Ginger Tea

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Life is filled with small pleasures and locating a new one is a special experience. Ginger is a health promoting herb, it has many benefits including high levels of vitamin C, appetite reduction, prevention of alzheimer’s disease, and improved circulation.

What makes ginger different than other supplements I’ve tried is that the appetite reduction and improved circulation is noticable, and the tea delivers an internal heat upon consumption. I’ve been consuming the tea over the last month, and my stomach feels better, I’m more alert, and I feel much better..this might be borderline too much information, but my bowel movements have been excellent.

When prepared in a tea with honey, it’s also one of the most delicious things things in this world. Try this if you’re interested in the benefits or if you enjoy tea.

500 Followers

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Wow! Thank you for your interest, it’s amazing that this many people find my writing interesting. Blogging at WordPress has connected me to a lot of new people and interesting ideas, and it’s been good to meet you all. It’s been nearly year since I’ve started and it’s been an interesting ride.

As this blog gets close to its one year anniversary and becomes a little more established, I’ve decided to work more on the quality of my writing and raise my ambition level a bit, but I’m also getting a bit intimidated as well. I’m considering pursuing poetry and fiction more here, I feel like I’ve bled out as much as my history as I need to, at the moment.

Because of this,  I’ve been reading up on blogging techniques, everything from grammar to branding to monetizing. One of the consistent things I read about is the importance of picking a general theme, which is difficult for me. This blog is definitely more of a magpie’s nest of things that attracted my attention than something specific.

I enjoyed reading Jon Milligan’s “The 15 Success Traits of Pro Bloggers: A Proven Roadmap to Becoming a Full-Time Blogger“, but that’s meant for someone who’s blogging on a specific topic and wants to make money from blogging. There are definitely a lot of good tips on mindset, technique, and the importance of guest-blogging and building community ties. The latter is something I’m interested in improving, so if anyone is interested in guest-blogging here, or having me guest-blog for them, either comment or send me an e-mail at tundraghosts@gmail.com.

It also gave me the idea of maybe putting together an ebook of some of the poetry from this site, after I polish what I have and write some more. I realize there’s not much of a market for poetry, but getting together a little ebook of it together and charging a couple dollars for it can’t hurt and might lead to some good things, yeah?

Another book I’ve just started is “A Writer’s Badass Guide to Branding, Blogging, and Social Media. I’m not too far into it, but it has a lot of helpful tips on figuring out what you want to write about, what tone you want to use, and what you ultimately want to accomplish with blogging.

If anyone is looking for help with grammar, the classic book on writing by Strunk and White “The Elements of Style” is either free or $2.99 on Amazon, depending on which edition you buy.

 

60 Days Sober

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Yayyyy. Leavin’ the past in the rearview mirror like whaaaaattt.

Grateful to be moving on with life.

Otherwise, I don’t have much to report. My classes at the tech ended, and they’re not offering anything relevant to my programs or interests this summer, so …gah.

I guess I could start hiking.

I’ve been cranky lately, still don’t feel well and I’m just like, anti-social interaction right now. Once again, I have to figure out where I’m going to live…ugh, I don’t know why I don’t just get a car with a nice backseat and start living that parking lot/rest stop life again. Maybe go on a solo adventure this summer.

Oh, wait, there’s no way Tevye could handle that. Shit.

10 Cheapest Places to Live in the U.S.

PS: Got a surprise chunk of money today, and a surprise letter from the Wisconsin IRS…they want money from me…$20 :p. Apparently they’ve been trying to find me since the end of ’15.

Step One

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We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

There’s really two sub-parts that need to be understood in this step- powerlessness and the resulting unmanageability.

Linguistically, the use of “we” is used here to give the individual taking the step a sense of belonging to the larger group and promote unity – addiction itself is deeply lonely, and here the individual is given a sense that they are moving into a group that has found a solution to their common problem.

When I first did this step, I understood powerlessness to mean that once alcohol or the addictive substance is consumed, the individual has given their power over to the chemical, and no longer has their normal rationality and control.

It seems to me now that we are inherently different than normal people in the sense that even when sober we are mentally obsessed with relieving our discomfort with a chemical solution. The Big Book refers to “mental blank spots” – even after a lot of study and sincere effort, I relapsed.

It is really as if parts of my brains completely ignore obvious warning signals at times…My relapse was initiated by my leg breaking (my left femur, while standing, no particular reason), which meant I had to leave the Oxford House I was in (bedrooms were upstairs, insurance reasons)…my best friend really saved me by letting me stay with her and helping me out for the first few weeks. I started to drift away from my sponsor when I moved three hours away from her, and I was in a wheelchair in a new city, so meetings weren’t readily accessible to me at the point. I moved back to my home town after a while, and what really drove the final nail into the coffin was getting involved with people from my past…even if they weren’t from the completely chaotic period of me life, it put me into an old negative head-space and I put other people’s needs above my sobriety.

Briefly relapsing didn’t cause me to completely unlearn everything I had learned, but it’s put me back into a heavy obsession with drugs and alcohol. I don’t have the physical cravings I had in early sobriety the first time around, but my brain seems to be dedicated to all the drugs, all the time right now. It’s uncomfortable, but I still have the tools I learned I don’t think it’s particularly important if we were born like this or “broke” an internal control mechanism.

Unmanageability manifests itself in different ways and different degrees, but this part of the step furthers the admission of internal chaos with a direct admission of its manifestation into all elements our lives. We are not in control of ourselves, and our lives are now controlled by raw, insatiable need.

By noting that we are in a condition of powerlessness, we open the door to allow a higher power and the strength of the group in our lives. I wasn’t aware that this step had this element of allowing in God until recently. It’s not a major part of this step, but it creates an opening for the next two steps.

“Connected Enough to Love the Other”

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Strength flows from spirit full enough to nurture another, alive enough to act toward good, clear enough to understand, faithful enough to wait and see, fearless enough to reveal the truth, free enough to choose to learn, courageous enough to stand alone, connected enough to love the other.

 -“Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You” by Patricia Evans

Disagreements

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Try to approach any disagreement not from the angle of winning or teaching, but from the angle of attempting to understand the other person. If the situation dictates, act as if that your opinion of this person is so high, you can’t understand how they could have this seemingly wrong opinion.

  1. It’s called being respectful. It helps in life.
  2. How important is this? If you’re about to argue with someone because they technically make a “jelly and peanut butter sandwich” instead a “peanut butter and jelly sandwich”, either stop yourself, or go sit in the corner until you figure out why no one likes you. Unless you’re good friends and both clearly enjoy harassing each other, then carry on.
  3. Some people have opinions or ways of doing things that seem weird initially, but are based on an insight into something this person has that you missed out on. If you don’t attack them right away and show interest, they’ll explain this to you.
  4. Making enemies has never benefitted me in any way, and it probably works this way for you, too.
  5. If you still reject their opinion, try to find some aspect of it you understand, or can use to explain your point of view. If the other person’s view is potentially harmful, think about how likely you are to change what they’re doing. If it’s something they’re serious about, and potentially harmful to people in your life, my advice is to cut out slowly over the next few weeks, and pretend like you just got busy. Unless it’s someone you work with or live by, in which case find a good article on antistalking.
  6. If you’re both unable to resolve it, the fact that  you were initially respectful is going to keep this from being too much of a problem.

#2 Idiot-Proofing

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A.If you’re prone to severe depression, don’t own a gun.

B.If your friend is severely depressed, don’t sell her a gun or go gun-shopping with her.

C.Dear God, if you’re both deeply depressed, why are you two looking at a gun magazine together?

 

In a way, this is a continuation of #1, but this is more focused on being aware of your own vulnerabilities, and how your friend’s vulnerabilities interact with yours.

 

C. How Your Vulnerabilities Interact with Others:

 

  1. If you’re diabetic, don’t own a bakery. I didn’t do this intentionally, but at the time I was doing meth, most of the people who majorly into meth distribution in my area were pretty freaking scary. I found that going through a person that mainly used heroin was pretty good harm reduction. Problematically, this is really what got me into needles, which either would have taken longer to happen had I gone the other route, or not happened at all. Unsure, let’s just say everything has it’s trade-offs. At various points I was around people that manufactured their own and hooked me up, but I was never allowed completely unfettered access to my drug of choice, which probably would have killed me. I strayed from the point here, really, but if you have this one weird kryptonite in your life, don’t have a stockpile of it in your basement and hang out with people that collect it.
  2. If you actively have a problem in your life, don’t exclusively surround yourself with people in the midst of the same problem. Weird stuff starts to seem normal, and you develop this weird homeostasis where if one person improves, the rest of the group drags them back down, and you all go downhill, at best slowly.
  3. I “only” did this twice, but I tried to help two people get clean without outside intervention. I’ve encouraged other people, but I mean this is on the level of completely putting my own problems on hold and making this person’s lack of drug use my entire life ambition.

 

Lessons learned:

  1. I am less skillful at being an on-call nurse, substance abuse counselor, therapist, and support group than a team of trained professionals and a support group. Know your limitations.
  2. The first time resulted in the most severely screwed-up romantic relationship of my life, and the second time ended a friendship. If something seems like a bad idea, it probably is. Try to think about the end result of something is going to be before you do it.
  3.  Ultimately, I relapsed both times. (There were other factors involved both times, but being in this situation didn’t help me either.) Again, if something is probably not going to end well, puts you at risk, and additionally won’t directly benefit you in any way, ffs, don’t do it. You are many things, but not a saint or martyr.

 

How this is meant to translate into your life is that you should try not to put yourself around people that are likely to screw you up. If the deepest tie the two of you have is something negative, and especially if y’all have been basically going over the highlights of it for the last couple hours, it might be a good time to excuse yourself.

B.I feel this isn’t one of those things that need to be said, really, but if someone is vulnerable to something, especially if it’s probably going to be a disaster for them, don’t help them get it or accomplish whatever they’re trying to do.

Yes, even if you might derive some benefit from it, you little sociopath, you.

In fact, if you can encourage them not to do it, that’s pretty cool. However, it’s not your responsibility to keep them under lock-and-key, either, especially if this involves missing work and screwing up your own life.

A. (Related to the other points, but bears repeating) Don’t put yourself in situations that in all probability are going to end badly for you, even if you want to do it on some level, or have convinced yourself that you can handle it. I think we all have this weird little part of our brain that’s actively trying to kill us, and it’s worse with addicts/alcoholics.