There’s a Cat Writing the Hamster Blog!

Hey Hamsters!

There’s a cat writing the Hamster blog!  Many of you know me by other names, but I’m writing as Harm Reduction Cat so that I can speak a little more freely than I can on platforms where I write under my real name.

Our Dear Founder, Kenneth Anderson, has graciously invited me to revive the Hamster blog.  I plan to share stories of Hamsters as we go through our daily lives, tips and tricks for reaching our goals, and a little bit of Hamster philosophy.  I’ll be inviting guest Hamsters to write entries, sharing their experience as we go along on this journey.  If you’re interested, drop me a comment!

The comments will be moderated, and trolls will be deleted.  Like our Facebook group, this will be a warm and welcoming, non-judgmental space where all goals are embraced and all positive change is applauded.

A little bit about me… I discovered HAMS and Harm Reduction via the great Monica Richardson, long time HAMS member and creator of the film The Thirteenth Step.  I had struggled with drinking after multiple traumas piled up on each other, and I ended up in a very traditional 12 Step rehab.  After dutifully doing my 90 in 90, becoming secretary of my home group and baking more cookies for meetings than you’d need to sink a battleship, I became disillusioned with that fellowship and began reading about other approaches.  As I read I came to believe that the disease model that had been drilled into me in rehab was not accurate, that I was not powerless, and that no one was doomed to jails, institutions and death if they did not follow the 12 Step path.

I discovered our Dear Founder’s writing, and downloaded the book, How to Change Your Drinking on to my phone.

After a few more weeks of reading and much consideration, I decided to try the experiment.  I had been abstinent from alcohol for 11 months, but I no longer believed that one drink would drive me to out of control madness.  Rather, I had come to believe that I have the power of choice.

Sure enough, I discovered that I could drink safely.  Within ninety days of that first drink, I had earned my Masters degree, gotten a new job, and been accepted to a prestigious PhD program.  So much for jails, institutions and death!

It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, and I do not hold myself up as perfect in any way. Harm Reduction isn’t about achieving some idealized, normative standard of perfection.  Rather, it’s about living as authentically as we can, minimizing the harms and maximizing the benefits.

The support of the Facebook group has been critical to my “recovery from recovery,” and we have recently started a live meeting, where the support is even more vibrant.  Together, we do better.

I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with all of you.  And remember…



About April

Zen practitioner, yoga enthusiast, public health professional, and some other weird stuff.
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