

wrt #62, as an aside, i have mourned how certain cultural breakthroughs i
had -thot- had gotten fixed with 60s + 70s feminsism --- seem to have gotten
lost by the 80s. that is, i came of age with 'sexual politics' (kate millet
taking on the male literary establishment); virago press bringing back into
print all those great forgotten women writers of the 19th and earlier 20th
century; joni mitchell and janis joplin; etc.

but then, when i moved to nyc in the mid80s, a hick from the provinces of
the ppl's republic of berkeley, i was shocked by how retrograde gender-roles
seemed to be in nyc. and nyc was the generator of culture.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #74 of 111: Sarah Hepola (shepola) Tue 26 Jan 16 07:51
    
It’s important to point out that many people never do quit drinking.
They believe alcohol fixes them, and they do not mind the
consequences (though their family may tell a different story).
Central to my decision to quit drinking was the painful discovery
that alcohol was not doing what I wanted it to do anymore. I needed
it for closeness, but I was estranged. I drank it to feel sexy, but
I was buried in my own skin. I took it to feel happy and loved, but
I was lost and profoundly sad. The drug stopped working. If it had
continued to work, I suspect I would not be here right now. I would
never have felt the need to quit.

The Radiolab show that’s been mentioned addresses the search for a
pharmaceutical cure to addiction. I want to post the link again:

http://www.radiolab.org/story/addiction/

If drug and alcohol abuse derives from some biological or genetic
fluke, then surely there is a pill that can right it. And there ARE
a few: Naltrexone and Baclofen for booze, Suboxone for heroin. The
list is long. I’m open to the discussion that those have been
underutilized, but as the radio show makes clear, the search for “a
pill” will never be enough. Alcoholism is part biological, but it is
part cultural and environmental, too. It is a learned set of
behaviors, a way of existing in the world. It is, frankly, a belief
system: Life is better high. *I* am better when I’m high. You can’t
dismantle that with a pill. The switch in my brain — what I believe
allowed me to lose craving — was when I finally saw that alcohol DID
NOT fix me. The more I used it, the more I stayed broken. 

Something not addressed in the radio segment, which can only cover
so much, is the fact that the pharmaceutical industry’s “answers”
have often introduced new errors — one is the current rash of heroin
addiction, created in part by the overprescription of opioids in the
past 20 years or so. We should all tread lightly when it comes to
any miracle pill.

To your point about feminism and the 80s, Paulina: I can only
imagine what a heart-sink that decade must have been to live through
as an adult. I grew up inside of it, and I knew no different. I was
six in 1980, and my coming of age was marked by fad diets, music
videos in which women were mostly decoration, and extreme
consumerism. As a little girl, I wanted to be a writer, a director,
or a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. It was a confusing time.
  
inkwell.vue.488 : Sarah Hepola, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
permalink #75 of 111: Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Tue 26 Jan 16 08:05
    
"my coming of age was marked by fad diets, music
 videos in which women were mostly decoration, and extreme
 consumerism"

You might have been too young and/or maybe didn't have pointers to the 
rich tapestry of 1980s culture outside of malls and aerobics lessons, but 
that was also a time of really outstanding musical innovation. Prince, The 
Replacements, and Husker Du from Minneapolis alone. Fugazi. Siouxsie and 
the Banshees. Sugar Hill Gang. Black Flag. Lene Lovich. Nina Hagen. Laurie 
Anderson. Kate Bush. 

Put another way, your coming of age was also marked by "O Superman" and 
"Running up that Hill." 

(Sorry, but it annoys me when people cherry-pick the worst parts of the 
80s as some kind of explainer. There was a *lot* going on.)
  

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