Archive for Into The Now

Kicking Methadone With Johnny Winter BY TED SCHEINMAN • March 24, 2014 • 8:00 AM

This is a post anyone who has been on long term Methadone
could do with reading, well..anyone on Methadone or people
trying to wrap their mind around the very subtle trappings
of it.

So please, grab your drink of pleasure, and anything else you many need
by your side when settling in for a good read and grab
what you need from the words below..enjoy!

Kicking Methadone With Johnny Winter

 • March 24, 2014 • 8:00 AM

 

How sleight-of-hand—and obsessive-compulsive disorder—helped the guitarist shake 30 years of addiction.

The praetorian entourage that has attended to Johnny Winter over the past decade has one principal brief: Don’t tell Johnny.

Don’t tell Johnny we’re trying to “fatten him up”—a phrase his manager, publicist, and several of his friends repeat like gospel. Don’t tell Johnny what he’s drinking (usually a nutritional supplement like BOOST). Don’t tell Johnny that the croissant we are about to serve him contains a second, hidden croissant inside it. Don’t tell Johnny what time it is, unless you lie and say it’s 45 minutes later than it is.

And, until recently: Don’t tell Johnny that those methadone pills aren’t actually methadone.

In October of 2012, Tommy Curiale left Rick Derringer’s touring band to play drums for Winter. “He was walking around like a skeleton,” Curiale marvels. Paul Nelson, a Berklee-trained guitarist who also studied under Steve Vai, has served as Johnny’s manager, touring partner, and Grand Vizier for over a decade. Nelson paints a yet grimmer picture.

“It was hard to see Johnny like that,” Nelson says. “We’re talking 90 pounds—he weighed 90 pounds back then.” For a tallish dude, 90 pounds is sparrow-meat—especially when you’re about to turn 70.

“The person of course doesn’t know he has OCD, and the OCD doesn’t want to let you know you have it. When Johnny was diagnosed in 2010, we finally noticed the fingers started twiddling.”

It shouldn’t have been this way. Winter entered rehab over three decades ago to kick 10-plus-years of heroin addiction. But he kept drinking. And drinking. And smoking like a Texas brisket-house. Most important, he refused to give up methadone, which helped him establish an illusory sense of control over the keening demands of his body and brain.

The switch came in 2010, when a doctor diagnosed Winter with obsessive-compulsive disorder. And Nelson had an idea.

“It was a ritual,” Nelson says: “’I have to take this, I have to do this.’ Johnny didn’t need methadone; he needed the idea of methadone. So I took his OCD and used it against him to help him. Like the Force in Star Wars or something.”

We’re in Winter’s dressing room in Austin, where he is stealing a moment of rest between rehearsals for Jimmy Kimmel’s show from South By Southwest on Thursday, March 13. Paul leans forward in his chair, interpreter, finisher of Winter’s sentences, the teller of Winter’s tale. Winter is wedged into a pleather couch at an acute angle, his head slouched slightly toward me, a smile under his cowboy hat around which two rattlesnakes are coiled and bare their fangs.

“OCD is a very funny thing,” Nelson says, “because you don’t merely like stuff; you like stuff. So if you’re a smoker, you smoke. If you’re addicted to—I mean he could get just as addicted to a vanilla milkshake as he could to heroin. And, the beauty was, he can stop it, on a dime, if you work things right.” Nelson snaps his fingers: like that. “No different from eating a Pop-Tart every day.”

Call it tragedy, blessing, or fuzzy science: For a certain type of addict, a lesser disorder can prove balm for a greater and far more destructive disorder. As the writer Steve Kolowich once said: “Sometimes you’ve gotta fight the fire you can’t control with the one you can.”

Until the mid-’90s, medical researchers had been slow, even recalcitrant, to acknowledge, or even entertain the idea of, a link between compulsion and addiction. In 1996, Lance M. Dodes, M.D., formerly of Harvard Medical School and a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, published a landmark paper in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association that argued for re-categorizing addictions as a “subset of compulsions”:

In my own work, I have viewed addictive behavior as functioning to ward off feelings of helplessness or powerlessness, which are experienced by the addict as terrifying and overwhelming. The addictive behavior reasserts a sense of power by seizing control over the individual’s own affective state. Drug use provides a particularly clear example of a behavior that asserts control over one’s affective experience, but this control may be achieved without the ingestion of a psychoactive drug. Indeed, what is important in addiction, in my view, is to respond to the largely unconscious sense of helplessness and to demonstrate to oneself that one has the capacity to control one’s internal affective experience. For example, alcoholics regularly describe feeling better as a result of simply ordering a drink. I have regarded this as a signal satisfaction (analogous to signal anxiety) of the effort to reestablish a sense of internal mastery….

My experience with over a thousand addicts in inpatient and outpatient settings has led me to conclude that the dynamics I am describing are often present across a wide spectrum of patients.

My thesis is that the traditional distinctions between addiction and compulsion are not justifiable and that all addictions are … a subset of compulsions. This view suggests the treatability of many addictions by a psychoanalytic approach, including psychoanalysis itself.

These notions may seem commonplace, but prevailing notions in the psychotherapeutic community had for too long hewed to a ludicrously outmoded symptomatic understanding of addiction; to quote Anna Freud, writing in 1966: “The behavior of addicts … far from being compulsive, i.e. reactive, defensive … is merely compelling.” A glance at the semantics here is illuminating: What’s the difference between an “impulse” to drink, and a “compulsion” to do so? And why did this quibble over prefixes convince so many therapists that OCD was treatable, while addiction was not?

Nelson didn’t trouble over these questions. Instead, he developed a strategy to use the disorder against the addiction. In concert with Winter’s doctors, Nelson shaved pills with a razor-blade and weaned the guitarist off his dose over the course of a year, then gave him a year of placebo—literally grains of rice inside gel caps—to forestall some manner of compulsive relapse.

“The person of course doesn’t know he has OCD,” Nelson says, “and the OCD doesn’t want to let you know you have it. When Johnny was diagnosed in 2010, we finally noticed the fingers started twiddling, how he’s always blowing—is it trouble breathing? No, it’s anxiousness; it comes with the OCD. And eventually, it can go away with help. There’s been times when he said, ‘Why am I doing this? How come I rub my nose every time I have an autograph signing?’ And now we know.”

“We know, or I know, that with his OCD, the doctor had to tell him that the urge is so strong to go back that if you know what’s going on, then you go nuts with the withdrawals,” Nelson adds. “Johnny didn’t go through withdrawals.”

It worked, he quit smoking, and gained around 40 pounds. One Christmas, Nelson presented him with a small box. Winter unwrapped the box, squinted through his half-crossed albino eyes, and said, “What the hell is this pill?”

“Merry Christmas, Johnny. You’ve been off methadone for a year.”

At SXSW, where a new documentary Down and Dirty: Johnny Winter had its world premiere, this scene—captured in the grainy frames of an iPhone video—played like something out of Frank Capra. There was an immediate standing ovation.

“That was the best Christmas present I ever had,” Winter tells me. “Way the best. I just couldn’t believe it, ’cause I’d been on it for 30 years, and I was just extremely happy. Imagine that—I didn’t have to worry about methadone any more.”

And here, for what may be the first time of the day, Winter makes eye contact with me, as do the twining rattlesnakes atop his hat.

“Have those been the same rattlers the whole time?” I ask. “Like, I’ve been seeing that hat in music videos for years.”

“Aw yup, it’s the same hat. I’ve had it like 30 years. I mean, you don’t change snakes. I don’t know if it’d be bad luck, or what, but I won’t change snakes.” He pauses—am I sounding OCD right now? “These two rattlers work real good. Actually, one come off on the airplane, you see—we lost one of the heads and we found it and glued it back on.” The fingers start twiddling. “I figured, ‘I can’t go out with one snake-head on my hat.’”

“No, you’d look naked.”

Winter laughs. “Naked? Maybe. Anyway I’m gonna miss having someone following me, making a movie and all. I liked that.”

“And now—you just go back to being Johnny Winter?”

The guitarist paused on the idea, rubbed it between his fingers as a grin twisted the flesh of his face. “Yes sir. Which, these days, isn’t really so bad.”

Ted Scheinman has written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, theParis Review, the Oxford American Quarterly, and elsewhere. His first book of non-fiction will appear via Faber in 2014. Follow him on Twitter@Ted_Scheinman.

 

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/kicking-methadone-johnny-winter-77162/

 

 

 

 

 

Earth’s Last Moon

moon_triple_smaller

To dance under one full moon can be magical..just imagine three.

The earth, it was revealed, once had three moons, the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space
from Findings, Harper’s Magazine, August 2008

The above found at

Schroedinger’s Cat Blog

Earth may once have had more than one moon, most probably two more, NASA scientists think.

However, researchers Jack J. Lissauer of NASA’s Ames Research Center near Mountain View, Calif., and John E. Chambers of the Carnegie Institution of Washington figure quite a bit of that ejected matter would have recollected into two other small moons at the so-called “Lagrangian points” or “Trojan points.”

Prevailing scientific consensus holds that the existing Moon was formed when a Mars-sized planet collided with the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, when the solar system was very young.

So much matter would have been thrown up into space that it recollected under its own gravity to form the Moon, which for millions of years would have glowed red-hot as the molten rock from the planetary collision cooled.

Those are fixed places in the Moon’s orbit around the Earth where the gravity of both large bodies would keep smaller objects in stable positions.

“The giant impact that likely led to the formation of the Moon launched a lot of material into Earth orbit, and some could well have been caught in the Lagrangian points,” Lissauer tells New Scientist magazine.
For example, there are two groups of asteroids in the Lagrangian points of Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun — one called the “Greek camp” leads the giant planet by 60 degrees in its circular orbit, while the other group, dubbed the “Trojan camp,” follows 60 degrees behind.

Lissauer and Chambers figure the two small moons would have orbited Earth for about 100 million years before the slight gravitational tugs from the solar system’s other planets sent them spiraling off course, either to crash into the Moon or Earth or to drift off into space.

In a separate study, astrophysicist Matija Cuk of the University of British Columbia thinks the smallest possible moons, those only a few dozen miles across, could have lasted for up to a billion years at the Lagrangian points in the Moon’s orbit.

“They would have looked more like Jupiter or Venus in the sky than a satellite,” Cuk said to New Scientist. “They would have resembled very bright stars.”

Credit for the above to:

NASA & Fox News

Did Earth once have multiple moons?

Click Here to Read

Day 318 in Captivity! Petition-Kindapped Journalists Amanda Lindhout & Nigel Brennan Need Your Help

Kidnapped Journalists, Amanda Lindhout & Nigel Brennan have been held captive in Somolia since August 23rd, 2008.Kidnapped Jouranlists, Amanda Lindhout & Nigel Brenna held Captive in Somolia

Please take a moment and sign this petition to the Canadian, Australian and any concerned world governments to aid in the release of Nigel & Amanda as soon as possible. Pass it on if at all possible.

I just have to say this, from what I can see, the Autralians are kicking it big time when it comes to the signatures so far..c’mon Canada show some more ♥love♥ for ♥Amanda & Nigel♥!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/free-amanda-and-nigel

Much appreciated.

Original post & link site:
http://freeamandafreenigel.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/petition/#comments

British man ‘beheaded’ by Al Qaeda terrorists

I know this is not my usual posting style, but the murder of British hostage Edwin Dyer is devastating and all the more reason to sign the below posts petition.  It sets a sombre precedent – al-Qaida’s first execution of a British citizen outside of Iraq.

Edwin-Dyer-004

Click here to sign Petition to help free Amanda Lindhout & Nigel Brennan (for story go to yesterday’s post).

Today’s story:

A Briton kidnapped in North Africa has been murdered, reportedly beheaded by al Qaeda terrorists.

Edwin Dyer was executed after Britain rejected demands for the release of fundamentalist cleric Abu Qatada and the payment of a multi-million pound ransom.

The 60-year-old Briton is said to have been killed on Sunday but the details were not released until yesterday.

Continued here

I have done nothing but..

stuff my face all day..which thank the powers that be is a sure sign this mystery illness..some sort of combination flu/cold/allergy, has offically vamoosed (I hope) outta my greatful yet burned out system. And none too soon either as I’ve groan (yes typo intended) way weary of listening to my own moaning. God awful shit I tell ya.flu

 

 

 

Anyway I ate like I hadn’t eaten in over a week..which in reality was the case..literally inhaling my food. I had this mad craving for scrambled eggs..white toast and butter..ice-cold milk and chicken drenched in President Choices ‘Memories of Thailand’ fiery chili pepper sauce.

Damn it was just so, so ,sooo good.

I have heard many stories of hunger from my mother who made it through WW II..yet until this past week I had no real appreciation (if that’s what to call it) or physical concept of what that meant exactly. Today I did..for the first time I knew what it felt like to crave nutrients so much..chewing my food was of no concern..nor taste..just getting it in and getting it to stay down was satisfaction enough.

Right, I said I’d quit with the illness talk right. Oakie dokie then.

After reveling in the joy that is sustenance once again, I read & caught up on a few fav blogs.  Of particular humor to me on this day was when my neice, who’s visiting from the states, asked why the people here mixed French & English in their sentences so much, and do they speak like that in France too.

She made me laugh as she tried her best to mimic what she’d heard. I live in a French area, Montreal…okay okay so it’s on this side of the world and not the ‘real’ thing according to France.

Still..

I guess I never realised how it might sound to an outsider.

A little history then.

We have what’s now known as Franglish/Franglais here in Quebec & the rest of English speaking Canada. It’s of course a combination of English & Erench that serves many purposes and satisfies to some extent anyway..the need of both cultures to have their language imposed..in whatever way possible..on the other.

So let’s say for example, one could hear while walking down any given street in Montreal expressions like, ‘la parti,’ ‘la washing machine,’ ‘le weekend,’ or ‘l’Big Mac’ peppering French sentences; and ‘the dépanneur,’ (or “dep” aka convenience store), bibliotech (library), and so on in English ones. “I have to stop at the bibliotech  before picking you up at the dépanneur..est ce bien?” Likewise, the french can be heard saying  “Après la party je dois utiliser la washing machine.”

Confusing to many but we can’t seem to live without it. And according to this video, that may very well be a good thing.

For over 40 years now a certain political party in the lovely province of Quebec has been gunning for ‘distinct society’ status and seperation from the rest of Canada. Why, to protect the French language and culture from being assimilated (very Treky we are here), by the big bad wolf (country) that surrounds them. Excuse me..was never, never going to happen anyway. Unbeknownst to many, we even have our own ‘Language Police,’  and very busy they are too.

Somehow, all this political hullaballo managed to create the very monster they were/are trying to avoid and outright oust; the infusion of English into French.  How so, by pissing people off enough to not want to speak their, or our language properly.

I refer to the diehard separitists above, not your normal everyday forward thinking, good humored French person.

Just another ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ histroical anecdote among many.

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