Book Notes: This Naked Mind by Annie Grace (Chapter 15-Pay It Forward)

This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness, and Change Your Life by Annie Grace

Chapters 1-14 (from a former post)

15: DEFINING ADDICTION – PART 1:

  • “Basically, it’s having two competing priorities, wanting to do more and less of something a the same time”. (p. 147)
  • “Learning happens in the same part of the brain as addiction.” (p. 147)
  • “The addict is conditioned to believe that the substance will provide enjoyment or relief, that it will help them enjoy life more or ease their stress.” (p. 148
  • Page 149 Key Messages
  • “We are happier when we take a drink, not because drinking makes us happy, but because the drink relieves the withdrawal that drinking caused” (p. 149)
  • “We don’t realize that our chronic exhaustion is related to continuously poisoning our bodies.” (p. 152)
  • “Drinking felt like tunnel vision.  I was no longer aware of all my surroundings but only what was right in front of me, and even that took more effort and concentration than I had energy for.” (p. 155)

16: LIMINAL POINT: IS ALCOHOL VITAL TO SOCIAL LIFE?

“Dear Alcohol, we had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer…I saw the video…we need to talk.” – Anon

  • “Hari believes the antidote to addiction is actually companionship.” (p. 160)
  • “When you stop believing you need to drink to have fun, you won’t need to.  You’ll realize that alcohol can actually hinder your fun.” (p. 163)
  • “Alcohol, by deadening your natural senses, including apprehension- removes the filters between your brain and your mouth.” (p. 164)

17: DEFINING ADDICTION: PART 2

  • “Addicts crave drugs because they are deceived into thinking that drugs will enhance their lives.  Once you see the drug for what it is, the cause of your misery and cravings that give you nothing in return, the desire for the drug dies.” (p. 165)
  • “According to Polk, the drinker’s body becomes used to the presence of alcohol in such a way that eventually the chronic drinker will need alcohol just to feel normal.” (p. 166)
  • “But because alcohol is addictive, consuming it changes the way your brain works, meaning that no matter how slow you descend, everyone is moving in the same direction – down.” (p. 167)
  • “This is the key to all drug addiction – the drug creates the low and then deceives its victims into believing that, by ending the low, it is providing a high.” (p. 168)
  • “Dopamine plays a central role in addiction and is commonly known as the addiction molecule.” (p. 168)
  • “Unfortunately, when addictive drugs chemically release dopamine in the brain, you are LEARNING addiction.” (p. 169)
  • Page 170 KEY Reading
  • “When you stop drinking, your brain will stop compensating and repair itself.  You can again find pleasure in simply living – as you could before you ever started drinking.” (p. 172)

18: LIMINAL POINT: IT’S CULTURAL.  I NEED TO DRINK TO FIT IN

“Those Who Defend Alcohol the Loudest Are Often the Most Worried About how Much They Drink” (p. 174)

  • “Alcohol addiction is so insidious, because of how well we hide it, even from ourselves.” (p. 174)
  • “I now realize I can simply say NO.” (p. 175)
  • “Be conscious of the fact that a change for you will mean a change for them. Be aware and treat them, whether they continue to drink or not, with respect. …Honest and compassionate communication is key.” (p. 176)
  • “It’s a process” (p. 177)
  • “…The bottom line: Not drinking is sexy!” (p. 178)
  • “These are some phrases that worked for me:
  1. ‘I realized I’m happier when I don’t drink.’

  2. ‘I’m on a health kick and giving up booze is part of it.’

  3. ‘I decided drinking was no longer doing me any favors, so I quit.’

  4. and, ‘I feel better when I don’t drink.’ (p. 179)

19: THE DESCENT: WHY SOME DESCEND FASTER THAN OTHERS

  • “The nebulous idea of an addictive personality allows us to protect our precious alcohol.  We focus on the addictive personality, which makes alcohol dangerous for them but not for us.  We protect the alcohol and blame the individual.” (p. 182)
  • NO ONE IS IMMUNE TO ADDICTION (p. 184)
  • “There is no inexplicable defect in our personalities, no elusive flaw in our bodies. Alcohol is simply a highly addictive drug.” (p. 185)
  • “Anyone who feels fear at the thought of never drinking again is already emotionally dependent”. (p. 187)
  • “In this case, through knowledge and education you achieve freedom.” (p. 188)

20: LIVING A NAKED LIFE IN OUR SOCIETY

  • “You may find once-desirable activities to be nothing more than a waste of time.  Some people may have only been fun because alcohol slowed down your brain enough to make them so.” (p. 189)
  • “Actually being around drinkers is one of the best reminders of your freedom.” (p. 192)
  • “When I tell people that alcohol is a known carcinogen, a fact that was scientifically proven in 1988, they are surprised.” (p. 193)
  • “I made a conscious decision to see the amber liquid for what is was: a substance that would destroy my brain and body.  A drink that would render me tired, insensible, and hung over.” (p. 194)
  • IS MODERATION AN OPTION? (p. 194)
  • “To review, addictive drugs, from nicotine to heroin, release artificially high levels of dopamine in the brain…We know that alcohol artificially stimulates the brain’s pleasure centers. We also know that to maintain homeostasis, and protect itself, the brain turns down the pleasure received from alcohol over time.  This is tolerance.” (p. 195)
  • “Basically, dopamine’s role in learning is to ensure that pleasure can be found again.” (p. 196)
  • “Once you have broken the cycle, your cravings will go away…Even though the dopamine hypersensitivity to alcohol will exist, it will remain dormant as long as you introduce no alcohol into your body.” (p. 197)
  • THE STRESS OF DECISION MAKING (p. 198)*
  • “Drinking does not make dull people fun.  Alcohol makes smart and engaging people dumb and boring.  Its very nature slows your brain function and dulls your wit and senses.” (p. 204)

21: THIS NAKED MIND

  • “The most destructive part of this [alcohol]…is how it steals our ability to respect and care for ourselves.  Without self-respect, everything else falls apart.” (p. 207)
  • …”continue to embrace alcohol as the ‘elixir of life’. Our generation perpetuates this…Our children see alcohol as vital to life’s enjoyment….It is our responsibility to change this and expose alcohol.” (p. 207)
  • “We’ve put tobacco in it’s place.  Why can’t we do the same for alcohol?” (p. 208)
  • “Nothing worth doing is completely easy.” (p. 210)
  • “As Carr says, once you see the truth about drinking, the fear of never being able to drink again is replaced by the excitement of never having to drink again.  The experience is euphoric.  You see your entire life, long and healthy, stretch out before you.  You are proud. You have done something amazing.  You are excited to enjoy this remarkable life and all of the many wonderful human experiences it holds.” (p. 210-11)
  • “Imagine you arrive at an open house”… POWERFUL ANALOGY …MUST READ… p. 211…and just because you don’t find the house alarming yet…doesn’t mean they are any less stuck or that the cookies are less poisonous.  The reality is terrifying whether they understand it or not.” (p. 211-212)
  • “I didn’t mean to slip from ‘enjoying’ a glass of wine with dinner to ‘enjoying’ a bottle.  Alcohol builds a tolerance, an immunity, which is simply our body trying to protect us from the poison we are consuming. We are compelled to drink more and more.  When did I decide to drink more? I didn’t.”  (p. 213)
  • “You need to remember this: Alcohol physically alters your brain to remove your ability to enjoy normal things.” (p. 217)
  • “It’s incredible to live a life where you don’t need to hide anything, where you can be honest with yourself.” (p. 219)
  • “It takes a lot of courage to be different, to go against the majority….There is true pleasure in leaving shame and misery behind…I find joy in the challenges before me – breaking the sober stigma and helping…all who choose to live free from the groupthink of alcohol…by choosing a different path.” (p. 219)

22: THE SECRET TO HAPPILY AND EASILY DRINKING LESS

  • “The problem with alcohol is that the brain doesn’t simply forget it.  Dopamine is the learning molecule, and your brain has learned to crave alcohol.” (p. 221)
  • “Once a firm commitment is made, you face no decision.” …  “It frees you from the the hundreds of decisions you would have to make if you decided to take it one drink at a time.” (p. 222)
  • “If you want your mind to be free, and you want complete control back, remember that moderation is not control or freedom.” (p. 224)
  • “Take a stand for yourself, realizing you want nothing to do with the groupthink of alcohol.  Be brave and be different.” (p. 229)
  • “Drinkers are very curious when someone suddenly stops drinking….Ironically you are the one who no longer drinks, but you are supposed to be the one with a drinking problem.  They are still drinking while asking if I have a drinking problem.”  (p. 236)
  • “Be prepared for mixed reactions.  Its OK.  You didn’t do this for anyone else; you did it for you.” (p. 236)

23: THE JOURNEY: “RELAPSE”

  • “The truth is that each battle makes us stronger as long as we remain committed to a better tomorrow.  We must fight this battle with compassion and forgiveness…We must remember: Losing a battle does not mean that we have lost the war.” (p. 240)
  • “Alcohol does not define you.  It does not give you worth.  It is not who you are.  It will not fix your problems, solve your loneliness, or provide any of the answers you seek.” (p. 242)
  • “This is a journey, not a destination.  It is a road that no one can walk but you.  These are choices that no one can make but you.  But know that by committing to a different future, no matter how many battle you have ahead of you, the war has already been won.”  (p. 242)

24: PAY IT FORWARD

  • “We must love ourselves first, take care of ourselves, change our habits and behaviors, and then we can change the world.” (p. 243)
  • “The world needs you to be your best.” (p. 245)

DEAR READER, (from Annie Grace)

  • SHARE YOUR STORY
  • “No matter your story, someone will be touched and inspired by what you have to say.  Your story will provide hope; it may change someone’s life.  (p. 246)

2 thoughts on “Book Notes: This Naked Mind by Annie Grace (Chapter 15-Pay It Forward)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s