There’s so much judgment when it comes to addiction and there’s never a fair assessment. A person chose to do the drugs, so we shake our fingers at them. We feed them shame without considering the reality of the situation.
For me, it was a common escape from reality but not only that. I wanted to desensitize myself from the harsh world. It happens that I feel too much (bipolar disorder does that to a person). Sometimes it’s more than I can handle. I use to turn to the comfort of drugs.
I grew up in an environment where drugs were the largest element. Over the years, the drugs changed, the attitudes stayed the same. I promised myself that I’d never touch meth. I watched my parents destroy their lives over it.
I was twenty two. I was just a social drinker but it was drugs that I loved. It was that dopamine rush, that feeling of euphoria. Happiness wasn’t an emotion I could grasp. I was offered the glass pipe and I didn’t hesitate in taking it.
For about two years, I could handle it. I dabbled in the meth world once in a blue moon. When I hit twenty four, I started having a slight mental breakdown. A best friend of mine had committed suicide, I was recently out of a relationship with a heavy opiate user, and I couldn’t cope. I wasn’t taught how to cope. It was a foreign custom of the dreaded “normal people”. I was also battling mental illness. Double whammy.
These aren’t excuses for my drug use. These are facts. I desired love and I craved disassociation. I think people forget that an addict, any addict is human underneath the mask. That’s exactly what addiction is, a mask. A mask to protect ourselves from hurt. You see a mask of a liar or a thief.
I have rewritten this post approximately ten times tonight. This is often part of my writing process, but it was so much more than that. It was getting intimate with strangers that threw me off but I feel that’s what people are starving for, someone with experience with addiction.
I had started writing a scientific post about whether or not addiction was a choice or a disease. I’ve felt divided on the subject so I did a lot of research today and you know what I found? That powerful debate on whether or not it’s a choice, the answer is *drum roll* … there still isn’t an answer. I read studies proving it was a disease, I read studies proving the opposite.
My logical self says that it’s no-doubt-about-it choice. In my case, I chose to mess around with meth and I knew the consequences. The worst part of it all was that I knew the results first hand, not from D.A.R.E. I should have known better. I understand that this was a choice. I also chose to get sober.
My emotional self is aware that it’s not just a choice. The triggers, the cravings. Two years of sobriety and I still have dreams about it. I’m high in my dreams, I’m smoking in my dreams. That is my brain acting up. My brain was neglected during my drug abuse. My poor brain was modified to exist with the drugs and then systematically destroyed from the drugs. I still finding myself twitch out of excitement or bear down on my teeth and lick my lips while I’m writing. The “old habits die hard” truly applies.
Addiction is too complex for choice, too humble for disease.
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t fucking matter. What matters is that there are crystal meth labs blowing up apartment complexes with children inside. Opiates are killing people off one by one. The war on drugs (it’s not even compelling enough to capitalize) has lost. We are losing people. We need to redirect our focus.
I was thinking too hard again and making this post more difficult than it needs to be. There’s so much I want to say to connect with anyone out there that’s going through addiction or has been through addiction. I want friends and family members of addicts to understand. This is my number one goal, as it is my goal to connect with those with mental health and those with chronic pain. These are the reasons I started this blog. I know what it’s like to feel alone in your search for happiness.
I keep changing my mind, as my dedicated readers are aware, about the format I want to represent different subjects. I intended to do write two more posts about bipolar disorder but that craving came back today. So instead of taking drugs, I took to writing.
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