Favorite Books of the Year 2018: “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” – Gabor Maté

💉 An excellent introduction to the complex problem of addiction. Dr. Gabors is specialized in its study and treatment. His book offers powerful portraits of his patient lives, the story of his own addictive behaviors and the path to recovery.

📝 “As a rule, whatever we don’t deal with in our lives we pass on to our children.”

⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Regardless of your degree of addiction or whether your drug of choice is heroin, TV, food or shopping – reading the stories and research presented in this book will help to shine a light on your own addictive tendencies.

This year I got rid of two addictions: Nicotine (snus) and caffeine. 🚬☕️

Read the full list of favorites or check out previous lists right here!

Thoughts on: “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Gabor Maté

Dr. Gabors is specialized in the study and treatment of addiction. His book offers portraits of his patient lives, stories about his own addictive behaviors, it examines the causes behind addiction and it breaks down the path to recovery.

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He opposes the weight that’s been put on the genetic component of addiction and points at stresses in early childhood (even pre-natal stresses) as the main risk factor. He is a big proponent of more compassion in society’s view of addicts and explains the futility of the “war on drugs”.

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An excellent introduction to the complex problem of addiction!

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📝 “As a rule, whatever we don’t deal with in our lives we pass on to our children” -Our unfinished emotional business becomes theirs.

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📝 Addiction = Fear of emptiness.

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📝 Proximal separation: Physically there but mentally absent when parenting. Children experiencing this look to use external couping mechanisms like thumb sucking or tuning out. These kids have great chances of seeking refuge in drugs later on in life.

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📝 Gabors recommends the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and the book Rosenberg’s book “Non-violent Communication” (I just got it!)

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📝 Circumstances for brain development differs. Some have had positive experiences that others have been deprived of. Think about this before you judge.

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📝 Parents, and mothers in particular, are getting less and less of the suppport they need during their children’s early years. This is a cultural breakdown of cataclysmical scale. Therefore the raise in adhd.

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📝 “All problems are psychological, but all solutions are spiritual”

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📝 “Only healthy nurturing relationships with adults will prevent kids from getting lost in the peer world. A loss of orientation that leads rapidly to drug use.”

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: Regardless of your degree of addiction or whether your drug of choice is heroin, TV, food or shopping – reading the stories and research presented in this book will help to shine a light on your own addictive tendencies.

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My struggles have been with nicotine and refined carbohydrates. What’s your addictions? 🤔😀

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PS: The audiobook version of this book is excellent!

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5/5

Photo credit: @darcy_renea_lalimo (Instagram)

 

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Thoughts on: “American Kingpin” by Nick Bilton

A failed physicist libertarian created the “Amazon of drugs” on the dark web, banking on the anonymity of Bitcoin and Thor (a web anonymous browser). His name was Ross Ulbricht and the site name was “the Silk Road”.

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He wanted to challenge the government led “war on drugs”, which he saw as a huge failure, and create a safe way to purchase drugs and while doing so, save tens of thousandths of people from prison sentences for minor drug abuse. The goals was to become such a powerful force that governments would understand that legalizing rather than fighting drugs was the solution.

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📝 The first items sold on the page was Ross’s homegrown magic mushrooms.

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📝 It did not take long before vendors started to sell fake passports and money. Lab supplies, forged documents, guns, spyware.

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📝 Then came the next level stuff:

Poisons – cyanide, which kills you in 7 sec was sold with a copy of “The final exit”; An e-book guide to suicide. Soon body parts, like marrow and kidneys, came online.

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📝 Ross and his partner, Variety Jones agreed that selling these things where all good as long as there where where consent between buyer and seller. Except on one point: Heroin.

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📝 Variety Jones had a problem with the Silk Road selling heroin. In prison he had seen what heroin did to people. Prisoners where drug tested randomly – but only Monday – Friday. Pot stayed in your system if you did it during the weekend but Heroin did not… so many took to heroin and nobody smoked pot. Making prisoners take a weeks worth of heroin In a couple of hours just to ride out the withdrawal symptoms for until it was Friday again. Hell!!

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💭 Thought!💭: For me It’s always fun to google the faces of the characters in books like these when you reach the end of the book. They usually look very different from what you expect!

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🔁 Follow up: I need to read about Heroin.

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Anyhow, this is excellent narrative non-fiction of a real world “Breaking Bad”-story. You get to follow the tale of the Silk Road from its inception to its shut down and its one hellauva ride!

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4/5

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