Flow

My Dear Friends and Readers,

I am loving where I am; who I’m with and what I’m doing which is writing to you.

I love this blog. I love your “listening” of me.

I will share a slice of my day:

My legal work today consisted of escorting my male clients to a check exchange. At a Starbucks, I watched three men fight over money even though  the checks were already signed.

All the clients and their counsel are men, except for me. It was a high stakes male “emoting ” “peeing” contest refereed by me. And I got “peed on.”

“Paper”  was exchanged in the forms of letters  and checks to the assigned players. Everybody got paid, but me.  I guess I’ll have to get my guys to go after the bad guys, which are my clients.

In the past I would have spent the day fretting about not being paid. In the past, I would have been angry and sad, but now I quickly move on.

I didn’t get richer in the sense that I didn’t “need” the money. (Actually, it has nothing to do with “need”, its payment for work completed. ) What changed was that I now know it’s how I choose to perceive what happened, and I immediately took actions to create money from other sources, instead of feeling mad, angry or sad.

 I attribute my ability to “get over it” quickly to be a part of flow. In this “flow” I acknowledge my emotions, but I don’t indulge them. My emotions are not allowed to run wild. Also, I don’t bury my emotions, so that when I reach the “last straw” they and I don’t explode and spew over everyone and everything.

When one is in flow you flow to the next thing.

 I had no plans today and it’s continuing to be an enchanting day.

It’s the last day of 2015.
Make it memorable.

Happy New Year!

Signed,

Brianna S Clark
The Addict Writes

The Role of Self-Criticism And How it Negatively Impacts Relationships.

Dear Friends and Readers,

The other day I read an article that said that studies have found that there was link between people who were traumatized as children and difficulties in relationships. The article went on to describe how the tests were conducted and the size of the study groups. This was frustrating. I wanted to know why. Of course, I researched the issue and I discovered the missing link: self-criticism. Who knew?

We already know that the earliest bonds between primary care givers and children can have a profound effect, and that they have a significant effect on  a person’s future relationship with themselves and others.  Studies say that when parents give children autonomy, encourage them to attempt things for themselves, and allow them to make mistakes without censure, children are likely to develop self-confidence and grow up with a sense of security regarding their own choices. Authoritarian parenting styles meaning parenting that is marked by rigidity and control may have the effect of fostering negative self-perceptions and a low sense of self-worth in children. “When children feel rejected by  their parents, are not treated with warmth and compassion, or are frequently criticized they may be more likely to grow up overly critical of themselves and others.”

This in itself is a significant finding and resonates deeply for me. I cannot ever recall either of my parents complimenting me on anything. I  have always felt rejected particularly by my mother and by my father who later sexually abused me. Mistakes were treated with harsh punishments far exceeding the mistake. For instance, once my sister and I broke a bottle of shaving tonic. The aftershave might have cost three dollars, maybe less. We were punished by having to work to pay for a new bottle. Our rate of pay was a penny a hour. Our work was hard labor- literally moving buckets of rock from our basement which had been jack hammered leaving huge blocks of rock with mud connected to them. We worked an entire summer to make up that three dollars. Given this harsh example which occurred often in my childhood,  it is  not surprising that I am ever watchful, ever anxious of making mistakes. I fear that the wrath of the universe will come upon my head as it did when I was a child.

Mental health professionals say occasional self-doubt is generally considered a normal part of life, but chronic or excessive self-criticism may contribute to depression, social anxiety, body image issues and a sense of worthlessness. Self-criticism can also be linked with perfectionism, self harm and eating and food issues.  (To some extent, I am haunted by all of these issues.)

The significant element about self-criticism and how it relates to relationships is this: In some cases, a tendency towards self-criticism may lead one to project negative beliefs onto other people, which may lead to the expectation of outside criticism or negative feed back. When negativity and censure is expected interpersonal relationships maybe impacted. Therefore fearing this criticism from others may lead a self-critical individual to withdraw and isolate. More importantly, an individual who is self critical may also find it difficult to assert personal needs  and desires and may be more likely to exhibit submissiveness in relationships with others, out of fear that voicing an opinion will lead to criticism. Believe it or not, this is how I operate in relationships! 

I never saw this cycle because it was so deeply ingrained in my way of being. If you grow up in a harsh critical environment where little or no love was expressed between any one, it’s not hard to see why I would become the harsh critical person that I am. For those of you, who aren’t swimming or seeped in the fear of criticism, this may seem unbelievable. But combine feelings of worthlessness and depression and anxiety and fear and you can start to see how someone with these types of feelings won’t ask for or express their true feelings. This is so especially if they believe their significant other sees them the way they see themselves. What one also has to remember, often times these self-critical people like myself, don’t see ourselves as other people see us. We see ourselves as losers, not good enough, inadequate and undeserving of love. We don’t ask for what we want because we feel that we won’t get it or worse that we don’t deserve it. We are impervious to reality. We believe we are  monsters hiding beneath our exteriors and at some point we will be revealed and exposed.

Let’s carry this scenario out further. The undeserving, subservient, self -critical person who feels that they have to over-give, over-compensate eventually gets tired of over-giving.  At some point they lash out after months or years of suppressing their feelings. They have given hoping that their partners will automatically reciprocate, although they are never asked to do so. Our partners are confused and stunned by our pent up rage and oftentimes remove themselves from it. This is so because it occurs to them that our rage is coming from nowhere and is undeserved. In fact, it often is because we the self-critical have never expressed our desires or wants. This is what has happened to me in relationships. I hope, as I did as a child, that my “parents” would notice that I needed something. They never did.

As adult I project all the nasty unkind things that I think and believe about myself onto the other person. In this mad cycle I have ended many relationships. I feel relieved because I don’t have to try so hard. I end up alone to live with my own harsh self-critic who I actually believe.

What there is to do about this is first realize that this is happening. This is hard to do especially in isolation. Becoming aware is the first step. Notice the negative self-thoughts. Ask yourself who is that voice? If I answer truthfully it is my mother’s voice. Then once, I recognize the self-critical voice I can “talk my self down.” Meaning I can use my analytical skills. I ask myself is this true? Often times I answer “no.”  If my self criticism is true or valid to any extent, I ask myself “Is it helpful?” If it’s not helpful I can simply notice it and let it go by.

Over the next few days I am going to keep a record of my bad thoughts. When do they happen? What do these bad thoughts say? What feelings and thoughts do they generate? This work is the work that I will have to do to begin to notice and re-direct my self-criticism. I may have to do this for quite some time, but that’s ok. All those negative self-critical thoughts live within in me. I project them out and then I believe that other people see me the way I see myself. I must learn to accept compliments and to let them really permeate inside of my soul instead of  discarding them as worthless because the person who has complimented me  does not meet my ridiculous standards.

If you see yourself in any of this, use some of these tools to fight back the years of self-criticism and lack of self-worth. The sooner you start the better you will feel about yourself. I know that since I began to look at my thoughts and to analyze them instead of accepting them or pushing them away that I am happier and more at peace and less depressed and anxious. It’s a journey, but it’s worth it.

Signed,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes

My Christmas Wish: That the Republican Party Acknowledge Global Warming

Dear Friends and Readers,

Tonight is Christmas Eve and billions of people around the world will celebrate Christmas.
This year, has been unusual for me. Surprisingly the holiday has been drama free and very low key.
There were no marathon shopping expenditures or wrapping present teams. This has been a gift within itself.

I wrote no Christmas cards. I hummed a few Christmas Carols and surprisingly for me I will attend a Christmas Eve Service. I am not attending because of any religious belief but more to stand in solidarity with the family members who I am with today. It is a Christmas concession.

The other surprising thing for me is that this will probably be the first Christmas where I will not gain weight.  My usual average weight gain over the past three years has been 3 pounds during the week of Christmas. Over the past five years of Christmases I have gained  approximately a ten pounds. One of the reasons why there will be little weight gain is that most of my meals this Christmas week have been vegetarian. This includes my Christmas dinner which will not have any meat.

It’s not that I have become meatless, but I honor the family members who have gone meatless in their commitment to reduce their carbon foot print. For those of you that don’t know this, we eat about 50 to 150 burgers each year. Each burger consumed causes about 9.5 pounds of emissions into the atmosphere. This number includes everything from feeding the cows to transportation and refrigeration of the meat. That’s a lot of emissions. So one less burger this Christmas is not a hard feat to accomplish.

The other weird thing, this year for those of us who reside in the part of the country that is usually freezing around this time of the year, is that it is warm outside. The temperature in D.C. today is 71 degrees. The average temperatures in December since 1980 is around 25 degrees in December. Normally Baltimore Maryland at this time of the year is around 28 degrees. Today the temperature in Baltimore is 65 degrees and humidity is 93%. I write all of this to say that hey, there is a warming trend in the world. Unfortunately, most of our politicians are not in D.C. to feel the heat, but perhaps they will take note of how warm it is wherever they are today.

As we near  the close of the year, along with my wish that the Republicans will acknowledge global warming I am hoping that as a people we can learn to respect and embrace all of our differences and manage to co-exist in peace. I know that’s its a tall order, but I can hope and dream.

So for today, I will attend a church service, eat a meatless meal and hope that my presence will be enough of a present for those who share the day with me.

Merry Christmas!

Signed,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes

An Unnecessary Gift.

My Dear Friends and Readers,

I sit in the lobby of a Catholic Hospital in a little city in the South. 50 years ago, I would probably not be allowed to sit where I currently sit. I am not sick, I am waiting patiently for a friend. My friend has the job of caring for the very poor and I imagine the very sick. The facility has seen better days but remains a haven for the poor. Historically, the Catholic church in the South has served to educate and provide services first to enslaved black people and now to serve the under served and forgotten poor black and white people. Despite, my thoughts on Catholicism in this  community the church is serving the neediest.

From my seat in the lobby I see my friend exit the elevator. Her white lab coat is stained simply from being used and washed many times. Her loafers  are made of some synthetic material. I would guess “plether.” She is wearing a long black skirt and a grey cotton turtle neck. Her whole outfit including timex watch couldn’t have cost more than a hundred dollars. She sees me and walks over to greet me. Her unmade up face is serene and filled with light.

It’s three in the afternoon and I have been waiting over an hour to have lunch. I hope to whirl her out for a  meal that doesn’t look like it came from the hospital cafeteria.

She doesn’t apologize for her lateness. I don’t need her to. “You must be starving!” I say to her.

“You get used to eating on the run.” She replies.

“Let’s get out of here, if you can.” I offer.

“The hospital has Christmas lunch.” She answers. She sees the look on my face.
“It will be great.” She offers and leads me to an auditorium where three women in Santa hats dish out pasta from large aluminum trays.

The food is from an Italian fast food chain. She grabs a Styrofoam container and fills it with luke warm stuff that wreaks of heart disease.
I hope my face does not betray how disappointed I am. My desire for organic and gluten free  is not going to happen at this meal.

While I carefully look at congealing pasta,
she stuffs a couple of desserts into her lab coat. She sees that I have seen her do this.
“For the residents.” she explains. “The hospital cut their cafeteria card benefits by 50 cents.” she explains. “They used to get $7.50. Now they get $7.00.”

I follow her down a hallway carpeted in the ugliest brown that I have ever seen. She pushes a code and we are in the residents area.

There is a small table where two young male doctors are eating burgers that make Mac. Donald’s look like gourmet food. We sit and from my shared part of the table I see two rooms, each big enough to hold a twin bed. Behind me is another small room, but I am too embarrassed to look at the small shabby room. I stare at my Styrofoam plate and try to avoid looking at the opened door of a shared bathroom less than 5 feet away.

The two men finish their food and eye our gooey cheesy lunch and return to two computers where they are monitoring sick patients. I eat as much of my food  as I can. In a few minutes lunch is over. Styrofoam boxes are tossed.  There’s been little conversation.

She gets up and uses the bathroom. Comes out and orders one of the young men to get the hospital maintenance to unplug the bathroom sink. She sees my look of disbelief. “The last time I had to call them to mop the floor.”

She’s about to leave, remembers the desserts in her pockets. She takes them out of her pocket and offers it to the young men. They are genuinely grateful.
 I can see that she is already thinking about her next sick patient.
“I will find my way out.” I offer.
“Ok.” She says. “Hey thanks for stopping by.”
“My pleasure.” I smile. I follow the ugly brown carpet down to the elevator. Before the elevator arrives I see her quickly turn the corner, one of the young men walking as quickly as she is. She has already forgotten me. The elevator arrives and I lower my eyes to avoid the fearful eyes of those there to visit.

I head to my car envious that she loves what she does. I hurry to get outside where it is raining softly. I breathe deeply and then I remember the sparkling gift I have purchased for her Christmas present. I realize that my gift is an attempt to give her something that she would never buy for herself. I will mail it to her. She doesn’t need my expensive charity or my elegant gift. She needs nothing. Her life is service and she gives every day, but her giving  is her gift to herself every day.
I shake my head and I am happy that she is my friend.

Signed,

Brianna S Clark
The Addict Writes

The Grinch is Hoping for a Light Blue Christmas

Dear Friends and Readers,

It has been easier for me to admit to have been a crack addict than to tell people I suffer from depression. There is nothing exciting or interesting about depression. Most people who don’t suffer this emotionally painful mental disorder, have no idea what it feels like to feel nothing, to be afraid and anxious and stuck at the same time.  I have heard from other people who suffer from depression that they would rather have cancer than depression. I can’t say the same, but a woman who suffers from depression told me that she had had both. The difference she said, was that she got sympathy and love and care because she had cancer, but nobody gave a damn that she was depressed.

I never tell anyone that I am depressed. I can always put on a happy face in public no matter how sad and anxious I am. I was formally diagnosed with depression 20+ years ago. I was in law school, it was December and I was supposed to be studying for finals. My sister called to ask me about finals and I told her that I was reading a novel- my first form of escape before drugs and alcohol which were soon to become my forms of escape.  She asked if finals were over and I told her that they were not and that I just didn’t have the energy to study and I didn’t care anyway. “Isn’t everybody expecting me to fail anyway?” I gruffly asked her. In her calm quiet voice she said “No. I’m not.”
I broke into tears and told her how terribly I was doing in law school. In fact, I had left over Thanksgiving break and I had no intention of returning. “I can’t do it.” I said to her. At that moment, I truly felt that I could not do it. I did not know then what I was experiencing was depression. She convinced me to go to the health center and I did.  I was prescribed my first anti-depressants. It was Prozac.

Back then Prozac was a scary drug in that it was supposed to create “Prozac Personalities.” I didn’t know any of this when I started the drug, but what I did notice was how anxious I was. The odd thing was that I was finally became present to the real extent of my anxiousness as well as the continuous negative thoughts that were running through my head. Most of those negative thoughts were about myself. I was shocked to become aware of them.

I continued taking the drug partially because I quickly lost ten pounds and had more energy. I passed my finals but by January I was still feeling depressed, although I was less anxious.  I returned to the health center and told them I still felt depressed and was told that “Some level of uncomfortableness was to be expected while in law school.” I left the clinic that day feeling lower than ever.

Over the past 20+ years, I have studied and taken notes on my depression. While I take medication through out the year, in the winter time my depression worsens. It begins in October when the clocks are turned backwards and there seems never to be enough light. I’m ok in November and I could usually make it through Thanksgiving, but by December a black curtain falls in my brain. I always feel cold. I feel like I’m sloshing through mud. I lose my sense of taste and my desire for food-except for sugar. I eat too much sugar and end up feeling worse. Then there is Christmas.

One of the things that makes me feel bad about Christmas was all the horrible Christmas’s past. There were years when we didn’t get a tree until Christmas day. They would give the tree away to my mother and she would drag it through the snow. There were times when there was no Christmas at all and I returned to school and lied about the gifts that I did not receive. Often times our house which was heated with oil was cold. Either we couldn’t afford it or someone didn’t buy it. I never knew why. I grew up knowing that I would be disappointed by Christmas.

When I went to college, there was never a home to go home to. No one from my family sent me gifts or cards or wished me a Merry Christmas. By my Junior year in college I started having an “Orphan Party.” This party was for anyone who didn’t have a place to go for Christmas. I would provide whatever food and drink I could afford and anyone was welcome. One year, my entire family came to my little apartment in Los Angeles and we celebrated Christmas. It was one of the nicest Christmases that I can remember. That was decades ago.

Over the years, Christmas didn’t get much better. My first marriage was to a man who had no idea what would make me happy. He tried his very best including a 520 BMW one Christmas and trips to warm places. At some point, I realized it was me.

When I met the man who became my third husband, he loved Christmas. Over the years, his joy brightened my Grinch mood. He never forced me to be happy or buy or wrap presents. He did all of that and loved it. Every year despite my protest of killing trees he always bought me a tiny Christmas tree and put one beautiful ornament on it. He did that for six years and by the time he died I had begun to almost like Christmas.

My current beau celebrates no holidays. I wish it wasn’t so, but he cannot be convinced. He especially dislikes Christmas and has publicly and through his work decried Christmas and Santa Claus. He hates the thought that we lie to our children about a jolly old white guy who gives us presents. I once wondered whether it would have made a difference if Santa were some other race, but he said no. He thinks the Santa thing is the first lie we tell our children and he’s not going to lie.

This year, I decided that I would ignore Christmas. I would stay home and do nothing or whatever I wanted to do, but it would not be opening presents. This is sad for me, because I love presents and I love surprises and I love giving gifts all the time, but especially at Christmas. I came about my love of Christmas from my grandmother who’s birthday happened to be Christmas. My grandmother was one of the nicest persons anyone could ever meet and she gave me her joy of Christmas.

But back to my depression. I went to therapy today. My therapist came in to work, even though she was under the weather. I had assured her that I was perfectly fine and that she should stay home and get better. She came to work and I would like to think that she came especially to see me. However, I think that she is just dedicated. Within minutes while in her office, I began crying. Suddenly, I was telling her about my late husband and my  sister who had a terrible Christmas when she was eight and had never gotten over it. I was crying for my sister and myself and for everyone else who doesn’t have a post card or television Christmas. Make a tradition for yourself she offered. Find one of those tiny ornaments and put it somewhere.

I haven’t done that yet, but I know that I will have to create  anew Christmas and every other holiday for myself. For all of you, who don’t celebrate Christmas, I guess it must seem odd to be surrounded by this Christmas mania or to even hear about. For those of you who are alone and don’t have means or money or even worse food or shelter my heart goes out to you. I know as I sit and write this on my computer that I am privileged and have no reason to be depressed, but that’s the thing about depression- you don’t need a reason to be depressed, you just are.

Signed,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes

An Open Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I’ve been very good and I have worked very hard this year. I’m just stating this for the record, because I’m not trying to get into good graces with you.
I don’t have a wish list of material stuff, because I’ve purchased most of it already.
I am in great physical health, and I take very good care of myself, so Im good there. My mom is one of the physically strongest people I know. She turned 80 this month and she seems in good shape. The same is true of the rest of my family and extended family. So that’s checked off my list. ( I even decided to forego liposuction.)

Speaking of my colorful crazy family, we don’t celebrate Christmas as a family like in the movie White Christmas, which was my standard  growing up for what Christmas should look like. Sadly because of that movie, for this South American Santa lover, it wasn’t Christmas unless there was snow. And like in the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, I’d hoped to get a new Dad, (sorry Dad.) and a new house and a baby brother. Also Santa, and this is important, within my group of siblings one of us is a Muslim, another an Episcopalian; one sister is undeclared and I celebrate everything but believe in No Thing. So, we look at holidays as days school or the bank and the post office won’t deliver. And we make it “work”.

 I know, some of you are probably confused. As children we were all reared as Catholics, and I guess it never stuck. I mean after all, one of my grandmothers was a devout Catholic married to a Lutheran.

So, looking at my list I see the coolest group of people -my friends. We chose each other.  I have amazing talented generous creative wise loving philanthropic unique friends. I’ll take more, but Santa, I’ve got a lot.

I even have great colleagues. Damn, I’m fortunate!

I am abundantly  blessed to have a  “Boo” that’s urban black for Beau- that sometimes I call Honey Boo Boo, but he’s faithful as a lap dog even though at times he’s known to chase cars.

Oh, I almost forgot, I could use a huge infusion of cash, and maybe this time I would invest wisely-but  I would not count on it. So, let’s move on.
So Santa,
Besides the cosmetic dentistry on my two front teeth, which I think I have handled,
I wish that we could try to get along and make it work for all. I know it’s a big gift, but take heart and just look at my friends and family; if we can make it work, anyone can.
Hey, thanks Santa, I know you are busy. Here’s a heads up:
the cookies are gluten free and the milk is
Soy.
Signed
Brianna S Clark
The Addict Writes

An Update on Defining Addiction in America

Dear Friends and Readers,

Over the years the term addiction has evolved into making a distinction between substance dependencies and behavioral addictions.
Before the 1980s, the so-called addictive personality was used to explain the development of addiction. The addictive personality was described as escapist, impulsive, dependent, devious, manipulative, and self-centered. Many doctors now believe that these character traits develop in addicts as a result of the addiction, rather than the traits being a cause of the addiction.

In addition to a preoccupation with using and acquiring the abused substance, the diagnosis of addiction is based on five criteria:
loss of willpower
harmful consequences
unmanageable lifestyle
tolerance or escalation of use
withdrawal symptoms upon quitting.

Today the term “Addiction” has been extended to include mood-altering behaviors or activities. Some researchers speak of two types of addictions: substance addictions (for example, alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking); and process addictions (for example, gambling, spending, shopping, eating, and sexual activity). There is also a growing recognition that many addicts, such as polydrug abusers, are addicted to more than one substance or process. That dear friends would be me.

Oftentimes, people with addictions also may have mental illnesses compounding their addictions. Science and research has also found that both a propensity toward addiction and mental illnesses run generationally within families, suggesting a genetic component.  Understanding, the genetic predisposition to addiction has opened the realm of treatment for both substance dependencies and process or behavioral addictions.

With some substance dependencies treatments particularly for opiate and heroin addictions which oftentimes must include hospitalisation because the physical symptoms of withdrawl can be deadly.
However, research also has concluded that most people, 75% , recover from addictions without medical intervention. However, what was not considered was the length of time the person had been abusing drugs or alcohol. Research has found the longer the time of dependencies, the more difficult they are to treat.

This is partially due to the fact that using drugs repeatedly over time changes brain structure and function in fundamental and long-lasting ways. Addiction comes about through an array of changes in the brain and the strengthening of new memory connections. Evidence suggests that those long-lasting brain changes are responsible for the distortions of cognitive and emotional functioning that characterize addicts, particularly the compulsion to use drugs. Although the causes of addiction remain the subject of ongoing debate and research, many experts now consider addiction to be a brain disease: a condition caused by persistent changes in brain structure and function. However, having this brain disease does not absolve the addict of responsibility for his or her behavior, but it does explain why many addicts cannot stop using drugs by sheer force of will alone.

Scientists may have come closer to solving the brain’s specific involvement in addiction in 2004. Psychiatrists say they have found the craving center of the brain that triggers relapse in addicts. The anterior cingulated cortex in the frontal lobe of the brain is the area responsible for long-term craving in addicts. Knowing the area of the brain from which long-term cravings come may help scientists pinpoint therapies.But while physiology is important, social learning is even more important to understanding addiction.

Social learning is considered the most important single factor in addiction. It includes patterns of use in the addict’s family or subculture, peer pressure, and advertising or media influence.
If a person grows up in an environment where drug use is prevalent, that person may simply imitate or emulate the drug behavior. Similarly, inexpensive or readily available tobacco, alcohol, or drugs produce marked increases in rates of addiction.

Treatment requires both medical and social approaches. Substance addicts may need hospital treatment to manage withdrawal symptoms. Individual or group psychotherapy is often helpful, but only after substance use has stopped. Anti-addiction medications, such as methadone and naltrexone, are also commonly used. A new treatment option has been developed that allows family physicians to treat heroine addiction from their offices rather than sending patients to methadone clinics. The drug is called buprenorphine (Suboxone).
So, why should anyone care about drug addiction? After all, isn’t it a personal issue? Isn’t it really an urban issue? It doesn’t affect me. The truth is that substance abuse and addiction is expensive.
Addiction is one of the most costly public health problems in the United States. It is a progressive syndrome, which means that it increases in severity over time unless it is treated. Substance abuse is characterized by frequent relapse, or return to the abused substance. Substance abusers often make repeated attempts to quit before they are successful.
The economic cost of substance abuse in the United States exceeds $414 billion, with health care costs attributed to substance abuse estimated at more than $114 billion.
That’s billions of dollars that could be spent on building a better America.
Signed,

Brianna S. Clark
The Addict Writes

The Promise I Made When I Gave Up Crack

Dear Friends and Readers,
Thank you for continuing to touch bases from time to time.
As you know, this blog began as a place where I wrote about my personal struggles with cocaine addiction. And how I am currently in a “maintenance” stage of my crack cocaine addiction. By maintenance I mean that’s been almost 20 years since I turned my back on crack. I thank all and any higher power, universe for never having a craving for crack since I put that crack pipe down. I gave my life to God that morning almost 20 years ago. That didn’t mean I went to church or proselytized anything. Giving my life to god meant having a life where my life, my actions made someones life better. I only wanted to be an instrument of good.
Have I failed? Many many times each single day. And I renew my commitment and try again.
I have never relapsed into smoking crack. I have funneled that addictive energy into other things. Many good, some not so good.
As a result I have over done many things from shopping to being addicted to another person- which was my hardest addiction to address and over come.
I have written about many  subjects from Hillary Clinton to how I dealt with the death of my father who had been abusive to me when I was a pre-teen.
This blog has taken many paths and many voices. Each of those voices have been an authentic expression of my interests.
 I share my research with you  because someone might find  some tiny piece of information that may change their future for the better. For this reason, I have put more in-depth research into the subjects which I write about.
I promised to tell you how to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood. I will.
It’s so complex that I will have to break up the blog into a five part series.
Sorry, at heart I am a teacher and an amateur medical researcher with the training of an attorney. It’s coming. Check back again. There’s always information about subjects most people don’t even think about.
Signed,
Brianna S Clark
The Addict Writes