How Did I Quit Smoking? I Just Stopped!

By Sean McDermott

I had quit smoking so many times that I decided not to use that word ever again and now when I hear people say that they have “quit”,  I take it lightly and reserve comment.  Quitting is something that you fear, something that you approach slowly and have a plan in place to overcome the odds, the mood swings, the cravings.  I had no such thing.

Let me give you some untypical background.  In July of 2007 I arrived at Toronto Western Hospital in an ambulance dying of Liver Disease from Alcoholism.  I know this because they told me next morning that I had been dying for about two weeks. I wouldn’t have made it through the night if my sister and Mother had not insisted as I lay in my sweat-drenched Queen bed, throwing up repeatedly, that I had to go to hospital.  Even then I kept thinking,  “if I could just rest” but I went as they say, kicking and screaming.  The Chief Physician the very next morning visited my bedside, told me that I was very lucky and that my life was about to change, that is if I wanted to live.  There is always the [...] continue the story

Change and The Close Sisters

Glenn Close, the founder of, tells the very personal story of how mental illness affected her family. Visit for more information on how you can help combat the stigma around mental health.

October 21, 2009

Change A Mind About Mental Illness

Director Ron Howard lent his vision to this PSA, made possible by over 100 volunteers coming together with one simple goal, to change minds about mental illness.

October 21, 2009

Close & Personal: Dual Diagnosis

She was standing in the middle of Dixie’s living room when Molly and I walked in. She was holding a bottle of wine and made busy to get us some. “No, thank you,” I told her. She pushed. “No, thank you,” I told her again. She didn’t give up. Usually, just saying ‘no thank you’ gets the point across. But not this time. She tried to hand me a wine glass.

This was book club night, an evening with friends that, because I live quite a solitary life, I look forward to all month. I read the book for this month over a year ago and was sure I’d remember everything about it once the discussion began; I couldn’t have been more wrong. I couldn’t remember anything.

However, it isn’t the group I want to focus on, it isn’t the book or the eating or the yakking. It was this one woman, this pushy-with-alcohol woman, and myself. She is a summer person and neighbor of Dixie’s who threw the festivities this time and is someone none of us knew. In short, she isn’t from around here. She used the dreaded ‘C’ word to explain where she was from: California. Her nails were [...] continue the story

A Fly In the Ointment: A New Perspective on Addiction

By Nic Sheff October 26,2011

After years of speaking about addiction, a fascinating new study has radically altered my perception of this disease. It’s all about drunk flies.

It’s been four years since my memoir, Tweak—and my dad’s memoir, Beautiful Boy—were published in the same month. Shortly afterwards, the two of us went on a national book tour. Since then, we’ve traveled to hundreds of conventions and fundraisers and schools—sharing the hard lessons we’ve learned about addiction and recovery and…well…life in general.

That means we’ve had to listen to eachother’s experiences close to 50,000 times. And while our stories always evolve and shift slightly each time we recount them, for the most part they remain unchanged. Recently I’ve found myself daydreaming as I sat in the audience listening to my dad share his half of our tortured tale. To be honest, I’ve even started daydreaming while I’m sharing my own story. I mean, it’s the same thing, over and over and over again—the same stories, the same ideas, the same jokes, the same tears.

Once an addict is an addict, whether it’s a human being or a fly, getting high is the only thing that matters.

But last week, when we showed up for a speaking [...] continue the story