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…
Yesterday, I read an essay in the Los Angeles Times titled “L.A. Affairs: You got sober? Good for you, but we can’t date.” As a recovering alcoholic who has devoted a substantial amount of time to fighting the stigma surrounding addiction, it frustrated me to no end to see something like this appearing in a major paper.
The author’s basic premise was that after a lifetime of falling for addicts — and a long relationship with an addict in recovery — she was done. She was sick of the relapses, the al-anon meetings, and the trips to rehab. …
The recovery world is filled with pithy advice and mantras. After four years sober, I have to admit that sometimes it makes me groan when I hear the same saying for the thousandth time.
However, the truth is that much of this advice was instrumental in helping me to stop drinking and stay sober. Below are five clichés that I’ve come to love, even though I’ve heard them countless times before.
Taking sobriety “one day at a time” means focusing on getting through the current day without a drink, instead of worrying about what you might do in the future…
I started running regularly four years ago when I was in the worst shape of my life. I had recently gotten sober, after a decade of heavy drinking. All of those years of alcoholism had left me overweight and lethargic.
To make matters even worse, I was still a pack-a-day smoker (a habit that I’ve thankfully given up since). I’d sometimes get back from a run and suck down a cigarette before I’d even caught my breath.
Needless to say, I was not very fast in those days. …
I got sober four years ago, leaving behind a nasty, daily drinking habit. In my experience, one of the worst things about being an alcoholic was simply how exhausting it was.
I was tired of spending so much money on booze. I was tired of hiding and lying about my habit. Most of all, though, I was just literally tired.
When I stopped drinking, I finally moved on from years of sheer, utter exhaustion.
My trouble with low energy began with restless nights. During my drinking years, my alcoholism wreaked havoc on my sleep.
As a daily drinker, I was…
I hope you’re all doing well! Last week, my top post was 10 Ways Alcohol Damaged My Life. When I was still drinking, I was a bit in denial about the harmful effects of alcohol. I was oblivious to many of alcohol’s harms until after I quit drinking. The longer I’ve stayed sober, the more evident it’s become just how badly my drinking habit was hurting me. You can read the full post here.
If you want to catch up on everything that I’ve been writing, make sure to check out the main Exploring Sobriety page.
Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you have a great week!
I quit drinking a little over four years ago, after a decade of struggling with alcoholism. Quitting wasn’t easy. I struggled to even admit that I had a problem. Before committing to getting sober, I spent a lot of time going back and forth over whether I really wanted or needed to give up alcohol.
When I was debating sobriety with myself, I always looked for justifications to keep drinking. I desperately clung to any excuse I could come up with to put off sobriety, or even to give up on it entirely.
One of those excuses was that I…
In the study of logic, there’s a well-known fallacy called “no true Scotsman” or an “appeal to purity.”
The speaker starts by making a generalization: “Scotsmen never wear ties.”
Then, they’re faced with evidence refuting their statement: Mike is a Scotsman, and he’s wearing a tie right now.
At this point, instead of admitting they were wrong, the speaker doubles down. “Mike doesn’t count. No true Scotsman would wear a tie.”
The speaker is playing rhetorical games instead of actually addressing the counterexample.
At this point, you might be wondering: Why am I giving a lesson on informal logic in…
Vocal (vocal.media) is a blogging platform which, as far as I know, is the closest thing to Medium that isn’t Medium.
Anyone can become a writer on the platform, upload posts, and get paid based on readership.
There are, however, a few key differences between the sites:
The first difference is that every single post on Vocal has to go through a submission process. When you submit a post, you’re asked to choose a “community” to include it in. Communities are kind of a hybrid between Medium’s publications and topics.
Each community has curators who determine whether to accept submitted…
For some alcoholics, the effects of their addiction are obvious: they’ve lost their jobs and homes, they’re in and out of the hospital, and they’re practically on a first-name basis with the local prosecutors. This is likely the type of addict that the average person pictures when they think about alcoholism.
For most of the alcoholics that I’ve known, however, the effects are far more subtle. Plenty of addicts manage to keep their lives together, despite how much they’re drinking. And, if their lives do start falling apart, they’re at least able to keep up appearances.
These are the so-called…