Announcing some major changes
It has been a while since I penned anything, having been concentrating mostly on trying to create a podcast and video presence. And some things have occurred that have made quite a difference in my life. Yes, politics and the recent Presidential Election of course, but we’ll get to all of that soon enough. Right now, however, I feel the need to share with you some more personal shifts that are pertinent to A Mostly Accurate View.
A little over a month ago, an incident occurred in my life that led to some major changes. I spoke about this briefly on the last episode of the AMAV Podcast, which you can listen to here. Basically, I discovered that I needed to change something in my life – everything.
I had a drinking problem. Some might say that I still have a drinking problem, and that removing alcohol from my life doesn’t change that. If that is your view, I do not begrudge you of that. That is a very personal thing, and if your own life reflects that or it applies to you in any way, that is how you choose to understand it. For my own personal understanding, however, my drinking was a problem, but not the problem. It wasn’t the cause of my problems, but a symptom.
I won’t go on some high-and-mighty diatribe about it because I truly believe that there are plenty of people whose lives are not affected as drastically as my own and those around me were. But I will share my own personal realizations and the things that I have come to understand. I won’t speak for every person who has had addiction or substance abuse issues. I can and will only speak for myself.
Having recently removed alcohol from my life (it’s been 34 days at the time of this writing), I see things in a different light. There is still a lot of work to be done, of course, and that is really the hard part, as I see it. I wasn’t physically dependent on booze, and I didn’t even drink every night (but, yes, most nights I would have some quantity of alcohol in my system, no matter how small). But it isn’t always about physical dependence, or frequency, or even quantity. It was about the purpose.
I didn’t realize how much anxiety I was living with. I knew I was stressed much of the time, but I blamed that on many different factors. Today, I realize that every single one of those factors was blown far out of proportion, a result of my own shortcomings, or completely non-existent. That stress, which was a direct cause of my anxiety, was actually a result of basically one factor – my own inability (or unwillingness) to confront and address issues in my life as they came up. Instead of taking care of something while it was still manageable, I would let it build and build until it seemed insurmountable, or at the very least, overwhelming. And my stress levels would increase exponentially because of it.
I chose to go to a residential inpatient rehabilitation center for a couple of different reasons. First, I knew that it would be far more difficult to sift through all of the bullshit in my head and in my life while life was still going on around me and filling my head with more bullshit. Removing myself from the circumstances surrounding my existence would help my efforts to be far more effective. Many people don’t have that luxury, and for those who can find a new path while still handling life, I salute you. It was difficult enough for me without those distractions; I can only imagine what it would be like with them.
Secondly, I also knew that traditional 12-Step recovery programs weren’t for me. I will never take the power of AA and the lives it has helped to change for granted. I personally know quite a few people who have used the steps, principles, and rooms of AA and NA to create a better life for themselves. But, AA doesn’t work for everybody, and I am one of those people who it doesn’t work for, for reasons I will not go into here. Perhaps at another time.
To be VERY clear, I am NOT saying that AA is not worth a try. It DOES work for many, many people. But, I decided to take a different approach. There are more ways than one to skin a cat, no? I took a more scientific approach, one that invited me to take a look at the separate (but equal) aspects of my life, how they were in disarray, why they were in disarray, and how to actually solve those problems instead of drinking to cover them up or ignore them.
Now, I have a working understanding of what I need to do with my life. I say a “working understanding” because I have only recently returned to the real world and obviously my life will need some readjusting. This readjustment will obviously take some time. And obviously the initial readjustment will not be the final product. Change is the only constant in life, right? Any readjustment will have to be evaluated after a period of time. There may be areas where I find a good balance, and others may need to be reevaluated and tweaked to find a better balance. This is a work in progress. A “working understanding” of my life.
So, like I said, with the major changes that will be enacted in my life, it comes to my thoughts (through discussion with another who is very important to me, and will be introduced shortly) that perhaps A Mostly Accurate View might become even more accurate, especially with a newfound clarity to my thoughts and viewpoints. And, since my own life has been/will be changing so much, maybe AMAV needs to undergo some changing as well.
A Mostly Accurate View is going to be reimagined. Some of the most fundamental things will remain the same (like the most fundamental parts of myself – I am still “me”, but without the drinking, a better “me” will be able to grow and shine). AMAV will still be a podcast. There will still be a blog. There will still be videos on YouTube. The basis will still be progressive political and social commentary. And, as always, comments, conversation, and, more importantly, ideas are encouraged to be shared – here, on Facebook, on YouTube, and on Twitter.
But there are going to be some changes. There will be some changes in Branding – the logo and visual aspects of AMAV will be newer, sleeker, more refined. There will be some changes in format – while the Podcast will still be the main focus, more (and higher quality) YouTube videos will be produced with some different content, some directly from the podcast and some from other information that is relevant or necessary.
The biggest change is going to be in the voices that you hear, and the faces that you see. I am not going anywhere, so don’t be alarmed. But there is going to be a new addition to AMAV. I will be joined by a co-host. There was a noticeable lack of something from the AMAV podcast. While I encourage discussion of topics and issues, the only discussions that were being had on the podcast were with myself. So…
I’d like to introduce Stormie.
Yes, that is her real name. She is a professional photographer above all else, but she is also extremely intelligent, and she has a lot to say – especially since November 9th. She is a multi-media extraordinaire, particularly skilled in filming and video production as well as graphic design and web development – she is actually the one who is going to handle the finer points of the AMAV Visual overhaul. Probably most importantly, she is my partner in life, and our discussions may prove to be… well, they are probably going to be very entertaining, if nothing else. You can check out her blog here.
We are also going to start actively pushing toward expanding our conversations to include guests. Some will be new voices and faces in the revitalized progressive movement that has taken root in the past two years. Some will be old friends. We hope to have progressive politicians as well as candidates for various public offices join our conversations. And we will be looking at other platforms for sharable information that will further the progressive cause.
Stormie and I sat down today and started putting together our battle plan for implementing the changes we want to make to AMAV. We are still in the developmental stages, but will start roll-out on it very soon. I don’t have a timeframe yet, because we don’t want to rush into this. In the meantime, I will continue to engage on Facebook and Twitter, and will return to writing for those issues that simply cannot wait (I already have my next blog entry forming in my head right now). So the AMAV podcast will be returning soon, bigger and better than ever. But for now, this will be the medium of communication with you all.
More announcements will be made as we get closer to our relaunch of A Mostly Accurate View. Until then, my friends – Keep talking, Keep thinking, and Keep moving forward.