A short while ago, I was watching a video from the Red Bull Rampage – a freeride downhill mountain biking competition. The location is near Virgin, Utah on the dramatic mesas overlooking the Virgin River that flows through Zion National Park. Looking down from the top of the course is a dizzying experience. The course descends several hundred feet on a narrow spine of sandstone. On either side are near vertical drops. For the uninitiated, it is nearly inconceivable that humans would want to ride down from this cliff edge, but they do backflips, 360 degree rotations, or superman style – feet off the pegs flights into space to land on a slope of dirt, rock and sand and then drop into the next section. The video does not typically show the crashes. Watching the riders drop off the edge of a cliff is terrifying enough.
Viewing entries posted in 2017
A loud noise happens on a crowded street. Many people are startled for a moment and then, after recognizing that it was a car backfiring, they go on with their day. But there is a teenaged girl and a forty-year-old man who are having very different experiences. The loud noise initiated a startle response and then the re-experiencing of vivid memories. These two are transported to entirely different places and times that have become defining characteristics of their lives. They are trauma survivors, one of whom is remembering a gunshot and the other the slamming of a door.
In substance abuse treatment circles, there is nothing that produces more of a reaction than talking about 12-step recovery. Some people are extreme advocates of 12-step programs with sayings like “It’s all in the book!” Others vilify Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a cult using twisted religious ideologies to brainwash people. There are a few words like “powerlessness” and “God” that really get strong reactions. They are much more polarizing and stimulating than terms like “objectivity” and “spirituality” and thus oftentimes people desperately in need of help will reject 12-step support because they don’t believe in powerlessness or God.