9 musicians on How They Thrive Creatively Without Drugs or Booze

From GQ


Creating While Clean

Steven Tyler, Julien Baker, Ben Harper, Jason Isbell, Joe Walsh, and other sober musicians on how to thrive creatively without drugs or booze.

This is a story about sober musicians—about the life that has led them here, and about the life that they live now—but there is no single story here.

Some drank, some used drugs, some did more or less everything, and they did so to very different degrees. Some found themselves at the edge of the precipice, or worse; others simply re-routed from a path or trajectory that they came to see as unwise. Some were clean before the end of their teenage years; some only surfaced into sobriety much later in their lives. Some created the work that made them first or best known before they were sober; some have done so since. Some see significant correlations here; some don’t.

In the modern pop-culture tradition, being a musician has often come with a series of default lifestyle expectations, ones of indulgence and recklessness, larger-than-life living, and a diligent pursuit of altered forms of consciousness. Some see these expectations as having played a part in what happened to them, though most ultimately see their decisions and actions as also—if not mainly—a matter of their own psychology and personality and predisposition.

Some delight in a dark humor about their earlier excesses; others talk in a way that suggests that to dwell on these too much, to give such memories too much oxygen, would be to take too lightly something they simply can’t risk taking lightly. That it would be foolhardy or perilous to risk returning, even in thought, to a place where for all kinds of reasons they’d rather not linger. A corollary is that some are reluctant in this context to offer much detail about the particular substances that they consumed, or that consumed them, or both. (Readers may be aware that at other times, in different situations or at different stages of their recovery, some of these interviewees may have detailed further specifics about how they used to alter their body chemistry, but GQ is respecting what they have chosen to share in this particular circumstance and setting.)

Some hew closely to the language of recovery programs; some don’t. (Readers may also notice that some in the former category prefer to honor rigorously the “…anonymous” code of such programs by not even specifying them.) Some have relapsed along the way; some have not—but to varying extents they all remain aware and watchful of the possibility. Some clearly think that everyone would be better in the long run to live the way they currently live; others consider where they are now a personal solution for their own individual predicament that should not necessarily be prescriptive for others.

What they have in common is that they are all, by their own account, for now, living sober. And quite evidently they all strongly believe—whatever their varying reasons and circumstances and perspectives and challenges—that sobriety has made life better.

Read more here.

Overcoming Your Inner Critic

Each of us has an “inner critic” judging our every action and instructing us on how to live our lives. But how much are we letting this inner critic control us? Are our actions based on what we really feel and believe, or are we living our lives based on our inner critic’s negative programming? Learning to effectively overcome our critical inner voice is central to all areas of life: personal development, healthy relationships, self-esteem, and career success. Join us for this profound interview where Sandra talks with author and psychologist Dr. Lisa Firestone about dealing with our inner critic through self-compassion.

New free online mental health support in Ontario

From CTV News

If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, there are two new mental health support services available to people in Ontario.

The goal is to improve mental wellness and get people who are experiencing issues of low mood, anxiety and stress access to help quickly.

One of the new tools is called Big White Wall, which available online for people over the age of 16, who are experiencing symptoms of mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

“Sometimes that can be a very lonely, scary time for them. And if we provide them with some of that support early on, to help some of that mild anxiety, depression, it can help those issues from becoming bigger.” said Stephanie Paquette, the mental health and addictions lead for North East LHIN.

People can self-refer; it’s anonymous and available around the clock.

“A lot of students are really attached to their technology, and we appreciate that, and so I often encourage students to use apps or use technology, because it’s readily available wherever they are. They can use it at night, they can use it on the weekend.” said Roni Sue Clement, Cambrian College student support advisor.

The other tool is called BounceBack, a free skill building program including telephone coaching and online videos for adults and youth ages 15 and up.

“Mental health can have significant wait lists. This offers another alternative tool to people in Ontario to access the services when it’s right for them.” said Sue Tasse, Canadian Mental Health Association.

“At Cambrian, it’s our objective to help students succeed academically, but in order to do that more supports are needed to help them on their academic journey.” said Alison De Lusia, of Cambrian College.

Read more here…

The benefits of making pet ownership possible for people with mental illness and disability, both for the individual and society.

From The Record

KITCHENER — Allowing animal hospitals that operate as a nonprofit to register as a charity is “the right thing to do,” Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife says.

Fife spoke about the issue at Queen’s Park on Thursday, pointing to the East Village Animal Hospital in Kitchener that serves pet owners with low incomes and animal rescue groups.

“They provide an essential service in my community,” Fife told her colleagues.

While the Kitchener clinic operates under nonprofit principles, it cannot become a registered charity due to provincial regulations that govern businesses and veterinarians. Fife urged her fellow MPPs to reconsider those limitations.

“This is a solution that will not financially impact the province. It’s just the right thing to do,” Fife said.

The benefits of making pet ownership possible for people with mental illness and disability and for seniors on a limited income are profound, both for the individual and society.

“Pet ownership has been shown to reduce strain on the health-care system by reducing physician visits and reducing the prevalence of mental illness,” Fife said.

The Kitchener clinic opened on Weber Street in summer 2017, helping more than 5,000 pets in its first year. On average, it gets 50 calls a day.

Read more here.