12 Jun Lose Your Illusion: Life After Drug Addiction
People are looking for an answer to their problems. Existential angst is ever-present in the world. Many people (like me during my drug addiction phase) search outside of themselves for the answer to internal problems. People try many things. Many people leap towards taking actions and adventures. Such as activities focusing outside of themselves as the tonic that will bring them the results they want.
The result I yearned for when I was younger was to find my place in the world. Firstly, I tried to play music by learning guitar. That seemed to be something I liked. It made other people happy too. But it wasn’t something that fulfilled me. I was still aiming outside of myself for the answers and results I wanted.
Through my music circles and network, I was introduced to drug culture and everything that comes with that. Drug culture is totally normalised in our world. I don’t want to get into the morality of drug-taking here, that’s a voluntary and individual choice. Yet, I was still looking outside myself for the results I was searching for in my life. Taking drugs did, however, dull the internal voice, and that was attractive to me at the start.
At the beginning, I was taking drugs for fun. Mostly powders and tablets and a hell of a lot of weed! Let’s be honest, being high does bring a euphoric feeling in your body and that feels good. Dancing around a club like a crazy person can be fun. As a kid at 19, the risks don’t seem to come into your mind. Well, they did! But I ignored them. Pushing those thoughts away because ‘everyone else is doing it’ and ‘it’s so much fun’, says the internal voice. The altered state of consciousness just adds to the haze of what is real. It blurs the lines around which part of ourselves is ‘in charge’. The alluring voice which take us away from our higher self and the part of ourselves we can trust.
‘Don’t be a buzz wrecker’, says the internal voice which was the prominent voice I listened to back then. The voice inside who wanted to go with the ‘in crowd’. The kids who this internal part of me felt okay to be with because they were cool. They were doing what I was also doing and they welcomed me in their presence. It made me feel popular, accepted and appreciated. The American psychologist William James famously said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”. This can have both positive and negative effects.
Drug Addiction & The Mind
At the start, I was experimenting with smoking weed and taking ecstasy tablets. Then all kinds of new drugs were being offered to me. I kept hearing the conformist voice over all others. It was telling me ‘this is the right thing to be doing Rob, don’t rock the boat’. At the time, of course, this was all a largely unconscious conversation going on for me. I can recall many times wanting to dull my mind chatter and my go-to drug of choice was weed.
I used to be so reliant on weed to fulfil my mind dulling desires that I would have 2 joints even before getting out of bed in the morning. It wasn’t until I was stoned that I felt that I could function properly. An obvious dissatisfaction with the direction that my life was going in. I was eager not to confront that voice even though I had a knowing that my trajectory was unsustainable. I was living the life of a functional drug addict for the most part.
Although we didn’t often take the class A’s on the weekdays, there were periods where I would even consume drugs in my job and many other colleagues regularly did too. As a functional drug user, I was certainly not alone in my pursuit of getting high, on and off the premises of my employment.
Sometimes we would be going out on 3-day binges. Certain groups of people were more reliant on the drugs and would take more than me. Something I noticed was the more drugs that a person took, the closer they were to the other high dosage users. They somehow seemed to enable the crazy in one another.
The Supply Is Everywhere
The desire to keep well stocked up with a supply is also something the functional user is hyper aware of. This was why knowing who always had the drugs or access to them was important. I found that these kinds of people were most likely also avoid the ‘conversations’ about why they are taking drugs too. I will write about how and why my binging came to an abrupt end another time.
This normalised drug addiction is a common occurrence all across the Western world. Functional drug addiction is everywhere, in all industries. I can speculate that many people are not living in accordance with their passions and fulfilling their needs to express themselves. Many feel stuck within careers, suffering in quiet desperation. They know they aren’t performing in a way that honors their strengths or which meets their need to honor a meaningful purpose.
If you are currently battling drug addiction, my intention is not to pile any more hurt on top. I know at the height of my drug addiction, guilt was the feeling which was most obvious within me. I wanted a different situation but getting there was not so obvious. Ask yourself, ‘what is it going to take to get an agreement from yourself to commit to a radical change?’ You want to see what your ‘best-self’ looks like, right? Using substances certainly detracts from you being that best possible self.
I know on some level everyone wants to make a positive dent in this world. Whether that is by raising members of the next generation or leaving a lasting legacy that people many generations later will reflect upon recorded in the annals of time. Overindulgent drug-taking or being sucked into a reliance on substance use for comfort, is not leaving a dent anywhere except on your long-term productive capacity to be the best version of yourself.
Find a coach, find a mentor, get inspired, sort out your schedule and get your routines in order and become absolutely committed and structured at everything you do. You can become a world-beater with a bit of structure and discipline. Begin with a new, more loving relationship with yourself. The time you spend considering where your next drug deal is coming from, can be spent thinking about yourself and how to become more efficient and effective in your world, following what your purpose is in life. You have choices! Make better ones!
I can help you begin.
I have created a Free 5 Day Challenge to help you catapult your journey towards mapping a better vision for what mastery in your emotional, professional and personal life might look like or check out some of the other Freebies available on my site to aid your personal development.
Also, feel free to join The Mapping Your Mastery Facebook Group!