12 Jun Lose Your Illusion: Life After Drugs
People are looking for an answer to their problems. Existential angst is ever present in the world. Most people search outside of themselves for the answer to internal problems. People try many things. Many leap towards taking actions and adventures, things outside of themselves as the tonic that will bring them the results they want.
The results I wanted 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 I could hang my coat on. I was still aiming outside of myself for the answers and results I wanted.
Through those music circles and networks, I was introduced to drug culture and everything that comes with that. Drug culture is totally normalised in this world. I don’t want to get into the morality of drug taking which is 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, that was attractive to me initially.
At the start, I was taking drugs for fun. It does bring about 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 do, but I ignored them and pushed 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 of which part of us is in charge and can take us away from our higher self and the part of us we can trust.
‘Don’t be a buzz wrecker’, says the internal voice and that is the voice I listened to back then. The voice which wanted to go with the ‘in crowd’. The kids, who this internal part of me felt okay to be with, because they were cool and doing what I was doing welcomed me in their presence and 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.
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 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 fulfill my mind dulling desires that I would have 2 joints even before getting out of bed. It wasn’t until I was stoned that I felt I could function properly. An obvious dissatisfaction with the direction of my life was going in but 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 so often take the class As 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. 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 each other.
The desire to keep well stocked up is also something the functional user is aware of which is why knowing who will always have drugs or access to them was important. These kinds of people will most likely also avoid the ‘conversations’ that highlight why they are taking drugs too. I will write about how and why my binging came to an abrupt end another time.
This is a common occurrence all across the Western world. Functional drug users are 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 in a way that honours their strengths or which meets their need to honour their life purpose.
If you are currently a functioning drug taker, my intentions are not to pile any more hurt on top. I know at the height of my reliance, 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 change of course? 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 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 and being sucked into a reliance on substance use to become comfortable 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 be a world beater with a bit of structure and discipline and beginning 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!