Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘addiction

Watching Amy

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We watched the documentary, “Amy” last night, about singer Amy Winehouse, and it triggered a recurring sadness for me that you can’t instantly remedy whatever it is that drives a person to make unhealthy coping choices. You can send love to those who are hurting, but if they aren’t able to love themselves, health and healing can only wait on the sidelines to be invited in.

AmyPosterI’ve had moments of grandeur where I thought the environment we have created at Wintervale, the horses, the labyrinth garden, wooded trails, and our dog & cat, combined with the life experience and emotional intelligence Cyndie and I have gained, could serve as an intrinsic salve to any and all who visit.

Reality isn’t that simple. I have had opportunity to discover my acquired peace doesn’t automatically transform others merely by proximity. I found that it is possible not only for me to be helpless about inducing healing in another, but I am as susceptible as anyone to being drawn down by contagious unhealthy energies.

Being a positive healing influence on the world is something that requires definite effort.

Detangling from a general pattern of unhealthy behaviors requires a definite choice. We have to make an informed decision to change our life for the better. It doesn’t happen by just spending some time at a healthy place.

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The movie about Amy Winehouse includes a significant amount of footage showing the frenzy of paparazzi she faced. It was tough to witness. Nobody deserves that abuse. Take a moment to cherish the anonymity that allows for normal daily life.

Cyndie and I were talking about situations of celebrity hounding and recalled the amazing surprise we felt years ago, when we spotted Eric Clapton on a street in Chicago, unnoticed by anyone but us. We were killing time on a weekday visit and strolling the shops along The Magnificent Mile, or possibly some side street just off Michigan Avenue, when two guys stepped out the door of some apparel shop.

They were carrying large bags of their purchases, which was one of the first aspects that caught my eye. Two guys on a little afternoon clothes shopping expedition? Seemed somewhat off gender-usual to me.

As my surveying glance traveled up to their faces, I wasn’t able to mask my shocked recognition at the face of one of my musical idols, just inches away. In a split second, I chose to avoid spoiling Mr. Clapton’s moment of walking the street like any anonymous bloke.

As they passed I looked at Cyndie and she was looking at me with that same wide-eyed shock over who was walking by. It didn’t seem possible. We immediately began debating our decision of not saying anything to him.

I consoled myself with the vision I will never forget: the look on Eric Clapton’s face when he saw our shocked expressions and knew he’d been recognized, …yet not hassled.

I wonder if Amy Winehouse ever enjoyed the pleasure of being recognized, but not hassled, in the brief time after her music became wildly popular.

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Written by johnwhays

March 10, 2016 at 7:00 am

Periodic Assessment

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Yesterday was the day of our annual furnace inspection by the company that installed it a few years ago. So far, so good. Honestly, I would have been shocked if he had found something amiss. We are past the initial break-in period where manufacturing or installation issues could appear, and it is still new enough that no parts should be wearing out. Plus, it has been performing flawlessly from the start.

Still, I pay good money for the peace of mind to know all is well.

Our experience last fall of discovering the cracked tiles in the flue of our chimney bolstered my confidence in the value of regular check-ups.

Upon recommendation from someone at work, I watched “That Sugar Film” last night. I invite you to check out the trailer for a sampling. It might make you crave seeing the whole movie. It served as a periodic assessment of my sugar reduction/control efforts, not that I wasn’t aware of some slippage in the wrong direction.

I struggle with a physical addiction to sweetness. Well, mental and physical, frankly. Every time I cheat a little on my attempt to stay below the recommended healthy daily amount of calories from sugar, I feed the mental monster. My mind then works with my body to coerce me into feeding the urge.

It is weird to watch the movie and get a sense of how similar my sugar craving is to drug addictions that are publicly looked upon as all around bad things, while the food industry flashes spectacular and colorfully happy ad campaigns in broad daylight for products laden with the chemical that will capture our minds and make our bodies sick.

Think, tobacco industry. How many years did they get away with it? Cigarettes were safe. Heck, they were even good for you! NOT!

That scene is happening today with soft drink companies, cereal, yogurt, pasta sauces, …pretty much all processed foods. They are all safe! Enjoy!

We can trust them, because they pay scientists to collect data that shows everything is okay. It’s fine. Don’t worry. Have some more. You know, a calorie is a calorie, whether from sugar or otherwise. NOT!

Don’t fall for the ruse that you should be able to exercise enough to justify that next sugar laden meal. That is a war that can’t be won.

If you have children, save them from this. Please, understand the effects of sugar on our brains and bodies.

Addiction is addiction. Pick a poison. Street drugs, prescription drugs, tobacco, gambling, sex, shopping, food, sugar.

When choosing to profit off the human brain’s cravings, a company should have a plan to hide the facts about making their customers sick. Maybe no one is noticing the obesity trend and subsequent increase in associated diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. Go ahead, keep on eating the convenient foods filling the grocery store shelves.

What this movie points out is that he doesn’t eat the obvious soda pop, candy, and ice cream which most people know should be moderated.DSCN4499e He chooses supposed “healthy” choices of cereal, yogurt, juices, and snack bars during his 60-day experiment. It’s eye-opening, even for me.

I need to renew my effort to spot what my brain is doing to feed its craving.

Last night, it was pasta for dinner. It was soooooo good.

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Written by johnwhays

March 5, 2016 at 10:40 am