For better or worse, we can almost call 2011 a wrap.
This year there was a ton of research into the disease of alcoholism and trends affecting addicts and alcoholics. Many of the findings were predictable, including the fact that high rates of addiction are linked to cancer, mental illness and poverty. Predictably, doctors are still handing out high-powered prescriptions without a second thought, and addiction disrupts the sleep cycle (particularly for women), but there were two studies I found especially interesting.
The first is a Harvard study that shows that AA helps people stay sober (read more about it here) by increasing our spirituality–even for those of us who may come to the rooms as agnostics or atheists. It seems we soak up a little of the good stuff just by putting our rear end in a chair and staying there for a prolonged period of time. The study also showed that meeting attendance helps support new social networks, reduce depression and motivate us to keep on the path of sobriety. So, yay for A.A.
The second study I thought was noteworthy was one from Case Western Reserve University Medical School that showed helping others increases a person’s chances of staying sober. It seems that the pathway to long-term sobriety truly is paved with good deeds. So if you’re grumbly this holiday season and you’re feeling a little like a train that might jump the tracks, get busy being of service to someone other than yourself.
In related news:
This is the way my face looks after trying to take a decent holiday picture with JM 17 times, with him making crazy faces the entire time. In more than 10 years of marriage I have hardly one photo where we are both making a ‘happy photo face’ at the exact moment the photo is snapped. Bleh!
And lastly: MOST UNIQUE CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER
Hope you are having a safe, sober and happy holiday!