Tag Archives: Scientific treatment for alcoholism

Adventures in the Big Smoke: Day 2

A photo of St. Paul’s cathedral that I took during my travels today

Someone remind me… how does that saying go – “God laughs when people make plans”, right?

Pheeeew. What a day.

After finding out that my good friend Frank was ill and thus unable to accompany me today I resolved to go it alone. Which worked out fine for the most part except that (a) I should have set off to the National Portrait Gallery much earlier in the day (because the traffic was mental by the time I got into central London by train) and (b) I shouldn’t have listened to some advice from someone about how Charing Cross is “easy walking distance” from Cannon Street Station.

Yup, I got a bit lost.

 

Selfie taken near the Thames today. Weirdly, my head seems a bit distorted in this image – like I’ve been given a Bruce Campbell lantern jaw! Haha

“Thank God for Google Maps” is all I have to say, because after having walked around for what seemed like forever I finally made it to the National Portrait Gallery.

It was worth the effort, as it turned out, because I loved the art on display by the likes of Lucian Freud, John Singer Sargent and many other famous artists.

My most striking observation of the NPG, though, is that the very best portraits were of celebrities, not royalty… all of which were technically very good paintings (often painted at an imposing scale) but which lacked the charm and personality of portraits such as the ones of Elton John and Paul McCartney that I saw.

I’m just sad that I didn’t get to attend an AA meeting as I’d planned, but the fact is I elected to come straight back to Mike’s place after visiting the National Portrait Gallery because it was getting quite late in the afternoon and I’d been warned how bad getting back home can be come rush hour.


Now to get set for the church service tomorrow… which is going to be an emotional day, since it’s going to be all about remembering my mum; that’s the main reason why I came to London, after all.

Christ, this has been a long, dreary year. I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

Maybe this event tomorrow will give some form of catharsis… I don’t know… “closure” does not exist as far as I’m concerned; but I’m glad that I’m there to represent my mum, all the same.

Okay, well that’s enough gabbing from me for now. Time to get settled for the night.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

P.S. There is an exhibition of Cezanne’s work on at the NPG at the moment, but I decided that £18 for a ticket was a bit much. I like Cezanne, but I don’t like Cezanne that much!

Adventures in The Big Smoke: Day 1

London Docklands skyline at twilight

6:20 a.m. Thursday 7th December 2017

The phone rings, waking me up suddenly.

“Did you order a taxi?”, said the voice on the other end of the line.

I groggily confirmed that I had indeed ordered a taxi the day before, shitting myself at the sudden realisation that I’d slept in.

“Well, we just buzzed your property and someone said that they hadn’t ordered a taxi”.

Then a pause.

“Okay, we’ll sort it; we’ll send another driver out”.

And that’s how this trip to London almost never began before it even started, dear reader.

Cut to:

10:30 a.m. (ish)

…And I’m standing in King’s Cross Square filming this on my Samsung phone:

 

Hehe.

Actually, upon walking around the sculpture, I don’t think it’s a cock at all… it has a nipple thing going on if anything.

Whatever. In any case, I’m pleased that I’ve got there okay after the three hour train ride and I text my friend the fellow blogger Michael Dempsey (of Recovering from Recovery fame).

I like London – so different to the goldfish bowl that is Hartlepool where everything and everyone seems to move so slooowly; now this is more my speed.

Amusingly, a chav accuses me of being a homeless person as he and his dickhead friends walk past.

Crikey, I knew that I was a bit unkempt that morning, but come on! Haha.


…As for the rest of the day, it’s a bit of a blur after I meet up with Michael. Tiredness started to set in quite badly by mid afternoon. But, as ever, it’s great to see Michael and catch up.

We have a walk around central London for a bit and the tour helps give me an idea of where I need to be for the special service commemorating victims of murder on Saturday.

A good day overall, despite the poor start.

Tomorrow/today I intend to get along to the National Portrait Gallery and visit an AA meeting – just because I’ve never attended a meeting in the capital and I have a feeling that it might be quite fun. Besides, it’s about time I claimed my chips.

Hey, why not?

 

The day closes with fish and chips and then coffee back at Mike’s place. Overall, it’s been a fun day spent in good company, but I am a little whacked. Time to retire.

And with that, I bid you adieu for now dear reader.

 

 

Musings on Dallas Buyers Club, Autodidactism and The Information War

Well, I finally got around to watching Dallas Buyers Club on Netflix and it was really good. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both turn in exceptional performances.

Sadly,  what undermines this biopic is the way that it takes some extreme liberties with historical fact in order to make it fit better into a three act play structure… for example, both the Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner characters seen in the film are invented – they’re actually based on a combination of different people rather than two real individuals. They’re composities.

Another aspect that’s completely fictional is the depiction of Ron Woodruff (as played by Matthew McConaughey) as being a raging homophobe, when he in fact had no hostility towards gay people in real life and it’s since been suggested by several people close to Woodruff that he was actually bisexual.

But if you can allow your brain to shut that information out it’s quite possible to enjoy this movie for its depiction of a group of people with HIV/AIDS coming together to form their own “buyers club” in order to (often illegally) access the best medication available in order to prolong their lives.

The best parts of the film? For me, they’re easily the scenes where Woodruff is poring over books in the library and educating himself on the best treatment options available for the virus, ultimately becoming an expert in his own condition and ultimately a civil liberties hero in his fight against the FDA in order to allow AIDS patients the right to experiment on their own bodies as they see fit.

There are in fact several parallels which I see with the scandalously unfair fight that many people with Alcohol Use Disorder in many countries have on their hands trying to access naltrexone or nalmefene using The Sinclair Method… and the undignified hoops that some patients are forced to jump through in order to get hold of a prescription.

I also relate to the scenes where the Matthew McConaughey character is ridiculed for educating himself on his own condition and the best treatment options available. I’ve had this several times over the years, with an addictions worker once cautioning me that I “think too much”.

The democratisation of science is a scary thing for some people. Autodidactism is especially threatening to some doctors, it seems.

But the question should be asked: is it really monstrous arrogance to “act as your own doctor” and take risks such as importing naltrexone illegally when you’re forced into that position because you know the default medical paradigm in your location is woefully ineffective in comparison to The Sinclair Method?

When the system has you over a barrel and your choices are severely limited, are you really the villain for saying “Fuck off. I’m not playing by your rules anymore. I’m just going to import some damn naltrexone myself”.

?

I would say not. It’s not so black and white as far as morality goes.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the movie. Despite the lack of historical accuracy it’s still a good watch. I got a lot of identification out of it.

Another film worth checking out for that similar theme of laypersons on an autodidactic quest to educate themselves on medicine (in order to save their little boy) is Lorenzo’s Oil (see HERE). Well worth viewing.

 

Just back onto the subject of The Dallas Buyers Club: there’s quite an interest article here about a HIV patient inspired by the initiative of the Matthew McConaughey character who has recently injected himself with an untested gene therapy:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41990981

Makes for interesting reading. It wouldn’t surprise me if gene therapy was one of the next things that they’ll look at for addiction treatment. Hey, you never know.

 

Okay, well I’ve ran out of things to say. Thanks for reading.

 

Peace and love,

GARY

 

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

The joy of blogging

It’s been a good week. The site has been getting quite a few more hits than normal (I’ve been getting quite a lot of traffic from Egypt, believe it or not – Egypt!) and I’m finding that the change of page design/menu reshuffle is really helping my readers because the new Sinclair Method resources page is getting a lot of views.

I’m also seriously considering recording a few Youtube videos using my new Logitech C920 HD Pro webcam. Just as an experiment.

Although I’ve taken part in the One Little Pill documentary and have done podcasts I’m very much more in my comfort zone as a writer (largely because I hate my accent) but the problem that I have is that every article I write seems to want to turn into a novel these days… that’s to say that I often struggle to keep the word count down to a reasonable level. Brevity is a real problem when you’ve got a lot to say on a given subject and it occurs to me that podcast/Youtube media may be easier than vast quantities of text on visitors to the site. Certainly less hard work to ingest.

Or perhaps a combination of video media media and text would work better for some articles. Who knows.

But I wouldn’t mind some advice/feedback on this in the comments section below. I’d particularly like to hear from people on what they think is the simplest to use video editing software as I would be a complete newbie when it comes to using anything like that.

Anyway…. as for what else I’ve been doing, I’ve been on a bit of a Kindle binge the last few days. splurging on Eddie Hall’s autobiography Strongman and Russell Brand’s book, Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions.

I’ve also been working on the draft of a new page for the Sinclair Method resources section of the site entitled ‘Answering the Critics: “Why haven’t I heard of The Sinclair Method before?”‘.

That’s its title in its current form, anyway.

It’s turned into a bit of a monster if I’m honest. The word count on it is currently 1,500 words and I’m only about half way through it. What I may end up doing is splitting it in half and making it a two part series of articles.

 

Other than that I don’t have much else to report. In between my blogging I’ve been back into the gym after a long absence and I’ve finally got around to watching Marvel’s The Defenders, which (after a slow start) got really good… really tying up story strands from the other Netflix Marvel shows quite well. What can I say… I’m a Marvel fan, though I did quite enjoy Suicide Squad.

Okay, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading.

 

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.