Friday, February 26, 2010

Answering Comments

To Kiki, Star Rockers, AngelP, Carla & Miss R - thank you for your supportive and encouraging comments. As always, I appreciate your reading this blog and I'm grateful you're my friends.

I replied to Anonymous #1.

To Anonymous #2 whose question was: "a way of treating the addict inclusive of their place in society - rather than exclusive of it. Can you explain what you mean by that?" I'll try. I see the current paradigms of society and recovery as creating more and more "either/or", "us/them", "good/bad", and generally more separation rather than inclusion. When we argue about whether addiction is a disease or not, whether AA is the right way or not, and when we assume to dictate anyone's choices to them, it seems to me we're staying firmly in the problem. I have certainly not been immune to this nor am I now. But I am beginning to recognize it and to attempt to figure out another way. In many cities in the U.S. now they have something called "First Night" which is a sober celebration of New Year's Eve. This is including the addict in society. I'd like to see more of those kinds of events. I'd also like to see more kinds of communities where addicts could live the lifestyle that's healthy for them with the support of society rather than feeling like they're on the fringe or the outskirts or simply not wanted. I'd like to see families and friends honor the addicts decision to be sober and if they can't abstain for a day or a night maybe they should ask themselves why instead of continuing to point the finger at the person who must stay sober to be healthy. It's up to us to stay away from bars if we feel we need to, to avoid drinking events when it feels slippery and keep ourselves safe. But why is it so difficult for most moderate or recreational drinkers to not use it as a way to feel superior? And of course, not everyone does it, just the majority. At the same time, I truly believe that society is on the verge of collapse, and not just American society. Things can't continue the way they are - resources are finite and we're all just dilly-dallying along as if it's business as usual. How about recovery communities based on organic farming, stewardship of the land, sustainability and respect and dignity for all? I just think we're asking the wrong questions, focusing on the wrong things and as far as people in recovery go it's still based on the "you are different than us and you are less" premise.

As for Miss R's comment to you, I would ask you to understand that bloggers get many people called "trolls" who just surf around looking for places to cause trouble. I don't see you like that at all, but if you continue to participate and learn more about blogging and "internet communication" you'll understand. It's not personal. It's hard not to take it that way, but it's not. Miss R's concern is with me - we've been friends through blogging a long time - we look out for each other.

To Carolyn: I'm not so concerned about the year waiting period that's recommended. I don't expect it to be easy, but I do believe it's doable with a commitment on both of our parts to respect and support each other and search for understanding within the relationship. You'll just have to stay tuned to see how it works out! Good luck with your own situation!

Last but certainly not least to Mary: I have as much respect and admiration for you as a person and a sober woman as I could for anyone and I appreciate your comment and your concern. I can't say that the situation I'm in, homeless with no current income, is not making a difference in my decision and I surely can't say I'm 100% sure everything will turn out just fine. But Brent and I have talked a lot. I feel he's gained understanding in what I'm dealing with, how difficult the next few months and even years could be and the efforts I will be putting forth towards remaining sober. We love each other and we don't expect perfection, or even two "whole" people which I personally think is a bunch of crap laid on us by well-meaning psychotherapists. We have a common vision of working the earth, being self-sustaining and moving firmly into solutions. If we're whistling in the dark, we at least enjoy each other in the process.

To all readers: I see permaculture, it's ethics and principles, as one big piece of the solution to the puzzle for the challenges we as a global society face, the challenges our beloved home, planet and mother face, and even to the challenges addicts face in trying to forge a life free of drinking and drugs. I hope you'll keep joining me in this discussion and let me know your thoughts. I appreciate them all.


Hilary said...

The permaculture idea is fascinating, and I hope you have fun at the workshop! I'm interested how people in cities can get involved in this approach to living.
Also I'm really happy that you are moving on in the next stage in your life, with Brent, and hope your move goes smoothly!
I totally respect how you have turned your life around these past months!

patti said...

I am not an alcoholic, though I have self-medicated for mental illness (on meds/yoga path now and not drinking - feeling great!).

The hardest thing, is that nearly ALL of society drinks. Unless you can find a Yoga community or similar, all social occasions seem to involve alcohol.

I love this idea of 'first night' and will celebrate this next year.

It is weird that the people attempting to abstain from alcohol are considered the outcasts. Maybe we non-drinkers should turn it around and oust the drinkers :)

My husband drinks and it does separate us from each other. It is an issue in our relationship.

I believe that abstaining from alcohol is 'cool' and have always admired people who do so. Now I am one of them, who would've thought! :)

Thanks for your fantastic blog!

Diva Carla said...

Angela, you found the mother lode! I mean energetically. I feel really good about your direction. You have people asking about urban permaculture in your comments! I'll share some resources you can share. Look at what Starhawk is doing, and Will Allen, in Milwaukee (here's a link to his talk in Maine last year: Angela, you can see I get turned on when you say Permaculture. What you are really getting clear about is that healing the addict requires healing society. I am hearing that what's needed is not to put the addict through a program, but to put society through a program! Cause we are all addicted to our own toxicity. Perhaps addicts are our canaries in the coal mine, and we hate them for showing us our sickness. Best wishes! I'll offer one thought, one that I still struggle with: permaculture happens in community. You and the cowboy can make it as the hub of a healthy community. Is that what you envision?

Anonymous said...
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Gabriella Moonlight said...

Permaculture is amazing, that and the reclaiming culture, amazing and so a piece of the puzzle for earth and sustaining us...
thank you as always for sharingyour journey...

Anonymous said...

I do think it is going to turn around and that one day non-drinkers will be in the majority. I see this as part of the evolution of human consciousness. Currently, though, I am amazed at how the culture of drinking permeates so many aspects of society. I went to a company Christmas party where everyone got a door prize, but only 1% of the prizes were not alcohol-related. BIZARRE. They made accommodations for vegetarians and non-Christians, but not for non-drinkers.

Carolyn said...

Thank you for introducing me to permaculture, I love what I am reading! Wanted to wish you a safe and healthy move with Brent. I like your thoughts on American society and the hang ups we have with addiction. If you want to start a revolution with sober women just let me know, our society needs a wake up call now, why do so many European countries have daily drinking without the alcoholism? I know I am not here to ask you questions, just frustrated, keep on sober,

miss*R said...

thanks so much Angela, for explaining to anon about me.. haven't been back here since the 'lump' episode..
anyhow.. if anon had taken the time to trace me, she would have found out that I am anything but anonymous
and I love you and support you from afar xoxo
thankyou so much for your continuing love for me and care during this stressful time xoxo

Anonymous said...
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