Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Drugs and Mental Illness go together like infants and loaded firearms!
Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem. They're no good at all. -Kurt Cobain
I am not talking about medicines prescribed by a medical or mental health professional to treat or reduce physical or mental health symptoms. I am talking about Alcohol and Street Drugs. Don't get it twisted!
Okay, I am not a Doctor or a scientist. I am an experienced and well-traveled user of mood altering substances. You know Drugs! I am from the “Just Say No” generation. Nancy Reagan told me over and over all through my preteens and teens that saying no is the answer. PSA’s by McGruff the Crime Dog let me know that users were losers and losers were users almost every time I turned the TV on.
That was not a deterrent in the least. In fact, it probably fueled the specific flavor of rebellion that I cultivated for myself in my teens. You know fuck Nancy Reagan don't tell me what to do. I am not saying it was the best course of action. Just the course of action I took, since 1984 I have used (in no particular order)
And some shit this guy had at a party, and he gave me some!
(I never used needles. It never seemed necessary.)
The reaction and focus for years was, Oh he's a drug addict we will get him clean, and he will be fine so for a point in my life, I was an active and focused Member of AA I saw the Big Book of AA for what it was a textbook for getting and staying sober. A proven and tested method that worked for alcoholics and addicts. It didn't promise paradise it just offered relief from a hopeless state of mind and body. And for a time it did. But even with the rigorous action of the 12 steps (yes they are actions not words on a wall) I still had these Demons. The AA big book actually covers this. It clearly states that there are those we cannot help. It basically says that some people need a doctor's help for Mental Illness and that it isn't addiction at all (read the book. It's in there. I read it twice)
So after exploring addiction as the source of my “problem” I eventually came to grips with the fact that I did indeed suffer from Mental Illness. (Alcohol and Drugs were not helping though.)
It was not a mystery to me that I was self-medicating for years. I wanted a solution to the way I constantly felt. In lieu of a solution, I would accept relief or at least a reprieve. Enter drugs.
Arguing that drugs and Mental Illness are a good combination is about as fact based as arguing that climate change isn't a thing. But like I said I am not a doctor. I am a Mentally Ill man who has a shit load of experience with using drugs. This isn't a medically based opinion. Sure ask and an overwhelming number of Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and MD’s, and they will agree with me. But I am talking about effectiveness.
Using Alcohol and/or Drugs may feel good. It's quick it's easy to down and dirty. I really get the appeal. I went for it every time for years. But it's an Illusion. The relief, joy, happiness, oblivion. whatever the payoff comes immediately. Then fades. So it is not a solution. In fact, it starts to create more problems. That's really the trap of drugs after all isn't it? They are a shortcut.
As usual, I am getting away from my point. The point the reason I started this rambling was this.
If you want your life to change with real meaningful change. That creates a quality of life you have to WORK. The kind of work that takes a clear mind. Sound judgment. Motivation and determination. In my experience, that combination is impossible to maintain while maintaining a high. Furthermore, I believe that the things that bring true Quality to life are the exact opposite of how drugs and alcohol affect us. Drugs and alcohol immediately give us the euphoria the bliss the high. But over time the use of drugs and alcohol becomes more difficult. In other words, you get the payoff up front and the struggle comes later. But real Change that creates a quality life up front is difficult painful quite often a true struggle. But after time comes reward the high as it were and it lasts much longer. It is a real by-product of effective action in one's life as opposed to the result of a wake and bake consisting of a bong hit of Super Lemon Haze. Masking one's symptoms isn’t a long term solution. Reducing, coping and managing Symptoms is*
Obviously, people are going to do whatever it is that they are going to do. People believe what they want about their lives regardless of the facts. I didn’t just make this up to be a dick but if you have a Mental Illness Drugs and Alcohol are not a sustainable path to overcoming your iIlness. But what do I know?
*We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have. If this is how you cope and it gets you through the day then play on. I am not saying don’t do it. It would be hypocritical of me to even imply. What I am saying is if you are using this path and it is just getting you by and you want more. There is more but it’s on a different path.
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