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Day 51, Aug.19, Franklin, KS.

Part of my time riding I listen to podcasts or audible books. I also have some phone calls, my favorite, and I need to particularly thank #RichRoche for his regular calls while taking a walk in Portland, OR. With one earbud in, one ear is free to listen for cars and trucks coming up on me supplementing my constant looking into my very large, goofy-looking, helmet-mounted rearview mirror. Given the deserts I have until recently been riding through, one of my books is Frank Herbert’s “Dune”, one of my favorites from a science fiction and fantasy loving childhood. The crysknives and shai-haluds of my road are the vehicles I share it with. Since my days are spent following one, a night-time read has been Cormac McCarthy’s, “The Road”. A depressing view of a post-apocalyptic world, I do note that this father was able to save his son. Riding in Utah, I was occasionally working through the audible book of “Home” by Bill Bryson, a non-fiction historical work told with style and subtle, British humor.

Imaginative authors all, I am reminded of the studies that show addictive tendencies accompany certain other traits. One is creativity. Another is sensitivity. Restlessness. Anxiety. Impulsiveness. Joel had elements of all of these. Mind you, none are determinative, but correlations have been found with each. I believe we could all agree that each of these traits has an inborn component. So it is with an increased inborn potential for addiction to substances (and actually also to behaviors as the same neural pathways and neurotransmitters are involved). This information could be helpful for prevention through education. But for the rest of us, for compassion. And appreciation for the contributions that these creative, sensitive, and restless people can make benefitting all of us as they come through recovery’s fire, these traits annealed now with wisdom and humility.

Addiction is a brain disease.

It disables good decision-making.

It is treatable.

Community matters.

Stigma handicaps.


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