www.together.us.

com New York edi ti oN November/December 2011
A voi ce for heAlth And recovery
T gether
InsIde
Rob Lowe: Learning Who I Really Am Page 7
When
Legal Meds
Can Cause
a Relapse
Page 4
By Suzanne RiSS
W
hen Stephen Post was
13, it wasn’t unusual
for him to drink a six-
pack or two of beer
while hanging out
with friends on the beach. “I was drink-
ing heavily at an early age, and so was ev-
eryone around me,” he says. Losing two
of his favorite uncles to alcohol-related
illnesses when he turned 15 changed
all that. “I realized I had alcoholism on
both sides of my family,” Post says. “I saw
where it could lead. I quit drinking and
never went back.”
His mother was quick to suggest new
ways he could spend his time. “When
I’d feel sad or lonely, she’d tell me to go
do something for someone else,” he re-
calls. So he’d rake leaves for a neighbor,
help someone put canvas over a boat
or run errands for an elderly couple
across the street. “I’d come back home
feeling pretty good,” he says. “No more
isolation or malaise. I felt gratifed.”
Today, Post is a leading authority
on altruism and bioethics, studying
the profound impact giving has on
our health and well-being. “Giving is
the most potent force on the planet,”
says Post, Ph.D., director of the Cen-
ter for Medical Humanities, Compas-
sionate Care and Bioethics at Stony
Brook University. “It’s as good for the
giver as it is for the receiver. We’re
happier, healthier, and live a little
longer if we’re generous.” We’ ll also be
more successful in recovery, research
shows.
“Giving back is essential to recov-
ery,” says the psychologist Donna
Wick, executive director of the Free-
dom Institute, a not-for-proft re-
source center in New York City for
those affected by alcohol and drug
Serving Others: The Secret to Your Own Well-Being
Researchers studying the brain say that giving
has a more powerful effect on your health than receiving
By Randy LewiS
I
n the eventful history of the United
States the American Civil War con-
tinues to stand out as its most defn-
ing and profound episode. Among
its greatest players, Lt. General
Ulysses S. Grant excels for his ability to dis-
cern and act on military opportunities, and
for a capacity, next only to Lincoln, to know
what had to be done to win this bloodiest
and most important of all American con-
ficts. Few military leaders have surpassed
Grant’s strategic vision or tactical imple-
mentation, with the possible exception of
Douglas MacArthur.
Yet, there is strong evidence to in-
dicate that Grant by today’s standards
was an alcoholic. Some would say no to
this observation based on the standards
of the time, to include the great Civil
War chronicler, Bruce Catton. What do
we make of this question? Let’s explore
some key points of Grant’s life, and the
impact that alcohol had on him.
Grant was born in 1822 with the bap-
tized name of Hiram Ulysses Grant. At
West Point he was incorrectly registered
as “Ulysses S Grant.” He did not dispute
this mistake, which may suggest some
level of poor self-esteem. His father, Jes-
se, was the son of a “drunk,” Noah Grant,
who had abandoned his family.
Jesse was supposedly a driven man,
because of the shame he held for his fa-
ther, and became a successful tanner on
the Ohio frontier. He was known as a
taskmaster and a demanding father. In
fact “Hiram” did not want to go to West
Point, but Jesse obtained the appoint-
ment and insisted that his son attend.
Grant graduated in 1843, 21
st
in a class
of 39. He was known as a quiet, intro-
spective person who was good at math
and was a superb horseman (something
that he would be known for throughout
his life). There is no credible evidence
then that Grant had a drinking prob-
lem, though he would imbibe, as did
most of his fellow cadets.
“Flabby and undone”
The excessive use of alcohol during
the early to middle 1800’s was greater
than it is today, with an average con-
sumption per person of fve gallons a
year. Heavy drinking on the frontier
Was Ulysses S. Grant an Alcoholic?
It certainly seem so to many observers, but he was also
recognized as one of America’s greatest generals
(Continued on page 18)
(Continued on page 12)
Three Foundations of a
Great Life ..........................3
Teens at Risk ....................8
Tragic Lives ......................9
Sex, Drugs & Rehab .......13
The Gift
of Rest:
By Senator
Joe Lieberman
Page 6
2 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
I
frst heard Santana’s
“Black Magic Woman”
in 1970 when I was
in college. Today I have
the CD in my car. I never
graduated to Lawrence Welk or whatever
“adult” music is.
The song, one reviewer says, “is propelled
by the voodoo rhythms of seduction and
darkness.” Another writes that, “Were we
to scour the globe in search of the most ag-
gressively, malevolent and unmistakably
evil music in existence ... nothing would be
found anywhere to surpass voodoo.”
Yikes! I had no idea.
The passions of our youth stick with us.
Today, many of my fellow Baby Boomers
are fnding their way to rehab – the acceptance of drugs by my
generation held on in adulthood and has caught up with them.
Boomers bring all kinds of baggage to treatment, as our story
on page XX details, not least of which is rejection of authority.
The mores of the generations affect us in other ways. Those
having babies in 1970, a let it all hang loose time, produced
a generation that is today mystifed that its teenagers are un-
abashedly using alcohol and drugs. And drunkenly driving cars
into trees. And overdosing on heroin in towns that resemble
the one The Beaver grew up in. And ingesting designer drugs
hardly anyone has heard of that produce paranoia and suicide.
You’ ll fnd those stories in this issue.
Yet you’ ll fnd an equal
measure of hope in our pages
– the power and well-being
that come from helping oth-
ers in this season of giving,
and an ancient religious
practice that can give all of
us today a much-needed gift
of rest.
And this, from a fellow
Boomer: “Now and then I
look longingly back at my
carefree days before drinking
got bad; we had some fun,
we surely did. How different
it might be if it had stayed
consequence free. But it did
not, and the time came to put
away childish and ultimately
very destructive things. So I did and do and turn each day over
to a higher power I don’t understand and don’t feel the need to.
Life is good. The view from here is excellent and getting better
each and every day.”
Life is good. I’ ll try to shed some childish things – maybe we
Boomers can learn something after all. But when I’m alone in
the car, I’ ll still turn up the volume on Santana.
Terry A. Kirkpatrick
EDI TOR' S • DES K
Editor-in-Chief | Terry A. Kirkpatrick
Contributing Editor | Barbara Nicholson-Brown
Contributing Editor | Suzanne Riss
Design Director | Mario J. Recupido
Web Director | Maggie Keogh
Publisher | Richard Horton
Marketing Director | Rosalie Bischof
Contact Together:
General information:
info@together.us.com
Letters to the editor:
letters@together.us.com
Editorial submissions:
editorial@together.us.com
General correspondence:
news@together.us.com
advertising@together.us.com
distribution@together.us.com
subscriptions@together.us.com
Published by
The passions of our youth stick with us
The road to recovery
begins at Marworth
When your loved one makes the decision to seek
treatment for alcohol or drug dependency, help them make
the best choice for their recovery. Marworth offers personalized
programs based on the 12-step philosophy. We involve the
family and our team has a proven record of success.
We offer residential and outpatient programs for adults as well
as specialized programs for dual diagnosis, healthcare and
uniformed professionals. We provide a serene setting in the
beautiful mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania, where recovery
is confidential and compassionate.
For more information, please call 1.800.442.7722 or visit
www.marworth.org.
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 3
GUES T• COLUMNI S T
By MichaeL c. JenSen
T
he three factors my colleague and co-author Wer-
ner Erhard and I identify as constituting the foun-
dation for effective leadership can also be seen as
the foundation for a high quality personal life.
Those three factors are: integrity, authen-
ticity, and commitment to something bigger than oneself. I
wish I had been exposed to these themes when I was young.
At 71 it is now clear that I could have avoided much personal
drama and diffculty – most of which I created.
Integrity
By integrity I do not mean the normal concept of integ-
rity, which makes integrity a virtue that is confounded with
moral and ethical behavior. By integrity I mean the purely
positive state of being whole, complete, unbroken, sound,
perfect. For a human being (or any human entity) this is a
matter of one’s word – nothing more and nothing less.
Our Law of Integrity states: As integrity (whole and com-
plete) declines, workability declines, and as workability
declines, value (or more generally, the opportunity for per-
formance) declines. Thus the maximization of whatever per-
formance measure you choose requires integrity.
Violating the Law of Integrity generates painful conse-
quences just as surely as violating the law of gravity. Put sim-
ply (and somewhat overstated): “Without integrity nothing
works.”
Think of this as a heuristic (it is not literally true). But if
you or your family or your organization operates in life as
though this heuristic is true, performance, however defned,
will increase dramatically – easily in the range of 100% to
500%.
And note that the impact of integrity extends to the qual-
ity of your life and your happiness. The relation between in-
tegrity and oneself: It is my word through which I defne
and express myself, both for myself and for others. It is not
too much to say that who I am is my word. It follows that to
be whole and complete as a person, my word to others and
myself must be whole and complete.
In this new model of integrity, being whole and complete
is achieved by keeping your word, or, when you will not be
keeping your word, then honoring your word.
By honoring your word I mean that when you will not be
keeping your word you immediately inform all those count-
ing on you to keep your word that you will not be keeping it.
And you clean up the mess that you have caused in their lives
by not keeping your word. This is the actionable pathway to
being a person or organization of integrity.
Integrity maintains you as a whole and complete human
being. It creates workability in your life, and fnally it gener-
ates trust in you by others, and does so almost immediately.
What is it like to be whole and complete as a person?
When you honor your word to yourself and others:
• You are at peace with yourself, and therefore act from a
place where you are at peace with others and the world
– even those who disagree with or might threaten you.
• You live without fear for your selfhood – that is, who
you are as a person.
• You experience no fear of losing the admiration of oth-
ers.
• You do not have to be right; you act with humility.
• Everything or anything that someone else might say is
OK for consideration. There is no need to defend, ex-
plain, or rationalize yourself. You are able to learn.
• This state of affairs is often mistaken as mere self-
confdence rather than the courage that comes from
being whole and complete – that is, from being a man
or woman of integrity.
Being whole and complete as a person is thus critically
important to living a great life and to being a great leader.
(Remember, leadership starts with being the leader of your
own life.) And, being whole and complete is one of the foun-
dations for being a great organization.
Authenticity
Quoting my Harvard colleague, Professor Chris Argyris
who, after 40 years of studying us human beings, says on the
subject of our inauthenticity:
“Put simply, people consistently act inconsistently, un-
aware of the contradiction between their espoused theory
and their theory-in-use, between the way they think they are
acting, and the way they really act.”
And if you think this does not apply to you, you are fooling
yourself about fooling yourself.
Common examples of being inauthentic include pretend-
ing to be some way you are not actually being – that is, hiding
what you actually think or feel, covering up what is actually
going on with you, or covering up something that happened
or didn’t happen in your life. This is thought of as a façade
or a face you put on.
Because it is painful to be caught being inauthentic, ev-
eryone goes to great lengths to avoid revealing their inau-
thenticities. This means we are inauthentic about being in-
authentic. Examples of our inauthenticities:
We all want to be admired, and almost none of us is will-
ing to confront just how much we want to be admired, and
how readily we will fudge on being straightforward and
completely honest in a situation where we perceive doing so
threatens us with a loss of admiration.
We also all want to be seen by our colleagues as being loy-
al, protesting that loyalty is a virtue, even in situations where
the truth is that we are acting “loyal” solely to avoid the loss
of admiration. And, in such situations, how ready we are to
sacrifce integrity to maintain the pretense of being loyal,
only because we fear losing the admiration of our colleagues.
Also, most of us have a pathetic need for looking good, and
almost none of us is willing to confront just how much we
care about looking good – even to the extent of the silliness
of pretending to have followed and understood something
when we haven’t.
We are all guilty of being small in these ways, including
me – it comes with being human.
Great leaders are noteworthy in having come to grips with
these foibles of being human – not eliminating them, but
being the master of these weaknesses when they are leading.
If you watch carefully in life, you will have the opportunity
to catch yourself being small in these ways. While you won’t
like seeing this, by distinguishing these weaknesses in your-
self, you will give yourself a powerful opportunity to master
these weaknesses.
One cannot pretend to be authentic. That, by defnition,
is inauthentic. The actionable pathway to authenticity is to
be authentic about your inauthenticities. Being authentic is
being willing to discover, confront, and tell the truth about
your inauthenticities – when and where you are not being
genuine, real, or authentic.
Specifcally, where in your life are you not being or acting
consistent with who you hold yourself out to be for others,
and where are you not being or acting consistent with who
you hold yourself to be for yourself?
If you cannot fnd the courage to be authentic about your
inauthenticities, you can forget about being at peace with
yourself, and you can forget about being a great leader. And,
similarly, an organization that cannot be authentic about its
inauthenticities will experience great conficts, costs, and
loss of reputation.
The attempt to be authentic on top of our inauthenticities
is like putting cake frosting on cow dung, thinking that that
will make the cow dung go down well. Quoting Bill George,
former Medtronics CEO and now Harvard Business School
Professor of Leadership:
“After years of studying leaders and their traits, I believe
that leadership begins and ends with authenticity.”
To be a leader you must be big enough to be authentic
about your inauthenticities. This kind of bigness is a sign of
power, and is so interpreted by others.
To be authentic about your inauthenticities, you must fnd
in yourself that “self ” that leaves you free to be authentic
about your inauthenticities. That “self,” the one that gives
you the freedom to be authentic about your inauthenticities,
is who you authentically are.
And you will know when this process is complete when
you are free to be publicly authentic about your inauthentici-
ties, and have experienced the freedom, courage, and peace
of mind that comes from doing so. And this is especially so
when you are authentic with those around you for whom
those inauthenticities matter (and who are likely to be aware
of them in any case).
Authenticity is one of the conditions for a great personal
life, great leadership, and a great organization.
Three Foundations of A Great Life
A distinguished professor has learned that the attributes
of successful leadership apply to all of us in our personal lives.
Integrity creates workability
in your life; it generates trust
in you by others, and does so
almost immediately.
(Continued on page 22)
4 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
them, it doesn’t change the affect on
the brain.
The most innocent medical event can trig-
ger a relapse. Scheduled medical procedures,
in particular, present challenges for those in
recovery. It is paramount that patients discuss
their experiences as a recovering alcoholic or
drug addict with their physicians or dentists, focusing on their
special sensitivity to any mood-altering substances, which in-
clude medications given before, during or after surgery.
Doing so will help recovering patients avoid any unneces-
sary risk of relapse. This does not mean that doctors or den-
tists are responsible for their patients’ sobriety -- they aren’t.
But there are things they can do to make it easier for patients
to get through the procedure with their sobriety intact.
Before Surgery: Instead of ordering sleeping pills on the
evening before or a mild tranquilizer on the morning of a
procedure, seek non-pharmacological ways to ensure that
patients’ emotional states do not interfere with their surgery.
During Surgery: Being put to sleep with general anesthe-
sia is like being passed out drunk. The brain just does not see
the difference. If appropriate, consider local anesthesia or an
epidural. If an alternative is not medically possible, just re-
member that it is not unusual for an alcoholic or addict to re-
quire higher doses for general anesthesia. Patients should be
prepared for their personalities, including their judgments, to
be altered for approximately three months.
After Surgery: This is when most addicts end up in trouble.
At this point, their brains will probably be convincing their
bodies that they need relief—spelled N-A-R-C-O-T-I-C-S.
Besides the physical discomfort, patients may seem anxious,
irritable, or unable to sleep, and it will be very tempting to
treat these symptoms with a variety of medications that could
be hazardous to their recovery. So before getting a prescrip-
tion, remember: The Phenergan
®
for nausea, the Xanax
®
or
Ativan for anxiety, the Trazodone, Ambien
®
or Benadryl
®
for
sleep or even Ultram for pain can all trigger a compulsion for
more.
The ideal but often impractical solution is to keep patients
in a controlled environment until medications are no lon-
ger needed. Sending them home with a prescription can be
dangerous. In the rare cases where narcotics are required for
pain control, it may be best to use a medication that most are
hesitant to administer. Giving a more potent narcotic for a
shorter period of time is less risky than using a milder drug
for a long time. Addicts often admit that Tylenol, Motrin or
Toradol actually worked as well as narcotics in most cases fol-
lowing a procedure.
How can someone educate his or her healthcare provider?
Start with a frank conversation and ask that a history of ad-
diction be fagged on your medical record. Most providers will
not always know what may be hazardous to recovery, so it is
your responsibility to learn a drug’s effects before taking it.
You may need to contact a doctor with special training in ad-
diction, such as one connected with an alcohol or drug reha-
bilitation center.
Robert W. Mooney, M.D., is an Addiction Psychiatrist and
Medical Director at Willingway Hospital, an alcoholism and
drug addiction treatment center in Statesboro, Georgia.
By RoBeRt W. Mooney, M.D.
F
or those in recovery, prevent-
ing relapse is top-of-mind. For
many, however, relapse can
be triggered in relatively in-
nocent, unsuspecting ways
through the reaction some pharmaceu-
ticals have on their brains. For example,
alcoholics know to stay away from alco-
hol, but do they understand the need
to steer clear of Tylenol
®
PM or Bena-
dryl
®
?
What makes the chances of an un-
intentional relapse more frightening
is that it is not necessarily associated
with large doses of drugs. Even expo-
sure to minimal amounts can trigger
an allergic sensitivity.
So how are those in recovery to
know? Sometimes it can be an innocu-
ous situation such as going to the den-
tist or having surgery. It can even
be as innocent as taking an over-
the-counter medication to relieve
the symptoms of a common cold.
Drug and alcohol addiction is
basically a kind of allergic response to
chemicals that change brain activity and reward systems. The
brain’s response to these chemicals can be immediate, such as
instant cravings for similar drugs. Or, it can be more gradual
-- thinking and perceptions become altered in such a way that
motivation for sobriety decreases and addicts return to old
patterns of behavior closely linked to their original substance
use. That is why it is important to understand the impact of
some pharmaceuticals and hazardous chemicals on patients
and their sobriety.
What’s a hazardous substance in recovery? Essentially, a
hazardous chemical is any drug that is associated with re-
lapse. Of course, alcohol is the No. 1 offender, but the others
can be divided into three distinct categories:
• Street narcotics: frequently abused, illegal and recreation-
al in nature.
• Prescription medications: available only with written in-
structions from a doctor or dentist to a pharmacist. These
include Seroquel
®
, Adderall, Vicodin, Xanax
®
and Lexapro.
• Over-the-counter drugs: sold without a prescription and
found in almost every corner drug store, such as Tylenol
®

PM, Benadryl
®
, NyQuil, Robitussin
®
DM and Stackers.
Unfortunately, even though a doctor may prescribe these
drugs or patients may not have had previous experience with
BODY• MI ND• S P I RI T
New York’s Oldest and
Largest Private Program
Freedom from Addiction
Outpatient Chemical Dependence
& Addictions Treatment
Private & Confdential
Individual & Group Sessions
Most Insurances Accepted | Se Habla Espanol
www.realizationcenternyc.com



In MANHATTAN
19 Union Square West, NYC Private Entrance
212-627-9600
In BROOKLYN
175 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY
718-342-6700
When Legal Meds Can Cause a Relapse
The hazards of some prescription and over the counter medicines aren’t so obvious
Here are some prescription medications to be wary of:
Seroquel, Adderall, Vicodin, Xanax, and Lexapro.
Over-the-counter drugs to watch out for:
Tylenol PM, Benadryl, NyQuil, Robitussin DM, and Stackers.
All of these drugs act at least in part by activating those areas of the brain associated with addiction.
All of these substances do one or more of the following:
1) Relieve tension and anxiety 2) Promote restful sleep
3) Impart a sense of well being 4) Improve interpersonal relationships.
Nyquil contains alcohol and an antihistamine; Tylenol PM contains a sedating antihistamine; Bena-
dryl is an antihistamine and is often included in other OTC medications. These work simply by putting
the brain to sleep. This sedation is clearly associated with relapse. Weight loss and sleep prevention/
energy compounds usually have a stimulant effect that activates those parts of the brain associated with
meth or cocaine. Even a small effect in the brain can have a devastating impact on someone in recovery.
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 5
BODY• MI ND• S P I RI T
By anne M.
I
’ve been lucky. After many years of try-
ing and failing to get sober, I have been
able by the grace of God to not pick up
a drink for many years now. I attribute
it to many things: good sponsorship,
the fellowship of the rooms, the twelve steps
of recovery and just plain growing up.
It was way past the optimal time to stop
chasing the thrill – in fact all of them: the
various rushes of overspending, overeating,
over-caffeinating, sounding off, not show-
ing up, pulling one over on; going around
instead of through, etc., etc. As my sponsor’s
father said to her, “What is it about modera-
tion that you don’t get?”
Obviously not an alcoholic or he wouldn’t
have to ask.
Getting sober is akin to slamming the
brakes on a station wagon full of stuff; stuff
from childhood, stuff from adulthood, stuff
from work, stuff from relationships. Be-
cause none of it was ever processed, but in-
stead thrown in the back, it rattled around
there occasionally making itself vaguely no-
ticed, but manageable where it was.

Back of the head
Then what happens is, we get sober. We
stop drinking and the all the stuff comes fy-
ing forward at 60 MPH and hits us in the
back of the head. They are only emotions,
if you look at them reasonably, which is
impossible, and they don’t stop coming for
quite some time. It’s amazing a brain can
even hang onto this stuff, but for me it was
waiting in excruciating detail. The things
I’d said; the things I did … the things I didn’t
say, the things I didn’t do. I remember one
Christmas Eve, far from home, I realized I
hadn’t started my Christmas shopping yet.
That was how I lived.
My early sponsors did nothing more than
listen to me and offer reasonable advice; I
was so far from sane it sounded inspired. I
couldn’t conceive of how my sponsor had
gone TWO YEARS without drinking but I
knew that meant she knew everything.
Fellowship covered everything from how
to get through an evening, to how to get
through the holidays, all without drinking.
The frst annual cycle of holidays, birthdays,
weddings, football games and more without
drinking didn’t seem within the realm of
possibility and yet it was. And is.

Peace of mind is inevitable
Step work is my default. Whenever I seem
to be off the beam I turn to the steps. I think
all the wisdom of the life is contained with-
in their simple logic. Adhere to the steps,
which become ever deeper with each pass-
ing year, and peace of mind and true hap-
piness become not only possible but inevi-
table.
Growing up has been hardest of all. I have
heard that our liabilities or character de-
fects are often what helped us survive until
we got to the rooms. How diffcult then to
put them aside though they now stunt our
growth like a too-small shoe. The dishon-
esty, the procrastination, the anger, the gos-
sip barbed with subtle superiority. Like the
bottle, they were once friends; but no more.
Now and then I look longingly back at
my carefree days before drinking got bad;
we had some fun, we surely did. How differ-
ent it might be if it had stayed consequence
free. But it did not, and the time came to
put away childish and ultimately very de-
structive things. So I did and do and turn
each day over to a higher power I don’t un-
derstand and don’t feel the need to. Life is
good. The view from here is excellent and
getting better each and every day.
The View from Now
Growing up is hard. My character defects
helped me survive. How diffcult then to
put them aside, though they now stunt my
growth like a too-small shoe.
LYSUppORT
BOOk
The Bridge to Recovery, founded in 1972, with locations in Santa
Barbara, CA and Bowling Green, KY - just 70 miles north of Nashville,
TN specialize in programs designed to assist individuals and affected
family members suffering from codependence, trauma and a wide range
of process addictions; such as sex, love and relationships, workaholism,
food disorders, religion, compulsive caretaking, video gaming,
gambling, rage and anger. Additionally, we work with people affected by
abuse, neglect, abandonment, enmeshment and other issues that hinder
personal growth and vocational effectiveness. Our programs range from
two weeks to three months or longer and are extremely affordable.
“Providing Excellence in Codependency, Trauma and
Process Addiction Programs since 1972”
(877)866-8661 • www.thebridgetorecovery.com
6 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
By SenatoR JoSeph LieBeRMan
I
t’s Friday night, raining one of those torrential down-
pours that we get in Washington, D.C., and I am walk-
ing from the Capitol to my home in Georgetown,
getting absolutely soaked. A United States Capitol po-
liceman is at my side as we make our way up Pennsylva-
nia Avenue from the Capitol building toward our distant goal,
a four-and-a-half-mile walk. Before leaving my Senate offce I
changed into sneakers, but now they are full of water.
As we slosh forward, a Capitol police car travels alongside
for extra security at a stately pace. But I do not—indeed I can-
not—accept a ride in the car.
What accounts for this strange scene? The presence of the
two policemen is easily explained. The Senate’s sergeant at
arms, who oversees the Capitol police, once said to me, “Sena-
tor, if something happens to you
on my watch while you’re walking
home, it will be bad for my ca-
reer.” So that’s why the police are
with me.
But why am I walking instead
of riding on a rainy night? Be-
cause it’s Friday night, the Sab-
bath, the day of rest when obser-
vant Jews like me do not ride in
cars. That would violate the letter
and spirit of the Sabbath laws, as
the Bible and Jewish rabbinical opinions make clear.
Normally I get home from my work in time for the start of
the Sabbath—Shabbat in Hebrew, or Shabbos in Yiddish, at
sundown on Friday. But on this occasion, important votes on
the budget of the United State kept me from doing so. Voting
in the Senate is conducted the old fashioned way, by voice, and
there are no proxies. You can’t vote on behalf of one of your
colleagues. If I miss an important vote, it would mean that
on that particular issue the
people of my home state
of Connecticut would
lose their representation.
They would lose their
say in the running of our
country, the spending of
their tax payments, or the
safety and quality of their
lives. That is something
my religious beliefs tell
me I cannot allow, even on
the Sabbath, so when there
are votes in the Senate after
sundown on Friday, I vote
and then I walk home.
I’ve taken this long walk
from the Capitol to my
home on thirty or forty occa-
sions in my twenty-two-year
senatorial career. The police
offcers who accompany me
normally provide not only
security but welcome com-
panionship and conversation.
Many are devout Christians.
The journey takes about an
hour and a half, and we’ve had
some wonderful discussions about the Sabbath in particular
and faith in general. But not tonight. It’s just too wet and mis-
erable to talk much. It is now 10:00 p.m., and my police escort
and I take a break and slip under the shelter of a convenience
store awning.
At that moment, I must admit, I looked to the heavens from
which rain continued to pour and asked, half in humor and
half in sincerity, “Dear God, Is this really what you want me to
be doing to remember and honor the Sabbath?”
More like a gift
That’s not a question I often feel compelled to ask. Observ-
ing the Sabbath is a commandment I have embraced, the
fourth commandment to be exact, which Moses received from
God on Mt. Sinai. Most of the time, it feels less like a com-
mandment and more like a gift from
God. It is a gift I received from my par-
ents who, in turn, received it from their
parents, who received it from genera-
tion of Jews before them in a line of
transmission that goes back to Moses.
For me, Sabbath observance is a gift
because it is one of the deepest, purest
pleasures in my life. It is a day of peace,
rest, and sensual pleasure. By sensual I
don’t mean sexual—though you might
fnd it interesting to know that one re-
ligious “responsibility” given to every married Jew is to make
love with their spouse on the Sabbath, because this is meant to
be a day on which we experience the fullness of life.
My wife, Hadassah, once mentioned this to be couple of
women friends who were started by the revelation.
“Oh,“ said one, her eyes going wide, “I wish my husband
would become more religiously observant.”
When I said the Sabbath is sen-
sual, I meant that it engages the
senses—sight, sound, taste, smell,
and touch—with beautiful settings,
soaring melodies, wonderful food
and wine, and lots of love. It is a
time to reconnect with family and
friends—and, of course, with God,
the creator of everything we have
time to “sense” on the Sabbath.
Sabbath observance is a gift that
has anchored, shaped, and in-
spired my life.
The Sabbath is an old but beau-
tiful idea that, in our frantically
harried and meaning-starved
culture, cries out to be rediscov-
ered and enjoyed by people of all
faiths. It takes the form it does—
its laws and customs—because
from ancient days, generations
of rabbis and sages have been
transmitting, refning, and
elaborating traditions that de-
fne Sabbath observance. These
traditions build fences—like
not riding in a car—around the
Sabbath to protect it as a day
of faith and rest.
The Sabbath is an organic
entity refecting centuries of
thought and experience. It is
not an arbitrary contrivance.
Some ordinances may have
seemed meaningless in the
past, but they have been re-
vealed in their full meaningfulness in modern times. I con-
stantly seek the wisdom of Sabbath practices, and I’m rarely
disappointed by what I fnd. If the cost is an occasional incon-
venience or discomfort—like getting soaked on the walk home
from the Capitol—I consider that a small price to pay for all
the Sabbath gives and teaches me.
A place beyond time
Hadassah and I sometimes speak of a place beyond time
called “Shabbatland.” In many ways, the Sabbath is an entire-
ly different place from the one in which we live our weekday
lives. It’s a place away from the clocks and watches, bound only
by the natural movements of the sun. Whether I am spending
Shabbat in Washington, D.C., or in my hometown of Stam-
ford, Connecticut, entering the Sabbath is like stepping into a
different world defned not by geographical boundaries but by
faith, tradition, and spirituality.
“On Shabbat,” Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the
rebbe (or chief rabbi) of the Chabad Lubavitch movement,
said, “we cease to struggle with the world, not because the task
of perfecting it is on hold, but because on Shabbat, the world
is perfect; we relate to what is perfect and unchanging in it.”
In speaking with Christian friends, especially in the Evan-
gelical and Roman Catholic communities, I’ve felt an appre-
ciation for the gifts of Sabbath observance and a desire to
spread them. Some have asked me, “Why do you observe the
Sabbath?” and “What do you do on the Sabbath?” I now pro-
pose to answer them and you through the prism of the He-
brew Bible, which most Christians call the Old Testament and
which provides the shared wellsprings from which we draw
our faith.
In the Torah, the Bible’s frst fve books, we are given the
text of the fourth commandment twice: once in Exodus, when
Scripture narrates the revelation of God to the children of Is-
rael at Mt. Sinai, and again three books later in Deuteronomy
when Moses repeats the story of the Sinai revelation to the
Israelites in the desert forty years later. The wording of the
commandment in these two accounts is different.
Exodus emphasizes the role of the Sabbath in commemo-
rating the creation of the world and in acknowledging and
honoring God as Creator. We are told there to “remember” the
Sabbath, to remember particularly that the world has a pur-
posive Creator. We are not here by accident. We got here as a
result of God’s creation.
The second recording of the commandment to observe the
Senator Joe Liberman: The Gift of Rest
The Sabbath is an old but beautiful idea that, in our frantically harried and meaning-
starved culture, cries out to be rediscovered and enjoyed by people of all faiths
“What a beautiful book about
a beautiful concept—a day
of rest as a gift to humanity.”
-- Alan Dershowitz
Senator Lieberman and family walking to Temple on the
Sabbath during his 2000 campaign for vice president.
Sabbath observance is a
gift because it is one of the
deepest, purest pleasures in
my life. It is a day of peace,
rest, and sensual pleasure.
BODY• MI ND• S P I RI T
(Continued on page 14)
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 7
I N• THE• NEWS
By RoB Lowe
R
ob! Rob! Pick up, it’s your mother!” I’m stand-
ing over my answering machine with its seventy-
three unanswered messages. “Rob, please. Are
you there?” begs my mother, clearly in a panic.
But I am too messed up to pick up the phone;
there is no way I can face her in my condition.
“Your grandfather is in the hospital. He’s had a massive
heart attack.”
I listen to my mom as she describes his critical condition
and asks for my help. Still, I do nothing. I stare at the an-
swering machine, frozen, until my mother hangs up.
As shame and guilt begin to penetrate my altered state, I
begin to hatch a plan of attack. I need to chug the last of the
tequila, I tell myself. So I can get to sleep, so I can wake up
ASAP and deal with this.
This insane logic holds right up until I catch a glance of
myself in the bathroom mirror. Then, very slowly, I turn
and face myself full on. I’m so hammered that I can
barely stand. The girl I love has just left me, be-
cause I can’t keep my word and I have no in-
tegrity. My grandfather is dying. My mother
is in crisis, desperate for help and comfort,
and I am cowering and hiding in shameful
avoidance. I have arrived at the bottom.
Since I was a boy I’ve been running. Run-
ning to make my mark. Running to avoid
reality. Running to avoid pain.
And now … a moment of clarity. I can run
no longer.
I go into my bedroom, past the sleep-
ing girl, a total stranger, and fnd my wallet.
In it is a business card that I have carried for
over a year. I fnd it and pull it out. It’s from
a drug and alcohol counselor named Betty
Wyman. I take her card, head back to
my offce, and sit next to the phone.
I hear the terrible chirping of the
early-morning birds. I watch the
cityscape, gray on the horizon as
the sun begins to rise. A new day
is beginning.
I make the call. It’s May 10,
1990.
• • • • •
There are many kinds of re-
habs. You can pretty much get
any setup that suits you. You’ve
got your shaved-head cuckoo’s
nests and hard-core lockdowns,
you’ve got your latte-sipping,
horsebackridin’, yoga-centric
country clubs. You’ve got your
remote, Spartan locations;
you’ve got ’em smack-dab in
L.A., convenient for visits from
managers, agents, publicists,
and dealers.
I’m on a plane headed to Ari-
zona for a middle-of-the-road
version. Betty Wyman, in her
wisdom, got me the hell out of
L.A. to a serious rehab, but well
short of a lockdown. Less than
forty-eight hours have passed
since I called her, but Betty
moved quickly when I said, “Help
me. I want to stop. I’ ll do whatever you tell me to do.” Now
I sit, shaking with anxiety, next to her associate, Bob, who is
escorting me to the monkey farm.
Bob is a former Hells Angel. He’s tattooed head to toe,
with a beard that makes him look like Charles Manson but
a voice that sounds like Kermit the Frog.
“Let me tell you my story,” says Bob, attempting to com-
fort my now crushing anxiety, and to bond us together.
“I frst remember feeling different and scared and anx-
ious when I was a little boy and my mom invited the mail-
man into our apartment. We found out later, but didn’t
know then, that she was a paranoid schizophrenic,” he says
in his sweet, Kermit-like singsong.
“Anyway, she stabbed the mailman to death, then cut up
his body with a butcher knife. She made me lie down in our
bathtub and placed his severed limbs on top of me. She told
me that God would be angry but this would protect me.”
Bob takes a sip from his ffteenth cup of black coffee and
continues. “Anyway, that was hard for me. And growing up
after Mom was committed, I got into heroin and selling
it. I went to prison. But when I got out, I got sober and have
been now for seventeen years.”
I try to conjure up an appropriate response to this story,
but my instincts tell me that since there is no way to top
it, I should just take it in. Bob smiles. “Don’t you worry
about a thing. You are right where you should be. Scared.
Freaked out and shattered. Ain’t nobody ever gotten sober
who wasn’t.”
The rehab (I won’t name it, to protect anonymity, and any
names I use here have been changed) sits in the low foot-
hills of glowing, red-rock mountains. There is nothing but
saguaro cactus for miles. If I decide to fee, it will be a long
walk to civilization.
But I won’t fee. Bob will check me in and say good-bye,
and I will begin one of the most exhilarating, liberating, and
exciting four weeks of my life. Scary, yes, and flled with un-
speakable emotional discomfort, but for me, it’s unquantif-
able relief that I am being shown a different way to live. I am
Learning Who I Really Am
To let his real self emerge in rehab, the actor had to gradually strangle
the good-looking, successful, charming poster-boy pod person
By RoB Lowe
I
felt a sense of peace and a satisfaction
from my marriage and early steps in
recovery. I went to meetings with oth-
er alcoholics daily, and so each day my
old ways and perspectives changed. I
took fewer chances in my personal life
and more in my work.
I’ve learned to confront
people when I’m being tak-
en advantage of, to enforce
boundaries, when in the
past I either had none or
let people encroach upon
them while I stuck my
head in the sand. This will
prove great for growth and
maturity, and not so great
in show business, which
thrives on actors being
distracted, checked out,
and fearful.
Pre-sobriety, I would’ve
been too shy to accept, or
written an invitation off as
small talk. But now I take
people for their word and
have almost silenced that
inner voice that kept me
from extending myself and
making new friendships.
There was clearly some trac-
tion for me as a writer-director.
I began to mentally transition
away from the life I had always
known and worked so hard to achieve. I began to
develop material, take pitch meetings, and oth-
erwise begin down my new path as a flmmaker.
But, as they say in sobriety, if you want to make
God laugh, tell him your plans.
I had been an alcoholic for an important por-
tion of my life. During that time I had hidden
from confict, fearful of not being liked, worried
about how I would be thought of. But after being
sober for almost fourteen years, I was not the lit-
tle boy back in Ohio in the lumberyard who said
what he felt and got emotionally sideswiped for
his efforts. I was not the overwhelmed twenty-
year-old “sensation” who found it so much less
painful to just say yes than to say no, even when I
knew I should. I was also not a boy, without any
real advisors, making it up as best I could. I was
none of those things. Not anymore.
I came to the realization: Nothing in life is
unfair. It’s just life. To the extent that I had any
inner turmoil, I had only myself to blame. I also
thought of my two boys and what kind of example
I hoped to be. I would always want them to take
charge of their own futures and not be paralyzed
by the comfort and certainty of the status quo or
be cowed by the judgment of those on the outside
looking in. But how could I ask that of Matthew
and Johnowen if I couldn’t ask it of myself?
Today, life’s blessings continue to surprise me.
And the stories that follow from this mysteri-
ous, glorious, maddening, saddening journey are
enough to fll another book.
-- From Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob
Lowe, published by Henry Holt and Company. ©
2011 by Robert Lowe.
What I’ve Learned in Sobriety
(Continued on page 15)
8 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
By Rudy RuggLeS
T
hey found his lifeless body on
Main Street in our picturesque
little town an hour north of New
York City.
It’s a town of tree-lined streets
and upper-income homes and excellent
schools and teenagers headed to the best
colleges – but not this one, a 17-year-old boy
dead of a heroin overdose. Heroin? Here?
Someone died of an overdose here?
That’s not supposed to happen in Ridge-
feld, Connecticut, but it did, and it wasn’t
the last time. Every year, it seems, we loose
a teenager to a car crash involving alcohol or
drugs. Just this year three teens died tragi-
cally.
That heroin overdose in 2005 affected
me deeply. I care about my town, of course,
but I also raised four boys here. They lived
through the usual teenage dramas and
emerged safely into productive adulthoods.
It was my blessing to not be the father of a
boy found dead on Main Street.
The death stirred the whole town deeply.
My friend Rudy Marconi, the First Select-
man (mayor), started an organization to
look for answers. It would include the chief
of police and the schools superintendent
and others. I volunteered. I’m a physicist by
training, and I’ve studied the darkest mys-
teries of creation, but nothing baffes me
more than a young man with his whole life
ahead of him losing it to a chemical, one as-
sociated with drug dens in the inner city. If
I could help make a difference, it would be
time well spent. The diffculties of being a
parent were still fresh in my memory.
No diferent for your child
One thing I’ve learned serving on the
Ridgefeld Community Coalition Against
Substance Abuse is that, while our town is
unique in many ways, the issues facing our
teenagers are not. Their struggles with sub-
stance abuse are no different than those of
teens in bigger towns or inner cities. What
we as parents are learning here can be of use
to parents everywhere.
We know that from surveys of our teenag-
ers and similar surveys across the country.
We have a higher level of marijuana use be-
cause of our affuence, but otherwise what
goes on here tends to go on everywhere. Con-
sider the time a teen spends alone at home.
I think most of our parents would fnd that
surprising – the time spent at home without
supervision or just hanging out during the
week, even though it might be disguised as
going to a friend’s house to do homework.
Maybe that sounds familiar to you.
The most important thing that has been
reinforced for me is that a parent’s role
should begin long before the moment of
confrontation when drug or alcohol use is
discovered. A number of things are either
present or not in a child’s life that will de-
termine whether he partakes of alcohol or
drugs. These are developed in the home and
school and community long before someone
offers him a joint behind a century-old ma-
ple tree in our Ballard Green on Main Street.
We call these “assets,” a term we learned
from the Search Institute, an organization
that surveys our high schoolers every two
years. For more than 50 years this Minneap-
olis-based organization has been surveying
kids in more than 60 countries to learn the
prevalence of these assets in their lives.
“Studies of nearly 3 million young people,”
the Institute says, “consistently show that the
more assets young people have, the less likely
they are to engage in a wide range of high-
risk behaviors and the more likely they are to
thrive. Research has proven that youth with
the most assets are least likely to engage in
four different patterns of high-risk behavior,
including problem alcohol use, violence, il-
licit drug use, and sexual activity. The same
kind of impact is evident with many other
problem behaviors, including tobacco use,
depression and attempted suicide, antisocial
behavior, school problems, driving and alco-
hol, and gambling.”

Armed with knowledge
I can’t help but wish, although my boys
turned out okay, that I’d had the beneft of
this knowledge when they were young and I
was trying to be a good father.
Here are just a few of what Search Institute
calls the 40 Developmental Assets: integrity,
honesty, personal power, a positive view of a
personal future, interpersonal competence,
creative activities, positive peer infuence,
adult role models, family boundaries, fam-
ily support, a caring neighborhood. (The full
list can be found on the Institute’s website,
http://www.search-institute.org/. There are
also lists for middle and grade school chil-
dren.)
Three of the assets stand out for me:
Boundaries and Expectations, Restraint,
and Positive Adult Role Models. I focus on
these because Ridgefeld students scored
particularly low on them. You may zero in
on others depending on your child’s situa-
tion and what’s going on in your town.
Let me develop these three a bit to give
you the favor of all of the assets.
Boundaries and
Expectations
Boundaries and Expectations are set in
the school as well as the home. Research
shows that young people who attend schools
with clear rules and consequences are more
likely to display positive behaviors and at-
titudes, rather than engage in risky behav-
iors. Only 38 percent of the Ridgefeld High
School students surveyed said their school
provided clear rules and consequences! This
is more than 10 percent less than the nation-
al average in the Search Institute’s survey,
and it is lower than the students’ response
regarding consistent parental boundaries.
And yet our schools are known nationally
for their excellence!
It’s important for parents to stay involved
in their children’s school. Teachers and ad-
ministrators can help by creating a conduct
code at the beginning of the school year and
sending it home to parents. Parents can re-
inforce the rules set by the school. Conficts
may still occur, and when they do, everyone
-- students, parents, teachers, and others in
the community -- should feel comfortable
voicing their concerns and suggesting solu-
tions. The more families, schools, and com-
munities work together to establish consis-
tent boundaries, the better off young people
will be, because they’ ll know what to expect.

The convenience of
boundaries
What happens if you’re late to a busi-
ness meeting? Run a red light? Fail to pay
for your morning coffee? Rules and expec-
tations are important. They help establish
the do’s and don’ts for society and help
things run smoothly. But rules are not au-
tomatically known; they must be created
and learned. That’s where parents come in.
If young people are not taught early on that
there are rules they must follow, they think
they can do anything they want at any time.
And, while we may like the freedom to make
choices, having boundaries to follow -- and
Is Your Teen at Risk?
Studies reveal why teens get into trouble
with drugs and alcohol – and what
parents can do about it
Lifeskills South Florida is a private, residential,
extended care treatment program for
adults with co-occurring and/or psychiatric
disorders. We individualize all treatment
plans offering such abstinence and
evidenced based modalities of treatment as
self-help participation, Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy,
Mentalizing and Motivational Interviewing.
800-749-7149
www.lifeskillssouthforida.com (Continued on page 16)
S P ECI AL • FOCUS
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 9
S P ECI AL • FOCUS
By J. RogeR guiLfoyLe
T
he Museum of Modern Art in New York is exhibit-
ing a lifetime of work by the Dutch born,
American artist/sculptor Willem de Kooning.
This show, in nine galleries, with almost 200
pieces, affrms de Kooning’s position as a titan of
modern art, easily the equal of Picasso and Matisse as well
as of American contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock.
Drawn from public and private
collections, the show concludes
with the spare, elegant works that
were created in the 1980’s while
de Kooning was suffering from
the onset of Alzheimer’s and the
effects of his alcoholism.
de Kooning was also included
in “Abstract Expressionism,” the
2010-2011 monumental MoMA
show that occupied the entire
fourth foor of the museum and
spilled onto the third and second
foors. That show, drawn entirely
from the museum’s collection, is
the genesis of this article.
In the 1960s my offce was
around the corner from the Mu-
seum of Modern Art. Armed with
MoMA press passes, my fellow
editors and I used the museum’s
cafeteria as an extension of our of-
fce. Abstract Expressionism and
MoMA were entwined at this time. de Kooning, Jackson
Pollock and their contemporaries became our familiars.
Life in a shadow
Leaving the “Abstract Expressionism” exhibit last spring,
I was stopped by “Gaea” (1966), a painting done by Lee
Krasner, Pollock’s wife and a respected painter in her own
right. It is Krasner’s fate that, then, and even now, when
her name is mentioned it is bracketed with “Mrs. Jackson
Pollock.” I realized that I had only the sketchiest idea of
Krasner and her life. I guess to me, as to almost everyone,
she was Mrs. Jackson Pollock. It was not a designation she
desired. However, without her, and
the home life and companionship she
provided, Pollock’s alcoholism would
have raged out of control. He would
unlikely have produced the work on
which his reputation rests. So it is a
designation she earned and deserves.
Gail Levin’s Lee Krasner: A Biog-
raphy was published almost simul-
taneously with the closing
of the “Abstract Expression”
show in spring 2011. I began
reading it, and it inspired
me to look more deeply into
the lives of these great art-
ists.
Messy lives
The creative process, ac-
cording to Freud, is an al-
ternative to neurosis. Artists
have the ability to turn their
fantasies into art instead
of into symptoms, thereby
engaging and entertaining
society. By doing so, artists’
lives, like their art, fall into
the public domain. And,
being human, those lives are frequently messy,
leaving the impression that to be an artist is to be
compulsive/obsessive, manic/depressive, or ad-
dict/alcoholic, among other diagnoses. Many artists lead
successful, normal lives. However, the public remembers
Toulouse-Lautrec’s affnity for absinthe, and Amy Wine-
house’s and Keith Ledger’s addictions.
Lee Krasner met Jackson Pollock in 1938, the same year
de Kooning met artist Elaine Fried whom he later married.
Pollock had already been treated in a psychiatric hospital
for depression and alcoholism at the behest of his broth-
ers, Charles and Sande. As part of this treatment, Pollock
saw two Jungian analysts through the late 1930s and early
1940s. While his mental problems were far from resolved,
he was sober for two years. This led to a very fertile period
of creativity. It also became a sometime pattern in Pollock’s
alcoholism -- frst some sort
of treatment, sobriety, then
relapse. In 1942, de Kooning,
Krasner and Pollock would
all come together again when
they were asked to contrib-
ute work to fll out a show
of Picasso, Matisse, Braque
and other well-known Euro-
pean artists, curated by John
D. Graham at the McMillan
Gallery in New York.
Stability for Pollock
Krasner and Pollock married in 1945 and shortly after
moved to Springs, on the outskirts of East
Hampton, Long Island. They bought a house with a down
payment from Peggy Guggenheim, who was a patron of
Pollock’s. In 1948, Pollock began seeing Dr. Edwin Heller,
a family practitioner, and stopped drinking. Krasner said
that Dr. Heller was “sympathetic.” Jeffrey Potter, a friend of
Krasner, “remembered that they (Pollock and Heller) just
talked.” This suggests elements of AA, although there is no
evidence of a connection.
Suffolk County did have an AA presence. The Huntington
Group was founded in 1947, but, Huntington, LI, is a con-
siderable distance west of East Hampton. Heller and, un-
questionably, Krasner gave Pollock stability. Heller through
his empathetic treatment and Krasner by being wife, moth-
er, manager, and kindred art spirit, roles she assumed early
in her relationship with Pollock. She and Heller formed a de
facto recovery support system: Heller through his therapeu-
tic approach, Krasner through watchfulness and love. So
Pollack became very productive again as he had been in the
late 1930s. In this period in the late 1940s, he created some
of his most famous canvases. In 2006, media mogul David
Geffen sold Pollock’s No 5 (1948) for a record $140 million.
Brilliant and Tragic Lives
Four artists, who advanced the abstract expressionism movement that put New York
on the international art map in the early 20
th
Century, came together in that special
period as friends, lovers, promoters, competitors – and captives of alcohol.
Above: Willem de Kooning (American, born the Netherlands. 1904-1997) Rider
(Untitled VII) 1985 Oil on canvas 70” x 6’ 8” (177.8 x 203.2 cm) The Museum of Modern
Art, New York. Purchase and gift of Milly and Arnold Glimcher © 2011 The Willem
de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. At left: Lee Krasner
(American, 1908–1984) Gaea. 1966 Oil on canvas, 69”x 10’ 5 1/2”(175.3 x 318.8 cm) The
Museum of Modern Art, New York. Kay Sage Tanguy Fund è 2010 The Pollock-Krasner
Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Without the home
life Lee Krasner
provided, Jackson
Pollock’s alcoholism
would have raged
out of control, and
he would unlikely
have produced the
work on which his
reputation rests.
(Continued on page 10)
10 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
S P ECI AL • FOCUS
In her Krasner biography, Levin quotes
Helen Phillips, a friend in East Hampton,
who says, “I don’t think we would have
much production out of Jack, if it hadn’t
been for Lee, or even survival.”
Heller was killed in an automobile acci-
dent in March 1950. After Heller’s death,
Pollock remained sober until November
when, at the completion of Hans Namuth’s
flming him from below painting on glass
outside his barn/studio in Springs for that
now famous documentary flm, Pollock
began drinking and, after arguing with
Namuth, in an outburst of violence, over-
turned the dining table. This scene was viv-
idly re-enacted by the actor Ed Harris in the
flm, “Pollock,” in 2000. Marcia Gay Harden
won an Oscar for her portrayal of Krasner
in that flm.
Violence fares
Violence had always been a part of Pol-
lock’s behavior. Freud’s thesis about creativ-
ity speaks about artists being capable of
transposing fantasies into art rather than
indulging in neurotic symptoms.
However, it is Pollock’s tragedy that,
while the symptoms were recognized, no
one was treating his dual diagnosis. There
is even speculation that Pollock may have
been bipolar. Heller and Krasner, despite
their best intentions and the temporary eff-
cacy of their efforts, were ill-equipped to be
an effective support system for someone as
ill as Pollock. Further, his relationship with
Krasner was becoming strained. In 1951,
in an attempt to deal with his alcoholism,
Pollock went on a “Proteen” diet of soymilk,
vegetables, nuts and fruit.
In the last year and half of his life as his
illness progressed, Pollock no longer paint-
ed. He was being treated by a Sullivanian
therapist. Unlike the analysts whose Jung-
ian ideas inspired Pollock artistically in the
late 1930’s, the controversial Sullivanian
approach encouraged experimenting with
drugs and alcohol, sleeping with anyone,
and cutting family ties. In 2003, Amy Sis-
kind, who was raised in the Sullivan com-
munity, turned her doctoral dissertation
into a book, Madness and Evil -- A Review
of the Sullivanian Institute/Fourth Wall
Community.
The tragic end
As Levin says, “Though these [Sulliva-
nian] practitioners aimed to heal patients,
sometimes, instead of cures for conditions
like alcohol, which they did not under-
stand, they offered misguided therapy, co-
ercive advice that ended up doing harm.
It was Klein [Pollock’s therapist], after all,
who postponed trying to stop Pollock from
drinking and encouraged his relationship
with [Ruth] Kligman.” Krasner was in Par-
is, separated for the frst time from Pollock
in East Hampton, when Pollock killed him-
self and Edith Metzger and injured Ruth
Kligman in a drunk driving accident when
his convertible fipped over on Springs Fire-
place Road in East Hampton in August
1956. He was 44 years old.
If Heller had not died, if Krasner had not
gone to Paris, perhaps that accident might
not have happened. This is conjecture. Pol-
lock’s psychological make-up had led him
in the 1950’s to embrace fad diets and Sul-
livanian therapy. At the time of his death,
although still together, he and Krasner were
estranged. Alcoholics and addicts, as their
disease progresses, often turn against those
who have provided for physical and emo-
tional support.
Today, AA has a strong presence on the
East End of Long Island. Psychiatrists and
social workers are more skilled in treating
addiction. There is even help on line, sober-
artists.com.
Competing with Pollock
In the 1950s, de Kooning began going out
to East Hampton. After Pollock’s death, he
took up with Ruth Kligman. Mark Stevens
and Annalyn Swan say in their book, de
Kooning: An American Master (2004), that
de Kooning took up with Ruth Kligman be-
cause “he was still competing with Pollock,
even after Jackson’s death.” Kligman was
a very beautiful woman, with movie star
looks and an affnity for artists. de Koon-
ing named his painting, “Ruth’s Zowie,” for
her. An abstract artist herself, she wrote
Love Affair -- A Memoir of Jackson Pollock
(1974). Her work can be seen on ruthklig-
man.com. She died in March 2010. She was
80.
de Kooning moved permanently to East
Hampton in the early 1960’s. At the time,
he was estranged from Elaine and was ab-
staining from alcohol. After Pollock’s death,
Krasner continued to paint and nurture
Pollock’s artistic legacy, as she controlled
his paintings. This control, Levin observes,
meant that Krasner “would never be fnan-
cially needy again.” While Pollock was alive,
money was always tight. They had moved to
Springs because it was cheap and there was
space for Pollock to paint. Their life choices,
including whether to have a child, were de-
termined by “the pecuniary and painting.”
Although in her later work the infuence
of Pollock can be seen, some of that infu-
ence derives from their mutual, yet sepa-
rate, earlier interest in the surrealist, whose
psychic automatism is cited by H.H. Arna-
son in his History of Modern Art as inspir-
ing Abstract Expressionism. As H.W. Jan-
son says about Krasner in his History of Art,
after Pollock’s death, “she succeeded, in her
painting, ‘Celebration’
Tragic Lives
(Continued from page 9)
Pollock’s psychological
make-up had led
him in the 1950’s to
embrace fad diets and
Sullivanian therapy.
TOGETHER FOUNDATION AD
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 11
S P ECI AL • FOCUS
Promoting Mental Health and a Socially Fulfilling Future
Smoky Mountain Lodge in
Sevierville, TN
The Villa in
Orlando, FL
± Clinical Excellence
± Unique Social Integration Model
± Multiple Levels of Care
Pasadena Villa is an innovator in residential, transitional and support
services for adults with cognitive, emotional and social disorders
For information call:
877-845-5235
www.pasadenavilla.com
Mental Health Residential
and
Life Skills Program for Adults
10 Together www.together.us.com | May/June 2011
BY DAn STonE
I
t has been said that the only guarantees
in life are death and taxes. This applies
to everyone whether they are in recovery
or not. Various aspects of the grieving
process, however, hold special challenges
for recovering alcoholics and addicts.
Everyone grieves uniquely. In the past it was
thought that there are predictable stages that
grievers must go through to achieve accep-
tance of the loss. Twenty-three years of per-
sonal and professional experience tells me that,
when it comes to the process of grieving, one
size does not ft all. In my private practice and
also at Cottonwood Tucson where I work as a
grief counselor, I have conducted grief therapy
with newly clean and sober clients, and found,
time and again, that they respond to their
losses differently. I have discovered that, in
working with clients like these, the treatment
of grief requires an individualized approach.
GRIEF, ADDICTION AND RECOVERY
In 1997 I had been working at Cottonwood
for two years. One of the assignments that pa-
tients at that time presented in primary group
was a timeline in which the patient depicted
signifcant life events and how these events
impact on their lives in the present. Viewing
these timelines, I often observed that directly
after the occurrence of tragic life losses in these
patients’ lives, it appeared that their substance
use spiked — sometimes dramatically. In some
cases the loss triggered a downward spiral of
using and depression that ultimately resulted
in admission into treatment. I was drawn to
learning more about how grief, addiction and
recovery affect each other and how I could help
newly sober people negotiate their grief more
adaptively. I came to believe that if life losses
were not adequately addressed in treatment,
the neglect of this would be a contributing fac-
tor in potential relapse. My own experience of
loss also reinforced my emerging viewpoint.
My father died in February of 1986, a time
when, sadly, I was not yet sober. My response
to that loss was that I used more of the sub-
stances I was then addicted to. Throughout the
initial mourning rituals of my religion, I was
physically present but emotionally checked out
and unavailable.
In November of 1987 I hit my bottom and
began a new journey of recovery and hope.
As my body and mind healed, an interesting
phenomena occurred when I had about three
months of sobriety. I was now remember-
ing my dreams as my sleep pattern began to
normalize.
One night I dreamt that I was in a New York
City subway car. The car was empty with the
exception of someone sitting next to me. That
person’s role in the dream was to listen to me
as I spoke of the new hope I was experienc-
ing in recovery. In the far corner of the car a
person was reading a newspaper. The paper
was shielding their face.
As I spoke of my new life, the person in the
corner put down the newspaper and stood
up. It was my father but not as I remembered
him. He was not the eighty-two year old who
had recently died from pancreatic cancer. He
looked like he did in photos I had seen of him
in his twenties, healthy, robust with dark hair
— the prizefghter he had been in his youth. I
said, “Dad! What are you doing here? You’re
dead!” He replied, “I just wanted to tell
you to keep doing what you’re doing. It’s
going to be O.K.”
I woke up with tears running down
my face. Shortly afterwards I went to
his grave at the cemetery. Standing by
his tombstone I wept as I spoke to him
about my life. I walked back to my car
feeling relieved — as if a weight had
been lifted from my shoulders.
Over the next ten years I continued
my pursuit of recovery and eventually
entered my current profession as a
therapist. In 1988 my mother died of a stroke
at the age of 81. I left Tucson to go to her
bedside as she lay in a coma. During a seven-
day death vigil, I stayed in touch with my
recovery support system and received support
from new friends I met at 12-step meetings in
Florida. When my mother fnally died, I was
there to hold her hand and talk to her in her
last moments.
My mother’s death helped me to realize that
as an alcoholic working a spiritual program I
was able to cope with adversity differently than
when I was using substances. I was supported
every step of the way and I found that I could
be there for my family as well as for myself.
This was a real contrast to the time when I
lost my father and was self-medicated and
thoughtless of the needs of others.
In grief, recovering people experience the
same struggle as “normies.” We too are faced
with the tasks of accepting the reality of the
loss, experiencing our feelings, coping without
the loved one we have lost and accommodat-
ing to a world that has changed.
THE RITUALS
Participating in mourning rituals often involve
interactions with family members. Many
cultures celebrate the passing of a loved one
with wakes, funerals and the like. Participating
in these ceremonies can often be problematic
for those new in recovery. To be thrust into
a situation where family members might be
drinking is diffcult enough. When this is
compounded with unresolved family conficts
and mistrust of the recovering person, the
chances of relapse increase. Even when we are
mindful of this risk, we often feel an
obligation to attend and somehow
we must fnd a way to cope.
Many recovering addicts and
alcoholics come to the realization
that their grieving process had been
delayed or postponed until their
recovery began. This fact, I think,
is evident in my story and also in
the stories of many clients I have
worked with. As a grief counselor I
have adopted the position that I am
“companioning” people in the frst
ftful steps of their journey through grief. By
accompanying them on the frst stage of their
journey through the grief process, I am able
to help them to narrate the story of their loss
without judgment. This task is of paramount
importance in successfully negotiating the
grief process. Addicts and alcoholics often ex-
perience complicated grief as a result of their
self-perceived failures and lapses in being a
“good” child, parent, partner, sibling or friend.
It is common to hear statements beginning
with “If only I had…” or “I should have…”
Sometimes people will have had an ambigu-
ous relationship with the deceased. The fact
that the deceased family member might have
struggled with his or her own issues and
inappropriate behavior can also complicate
Sober and Grieving
For over 20 years, Cottonwood's beautiful, 35-acres setting
has been the perfect place to begin the process of recovery.
ADULT PROGRAM
Cottonwood's intensive Adult Program with
individualized treatment plans includes a
solid base of medical management.
Cottonwood's 90-day residential
Sweetwater Program for girls 13-17 places
a strong emphasis on scholastics as well as
a therapeutic curriculum.
• Mood/Bipolar Disorder
• Chemical Dependency
• Depression
• Anxiety
• PTSD
• Grief and Loss
• Anger and Rage
• Compulsive Gambling
• Sexual Addiction
• ADD/ADHD
• Eating Disorders
• Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
1-800-877-4520 • Tucson, Arizona
www.cottonwoodtucson.com
SWEETWATER ADOLESCENT
GIRLS PROGRAM
COTTONWOOD
t uc s on
• Substance Abuse/Dependence
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Self-Harm Behavior
• Trauma
• Eating Disorders
• Family Conflict
• Grief and Loss
• Low Self-Esteem
Together Welcomes Together AZ
(1959-1960), in doing what he had been
attempting to do in the last three years of
his life: to reintroduce the fgure into Ab-
stract Expressionism while retaining its au-
tomatic handwriting.” Krasner died in June
1984, at the age of 76.
Ravaged by alcoholism
By 1975, de Kooning was ravaged by his
alcoholism. Elaine returned to Springs and
took charge of his diet and living conditions.
Their marriage had been marked by pro-
miscuity and their alcoholism, but Elaine
had stopped drinking. Her return made it
possible for him to continue painting until
1990 as he slipped into Alzheimer’s. These
last paintings, spare and elegant, prescient-
ly anticipate the direction of recent contem-
porary art and are the coda for current show
of MoMA.
Elaine, as Krasner had been with Pollock,
was instrumental in promoting de Koon-
ing. Beautiful, sexy and vivacious, she was
not only an artist but also a writer. In this
role, she did much to articulate Abstract Ex-
pressionism. Elaine died of lung cancer in
February 1989. She was 70. de Kooning was
not told of her death. He died in 1997 at the
age of 93.
Many of Pollock’s greatest works were
made while he was sober in the late 1940s,
early 1950s. Towards the end of his life while,
under the spell of the Sullivanians, he hardly
painted. After Elaine’s return, she organized
de Kooning’s life and saw to his diet. Those
last years, in which she provided stability,
de Kooning embarked on those remarkable
paintings that close the MoMA show.
J. Roger Guilfoyle is Adjunct Professor
in the Graduate Communications Design
Department at Pratt Institute in New York.
Prior to this, he taught in the Art History
Department at Pratt for over 25 years. He
began in his professional career in design
magazines, and from the late 1960s until
the mid 70s he was editor in chief of “In-
dustrial Design” Magazine. In the late 70s,
he worked at WNET Channel 13 exploring
ways to create architecture and design pro-
gramming for public television. Between
1977 and 1985, he wrote four books of “The
Best in Packaging” series, three singly and
one with his wife, Barbara Allen Guilfoyle.
His articles on architecture, furniture, prod-
uct design, art and graphics have appeared
in design and consumer publications, in-
cluding “Print,” “Interiors,” “Graphic Sci-
ence,” and “USAirways Magazine.”
Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956) One: Number 31, 1950. 1950 Oil and enamel paint on canvas 8’ 10”x 17’ 5 5/8”(269.5 x 530.8
cm) Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange) è 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York
12 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
was the norm. Many Americans believed that
liquor was a practical way to help digestion,
calm nerves and tolerate poor food and cook-
ing conditions. A famous story is told about
one of Abraham Lincoln’s lawyer friends who
asked him why he did not drink, which was
highly unusual on the judicial circuit trav-
eled by lawyers twice a year, taking them
from their homes and families for months at
a time. Lincoln’s reply is revealing: “I choose
not to drink because it makes me fabby and
undone.” Very few if any on the frontier or
elsewhere for that matter had such an atti-
tude or understanding of the dangers of ex-
cessive drinking.
Grant would serve in the “old” (pre Civil
War) Army from 1846 until he resigned un-
der a cloud in 1854. He served with distinc-
tion in the Mexican War from 1846 to 1848,
being promoted twice, and was recognized
for being cool and calm under fre. After that
service he married the love of his life, Julia
Dent, a sister of a West Point classmate, in
St. Louis in 1848. She had a stabilizing and
affrming impact on him throughout his life.
They had four children whom Grant adored
and was devoted to. From 1848 to 1854 he
would be periodically stationed away from his
family in duty stations in Detroit, New York,
Oregon, and California, where he would ex-
perience great loneliness, boredom and mo-
notony, and at times self pity and depression.
He missed his family terribly. He felt empty
without them.
Grant, like many other soldiers far from
home, would binge drink but to such a degree
that it stood out to his peers as a problem. His
pattern would be to drink to excess for several
days, and then stop for weeks at a time. It is
reported that while in Sackets Harbor, New
York, in the early 1850s he joined the “Sons of
Temperance” so he must have realized that he
had some type of problem. Many of his peers
commented that Grant would sometimes
become drunk after only a drink or two, pos-
sibly because of his small frame and slight
build (he was 5 feet, 7 inches tall).
This was reported to be a continuing pat-
tern. In California, his commanding offcer,
Col Robert Buchanan, who did not like Grant
(they had had a run-in several years before)
claimed that Grant was unable to fulfll his
duties due to his drunkenness and insisted on
having a court martial proceeding.
A binge drinker
To avoid this, Grant resigned his commis-
sion from the Army in 1854 and walked away
with a reputation as a binge drinker. He re-
turned to his family in St. Louis and attempt-
ed to be a farmer, which proved unsuccess-
ful. Out of desperation he ended up selling
frewood out of a handcart on the streets of
St. Louis. A classmate from West Point and
future Confederate general, Simon Bolivar
Buckner, saw Grant on the street once and
talked to him. Later Buckner would refect
that it was one of the sorriest things had ever
experienced, seeing such a disheveled person,
and how far Grant had fallen from his days at
West Point. There is no evidence that Grant
was drinking then, probably because he was
with his family. Frustrated and under great f-
nancial stress, Grant moved his family to Ga-
lena, Illinois, to work as a clerk in his father’s
leather good store. This was a man with poor
prospects and a dim future.
Then came the War. As a former regular
Army offcer he volunteered to serve under a
number of commands, but was turned down.
Many believe it was because of his reputa-
tion as a binge drinker. Eventually
Grant secured a command of Il-
linois volunteers, and his abili-
ties were recognized as an
organizer and builder of
cohesive units, a strategic
thinker, being cool and
calm under fre, and
above all a fghter who
would not hesitate to
engage the enemy.
Because of the cap-
ture of Forts Henry
and Donnellson in
early 1862 he emerged
as the leading general
in the west.
At Shiloh, in April
1862, the frst of the great
catastrophic battles of
the Civil War (there
would be over 25,000
casualties), the Union
would win on the second
day but only after hor-
rifc bloodletting. Many,
horrifed at this result,
claimed it was somehow
due to Grant’s careless-
ness and drinking. To
the contrary, Grant did
not drink, and would
not during any battle of
the Civil War. There are
numerous eyewitness
accounts to that fact by
fellow generals and sol-
diers, civilian visitors,
and members of the government. There are
stories that on several occasions after a battle
he would imbibe either briefy with no conse-
quence and or sometimes for longer periods.
Military and political rivals often promoted
the rumors that he was continually drunk.
Checking the rumors
Lincoln sent a representative, Charles
Dana, to visit Grant for an extended period
to fnd evidence of drunkenness, and he saw
nothing to indicate this. Some indignant
Senator called for Grant’s dismissal because
of the rumors of his constant abuse of alco-
hol. Lincoln would answer as only he could:
“I cannot afford to be without this man. He
fghts.” Lincoln added that if indeed Grant
was a drinking man that he would like to
know his brand so that he could send a case
to his others generals.
It is reported that Grant understood that
he had issues with alcohol, as indicated by
the following story. When asked by General
Schofeld at a dinner why he had not tasted
his wine Grant supposedly replied, “I dare
not touch it. At sometimes I can drink freely
with any pleasant effect; at other I cannot
take a single of light wine.” This statement
strongly suggests he recognized his weak-
ness, or as we would say today, his “disease.”
Whenever possible his wife and family
would visit him in the feld for extended peri-
ods. These visits, coupled with the attentions
of his chief of staff John Rawlins, were no
doubt benefcial. In the later phase of the war
when Grant lived at City Point, Va., his family
stayed with him full time.
Their infuence and love (his support sys-
tem) were profound, and Grant never drank
when they were with him. Grant was moti-
vated by his sense of duty and responsibility
to the men he served, not the least of whom
was Lincoln, who would promote him to head
of all Union armies in 1964. Grant always ex-
pressed his concern for his men, and
they respected and obeyed him to
the fullest degree. He was re-
garded as a soldier’s soldier.
I believe that by to-
day’s standards we can
regard Grant as an
alcoholic due to fam-
ily history, periodic
binge drinking, sug-
gestions of low self
esteem and passiv-
ity, HALT (hungry,
angry, lonely, tired,
and also depression
and boredom), loss
of reputation, and his
self awareness that he
had a drinking problem.
I imagine that if Grant
had taken the Johns
Hopkins “Are you an
Alcoholic” 20 Questions
test he would have said
yes to many of these
questions. Would we
regard him today as a
functioning alcoholic
who still could perform?
I think so. He rose to the
occasion. He absolutely
did his duty by engag-
ing and destroying the
Confederate armies in
the feld, thus curtailing
the South to wage and
win a war.
Sober when it mattered
For me, Grant is next only to Lincoln as
the greatest man of this terrible epoch. There
are two stories that illustrate this greatness,
based I believe on his capacity to be sober
and clear of mind when it mattered.
At the Battle of the Wilderness in early
May, 1864 Grant sits under a tree whittling
a stick as the Army of the Potomac engages
Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
He is now the general chief of all Union
armies in the feld, and has chosen to “com-
mand in the saddle,” out in the feld with his
men, not back in Washington. At the end of
this frst day, May 5
th
, casualty reports come
back to Grant indicating horrifc loses. Grant
excuses himself, goes to his tent, and cries so
hard that his moans are heard throughout
the area. He does not drink. Many are con-
cerned about his sanity.
The next day the battle continues, with
even more horrifc casualties. Many of the
union feld generals return to headquarters
seeking out Grant, telling him that once
again, Bobby Lee has beaten them, as he
has done most every time before, certainly
on his home turf in Virginia. Once again
the Army of the Potomac must retreat from
the feld battered and beaten. The story goes
that Grant stands up, takes off his gloves and
slams his fst on a table, and looks at his gen-
erals calmly and tells them: “Gentlemen, this
is no longer about what Bobby Lee is going to
do to us; it is about what we are going to do to
him. We will engage the enemy and destroy
him and end this war.”
The next morning, the third day, the
Army receives orders to move out. They do
so marching out on the Plank Road, just as
they had in 1863 after losing the Battle of
Chancellorsville. Men in the back of the line
hear what sounds like a guttural primeval
roar to their front. As they come towards the
end of the road they know they will either
turn left, going south, or right, going back to
Washington, retreating as they had so many
times before. As they approach the fork in
the road they see General Grant mounted on
his horse, Cincinnati, calmly smoking a cigar,
along with his staff, and they hear a com-
mand from the sergeant major of the Army to
“the left fank march!”
They are going south, and they can see
those ahead of them going that way. They
are not retreating. Their commanding gen-
eral is telling them they will fght and win.
They are going south to destroy the Army of
Northern Virginia, and in all probability the
Confederacy and all of what that entails, and
will save the Union and forever end slavery.
They too let out yells of victory and determi-
nation with feelings they have never had be-
fore. They are now a great, unifed army, an
irresistible force. The Army of the Potomac is
fnally forged.
Years later Otto Van Bismarck would re-
portedly tell Grant when he visited him in
Germany that he believed that Grant com-
manded the greatest army of the 19
th
cen-
tury, an amazing statement coming from the
Chancellor of the newly unifed Germany
know for its militarism.
Bankrupt and terminally ill
In 1884 Grant learns that he is bankrupt
due to do to a swindle by his investment ad-
viser Ferdinand Ward. Depleted of money
he is also forced to pay off a $150,000 loan
with his Civil War mementos. He also learns
that he is terminally ill from throat cancer, no
doubt from having smoked 20 cigars a day.
Mark Twain offers to publish his memoirs,
and Grant gets about the business of writing
them despite of his illness. By sheer tenacity
and force of will, qualities that he consistently
demonstrated as a general, he completes his
memoirs just a few days before he dies in on
July 23, 1885 at the age of 63. His memoirs
sell more than 300,000 copies, earning the
Grant family more than $450,000. They are
saved from fnancial ruin. Twain promotes the
book as “the most remarkable memoir since
the Commentaries of Julius Caesar” and oth-
ers to include the famous literary critic regard
it as a classic. Many historians today feel it is
the best of all Presidential memoirs due to its
clarity, simplicity and straight-ahead style.
The book truly refects the man.
Randy Lewis, a history major at the Uni-
versity of Virginia, is a lifetime student of the
Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. For more
ffty years as an amateur historian he has
studied and read numerous biographies and
histories. His great-great grandfather, Isaac
White, was a legal client of Lincoln’s in Me-
nard County, Illinois. Both Mr. White and
his daughter, Anna White Lewis, were pres-
ent at Lincoln’s burial. Family diaries and
letters recount this day. Mr. Lewis has vis-
ited and studied most of the major Civil War
battlefelds in the Eastern theater of the war
and several elsewhere, and has conducted nu-
merous tours of the Gettysburg battlefeld for
charitable fundraisers. He recently retraced
the escape route of John Wilkes Booth and
plans to visit the Shiloh Battlefeld in Tennes-
see, the Natchez Trace, and the Hermitage, the
home of Andrew Jackson.
COVER• S TORY
Grant
(Continued from page 1)
If Grant had taken
the Johns Hopkins
“Are you an Alcoholic”
20 Questions test
he would have said
yes to many of these
questions.
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 13
always saw myself as apart, isolated, away
from, because I was different from every-
one else. Part of me will do what I’m told
to do, but I resent it.”
The sex, drugs and rock and roll cul-
ture they grew up in affects them to this
day. The national culture imprints you.
The reality is that the Baby Boom is the
only generation to grow up with a cultural
question mark around drug use. People
before had a very specifc view: substance
abuse is morally wrong and there was a
lot of shame associated with it. Younger
generations, Gen X, the 30 and 40 some-
things, grew up with anti-drug campaigns
from the time they were little kids. ‘Just
say no.’ It doesn’t mean those things
worked, but it means they grew up with a
cultural concept of substance abuse being
a problem.
But the Boomers had imprinted on
them from their formative years the con-
cept that maybe drugs are not so bad. They
come into rehab having heard people tell
them they have a problem, but they have a
deeply ingrained denial system -- the idea
that what people say isn’t true, and they
just can’t believe there’s a problem.
Don’t trust anyone
The Boomers’ reaction to authority
means a recovery plan has to be very dif-
ferent.
A 75-year-old will come into one of our
offces, look at the degrees on the wall,
and say, “Aha, this person is an expert.
I’m going to wait for this person to tell
me what to do.” They expect to be given a
lot of direction and instruction up front.
And if they don’t get it they don’t think they’re getting their
money’s worth.
With a Boomer, on the other hand, you greet them with
blank treatment plan. They might see diplomas, but they
couldn’t care less. Boomers are not impressed with your cre-
dentials. They grew up in a self-help generation in which
there’s a guru on every corner. There’s an expert on every
channel and every webpage. If you try to take a position of
authority -- I’m an expert and therefore you should listen to
me -- the Boomer is going to say there are ten other experts
better qualifed than you. So you bring a Boomer in and say,
“What do you want? How can I join with you?” You become
a paraclete, one who walks alongside.
Boomers know how to use Google. They mistrust “what
the man says.” For example, one of us was working with
an alcoholic who could not stop smoking pot. He was con-
vinced that pot was just fne. He would hear arguments
like, “Pot destroys your brain cells.” This is not true, and it’s
easy enough to do research and fnd out it’s not true. Peo-
ple would try to use these stories to tell him why he should
stop smoking pot. But for every story of someone being de-
stroyed by pot, he had 10 other stories of people smoking
and doing fne. The trouble is, once he started smoking he’d
start drinking, and he couldn’t stop.
We sat with him at length, going over the evidence about
pot and brain cells and other scientifc fndings, admitting
to the man that he was often right, acknowledging that not
everything he’d been told was true. Boomers don’t trust “ex-
perts” and don’t give credence to old wives’ tales, but they
will pay attention to facts.

S P ECI AL • FOCUS
By John dyBen and Juan haRRiS
A
nearly 66-year-old CEO com-
plaining of abdominal pain,
vomiting, nausea and excessive
sweating showed up at a trau-
ma center, where doctors could
fnd only slight dehydration. They sent him
home with a diagnosis of viral syndrome.
His next admission was to the Hanley
Center, a drug rehabilitation facility in
West Palm Beach, Florida. Doctors there
diagnosed a dependency on heroin, which
he took through his nose. The ER doctors
didn’t think to test for this, because they
couldn’t imagine a 66-year-old executive
doing illicit drugs.
Welcome to the latest adventure of the
Baby Boom.
It’s been a long, strange trip for another
Boomer, Gus, age 63, who got high for the
frst time when he was 18. After that, he
was up for anything and everything, for
years. Gus enjoyed the feeling of being
on the forefront in college, from anti-war
to civil rights demonstrations, and dope
made it all larger than life. It was a “hap-
pening time.” When he joined the real
world and took a job in retail, he fueled it
with weed, cocaine and beer.
He was a “combination man:” beer with
marijuana, LSD or cocaine, with cocaine
becoming a favorite. Cocaine fueled his
high-energy state. Quaaludes (metho-
qualone, a sedative hypnotic drug) were
popular prescriptions in the late 70s, and
Gus took those, too. He was successful in
his job, and his life was a non-stop party
scene. Then the scene became a party of
one.
“Once in the early 80s I realized I was the only one left at a
retail trade reception,” Gus said. Something had to give. He
tried to stay clean but became tempted by a big expense ac-
count and cocaine. He fnally gave up cocaine again, but still
used weed and drank.
After he married and had a son in the mid 80s, Gus was
never high around the child, until the boy turned 16, and
Gus felt unneeded. Cocaine beckoned again, and this time
Gus took up the invitation. Through a divorce and a regular
polypharmacy routine, Gus thought he was fooling every-
one. With an online supply of Oxycodone he was popping
fve or more pills a day.
“I fnally felt I was losing my dignity. I could no longer
trust myself to be me,” Gus says. His recovery took him
through two different residential treatment stays before
he found stability. Today he volunteers and shares his story
with those in treatment. He has rekindled a mutually satisfy-
ing relationship with his son.
A boomer drug boom
These aren’t isolated stories. Half of all Boomers have
tried illicit drugs at some time in their lives. That could be
experimentation, but 2009 statistics from the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAM-
HSA) show that 4.3 million adults age 50 and older had used
an illicit drug in the prior year, and some 4 million of those
nearing retirement age suffer from substance abuse. Drug
use between ages 50 and 59 is nearly double that of previ-
ous generations, SAMHSA says. A study by Duke University
found that a signifcant percentage of middle-aged adults
are binge drinking.
The Boomers are at it again. Because of its sheer numbers (Continued on page 20)
– 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964 – the Baby
Boom has played havoc with everything it touched – swell-
ing the number of elementary schools, then high schools and
colleges, pouring into the job market with multiple degrees,
then getting married and creating its own baby boomlet.
Now the kids who declared, “Don’t trust anyone over 30”
are starting to retire -- every day more than 10,000 Baby
Boomers will reach the age of 65, and that will continue ev-
ery single day for the next 19 years. Another way to look at it:
every seven seconds another Boomer turns 50.
And they’re bringing their “little helpers” along for the
ride: SAMHSA predicts that at the number of Boomers with
substance abuse problems will double from 2.5 million in
1999 to 5 million in 2020, and the need for treatment will
also double.
The (old) Age of Aquarius
Anyone who grew up in the 60s and 70s was touched
by pervasive psychedelic cultural icons of the era, such as
Timothy Leary’s mantra to “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out.”
There was rebellion against all authority. These attitudes
linger decades later, even among those who don’t consider
themselves anti-authoritarian, and they make treatment for
substance abuse diffcult.
In one group session at Hanley a lady was talking about
growing up in a generation that stuck it to the man, stuck
it to the government. She said, “I didn’t grow up like that
in the 60s. I was brought up in very conservative home. I
was taught not to challenge authority, but rather to obey.
In fact, my nickname in high school was ‘Establishment.’”
As everyone in the group laughed, she said, “Oh my god.
I’m realizing that I do have that mentality. It affected me. I
&
Sex, Drugs REHAB
14 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
BODY• MI ND• S P I RI T
Sabbath is in the context of God’s liberation
of the Jewish people from Egypt. It is an affr-
mation that God not only created us but that
He continues to care about His creation and
about human history:
And remember that thou wast a servant in
the land of Egypt, and that the Lord, thy God
brought thee out from there with a mighty
hand and a stretched out arm: therefore the
Lord thy God commended thee to keep the
Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:15)
This Exodus let to the revelation at Sinai in
which the commandment to remember and
guard the Sabbath is given. And with the law
came the responsibility each of us has to be-
come God’s partners in shaping, improving,
and ultimately perfecting human history.
The Sabbath offcially begins on Friday
evening at sundown and ends on Saturday at
nightfall. Like a symphony with its different
parts, Shabbat also has its “movements”—dis-
tinct phases of the day. I count nine of these,
formally beginning on Friday night with Kab-
balat Shabbat, the Welcoming of the Sabbath
Bride, and concluding on Saturday night with
the ceremony called Havdalah, which means
Separation. Havdalah is the moment when
the conclusion of the Sabbath separates the
holiness of the Sabbath from the ordinary
weekday that follows.
But in a very real sense, the Sabbath be-
gins during the day on Friday, which we call
Erev Shabbat, the eve of the Sabbath, a time
of intensive practical and, one hopes, spiritual
preparation. Shabbat offcially concludes at
“nightfall” Saturday night (rather than at sun-
down, which is earlier) when we enter the six
days of work that follow the day of rest.
For Jews and non-Jews
The Sabbath is for both Jews and non-Jews,
whatever their personal religious observances
may be, because the fourth commandment
and its gift of Sabbath rest were given to all
people. In fact the Sabbath provides answers
to the most diffcult questions people of all
faiths have asked themselves for generations:
How did I get here? Does anyone care how I
behave? What will happen to me after I die?
The prophet Isaiah taught beautifully
about a future time when everyone will ob-
serve the Sabbath:
Also the sons of the stranger that join
themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to
love the name of the Lord, to be His servants,
every one that keeps the Sabbath and does
not profane it…Even them will I bring to My
holy mountain, and make them joyful in My
house of prayer. (Isaiah 56:6-7)
Then in the concluding verses of his book,
Isaiah pictures how it will be in that blessed
future:
And it shall come to pass, that every new
moon, and every Sabbath, Shall all fesh come
to bow down to the ground before Me, says
the Lord. (Isaiah 66:23)
The Sabbath is a gift from God to all peo-
ple. In our time, I believe, it is a gift that is
desperately needed.
The Sabbath is not an all or nothing propo-
sition. It offers to enrich your life and give you
rest in direct proportion to how much of its
spirit and practice you choose to incorporate
into your life. But I warn you: a single taste
of Sabbath can lead you to want more. I hope
that the more you experience its pleasures,
the more you will want to remember, guard,
and enjoy God’s day.
Now in his fourth and fnal term represent-
ing Connecticut in the United States Senate,
Joe Lieberman is perhaps best known as the
Democratic candidate for Vice President in
2000. Senator Lieberman is Chairman of
the Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Committee and a member of the Sen-
ate Armed Services Committee. This article
is adapted from The Gift of Rest by Senator
Joe Lieberman. Copyright ©2011 by Joseph
Lieberman. Reprinted by permission of How-
ard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster,
Inc.
7.45 x 9.1
Helping Families Find
The Courage To Recover
Recovery from chemical dependency is a process that no one can achieve alone.
Seabrook House helps individuals and their families reclaim their lives in a safe, healing
environment. Founded by Jerry and Peg Diehl in 1974, Seabrook House is licensed and
CARF-accredited to provide a range of programs, including specialized opioid detox.
Our main treatment center is only 90 minutes from NewYork City, nestled on a
40-acre manicured estate in rural Southern New Jersey, offering a beautiful, tranquil
setting for self-discovery. You can rebuild your life. Treatment works.
Available 24 hours a day
800-761-7575
www.seabrookhouse.org
133 Polk Lane, Seabrook, New Jersey, USA 08302 • 355 Church Street, Westfield, Pennsylvania, USA 16950
Most insurances are accepted. Call to find out about scholarships
through the Seabrook House Foundation.
Serving New Jersey/New York Metro • Palm Beach
Call Us Today! 888-44-DETOX
www.SunriseDetox.com
Call Us Today!
888-44-dEToX
www.sUnrisEdEToX.Com
Serving New Jersey/
New York Metro • Palm Beach
And with the law came the responsibility each of us
has to become God’s partners in shaping, improving,
and ultimately perfecting human history.
Rest
(Continued from page 6)
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 15
so tired of the lying, my inability to keep my
word, the bullshit relationships, the hang-
overs, the cover-ups, and the helplessness
to stop doing the things I truly want to stop
doing. I had long ago become a creation
that was an amalgam of self-crafted persona
built to succeed and public image made to
be consumed, piled on top of a precarious
shell of a little boy wanting to be loved. Fi-
nally, the whole thing has caved in around
me, and I am thrilled. Now, just maybe, I
could fnd out who I really am.
• • • • •
My roommate is a loud, snoring, middle-
aged cross-dresser. I melt wax and put it
into my ears to sleep at night. I’m gonna
be here for thirty days, and I’m not gonna
make it without sleep.
Unlike in some rehabs of today, there are
very strict ground rules here. Whereas now
a rehabbing starlet can check in and still
swan around the Malibu Country Mart to
get a frappuccino and a copy of Us Weekly
to take to her mani-pedi before her photo
shoot, we have no reading materials, TV,
privileges to leave, or even caffeine. It’s for
serious folks only, the Harvard of treatment
centers.
I am under the care of a hip, young coun-
selor named Mike. And being hip is a big
plus for me because my greatest fear is that
being sober means being boring. And that,
to me, would be worse than cirrhosis of the
liver.
I am also worried about people fnding
out I am in rehab. When I share this with
Mike he says, “You don’t think people know
you party too much? You should hope they
hear you’re getting help!” But it proves to
be a moot point as by the third day I have
to hide in the pool to escape the helicop-
ters from the National Enquirer. They tell
me that there is a wonderful program that’s
helped millions get sober called Alcoholics
Anonymous.
I wouldn’t know. My level of anonym-
ity consists of being on the Enquirer cov-
er, dressed in my underwear (they used a
movie still), with a headline about rehab
for sex addiction, which in hindsight is an
improvement from my last national media
exposure—at least this time I have under-
wear—but it pisses me off because the sex
addicts in the center have much more in-
teresting stories and treatments than my
group of drinkers did.
But my relationships with women (and
every other relationship in my life) are a
big part of the puzzle that was worked on
each day in therapy. I dig into my issues
with my mother, her illnesses, my father
and abandonment, and my relationship
with being famous. I am surprised by what
I learn about myself. I assumed that since
I love “the scene,” I also love crowds and
people and small talk and the like. Free of
alcohol, I learn that while I do love people, I
hate small talk, am bored by idle banter, and
am wildly uncomfortable in big rooms with
people I don’t know. I want a real connec-
tion, not a surface one, and in its absence, I
will medicate my discomfort and boredom.
Being in treatment lets my real self
emerge. But frst, it will have to gradu-
ally strangle the good-looking, success-
ful, charming poster-boy pod person that
stunted its growth many years ago. There is
a school of thought that believes your emo-
tional maturity is frozen at the exact age you
become famous. My experience tells me this
is more true than not, and I got famous as a
teenager. So, if I want to be a fully function-
ing, sober adult, I had better get busy.
• • • • •
Sheryl is the only person other than fam-
ily I let visit me. And showing her true col-
ors, she works from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
on location in Seattle, drives an hour and a
half, catches a plane, fies three and a half
hours to see me for the one hour allotted on
Thursdays, makes the return trip, and is
back at work that same night.
I am never happier to see anyone than
when I see her mane of blonde hair in the
window of the arriving cab. We hold hands
in the dayroom (anything else was grounds
for expulsion) and walk along the trails
through the enormous cactus.
“I’m proud of you. I love you,” she says.
And I feel better already.
Fridays are graduation days. I’m standing
in the large circle we form to surround those
who are leaving this cocoon to try their
hand at a new life in the real world. Some
won’t make it ninety days; most won’t make
it beyond a few years. And for some, this is
not their frst time in treatment. Some come
back again and again, more broken and yet
more brave each time. It’s painful to watch.
I don’t want to do this again. Not ever.
I know two things: I take direction for a
living and I’m competitive. This gives me
great advantage. If they tell me to stand on
my head to stay sober, I’ ll do it. And I won’t
let anyone get the better of me while I try.
So as I slowly gather my days free of alco-
hol or any mind- altering substance, I know
that I won’t give up my string of days, my
time, for anyone or anything. I can be so ex-
traordinarily self-centered, now I will try to
use that for a greater good.
I would kill for a cup of coffee. I would
drown puppies for a Big Mac. I would really
also very much like to get laid. Forget not
drinking for thirty days, how about not hav-
ing sex! I mean, I hadn’t gone thirty hours
previously! And what would that be like
stone cold sober? Without even a glass of
wine to loosen me up?
Will I really never drink again? No toast
on New Year’s, no celebratory sip at my
wedding (if I ever have one), no beer with
the boys—if I ever father a boy? Not even a
sip? Not ever?
After days and days of therapy, discussion
groups, watching some very shattered peo-
ple pull themselves together, tugging at the
frayed strands of their lost lives, it is time
to leave. I’ve been to “sober school” and as
always was the frst to sit in the front row,
ready to learn. And I loved every inspiring,
painful minute.
But now, as I stand in the good-bye circle,
I’m flled with shaky apprehension. In three
hours I will be back in L.A., in the bachelor
pad, right back in the middle of life designed
by a man I hope I no longer am.
But Sheryl will be with me. Over the four
weeks of treatment I earned her trust and
another chance for us to be together. I hug
my counselor, Mike, good-bye. He looks me
hard in the eye.
“Remember. You can be one of those ce-
lebrities who go in and out of rehab or you
can just stay sober. It’s completely up to
you.”
Sheryl and I slide into the cab for the ride
to the airport and back to our lives. We pull
onto the beautiful, winding desert road, the
scenery extraordinary on all sides. I try to
look ahead, to see where the road is leading,
but I can’t.
After rehab, Rob and Sheryl were mar-
ried in 1991 and now have two sons. Among
other career successes, he won an Emmy and
two Golden Globe nominations for his role
in the TV series “The West Wing.” This ar-
ticle was adapted from Lowe’s book, , pub-
lished by Henry Holt and Company. © 2011
by Robert Lowe. Lowe has been sober for 21
years.
RETREAT AT
LANG CTY
I N• THE• NEWS
Find
Again
HOPE
Located in the
stunningly beautiful
and serene landscape of
the southwest, WinGate
Wilderness erapy
delivers clinical
treatment for substance
abuse issues that eect
individuals and families.
800.560.1599
www.wingatetherapy.com
Who I Am
(Continued from page 7)
I take direction for a living and I’m competitive.
This gives me great advantage. If they tell me to
stand on my head to stay sober, I’ll do it. And I
won’t let anyone get the better of me while I try.
16 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
S P ECI AL • FOCUS
expectations to live up to -- can make life
easier for everyone. As an adult, imagine the
boundaries in your daily life and the chaos
that would ensue without them.
Research shows that young people are
more likely to engage in positive behaviors
and attitudes -- and less likely to practice
high-risk behaviors -- if their families set
clear rules and consequences and monitor
their children’s whereabouts. Only about 42
percent of our high school students surveyed
see their families as having clear rules and
consequences and parents or guardians who
regularly monitor their whereabouts. Nearly
6 out of 10 lack this crucial support struc-
ture.
The irony is that Ridgefeld is a family
town. It spends huge sums on its schools.
Parents fock to football, baseball and soc-
cer games to support their youngsters. Many
families have the wherewithal to give their
teenagers nice cars and send them to the
best boarding schools and colleges. Yet our
surveys show that what I consider more im-
portant – a structure of boundaries and ex-
pectations – is lacking.
We can we as parents do? As a family,
set clear, concise, and consistent boundar-
ies based on your values and expectations.
Make sure everyone -- not just the children
-- is following the same rules, although there
may be some differences depending on ages
and maturity. Be sure to establish clear con-
sequences for family members who break
the rules. And make it clear that everyone
must always let the rest of the family know
where he or she is.
Restraint
Restraint is one of the most important
of the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental
Assets. From the survey of Ridgefeld High
School students, we know there is a low level
of restraint to begin with and a dramatic
decrease in restraint with each succeeding
year. Among freshmen, only 35 per cent be-
lieve it’s important not to be sexually active
or to use alcohol or other drugs, and this
falls to a mere 12 per cent by senior year.
The question clearly arises: from the low
level of restraint among high school fresh-
men, what is the level among middle school
students? We expect to survey the middle
schools before this year is over.
Sex, alcohol, drugs . . . these are subjects
many adults would just as soon not discuss
with young people. But if parents and other
caring adults don’t step up and talk to them
about these things, who will? Make it easy
for young people to come to you and talk
about the temptations in their lives. Avoid
judging. Listen, and educate.
Communicating with young people about
the risks of sex and the use of alcohol or oth-
er drugs is important. Labeling them as bad
is not necessarily helpful. Instead, explain
the dangers: having sex can lead to preg-
nancy and disease; using alcohol or other
drugs causes you to lose control over your
functions, which can lead to serious, even
fatal, accidents; substance use can also dam-
age the developing teenage brain. Work with
young people to focus on long-term out-
comes -- not just on the moment. Helping
them to internalize and stand up for their
personal values also makes it easier for them
to practice restraint and withstand negative
peer pressure. If they do get in trouble with
these issues, though, make sure they know
they can come to you for help. Let them
know you’re here for them -- no matter what.
Positive Adult Role Models
The institute has found over the years that
the assets are invariably clustered and most
likely linked overall. One of the assets is hav-
ing positive adult role models, and only 30
percent of our kids said they had them – in-
cluding a parent, a teacher, a coach -- which
I think is alarming. This is, however, not
greatly different from what the results are
nationally.
Sometimes adults do things they aren’t
proud of -- swear, watch too much televi-
sion, argue. Making mistakes is understand-
able, but remember: young people look up
to adults. They see you, especially if you’re
a parent, as the type of person they want to
become someday. They want heroes. That’s
why it’s so important to be the best person
you can be.
Research shows that young people are
more likely to exhibit positive, responsible
behavior when they have parents and other
adults in their lives who model positive, re-
sponsible behavior. Having good role mod-
els is one of the greatest desires of most
young people. However, only 31 percent of
nearly 1,300 Ridgefeld High School stu-
dents who completed the Search Institute
Survey said that their parents and other
adults with whom they interact, or observe,
model positive, responsible behavior. Stated
another way, this means that 7 out of 10 of
our high school youth lack adequate positive
adult role models -- by their own measure
and expectations.
According to experts, what most young
people need more than anything else in
their lives is positive social interaction with
adults. These interactions expose young
people to real-life guides. Be a role model
for the young people around you, and help
them fnd other responsible adults to be part
of their lives as well. The more positive role
models young people have, the better!
Leave it to Beaver?
I can’t say that in our six years the coali-
tion has turned the town around. The ex-
perts we consult say it’s a long, diffcult road.
We have made progress in educating parents
of children in transition, from grade school
to middle school, for example. These are vul-
nerable times, and parents are grateful for
the help.
The biggest problem is that we are wres-
tling with a culture and a mindset. The
whole 40 Asset model sounds like some-
thing Ward and June Cleaver would come
up with for The Beaver. It’s just not cool.
Society has certainly changed since I grew
up in a home with very strict boundaries and
very high expectations. I changed with the
times. I’m not sure how my boys would rate
me on strictness, but I tried to adjust my own
experience when I felt it was heavy-handed.
I felt I could soften up a bit but keep the ba-
sic structure in tact. When I was young I had
curfews. With my boys, I don’t remember
calling them curfews, but there were under-
stood times when they had to be in.
I enjoy the heck out of my grown children
today, but I think for many of us the temp-
tation when the children are young is to at-
tempt to be a friend to them, not a parent
providing values and discipline.

Where are the
front porches?
It is hard for parents who care to escape
the culture we live in. There are some lovely
old homes in our town with front porches,
but the truth is our society has become a
back deck culture. When people had front
porches they knew what was going on in the
neighborhood. They watched each other’s
kids. Now we’ve turned inward. No one in-
volves themselves in other people’s lives.
Even teachers are under serious restraint
from making comments that in any way are
critical of a student. Indicating that a child is
disruptive or working under his capacity isn’t
done and is open to challenge by parents and
lawyers, so that their perfect records aren’t
besmirched. We live in a time when every kid
gets a trophy even if his team loses. There is
little sense of reward for excellence or conse-
quence for poor performance.
By the time their children enter high
school a parent has little sense of having
any infuence over them. They don’t think
they can make a difference, and they basi-
cally give up on the kid. That fies in the face
of the work of developmental psychologists
who observe that parents have a potential for
a strong or infuential role in values and be-
haviors of their teenagers, even though they
believe that’s not the case.
No one says it’s easy
This new/old view of being a parent has
to start when the child is very young – talk-
ing about diffcult issues, setting boundaries,
establishing expectations. Instilling these
assets in children can’t begin in high school
or even in middle school. It should begin in
primary school or before and be consistent
throughout. It’s not a framework that can
just be dropped into place when your child
becomes a teenager.
Parents tend not to be consistent. Teenag-
ers are tough to deal with. They’re striking
out to be independent. It doesn’t mean they
don’t respond to loving guidance. We’ve got
this syndrome of parents getting no signals
from teenagers that their efforts are working,
and at the same time, the parents don’t feel
worthy – they somehow think they lack the
Sometimes
We Have to Get Away Before We Can Be Fully Pre s e n t
A Non-Profit Foundation • Nashville, TN • Founded 1966
201-600-2665 • 800-646-9998
cumberlandheights.org
CUMBERLAND HEIGHTS
Alcohol & Drug Treatment Center
Together Q pg CH 10/27/11 4:20 PM Page 1
Teen
(Continued from page 10)
Young people look up to adults. They see you,
especially if you’re a parent, as the type of person
they want to become someday. They want heroes.
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 17
S P ECI AL • FOCUS
life experience and life lessons that qualify
them to teach their kids.
From my days as a parent and as a vol-
unteer studying these surveys of our town’s
children, I think parents have the sense that
their kids are living in a different environ-
ment than they did. The parents grew up in
a permissive environment, in which some of
those frm roots and belief systems got lost.
And because of that they’re less likely to chal-
lenge their teenagers or come down hard on
them, because “nobody else does.” These val-
ues tends to slip away not in a couple of years
but over a couple of generations.
Permissiveness is the fip side of a civilized
value system. Permissiveness is more like an-
archy: the “me” generation, just do your own
thing, don’t take others into consideration.
These excesses are the luxury of a well to do
culture in which we can afford a wide lati-
tude of behaviors and where trendy ideas can
hold sway without anyone challenging them.
The kids in high school today were born
in the late 90s, and so their parents were
born about 1970, and that was very much the
“me” generation. Those parents grew up with
parents who‘d been through the 60s, when
anything was okay and no holds were barred.
So we’ve had two generations of loosening of
the reigns. We’ve developed a false sense of
equality. Every student isn’t a good student.
Every athlete isn’t a good athlete. Concern
for bruised egos and psyches has outrun the
traditional sense that capabilities differ.
It has been clear to developmental psy-
chologists for a long time that children grow
up to be more resilient and better self-direct-
ed and self-disciplined if they grow up in an
environment that has some boundaries and
expectations expressed with clarity, con-
sistence, and an underlying rationale. And
care and love. Without a sense that plac-
ing boundaries and expectations is going to
break the spirit of the child.
Our current style of parenting is very in-
dulgent. It takes the easy road. It’s hard work
for parents to set standards and stick by
them. It’s not easy to discuss their expecta-
tions with their kids or discuss anything that
is contentious or delicate.
What to do
However, I’m going to suggest that is the
frst thing you should undertake if you want
to make a difference in your child’s life. It
will be easier when they’re young; they will
think such a conversation is normal. It will
be harder when they’re in middle or high
school, but do it anyway. Let yourself feel
awkward. Don’t expect cheers from your
teenager. They will hear you, even though
their likely reaction will be silence.
The second thing I suggest, based on our
experience here, is to talk to the counselors at
your school, the ones who get involved when
there are problems. They can tell you what
the environment is like – you may not want
to know, but you have to. And they might
connect you with other concerned parents.
That is my last piece of advice: reach out
to other parents. Find them at PTA meetings
or soccer games. Or just call them up. The
odds are you’ ll fnd someone as concerned as
you are. Network. If your child is headed to
someone’s home for a party, call the home-
owner and ask if they will be home and if
liquor will be served. Find other parents
whose children are going. Ask you child how
he or she will get there and get home.
Awkward? Yes. But you’ ll be surprised by
how many parents are thinking the same
thing and will be grateful to hear from you.
Your adult life is lived within boundaries
and with expectations. And it’s awkward –
think about confronting the auto repair guy
who can’t seem to get it right or the co-work-
er taking credit for your work. But you do it.
Your child is far more important. You
know what to do.
Rudy Ruggles has over forty years’ expe-
rience in scientifc research, strategic plan-
ning, management consulting, political/
economic analysis, and national security af-
fairs. He was a physicist and a senior mem-
ber of IBM’s corporate planning staff and
later president of the Hudson Institute. He
is past chairman and current board member
of MCCA (a $10 million treatment center for
alcohol and substance abuse) and a recent
board member and treasurer of the National
Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence.
He is chairman of the Danbury Hospital Bio-
medical Research Advisory Council, which
directs leading-edge genetic investigations of
cancer. He received his undergraduate and
graduate degrees from Harvard University.
Caron Treatment Centers and Hanley Center are coming together
to offer the most comprehensive treatment for all stages
of life from adolescence to older adulthood.
Our collective years of experience and resources, such
as cutting-edge medical technology and leading
industry experts, allow us to do more than ever
before for individuals and families, as well as the
industry at large. This new partnership creates
525 Caron treatment beds throughout
the country.
800.678.2332 | Caron.org
Caron Pennsylvania Caron Texas Caron Renaissance Hanley Center
Caron’s 54 years + Hanley’s 25 years = Hope & Recovery for Life
Philadelphia, PA | New York, NY | Boston, MA | Washington, D.C. | Bermuda Regional Locations:

Exceptional Care*Exceptional People

Wild Acre Inns offers mental health and dual
diagnosis programs residential, partial
hospitalization and intensive outpatient
programs in the Greater Boston area.
108 Pleasant Street., Arlington, MA 02476
1-781-643-0643 or 1-800-750-0236
www.wildacreinns.com
Joint Commission Accredited
J
www.wildacreinns.com

www.


www.wildacreinns.com


Exceptional Care*Exceptional People

Wild Acre Inns offers mental health and dual
diagnosis programs residential, partial
hospitalization and intensive outpatient
programs in the Greater Boston area.
108 Pleasant Street., Arlington, MA 02476
1-781-643-0643 or 1-800-750-0236
www.wildacreinns.com
Joint Commission Accredited
J
www.wildacreinns.com

www.


www.wildacreinns.com


Exceptional Care*Exceptional People

Wild Acre Inns offers mental health and dual
diagnosis programs residential, partial
hospitalization and intensive outpatient
programs in the Greater Boston area.
108 Pleasant Street., Arlington, MA 02476
1-781-643-0643 or 1-800-750-0236
www.wildacreinns.com
Joint Commission Accredited
J
www.wildacreinns.com

www.


www.wildacreinns.com


Exceptional Care*Exceptional People

Wild Acre Inns offers mental health and dual
diagnosis programs residential, partial
hospitalization and intensive outpatient
programs in the Greater Boston area.
108 Pleasant Street., Arlington, MA 02476
1-781-643-0643 or 1-800-750-0236
www.wildacreinns.com
Joint Commission Accredited
J
www.wildacreinns.com

www.


www.wildacreinns.com

18 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
dependence. “Alcoholics Anonymous was
founded on the belief that to keep it, you
have to give it away. That means that if you
want to remain sober yourself, you need to
reach out to someone else and give service
to help them get sober.” Indeed the sponsor-
ship model is based on the notion that the
act of helping someone else recover is fun-
damental to maintaining your own sobriety.
The helper’s high
What many in recovery have discovered
to be true is now being recognized by sci-
ence, with new research showing that giv-
ing back has far-reaching health benefts,
and can infuence recovery success rates. It
can lower stress and depression, and is as-
sociated with higher levels of satisfaction
in life. A number of studies show that giv-
ing affects our brain chemistry. Scientists
believe that altruistic behavior releases en-
dorphins in the brain, producing a positive
feeling known as the “helper’s high” or the
“glow of giving.”
A 2010 online study by United Health-
care found that 78 percent of respondents
said that volunteering helps with recovery;
89 percent said it improves their sense of
well being; and 96 percent said it makes
them happier. “Volunteers have less trouble
sleeping, less anxiety and less helplessness
and hopelessness,” says Post. “It would be
diffcult to identify a pill or vitamin with
such a pronounced self-reported impact on
so many lives.”
The connection between helping oth-
ers in AA and improving rates of recovery
was the focus of research by Maria Pagana,
Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry
at Case Western Reserve University School
of Medicine. In her study of people with 16
to 25 years of continuous abstinence from
alcohol, helping others in general was rat-
ed as “signifcant” in maintaining sobriety.
Rating even higher was the beneft that
came specifcally from helping other alco-
holics in AA.
This 2010 study was an extension of her
earlier research showing that AA-related
help dramatically cut the risk of relapse
during the year following treatment. Pa-
gana’s interviews with AA members with
more than 20 years of sobriety showed that
COVER• S TORY
FATHER MARTIN'S
ASHLEY
Serving Others
(Continued from page 1)
Gosnold
on Cape Cod


Since 1972, a bridge back...
To hope, to life, to recovery
Falmouth, MA 800-444-1554
www.gosnold.org

Quality, Affordable Treatment
for the Life of Your Recovery

Research shows that
giving back has far-
reaching health benefts,
and can infuence recovery
success rates. It can lower
stress and depression, and
is associated with higher
levels of satisfaction in life.
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 19
AA-related helping was very important dur-
ing early and long-term recovery. Among
the service opportunities measured in her
study were both concrete acts of helping
in AA meetings, such as being the coffee
maker or door greater or handing out the
daily reading from the Big Book, as well as
personal giving, such as being a sponsor or
sharing your recovery experience, strength
and hope with the group. The study found
that the likelihood of recovery from alco-
holism over the course of a year was twice
as great if you helped others. Among those
who helped other alcoholics, 40 percent
avoided taking a drink in the year follow-
ing treatment. Only 22 percent of those not
helping were able to abstain from alcohol.
Give it away to keep it
“For alcoholics and addicts who are in
programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and
Narcotics Anonymous, there’s a special ur-
gency about giving,” says John MacDougall,
director of spiritual guidance at Hazelden,
a not-for-proft alcohol and drug addiction
treatment center based in Center City, Min-
nesota. “My own recovery is a gift, not an
achievement. If I don’t care enough about
the next alcoholic or addict to share the gift
with him or her, then my own gift will prob-
ably slip away.”
The impact giving can have on recovery
is so powerful that one of frst things Re-
becca Gladding does when she meets pa-
tients struggling with addiction is ask if they
have a service commitment. “It’s one of the
best predictors of success in recovery,” says
Gladding, M.D., a clinical instructor and
staff psychiatrist at the UCLA Stewart and
Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital.
“It means having to show up. It gives you
a sense of community. You know that even
if you’re struggling, you can still help oth-
ers.” Gladding encourages her patients to
give their time in a way that’s meaningful to
them, whether it’s at an animal shelter or at
a local food pantry. The result is greater se-
renity as well as a sense of purpose. “It can
give you a reason to get out of bed in the
morning,” she says.
If you had to hit bottom to go into recov-
ery, giving back can serve as a lifeline to re-
gaining your sense of self, Resnick says. “In-
dividuals suffering from alcoholism tend to
have low self-esteem and feel that they have
caused problems for themselves and others,”
says John Rooney, emeritus professor of psy-
chology at La Salle University in Philadel-
phia. “Giving back provides the confdence
needed to succeed. If, as is the case in AA,
they’re aiding others who have problems as-
sociated with alcohol, they have the addi-
tional incentive of wanting to set an example
for them.”
Hard-wired to give
Why does it feel good to give? It turns out
our brains are hard-wired to want to give to
others, says Jordan Grafman, Ph.D., a sci-
entist who has examined how and where al-
truism originates in the brain. “Those brain
structures that are activated when you get a
reward are the same ones that are activat-
ed when you give. In fact, they’re activated
more,” says Grafman. In one study, Graf-
man, director of the Traumatic Brain Injury
Research Laboratory with the Kessler Foun-
dation Research Center in New Jersey, used
MRIs to study the brain structures of people
who were giving to charities. The volunteers
could either donate and it wouldn’t cost
them personally or they could donate and it
might cost them some money, explains Graf-
man.
The researchers weren’t surprised that
when people received money, it lit up struc-
tures deep in the brain associated with the
release of the chemical dopamine, which is
known to trigger feelings of pleasure and re-
ward. But it surprised the team to see that
when the volunteers donated to charities, it
lit up the brain’s reward circuits even more
than receiving cash. “The regions of the
brain associated with rewards and the good
feeling you have when you get something,
like money, were the same areas that were
activated when you give,” says Grafman. “In
fact, they were even more activated when
giving than receiving.”
Giving also affected areas of the brain that
are not activated by receiving. These areas
are rich in oxytocin, often called the “cuddle
hormone,” that induces feelings of warmth,
euphoria and connection. It’s released when
people bond. “If these brain activations can
be a guide, you’re going to get more plea-
sure when you’re giving than when you’re
simply receiving,” Grafman says. He thinks
this activation has something to do with the
delayed nature of altruism. The result of giv-
ing doesn’t manifest itself right away--there
could be a time delay of minutes or weeks
or even years. “The part of the brain that’s
activated, the prefrontal cortex, helps store
knowledge,” he says. “It shows people have
foresight about how their gift will be used
and the benefts others might get down the
line.”
Grafman sees in this research evidence
of an opportunity for people in recovery to
break old habits and substitute new, health-
ier behavior. “Our fndings suggest that you
have a temporary advantage when giving,
since for most of us, it’s rarer than receiving,”
he says. “As a result, the brain activity when
you give will also be greater.” Grafman likens
this time of giving to a door being opened.
“It’s a time when you have an edge into those
brain structures to modify their affliation
with behaviors,” he says. “Brain structures
that were a slave to drinking, for example,
can fnd a substitution, another reward,
such as being of service and giving.” Indeed,
our brain is wired in such a way that good
behavior will want to be repeated. “We’re
hard-wired to repeat behavior that’s reward-
ing,” Grafman says.
A message of hope
MacDougall, the director of spiritual
guidance at Hazelden, puts the giving prac-
tices he preaches to work in his own life. His
wife of 35 years, who has retired, often trav-
els for weeks at a time to visit family. “After
two weeks, I start to get lonely, down and ir-
ritable,” he says. “Nothing perks up my own
recovery like a service commitment.” For
MacDougall this often involves paying a visit
to a local detox facility housed in an old jail.
“The people there were arrested for drunk
and disorderly conduct, or were passed out
some place,” he says. “They are there to detox
safely.” MacDougall shares his own story of
recovery, and gets an immediate lift. “I carry
a message of hope, and the people there re-
ally appreciate it,” he says. “Nothing works as
effectively in giving me a boost in mood. It’s
like alchemy.”
Post writes about how his own job loss
forced him and his family to relocate from a
city they loved to unfamiliar territory in his
new book, The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How
the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope
Can Get Us Through Hard Times. Feeling out
of place and uprooted when he took a job in
a new state, he and his family put into prac-
tice the principle of giving. “My wife volun-
teered at a little school across the street, our
son volunteered at a hospital, and I helped
build homes,” he says. “We did things to cre-
ate meaning and get our minds off our own
anxieties. It really worked. One of the best
ways to get rid of anger and grief is to actively
contribute to the lives around us.”
For some, taking the step to give to oth-
ers is part of a journey to recovery since em-
pathy is not fully developed in many people
who drink or use substances, says Wick of
the Freedom Institute. “Part of the disease
is that it’s diffcult for an alcoholic who is
active to imagine anyone else’s world than
their own,” she says. “They’re deeply en-
gaged in a relationship with an addictive
substance and there’s very little room to see
someone else’s experience, to have a deep
human relationship or to feel someone else’s
pain.” As a result, an active alcoholic or ad-
dict typically gets more and more isolated.
This can change during recovery, when the
act of reaching out and helping someone can
help build skills to reconnect to the world of
human experiences and relationships, Wick
says. “Bill W started AA by reaching out to
someone because he felt he needed to help
another alcoholic so that he wouldn’t slip
and start drinking again. You stay sober by
sharing your story and recovering your sense
of self.”
Though the body and brain can recover
from the effects of alcohol in about a year, the
psyche can take longer to recover, Wick says.
“Most addicts have a great deal of shame
about their experience and typically think
of themselves critically and harshly. They
don’t have a lot of self esteem.” As you help
other people, you start to rebuild a sense of
who you are and of your value, she explains.
“When you’re in recovery, you give back to
stay sober,” Wick says. “Once you’re sober,
the act of giving service helps people start to
build healthy relationships.” She notes that
building nurturing relationships is funda-
mental to anyone’s sense of self worth. “You
start to see yourself in someone else’s eyes
as helpful,” Wick says, “and as you internal-
ize your new sense of who you are and your
value, you get better at having relationships.
You realize you are worthy of being loved.”
Suzanne Riss is a writer and editor who
specializes in women’s issues. Most recently
she was Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother
magazine. Her frst book, The Working Mom
Survival Guide, was published by Weldon
Owen in October.
COVER• S TORY
“Giving is one of the best predictors of success in
recovery,” says psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding
20 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
GUES T• COLUMN
May/June 2011 | www.together.us.com Together 17
Serving Patients, Saving Families
®
Rancho Mirage, California
growth of the Internet and pornography
industry will likely be accompanied by
explosive growth in sexual preoccupation and
addiction among youth, teens and adults.
Recovery from addiction starts by asking
for help. Many individuals may have to
“hit a bottom” in order to be desperate and
willing enough to seek treatment. Finding
connection with a self-help organization is
vital. Self-help groups include: Sexaholics
Anonymous (SA), Sex Addicts Anonymous
(SAA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
(SLAA), S-anon or Co-dependents of Sex
Addicts (COSA), and Recovering Couples
Anonymous (RCA). Recovery will also
include fnding a sponsor and accountability
group. Pursuing spiritual recovery is
crucial. And for many, therapy will be an
important component of healing. ✺
Kay Butler-Lueking, MC, LPC, specializes in
counseling services related to substance abuse/
addiction, anxiety and depression, trauma,
self-esteem and relationship issues.
For more information visit:
www.pcsearle.com and www.sexhelp.com
Relapse Dreams
(Continued from page 13)
ness of the grieving process while providing
identifcation for the reader. One of these is
“Sanity and Grace” by the singer Judy Collins.
Several years ago she lost her 30-year-old
son to suicide. Her experience as a recovering
person proved key in her ability to cope with
that tragedy. I have recommended this book
to many recovering people who have similar
losses. Another title that is helpful is “The Year
of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion. Clients
who have lost spouses have been able to relate
Ms. Didion’s experience to their own.
For younger grievers, including adolescents
and young adults, the book “Green Angel”
by Alice Hoffman has been helpful. Several
years ago I introduced this book to Cotton-
wood’s Sweetwater Program for adolescent
females. One of our young patients returned
to a session with notes she had taken detailing
her identifcation with the main character’s
mourning process.
I often describe grief as similar to an old
water heater with a safety valve. Periodically
we open the valve to let some water out so
the heater doesn’t burst. Similarly the griever
needs to let the feelings out. We alcoholics
and addicts are notorious for repressing our
feelings until they come out sideways. I recom-
mend that after the initial grieving period,
when the family and friends are no longer
available, that the griever allows him or herself
a specifc period of time each day to sit quietly
with their feelings. This allows us to gradually
accommodate and return focus to the business
of life. Above all else we need to be kind to our-
selves and recognize that we have a right and
a need to grieve our losses. Unpleasant events
and feelings are part of life. Our primary re-
sponsibility is to not pick up a drink or a drug
no matter what. ✺
Dan Stone, MSW, LCSW, LISAC, CT, is a
social worker and counselor who specializes
in addictions and grief. Dan is a counselor at
Cottonwood Tucson, a co-occurring disorders
treatment facility for adults and adolescent
girls.
Sober and Grieving
(Continued from page 11)
haviors that excite and stimulate recovery
values.
Finally, counselors who are interested in
helping clients determine the meaning and
value of using dreams will need to account for
the stage of recovery each client is in. Research
demonstrates that using dreams differ in func-
tion as clients move from early recovery to late
recovery (Flowers, L. and Zweben, J., 1998).
As a general rule, clients in early recovery can
expect using dreams to relate literally to their
substance abuse problem. Counselors can
direct clients to discuss and react to the using
dream as if it related specifcally to the addic-
tive process.
However, clients in late recovery can expect
the using dream to function differently, no
longer necessarily relating to actual substance
use. The using dream begins to act as an un-
conscious altering system for clients in the late
stage of recovery. These dreams can be viewed
as serious warnings that alert the dreamer
to major life stressors, diffcult emotional
experiences, or life transitions independent
of substance abuse. Counselors can direct
these clients to examine life events that may
have triggered a using dream, and help them
apply principles of growth comparable to early
recovery. In addition to referencing relapse as
a metaphor, using dreams in the late stage of
recovery can also reference the attitudes and
behaviors that made signifcant change pos-
sible in the early stage of recovery. In this re-
gard, the using dream is a call back to the basic
principles of recovery, though it’s understood
the current need is to apply these principles to
problems other than substance use. ✺

References: Brown, S. (1985). “Treating the alco-
holic” John Wiley and Sons: New York, New York.
Choi, S. (1973). “Dreams as a prognostic factor in
alcoholism.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 130:
699-702. Flowers, L. and Zweben, J. (1998). “The
changing role of ‘using’ dreams in addiction recov-
ery.” Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Vol. 15
(3). Reid, S. and Simeon, D. (2001). “Progression of
Dreams of crack cocaine abusers as a predictor of
treatment outcome.” Journal of Mental and Nervous
Diseases, Vol. 198 (12).
Charles Gillispie, MFA, LISAC has published a
number of articles describing his use of creative
writing as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral
therapy. His publications include Addiction
Professional, Journal of Poetry Therapy, and
Therapeutic Recreation Journal. Charles is a
counselor at Cottonwood Tucson, a co-occurring
disorders treatment facility for adults and
adolescent girls.
Together Welcomes Together AZ
Scanning the brain
One way we get their attention is with a
SPECT scan of their brains. It shows blood
fow, and it’s quite easy to see when the
blood fow in areas of the brain having to do
with addiction and depression isn’t normal.
No need for half-true horror stories.
With older adults a very effective tool is
using people’s stories of addiction and re-
covery from substance abuse to point them
to a direction of health. With the Baby
Boom it’s not as effective. It’s not completely
ineffective, but rather than being moved by
stories Boomers require a more solid, a very
tech savvy, scientifc base of information. Of
course, hearing other people’s stories is a
hallmark of 12-step programs.
Another Boomer problem: the peculiari-
ties of their experience have to be talked
about openly. Talking about how that cul-
ture impacts you, what it’s like coming into
treatment, and having a sponsor and lis-
tening to those who have gone before you.
When Boomers talk about that in treatment
it’s easier for them to engage in Alcoholics
Anonymous later. This is part of my mind-
set, they acknowledge: I’m going ahead with
it. Those who don’t talk about it, who say I
have a problem listening to other people,
I’m a self made person, I’m going to do my
own thing, they will go to one or two AA
meetings, not say a word and then won’t go
back.”
Aging bodies
Although they plan on remaining youth-
ful forever, the realities of aging exacerbate
the effects of substance abuse. Boomers will
not be cheered by this list of physiological
changes experienced by those who don’t suf-
fer from addiction:
• Changes in gastrointestinal tract function;
• Total body water percentage for men de-
clines from 60% to 54%;
• Total body water percentage for women
declines from 54% to 46%;
• Muscle mass decreases by 30% for men
and women;
• Taste bud sensitivity decreases by 70% for
men and women;
• Cardiac reserve decreases from 4.6 to 4.4
times resting cardiac output;
• Maximum heart rate decreases from 195
to 155 beats per minute;
• Lung vital capacity decreases by 17%;
• Renal perfusion (blood fow to the kid-
neys) reduces by 50%;
• Cerebral blood fow reduces by 20%;
• Bone mineral content reduces by 25 to
30% in women and 10 to 15% in men;
• Brain weight reduces by 7%; and
• Amount of light reaching the retina di-
minishes by 70%.
Now add these effects from alcohol and
drug dependency:
• Less volume distribution/decreased renal
clearance;
• Cognitive impairment;
• Stroke;
• Cancer;
• Atrial fbrillation/futter;
• Insomnia and problems with restorative
(REM) sleep;
• Disease interactions; and
• Psychiatric disorders.
Chronic pain plagues many Boomers. In
one study people now aged 55-60 reported
having more pain, chronic health problems,
drinking and psychiatric problems than
those surveyed earlier at the same age. In a
comparison of cohorts born in the 20
th
cen-
tury, substance dependence was highest for
those born between 1953 and 1964.

Reverse tolerance
What all this means is that having a drink
does different things to a Boomer’s body
than to a younger person.
“It’s more complicated when you’re in
your 50s or your 60s because your metab-
olism isn’t as fast, not like when you were
20,” Peter Delany, director with the Offce
of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administra-
tion, said in an interview on NPR. “At the
same time, people who are in their 50s and
60s tend to have other things going on with
their bodies, hypertension, they may have
another chronic illness. And with the drug
use happening at the same time, the drug
use can exacerbate any other conditions. If
that condition comes on, it tends to some-
times mask it.”
Drugs make the bad things of aging even
worse, Delaney says. “Any drug may take a
little bit longer to metabolize out of your
system. So if there’s signifcant cognitive
impairment, it may take longer for that to
improve. So you’re at higher risk for other
complications. You might fall. You might
have bad judgment. A number of things
happen. So it’s a risk factor for other things
happening to you.”
Not to mention driving a car.
Muscle has more water content than fat,
and as a person ages, the body has more fat,
so it has less water content to dilute, say,
alcohol. A person could be honest in saying
they were having just one drink a night, but
that one drink is really knocking them on
their butt. We call this “reverse tolerance. A
little goes a lot further as they age, which in-
creases the potential for addiction. This ap-
plies to medicine, as well. A dosage can be
therapeutic in a younger person but almost
toxic for a leading edge boomer.
But something more than physical is hap-
pening to this generation. They feel their
power fading, their control over their lives
diminishing, their sense of purpose with-
ering. Dr. Barbara Krantz, Hanley’s CEO,
reports a signifcant increase in dual diag-
noses (drug abuse plus a mental problem)
in the 50 to 65 year old group -- anxiety, de-
pression, and bipolar conditions. Perhaps as
many as 80 percent of Boomers have a dual
diagnosis.
“Are bipolar disorders on the rise in this
age group as a result of better diagnosis or
because of poly-drug and illicit drug use?”
she writes. “We can’t be sure, but with better
diagnosis we can more effectively treat the
individual holistically.”
Better living through
chemistry
When Boomers knock on Hanley’s door
they are quite experienced with meds. Alco-
hol is still the drug of choice, often in com-
bination with drugs. The most popular psy-
chotropic, addictive prescription drugs for
Boomers are benzodiazepines, commonly
prescribed for anxiety and sleep disorders.
Opioids such as OxyContin are often pre-
Sex, Drugs & Rehab
(Continued from page 13)
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 21
GUES T• COLUMN
May/June 2011 | www.together.us.com Together 13
P
h
o
t
o

c
o
u
r
t
e
s
y

o
f

J
i
m

G
a
r
n
e
r
,

S
e
a
t
t
l
e
,
W
A
www.eRefuge-aHealingPlace.com
866-4RLIUGL - 352-288-3333
Admissions: 866-473-3864
90 Days to One Year Extended Care
Focus On Trauma/PTSD · 12-Step Based
Holistic Approach · Multi-Diagnosis
Chronic Relapse · Substance Abuse
Codependency · Process Addictions:
Sexual Compulsivity · Eating Disorders
Self Harm · Financial Disorders
Compulsive Gambling · Gaming
Trauma Treatment in a
Safe, Healing Environment
BY chArLES giLLESpiE
J
ean, a patient in treatment for
substance abuse, came to my group
disturbed about the following
“using” dream she had the night before:
“I dreamed I was in the cafeteria teaching
other patients here how to chop lines of
cocaine and snort them.” Though she laughed
at the dream because of its ridiculous
plot, Jean also wondered what it might
mean, if anything, about her recovery.
THE VALUE OF DREAMS
The purpose of this article is to briefy outline
some of the clinical research that’s been
conducted about the occurrence, meaning and
value of drug-using dreams. It is my intention
to demonstrate that drug-using dreams can be
useful in counseling when clients and clinicians
are informed about the possible function this
type of dream serves.
One study, a classic in the feld of sub-
stance abuse treatment, demonstrates
that alcoholics who dream about drink-
ing during the course of treatment tend
to achieve longer periods of sobriety
(Choi, 1973). This fnding suggests that
clients like Jean who dream about the
substances they are attempting to ab-
stain from may be more engaged in the
treatment process than those patients
who don’t report drug-
using dreams. In other
words, these clients take
their struggle with sub-
stance abuse seriously
enough to dream about
it at night. As Freud
observed, only matters
of greatest importance
are permitted to disturb
our sleep. In this regard,
Jean’s drug using dream
may be understood as a
positive sign, dreamed
by a person who is seri-
ously concerned about
the consequences of
relapse.
A more recent study
of crack cocaine addicts
who dream about drug
use demonstrates that
the content of using
dreams is also important
in predicting treatment
outcomes (Reid, S. and Simeon, D., 2001).
Over a ninety-day period, clients who report
their dreams changing from using cocaine to
actively refusing cocaine tend to achieve longer
periods of abstinence. This fnding suggests
that readiness for change is refected in dream
content and that dream-life can provide clients
with an opportunity to rehearse change. These
dreams provide clients with an exposure to
cravings, interactions with “using friends”
and typical scenarios they will be confronted
with in waking life after leaving treatment. In
these cases, the importance is not placed on
the individual dream but the manner in which
dream content shifts over time. If clients like
Jean continue to dream about using substanc-
es, they should be encouraged to record their
dreams and note any shift in content. This
process may instruct clients and counselors
about signifcant triggers that need to be ad-
dressed, while challenging clients to examine
their readiness to change.
One particularly useful study of drug-using
dreams demonstrates that a client’s personal
response to the dream is more important than
dream content when it comes to predicting
a positive treatment outcome (Brown, 1985).
The study fnds that clients who dream about
using substances fall into two main categories:
one group experiences frustration that their
dream isn’t real and the second group experi-
ences relief that their dream isn’t
real. The frst group is described as
having relapse-pending dreams. This
group longs to re-experience intoxi-
cation and feels triggered toward
substance use. The second group
is described as having recovery-
affrming dreams. This group wakes
up disturbed by their dreams and
feels repulsed from actual substance
use. Clients like Jean clearly belong
to this second group and often need
help perceiving their
using dreams as a re-
covery-affrming pro-
cess. They may fnd it
helpful to inventory
their motivations for
recovery and review
their action plan. The
using dream can be
harnessed as a “wake
up call” challenging
clients like Jean to
re-examine their
assumptions about
recovery.
DREAMS’ RELEVANT
MESSAGES
Clients with relapse-
pending dreams will
also need help in
regard to receiving a
relevant message from
the reactions they have
to their using dreams. Counselors can direct
these clients back to interventions that address
the contemplation stage of change. These cli-
ents may beneft from a review of the costs and
consequences of their substance use.
The relapse-pending dream may bring
to light their impoverished view of sobriety.
Counselors can challenge these impoverished
views and direct clients toward new be-
Relapse Dreams
A hidden Message?
The using dream can be
harnessed as a “wake up call”
challenging clients to re-
examine their assumptions
about recovery.
(Continued on page 17)
Together Welcomes Together AZ
scribed for pain relief. Boomers who present
to treatment have taken an average of 4.5
prescription meds and 3.5 over-the-counter
medications.
Entrenched patterns of substance abuse
seem to be a more prevalent trend than that
of late onset addiction. Boomer patients
often started drinking and and/or using il-
legal drugs when they were in college or in
the service. They really never stopped. The
drugs have often changed from illegal sub-
stances to prescription pain pills and other
prescribed psychotropic drugs.
Very often what happens is people abus-
ing alcohol start experiencing falls or start
forgetting things. Alcohol keeps them from
getting a good night’s sleep. So they ask
their doctors for drugs like Ambien, Valium
and Xanax to help them sleep better. When
you mix these meds with alcohol, one plus
one can equal fve. That’s when you get the
falls and the forgetfulness.
To the physical and mental challenges,
we must add what we might call the spiri-
tual. Boomers are suddenly realizing for the
frst time that they’ve lived more years than
they’ve got left. They’ve got two minutes left
in the third quarter and the fourth is look-
ing kind of short. They’re facing mortality.
What’s my legacy? At this point they get
pretty serious about this recovery business.
There is hope
Consider the story of Ellen, whose cock-
tail driven life as a high level Wall Street ex-
ecutive was fraught with denial, even when
she checked into a treatment center that she
understood offered a “cure.” After an almost
immediate relapse, several more different
treatment stays and a descent into secretive
drinking, Ellen is now in successful recovery
and knows there is no quick fx.
What made the difference this time for
Ellen? She describes a personal, spiritual
rekindling in treatment.
“They tapped into my heart and soul,” she
said. “I found a spiritual path and began to
pray consciously.” She connected with peers
who she could communicate with, found a
trusted sponsor and a Twelve Step support
group. Her 38-year marriage has survived.
In recovery, Ellen has learned how to
separate her emotions from alcohol use. “I
realized I was using alcohol initially to take
the edge off the adrenaline rush and later
on to blunt my anxiety,” she said. “I drank
and drank alone to relieve the unease of my
emotions and a terrible sense of loneliness
and isolation. Now I can place my anxieties
outside of myself and give my worst fears to
God. The Third Step really helped me. I feel
I’ve awakened from a long nightmare. The
curtain has lifted.”
John Dyben, a mental health and addic-
tion counselor, program supervisor and
chaplain, is Clinical Director of Hanley
Center. He is responsible for supervising all
residential and outpatient treatment as well
as Spiritual Care and Wellness programs.
Juan Harris, a certifed addictions coun-
selor, is Program Director of the Center for
Older Adult Recovery.
May/June 2011 | www.together.us.com Together 15
their daughters. If a mom places a huge
stress on physical appearance in her
own life, this can easily be passed on to
her daughter. Sometimes, a daughter’s
obsession with calorie counting and
clothing size is a refection of her mother’s
attitudes and behavior. Fathers are also
important because they are a daughter’s
frst, and often most signifcant, male
relationship. It cannot be stressed enough
how critical it is for fathers to focus on a
daughter’s good qualities, instead of her
physical appearance. What a profound
difference it would make if girls could
just grow up confdent in the knowledge
that what really mattered in life was
who you are, not what you looked like.
BULIMIA NERVOSA
All eating disorders hold one thing in
common: food. But whereas anorexia
is defned by restriction, bulimia is
characterized by bingeing and purging.
Those with bulimia consume enormous
amounts of food, often
thousands of calories, in a
short period of time. They
eat much more than would
be considered reasonable
and far beyond the point of
comfort. When they simply
cannot consume any
more, they purge the food,
usually by vomiting. In
addition, they often abuse
laxatives, ingesting up to
200 laxatives a day. These
behaviors are extremely
hard on the body. The
medical consequences of
bulimia include injury to
the esophagus, stomach
and intestines as well
as damage to the heart,
lungs, kidneys and teeth. Although the
mortality rate is not as high as anorexia,
those with bulimia can die from medical
complications related to their disorder.
Why would anyone willingly
subject themselves to such a high
consumption of food in tandem with
the subsequent purging behavior?
Here’s why: bulimia, like many eating
disorders, is not about food, it’s about
feelings. Those who engage in bulimia do
so as a form of emotional regulation, in
effect, as a way to cope with unpleasant
emotions. Consider this example: a young
woman goes away to college, leaving home
for the frst time. Nothing is familiar,
everything is foreign — a whole new
environment, friends, academics, etc. She
wants so desperately to do well, to make
a success of her life. Her anxiety level is
very high. She is homesick and scared. She
notices that her stress level diminishes
while eating; the food provides comfort,
like an old friend. She consumes more than
normal and worries about weight gain. She
has heard talk around the dormitory that
many students vomit after they eat to stay
thin. She tries it and it works. Although
she feels a certain amount of repugnance
by the act of throwing up, she actually feels
quite peaceful after doing so. Of course,
what she doesn’t realize is such serenity
is the result of endorphins fooding her
bloodstream — the body’s attempt to
soothe itself after vomiting. The next time
she feels high anxiety, she copes by eating
her favorite foods, without fear of gaining
weight. This is often how it starts, and just
as with anorexia, she becomes addicted to
the behavior. Because after all, it works.
What people rarely realize at the outset
of any eating disorder is how much it will
eventually control their lives. In the case
of bulimia, a great deal of effort inevitably
goes into acquiring the food, planning the
binge, ensuring the immediate environment
is safe to not only eat all this food, but
perform the ritualistic vomiting. It is all
consuming. You see, bulimics don’t engage
in this unhealthy behavior just occasionally;
it is not unusual for the person to binge
and purge a dozen or more times a day.
That’s a lot of food and even more planning.
When laxative abuse is involved, a whole
new dimension enters
the equation. It is not
uncommon for a person
to steal both food and
laxatives, due to the
cost involved. Another
aspect that a bulimic
rarely recognizes
at the outset of the
disorder is the profound
shame, guilt and
embarrassment she will
ultimately experience.
The absolute truth
is that no one — not
even an individual
completely engaged in
bulimia — can defend,
or even really explain,
her behavior. They
often isolate, becoming more and more
alone, and dependent on, the disorder.
Unlike anorexics, who often like the way
they look and are proud of their discipline,
self-loathing is quite common for bulimics.
Anorexia and bulimia are extremely
complex disorders. People who have never
had an eating disorder are usually baffed
by the very idea of them. Yet, those who
are engaged in these behaviors absolutely
know why they do them. What’s more,
even if these individuals look terrible and
feel even worse, they may fnd it nearly
impossible to give the disorder up. This
is why professional help is frequently
required, especially if the disorder has
been going on for a long period of time. ✺
Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., is a licensed
psychologist and has been on staff at
Remuda Ranch Treatment Centers for
10 years. Dr. Cabrera is an expert in the
psychodiagnostic assessment and treatment
of eating disorders. She presents to national
audiences on state-of-the-art treatments of
eating disorders and difficult mental health
problems. Dr. Cabrera has written numerous
articles in journals and magazines and
has appeared in several national media
interviews.
Addiction Specialists
Most experts believe
the American media
plays a key role in this
problem by consistently
reflecting our society’s
obsession with thinness.
The message is if a girl
can just lose enough
weight, she can, and
will, have it all.
one time had very little hope of a success-
ful adult life were truly happy, exchanging
sober war stories, laughing and having a
great time with long-term friends they had
sobered up with. They had been there for
one another throughout their lives.
How wonderful it is that having dealt
with their alcohol and drug use early on
they were able to focus their young lives
on happiness, relationships, fun, pursuit of
passions and helping others. It was obvi-
ous that their positive energy is infectious.
Recovery is a powerful thing to witness.
These miracles are happening every day
for young people, and so much of it starts
with something so simple and often given
too little priority in treatment and recovery:
FUN! ✺
Josh Azevedo, LISAC, CAC II, is the Owner
and Program Director at The Pathway
Program.
Teenagers and Treatment
(Continued from page 12)
Together Welcomes Together AZ
22 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
Committed to Something
Bigger than Oneself
What I mean by “being committed to
something bigger than oneself ” is being
committed in a way that shapes one’s being
and actions so that those actions are in the
service of realizing something beyond one’s
personal concerns for oneself – beyond a di-
rect personal payoff.
As they are acted on, such commitments
create something to which others can also
be committed and have the sense that
their lives are about something bigger than
themselves – an important aspect of great
leadership.
Without the passion that comes from be-
ing committed to something bigger than
yourself, you are unlikely to persevere in the
valley of tears that is an inevitable experi-
ence in the lives of all human beings and
certainly in the lives of all great leaders:
Times when nothing goes right, there is no
way, no help is available, nothing there ex-
cept what you can do to fnd something in
yourself – the strength to persevere in the
face of impossible, insurmountable hurdles
and barriers.
When you are committed to something
bigger than yourself and you reach down
inside you will fnd the strength to continue
and joy in the labor of it.
And fnally, being committed to some-
thing bigger than yourself leaves you with
the passion required to empower the brain’s
executive function to “not eat the marsh-
mallow.”
The Mid-Life Crisis
At some point in life we all stop mea-
suring time from the beginning and start
measuring time from the end. It shifts from
thinking about “How far have I come?” to
“How much time and opportunity do I have
left?” – the difference between, “I’m 30
years old” and “I have about 30 years left.”
No matter how good you look, no matter
how good you’ve gotten your family to look,
and no matter how much wealth, fame, po-
sition or power you have amassed, you will
experience a profound lack of fulfllment
– the incompleteness, emptiness and pain
expressed by the commonly occurring ques-
tion:
Is This All There Is?
Let’s be clear: There is nothing inherently
wrong with wealth, good looks, fame, posi-
tion or power, but contrary to almost uni-
versal belief wealth, good looks, fame, posi-
tion and power will never be enough.
And facing up to that fact leaves people
disoriented, disturbed and lost, and in
search of meaning. At this point in life many
men start buying red convertibles (or their
equivalent) and women have their own
ways of dealing.
No matter how good you look or how
much you have personally amassed, it will
never be enough to avoid this crisis. Dealing
with the crisis of “Is this all there is?” lies in
having a commitment to the realization of a
future (a cause) that leaves you with a pas-
sion for living.
This principle applies to corporate enti-
ties as well as to human beings. Value cre-
ation for both is the scorecard for success.
Value creation is not the source of corporate
or personal passion and energy. Being com-
mitted to something bigger than oneself is
the source of that passion and energy. And
every individual and every organization has
the power to choose that commitment --
there is no “right answer.” We all have the
opportunity to create what lights us up.
This is the actionable pathway to Com-
mitted To Something Bigger than Oneself.
The following quote from George Ber-
nard Shaw’s play “Man and Superman” (the
epistle dedicatory to the play) captures this
idea of being committed to something big-
ger than oneself:
“This is the true joy in life, the being used
for a purpose recognized by yourself as a
mighty one; the being a force of nature in-
stead of a feverish selfsh little clod of ail-
ments and grievances complaining that the
world will not devote itself to making you
happy.
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs
to the whole community and as long as I live
it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
“I want to be thoroughly used up when I
die, for the harder I work the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no
‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid
torch which I have got hold of for the mo-
ment, and I want to make it burn as brightly
as possible before handing it on to future
generations.”
Michael C. Jensen is Jesse Isidor Straus
Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Business
School and Chairman of the Social Science
Research Network, Inc. (SSRN). This article
is adapted from his commencement address
at McDonough School of Business, George-
town University, in May, 2011. It is based
on eight years of research into leadership
with colleagues Werner Erhard, Steve Zaf-
fron and Kari Granger. Links to the talk
and other work on which this article is based
are at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1850544
6 Together www.together.us.com | March/April 2011
W
hen you read the words
“gambling addict,” what is
the frst image that comes
to mind? A mob type male,
puffng on a cigar in a dark room playing
poker with shady looking people as we
often see depicted in crime movies? Or
maybe it’s a woman in a bold dress that is
too tight, with heavy makeup in the wee
hours of the morning in a casino? Because
of the stigma all addictions carry, and the
fact that gambling addiction is so well
hidden, rarely do we visualize someone
struggling with gambling addiction as an
average looking person going about life.
Like other addictions, gambling doesn’t dis-
criminate and studies show that between 2%-
3% of the U.S. population will have a gambling
problem in any given year, thereby affecting
millions of people in the United States alone.
Gambling addiction has devastating
effects on family and friends, destroy-
ing lives as well as livelihoods, and today
gambling addiction is not only found in
those over the age of 21; kids underage
have discovered ways to gamble as well.
Pathological gambling is believed to be
a progressive behavior disorder that has
the trademarks of out of control think-
ing about gambling and urges to gamble.
This leads to gambling beyond limits,
which in turn leads to more and more
problem gambling, as the gambler tries
unsuccessfully to get back that frst dol-
lar ever lost, and every dollar in between.
For many people gambling is not a
problem. Gamblers are natural risk takers,
and many begin with simple activities such
as sports betting, turning perhaps to trading
stocks and commodities because of the higher
excitement and the impression that they are
applying great skill. Pathological gambling,
however, is described as an impulse disorder,
one that mimics addiction to alcohol and
drugs, with the most important traits being
emotional dependence on gambling, loss of
control, and diffculties with normal activities.
If a family member suspects a gam-
bling problem, or has experienced the
consequences of problem gambling, the
best recourse is to seek counseling with
a trained gambling counselor. ✺
Bobbe McGinley MA, MBA, CADAC, LISAC,
NCGC II, is a nationally known speaker,
author, presenter and trainer, consulting
many different industries about problem
gambling. For more information call 602-
569-4328 or visit www.actcounseling.com.
(Adapted from an article that appeared
in Together AZ Feb. 2011 edition)
High Stakes Addiction?
Gambling
A look at gambling
by bobbe mcginLey
Drugs Food Smoking Gambling Video Games Internet Sex Shopping Work
Addiction is too hard to go through alone.
Are you or someone you care about drinking too much?
Would you like to talk about it?
We would.
Together we can make a difference.
Call 212-532-1640 Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm
If you are looking for answers for yourself or a loved one, e Together Warmline can help. It’s a free
service staffed by addiction professionals and lay people who share their experience and knowledge
about addictions. We are a non-emergency, non-crisis support and referral service not affiliated with any
treatment program or service.
there's help
T
heNationalCouncilonProblem
Gambling(ncpgambling.org)is
anationaladvocateforproblem
gamblersandtheirfamilies,with
a24-hourconfdentialnationalhelpline
(1-800-522-4700).Inaddition,Gamblers
Anonymous(gamblersanonymous.
org)isa12-stepprogramdesignedfor
problemgamblersandGam-Anon
(gam-anon.org)isasupportgroupfor
familymembersandconcernedpersons
afectedbyagambler’sbehavior.
InNewYorkState,ifyouthinkyou
mighthaveagamblingproblemcallthe
24-hourHelplineat 1-877-846-7369. national problem gambling
Awareness week
isMarch6-12,2011.
Thegoalofthisweekistoeducatethe
generalpublicandhealthcare
professionalsaboutthewarningsignsof
problemgamblingandraiseawareness
aboutthehelpthatisavailableboth
locallyandnationally.Pleasevisit
http://www.NPGAW.org/
forideasandmoreinformation.
Addiction Specialists
Do You Need Help?
Together’s mission is to serve the extended community of individuals and families seeking information
about relief from addiction-related issues to lead healthier and happier lives. Here is a partial list of
referrals with a more comprehensive list on together.us.com. Together is not affliated with any 12-step
program or organization, although we do support them all. One essential of recovery is knowing you
don’t have to walk alone.
12-step organizations Telephone Website
Adult Children of Alcoholics 562-595-7831 adultchildren.org
Al-Anon & Alateen Family Groups 212-941-0094 nycalanon.org
Alcoholics Anonymous 212-647-1680 nyintergroup.org
Chapter 9 | Couples in Recovery 888-799-6463 chapter9couplesinrecovery.org
Cocaine Anonymous 212-262-2463 canewyork.org
Codependents Anonymous 646-289-9954 codependentsnyc.org
Crystal Meth Anonymous 212-642-5029 nycma.org
Debtors Anonymous 212-969-8111 danyc.org
Gam-Anon 718-352-1671 gam-anon.org
Gamblers Anonymous 888-424-3577 gamblersanonymous.org
Marijuana Anonymous 212-459-4423 ma-newyork.org
Narcotics Anonymous 212-929-6262 newyorkna.org
Overeaters Anonymous 212-946-4599 oanyc.org
Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous 212-946-5298 slaany.org
Nicotine Anonymous 212-824-2526 nicotine-anonymous.org
national and institutional organizations
Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse casacolumbia.org
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment csat.samhsa.gov
National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers naatp.org
National Clearinghouse of Alcohol and Drug Information health.org
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. ncadd.org
National Eating Disorders Association nationaleatingdisorders.org
National Institute on Drug Abuse drugabuse.gov
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism niaaa.nih.gov
Partnership at DrugFree.org drugfree.org
Resources Links
&
Contact Together
General information: info@together.us.com Letters to the editor: letters@together.us.com
Editorial submissions: editorial@together.us.com General correspondence: news@together.us.com
advertising@together.us.com distribution@together.us.com subscriptions@together.us.com
Integrity
(Continued from page 3)
Without the passion
that comes from being
committed to something
bigger than yourself, you
are unlikely to persevere in
the valley of tears that is an
inevitable experience in the
lives of all human beings.
RES OURCES
Together - A Voice for Health & Recovery 23
By July ButleR evans
I
n the summer of 2009, Diane Schuler
sped drunkenly down the Taconic
Parkway north of New York City --
the wrong way -- tragically killing her
daughter, six other people, and herself.
The ensuing outrage, even bewilderment, over
mothers who drink far too much detonated for
weeks.
Mothers have sought relief and solace in
alcohol for a very long time; Diane Schuler
just put a very public face onto it.
“My kids are driving me to drink!” many
moms exclaim at times, followed by a laugh.
It is not uncommon for mothers of young
children -- infants, toddlers, preschool-
ers -- to get together for play groups and,
while the kids busy themselves with one an-
other, the mommies sip a glass of wine. Or
two. And on occasion, a mom may make it
a chardonnay hat trick. She then tucks her
child into his or her car seat, and drives.
Mommy juice
Full disclosure: I am not judging nor be-
ing holier-than-thou. Because I have been
there. Not there-there watching this happen
to others, but there-there as in participat-
ing, by being the one mom who enjoyed the
alcohol a little bit too much. By also being
the mom who would eventually pick up her
preschooler and kindergartner (her third
and fourth children, respectively) at after-
school care at fve in the afternoon, with a
Diet Coke can full of white wine, or beer.
And get behind the wheel of her car, merci-
fully -- and amazingly -- never driving the
wrong way down a one-way street. Or into a
pole or a tree or a ditch. I am the mom who
very shortly after a number of these trips
with her wine roadie -- my “mommy juice”
I called it -- put down the drink for good.
This was over 12 years ago. The strongest
thing I drink now is pure, unadulterated
Diet Coke.
I am far and away not the only mommy
who drank too much. If you visit a local
12-step meeting you might be surprised to
observe the number of mothers of young
children. And they aren’t the bedraggled,
low income or perhaps uneducated people
that society often stereotypes alcoholics to
be. They are your neighbors, your small and
large business owners, the ones with the
master’s degrees, the multi-volunteering
moms ... even your friends. I am also de-
scribing the still actively drinking mothers,
the ones you notice imbibe a tad too much
socially, and those who fy under-the-radar;
the women who couldn’t possibly abuse al-
cohol because they -- what? -- seem too per-
fect, too together, too nice?
The perfect mother
By all accounts Diane Schuler was the per-
fect mother, the responsible one, and there
is controversy today over whether she was
medicating the pain from an abscessed tooth
when her red minivan crashed head-on into
another vehicle.
Let me tell you, although I am far from
perfect and my have-it-all-together days don’t
necessarily equal the headless-chicken days, I
was and still am, well, nice. I didn’t look as
though my body and my mind had begun to
crave alcohol. I lived in a decent-sized house,
I had the ubiquitous Suburban, I had just sold
the magazine I had founded. My drinking
hadn’t destroyed my marriage, hadn’t made
me lose my house, my job, nor my children.
What it had made me lose was Julie. I had
lost Julie and thought perhaps I could fnd
her in a bottle, that maybe, too, that drink
would help me feel less overwhelmed and
stressed about suddenly being a stay-at-home
mom to four kids under age 15. That being a
little bit buzzed would make the kids’ fghting,
screaming and needing me less intense.
The drink did none of those things. The
drink just made me drunk. A drunk mommy,
not a better mommy.
Cunning and bafing
I wasn’t a daily drinker. One doesn’t need to
drink every day or evening to be an alcoholic.
It’s a disease that is cunning and baffing and
insidious. And it begets denial. Which is why
many people who probably should stop, sim-
ply don’t.
My younger two kids have never seen me
drunk (that they remember). I was able to be
present and accounted for during my older
sons’ teen years, and of course for the present
ones. Getting sober was the best thing I could
have ever done for my family.
Many people casually observing me didn’t
think I had a problem. Although some mem-
bers of her family thought Diane Schuler
didn’t have an alcohol problem, either, toxi-
cology reports found that her blood alcohol
level was 0.19 — the equivalent of 10 drinks
— and also found considerable amounts of
THC from smoking marijuana.
Let it not take another tragedy like this to
instill a spark of recognition in a mom who
has everything going for her but needs a car to
get herself and her child to the safety of home.
There’s no shame in admitting to a problem
and seeking help. I know. I felt more ashamed
to keep on drinking; it took courage and love
to stop.
Julie Butler Evans, and author and jour-
nalist, writes a column about parenting for
a Connecticut newspaper. A collection of her
columns, Parenting From the Trenches, is
available on Amazon.com.
May/June 2011 | www.together.us.com Together 11
the grieving process. Clients sometimes need
encouragement to talk about their painful
experiences so that healing, forgiveness and
acceptance can ultimately be achieved. Work-
ing with a counselor who understands the
grief process can help the griever address these
issues so that resentment and shame are not
suppressed for fear of being disrespectful to
the dead.
In my work at Cottonwood and in my pri-
vate practice, I begin any grief counseling with
a consultation to assess the client’s need and to
fully hear their story. Developing a strong and
trusting therapeutic relationship with a client
is essential to a successful outcome. In some
cases the death is a sentinel event that has
profoundly disrupted the life of a client. Prior
to the loss the client may have enjoyed a fairly
contented life. Understandably, their world-
view assumed that their children would outlive
them, that they would enjoy a long life with
their partner and that their parents would live
to a ripe old age. Death results in the bursting
of these expectations. Suddenly the world is no
longer as safe and predictable a place as it had
earlier seemed. We are propelled into a strange
and terrifying landscape. Nothing is the same
as before.
TOOLS AND SUPPORT
One of the tools I have found to be helpful for
clients whose presumptive reality has been
shattered is an exercise called a Loss Charac-
terization. The Loss Characterization is basi-
cally a character sketch the client composes
about him or herself that is written in relation
to a loss. The client writes this in the third
person from the perspective of a close and
loving personal friend who knows the client in-
timately. When the assignment is completed I
ask that they share it with me. Together we can
explore what meaning the author perceives of
their experience of loss.
In one recent session a client had expe-
rienced the death of a teenage son. At the
conclusion of sharing the loss characterization
with me she expressed anger at God for tak-
ing her child from her. As she was a religious
woman, the thought of anger toward God was
a diffcult one for her to express. She felt in-
tensely guilty about being disrespectful toward
God. I gently encouraged her to dialogue with
God using the technique of an empty chair
gestalt. After some initial reluctance, she was
able to go with it. Along with expressing her
anger, she was able to ask questions like, “Why
did you do this to me?” and, “When will you
give me the strength to go on?” Concluding
this exercise the client reported feeling com-
forted and relieved. In fact, she reported that
afterwards she felt that her relationship with
her Higher Power was healing.
On several occasions I have suggested
that my grieving clients write a letter to their
deceased. I provide these clients with a format
that cues them to write about what is missed,
what is not missed, regrets, and appreciation. I
encourage clients to write what feels appropri-
ate and authentic. When the letter has been
completed, I ask my clients to share it with me.
This is also a time when I have used the empty
chair technique with positive results. I begin
the gestalt by asking the client to describe the
physical appearance of the deceased including
their posture, clothing and expression. Some-
times a photograph is available and we use it.
I then ask them to determine what distance
between the chairs is comfortable. The client
then begins to read the letter. At the conclu-
sion of the reading I will ask the questions to
assist the client in getting further in touch with
their feelings. If I feel it is appropriate, I will
ask them to speak in the voice of the deceased,
telling the client what they need to hear from
their loved one. We conclude the exercise by
processing what has happened. Clients often
report feeling relieved as a consequence of do-
ing this exercise.
Activities in a grief-specifc group setting are
also helpful in assisting clients in addressing
their losses. One exercise involves identifying
a person’s greatest pain by giving it a name,
shape, color and sound. After sharing their
descriptions of pain, clients are then asked to
give their pain a new shape, color, sound and
name. I encourage them to use this as a tool
in reducing the intensity of the feelings when
overwhelmed.
Sometimes during the mourning process
one has to deal with well-wishers who some-
times make statements that are thoughtless
and inappropriate. An example of this might
be, “Don’t cry. Everything will be okay.” An-
other remark might be, “They are in a better
place.” It’s okay if the griever chooses to believe
this. Sometimes, this kind of thoughtless state-
ment is just a sign of the well-wisher’s anxiety
in experiencing the grief of others.
Recovering people need to give themselves
permission to cry if they need to. For so long
we medicated our feelings. Some of us were
raised in environments where crying was con-
sidered unmanly or childish. Many of us have
heard the expression “Pull yourself up by your
bootstraps.” When the world is full of sorrow,
statements like these can be cruel and insensi-
tive. What I found to be helpful is the presence
of people who care. Support is always available
at 12-step meetings. Sometimes the words of
comfort are not needed but the hugs are.
DISCOVERING TRIGGERS
In recovery we learn to identify triggers that
could lead us to relapse. Grief has its own
triggers. They can arrive without warning,
reminding us of our pain. Photos, flms,
articles, songs and anniversaries can prompt
thoughts of our pain. At these times the pain
brought on by these reminders of our loss can
elicit thoughts of using substances. In relapse
prevention workshops that I have facilitated
we address the grief-related risk factors that
can precipitate a return to using substances.
Among these are diffcult emotions, confict
with others and testing control.
There are ways for alcoholics and addicts
to cope with loss so that the experience can
be meaningful. We have learned to value a
relationship with our higher power. Turning
to the God of our understanding can provide
comfort even when our prayers express only
anger and confusion. Journaling has proven
to be benefcial. Writing can be therapeutic on
both a physical and emotional level. After the
death of my mother I returned to the twelve
steps. Completing a fourth step inventory and
sharing it with a sponsor proved helpful.
There are many books related to bereave-
ment. Some may seem to reinforce the idea
that grief is a predictable process. I tend to
suggest other books that recognize the unique-
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL:
1-88-TRAUMA-29 (888)728-6229
The Next Step in Trauma Treatment
Facilitated by Judy Crane, Founder of The Refuge a Healing Place
and Miles Adcox, CEO of Onsite Workshops
WWW. SPIRITTWOSPIRIT. COM
4 1/2 days 40 CE credits per module
A 5 Module Training to Become A
Certified Trauma Therapist
®
/Certified Trauma Professional
®
Spirit2Spirit's goal is to provide clinicians and
treatment specialists expert knowledge in the field of
trauma treatment. The certification process will
improve their assessment and intervention skills when
working with such a fragile population. This training
teaches a number of practical assessments, treatment
approaches, and intervention techniques that are
appropriate for meeting the needs of clients who may
otherwise be inadequately treated. This course has been
designed by trauma treatment professionals who have
dedicated their careers to providing direct patient care.
The course will use numerous lectures and experiential
learning opportunities to cover the latest research and
topics in the field of trauma. Participants will also be
involved in both individual and intensive group settings
to process all materials covered.
(Continued on page 17)
Together Welcomes Together AZ
Mommies Who
Drink Too Much
While the little ones are enjoying a
play date, their mothers are too often
enjoying a glass, or two, or three
FI NAL • WORD
24 www.together.us.com | November / December 2011
E
x
e
c
u
t
i
v
e

C
a
r
e

a
t

a
W
o
r
l
d

C
l
a
s
s

F
a
c
i
l
i
t
y

w
w
w
.
p
r
o
m
i
s
e
s
.
c
o
m














8
6
6
.

3
9
0
.
2
3
4
0