Healing Words: Overcoming The Complacency Trap In Sobriety

Discover the dangers of complacency on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comToday’s guest post comes from a young man who has gone through addiction and come out the other side. But he writes today to remind us that sometimes the “other side” is not as clear-cut as we may believe. Complacency can creep up on a person in recovery without her even realizing it. It’s something we all need to watch out for, and I think that counts for people in any kind of recovery, not just addiction. Don’t get too comfortable, because that’s where relapse hides.

One thing I’d like to note is that I enjoy sharing posts from people from a range of perspectives. Mental illness and recovery are umbrellas that cover many different experiences and perspectives. Sometimes I may not fully agree with everything a guest blogger has written, and that’s okay. Respectful disagreement is part of what makes this world so fascinating.

I’m not making this disclaimer because I don’t agree with the subject of Parker’s article. But he does make some references to Twelve Step programs. Personally, I have a bit of a vendetta against Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. Mostly because of their stance on medication (which is, essentially, don’t use it) but also because they pressure people to speak in religious or spiritual terms, to give up their own power over their recovery, and to permanently label themselves as “addicts.” But that’s just my opinion! If you think differently, I urge you to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Learn how to avoid complacency in recovery on bettysbattleground.comParker’s pragmatic, yet introspective take on substance abuse recovery bridges the gap between science and firsthand experience. He hopes to reach the struggling and the recovering addict where they are at through his writing and communication skills. Parker is currently the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Ambrosia in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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The “Opioid Crisis” Is Not A War Against Pain Relief

Why are some chronic pain patients furthering their cause by putting down ours? -bettysbattleground.com

I just encountered a disturbing phenomenon. Maybe I’m the last kid on the bus to notice this, but apparently there’s a sect of chronic pain patients who are opioid crisis deniers. They feel that the deaths of drugs users is inconvenient to their cause. I’m guessing there are tons of these bubbles across the internet, but the 12,000+ strong one I came across on Twitter was headed by a Stanford educated doctor named Thomas Kline.

The tweets these people sent were fairly rambling and incoherent, especially those by Dr. Kline himself, but from what I could gather, they think the lives and deaths of addicted people are inconsequential, and the cause of their own woes. The sad part is, chronic pain patients and people in addiction recovery (or active addiction) have a common enemy, and if we banded together instead of engaging in this petty insane bullshit, maybe we could crush it. The enemy, of course, being STIGMA. Unfortunately, as long as Dr. Kline keeps spewing his pseudoscience to the sycophantic followers that need to believe him with all their souls, that community will never happen.

I’m not bashing chronic pain patients. Many chronic pain patients are on the same page as me. For those that I’m referencing in this post, I don’t blame them. It’s intoxicating to be part of a highly stigmatized population and then to find someone who speaks loudly in your favor, says everything you need said, and is willing to stand up and fight for you. If that person then skews facts and figures in your favor, why wouldn’t you defend him? I don’t blame the patients. But I do blame the doctors.

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An Untold Story From 9/11

methadone dosing during 9/11-on bettysbattleground.com

When the first airplane hit the Twin Towers, I was thirteen years old. It was still early in Seattle, and I was getting ready for school. I heard about it on The End, the local angsty rocker radio station. It was still new, the events were still unfolding, and information was patchy. They said New York had been bombed.

I have family in New York, and in bordering parts of New Jersey. Several aunts, and my Abuelita, at the time. So when I heard New York was being bombed, they were the first people I feared for. When the records were corrected, when I learned airplanes had crashed into one targeted area, far from my family, I was relieved. That was the first emotion I felt in response to 9/11. Others would come, but relief and gratitude were my first.

A lot of people lost loves ones during these attacks. Every Muslim-American lost rights and dignities that day for which they still struggle. I don’t know exactly what happened that day. Was it a terrorist attack? Did the government do it? Or if the Bush administration didn’t actually plan the attacks, did they allow the terrorists in? We know for certain that they ignored intel that could have helped prevent or ameliorate the devastation caused. In the end, whatever happened, a lot of families were left irreparably broken, and our country lost the easy hubris upon which we’d built our empire.

Those stories belong to other people. I didn’t lose anyone to the 9/11 attacks. My city wasn’t directly affected; my skyline wasn’t shattered. I was too young to fully feel the impact on the nation, at least at first. The stories of loss and pain and heartbreak are not mine to tell, but while I was researching my recent article on dosing during disasters, Joycelyn Woods, executive director for National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery and long time New Yorker, told me a different kind of 9/11 story, which I’d like to share with you today.

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