Hi everyone! Welcome to my Medium profile! I’m writing this article so that new and old readers alike can learn a bit about me and find links to my most popular posts.
My name is Benya Clark and I’m a lawyer turned teacher turned writer. Although I write about a wide variety of topics on Medium, my most common one is addiction. I’m proudly sober since 12/31/16 and cigarette-free since 9/19/19. You can find my daily sobriety blog at Exploring Sobriety.
Aside from writing, my main hobbies in life are running, drawing, reading, and cooking. I’ve written posts here on…
Today is off to a bizarre start. I just discovered that last month, world-famous addiction psychologist Stanton Peele devoted an entire half-hour podcast episode to criticizing me and this blog.
First, let me say that I admire Peele and his work. I’ve even written about him in the past, in my article “Why Addiction Is Not an ‘Equal Opportunity’ Problem.”
Next, I’ll add that when it comes to addiction, Peele undeniably knows far more than I do. When he writes and speaks about addiction he draws from decades of research and study. …
Welcome to the weekly Exploring Sobriety newsletter. I hope your week is off to a great start!
Last week, I wrote about two more celebrities who had gotten sober: Naomi Campbell and Jada Pinkett Smith. They both have been very vocal about sharing their recovery stories, and I hope that those stories will inspire other people to quit.
Earlier this week I read an article by Jeff Barton, and a line in his bio stood out to me: “I write (not create content) about life, mental health, and running.”
I love this distinction between writing and creating content, because it captures a truth about Medium that many people on this platform seem to miss. You do best on this site when you write meaningful, helpful stories, not just fill it with “content.”
I know that…
For the past three years, Jada Pinkett Smith has hosted a show called Red Table Talk alongside her daughter and mother. The premise of the show is that in each episode, these women bring their unique generational perspectives to a new hot-button issue.
Earlier this year, Red Table Talk aired an episode titled “Are You Drinking Too Much? A Wake Up Call for Women.” The theme of the episode was alcohol abuse, particularly among women. According to the show, women are now drinking as much alcohol as men for the first time in history.
At the start of the episode…
When I quit drinking, I was shocked by how boring sobriety was. Every night was brutally, mind-numbingly dull.
I had started drinking heavily in my early twenties, and for the next decade I spent nearly every evening getting drunk. I went entire years without even one full day sober.
During that decade, I went through several jobs and spent a few years in law school. However, even as my career changed, the structure of my day stayed the same.
I would wake up and go to work or school completely sober. (I often told myself that I didn’t have a…
When I quit drinking in 2016, I did a lot of reading about sobriety. One of the concepts that came up again and again was “practicing gratitude.”
To practice gratitude means to purposefully cultivate and express grateful feelings. This can include writing down things that we’re grateful for, expressing our thanks to others, gratitude prayers, or even just thinking about the positive things in our life.
When I first heard this idea I quickly wrote it off as new age gibberish. I had no interest whatsoever in even giving it a try.
I was cynical, jaded, and bitter. Coming off…
A couple of weeks ago, Medium introduced a brand new feature: lists. As Jacqueline Yue described them over on the official Medium blog, lists “are an easy way to quickly organize and share stories[.]” You can create lists and add stories to them using the same icon that used to be used for adding stories to your reading list.
I started teaching myself Spanish at the beginning of this year. Like nearly everyone who tries to learn a language these days, I began with Duolingo.
I’ve read a lot of articles from people in the language-learning community who criticize Duolingo’s pedagogy. I actually disagree and thought it provided a great starting place for learning Spanish.
It may just be a question of setting realistic expectations. Of course, I didn’t expect Duolingo to bring me to fluency or explain every grammar concept I could ever need. I just wanted to start off my Spanish journey with some basic structure to…
I drank heavily for over a decade before finally quitting about four and a half years ago. Getting sober was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I’ve said it a thousand times and will say it a thousand more, because I don’t want anyone who is preparing for sobriety to be caught off guard when they discover just how hard it can be.
With that said, there are a few ways to make getting sober a little easier. Not easy, just easier. Below are five steps that can help ease the transition from heavy drinking to sobriety…