Yes, this is Austin. The breakfast taco is our dietary staple. Unlike some western states (ahem…California) we don’t call them burritos. They’re tacos and they are forever a part of what makes Austin such a sweet, off-beat place to live. Take advice from Manny, the stick figure: stay true to yourself, stay true to breakfast tacos.
Over the past week, we’ve run across several threads online that talk about rumors and myths surrounding the consumption of alcohol and we wanted to set the record straight for all of our readers. Below is compilation of false truths that we’ve gathered about alcohol and its many users:
1. Beer or wine is a safe alternative for someone who wants to drink “lightly”
False: At the end of the day 1 beer = 1 glass of wine = 1 shot. Just because you’re drinking white wine instead of straight whiskey doesn’t mean that you’re exercising moderation. Statistically, the 12 ounces of beer (which equals approximately 18 milliliters of alcohol) has the exact same alcohol content as a shot of liquor or a glass of wine. Really, the only difference is how quickly the alcohol is allowed to get to your blood stream
2. A traditional nightcap helps you sleep soundly
False: Everyone knows about the aforementioned night cap – be it a tumblr of booze or a glass of red wine – and how it can help you ease your body into sleep. Well, all the rumors about it just aren’t true. Sound sleep is achieved once you enter the REM cycle, where you body and heart rate are truly at rest. Shortly after the nightcap, your body sets to work metabolizing the alcohol. Spending all of that energy on processing the booze might help initially calming you down, but once it is done, your body slips out of sleep and is ready to go, looking to burn off more energy.
3. You can consume alcohol through your ear canal
This is one that we just came across today looking for some crazy alcohol myths. Below is a (supposed) video of a woman drinking a pint of beer through her ear:
According to experts via the Fix, technically, there is a connection between the ear canal and the throat and in order to drink an entire pint, the girl would need “a hole in the eardrum, or no eardrum at all”. Please don’t try this at home, cause you can’t do it.
4. You can drink yourself into addiction
False: While an out of control drinking habit make those prone to addiction more susceptible, there’s actually no strong scientific evidence that sustained heavy drinking will develop into a physical addiction to alcohol. In many recovery and prevention circles, addiction is diagnosed like a genetic disease and is treated as such.
Though you shouldn’t take that as a free pass. Just because heavy drinking doesn’t cause addiction doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear if it doesn’t run in your family. Heavy drinking still causes a multitude of health and emotional problems. In many cases, it is the cause of liver failure and several other serious health problems during old age. In the short term, alcoholism and alcohol addiction are similar problems with different phases. Heavy drinking does cause alcohol abuse and alcoholism which can destroy your personal, professional, emotional, and spiritual life if you let it. A drinking problem is a drinking problem, whether you’re genetically predisposed to it or not.
Here at Hickory Wind Ranch, an important part of recovery is understanding one’s mental and physical state in the midst of addiction. Many addicts who are actively supporting their addiction make decisions that harm or hurt people that really care for them – like family and friends. Addiction is a transformative disease. In recovery, it’s our job as a sober living house to help our residents process exactly how they were acting and how they lived while they were addicted.
Today, we’re posting the first part of an interview we did with one of our residents about his personal experience with addiction out at Hickory Wind Ranch.
If you’re interested in sharing your story with us, you can tell us all about it here: SHARE YOUR STORY.
“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” -Oprah Winfrey
Many addicts have channeled their energy and angst into running. We featured an article on our Facebook page that explains why former drunks make the best runners. To continue the theme of running, below are four runners who have overcome, not only the stresses of endurance running but also addiction.
“Sober for five years, Richard Dodd has an evangelical zeal for both running and sobriety, a perfect match for his new job as the race director of the Adrenaline Marathon on the Eisenbahn Trail, a race in West Bend organized by the Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse of Washington County.”
“Kenyon is a recovering drug addict, a formerly homeless woman who stole from stores on Newbury Street to fund her habit, a child of alcoholic parents, a victim of domestic abuse, a convicted criminal who spent nine years bouncing between jails in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. And she is a marathon runner.”
“I am nearly 20 years into recovery from addiction. Yes, it has now been nearly half my life. There is no doubt I would have been dead had I not made the changes I needed to make in order to be sober. My pancreas and liver were damaged, my spirit filled with so much despair, my family confused and lost, and after few hospital stays and various other changes, here I am; 12 marathons, two daughters, two novels (that makes four kids) and a masters degree in counseling but still in school as a perpetual PH.D. level stooge.”
It’s what Rickard has done with running, and what running has done for her and her fellow recovering addicts she now serves, that caught the eye of the Mentor Alumni Association. She was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame on Thursday, appropriately, three days after completing the Boston Marathon – her 20th marathon sober, 27th overall – and a day after celebrating her seventh anniversary of sobriety.
“Every one of my books has killed me a little more.” –Norman Mailer
Are creativity and suffering inherently linked? Will artistry always lead to anguish in the end? How do we help artists manage the inherent emotional risks of creativity?
Those are only some of the questions that Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the enormously popular Eat, Pray, Love, conquers in her 2009 TED Talk. She proposes that because modern culture has put the Self at the center of creativity, we creatives feel intense pressure to create and create well time after time. Yes, “musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment,” but this pressure and the seeming inability to control our creative genius often lead to depression and self-medication. Gilbert explains that maybe we aren’t really in control of our creative genius. Maybe our part of the deal is to show up. I, for one, find this extremely freeing.
Give it a watch and let us know in the comments what you think.
Today we came across a fantastic cover our favorite Gram Parsons song, “Hickory Wind”, our namesake! The Tuttles and A.J. Lee are a California-based folk group comprised of the talented Tuttle family siblings and singer songwriter AJ Lee. They’re currently creating a bluegrass frenzy up in Northern California. Known for their ability to do any song justice, they took one of Gram Parsons’ most notable tunes and put it in a new light for new Gram Parsons fans to hear. Check it out below:
How important is it to share your story of addiction and sobriety?
In recovery, it is very important to share your own sobriety story. The act of sharing and telling your experiences can be therapeutic in your recovery. It can help you celebrate your sobriety with others, inspire self confidence, and develop inner strength as you continue your sobriety into your new life. But more importantly, your story goes on to inspire other people’s lives. By sharing your experiences, you can help influence the countless people out there who are looking for inspiration and courage to find sobriety.
As a sober living house, we encourage our residents to be open and accepting in their own stories. It’s not always easy to look back, but by taking that personal inventory and sharing your story for others, you empower yourself and others to make the change.
In the spirit of sharing, we’re asking that members of our Hickory Wind Ranch community share their stories with us, should they feel so inclined. If you’re just looking for an outlet to tell your story anonymously to someone who will listen, or you’d like us to share your story with our fans, friends, and followers, you can write it all down at our “Share Your Story” page. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to do so. Please note: we won’t share your story unless you explicitly say so. Happy sharing!
St. George’s Episcopal Church
4301 N IH 35 Austin, TX 78722
Karen Finley Breeding, MA, LPC
John Breeding, PHD
$125 RECEIVED BEFORE APRIL 1
$140 RECEIVED AFTER APRIL 1
$5 for 9 CEU’S in pdf format
To pay by check, mail to 3625 Manchaca Suite 202 Austin TX 78704.
To pay by credit card, visit KarenCounseling.com.
Please bring mat, pillows, etc. to create a comfortable space for your journey. Wear comfortable clothes. Integrative Breathwork is a safe and accessible means to carry us deeper into our inner wisdom, our creativity and ourselves. Evocative music and simple controlled breathing techniques induce a state of consciousness in which it becomes possible for you to delve deep into the unconscious. This workshop offers a space for you to experience a safe journey of personal healing and transformation.
Karen Finley Breeding is a licensed counselor in private practice in Austin. She specializes in working with couples and individuals of all ages who are in the transformational process. She is certified in soul-based psychology and integrative breathwork with Eupsychia Institute.
John has been a psychologist in private practice in Austin for 25 years. He first began participating in breathwork over 20 years ago with Jacquelyn Small. He also trained with Stanislav and Christina Grof.
Music is powerful. We think so, Victor Hugo thinks so, and apparently so do you. A couple weeks ago on Facebook, we asked you which music was speaking to you right now. The responses were so great that we created a Spotify playlist (aptly named Hickory Wind Ranch Presents: Victor Hugo, We Love You) to share all the musical goodness. It’s free, so go ahead and take a listen!
Is your favorite song not here? Tell us in the comments!