AST and Addiction

How long have I managed to keep this at bay, how long have I been avoiding this completely obvious thing?

I use caffeine, I drink tea with milk and honey all day long, and I’m a pothead, also obviously, all day long – so I’m a quiet, peaceful addict, Mother’s Little Helper sort of thing, not hurting anybody, or anybody but me. Let’s start from there, from the addict’s reason to be. I think life is too sad generally, and my life specifically, that to face it with a sober mind seems overly painful and through the progress of addiction, seems increasingly so and sobriety has become sort of unthinkable.

Why it’s tolerable high, I don’t know, I have ideas, of course, but I don’t trust my addict thoughts all that much more than you do, I think maybe it’s a degree of separation, if I’m high, maybe I’m wrong, maybe things aren’t so bad, I always have that option, that buffer, the suspension of disbelief. Whereas I worry that if I am rational and sober and see my life and life and it’s the same that I’ll have to accept all the bad stuff . . . and I think I’m especially sensitive or something, I don’t think I can deal with all that and carry on, and it’s partly that I don’t want to, I do not want to be the sort of strong person who gets over stuff and gets on with their life. On the one hand, it’s moralistic because things matter and everything isn’t just some obstacle to be gotten over, while on the other, I have never felt there was a reason to live, I don’t understand what propels people forward and the reason we all find, our progeny, was not real for more reasons than addiction and was taken away from me, and even retroactively taken away.

Meaning, I thought I had a reason to live, for a decade or two. Even my selfish genes can’t succeed at making me want to live, even that animal default is not apparently for me. I don’t think it was always the case, but it is for me now, that it doesn’t seem a choice between addiction and life, it seems a choice between addiction and death instead, and if I can stay high and alive it seems like a positive choice, while I and my children still live, perhaps there is hope, as people say.

Yes, my addiction was an issue. The ex was a sober type, you know, like a lot of narcissistic psychopaths. Like, I said. Nobody thinks she’s the brilliant sort that has those sorts of problems. Enough said, too much.

But, having confessed all this, this issue is the same as abuse, I am not the only sad person, I am not the only addict, same as you were not the only spanked child, these are not only personal problems, science owes us that it look at things so common as having common, more than personal causes. That theme is getting its own blog very soon.

I feel if I could be sober and not be afraid of any cliffs because I am seriously afraid I’ll jump – I’m avoiding the ferry, not visiting the mainland, ferries are cliffs – I fear that I would be out of options and have to accept my antisocialization at last, that I have protected my childhood self and wonder, sensitivity and caring for nearly sixty years, but that to rise above this, I must find a way to hate the woman I married, write her off and to forget about my children . . . this was not supposed to be the goal, I was conceived in the first month of the sixties and born in the first year, we are supposed to grow in love and understanding, that’s what I want to do, I do not want myself to be “what’s important right now,” and to get used to this hurt. The self-righteousness says if anything is supposed to hurt, isn’t this it?

I don’t believe in the bad human nature, so nothing is inevitable and so nothing is to be accepted and gotten over, it’s all something to be fixed, or to simply be borne until the truth outs itself and everyone catches up. But I can’t, I need help or something.

OK, maybe I found some progressivism in it, that maybe I’m not the only one whose addiction is a sort of a rope-a-dope with antisocialization, maybe a lot of addiction is indicative of people who don’t want to toughen up, people who would rather not fight. Of course, consuming pain killers is desensitization, it is antisocialization, maybe we’re only talking about different flavours of it. Hey – do I perhaps think of it as a way to desensitize that isn’t permanent?

Another chance to opt out of something, I can chemically desensitize, get through this present pain – and then if things improve, I can sober up and face a real life with a more tolerable level of pain in it?

I think that’s always the theory, and then, as they say, we get caught and can’t escape – but like all things with Antisocialization Theory, the world tells you it’s an error, and a personal one on your part when AST says that in fact it’s a perfectly normal and reasonable response to an overly stressful situation. We “get caught and can’t escape,” because the conditions never improve, do they? Not the general, underlying ones. I will sober up when things get better, which, apparently not anytime soon, huh. This is how AST shines, it is the other side of a lot of stories that didn’t have an other side other than what is wrong with you. It says, “escape” to where?


2020, as we say on Twitter? Of course, addiction was the escape. When it’s better on the outside than it is in the prison of addiction, I’ll be happy to come out, re-join society, absolutely, and I expect a lot of folks will. That’s just science and evolution, that animals will gravitate towards the less threatening environment, we don’t go in search of other landscapes when our needs are met where we are. Othering of addicts is very anti-evolution, very naïve about biology. You clean sober folks wanna fix the environment up – start meeting people’s needs, or do you just wanna keep trying to sell us complainers and conscientious objectors the permanent impairment instead?

Rhetorical. I know.

Cheers. Here’s lookin’ up your old address.


Sept. 8th., 2020

2 thoughts on “AST and Addiction

  1. Phoebe Wagner September 8, 2020 / 6:26 pm

    Hey Jeff,

    I think we are all addicts, some quiet like you, others, addicted to power and money, like Trump are not so quiet. I’m an addict too, in the sense that while I can survive without certain drugs (called medications in my case, but drugs just the same) like you I much prefer life from behind the scrim of a drugged-up joie de vivre. I no longer smoke, as I figured out I did not need to. No coffee connoisseur, I just use the easy fix of instant tasters choice. And my drugs are all generic. But frankly life completely sober, to use your terminology, sucks big time.

    I don’t judge my addictions as addictions though, as the terminology is negative. They help me function, a loner in this big social world, where without them I’d be just a miserable loner. I am not concerned about my addictions or those of others, unless they impinge seriously on my life. A friend said a local “drug addict” drove his car across her lawn and into her porch the other day…impinging? I’d say yes! But those exceptional cases aside, I think calling your use of pot an addiction is a way to beat yourself up, as if you are using the words of others against yourself.

    I would love to hear how YOU feel about pot, your real feelings, sans judgment. The person who helped me find the resilient self inside once said that in her view my “drugs” only helped me to be the person I was meant to be. It was her acceptance of me, on drugs/meds and also not, that was restorative.

    So I try not to judge any more, as judgment, that is, calling something good or bad, right or wrong, tends to polarize our thinking as well as our perceptions. If we see behavior as simply a strategy that is helpful to fill a need or not so helpful, the behavior and the person remains free to change. Once we label a behavior or person as good or bad, they retreat into defending themselves and no longer can see whether their behavior is helpful in fulfilling their needs.

    Of course, I never succeed in not judging, not completely. But I try to take a step back (after fulminating against someone or some such) and ask myself, what need is this person trying to fulfill and is this strategy working? Just this exercise helps me to get over being angry or “involved” in a way that is destructive. The exercise helps me realize that we are all just people trying to meet our needs using strategies or behavior that is more forked up than not.

    Argh, this is disjointed and not saying anything I wanted to say, so I’ll end with this.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff/neighsayer September 8, 2020 / 7:24 pm

    Hey Phoebe!
    Love your second paragraph, that’s my point, agree with it all, the stigma is rubbish.
    I can’t explain it, but when I’m frozen with depression and only want to sleep, close my eyes, not see anything, weed can always wake my brain up, get me chasing squirrels again, you know, I will see or hear something and my brain takes notice and starts engaging with the world, starts its theorizing and attempts to understand things. When I’m high – honestly, high is normal. When I’m NOT high, my brain is just recoiling these days.
    The post was saying, stop making life a battle and we’ll stop running away from you, maybe. Also, that getting tough is being impaired, same as being drunk or high, it’s an altered state, a desensitized state – just a permanent one. So it’s the Bernard Shaw or Churchhill or Oscar Wilde joke – Mr. McGuire, you’re high AF! Madam, I may be high, but in a few hours I’ll be back down to Earth and you will still be a mean mean old so and so . . . LOL
    Hope you’re good!



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