Just links; lots of them
This week, because I’ve spent the majority of my time researching Palestine and Israel, I don’t have much else to say, so this is just links, open to everyone.
I said last week I wasn’t going to comment on the situation overseas because of my lack of knowledge regarding it; because I firmly believe not everyone needs to comment on everything (and that it’s impossible for everyone to do that anyway); because I think we rely way too much on social media activism and performative activism instead of actual action which requires engagement and depth and space and true humility; and many other reasons.
Nothing has changed in terms of why, but as I started exploring a few resources obtained from trusted sources I felt deeply compelled to keep going, and eventually felt personally compelled (not socially compelled) to comment.
For the past few years, I have not commented on larger political issues or hot-button/divisive issues (save whatever politics are tied to my areas of interest, such as addiction, drug policy, and the like); whatever activism I’ve engaged outside of my typical work is not for the internet. This, today, is an exception for deeply personal reasons.
Because so many of the readers of this newsletter are in recovery, and enough of you are in early recovery, I also think it’s imperative to state that if you are just trying not to die right now that’s a really big job, and one you must protect. (There are many other links below related to alcohol, addiction, recovery, and the other typical subject matter I cover; Israel and Palestine info starting at 9, 10, and 11.)
Free and paid subscribers of Recovering get the same exact content. Paid is for those who’d like to offer financial support, and be patrons of this newsletter and my work.
The third installment of the psychedelics in recovery series (here’s part 1 and part 2) is coming next week! It’s a loooong list of my resources, community resources (crowd-sourced from you), and 100+ of your stories: what you think about psychedelics, how you’ve integrated them into your recovery, why you will never walk within 100 feet of them again, how they helped, how they hurt, how the idea of them as medicine completely fucks with you, so forth.
Eleven Things Right Now
Can you get drunk on NA IPA, can you get sober using Ozempic, a good movie, a good book, a good article, a good framework, a website that lets you make your own ASMR, many resources on Palestine and Israel.
On Ozempic for Alcohol Use Disorder: I’ve posted before about how GLP-1 agonists (Wegovy/Ozempic/semaglutide) show promise in helping curb alcohol cravings and reduce drinking but came across this tweet that shows some pretty remarkable findings1 in a retrospective review of the change in AUDIT scores (severity of AUD or Alcohol Use Disorder) while using semaglutide (Ozempic) in other research (i.e., the researchers who were studying the effect on weight loss retroactively reviewed the impact on alcohol use in the same population). The findings are, from the limited information provided, extremely significant. Here’s another great article. There’s no silver bullet, any MAT needs to be part of a wider system of recovery, but drugs can help, significantly, in the reduction of cravings/use, and when it comes to alcohol there’s very few effective options, and very little research into them.
The movie She Came To Me seen at Upstate Films in Saugerties, New York, on a rainy Friday night with my friend Ruby, which was exactly as perfect as it sounds
I am a huge fan of Spiral Dynamics which is one of the most useful frameworks in understanding cultural and individual development—I cannot overstate how much it’s helped me understand myself, others, and the state of the world or overstate the extent to which understanding it has influenced my thinking and frankly, optimism for what’s possible. The best entry point to understanding it is through Trace Bell’s four-part podcast (he’s also a teacher and facilitator of organizational change using SD and I can’t plug him enough). The best book I’ve read on it is this audiobook. This article byof Pulling the Thread is a short but mighty explainer. I also think Spiral Dynamics is a very helpful framework to know if you’re in recovery, and I recommend John Dupuy’s book Integral Recovery to understand that connection.
This white-noise/ASMR generator that one of you sent me where you can pick your background noises and then customize individual components. My favorite is “Calm Office” because I’ve found office noises or coffee shop noises soothe me and help me focus (here’s why).
I’ve been interviewed a few different times recently. First by Da Rabbit Hole on my creative process; second by Seltzer Rocks on recovery. These were both great interviews (and interviewers) that asked interesting questions. It was also a super interesting experience to have the second interviewer trigger-warn her audience that I’d written about using psychedelics (as in, a warning that I’d written elsewhere about using them, we didn’t discuss drugs in the actual article) which I found to be a very interesting experience. To have someone (in a way) assert I had a different quality of sobriety, or perhaps to them wasn’t really sober, or that people needed to be warned that I had used certain drugs…it’s such a meaty and experience to hold.
Ted Gioia on the death of information: “The only possible positive result of the Death of Information is that more people will focus on their core values, not some list of alleged facts. People (and society) will benefit if they stop arguing about media outlets and their red hot teams, and instead nurture and pressure test the principles which guide their lives.” I think about living in a post-truth world a lot, and this is one of the (potential!) positives I see as well from the degradation of truth—that we’ll be forced to actually find it.
The book How We Ended Racism (by Justin Michael Williams and Shelly Tygielsky, two people I deeply respect) that I have not yet read but that Emily has and that Emily said was “critical in terms of considering a way forward from here” and “so fucking good”
Palestine, Israel: I’ve spent a lot of time this week researching the history of Palestine, Israel, and the current situation in the Near East. Here’s everything I’ve read, listened to, watched, and humanitarian organizations I’ve sent money to: this two-hour explainer of the history (extremely helpful); this NPR interview with Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie; Marlee Grace’s newsletter (with many great links in it); Jewish Voice for Peace (to send emails/call representatives to demand a ceasefire); orgs I’ve sent money to: GEM, JVP, PCRF, Doctors Without Borders, a few others; this movie; The Rest is Politics (podcast) last three episodes (this, this, this); Democracy Now (as a news source); this book and this book (I have started the former, and the latter is in the mail—these books were recommended by sources or friends I trust); Fahira Roison’s newsletter (the last few, esp. this); there’s more but I’ll stop here. I’ve gone back and forth on what to say, and what to acknowledge. It is not the cost of readership, my income, or my virtue that prevents me from making some bold declaration one way or the other (and for those who have I appreciate why). It is simply because my heart cannot. I believe in a cease-fire (at the very fucking least) and a Free Palestine and probably—though I have literally no idea because I’m five minutes into this—a two-state solution; I believe what the Palestinians/those who are interned in Gaza currently are enduring is horrific, on a scale of magnitude that cannot be captured or imagined, and it must be stopped and now; I am scared for my Jewish friends and the rise of anti-semitism that has already and will continue to result from this; I cannot fathom the pain of those Israelis or Jews who are directly or indirectly connected to the October 7th attack and the pain of it being rationalized or justified; I am sickened by the knowledge that Islamophobia and Anti-Arabism will undoubtedly increase, will threaten the lives of so many; I cannot stop thinking about the children and its murdering my heart. I could go on and on with my opinions and preferences and statements, but the thing is I am a white lady living on stolen land who has 0.0001% knowledge on the topic and who is very, very over performative activism and cutting people out of her life or cutting people down because of their differing ideologies, sympathies, and beliefs. I realize many may see this as a capitulation to one side, a total betrayal of standing with the colonized or standing with the persecuted, a mushy middle ground that a coward who doesn’t want to say the wrong thing and wants to please everyone might occupy, and while that’s not how I see myself or this at all I understand—and respect—that you might. Mar Grace’s piece on standing in your values hit me hard and I was moved by their action and clarity; what I have written is me standing in my values, as I know them to be at the moment.
Related: “Perhaps what the world needs is your silence. Not the silence that avoids responsibility and strengthens the oppressor. Rather, the silence that can hold the multitudes that are limited by language.”
Finally: This excerpt from’s newsletter: My Instagram and Substack are personal places where I share my day-to-day life as an artist, friend, partner, daughter, and landmate. My personal experiences are all I wish to share with the people outside of my immediate community. This is how I protect my sanity and privacy while existing in parasocial relationships online. This is for levity. This is for safety. This is for professional sustainability. I think Instagram creates a psycho-social culture of virtue signaling that perpetuates harm and confusion, and is often futile. The personal may be political, but for me it is not so simple on digital platforms. People write to me and tell me how to use my social media for politically charged and polarizing issues that I usually feel I have no grounds to speak on. The language in their messages (lack of common start-ups, immediate demands, threats to withdraw support) tells me they have dehumanized me based on the size of my audience and think of me as something other than what I am, a single human being with my own capacities, limitations, beliefs, and heartbreaks. These messages cause me stress and induce fear. They also confuse me and deny me the right to my own important feeling-and-response process while witnessing world events. I want to lead with love. I want to gather data. I want to live in a world where my peace is not at the expense of other people’s peace. I want to remember that coercion, shame, and guilt are not pre-requisites to promoting or modeling peace. I want to stay in touch with my emotions as I witness collective pain. I want to move and speak with non-harming at the forefront of everything I do. I pray for a ceasefire in Gaza.