Drugs-One kind or another, they f**k you up
I was thinking about people I’ve known over the years and how many have used a lot of drugs or alcohol to handle their life.
I was actually quite surprised by how many did, and likely still do. I don’t know them all anymore, but as they say old habits die hard.
I’ve met pot and hash daily smokers, habitual users of upper and downers, and heavy drinkers. Not to mention the smokers out there. I likely knew people on coke too, but not all that well because they never talked about it.
I have smoked cigarettes and at one point was quite a heavy drinker at times. My response to stress that I really couldn’t handle. But I’ve never done anything hard, I didn’t like the idea of not being in control.
At the time I knew these people their drug and alcohol use didn’t seem all that important, but for some reason yesterday I was hit with how screwed up it often was.
One of my girlfriends would come home from work and smoke hash out on the back porch while her little girl played inside. She’d then re-enter the house stoned. Great example for her daughter, not!
Or the old boyfriend that bought uppers from the local drug dealer at the bar/restaurant I used to go to. He’d buy them on the sly when I wasn’t there because he was ashamed. I remember one time I was staying at his place and he’d taken a few uppers (so he said) to stay awake while he was studying for an exam. He came to bed and proceeded to toss and turn and talk in his “sleep” all night long, waking me up many times by petting the cat on me and talking to me. Very weird experience. He didn’t remember any of it the next morning.
Another of my boyfriends always had hash and caffeine pills and uppers on him. I didn’t realize this until much later, but it did explain why he was always so popular at parties. We eventually broke up because he was not working, staying up all night and sleeping all day–in other words, a junkie. I just couldn’t envision my life with that kind of partner. Call me selfish, not.
And then there was my ex who drank and drank. He’d come home and have two or three beers and four or five ounces of scotch after dinner. When I commented that 21 beers and 40 ounces of scotch a week were a bit excessive and on the road to alcoholism, he switched from beer to wine, as if that made any difference. Of course he gained weight and had trouble getting up in the morning, never mind his mean attitude and belligerent behaviour towards me the more he drank in the evening. His response was he’d always had two or three drinks in the evening. And does that make it okay?! Strange rationalization.
I was thinking about this because it’s all about perception, isn’t it? When I was younger seeing people doing drugs didn’t phase me as much. They didn’t expect me to do them too, so I hung out with them without giving it too much thought.
But being older and having a kid of my own makes me realize how screwed up smoking hash with your young kids inside or drinking the equivalent of six to seven drinks a night is. How can you really be present and function when you’re wasted? You can’t.
And that’s what it was all about. Something about their lives, their memories and the way they felt about themselves caused them to seek the numbness drugs provide. I know alcohol did that for me on nights when I was alone and lonely. But I didn’t do it when my son was home. I didn’t want to escape from him or being a mother.
But I think it’s likely epidemic in proportion. I have heard statistics that a huge number of North Americans are habitual drug users. And I totally believe it. So many people are so unhappy. Their childhoods were filled with neglect or abuse or both and they can’t get past it as they get older, so they self-medicate.
Very dangerous. After having my own experience with it, I know it was my depression growing within me. I am lucky I got help and no longer need to drink to lose myself. We are taught, and some people would argue over taught, to do everything in our lives except how to connect to our inner selves and how to raise our children.
If we were taught those things as well we might be able to break the dysfunctional patterns from our childhoods. I once commented to a friend of mine that I hadn’t met anyone yet who had a happy childhood. He was nonplussed, but I was serious, and still to this day haven’t.
Something needs to be done about all the self-medicated terribly unhappy people out there. I don’t want to know any more people who kill themselves or neglect and abuse their children because they just can’t get past what their childhoods were all about.
I’m not quite sure what we can do, but I’m thinking about it.