I will resume that whole developmental psychology thing eventually- it’s just I’ve been coping with some personal problems that have really wreaked havoc on my relationships, career as an IT professional, my educational goals, my reputation, my health, my looks, my marriage, and last but certainly not least- my finances. I wake up every morning, not recognizing the person in the mirror- if I can even bring myself to see my reflection. My eyes are sunken, my complexion muddled. If ever there was a poster child for the “drugs are bad, mmm’kay” campaign, I could be a contender, I’m sure. Perhaps I haven’t hit the absolute rock bottom, but I’ve come within a stone’s throw of it, no doubt. I’m on the cusp of losing everything, but I am fortunate enough to have people in my life who care enough to fucking slap me in the face enough so that I can look up and meet my own gaze in the mirror long enough to see how far I’ve fallen.
Some say addiction is a disease. I’m on the fence about that one, since this is a disease I welcomed into my life with open arms and with sound cognitive ability. It wasn’t too long however, that it took over my willpower and demanded I make it the one and only relationship I would sacrifice all others for. Of that aspect of addiction, I do see how it is a disease. I’ve heard that free will in general is an illusion that everyone mistakenly views as their’s to control. Perhaps I’ll explore that topic further another time, but this much is true for everyone whether they’d admit it or not: we are all slaves to our vices. Whether that be booze, gambling, running, self-mutilation, gluttony, starvation, plastic surgery, tattoos, or what have you. Most people are haunted by an insatiable need for something. Whether that something would benefit us or destroy us seems to me to be a roll of the dice. I, like many others, was and still am drawn to that artificial bliss on tap. Instant relief from all my worries, and the ultimate cheat code for nearly any dilemna, the right combination of hardcore drugs will get anyone hooked. I believe that’s why the US has taken the antiquated- yet effective on a very basic level- stance on treating these psychoactive substances.
Substances like the ones that I’ve allowed to poison my mind alter the brain in such a way that it will eventually take priority above all else. Those drugs that have a well deserved stigma associated with them. While under its influence, you will make any excuse or tell any lie to make sure that shit finds a way into your bloodstream. To a non-addict, the lengths to which an addict will go seem absurd, selfish, even downright sadistically evil; but for the addict, those actions become second nature, and are just par for the course of a lifestyle that typically means living fast and dying young. Some are fortunate enough to escape its iron grip; many are not, and struggle for years like a fly in the web, only to eventually get consumed by a predator with no face, no body, no weapons, and no weaknesses.
I’ve seen documentaries on the subject, and one concept sticks out in my memory which makes perfect sense (apologies,I can’t recall specifics for a citation). Doing drugs like opiates, meth, coke, or MDMA for long periods of time eventually rewires the brain so that acquisition of the drug is equally, if not more important than other survival instincts. Over time, getting your fix becomes more important than material possessions, money, shelter, relationships, and even food. I’ve encountered several different women who ended up losing their children to drugs, yet that loss was not their ‘rock bottom’. They continued to use, despite losing what many mothers consider to be their most precious gift in life. That should speak volumes as to how insidious this trap can be. My wife- who has stuck with me through the worst challenges I’ve had in life so far- put it brilliantly by saying “you didn’t make that choice, the drugs chose for you“.
Of course all of this is subjective. There are those who say addicts chose their lifestyle, and they have no one to blame but themselves for their problems. To a certain extent that is true. I would think it inconceivable (like Vizzini) to throw away the things I hold dearest to me… had you asked me a year ago. Now I find it impossible to live for anything else besides my next fix. It has consumed my life.
I started writing this like a week ago, but like everything else in my life, it’s sat and festered with nothing to show for it. I guess I’ll post this now, I don’t even remember what my original point was…