What Is a Sober Coach?

When you’re dealing with active addiction, it can feel like you’re all alone. Many treatment centers try to cut through that feeling by providing group activities and sessions meant to highlight the fact that other people are facing the same struggles as you. Still, it can be difficult to connect with people in a group setting, particularly as you’re navigating your own transition into sobriety and addressing the demons from your past.

That’s why having a sober partner is such a great idea. A sober partner is someone — usually a person who is in recovery themselves – who is able to connect with you one-on-one and help guide you through treatment. Knowing that you have a partner walking alongside you can help give you the strength you need to get through the difficult moments of treatment and recovery.

What does treatment look like with a sober partner?

If you have a sober partner, or sober coach, you’ll proceed through the expected phases of treatment, if you choose: detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, and sober living. You’ll still meet with professionals like counselors or a psychologist, and you’ll still attend group meetings.

The major difference is you’ll have someone at your side to talk through all this. Your sober coach can discuss recovery with you while you engage in activities that you love, like golf or walking on the beach. Having a sober coach allows you to process what you’re learning in early recovery with someone who has been in the same situation that you are in now.

Does having a sober coach work?

Peer support has a long history in recovery. The connection to other people in recovery is what makes 12-step programs so successful. In fact, relying on peer support groups was the main way to get sober in this country for many years.

Now, there are more options than ever for medically-supported and other forms of treatment, but the connection to peers remains important. There’s a lot that you can learn from someone who has overcome addiction and established a life in recovery. Your sober coach is able to understand where you are now, and help you to grasp how the lessons you’re learning in treatment will help you in the long term.

Research shows that having a sober coach can improve outcomes for people who seek treatment for substance use disorder. A 2019 scientific review found that working with a sober coach reduces the risk of relapse, helps people have better relationships with their treatment provider, and increases the chances that they stay in treatment. Having a sober coach also gave clients a more positive view of treatment — something that’s essential as you start your life in recovery.

Sober coach options

Sober Partners, a pet-friendly treatment center in Newport Beach, California, specializes in intensive treatment with one-on-one support. Sober Partners offers three levels of sober support:

  • Sober companion: A sober companion is the highest level of individualized sober support available. The sober companion provides constant support, whether you’re getting sober at home, or in a treatment facility. The companion is focused on helping you abstain from drugs or alcohol, and is also trained in crisis management to help you handle any unexpected challenges that arise during your recovery.
  • Sober coach: A sober coach will meet with you 3-4 times a week while you’re in treatment, and provide constant ongoing support. You’re matched with a sober coach who shares the same profession, background or age, and therefore is able to help you navigate the issues specific to your recovery.
  • Sober advisor: Getting through the first 90 days of treatment is a huge accomplishment, but there are still major challenges ahead. A sober advisor will help guide you through the first year of recovery, meeting with you once a week to discuss your successes and any problem points you’re having.

Getting into recovery is daunting, and the more support you have, the better your chances of staying sober long-term. Having a sober coach who knows you personally and understands what you’re going through is critical. The coach can offer guidance and support that your friends and family who haven’t dealt with addiction just can’t provide.

Sober Partners provides residential treatment in Newport Beach, California. Get more information at their website, by calling 855-982-3247, or on Facebook.

By: The Fix staff
Title: What Is a Sober Coach?
Sourced From: www.thefix.com/what-sober-coach
Published Date: Thu, 28 May 2020 07:44:31 +0000

At New Horizon Drug Rehab, we understand addiction. If you or a family member are afflicted with addiction or substance abuse we can help. We work with the top centers throughout the US to provide the best detox and addiction treatments available.

Call Now: (877) 747-9974

Don't Relapse Now

Reader, I will make a deal with you. I will talk to you like an adult and say some uncomfortable things. I won’t be your sponsor and I won’t throw the Big Book at your face. But in exchange, you need to promise me you’ll read this to the end. No skips, no tag outs, no skimmy skims. Okay? Okay, great.

I understand the urge to relapse right now. I’m feeling it too. A lot of us have severely diminished responsibilities – my work has nearly dried up. I hate the Zoom meetings, which feel like impersonal shadow plays where I have to stare at my new fat face. All our other distractions that can’t be done from the couch have been cancelled. My normie friends are mixing up quarantinis before the 5 o’clock news starts. Most importantly, we are all being treated to a daily blast of death, inequity, and press conferences where a poorly tanned moron tells us to shoot up with bleach. It is so much. It is a daily mental weight that is difficult to bear even on the best days.

If you are saying to yourself, maybe I can’t hold out on this, maybe I am going to break, that is a sane response. It is, in some ways, a rational response. Time has paused, life has paused, why can’t sobriety pause too? The other day I found myself telling a friend that I won’t be jobless, locked down, without the beach (my favorite distraction), and sober. In full Scarlett O’Hara mode, I declared, “Sorry, but I won’t do it!” It felt good to say, the way forbidden things sometimes do. Total, unapologetic narcissism has its pleasures.

I could probably get away with it, too. I could probably go on a few-days bender and maybe my boyfriend would figure it out (he is sharp!), but no one else would. I could even keep my day count! Why not?!? This is the sort of self-dealing I’ve been doing. I am so good at it. I am the Clarence Darrow of fucking my own shit up.

But it is wrong. I know it’s wrong. If you are having similar thoughts, you probably know they are wrong too. Even now, with life halted and pain and injustice ascendant, there are reasons both practical and metaphysical that it is crucial for you and me to keep our sober time. Even if every word we ever heard at an AA meeting was false, even if the Big Book itself is a decades-long scam to sell us on religion.

Practically, you are going to regret it. You know you are! Sorry, but you do. You are going to be annoyed, at the very least, that you need to restart your day count, which yes, you eventually will be forced to do because you won’t be able to lie to your support network for that long. Whatever bender you have in mind is going to come to an end, in what will feel like the blink of an eye, and all you’ll have left is regret and likely, a terrible headache or worse. You also, of course, might take it too far and die.

If things get really bad, as they very well may, people are going to know what you did and that is going to suck for you. Your family and friends are already extremely stressed out right now (just like you!) – the last thing they need is to hear that you relapsed, in your tiny apartment in some faraway city, and no one can travel to you to make sure you get it together. Your mom is going to cry.

On that note, if you need hospital care because you overdose or can’t stop, great, you are taxing an already overtaxed healthcare system and exposing yourself to COVID19 at the same time. From a million different standpoints, any decision to relapse right now is selfish, even if it feels like the only person being punished is you.

Okay, who cares, right? I hear that. When I was first trying to get sober and in a relapse cycle, other people’s problems were some theoretical concern that was a not-close second to my immediate ego gratification. I did not give a shit, and honestly I didn’t care much if I died, either. What worked for me, though, was spite – not giving my enemies the pleasure of seeing me fall.

Spite could be helpful right now. Picture Donald Trump, in all his 300 pounds of dense mass, standing over you as you take that first drink. “I was always right,” he says without laughing, as he never laughs, “You’re weak. Libs like you, weak, lazy.” Do you want Donald Trump to think he’s better than you? How about the maskless crowds begging states to let them kill themselves, and each other? Should these yahoos and sociopaths be allowed to feel morally superior to you? Or picture a little closer to home. Do you want your douchebag ex to hear that you fucked up again? No you do not.

The time we’ve all spent cooped up indoors losing our gourds has been an achievement which can be measured in days and lives saved. We’ve been doing this for well over thirty days now. In New York and elsewhere, we’ve flattened the curve. Your sobriety is the same. It’s not some fungible commodity that can be lent out and borrowed back at will – it has a character in itself composed in part of a temporal element. Your sobriety after you relapse is not the same as your sobriety before. When you give it up, you give up effort, sacrifice, things you can never get back. That might not feel important now, but it will feel devastating later.

Look, I am not Mr. Lockdown. I eat loaves of bread as a snack. I stay up most nights until 5 AM and I sleep till 11. I bleached my hair. I play Nintendo Switch and try to get one or two productive hours into a day. My sheets smell like farts. All of this is fine! You do what it takes to make it to the next day. The people doing pilates every morning, learning a second language, making OnlyFans, whatever – they are fine, too. And it’s even fine to hate them!

“One day at a time” is a relentless cliché in sobriety circles. But right now, it feels appropriate, as all of the stupid sayings eventually do. The world is a miserable place, maybe always, definitely right now. Don’t add to the misery by giving in to the demons you fought so hard to keep at bay. Be strong, stay home, save lives, stay sober. Good luck.

By: John Teufel
Title: Don't Relapse Now
Sourced From: www.thefix.com/dont-relapse-now
Published Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 06:13:59 +0000

At New Horizon Drug Rehab, we understand addiction. If you or a family member are afflicted with addiction or substance abuse we can help. We work with the top centers throughout the US to provide the best detox and addiction treatments available.

Call Now: (877) 747-9974

Caring for Your Mental Health During COVID-19

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year, more than ever, it’s important to talk openly about mental health and take care of your mental well-being. The coronavirus pandemic has made the mental health crisis in America even worse. One telling piece of data: anxiety medication prescriptions rose 34% between Feb. 16 and March 15. It’s likely they’ve continued to go up since then. After all, many of us are living through a trauma experience.

The pandemic and the economic consequences are out of our control, but there are things that everyone can do to help control the mental health effects of the pandemic. This is especially important for people who are in recovery. When you’re stressed or anxious, your risk for relapse increases, so it’s critical that you stay ahead of your mental health. Here’s how:

Limit your information

It can be tempting to try to constantly keep up with the latest breaking news about the pandemic. But since good news is limited and there is bad news aplenty, checking the headlines constantly is likely to put you into a constant heightened state of stress and anxiety.

So, set boundaries for yourself. Rather than keeping your favorite news site open in your browser, check the news only three times a day: morning, noon, and evening. It’s best to skip the pre-bedtime check so that you don’t have stressful thoughts in your head as you’re drifting off to sleep. If this is still too much, consider scaling back more. If you’re worried about missing something, ask a partner or friend to let you know if anything serious happens that you should be aware of.

Be mindful, however you can

We talk a lot about mindfulness in the recovery community, and it may be more important now than ever. It’s easy to spiral, thinking about everything that is out of your control right now. But, that’s fruitless. It doesn’t solve the problem, it just leaves you feeling stressed out.

Instead, pick an activity where you can be fully immersed in the here and now. Meditation and yoga are great options, but they don’t work for everyone. It’s okay if your mindfulness practice is as simple as a walk in the neighborhood, cooking a beautiful meal, or knitting a scarf.

A good exercise to help you connect with the present moment is to check in with each of your senses. What is something you see? Smell? Hear? Taste? Feel? Naming the sensation you’re experiencing can help ground you.

Get moving

Right now, gyms and even many beaches are closed, so it can be tempting to stay at home and not exercise. But, exercise is great not just for your body, but for your mind as well. The endorphins that your body releases when you exercise can help control and limit cortisol (the stress hormone).

It’s okay to take it easy. Go for a walk, or do a ten-minute online workout at home. The key is to incorporate a bit of movement into each day. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, ask a friend to be your virtual exercise buddy. You can do your own home workouts and then check in with each other, or talk to each other on the phone while you’re on a walk.

Seek help when you need it

Many Americans are avoiding emergency or routine care because of the pandemic. But if you are feeling overwhelmed by your anxiety or depression, it’s critical that you reach out for professional medical help. Many services can be delivered via telemedicine right now, and you can even get a prescription delivered to your home.

Of course, if you’re experiencing a mental health emergency, go to the ER as soon as possible. Hospitals have protocols in place to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 if you need to seek other medical care.

Getting through this pandemic is stressful for everyone. People in recovery might feel like they’re especially vulnerable, but the truth is that you’re experienced. You’ve already been through times that felt overwhelming, and persevered. You’ll do the same this time.

Learn more about Oceanside Malibu at http://oceansidemalibu.com/. Reach Oceanside Malibu by phone at (866) 738-6550. Find Oceanside Malibu on Facebook.

By: The Fix staff
Title: Caring for Your Mental Health During COVID-19
Sourced From: www.thefix.com/caring-your-mental-health-during-covid-19
Published Date: Tue, 26 May 2020 06:15:23 +0000

At New Horizon Drug Rehab, we understand addiction. If you or a family member are afflicted with addiction or substance abuse we can help. We work with the top centers throughout the US to provide the best detox and addiction treatments available.

Call Now: (877) 747-9974

Sober Reflections From the Dance Floor

For Mary.

I got sober here almost thirty years ago. That’s what struck me last December 31, as I danced my butt off in the basement of St. Anthony of Padua’s Roman Catholic Church on Sullivan Street in New York City, welcoming in the New Year with a mob of sober drunks. Yes, here I was dancing under the influence of something more heady than Moet this New Year’s Eve, surrounded by mylar waterfall curtains, and the familiar pull down shades of AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing color with every turn of the disco ball.

In the fall of 1991 I was sitting in the second of sixteen rows of folding chairs, a box of Kleenex on my lap, flanked by massive columns that supported both church above and my shaky sobriety below. Now here in the countdown to midnight, voguing to Madonna with a Woodstock hippie in pajamas, I realized this was the very spot I had counted my first 90 days without a drink or a drug decades ago. This was where the Soho Group of Alcoholics Anonymous met, and still meets today. Flash back to me in gold tights and a green suede mini skirt, crushing on a rockabilly cat across the aisle. Thank you Johnny Cash wannabe in the stretched T, you kept me coming back to AA for that first year—you and my sponsor Cindy, the big sis I never had. After the meeting, Cindy and I would hit the Malibu Diner on 23rd Street for oversized Greek salads with extra dressing and bottomless cups of decaf. Cindy taught me how to stay away from the first drink and how to smudge a make-up pencil to get that smoky eye look. From September to December, 1991, the Soho Group, the boy with the ducktail, and my glamourous sponsor, poured the pillars of my foundation for a life lived without mood-altering substances, one-day-at-a-time.

. . .

Around midnight on December 31, 2019, wearing frames I’d picked up at the dollar store that flashed “2020” in three speeds, I felt safe—safe and happy raving with a few hundred personalities swigging seltzer. In my drinking days, going out dancing never felt safe. There was the time I fell off the stage GoGo dancing on the boardwalk at Coney Island, and once I walked home alone over the Brooklyn Bridge, at 3AM, in a red sundress. I meant to take a cab, and had even tucked a twenty dollar bill in my bra for that purpose, but I ended up spending it on more vodka cranberries instead. Staggering barefoot in the pre-dawn down an unlit staircase onto the off ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge, heels in hand, fear overtook me and I started running. For blocks and blocks I ran down the middle of the street, where it felt safer, where I could spot shadows lurking between cars, all the way home, until I reached my building—relieved, ashamed and baffled by my behavior. Scared of waking my landlord, I tiptoed up three flights—this was not new—but every creaky step betrayed me. I dreaded passing Babe the next morning, sitting on the bench in his dooryard, combing the supermarket circulars. He was less like a landlord you write a check out to on the first of the month, and more like an Italian uncle who would scold you for parking too far from the curb, or wasting money buying coffee out, instead of brewing it at home. I knew Babe always heard my key in the lock as dawn broke over South Brooklyn, and I knew he saw those empty bottles of Chianti, tucked under tomato cans in the recycling bin. 

. . .

Yes, now I felt safe—here clasping hands with a little girl and her sober mom, twirling around a church cellar at the Soho Group’s New Year’s Eve Dance. I felt safe, happy and damn lucky to be back here on the very spot that I had clung to for that first year, that spot where I first surrendered to sobriety and felt safe, as I cupped warm urn coffee, and took it all in, in small sips. Tonight I knew where I was, and I knew I’d get home safely. I knew I’d remember everything the next day, without remorse or a sour stomach. 

“Some don’t make it back.” I’ve heard that said often in the rooms of A.A. After sobering up in my mid twenties at the Soho Group, I stayed alcohol-free for thirteen years, making Brooklyn Heights my home group for years, until just after the birth of my first son. The promise of A.A. as “a bridge back to life” had come true. I had a life: a husband, a house, and now a fat baby at the baptismal font. But I was doing zero maintenance on that bridge—my connection back to AA was crumbling. I’d drifted. I’d moved deeper into Brooklyn with my non-alcoholic husband and away from my homegroup. I’d lost touch with my sponsor and most of my sober friends. And then it happened. I slipped. But I was one of the super lucky ones. I didn’t have a full out sloppy slip, with blackouts and benders and smash-ups with the family KIA. It started with just a sip. In my mind I’d decided it was safe to start taking communion wine with my wafer at Sunday mass. No matter that countless practicing Episcopalians take the host but pass on that sip from the silver chalice. And for years, this was the extent of my drinking, one sneaky sip I looked forward to on Sunday mornings. Then other things happened. I’d heard that beer was good for breast-feeding. I latched onto that rumor, like a babe at the breast. I started downing O’Douls “non-alcoholic” ale at our weekly mommy nights. When I went to my dentist for a routine filling, I insisted he tap the tank of laughing gas, when novocaine would have numbed well enough. I remember that buzz which settled over me in the dentist’s chair. Relief, I thought. From everything.

Soon after I woke up and realized my marriage was over. I was a wreck. Day drinking seemed like an option. A friend offered me a mimosa in her home. I took one sip—panicked—snuck to her bathroom and poured the rest down the drain. Soon after that, I climbed up one flight of stairs over a fish store and entered a crowded room with flies circling. I started counting days, for the second time around. At forty-eight, I was a humbled newcomer again. My sponsor was twelve years my junior. It was awkward, yes, but it felt honest and right to reset my sobriety clock. And thanks in large part to these no-nonsense oldtimers of Old Park Slope Caton, my kids have never seen me drunk.

. . .

In my twenties, before I poured that last bottle of Four Roses whiskey down the kitchen sink, my twin loves were drinking and dancing. I started drinking fairly late, at 19, when I’d help myself to my father’s scotch, put on his headphones, raise the volume on his Ohm speakers, and burn rubber to The Gap Band. Booze and boogie shoes quickly became my dream couple, allowing me to float in a fantasy stupor where all care and self-doubt slipped away. From there I went on to be a “maniac on the dance floor”—a self-destructive eighties girl flash dancing her way through four years of college—squeezing that last cup of beer from a warm keg.

For fun, my alcoholic brain sometimes likes to play this game where I remember fondly (but falsely) occasions where liquor paired perfectly with certain activities like ball games with Budweiser, or tailgate parties with pina coladas, picnics with blushing Zinfandels, or art gallery openings with jugs of Gallo red. But the winner of this stagger-down-memory-lane game is always dancing with drinking. Evenings out started the same: plug in the hot rollers, mix a cocktail, and get down while dolling up, still in my underwear, to the Saturday night line-up of DJs on WBLS and Hot97. A whiskey sour next to my make-up mirror was the kick-off. Stepping out an hour later, with coral lips and cat eyes, and Run-DMC in my head, I felt just fine. And that’s how it went, in my twenties. But over time, nights out ended in close calls with questionable characters and near scrapes in unknown neighborhoods. Every one of those nights, however, had started out just fine. From Halloween dance parties in Bushwick lofts with Solo cups of mystery punch, to doing the twist on the Coney Island Boardwalk while taking nips from a hip flask of Jack Daniels, it was always a good time. Until it wasn’t—until someone flicked a cigarette and started a fire, or until I fell off the band stage on that Coney Island boardwalk.

. . .

If only evenings could have ended as safe and fun as they had started out. It really only ever felt safe to drink at the start of my drinking, as a teen, in front of my dad’s turntable, moving to Stevie Wonder coming from his Koss headphones, in the safety of my childhood home. And if only my drinking and dancing partner Mary was still here. Mary, who dared me to put down my rum and Coke and never-finished Times crossword, and climb up onto the bar with her at Peter McManus Pub in Chelsea. Dear, departed drinking playmate and party girl Mary. Quirky, curly-haired writer Mary, in rhinestone glasses and GoGo boots. Loyal friend Mary, who helped me through heartbreaks and hangovers. Subversive yet wholesome Mary from Michigan, who baked soda bread, wrote thank you notes, remembered nieces’ birthdays and snorted lines of heroin. I never made the connection between her non-stop runny nose and her habit until years later, when her boyfriend called me to say he’d found Mary dead from an overdose. I pictured her slumped in a fake Queen Anne armchair, pale as parchment, her dark curls against floral upholstery. She was forty-six.

Indeed, I danced my way through my drinking twenties, but I was hardly dancing with the stars. I was working as a waitress at the LoneStar Roadhouse near Times Square. At closing time I’d do lines at the end of the bar with the manager, and once, with a customer who talked me into leaving with him. I went home with this grown man who, as it turned out, still lived with his parents somewhere way the hell out on Long Island. I remember feeling increasingly unsafe passing exit after exit on the LIE, riding unbelted in the death seat of a stranger’s Toyota. I remember turning up the volume on the radio and singing along to Chaka Khan: “I’m Every Woman… It’s all in MEEE…” Any drug that can delude you into believing you’ve got the pipes of a 10-time Grammy Award winner, well, that’s a great drug. Until it isn’t. He led me to a mattress on the floor of his parents garage. I’ve heard it said in the rooms of A.A. that God watches out for children and drunks. Which maybe explains how I got myself out of that one—while still fully clothed—and was able to call a cab to take me all the way home in those pre-Lyft late-eighties.

. . .

One gift of sobriety, along with holding down a job and not losing my kids to the courts, is that I now get to do something I really love, dancing—safely. I’ve hit many an A.A. group anniversary, where I’ve joined Friends of Bill W. on subterranean church linoleum, cleared for dancing. I still start getting ready at five, with my own creation: The Magoo (cranberry juice, sparkling water and two wedges of lime, served up in a fancy glass.) I still tune into WBLS. I wear less make-up now, but still move to the music. At six I head out to scoop a friend in my KIA beater. The koolest legend, Kool D.J. Red Alert, is blowin’ it up over the airwaves and through my car speakers. I pull up, safety-belted and chair dancing in the driver’s seat. My date is tall and her dress is short and sparkly. “Damn girl, who’s your target? These all gotta watch out!” Beatrice has all the head boss and eye looks as Mary. And a wit just like Mary’s too, drier than a Wasa cracker or top-shelf vermouth. It’s going to be a fun night, I think. Throw your hands up.

I really love Alcoholics Anonymous group anniversaries. They are feel good phenomena that pretty much follow the same format: a meeting, followed by a potluck, then sometimes, dancing. I gravitate to the ones where there’s dancing. Everyone shows up bathed and beaming to celebrate the founding of their “homegroup,” the group they most regularly attend, where they know other people, and are known in return. Sober drunks with sixty years and sixty days come to these. A church basement or parish hall is dressed up in balloons and crepe garland; Hershey kisses scatter folding tables, covered in plastic cloths. The speakers are often old-timers with good stories to tell, pulling in outrageous details of their “drunkalogues” or firsthand details about the group’s early days. The dinner spread is legit. A line of volunteers dish out baked ziti, collards and fried fish from foil casseroles set up over sternos. Urn coffee and birthday cake for dessert. I’ve developed a taste for those giant sheet cakes with piped icing. The ritual of eating that 2” square of cake, along with every alcoholic in the room eating theirs, is a highlight for sure. A centered feeling comes over me as I lick frosting off a plastic fork under twinkle lights. I am safe. And this is fun. Details may vary from group to group, but every space feels hallowed on these nights. The people who populate it are thankful for their lives, freed from the hamster wheel of addiction, just for today. 

Then dancing happens. I bring the DJ a bottle of Poland Spring and I’m “setting it off” to one-hit-hip-hop wonder Strafe, while folks are still on the food line. When the clean up crew starts collecting cola cans and rolling up tablecloths, I’m still on the linoleum with any takers I can pull up off their folding chairs. I can’t say Beatrice and I have shut down every A.A. party from northern Manhattan to the outer banks of Brooklyn, but the bulletin board of Alcoholic Anonymous’ Intergroup is a good place to start for leads on sober dance happenings.

We head home a little after eleven. DJ Chuck Chillout has pulled out his airhorn. I drop Beatrice off, she bends into the passenger window and smirks: “I had a great time tonight. Maria N. gets a second date.” 

. . .

Group anniversaries and sober New Year’s Eve parties aside, I dance mostly on my yoga mat, to the line-up of Saturday Night DJs on WBLS, or to my own ‘80s Hip Hop and New Wave playlists. I’m still self-conscious when I share in meetings, or read at open mics, or take my top off to new a lover, but at home or in public, I’m comfortable on the dance floor, even if I’m the only one dancing. I don’t claim to quite find my Nasty with Miss Jackson anymore, but even well into middle age, and without a craft beer in hand, dancing still brings on my happy—more than ever. Clear-headed, I tap into that elusive “conscious contact” with my higher power. I feel everything in the present moment—neurons firing through my fingertips, the beat beneath my bare feet. I am a consenting adult at my own one-woman rave, enjoying this gift of sobriety: a healthy body doing what it loves, and hurting no one, especially not itself. Of course, when I’m out dancing, there’s the bonus of connection with other abstaining alcoholics. Doing the Electric Slide with fifty friends of Bill—in-sync, or close enough—well, It’s Electric.

. . .

“We drank alone. But we don’t get sober—then stay sober—alone.” 

It’s 1:30AM and I’m still on the dance floor, throwing hands up with oldtimers and seven-year-olds. The Woodstock hippie shuffles in his drawstring polar fleece, cotton wadded in his ears. But no amount of cotton can drown out the cheer that went up at the stroke of midnight and echoes even now.If it’s in the cards, in twenty years, on New Year’s Eve, 2040, I’ll be 75 and I’ll be here, surrounded by these poured cement columns, getting what’s left of my groove on with a beautiful group of sober drunks. 

. . . 

Where can you go to dance yourself happy? For one thing, the International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous of New York City (ICYPAA NYC) throws a serenity dance cruise on the Hudson in July. But if AA dances aren’t your thing, consider “Conscious clubbing,” a term coined by Samantha Moyo, founder of Morning Gloryville, a sober breakfast rave phenomenon launched in East London in 2013, and which has spread to cities worldwide. Some Morning Gloryville events have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but online raves are happening right now. And LOOSID a sober social network, with a mission to make sobriety fun, puts out playlists, and pairs subscribers to events of interest too.

Tonight, still sheltering-in-place here in The Baked Apple, New York City—one hot spot of the COVID-19 pandemic—Beatrice invited me to Reprieve, a clean & sober non-stop dance party. I registered for free through Eventbrite and joined the dance floor, courtesy of Zoom. By the end of it we were doing backbends over our sofas to Total Eclipse of the Heart. Before signing off, I reached out to Beatrice in the comment thread : “Let’s do it again,” I typed. “Totes.” she typed back. Sure, I’ll return this Saturday night to dance with sober drunks. It looks like it’ll just become the latest turn in my healthy sober dance move.

By: Maria Newsom
Title: Sober Reflections From the Dance Floor
Sourced From: www.thefix.com/sober-reflections-dance-floor
Published Date: Wed, 20 May 2020 05:21:46 +0000

At New Horizon Drug Rehab, we understand addiction. If you or a family member are afflicted with addiction or substance abuse we can help. We work with the top centers throughout the US to provide the best detox and addiction treatments available.

Call Now: (877) 747-9974

Coronavirus, ‘Plandemic’ and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

The conspiracy theory video “Plandemic” recently went viral. Despite being taken down by YouTube and Facebook, it continues to get uploaded and viewed millions of times. The video is an interview with conspiracy theorist Judy Mikovits, a disgraced former virology researcher who believes the COVID-19 pandemic is based on vast deception, with the purpose of profiting from selling vaccinations.

The video is rife with misinformation and conspiracy theories. Many high-quality fact-checks and debunkings have been published by reputable outlets such as Science, Politifact and FactCheck.

As scholars who research how to counter science misinformation and conspiracy theories, we believe there is also value in exposing the rhetorical techniques used in “Plandemic.” As we outline in our Conspiracy Theory Handbook and How to Spot COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories, there are seven distinctive traits of conspiratorial thinking. “Plandemic” offers textbook examples of them all.

Learning these traits can help you spot the red flags of a baseless conspiracy theory and hopefully build up some resistance to being taken in by this kind of thinking. This is an important skill given the current surge of pandemic-fueled conspiracy theories.


The seven traits of conspiratorial thinking. (John Cook CC BY-ND)

1. Contradictory beliefs

Conspiracy theorists are so committed to disbelieving an official account, it doesn’t matter if their belief system is internally contradictory. The “Plandemic” video advances two false origin stories for the coronavirus. It argues that SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab in Wuhan – but also argues that everybody already has the coronavirus from previous vaccinations, and wearing masks activates it. Believing both causes is mutually inconsistent.

2. Overriding suspicion

Conspiracy theorists are overwhelmingly suspicious toward the official account. That means any scientific evidence that doesn’t fit into the conspiracy theory must be faked.

But if you think the scientific data is faked, that leads down the rabbit hole of believing that any scientific organization publishing or endorsing research consistent with the “official account” must be in on the conspiracy. For COVID-19, this includes the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, Anthony Fauci… basically, any group or person who actually knows anything about science must be part of the conspiracy.

3. Nefarious intent

In a conspiracy theory, the conspirators are assumed to have evil motives. In the case of “Plandemic,” there’s no limit to the nefarious intent. The video suggests scientists including Anthony Fauci engineered the COVID-19 pandemic, a plot which involves killing hundreds of thousands of people so far for potentially billions of dollars of profit.

4. Conviction something’s wrong

Conspiracy theorists may occasionally abandon specific ideas when they become untenable. But those revisions tend not to change their overall conclusion that “something must be wrong” and that the official account is based on deception.

When “Plandemic” filmmaker Mikki Willis was asked if he really believed COVID-19 was intentionally started for profit, his response was “I don’t know, to be clear, if it’s an intentional or naturally occurring situation. I have no idea.”

He has no idea. All he knows for sure is something must be wrong: “It’s too fishy.”

5. Persecuted victim

Conspiracy theorists think of themselves as the victims of organized persecution. “Plandemic” further ratchets up the persecuted victimhood by characterizing the entire world population as victims of a vast deception, which is disseminated by the media and even ourselves as unwitting accomplices.

At the same time, conspiracy theorists see themselves as brave heroes taking on the villainous conspirators.

6. Immunity to evidence

It’s so hard to change a conspiracy theorist’s mind because their theories are self-sealing. Even absence of evidence for a theory becomes evidence for the theory: The reason there’s no proof of the conspiracy is because the conspirators did such a good job covering it up.

7. Reinterpreting randomness

Conspiracy theorists see patterns everywhere – they’re all about connecting the dots. Random events are reinterpreted as being caused by the conspiracy and woven into a broader, interconnected pattern. Any connections are imbued with sinister meaning.

For example, the “Plandemic” video suggestively points to the U.S. National Institutes of Health funding that has gone to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. This is despite the fact that the lab is just one of many international collaborators on a project that sought to examine the risk of future viruses emerging from wildlife.

Learning about common traits of conspiratorial thinking can help you recognize and resist conspiracy theories.

Critical thinking is the antidote

As we explore in our Conspiracy Theory Handbook, there are a variety of strategies you can use in response to conspiracy theories.

One approach is to inoculate yourself and your social networks by identifying and calling out the traits of conspiratorial thinking. Another approach is to “cognitively empower” people, by encouraging them to think analytically. The antidote to conspiratorial thinking is critical thinking, which involves healthy skepticism of official accounts while carefully considering available evidence.

Understanding and revealing the techniques of conspiracy theorists is key to inoculating yourself and others from being misled, especially when we are most vulnerable: in times of crises and uncertainty.

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The Conversation

John Cook, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, Director, Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky, Chair of Cognitive Psychology, University of Bristol, and Ullrich Ecker, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Western Australia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

By: John Cook
Title: Coronavirus, ‘Plandemic’ and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking
Sourced From: www.thefix.com/coronavirus-plandemic-and-seven-traits-conspiratorial-thinking
Published Date: Tue, 19 May 2020 06:57:52 +0000

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