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Updated: Aug 16, 2021

Day 10, July 9

In the desert now. Cold Springs Station was part of the Pony Express route of 1860. Except for the black ribbon of Hwy 50 cutting across the desolate landscape, the area probably appears now much as it did 160 years ago. It took 10 days to communicate from Missouri and the end of the telegraph lines, to California by the Express, an amazing accomplishment in its day. Now, on this same Express route, I type and communicate thoughts and images instantly with the press of a button, not only to CA but around the world. Stunning isn’t it? How much we take for granted. Yet, would you say our communication has actually improved since 1860? Has our ability to understand each other developed with speed of our exchanges? Are our preconceptions, prejudices, and biases reduced? Do you feel better understood?

Someone needing, entering, within, and transitioning from recovery programs and efforts often faces misunderstandings and judgement from many of us that do not suffer their affliction. These misperceptions serve as headwinds to successful treatment and gaining back a healthy life. Changing societal attitudes takes time, real communication can be slow without a simple button to push. It changes one person at a time until a tipping point is reached. But it can change.

Addiction is a brain disease, it disrupts choice-making, it is treatable

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The view heading into Carson City, NV and the beginning of the transition to the desert on the way to Fallon, NV. Tomorrow the real remote begins. It’s called the “lonliest highway in America” for a reason. There are stretches in the road to recovery that can feel very lonely, isolating, and scary too. Our attitudes towards those seeking recovery have an impact on how lonely it feels.

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

I’m taking a recovery day from traveling on the Elliptigo now. Partly by design - my plan is to move forward 6 days a week unless video interviewing or speaking opportunities arise that cannot be accommodated in the afternoons. I am traveling early in the mornings to avoid the brunt of the heat when possible. But also by necessity as we were the victims of credit card fraud and are having to have a new one sent to a fedex center. I’ve another story about this later. We are at S Lake Tahoe now. I’m sitting in the shade in the sand by the water on a small backpacking chair as I type this on my phone.

There is something so calming and restorative about large bodies of water. Add adjacent mountains and there is a setting for Heaven don’t you think? The road has been hot and thirsty, with quad-burning climbs, and lots of passing vehicles a couple feet away the last few days especially. All of these elements are stressful requiring focus and diligence.

Someone pursuing recovery experiences much harder stressors than heat, climbs, and large trucks. Their body and mind is telling them every minute that what they crave is as vital to their survival as the water I want or the rest I’d like. Avoiding a fall requires their unrelenting attention just as I must watch the road ahead and the cars behind simultaneously. When there are few cars in the very early morning, I get to relax my focus some, while someone in recovery is always in recovery and cannot relax their guard. And I get to take a day off by the water rimmed by mountains with no thought to tomorrow’s ride. Someone in recovery can indeed come to enjoy the freedom I was gifted and did not earn, but they can never again forget about the next day’s ride completely.

Addiction is a brain disease,

that disrupts decision making,

and it is treatable.

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