Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's In His Kiss

French researchers have isolated a painkiller in men’s saliva that is up to six times as powerful as morphine. Catherine Rougeot and her colleagues at the Pasteur Institute in Paris hope the compound, called opiorphin, will lead to the development of effective new painkillers that are not addictive, according to New Scientist (November 18, 2006).

Scientists think opiorphin works by blocking the destruction of enkephalins, natural opiates in the body’s nerve cells. Although drugs from opiorphin may still be years away, Rougeot and her colleagues say the compound is easy to synthesize for further study. Researchers might also be able to find drugs that prompt the body to make opiorphin.

So this is news? I've known this for a long time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Came To Believe

When I was a kid my Dad told me he could get rid of a wart with magic. Now, I believed absolutely and unequivocally everything my Dad told me when I was young. Eventually I came to him with a little tiny wart on my thumb. He got what looked like an ordinary soup bean from the cupboard and took me out to the backyard. We stood out there in the corner for awhile, and then he very ceremoniously rubbed the bean on my wart, said some mumbo jumbo words and planted the bean in the corner of the yard. The wart went away.

That was my first experience with believing that my problem could be solved, without understanding how or why, and then getting results. I just thought my Dad was some kind of wizard.

Now, years later, I found out that warts disappear often, when practitioners use the amazing power of the subconscious mind. So much for magic.

Many doctors prefer to draw a circle around a wart using a magic “wart pen” rather than treat it with caustic acid. Why? Because the magic works. According to the British newsletter What Doctors Don’t Tell You the wart nearly always disappears. A high-tech variant that is effective in half the cases is “fake radiation”: the wart is treated while the machine is switched off. Apparently for adults, hypnosis also works.

When I first got sober the problems in my life were a lot worse than a tiny wart on my thumb. Nobody offered to rub a bean on them either. But I was told that I had to surrender my wreckage, my will, and my life unconditionally to the care of a power greater than myself. I was also told that I may not understand how or why, but I would see results. I was even “promised” results (pg 83 and 84 of the BB) and many of those promises have come true.

I’m the kind of person who likes to know the how and why of things. But I have to say there is such sweet relief in surrender. Maybe that is one of the definitions of being a “child of God”. We get to be child-like again. I can stop intellectualizing, stop questioning everything. I can just be that kid in the backyard again that believes with all of her heart that what her dad said was true.

We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results pg 46 BB

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jaadu ki Jhappi

As we mourn the losses at Virginia Tech last week, the media talking heads keep yammering on about the emotional and psychological health of the nation's young people. Instead of yammering, maybe we should look East and try something they are doing in India.


Students in Delhi hug each other every morning. The new ritual is Indian officials’ response to an increase in student suicides. Some 4,000 students in Delhi kill themselves every year. The main reason is fear of failure, a common phenomenon in a country where high value is placed on academic performance. The daily hugging ritual—for children between ages 9 and 18—is aimed at giving young people a greater sense of self-esteem. A representative of the local education department told the Times of India (Nov. 30, 2006): “We have observed that there is an increasing sense of worthlessness among kids which forces them to take extreme steps like suicide. And this sense of emptiness has grown manifold over the years as there is no one to give them a good hug, which makes them feel how important they are in someone’s life. We realized that each one of us needs a jaadu ki jhappi [the Hindi term for ‘magical hug of love’] to start our day.”

This hugging stuff is no secret to any of us 12 step people. We've known about human contact and a daily dose of unconditional love for decades now. You don't suppose the normies are gonna catch on do ya?

Friday, April 20, 2007

12 Stepping

Brothers in our defects
We recovered alcoholics are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them. As Bill Sees It, page 167

The identification that one alcoholic has with another is mysterious, spiritual--almost incomprehensible. But it is there. I feel it. Today I feel that I can help people and that they can help me.
Daily Reflections April 20

I don’t have to work on Friday’s at my traditional job, so I’m headed out to do work for my new Employer (the one referred to on page 63 of the Big Book). This morning I will spend a few hours with a young woman who is struggling with her 4th step. I know how that feels and I think I can help. Well, I say I think “I” can help. The truth is that if we are able to do this work together, it will be because Higher Power has chosen to encourage a bond between us that is
spiritual--almost incomprehensible.

The journey through the steps with a sponsor requires Honesty, Open Mindedness and Willingness. It can be a rocky path, that’s why we get a sponsor. I wouldn’t want to make this journey alone. My experience is that often the main ingredient is TRUST.

I opened the Daily Reflections this morning, and thought how perfect it is for the work I am off to do. I realize some of my sponsees ask me to work with them because they perceive me ONLY as a woman of virtue. But it is a gift of this program that I am able to conduct myself that way. I start any 4th step work by sharing my story with my sponsee. I share the parts that she hasn’t heard in meetings, or from the podium. I share the feelings, fears, and dark parts that had to come to light when I worked my steps. When I am finished, she “gets it”. We recovered alcoholic/addicts are not so much brothers in virtue as we are brothers in our defects, and in our common strivings to overcome them. Then we get down to the business of changing lives.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hello & Goodbye

We sing to the dogs at my house. Well, at least I do. Mostly silly songs that I make up as I go along, about how cute they are, or how much I love them. I sing mindless little melodies and lyrics about their tails or gum-drop noses. The dogs seem to love it; they follow me around when I’m singing, and they listen intently if I throw their name in once in awhile.

My daughter Jolie has been here for the past five days. I was getting ready to take her to the airport today, and I could overhear her in my bedroom. She was sitting on the floor packing her suitcase and singing to the dogs. It was a little song about how she loved them, but had to go away for awhile. They watched and listened. I loved the song, but I couldn’t watch her pack.

The drive to the airport was pretty quiet. I couldn’t help but think about how different the drive was Wednesday night when I was on my way to pick her up. I guess that’s life. Two ends of the spectrum, joy and sorrow; hello and good bye.

I am so grateful to be a sober mom. That is small sentence, but expresses gratitude for years of joy that I would have missed if I had not been graced by God’s love and the principles of this program.

I said good bye to Jolie, called my sponsor and my husband and spent a quiet evening under a quilt feeling sorry for myself. But tomorrow is another day, so I’ll suit up and show up. After all I heard her singing to the dogs and she said it was only for a little while.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Calling All Angels by Train

I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere

More fallout today over the controversial remarks
made by radio host Don Imus towards the Rutgers Women's
basketball team. Several protests are planned for this afternoon,
including this one at City Hall this morning.
Since calling the Rutgers Women's basketball team
nappy-headed ho's", people are attacking Don Imus'
character with protests

I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup

Two million people are living in camps both within
Sudan and in neighbouring Chad since conflict began
in 2003. Many fled their homes because of the ongoing
violence between pro-government Arab Janjaweed
militia groups and rebel groups in Darfur.
At least 200,000 have died.

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said
And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels
I won't give up if you dont give up

Last night's anti-violence march in
West Philly was mostly a success
because onlyone person was shot

I need a sign to let me know you're here
Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me
When children have to play inside so they don't disappear

More than half of children in
India are sexually abused.
Pope claims there cannot
possibly be that many priests

And private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don't talk for years

English soccer ace David Beckham has spent a
staggering $1.8 million on the world's most expensive
sex toy as a present for his pregnant wife Victoria.
The platinum vibrator, with a 10-carat diamond
encrusted base linked to a 16-carat diamond necklace,
is one of only 10 in the world --

And football teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams

“It is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right,”
Goodell said. Jones’ off-field conduct has included
10 instances in which he was interviewed by police.
The most recent took place in Las Vegas, after a fight
and shooting at a strip club that paralyzed one man.

In a world that what we want is only what we want until it's ours
Calling all you angels

The key to my serenity is acceptance. But "acceptance" does not mean that I have to like it, condone it, or even ignore it. What it does mean is I am powerless to do anything about it... and I have to accept that fact.
Nor does it mean that I have to accept "unacceptable behavor." Today I have choices. I no longer have to accept abuse in any form. I can choose to walk away, even if it means stepping out into the unknown. I no longer have to fear "change" or the unknown. I can merely accept it as part of the journey. Pg 449 BB

Monday, April 09, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering

The dangers of inhaling a cremated parent.
By Torie Bosch

Posted Friday, April 6, 2007, at 1:02 PM ET

Earlier this week, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones announced
that he once snorted a mixture of his father's ashes and cocaine. Richards and his publicist later claimed that he was just kidding. But if he did snort his dad, would that have been unhealthy?

Only if he made a habit of it. There are diseases and conditions that can occur from getting small particles in your lungs, but they develop after repeated exposure—for instance,
coal miner's lung occurs after years of breathing in coal dust. Experts say Richards should be more concerned about the health effects of the cocaine, his cigarette smoking, and past drug use.

Snorting a cremated body could cause irritation if the ashes got into the respiratory system. Water-soluble substances, like
cocaine, can be absorbed through the mucous lining of the sinuses. But human remains would pass straight through the nose and could hypothetically make it into the lungs. Still, the odds are good that most, if not all, of the ashes would simply get swallowed or sneezed out of Richards' body.

Luckily for Richards, the cremated remains wouldn't have included any big bone fragments that might get stuck in his nose and obstruct his breathing (or interrupt the snorting process). His father's body would have spent a few hours in a 1,400- to 1,800-degree cremation chamber, and then the ashes would be run through a processor, like a giant blender, to give them a uniform texture and smooth out any remaining bone fragments. Magnets help remove any metal objects—like surgical pins or shrapnel—from the ashes.

Friday, April 06, 2007


It’s Good Friday, and I have to say it is truly a Good Friday. I am grateful today to be alive, sober, loved by family and friends, and blessed by my Higher Power.

I was talking with my sister Nancy last night about Easter plans. I don’t go to church a lot, but from time to time I like to go with her. We’ll go together on Easter morning to celebrate the resurrection. I can really relate to the resurrection. So many people in the fellowship have been resurrected, given a new life. We bring people back from the dead. I’ve seen miracles first hand.

Nancy and I were talking about the symbolism of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. It is such a humble beast, a beast of burden and poverty. I believe that’s how Christ carried his message: he carried it with humility to the “everyman”. I relate to that too. I have come to know and love people from all walks of life because our fellowship is loving and tolerant of “everyman”.

At the foundation of our program is the ability to choose and define our own Higher Power and our own concept of spirituality. It doesn't matter what religion we are (or aren't). It's a journey. We come together to grow along spiritual lines. Many of us have seen a lot of hell and we are looking for a little of heaven.

I am reading a book by Pema Chodron in which there is a story about understanding the nature of Heaven and Hell.
A big burly Samurai comes to a wise man and asks to be told about heaven and hell. The wise man says “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?” The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the wise man won’t stop. He says, “A worm like you? Why should I tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he is just about to cut off the head of the wise man, when the teacher says “that’s Hell.” The samurai, who is in fact a quite sensitive person, instantly gets it; he has just created his own hell. He was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, anger, self protection, and so much resentment that he was going to kill this man. Tears filled his eyes and he lovingly placed his palms together. The wise man said, "That is Heaven."

I think this mirrors what we learn as we work our twelve steps: the black hole of being stuck in our anger and resentments, and the bliss of submission to acceptance of our shortcomings.

Regardless of your religion I wish you a Happy Easter Sunday, and a celebration of the miracle of Resurrection.

We were Reborn
page 63 Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Seems like everyone wants a piece of me lately. I am working hard to maintain the balance between what I can do for others and what I need to do for myself.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Get Outta My Head

I am the kind of person who needs a lot of “psychological space” around me in order to stay balanced. I don’t do well when anything or anybody crashes into my emotional or mental space. I operate best coming from a place of stillness. I love quiet places. I love loud music, but a loud TV puts me right over the edge. I can’t tolerate loud voices or places ..... but I’m working on it. Unfortunately, my world is not still.

I’m guessing many of us are this way, (although I do need a lot of space). We go through life consciously, or unconsciously trying to keep a bubble of calm around us .Then wham, life happens, and something or someone gets into your “space” and in come all of the feelings and all of the circumstances that upset your calm. I think this is why we turn to addictions. Not just addicts and alcoholics…...everybody. Everyone seems to have something they reach for when their calm is disturbed.

I like my bubble of stillness. I like to say “In stillness God speaks to Me.” This is true. But if I’m to be courageous on my spiritual journey, it is time to learn to listen to God while I am in the thick of the chaos in my head, not just in silence. I know for me, as a person in recovery, when I get those uncomfortable feelings like resentment, disappointment, embarrassment, fear, or shame, my head starts up this non stop running dialogue that is so harsh and so unrelenting that I lose all clarity. I get very raw, very wide open, and yet at the same time very shut down. It’s a confusing out of control mind-fuck. This dialogue can run for hours or days. It runs in my sleep. Half the time I don’t even know it’s there, until someone says “Relax, you’re thinking too much.” Oh. Ok.

I am starting to understand (just a little) that when I am franticly thinking, I’m not feeling. And until I can turn and face all of my feelings, the good, the bad, the ugly, in their full glory I cannot learn from them and move on.

Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors – people who have a certain hunger to know what is true – feelings like disappointment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is we are holding back. They teach us to lean in when we feel we would rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher.

Pema Chodron

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The Monkey May Be Off My Back .........
But The Circus Never Leaves Town

So some us went to a carnival yesterday!

Check out posts on Recovery and Relationships from some bloggers you know, and some you might like to meet. Just click above on "Carnival"