Recently, an “” was caught on film by the BBC for the first time. Brine from the sea ice flowed down to the sea floor, freezing everything in its path. The salt saturation kept the brine from freezing outside the ocean, but the cold caused the seawater to turn to ice once the brine came through.
Take water, saturate it with salt, and it doesn’t freeze. But keep the solution chilled, toss it back into its old environment, and it turns to ice.
When you take something from its old environment, and introduce something new, you can change it. But sometimes, when you throw it back into its old environment, you get a deadly icicle of doom.
Reverse Culture Shock and the Alcoholic’s Relapse
When , a volunteer with the Peace Corps, came home from Kazakhstan, she experienced a syndrome known as “reverse culture shock.” She became overwhelmed during a trip to the grocery store in Lexington, South Carolina. She felt out of touch, unsure of what was happening around her, and ended up walking out of the ice cream isle, unsure what to buy.
Jodi Hammer, a coordinator for returned Peace Corps volunteers, warns volunteers that coming home requires just as much adjustment as leaving. In fact, the shock of coming home is often harder, because it’s unexpected.
An alcoholic who is suddenly thrust into a sobriety program will often stop drinking. But they learn to stop drinking in only one environment. Once the program ends and they , they once again find it difficult to control their drinking. Story after story confirms that the relapse is often worse than the experience that lead them to a sobriety program in the first place.
Preventing an Icicle of Death
When you return something to its old environment, things can go wrong.