All posts written by Laura MacKay

looking up from the bottom of a pit

Waking Up to Hitting Bottom

July 31, 2015 | Written by:

The a-ha moment that almost made me throw up

Dr. Brown redefines any number of things in “Addiction Is the Symptom.” Like hitting bottom. You don’t have to be living in a dumpster with a bottle of cheap vodka clutched to your chest to be living there. I was there. I had been there for most of my life. And I didn’t even know it. Continue

solo person jumping for joy

Are You Emotionally Independent?

July 27, 2015 | Written by:

Is your mind your own? The yes/no test is a simple way to find out

We all like to think of ourselves as independent adults with minds of our own. But most of us aren’t as independent as we think. We’re emotionally dependent on—also known as addicted to—all kinds of things, including the approval of others. The yes/no test is a good way to gauge where you are on this. Continue

"Hello my name is" tag

Identify with Your True Self

July 22, 2015 | Written by:

As opposed to all the crap piled on top of you

Self-identification is a powerful thing. Because the mind is a powerful thing. Whatever you attach to “I am” can become self-fulfilling. So what are the consequences of saying, over and over, forever and ever, “My name is [your name here], and I’m an alcoholic” (or whatever)? This is a guest post at Sobriety Collective. Continue


Alcohol Is a Really Serious Drug

July 16, 2015 | Written by:

Drinking your drug isn’t any better than smoking or shooting it

Here’s a real pet peeve of Dr. Brown’s: the phrase “alcohol and drugs.” Alcohol is, in fact, a serious drug. Yet alcoholism is segregated from other addictive behaviors in our language, both formally and informally. Arguably a convenient oversight.

diver on the edge

Fence-sitters Anonymous

July 09, 2015 | Written by:

Dr. Brown’s step method isn’t hard. The hard part is the fear of doing it

As I worked on “Addiction Is the Symptom” with Dr. Brown, I became increasingly interested in undertaking her therapeutic process. I was already gaining new clarity about myself and my relationships. “Wow,” I thought. “What if I actually did the step work?” And then I just kept thinking, not doing. Emerson said it: “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Continue

White House celebrates gay marriage

Gay Marriage: A Fine Blow to a Soul-Killing Institution

July 03, 2015 | Written by:

The Supremes: Take that, compulsory heterosexuality!

Most of us live or have lived in the vice grip of ideas, principles, and institutions imposed on us by others. Compulsory heterosexuality is one such crappy institution that’s done a lot of harm. Now it’s going to be a little harder to control people’s minds, hearts, and bodies in this particularly deep, painful way. Which is healthier for everyone. Continue


Brain. Washed.

June 19, 2015 | Written by:

The Brown Method is a deep cleaning that leaves you with a mind of your own

“Have you considered whether you’ve been brainwashed?” my friend asked me. I guess I seemed too happy or something. The Brown Method is the opposite of brainwashing. It removes an indoctrinated set of beliefs and behaviors that constitute a false self—an addicted self. Continue

The Brown Method is different from the traditional steps

The Twelve Steps, Revisited

June 15, 2015 | Written by:

How is Brown Method step therapy different from the original Twelve Steps?

Dr. Brown’s steps differ from the traditional ones in important ways that include not only nuts and bolts, but also underlying premises. Here are seven key differences. And if the idea of changing the steps makes you uncomfortable (the nerve!), try reading the post “A Shout-out to AA” first. Dr. Brown critiques the steps, yes, but she based her therapy on them for a reason. Continue


A Lie about a Lightbulb in the Library

June 08, 2015 | Written by:

A lie is an addiction alarm bell. Once you learn to hear it

Lying is an addictive behavior. The next time you tell even a small a lie, try to get yourself to stop and think about it. You will likely find that you are afraid or trying to control someone or something. Fear, control, and manipulation: these characterize all addictive behaviors, which in turn are symptomatic of the real problem: emotional dependency.

I can tell you the exact moment that I really got this. Continue

The Brown Method restores choice

The Choice Is Yours. Do You Really Get That?

May 23, 2015 | Written by:

You do have a choice. But first, you have to free yourself to make it

Understanding choice is a big piece of understanding addictive behavior and how to heal it. As Dr. Brown defines it, an addiction is any person, substance, or situation over which we have lost choice or believe we cannot live without. But restoring choice can be as simple as realizing—really getting—that you actually have one. Continue