The Marina Dock Newsletter November
Dear Marina Dock Members
Thank you for your ongoing contributions and financial support,
we could definitely need some additional support this month,
quarterly payroll taxes and rent to pay, all due by November
1st. Every once in a while I hear comments or rumors about how
The Marina Dock always seems to be strapped for funds. Have
you listened to your radio or watched public television recently?
Everyday we are subjected to fundraisers and requests for donations
from members and listeners, it is the nature of the beast, and
nonprofits are always on the edge financially and would cease
to exist without the support of their members. I believe we
have done real well to date not only surviving a couple of recessions
but actually making some significant improvements to our facility.
I could go on and on about this but the bottom line is, we need
funds, and I know you will come through for us because 2118
Greenwich Street plays an important role in the lives of a lot
of people. On the subject of donations it is possible you know
someone who would like to help but are perhaps not aware that
we are a nonprofit and all donations are tax deductible, someone
who would maybe like to donate, if they were aware of our financial
On a Related Topic
We have two years
left on a three year lease ending in December 2008. I just discovered
I will be sixty in May of 2008. This came as a great shock to
me, for many years I was of the belief that I was only forty.
However over the last year or two year I had a few subtle reminders,
denial after all is not a "River in Egypt" My goal
over the next 24 months is to get my heart rate up and my blood
pressure and interest rate down. I know, we live our lives one
day at a time, sometimes, in words immortalized by the great
Frank B "one minute at a time" but it does not prevent
us from looking down the road. Ideally I would like to take
us into 2008 and leave everything secure for the next generation
of people who are capable and willing to give their heart and
soul in the service of others I am confident this can be achieved,
in the meantime I will give it all I got. My sister back in
Ireland keeps asking me when am I coming home, I keep saying
soon, but she has heard that now for 14 years and she is not
convinced, she reads the newsletter so maybe now she will believe
Whenever Anyone Anywhere
A few weeks ago I
had a call from a close family friend, a woman in her early
fifties who by her own admission had hit bottom, she was asking
for help, she was on the verge of losing her job, her apartment
and she could not stop drinking. It is always touch and go in
these 12 step situations, sometimes the friendship and familiarity
can undermine our neutrality and effectiveness and we make the
problem worse not better. I know when I first came around I
never liked people telling me what to do, even though my situation
was desperate and I needed all the help I could get. Then I
started reading the literature and other related material on
alcoholism and that somehow reached me in a medical and scientific
way, when the human approach did not work for me. We get a lot
of first time visitors to our facility and our website who are
in the early stages of alcoholism and substance abuse. People
who are looking for answers that explain their condition without
feeling the sense that they are being admonished or judged because
of the societal baggage and stigma long associated with the
disease of alcoholism. We need to remember the success of the
spiritually based 12 step model of recovery was first articulated
by Bill Wilson, a redundant stockbroker, to Dr Bob Smith, an
Akron Ohio medical doctor with delirium tremens, in the summer
of 1935. Dr Bob later said it was Bill's description of alcoholism
being "a physical allergy with a mental obsession"
that convinced him of the true nature of his condition. This
prognosis was given to Bill a few years earlier by Dr Silkworth,
when Bill was a patient of his and a regular in the psychiatric
unit of Townes Hospital in York.
The Doctor's Opinion
puts it this way
women drink essentially because they like the effect produced
by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit
it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the
true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the
only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented,
unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort
which comes at once by taking a few drinks - drinks which they
see others taking with impunity (which means freedom from problems).
After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do,
and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the
well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm
resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over,
and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change
there is very little hope of his recovery."
What Is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a chronic,
progressive, and often fatal disease. It is a primary disorder
and not a symptom of other diseases or emotional problems. The
chemistry of alcohol allows it to affect nearly every type of
cell in the body, including those in the central nervous system.
After prolonged exposure to alcohol, the brain adapts to the
changes alcohol makes and becomes dependent on it. The severity
of this disease is influenced by factors such as genetics, psychology,
culture, and response to physical pain.
Signs of alcoholism
or alcohol dependence include the following:
only indication of early alcoholism may be the unpleasant
physical responses to withdrawal that occur during even brief
periods of abstinence.
have little or no control over the quantity they drink or
the duration or frequency of their drinking.
are preoccupied with drinking, deny their own addiction, and
continue to drink even though they are aware of the dangers.
time, some people become tolerant to the effects of drinking
and require more alcohol to become intoxicated, creating the
illusion that they can "hold their liquor."
have blackouts after drinking and frequent hangovers that
cause them to miss work and other normal activities.
might drink alone and start early in the day.
periodically quit drinking or switch from hard liquor to beer
or wine, but these periods rarely last.
alcoholics often have a history of accidents, marital and
work instability, and alcohol-related health problems.
violent and abusive incidents involving spouses and children
and a history of unexplained or frequent accidents are often
signs of drug or alcohol abuse.
can develop insidiously, and often there is no clear line
between problem drinking and alcoholism.
alcohol dominates thinking, emotions, and actions and becomes
the primary means through which a person can deal with people,
work, and life.
of women to alcoholism - adapted from the American Journal of
Psychiatry, May 1994
Tips from Other Journals
Both genetic and environmental
factors must be considered in the etiology of alcoholism. The
influence of genetic versus environmental factors previously
has been researched by examining whether adopted children raised
in homes where the parents have alcohol problems are at increased
risk for alcoholism. Kendler and associates used a new technique
- personal interviews of a large sample of twins and their parents
- to study the sources of familial resemblance for alcoholism
and how parents transmit the vulnerability to alcoholism to
A total of 1,030 pairs of female twins of known zygosity and
1,468 of their parents were interviewed. The authors defined
three levels of severity of alcoholism, from
Which the following definitions of alcoholism were created:
(1) narrow - only
alcoholism with dependence/tolerance;
with or without dependence/tolerance, and
with or without dependence/tolerance or problem drinking.
The study subjects
were classified either as unaffected or according to the level
The lifetime prevalence rate for the three levels of severity
of alcoholism in the twins, their fathers and their mothers
indicated the highest rates in fathers, next highest in twins
and lowest in mothers. For each definition of alcoholism, the
prevalence of alcoholism was highest in monozygotic co-twins
of affected twins, next highest in dizygotic co-twins of affected
twins and slightly lower and similar in the twin daughters of
affected mothers and affected fathers.
Family Physician, Oct,
From Our Readers
Here is a little gem from one of our
longest standing members whom I have not seen in over 15 years.
Please keep me
on the mailing list. Last year I spent 3 months in China teaching
English. and when I was there I picked up a 20 year chip-also
a big book in Chinese, which is kind of how the English version
looked when I first walked in the door of The Dry Dock.
Maybe I need time out?