My relationship with chemical intoxication ended poorly, as one can probably guess.
Living muddled and entranced is unsustainable. Apart from the external consequences society imposes, there are certain inherent consequences as well. Confusion is hard on our minds, it’s the opposite of how they are meant to function.
I gradually grew angrier and angrier. All the things I was suppressing and repressing and avoiding with intoxication were still there. I was just clubbing them into unconsciousness. They always woke up again, and they were mad. I pushed the people who hadn’t gotten tired of me away. I invested myself more and more in all the things that were terrible for me.
This is all pretty much math too.
Not dealing with things lets them grow and grow in the dark. It isn’t long before we have a legitimate monster on our hands.
The problem for me was that this was all combined with a very strong attachment to intoxication. This prevented me from having the insight to deal with it. So, I blamed other people and circumstances. Essentially, anything outside myself.
Predictably, this did not lead to good things.
One of the central problems with an intoxicated life (and intoxication in general) is how it sets a bar for experience that makes reality start to seem boring or painful or just unacceptable.
It creates this mindset where the things you do every day like going to work, hanging out with people, spending time with family, and having hobbies, all become a hassle because they are impediments to being intoxicated. So, you either start avoiding these things, or you bring intoxication into them.
Neither option turns out well.
I eventually quit getting intoxicated. It wasn’t rehab and AA or NA or being blinded on the road to Damascus. I think these things helped, but they weren’t the fix. An accumulation of everything I had learned over the years finally broke through the surface and allowed spontaneous recovery to appear in my life. I still struggled a few times over the years but, in general, I was free of the need for chemically-oriented intoxication (in the end, it’s all chemical though).
I moved out to the desert and got in school and started a family, which we’ll start looking at starting tomorrow. I still sought out ways to avoid simply sitting with reality as it is because I hadn’t sorted myself out yet.
I still haven’t. But I’m working on it.
Thanks for reading.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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