stage 2 recovery

Is CARA merely a thought balloon?

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image

This is a Call-Up to wake the frock up. We’ve been living in a dream world for too long.

The big news in treatment  and recovery world this month is the passage of CARA -which is the first response to the bloating prescription drug epidemic that has been the root of the 130-something opiate overdoses completely ignored (until now) by our quagmired puppeteer-driven DC leadership. 130-something Americans dying every day while our elected officials squabble about providing funding to address the epidemic. Their  solution  is to bare bones the effort, manage some photo-ops, then make a direct line to dive into the longest summer break in this century’s history. Meanwhile, the 130-something daily American overdose fatalities continue to pile up like floating refuse at a clogged street drain.

although CARA could be an affective first step in rerouting this insanity, it needs to be more than an image of a response to be effective. We need education and reframing on a systemic level if things are to change. This current thought bubble of an effort hardly stands a chance.

Fellow Americans- we need to take a long hard look at what our priorities and values are as a nation. It’s a great time to work for change. Stop calling ourselves Christian and while we ignore our neighbors dying.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) establishes a comprehensive, coordinated, balanced strategy through enhanced grant programs that would expand prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery.

The bill passed the U.S. Senate on March 10, 2016, by a vote of 94-1.

Brief Summary of Provisions of CARA

Expand prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of methamphetamines, opioids and heroin, and to promote treatment and recovery.
Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to expand best practices throughout the country.
Launch a medication assisted treatment and intervention demonstration program.
Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.

 

Ring, ring, it’s 7:00 A.M.
Move yourself to go again
Cold water in the face
Brings you back to this awful place
Knuckle merchants and your bankers too
Must get up and learn those rules
Weather man and the crazy chief
One says sun and one says sleet
A.M., the F.M. the P.M. too
Churnin’ out that boogaloo
Gets you up and it gets you out
But how long can you keep it up?
Gimme Honda, gimme Sony
So cheap and real phony
Hong Kong dollar, Indian cents
English pounds and Eskimo pence
You lot, what?
Don’t stop, give it all you got
You lot, what?
Don’t stop, yeah
You lot, what?
Don’t stop, give it all you got
You lot, what?
Don’t stop, yeah
Working for a rise, better my station
Take my baby to sophistication
Seen the ads, she thinks it’s nice
Better work…

 

I feel the earth move

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I feel the earth move Under my feet I feel my heart start to tremblin' Whenever you're around.
I feel the earth move
Under my feet
I feel my heart start to tremblin’
Whenever you’re around.

as my 58th birthday rounds I have noticed a distinct shift in my focus and my intention. Until recently, I have been taking direction from my muse and my instinct. I’m not sure if it’s general fatigue or perhaps a shift in direction, but I am becoming acutely aware of a change ahead.

the last two years I have worked as a substance use counselor while I have advocated for more focus on recovery in my community. I have increasingly become more conflicted as I work for organizations whose implied interest in leading clients to recovery is overshadowed by behavior management, compliance, and billing and collections. Although I have a soft spot for helping people who are enmeshed in struggle, I do understand financial realities of doing business. I simply am not convinced that recovery oriented treatment services and financial stability are not mutually exclusive. I certainly hope I can experience that theory before I retire.

this tremor beneath my feet which is making itself known is connected to a deeper allegiance to merging the ideas of recovery oriented services being both fiscally and morally prioritized. The karmic aspects of accepting less than those ideals is beckoning me to reflect here.

the interesting caveat here is a newly detected laissez-faire with regard to fitting a square peg in a round hole here.

although I covet a shift in the focus of treatment to actually focus on the client, the older I become the more satisfied I can be cooking great food, growing and pruning, telling stories and teaching. The latter have much less heartache.

 

Varsity

 

if i only had a brain

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A Parable on Populism (and American Monetary Policy)  This popular and well-documented reading sees The Wizard of Oz as being about the collapse of the Populist Movement in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. In this scenario, Dorothy represents the common citizen, the Tin Man is the industrial worker, the Scarecrow is a stand-in for farmers, and the Cowardly Lion is politician William Jennings Bryan (seen by many at the time as being all talk and no action). They travel along the Yellow Brick Road (the gold standard) to see the Wizard, who could represent President Grover Cleveland or William McKinley. (“Oz” itself is the abbreviation for ounce, which is the standard for measuring gold. The green of the Emerald City represents the dollar.) The Wicked Witch of the East represents bankers, and the Wicked Witch of the West — who, remember, gets killed by water — is drought. This theory, first put forth in the sixties by a high-school teacher named Henry Littlefield (whose original essay you can read here), has since been debunked, yet still maintains a hold over many.**** reposted from vulture.com
A Parable on Populism (and American Monetary Policy)
This popular and well-documented reading sees The Wizard of Oz as being about the collapse of the Populist Movement in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. In this scenario, Dorothy represents the common citizen, the Tin Man is the industrial worker, the Scarecrow is a stand-in for farmers, and the Cowardly Lion is politician William Jennings Bryan (seen by many at the time as being all talk and no action). They travel along the Yellow Brick Road (the gold standard) to see the Wizard, who could represent President Grover Cleveland or William McKinley. (“Oz” itself is the abbreviation for ounce, which is the standard for measuring gold. The green of the Emerald City represents the dollar.) The Wicked Witch of the East represents bankers, and the Wicked Witch of the West — who, remember, gets killed by water — is drought. This theory, first put forth in the sixties by a high-school teacher named Henry Littlefield (whose original essay you can read here), has since been debunked, yet still maintains a hold over many.**** reposted from vulture.com
(Scarecrow)
I could wile away the hours
Conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain

I’d unravel any riddle
For any individ’le
In trouble or in pain

(Dorothy)
With the thoughts you’d be thinkin’
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain

(Scarecrow)
Oh, I would tell you why
The ocean’s near the shore
I could think of things I never thunk before
And then I’d sit and think some more

I would not be just a nuffin’
My head all full of stuffin’
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain

progress… not perfection

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The present moment contains past and future. The secret of transformation, is in the way we handle this very moment. — Thich Nhat Hanh – Understanding Our Mind
The present moment
contains past and future.
The secret of transformation,
is in the way we handle this very moment.
— Thich Nhat Hanh – Understanding Our Mind

 

we only see as deeply as we look. even then, we have no guarantee that we will really see.

i certainly realize how easily it is to look past things that cause me discomfort because the fear of the unknown beneath that is more powerful. even when life seems so painful the way it is, there are many times i would rather endure than risk not knowing what’s next.

faith definitely helps with this, but it doesn’t erase it. lately i have been referring to the white lies i tell myself and other as “flash cards” that i have preprinted and hold up as answers sometimes when having a conversation about the truth i don’t feel ready to face.

a big part of the work in front of me is to become aware when i am using flash cards instead of being authentic. sounds easy i know, but lemme tell you it ain’t at all. i am an accomplished storyteller and faker.

“It Takes A Lot To Know A Man”

It takes a lot to know a man
It takes a lot to understand
The warrior, the sage
The little boy enraged

It takes a lot to know a woman
A lot to understand what’s humming
The honeybee, the sting
The little girl with wings

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

It takes a lot to know a man
A lot to know, to understand
The father and the son
The hunter and the gun

It takes a lot know a woman
A lot to comprehend what’s coming
The mother and the child
The muse and the beguiled

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

It takes a lot to give, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

It takes a lot to live, to ask for help
To be yourself, to know and love what you live with
It takes a lot to breathe, to touch, to feel
The slow reveal of what another body needs

What are you so afraid to lose?
What is it you’re thinking that will happen if you do?
What are you so afraid to lose?
(You wrote me to tell me you’re nervous and you’re sorry)
What is it you’re thinking that will happen if you do?
(Crying like a baby saying “this thing is killing me”)
What are you so afraid to lose?
(You wrote me to tell me you’re nervous and you’re sorry)
What is it you’re thinking that will happen if you do?
(Crying like a baby saying “this thing is killing me”)
You wrote me to tell me you’re nervous and you’re sorry
Crying like a baby saying “this thing is killing me”

feeling good

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“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~Charles R. Swindoll
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

Every bad experience, painful relationship, and compromise you’ve ever made in good conscience will somehow transform into a beautiful inner reservoir of spiritual gifts and blessings.

Life wants you to take notice of three things when you’re going through a difficult time that may seem eternal:

Trust life. There’s a higher purpose behind every seemingly impossible and difficult phase. You’ve just got to hang in there and know that it’s for the best.

Change. If you find yourself feeling bad a lot more often than not, take time out to reflect on whether or not you’re happy deep down with what you’re doing.

Believe. Believe in yourself, even if the world around you doesn’t. If you don’t, who will?

Hold onto what you believe in. You’re meant to emerge as a beautiful butterfly from your chrysalis. Always remember that, with a smile, and give yourself a chance to delight and revel in the mysterious workings of the universe.

it’s a new dawn

it’s a new day

and i’m feeling good.

this long term survivor honors world aids day

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“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment, he needs help.” ~Thich Nat Hahn
“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment, he needs help.” ~Thich Nat Hahn

AIDS SURVIVOR SYNDROME (ASS)

What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS)?

What is AIDS Survivor Syndrome (ASS)? reposted from letskickass.org

Is what happens after the AIDS tsunami recedes. When the survivors of the crisis have had time to evaluate the loss, grief and fear of the tragedy that unfolded. It describes where we are now 30+ years into the AIDS epidemic. Life is going on but some of us are still are still traumatized.

ASS is a perfectly natural response to surviving a life-threatening trauma. In the case of the AIDS epidemic it was a crisis that lasted 20 years. It exists on a spectrum from very mild to severe.

AIDS Survivor Syndrome manifests in aimlessness, depression, broken relationships, substance abuse, high-risk behavior and, in its most extreme results in suicide.

The signs include: depression; personality changes; flashes of anger; survivor guilt; anxiety; emotional numbness; insomnia; social withdrawal and isolation; hopelessness; substance abuse; sexual risk-taking; and lack of future orientation. It includes elements of post-traumatic stress (PTS).

Any combination of those and other signs related to surviving when so many loved ones and community members died. It often takes years to manifest after life around the survivors has returned to normal for the people around them.

 

READ WHAT Al Jazeera America says about AIDS Survivor Syndrome:http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/2/21/living-with-aidssurvivorssyndrome.html

But even its proponents admit that it may take some time to convince doctors that ASS is real and open up its sufferers for special treatment. For most of the people in the medical and health care policy communities, “the furthest thing in their mind is ASS,” Anderson said. “We want to say to doctors and health care professionals, if you have someone living with HIV for this many years, you need to understand that these symptoms together add up to a kind of PTSD.”

“Survivor syndrome” was coined by Dr. William G. Niederland to describe what the survivors of the death camps were going through 16 years after the holocaust ended. We are at that point in the history of HIV.

When huge swaths of your family of choice and community die and you survive, and with 50,000 or more people in the US living with HIV, there are wildly varying responses to living after decades of preparing to die.

The evidence of ASS is anecdotal but overwhelming. Health care professionals and therapists often focus on individual symptoms and not the totality of them nor the cause. So it under diagnosed and tragically under treated. It wreaks havoc on survivors and their loved ones and no one is looking for it.

All the optimistic talk about an “AIDS-Free Generation” and “Getting To Zero” sounds exclusionary to long-term HIV/AIDS survivors. If AIDS disappeared tomorrow the psychosocial aspects would remain in tens of thousands of people who lived through the 1980s and 1990s. Many survivors think the end of AIDS will happen after we’re dead. And this is a group whom are already ignored feel ostracized feel even more discounted, like our losses and grief and terror meant nothing. Like the world would rather move on.

One of Let’s Kick ASS’ goals is to research long-term survivors and measure resilience and the effects of ASS. — By Tez Anderson

Here is a video about ASS:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/97766152″>Aids Long Term Survivors</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user2331972″>Kelly Dessoye</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>