Katie’s Journey from Alcoholic to Moderate Drinker

A new YouTube video by Katie about The Sinclair Method:

I must say, these videos are great. She’s a real natural – she has bags of charisma – and when it comes to my own recent still very amateurish video efforts (see HERE and HERE), I could learn a lot from Katie, actually – because these are really well made.

About the video: moderation wasn’t the path that I ultimately chose. I think that the reason for that was that I felt as if I’d drank enough booze for a lifetime and I just wanted it to be over… but isn’t it amazing that The Sinclair Method gives someone the power to have that choice?

Absolutely fantastic.

Please be sure to subscribe to Katie’s channel. We need more videos like this please!

I’d actually love to see more people start up Sinclair Method-themed blogs and YouTube channels… so if you’re an aspiring writer or aspiring vlogger and thinking of starting something up (or have already set something up) please do drop me a line because I’d love to feature it on my website. It’s great to get that cross-pollination going.


***Edit: just regarding blogs, here’s something that I’ve just got to share – a blog by a TSMer friend of mine by the name of Nicky Katz (click on the image to open the site in a new tab):

I don’t think Nicky has updated it in a little while, which is a shame because it’s a really well done blog and I’d love to hear how he’s doing post-extinction. But please do check it out, because as I say this is quite a nicely done site.

In fact, I’m going to paste this into my resources section.

 

 

 

 

‘Rainman of Recovery’: Me and my nerdy Niacin fascination again

So since I felt on a bit of a roll I had a crack at another YouTube video (‘…and why not?’, as a late film reviewer used to famously say).

This time I decided to cannibalise an old article (see HERE) on Bill W.’s Niacin fixation and my summary of how – had Bill still been alive – he’d most likely have been very interested in The Sinclair Method.

More than anything, I just wanted to have a crack at doing another YouTube video using some subject matter that might get a bit of debate going. The video itself went surprisingly well aside from a couple of bloopers, but then again I was talking non-stop for 18 minutes – so given the fact that I’m also a chronic insomniac I did surprisingly well to keep awake (!).

Heh. After reviewing these last two videos I’ve been thinking of a new online name for myself – ‘Rainman of Recovery’.

Hahahahaha! Hey, that could work!

Okay, that’s me done for now. This whole YouTube experiment has been an interesting one with a steep learning curve, but I think I’m going to now vegetate for a couple of days.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

My YouTube Video on the Subject of Trigger Immunity with The Sinclair Method

As I mentioned in a previous post (see HERE), I’d been thinking of experimenting with YouTube for some time, given that despite the fact that about a third of the world’s internet traffic goes through that site only 9% of businesses use it, I reasoned that it would be a crime not to have a go – especially since it could potentially seriously improve the stats for my site.

Hence my first attempt with the video below on the subject of my newfound immunity to triggers thanks to The Sinclair Method.

…What do I think of it?

I think it’s okaaaay-ish. Took long enough to upload. I still hate my accent and the flat, Aspie-ish cadence of my voice, but I think it’s fine for a first effort… I like the fact that it’s not scripted and I’m just keeping it real, being myself…. it’s not a fucking infomermical, in other words.

I must say, the camera on my Samsung S7 Edge phone is actually quite impressive for recording videos. It gives a really good picture.

As for follow-up videos, I’d quite like to do one on Alcoholics Anonymous and my obsessively nerdy interest in Bill W’s niacin fixation, as well as his desire to “find a methadone for alcoholism” (something which I’ve previously discussed HERE).

That and I’d like to do a series of interviews using the recorder function on Google Hangouts – the first of which will hopefully be with the British independent alcohol treatment provider, Paul Turner.

If anybody has any ideas for future videos that they’d like offer then I’m all ears. I’d love to hear from you.

My Noble Failure: ‘The TSM-themed Interview that Never Was’

The theme of today’s post is to do with all things techy and my chimpanzee brain’s heroic efforts to come grips with some gadget stuff over the last few days.

It just doesn’t seem to have been my week when it comes to gizmos. Honestly, it’s like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

First of all the monitor for my PC inexplicably buggered up on me, forcing me to use my laptop… then the brand new (and expensive) fancy-schmancy vaping mod that I recently bought decided to stop working on me for no discernable reason whatsoever yesterday morning.

The high tech vaping mod I just bought – the SMOK Procolor

What doesn’t help matters is that it’s so high tech that you have to be in fucking NASA just to follow the instruction manual.

Haruumphhh!

…Anywaaaay, thanks to knowledgeable assistance from the market seller that I bought it from I finally got to the bottom of why it wasn’t working.

Get this: the mod had a default setting in which it would lock – yes, lock – after 900 odd puffs. Stupid, I know… I mean, why?!??

Oh well… all that matters is that that setting’s been changed and it’s working now.

Nothing else could possibly go wrong on me today‘, I naively thought.

Cut to: early yesterday evening and, after having had a really enjoyable chinwag over the last couple of days with addictions expert (and fellow Your Choice, Your Recovery Facebook group member) Paul Turner, we decide to have a crack at recording a Skype interview to upload to YouTube.

A mental health nurse with 25 years experience, Paul is an independent alcohol treatment practitioner who works in the West Midlands of England. (see HERE).

In recent times he and his partner have seen great success using The Sinclair Method – something that Paul discusses in the really good YouTube video below:

…But back to the Skype interview  – and do you know what? It goes great.

Paul is a great speaker, a complete pro and a real gentleman to boot. The man is just really easy to talk to and I find what he has to say on the subject of the difficulties with nalmefene particularly interesting and enlightening (though I knew that it was much more expensive than its sister drug naltrexone – five times more expensive, in fact – I had no idea that the side effects were quite so problematic). We also share similar sentiments on how just how odd it is that despite the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous views alcohol addiction as the manifestation of a physical allergy, yet there is so much contempt in 12 Step circles for a medical approach like The Sinclair Method in favour of a religious/moralistic one.

So anyway, the interview goes great. We talk for well over 20 minutes and upon reaching a point where we both run out of steam I press stop on the Icecream screen recorder app on my laptop.

And nothing happens. I go into it and press another key and it just inexplicably starts recording my screen again.

…It takes a minute for my monkey brain to work out exactly what’s gone on here.

I have a “Ah, that’s what happened” moment of realisation followed by a slightly sick feeling when I work out that the freebie version of Icecream that I have on my computer has a default 5 minute recording ceiling… no doubt to entice people to buy the pro version… and that most of the interview that just took place didn’t actually record.

Shiiiiit.

I explain this to Paul and rather than being mad he’s a complete gentleman, offering to repeat the interview at another time. What a good egg.

Oh well. It was a failure, but at least a noble failure! Haha.

(Hey, ‘God loves a trier’ and all that)

I’m just wondering what my best option is when it comes to screen recording freeware, because I definitely want to have another go. I’d quite welcome people’s thoughts on this.


…Moving on, there’s been not much else going on the last week to report. I’ve been on another Netflix binge (catching up on episodes of Bojack Horseman) and I’ve been back into the gym as well as reconnecting with some old friends from my local open access art studio.

Regarding the prostate cancer screening that I was talking about in my last post (see HERE), I’ve got an appointment with the urology department of a local hospital for next week, so it’s just a case of ‘wait and see’. I’m just pleased that my water works issue is finally getting looked at as it’s been a source of discomfort for a while.


Okay, well that’s about that from me. Thanks for reading.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

Endorphin Vs GABA: A Taxonomy of Alcohol Addiction?

‘Antigen’ – that’s my new word for the day. Heh.

After some embarrassing problems with my water works I went to see a doctor and subsequently got some blood taken in order to screen me for prostate cancer… and my antigen score (something that’s an indicator of potential cancer) came back a bit high so further tests are needed.

I dunno. It’s Greek salad to me. I looked up antigen on the net and I found myself getting lost after the second paragraph.

Oh well. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed and place my faith in my local medical services. That and keep myself distracted,

…Talking of which: I’m currently having a Netflix binge, watching the first season of Mindhunter. What a great show!

It’s a drama all about the evolution of forensic psychology and criminal profiling in the FBI in the late 1970s and it captures the journey of two FBI special agents and their passion for their research into violent offenders really well.

Given my family’s own harrowing experience with violent crime (see HERE) there’s certain types of films and TV shows that I now just cannot tolerate anymore – anything that glamorises violent crime or portrays murderers as entertaining anti-heroes, for example – but this show is different.

It’s really well balanced because it keeps the audience’s focus on these pioneering feds (the two main characters are based upon the real life FBI legends john E. Douglas and Robert K Ressler), not the monsters they interview.

More than that, as someone fascinated in the psychology behind addiction what really resonated was the depiction of these researchers attempts to establish a taxonomy of criminal offenders.

I mention this because though I often (for the sake of simplicity) use the term ‘alcoholic’ to describe what I was prior to my exposure to The Sinclair Method, I think that it’s a bit of a misnomer because someone else’s strain of the affliction could be quite different to mine – more complex – and they may need additional counselling, whereas I managed just fine with the pill alone.

Additionally, I think that there’s as much to learn from the people for whom The Sinclair Method doesn’t work as those for whom it does. There definitely needs to be more research. Could it be – as David Sinclair posited – that these people have a mechanism of addiction that’s likely caused by the GABA system (as opposed to the endorphin system)?

I look forward to people’s thought on this because it’s an interesting question.

What’s stuck in my mind for a good few months now is something Claudia Christian said to me back when we met up in Edinburgh earlier this year. She pointed out that everything is very physical with me… that my experience of addiction was very much one of physiological craving as opposed to one of simple psychological escape.

‘More visceral’ could be the way to put it, I guess. Hmmm…

Okay, well, once again, I look forward to people’s thoughts on the taxonomy question.

Bye for now.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

Katie’s experience with The Sinclair Method

Because I’m sure that my readers would be thankful to hear another point of view and also because (given that I’m a lazy bugger! haha) this takes the heat off me to produce new material, here’s a really interesting YouTube video by Katie in which she describes her experience with The Sinclair Method.

I can really relate to what she says about how when she was addicted so much of her mind’s available bandwidth was taken up by obsessive thoughts about alcohol. Like it crowds everything out.

I can also really relate to what she says about how (with that newly reacquired attention span space) old hobbies are revisited. In my case I got back into weightlifting and my art in a big way.

“The more you use it, the less you use it over time” is another thing that she says that really chimes with me because upon going through I recall being left with an excess of pills – so much for any misinformed scaremongering about how TSMers supposedly need to take the pill every day for life.

…Right! Without further ado I’m adding this testimonial to my Sinclair Method resources section. Many thanks to Katie for inviting me to add her excellent video (I chuckled at the few seconds of “bloopers” at the end, by the way).

I’m always looking for material like this to add to the site, so if anybody else has a YouTube testamonial or a blog they’d like me to plug for them please feel free to drop me a line.

An Elephants’ Graveyard for Sinclair Method Old-Timers? Hardly!

A question on the lips of many people who visit the TSM forums is just where do all of these Sinclair Method old-timers go… do they drink again? Do they join a cult? (unlikely, given many users’ previous experience with Alcoholics Anonymous)

Just where are they???

I believe that to a large extent The Sinclair Method is a victim of its own success. Think about it – a person can just buy The Cure for Alcoholism, get a supply of naltrexone and awaaaay we go. All from the privacy of one’s own home. Completely independent. No more AA meetings and no more rehab clinic revolving door. You can just leave all of that behind and move on with your life.

“So how is that a bad thing?” I hear you ask.

Well, because the 12 step method’s successful dominance is predicated upon having repeat visitors… it depends upon lifers… something that keeps them in business… whereas efforts to monetise the Sinclair Method prove difficult because naltrexone is such a cheap, generic drug to prescribe and there’s simply no real profit in giving someone something that could cure them.

Hence why (compared to AA members) we’re invisible. That and the fact that we simply don’t have the media presence that Alcoholics Anonymous does.

Television and films have enjoyed a long partnership with AA for good reason… scenes involving the redemptive confessional make for great viewing, whereas there’s little to no dramatic narrative in a scene involving a TSMer sitting on his/her couch, popping a nal and then waiting an hour to drink.

As to why TSM users drift off from the internet forums after a few years, I think that they’re just busy getting on with their lives… but I also honestly think that there’s an element of familiarity breeding contempt that comes into play after some time. Case in point – after 4 1/2 years of talking nearly non-stop about the Sinclair Method I’ve began to feel as if I’ve exhausted my observations on the subject. I feel “talked out” to a large degree and envy the enthusiasm that many newcomers just newly discovering The Sinclair Method exhibit on the forums.

Oh I still keep my hand in and chat to people about my experiences, but to a lesser extent these days. Why? Well, because I’m honestly too busy enjoying my liberation from addiction, doing my art and trying to get my bench press north of 130kg!

 

Okay, I’ve gone and “exhausted my observations” again, haven’t I? Thanks for reading. It’s been a blast. Until next time.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

My TSM drink diaries & extinction graph

As the drink diaries below show, my Sinclair Method start date was the 2nd of April 2013 – reaching my extinction point approximately within a 12-13 week timeframe.

As to side effects, I was quite fortunate as there was very little discomfort in my instance. The only two things of note were that I perceived my can of strong lager (specifically Carlsberg Special Brew) to “taste less sugary” upon my very first exposure to the drug and that I had a bit of a bad case of stomach cramps on the second day of use.

After that there were no other real issues.

The only other thing of note is that prior to TSM my average weekly alcohol unit consumption was >100 British units  so it would be fair to say that there was a very rapid and marked reduction in my drinking quite early into the process. As my craving for alcohol decrementally reduced I noticed that I started to favour brands of a much weaker strength.

My Sinclair Method extinction progress graph
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My drink diary 1st April 2013 to the 28th April 2013
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My drink diary for the 29th of April 2013 to the 26th of May 2013
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My drink diary for the 27th of May 2013 to the 23rd of June 2013
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***Update: 9th April 2018***

Since publishing this post in December 2016 the C3 Foundation has in fact created an impressive TSM drink log app for Android – see HERE.

(At this time of writing they’re also in the process of creating an identical app for the iOS platform – I’ll be sure to update this post when that comes out)

However, if you’re (like me) more of a PC lover rather than a touchscreen person, you can download a copy of the Sinclair Method drink diary Microsoft Word template that I used in the above images by clicking on the below icon: Microsoft Word icon

And you can download a copy of the Excel spreadsheet that I used to create my extinction graph here:

(As you’ll notice when you download the spreadsheet, it contains my weekly drink data… my advice to you is just to go in and replace the data with your own in order to custom build your own graph)

…If you should have any compatibility issues due to whatever version of these Microsoft programs your computer has installed please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to send you a version that will work with your machine.