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

Stressed Out, All My Life

Stressed Out, All My Life

You know, I’m a little scrambled, I can’t remember these days which summer vacation it was, 2009, 2010, or 2012, the year the four of us went to either Costa Rica or the even bigger, once in a lifetime trip, Fiji – but for some reason that summer when my vacation arrived and I was off work . . .

First we stayed at a place, a fairly local beach and it was the first day, worked Friday, set up at the beach on Saturday, and I relaxed. I felt the absence of a tension, I went completely limp and calm for nearly the entire three weeks. I think by the time I was back to work I was . . . normal again. That was once. The second time in my life that I actually relaxed was maybe six weeks ago, and that was, uh, let’s say better living through chemistry.

It’s getting these days that if you want the heathen devil-weed you can get a prescription if you’re sick, but at least around here, in BC, it’s getting where you can just walk into another store, swear you’re hurting, sign, and shop. I guess they’re getting ahead of the legal curve a little, getting jump on it before it’s full on legal and Phillip Morris jumps in. I didn’t believe it, I didn’t. I mean, I was a pothead for a long time, I know it helps with pain and the worry and stress of pain. But I didn’t realize they were actually being serious about the medicine, like identifying different traits for different troubles. I didn’t think the ‘feels’ could be as different as they are and now I think they may have a breed, a particular mix of different cannabinoids, etc., just right for each and everybody, because it was this Purple Heaven that reminded me what calmness felt like again, and I’ve had – there’s no better way to put it – the American Beauty experience. Zero paranoia.

And in that state, that I too would have described until recently as ‘clinically wasted,’ I was calm, and performing better at everything for it, making fewer mistakes, forgetting fewer things. The relaxed mind works better, apparently. Is this how other people feel? Calm, and a lot of the time? Really?

That particular breed hasn’t been available since. Well, it is just plain terrific, besides being magic for me in particular, it’s stats are insane. Maybe this stuff just feels that good for everybody, I don’t know. I’ve been smoking again since a death in our family three months back, all manner of cannabis, other breeds of bud, keef, hashish, oils . . . I’m trying to finish my last bit tonight and not go back, at least for some months. If I’m gonna smoke, it’ll be like the Phoenix character: “This is all I ever smoke.” Plus I’ll invest in a vapourizer, try to make it a little healthier, stop this cherry oil smoked off of a cigarette business. I’ve never even smoked cigarettes, they’re disgusting, especially in this country. But enough of this dope talk, you don’t want that, nor do I.

The point of all that was that although the first time was nice, the first time in my fifty years I really relaxed, it didn’t seem important then, and I pretty much forgot it until the second time, my week long trip to Purple Heaven. Now, however, after my American Beauty epiphany, but more importantly, after realizing that I have been stressed out, unable to calm myself long enough to swing a golf club either forever, or at least as long as I can remember, I want that. I’m worried about my health at nearly fifty-five, and it just plain feels nice, but more. I’m starting to see how being constantly stressed has caused many, many of the mistakes and embarrassments in my life, how it has limited my effective intelligence in applying myself in this life. If I were a TV show, meaning if anyone has been watching my life, I almost want to apologize. It must have been so sad, to see my tensed up little self, with a stiff and brittle connection to life, trying so hard and undeserving of a moment in decades for a few deep breaths. I mean, this despite a life with more than its share of sloth.

I was a pothead for years and years, and I spend a lot of time on here, or in front of the TV – but all that dope never put a dent in my stress, and neither does ‘staying real still until that feeling goes away.’ Of course back then it was really illegal, and I was hiding it from the kids – I’d tell them, but I wouldn’t show them – it was a bad thing then, an addiction, which of course only causes stress in your life in the long term. There’s something there to write about, but I’ll only mention it today: by legalizing it, lives may be transformed, addicts may become patients, treating themselves and having relief from stress rather than the reverse. A prohibition pushes lives to the dark side, not all of which may have been there already. Like I said, twice in my life, within memory, I really relaxed. This goes to psychology, of course.

Perhaps I am feeling the stress of the Mask, the suit of body, mind and heart armour that so many of us wear in order to fit into our families and society, the front we present that fits the shape of the place that other people’s perceptions and delusions have left for us to inhabit. The mask, if I understand it, is our avatar in the game of Surface Life, our userid here in Maya, the World of Illusion.

The Mask is not my symbol. I think has been around for some time, but there is a blogger here who has made it their own. Here’s his ‘About’ page:

And here’s a few examples of his ideas. I advise you get to the end of at least one of them, it’s so worth the trip:

Cortland here has an incredible way of laying it all out, creating a story that makes issues of mental illness stand out clear as day whereas everywhere else we encounter the subject or the illnesses, confusion normally rules and hope evaporates. The ideas in the takingthemaskoff blogs have the potential to make straightforward what was  . . . esoteric, extremely difficult to nail down. Cortland is shining a light for us.

Inherently stressful, is life behind the Mask, maybe it’s as simple as that, or not. The Mask is a ceramic suit of compromises we make with our environment – other people, that is the environment for humans and other social animals – and it sets up, hardens over time while our true selves are locked away and ignored. For myself, I’m sure I haven’t yet identified who I am, which parts of me are me and which parts are part of the Mask, but I’m going to start trying to figure it out. I don’t yet see where this issue of my lifelong stress-state fits into the metaphor of the Mask, but I’m intuiting that it’s all of one thing, and that this is where the key to it will be found.

It’s a rough world out there, maybe that’s enough to explain why my entire life has been spent in a spasm of a species of desperate, bracing for the blow fear that has made any kind of peace a pipe dream for me (apologies!), and maybe other folks like me as well. That peace, having glimpsed it, that is something I need now. The way I’ve been? That has been some only pretending to live type bullshit.