It is Darkest Before Dawn: Alcoholism and Addiction in Tech (CW) (TW)

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It is Darkest Before Dawn: Alcoholism and Addiction in Tech (CW) (TW)
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Technology professionals have been in high demand for several decades, and this demand for talent has caused a culture to emerge that often turns a blind eye to those who may be struggling with alcoholism and addiction. We have to come together to avoid this "petri dish" continuing to exist, by watching out for ourselves, and one another. The CDC estimates that ten percent of Americans suffer from the disease of addiction, and only nine percent of addicts ever receive treatment. This "petri dish" of technology culture makes it even harder for those of us with careers in the field. Recovery can be a wonderful journey for those of us who suffer from the disease, and I hope by sharing some of my journey, people will take a step back and consider what we can do to improve the culture for everyone. Content warnings: this will be frank discussion that may involve colorful language, and topics including drug and alcohol abuse, death from addiction and sexual abuse.
Axiom of choice Group action Presentation of a group Context awareness State of matter Multiplication sign Floppy disk Coma Berenices Mereology Disk read-and-write head Computer programming Formal language Web 2.0 Programmer (hardware) Estimator Semiconductor memory Circle Data conversion Logic gate God Programming language Constructor (object-oriented programming) Bit 3 (number) Lattice (order) Bulletin board system Measurement Demoscene Degree (graph theory) Auditory masking Internet service provider Computer science Self-organization Website Normal (geometry) Right angle Cycle (graph theory) Whiteboard Point (geometry) Vapor barrier Service (economics) Data recovery Student's t-test Mass Number Prime ideal Internetworking Data structure Computability theory Form (programming) Time zone Support vector machine Assembly language Inheritance (object-oriented programming) Computability Consistency Content (media) IBM PC Uniform resource locator Computer animation Universe (mathematics) Musical ensemble Game theory Local ring
Axiom of choice State of matter Decision theory Multiplication sign 1 (number) Water vapor Function (mathematics) Shape (magazine) Mereology Disk read-and-write head Bookmark (World Wide Web) Computer programming Formal language Programmer (hardware) Mathematics Estimator Hypermedia Different (Kate Ryan album) Circle Software framework Data conversion God Predictability Area Covering space Boss Corporation Block (periodic table) Software developer Digitizing Virtualization Bit Lattice (order) Price index Entire function Hand fan Degree (graph theory) Type theory Arithmetic mean Message passing Process (computing) Chain Website Normal (geometry) Quicksort Arithmetic progression Sinc function Point (geometry) Identifiability Perfect group Open source Data recovery Virtual machine Translation (relic) Online help Event horizon Number Product (business) Power (physics) Aeroelasticity Goodness of fit Associative property Absolute value Computing platform Metropolitan area network Address space Plug-in (computing) Form (programming) Task (computing) Multiplication Key (cryptography) Gender Projective plane Content (media) Counting Computer animation Software Universe (mathematics) Statement (computer science) Video game Table (information) Family Local ring Library (computing)
Focus (optics) Context awareness Statistics Key (cryptography) Sweep line algorithm Gender Set (mathematics) Event horizon Power (physics) Kinematics Data center Natural language Data conversion Quicksort Musical ensemble Table (information) Metropolitan area network YouTube Physical system
Computer animation Hand fan
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allowed do wild gesticulations so please bear with me if I go a little overboard or I'm a little odd but I do want to start with the content warning a trigger warning right up front of this talk is going to discuss the alcohol and drug use and frank sexual discussions of nothing gratuitous of these conversations really easy when we're talking about a progressive deadly disease and that's what addiction so if you're uncomfortable please don't hesitate to leave at any point but I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable and I will not be affected so without further ado so I can as regards that IT director of advanced initiatives that were in school forward research data services you can find me everywhere as full of a PA of Lebanese their not and the general kind organize around the working liaison and the following the found guitarist and I'm also an alcoholic adequately in recovery I'm really glad to be here today and in recovery we take 1 day at a time I truly believe that book and surrounds talk that we are all extremely lucky to get paid to do what we want In the present context this talk was 1st given a bar and Philly in a slightly different form which is a highlight of my year last November and I want to get it right out there being in that is just part of what makes me me on this disease can really affect everybody in recovery we say from Yale to jail but but here I am in Philadelphia I like to modify that from state and depends state you know and there will be some labs and this as well so feel free to laugh at my high school and college fashion choices as we go through but it is a serious topic and chances are that the number of people struggling with this disease you today measures as well where in the last 3rd keynote before I show this part of the story about science but I don't want you only hands and a little sister i but my parents are academics foreign language teachers and I had a thing for computer languages so again I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged I was really born on 3rd base and baseball a little University city I went to Saint Mary's nursery school growing up which is the general kind child provider we provide child care and had a pretty normal middle-class child of my God father Uncle Charlie but was actually quite a computer scientist in 1974 eurosport was born he wrote a book called in and an introduction to the theory of computing and was the guy who wrote the assembly code on the chip of the memory game side that you can see behind it so I remember being very young being around computers 8 inch floppy disks double-sided back in the day and it wasn't long my that from a computer when I 7 and IBM PC 88 with 2 5 an inch quarter full-height floppy drives and soon after that I got my computer when I was about 12 and soon after that started a PDS which is what we did before the internet consistent with that of 1 another was called Wellens White Dragon and as the remember the number was 2 1 5 8 7 9 1 6 8 2 so I often wonder if the people of that number now actually still get the dialog the will beaten not and so you know I had a pretty very very very lucky privilege of course that would do when I was 12 I want my comfort zone of university city in my parents moved out for the utterance and had never really felt like I fit in at school or anywhere and this is a recurring theme you'll hear among status you know my computer was my best friend in many ways but my BBS was getting pretty popular and that a lot of other local BBS use including some programmers by the BBS estimators of the time the Phoenix tedious but unfortunately about that age but I was abused by 1 of the older programs when I was 13 I completely headed for many many years and this is part of what kind of started a cycle of shame and hiding things for from from people that for many many years and I started drinking and smoking marijuana in high school and because I started to feel like I belong in circles social circles really for the 1st time wouldn't have needed groups that benefit for computer gates of dungeons and dragons was about 1 my few social and on so is that when we fast forward to college feel free to laugh at leukemia as a prime candidate candidate to become an alcoholic so I started drinking and doing drugs every day and this is about the same time I began to open up about the abuse of and so is exploring like many of us do intelligent out on drugs LBB social and I was popular in accepted for the 1st time that the our I was showing the greatest student but I always love computers are as heavily invested in my major on a got heavily involved in the early Internet and the Web uh I started a site called philly music . com in the mid nineties which was the 1st to organize local music scene on the web of which eventually grew into a PDP might as well say after starting with server-side includes the height of technology at the time i and somehow I managed to graduate on time which was another started something called an I because I can be an alcoholic I graduated on time and I did well with my customize computer science degree that measures that are put together computer science and psychology or how I like to refer to the now had a mass of people's heads pate in Part B I was convinced that grow out of it someday you know was just being you so I did the logical thing and I moved to Jacksonville Florida to get away from it all for a Jacksonville is the worst place on the planet it is absolutely no diversity down the taxi was horrible but they to up a little bit of the drinking was always there drinking hung on account of you know I stopped doing similar harder drugs I've gotten into by that point but the drinking and socializing it was still such a structure for me the bill to socialize with people to be able to break down the barriers to be able to talk to other people to be accepted by people at the bar that's why people do drink so often is because if you think about it and misrepresentation was referenced in our last talk there's another great documentary called the mask you live in them by the same directors and film producers which talks about how men are taught to suppress their emotions from a very young age if you're age 5 in your crying in public it's a problem if you're crying at age 10 what shall we're trying to do from the time we grow up and it's to the detriment of all now think about guys in the bar if the 1 also savings in the land all you know actually prior open up about their emotions the this addiction cycle is partially I believe responsible because of how much we so we we suppress our emotions and don't have actual conversations about what we're feeling what we're doing and it affects both men and women many of my career city now great place to work it was a great place to start the baby around hat in the tech department and lots of drinking so of course you know that the location once again had to be my drinking problem can be Philadelphia can be Jacksonville can be the company I was at a it had to be made but I was still in denial about it being the place I was at so I thought that would be a more strait-laced place to work I was incorrect candidate it was very interesting is that of a bank actually got the design of bag for David Bowie which had about we code for a little while the CEO was kind of looked like William Shatner kind of acted like William Shatner and kept a bottle of vodka in my desk back in the tech department that he would pop often have a set from the board meetings so was really not a had not a great place for an hour or 2 work but you know we talk about there being a lot about callers in the tech industry but then I think about we also talk about there being a lot of drinking lawyers construction and we tried to the industry that doesn't have maybe if you're door-to-door mormon religion salesman that would be the 1 but really there's a heavy drinking culture in every industry it's not just that that we're just at a
higher risk because of the behaviors that we tend to engage in so I started my own companies have started to companies and taken them to sell the first one digital content solutions got bought out by a local company called Crocker that not only that they had a Yale machine in the garage so literally every stop I had until water had a very very heavy drinking culture now I'm not going the company's just has this culture which is literally a peach Redish predictions it's filled with temptations for alcoholics and addicts at every turn we use to back its CD now before going to an all you can eat chinese buffet we're translating site for many different languages and we would have a act any translation meeting at about 11 30 AM on Fridays or its smoke in the parking lot and then go to an all you can eat Chinese but they do the math we got our money's worth but not all was followed me despite all these changes scenery it's my disease and I clearly was not growing at a drink I did pretty successful which gave me a big form of denial of my career technology you know I I work impacting on the Philly texting since 1996 i started 3 companies taking due to sales and mention a started the SLC see the 2nd Life community convention in 2005 which became the biggest virtual worlds convention in the world of my so the Vice President of Panama the Philadelphia area new media association if you from the Philadelphia area I highly recommend checking it out and also the college the co-chair of our park and Philadelphia which is still the largest and most active or camp in the nation on as well something run the water well webconference right here as a contributor to open source projects and the funny thing is if anybody treated being the way I was treated myself at the time examples of and I will yield creativity is such a total mess having hackathons of bars I've done the the you know James Joyce said right drunk and it's over and we modified that to curb drunk debug it's really total BS this myth of the rock star programmer is 1 that just needs to die because for me everything became a reason right a promotion at work of another way members knew about drink upon the defendant had this feeling that the the training and go the going out to rank that the family drank my nephew was born drink I was drinking when I found out my nephew was born I was having a party and this is 1st birthday because I was hunger I call my family and said I was too sick to go little did I know I was actually telling the truth that I was sick I have a disease it's a deadly progressive disease the 2nd day I was in Rio and I wrote in the letter because my uncle as this this season just celebrated 30 years sober I have this disease I do not know of my nephews and again this the but I do want have a conversation with some point about it and no he can always talk about the shame continued to build I was successful but I was in denial after every flyers season local hockey team and I would try to take a lot of often drinking with varying degrees of success the brand a Brown is a professor at the university q Houston's of graduate school social work and she is considered a leading researcher unchanged I have become a big fan since I've been recovery chain is 1 of the most primitive emotions and no 1 wants to talk about it in shame can quietly marinade ever life so here's ports on shape I think shame instead and I think we're swimming in the the less talk about it the more you got the shape depends on buying into the belief that you are low Shane cannot survive being spoken shame cannot survive and this and the and altruism absolute keys to a strong community and the amount I witnessed here at gender kind and within the general community is absolutely amazing the fact we can have these conversations these absolutely wonderful conversations that are difficult that need to happen as Russia this last year with this talk on depression are ones we must have really have a healthy community let's consider the stigma around apples and fruit I have you want to have it Friday alcoholic at the table would you smoking but a cancer patient you blacked out a jurist that was hilarious Ravenna was areas somebody with Alzheimer's and recall something these indices when it just Tribunal on stuff year after that it's obviously cool I would well that's the stigma makes it really hard for people with this disease to get help it is not a question of will power any more than you can well another disease to go away I wouldn't recovery for years after knowing I had a problem because of the whole God which was just an excuse no I told you about taking a month off the flyers were eliminated from the playoffs that was 1 of multiple times stuff and you know really just another form of denial or I can stop for a couple weeks I must not be an alcoholic that said I will take this disease over any of I don't have cancer I don't have dates my medicine is that I get together and get get together with a bunch of friends for 1 hour and talk about my biggest problem and favorite subject to me and so so uncomfortable facts to consider 1 in 6 Americans binge drink for more times a month by CDC estimates and that number is higher in technology circles for the became daily or every other day a party all weekend long sometimes into the money had been the 1 planning a party after work and the workers you know they go home like a normal lines and you know I go to the dirtiest induced dipole I could find himself solely on eating often became an afterthought and you know when you start getting text messages from bartenders at 7 0 5 AM on a Saturday saying you later but is not as a hidden indicator it might be time to get excessive drinking cost America 255 billion dollars in crime medical care and lost productivity and then you know I would missing work because that might be in an alcoholic of also always look what I do so I really threw myself into my career as a way to justify my bad behavior by saying 0 I've got a full time job I'm doing well at work that was the 1 thing I could hang on to that would get me through make sure to keep up appearances and always perform I mean calendar appointments in my phone so I didn't forget anything 1 in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 is addicted to alcohol or drugs roughly equal to the entire population of Texas this is why it's so important that we have this conversation I drank heavily from the age of 18 to 40 this disease is deadly member Democrats and there is held out there so all that population the size of Texas only 11 per cent ever received treatment my sobriety is April 12 2015 it was the last day of Python 2050 topic Jacob Kaplan Moscow the tell calling stop talking about the myth of rock star developer an amazing talk go watch it on you after we're done here so it's really an absolutely must watch for everybody everybody on the planet little in our communities and this output me and I think Jacob got almost got the server but think what I am saying is that it put me in the right mind set so that I had a great week apart from that involved a lot of heavy drinking and Jacobs talk with me in the right my friend when I came back from Pike on the next morning my my family was gathered in my living room knowing that the flyers adjusted eliminated from the playoffs and I was about to embark on my yearly attended a month off I was in the right mind set for what they had to said and I entered rehab and it's probably the best decision I ever made of the media as my wife to marry so some
uncomfortable thanks to consider continued 23 million Americans self identify as being in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction 23 million that's a lot of this country and worldwide do the math I got away from everything and started to build my recovery experience told the experience lots of how to handle situations I was worried about leaving my colleagues of the river without a paddle in the lurch you know it's funny believe it or not but Wildcats spanning without me at work it was absolutely incredible I would have believed it but there's really no excuses to get the help you need it will make your life so much better it was no guarantee he said today I consider myself the happiest man the the luckiest man in the world today I really do consider myself the luckiest person in the world the really if you have a problem please reach out to me or somebody else you will be kept it'll be kept confidential we can talk the this uncomfortable facts in gender counter there about 450 attendees here general and we sold out great work Jack and the whole team approximately 45 and those people are addicted to alcohol or drugs and are actively using approximately 5 will receive treatment and I am 1 of those the let's examine our culture and community a little bit programming starter culture we've heard it many times here already how many companies have you seen would that are libraries in the fridge offered as a people in technology are already at high risk for apples addiction the obsessive compulsive behavior is celebrated and it's all around us the Digital assign intent in general has a culture of promoting alcohol use most things are capable of having a few drinks and stuff and they absolutely had that right but for those of us who cannot stop where 1 drink is too many in there is never enough it's really a temptation we have to remember now I have to say things like on a problem drinker the solutions director what I don't you have a good time by the sort of voices in my head turns out those voices are your friends sometimes it's conscience Motivation empathy they get buried under the under the sea of addiction it's worth with the so our culture good it's heavy drinking as a way of socializing networking and business I have I sold 1 of my companies in a bar the number of US you can't just stop which leads us on destructive when up becomes a perk of the workplace we risk alienating people in the quest for cool this is unacceptable the statement of this disease will often presented people who have a problem from expressing did for me for many years they're quite literally people we should be at this event for not here because of this disease I want be negative this was my rehab roommate at the Melbourne Institute rehab enable 2015 during the tasks at the time it's about the lowest point you can imagine like felt ashamed shame and so does create a bond between roommates are going through the talk together sort of a in the bunker foxhole mentality again we were best friends but we have been doing well in early recovery and seen each other at Alumni night's back at the rehab every Tuesday nite we go back even very early on to show people that there is hope currently in there I a sonic on Tuesday October 20 2015 at nominal 1 9 seem to be doing really well we're about 6 months and time on on Monday October 26 a couple days before I give this talk for the 1st time NEC relapse overdosed and died at age 24 this is a deadly progressive disease and it needs to be addressed so what can we do get professional help if you have a problem recognized the statement tell a friend and get professional help and intervention can save a wife even if it doesn't work the 1st time don't be afraid to talk about these topics have to be on the table care instead of mockery of and the snap judgment don't celebrate this disease sentiments like work hard play hard of bullshit what we kindergartners malignant centuries as you were talking today examine your work also culture and what my boss are absolutely amazing and supported me in every way to get the help I need without any shame had nothing but support can we say that about many other workplaces again I'm not here to tell any good swings you can drink responsibly to stuttering I believe in having fun absolutely insist on enjoying life but if you like maybe you'll know you have a problem and if you think you have a problem please please get help reach out to me I will talk to any of you about this that is part of my medicine is helping another alcoholic the ad get the help they need it helps keep me so so they're all I Data reprieve from nearest address I reach out to other alcoholics and try to help them and in doing so I help myself I've been somewhat libraries for the 1st time since the but 1 about has never mind was released I had know a lot of joy of my life and I had 22 years of addiction I get spend a ton of time with my nephew watching him grow history and was 5 blocks from me I actually enjoy being myself again it's a miracle had had so I mean it was yesterday it's history tomorrow is a mystery today is a good that's why we call it the president be sure you do something nice for someone else today and by the way they find out it doesn't count al truism is its own reward and it's the key to recovery it's helping another alcoholic or an addict out every day isn't perfect I strive for progress not perfection I'm really lucky that there is a solution to my disease and once again I get the hang out with a bunch of my close friends well like I talk about my favorite topic and the problem be all is every day if not twice a day and life is good so I really want to thank gender community for providing a platform where we can talk about the really important issues if there is an issue of any type you want bring up the jagged community a place that will embrace it and that is 1 of our greatest but the technology inside cover the technology state the community that's all of you that everyone here everyone across the world it's 1 of the most amazing communities ever been a part of a give a talk on how water found gender and talk about all the technical things and you know we went through analyzing you know what kind of plug-in ecosystem that had put out of your own work and at the end of it I talk about how damn lucky we got by landing on such an amazing tech community the general community in the Python community have been absolutely amazing breezing water as we move to Python Django the framework and language of choice and you know everybody is supported the general community my wonderful colleagues my friends and my family the 1 that's been great the lack of judgment has been an amazing the understanding of the fact that I have to put significant time into recovery has been amazing but most importantly I can now say I 110 and alcoholic and things from admission so if if it is that the wall or will be and what we if anybody
has any comments or anything they like to share we've got a couple minutes before lunch and thank so much and I think I'll just say for everyone thank you so much for sharing and thank you so much for telling is your story thanks for us item
payouts has you think communities where they serve of the whole this kind of the normalize thing are on inclusive to people who are suffering from alcoholism like I mean am a vegan and sometimes it bothers me when people around they're eating meat and makes you feel a little uncomfortable among the 1st sort of the same thing like if you feel uncomfortable people around you're drinking it does when it's really the focus of of of an event but for me it's very different than maybe any other alcoholic were added system now called genetics have different trigger so I'm not OK when the focus of an event is of the bora the alcohol and I was partially responsible for leading those kinds of events before unless I sound like a total hypocrite when I was in my active addiction I but things like the Monday nite bowling nite where does not focus on people are having dreams I'm OK with that not every article kinetic will be on but I think the key here is to find about because so I don't know of any Outcault Erratics who you know want everybody to stop drinking because we have a problem again were small part of of the population but we do exist and as a vegetarian I can relate but I was I was very glad to see gender come once again showing how amazing it is a tag vegetarian vegan table yesterday thank you solver now it's a button together is just another example of how amazing and inclusive this community really I completely agree thank you term thank sets I think he's never really amazing an honest heart and I know that some of us here work at companies that do have the beyond happened you have sort of a heavy drinking culture do you have any tips about how we can approach and the people in power in our places to maybe at least you know remove the KEGG has the yeah sometimes it's hard because it's so entrenched in the culture of my last company for example is a very blue-collar rough-and-tumble was you know man not the community so it's a very difficult thing to broach and depending on the context but I think more and more as at this topic it's talked about it gets easier and easier especially with things like youtube where you can find all kinds of resources or the you know the statistics I quoted here when you actually put them out there I think there are a lot of people just don't realize how large a problem this is however it's getting a lot of attention and you know where the problems we're having with opiate addiction in this country now especially with the companies that are had promoted opiates is not addicting oxycontin in particular has gotten a lot of attention and well that's a very sad story when you're stories about senior citizens who are heroin that they can't afford their opiates anymore and the way the effective opiates have had on the suburbs is not something that they can sweep under the rug anymore so I think it's getting noticed a lot more so there are a lot more resources out there in the conversation started which is which is made you know made me proud to be in a thanks or whether it has launched an identical isn't isn't very loud music in the data center for a few minutes will be about as the old saying that's something I have half and I have the power se to my
topic as the fans