Archive for 27 April 2009

What You Can Look Forward to If You Stab Someone In the Head While Drunk

From CTV in Montreal:

She was stabbed in the head. Her cheek, jaw and eye socket were smashed. She spent two months in a coma and sustained brain damage.

On Monday, a judge ruled that her attacker– a man who pleaded guilty– will not spend any more time in jail.

In September 2005, Marcia Langleib, then 52, was waiting for a metro at the Snowdon station when Peter Nidzielsky, then 27, tried to sexually assault her.

He was severely intoxicated at the time. He slammed her face into a wall and stabbed her in the head. Five people intervened and were attacked as well.

“I’m not allowed to work, I walk slower,” Langleib told CTV Montreal earlier this month. “He took out a tooth; he broke my jaw.”

Now she sports a scar on her face that winds from the bottom of her left eye down to her chin. She used to work as an esthetician; since the assault she has not been able to concentrate long enough to read a book.

Well, it turns out that Mr. Nidzielsky isn’t going to jail for this. He’s going to serve 2 years of house arrest, with allowances for work and AA meetings. Apparently, by the court date, he had proven himself by attending meetings for his alcoholism and anger issues, and the judge was impressed:

He used his time between the first and second sentencing to get help for a drug addiction and anger management problems. By the time he was in front of the judge for the second sentencing he appeared as a rehabilitated man.

“You’re taking your life in your hands; you showed remorse,” said Justice Isabelle Rheault in court. “It won’t change much for Mrs. Langleib, but my job is to put everything on a balance.”


12-Step Virus Cure


Hi. I’m MA, and I feel like shit.

You know how you feel in the morning when you wake up after a night of raising hell and drinking cheap booze all night? Of course you do. I wish I felt that good. Which is to say I am feeling like shit. No, I didn’t get liquored up last night, but I think I may have picked up this swine flu that everybody is talking about. I can’t breathe very well, and my head feels like it weighs ninety pounds. This is why I haven’t posted anything here in a couple of days.

I could just lay around and complain about my affliction, but I have decided instead to test the effectiveness of the 12-steps on this bug. I admit that I am powerless over this thing. Nothing I have done has really helped to relieve my misery. So step one is done. I’m unable to do anything about the flu on my own. Next I had to select a higher power. I first considered using my bottle of Nyquil as my higher power, but I think that might make me fall victim to a placebo effect. So, I instead made it my dog, Fenway.

I’ve done my moral inventory, and after looking at it, I have to admit I am a bit of asshole. So, I already told Fenway, and now I am telling you good people. This takes care of steps 4 and 5. Now I’m waiting for Fenway to do something for me, but at this moment he is licking his balls.

I’ll stick around the house and wait for step 6 to kick in, but Fenway looks happy doing what he is doing, so I guess I should move on to getting a sponsor. I think I’ll make my sponsor you folks – the readers of our blog. Any advice or suggestions as I work my way through the steps toward flu recovery will welcome.

Thanks for your support.

Stinking Thinking

A recovering alcoholic in AA has to be vigilant or risk relapse (That makes me wonder why they use the term “recovering” at all, as “recovery” is the logical conclusion of the process, but, in AA, the word has no logical conclusion; perhaps “remission” might be more honest?), and the first sign that one is headed “out” is Stinkin’ Thinkin’ or Stinkin’ Drinkin’ Thinkin’. Nip that in the bud.

In 1985, Gayle Rosellini published a 24-page tract through Hazelden called Stinking Thinking, in which she says, “Attitudes are either a path to healthy and happy recovery or the road to relapse. It’s that simple.” And she goes on to say,

Unfortunately, those of us who are recovering from chemical dependency too often suffer from what A.A. members call stinking thinking. Stinking thinking is a bad attitude. It’s being negative, blaming, and chronically dissatisfied. And it’s sneaky. […] Stinking thinking is a major symptom of chemical dependency. We all suffer from it at one time or another and it doesn’t go away with thirty days of treatment. It can dog our heels even when we’re sober – wrecking our recovery.

Since Rosellini published her tract, the telltale signs of Stinking Thinking have evolved beyond the four types she proposed, and the definition has become both more broad and more specific and detailed. Broadly, stinking thinking is explained well in this 12-Step Workshop handout:

Without the meetings and the fellowship, I’ll begin to think that the problem is anything other than Powerless. And, I’ll forget what the solution is… the 12 Steps… and come up with all sorts of solutions of my own. In A.A., we call that “stinking thinking” and as alcoholics, we cannot afford the luxury of “stinking thinking” because stinking thinking produces “stinking results.”

This highlights the kernel of stinking thinking, which is, essentially, any deviation from the program – and, while deviation might be the result of one’s own dumdum justifications for going back to drinking, it could also generate from one’s utter dissatisfaction with the program for any number of logical and sound reasons.

And, to get more specific and detailed: “The Top Ten Types of Stinking Thinking” adapted from David D. Burns’ book, The Feeling Good Handbook, seems to have become the go-to list on many AA websites and blogs. This is a definitive list of distortions in thinking, which make a lot of sense. Because they make sense, it seems Continue reading Stinking Thinking