The Uneasy Alliance (The Short Version)


Bob Flicker



Is There A Winner? - A Loser? 

What kind of nonsense is that? Never heard of such a thing? We are who we are, equipped with a brain and a body. A person! End of story!


Not so fast!


This is a story about all of us. Like most stories there is a beginning, middle and an end. We open with our beginning. So, let’s start there. We will deal with the middle and end further on.


Once upon a time (always a good beginning) there was US (you and me). It was a time known as the baby stage where our bodies were in charge. We all know about that, particularly parents.


The body demands


Our brains were yet to develop. It was a time when our bodies were dominant, sending messages to feed us, change our diapers, make us warm and a host of other needs. Little did we know or care what our futures had in store for us. The battles between our brains and bodies would soon begin.


Our Brains Awaken and the War Begins


We don’t think of it as a war between our minds and bodies, particularly when we are very young. Never the less there is a war going on. In the beginning it doesn’t amount to much. The body dictates to the toddler and the mind follows.


Our differences begin early. The signs are beginning to appear. It’s called personalities, intelligence and (labeling) good, bad and both. And the battles begin, different for each of us!


I’m not going to spend much time on this period of time. Unless you are a parent this segment of time involving the war between mind and body is relatively boring compared to what is yet to come.


When the Mind Tricks The Body (and pays the price)


Habits, particularly deadly habits begin with the brain. The body is an innocent bystander at the outset. Little does it know what is about to happen.


In the beginning...


Adding to the picture.



As sure as night follows day!



A Picture Book Story 

My dear readers, please note that this story is just a story and not a for and against story. I try to tell much of it in pictures. To quote an old saying: “What is is and what isn’t isn’t”


“What Is”

On with our story. I call it the early stupid period. Experimenting! We humans are a curious people and our curiosity begins early. How early? Well, dear readers that depends. Take you for instance. Only you can answer when you first sneaked a cigarette or a shot of rye whiskey. Was that the end or just the beginning? 


In the beginning, the brain says “Let’s try it”. The body replies, “Why not.” Later, much later, the brain says “Enough” and the body replies, “More. I want more!” And the war begins. Who will win? 

When the mind is still in charge


Well, dear readers that phase is enough (for now) for “What Is Is” Now let’s take a look at “What Isn’t Isn’t”


“What Isn’t Isn’t”

Unfortunately for our story, there is not a good fairy godmother to save us from ourselves. Wait a minute! This is my story. I can have a good fairy godmother if I want one...and I do!


Addicted! When our bodies have become addicted, it’s up to our brains to save us. That’s where our fairy godmother comes in. Can she save us, we who have become addicted? Our dependent bodies rejects the godmother stating there isn’t any such thing as a rescuing fairy godmother so there isn’t any chance of being saved. “What Isn’t Isn’t!”



Winners and Losers 

Our story is not just about a few addictions. It’s all addictions. Either we win or we lose. The war between our minds and bodies is a never- ending affair. I regret that I cannot include a happy ending.

Addiction to opioids is only a part of the story of the war between mind and body. The whole story of addiction is in its totality that pits our brains against our bodies.


When Our Bodies Demand and Win 

When our brains surrender. Do we say, “I really shouldn’t but... O.K., just one more.”


Just one more or two or three or four or...


Where are we in our story? We dealt (briefly) with the beginning so this must be the middle. The term we often hear at this stage of our lives is willpower. What, exactly, does that mean? A favorite expression used at this stage is I shouldn’t but... In this case our bodies win. OR I shouldn’t so I won’t... In this case our brains win. It’s called will power.

Coming To The End 

It’s often referred to as aging. That can be most any age. It should be a period of cooperation between the brain and body. More often than not it isn’t. Let us think of ourselves in our totality as a driver and a car. Your brain is the driver and your body is the car. The older you get the more wear and tear on your body (the car) affects your brain (the driver). “Aging” (almost any age after 50) affects each of us differently.


Our bodies (cars) are wearing out and in pain. Our brains (drivers) are in retreat. What do we do? We take our bodies into the human garages (doctors’ offices and hospitals).


What kind of nonsense story is this? It’s not even a story!


I beg to differ. Actually it’s many stories, yours mine and everybody’s stories. I referred to the age of fifty when it begins to happen. Actually. it can happen much earlier. This is a story focused on living not dying.


The Final Stretch

Like an automobile, our body parts are wearing out.  Repairs and replacement of the heart, liver and other vital organs including bones are now commonplace. The hospital has become the human garage, a repair shop for young and old (if they can afford it).



Replacement and repair from the bottom up


A baseball pitcher can pitch again

Cataract repair fixes eyesight 


Even we ordinary people, at almost any age, can be physically repaired so that we are mostly pain-free (hopefully so) and able to return to our normal or near-normal lives. Our brains are another matter. They may have lost the battle and may stand little chance of recovery. Yet, new developments offer avenues of hope. Still, the battle between our aging minds and bodies is mostly over. Time is precious. We must use it wisely. In most cases (There are exceptions) giving up is the easy way out. There must be a truce between mind and body!




My Ending (for now)! Your Ending (for now)!













 © robert 2014