Alcoholism Appendices Sequence

Image from the video game "Undertale"

This Series is largely a crosspost of my most recent blogpost “Appendices: “Some Observations on Alcoholism””. Nick thought that many of these could be their own separate blog posts, but ultimately I decided against it. The appendix format is something I’ve often used in a way that I think these fit into, some of these don’t work as their own blog posts, and frankly I wrote most of the rest mostly because I wanted to write quicker, less rigorous takes on the topic of addiction while exploring it remained a big part of my day to day life (there was one piece that I originally meant to turn into an appendix, but in the end decided to make its own post, “Contra Ozy Brennan on Sex Addiction”). On the forum on the other hand, the appendices format I have used in previous blog posts is unfamiliar, and would make for a very long (this is my longest blog post so far) and meandering post.

I previously crossposted the post these are appendices for, as well as an earlier draft of some of these appendices, so I wanted to find a way to post the final product anyway, and a sequence seemed like the best compromise. I still suspect some of these posts, especially the introductory one and kratom one, won’t be especially well received, as the former is mostly introductions and very personal updates, and the latter is largely footnotes. These read better as part of a larger post, but I think the crosspost in general is benefitted by this format, hopefully I’m right.

In addition to the appendix post itself, I’ve added my crosspost of the original piece, “Some Observations on Alcoholism”, to the beginning, and a new crosspost of the post I had originally meant to use as an appendix, “Contra Ozy Brennan on Sex Addiction”. Here is a rough summary of each post in the sequence:

-Some Observations on Alcoholism: This is the post where I first reveal my own struggles with alcoholism. The forum crosspost itself is just some annotated quotes, but it links to the more comprehensive full post. The full post, like the appendices themselves, is split into multiple sections with different but related topics. These include the history of my alcoholism, what alcoholism generally feels like to me, what the medicine naltrexone feels like, how alcoholism has related to being an EA for me, and whether and where my opinions have changed as a result of my experiences.

-Introductions, and the Appendix with the Personal Stuff: This combines two sections, neither of which quite fit on the forum well, but which are important to the series as a whole. The first is the “Introductions” part, which lays out why and how I wrote the post, content warnings, and acknowledgements. The second is the “Appendix with the Personal Stuff” part, which essentially provides personal updates on how my situation has worsened and then improved since writing the original blog post.

-Appx. B: Meet the Meetings: This one, as the title suggests, explores different recovery meeting options. The biggest part of it is focused on Alcoholics Anonymous, the most famous and popular meeting, with specific exploration of both the things I like and dislike about it. I have a somewhat smaller section on SMART Recovery, my favorite format and one of the most popular alternatives to AA, and still smaller discussions of Recovery Dharma and unaffiliated meetings.

-Appx. C: Weed, and the Shallowness of Withdrawal: This part mostly warns that weed is, in fact, addictive, and mostly uses this as an excuse for me to soap box about why the presence of withdrawal is a very poor standard for defining addiction. One of the more minimalistic sections, but pretty important to me, as I’ve experienced addiction, and withdrawal is just a complication in treating/escaping it, it is nothing close to the main act.

-Appx. D: Kratom Mythology, and a Generous Scoop of Footnotes: This is another section that doesn’t stand on its own that well. The main point is to debunk the even less well supported myth that kratom isn’t addictive, and to explore some factors that may have contributed to this myth. For some reason though, this was the section with the longest footnotes, and they make up a significant portion of the post overall. I guess since I have less experience with this drug, it mostly called up adjacent thoughts, and the rest is sort of a short research report/PSA.

-Appx. E: The Inconsolation of Philosophy, and Being a Grown Child: This post is mainly about different philosophical positions I hold, and which many EAs hold, which have made my recovery harder. It also, in the course of this, spends considerable time talking about a personal experience I had related to my childhood which significantly helped me for a time, and which I recommend as a motivational exercise if you can get past any philosophical commitments that might undermine it.

-Appx. F: My Turn Against Alcohol: This part discusses my change of heart about alcohol since the original post. In the original I said that I remained unpersuaded that most people should abstain from alcohol. In this one I talk about why I now think that drinking is just a bad idea in general. I then make concessions by pointing to bad arguments for my current position, and why they probably biased me in the other direction when I wrote my first post.

-Almost Appx.: Contra Ozy Brennan on Sex Addiction: This is the blog post I almost wrote as an appendix. Basically one of my favorite bloggers, Ozy Brennan, wrote a blog post arguing that sex addiction wasn’t real. I thought the arguments in it were pretty bad, probably I am biased on this issue, but I’ve met people who seem to fit straight forward addictive criteria with sex and/or masturbation, and basically none of the arguments Brennan brings up explain why I should be surprised by this.