Monthly Archives: January 2008

Impasse, or Momentary Lapse of Progress?

Hi all.  It’s been a while, but for as little as I have to say, there hasn’t been much time to say it.  The long and the short is, I don’t really have anything great to report, so I’ve been staying away.  Thing is, I didn’t realize I was in so deep until I tried to get out from under this thing.  I find that I keep hitting walls, most of which I suspect are internally rooted.  There’s an old Japanese proverb that fear is only as deep as the mind allows.  The origin and solution to this problem can be found inside my own head, but I’m not doing enough about it.  Life is becoming frighteningly real and raw, and there’s no slowing it down or reversing it.  Time to make a serious move forward and reclaim something that resembles a life worth living.  On to the fore.

Hope everyone is doing well…I’ll be checking in more.

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Joseph Campbell

One of my favorite minds is that of the late Joseph Campbell.  I’ve been reading him a bit lately in an attempt to quiet my mind, as I find his writings have a hypnotic quality.  While I think he got it wrong quite a lot, his ideas were fascinating.  His catch phrase was, “Follow your bliss.”  Campbell explored the nature and history of mythology and the role it plays in the human psyche.  Myth, or religion if you prefer, is often regarded as a primitive thing, unnecessary in today’s world, almost laughable under the microscope of science, and maybe even damaging to the all-consuming notion of progress.  As a romantic, Campbell went so far as to declare myth as necessary and science as mythic.  I dearly love science, but it is difficult to find meaning and fulfillment exclusively in science.  Any sort of attempt to derive meaning from it automatically puts an almost mythical spin on it, or at least a plainly subjective one.  Which gets me to thinking….

It’s a fascinating thought that in the not too distant future, much of what we regard as concrete science today will be rebutted.  History has a funny way of getting science wrong.  Ah, but we think we are immune because now have technology and we apply the scientific method…but even a cursory glance over the history of anatomy, medicine, biology, astronomy, etc. demonstrates that science is continually rewritten, and a backward glimpse into history shows how saturated these fields were with their then-contemporary social ideologies.  Today, a look at the news shows that scientific studies are in a constant cycle of being confirmed and refuted.  Much of the knowledge we can timidly count on being ceaselessly accurate is actually mathematically rooted, and mathematics is very different from science in that it doesn’t really change.  Sure, we still make new mathematical discoveries, but old formulas always stick around.  It’s a far purer field than science.  I love the idea that science reveals our shortcomings as much as our advances.  It shows how really human we are, that we’re constantly evolving, even though it’s rarely in linear fashion.

 Campbell wrote, “With our old mythologically founded taboos  unsettled by our own modern sciences, there is everywhere in the civilized world a rapidly rising incidence of vice and crime, mental disorders, suicides and dope addictions, shattered homes, impudent children, violence, murder, and despair”…his point being that the role of myth is indespensable to humankind because it gives meaning and quality to life, and we’ve lost sight of it a little.  Myth is broad enough that it can embrace art, ceremony, literature, wisdom, dreams, fantasy, poetry, philosophy, and the other things that are the real meat to life.  It lets us know that we are all part of the same human race occupying the same planet, and maybe our differences aren’t so great.  At least, that’s what I get from it.  We’re all in this together.

“Each knight entered the forest at a point he had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no way or path.”  Campbell said this in reference to the legend of King Arthur.  The knights found their way through the forest by questing, which he said is how we all ought to live, making the most of our unique gifts rather than following a path already carved out by others before us.  Follow your bliss…interesting conception.

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Filed under Beautiful People, Beautiful World

My Drug: Indifference

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My apartment sits above a restaurant with a tacky fake fire pit outside.  Every night, the light flickers and bounces off the tree by my window, and I think there’s a fire.  This routine started when the building next to me burned down and I developed a fear of crazy, irresponsible neighbors who play with fire.  The night it burned down, I was away, but I received several calls from people who saw the fire on TV and informed me with complete certainty that it was my building that had burned.  I learned that when faced with the possibility of losing all my stuff, I didn’t really give a shit.  I knew everything would be okay, and that as long as no one was hurt, I was thankful and at ease with it.  But at the same time, I really didn’t care.  I was crushed at the thought of losing my treasured copy of Anna Karenina, but nothing else seemed to matter.  Well, that’s not entirely true…terrible prospects flashed through my mind of firefighters investigating the rubble and finding signs of drug use.  I wasn’t sure what the protocol on that would be.  But I found myself putting on an act for the friends who called me in order to feign concerned about losing everything in my apartment.  I had reached the perfect level of detachment I had been seeking. 

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I had a tidal wave dream last night.  Those are the worst.  I don’t know much about dreams, but something in the meaning of those dreams seems inherently obvious.  The few times I’ve managed it, quitting drugs has opened the door to things I don’t want to face.  It’s daunting.  I crawl out of my skin with thoughts and emotions and memories, and it’s like I’ve forgotten how to be human.  Even good emotions are hard to accept, because I don’t quite know how to regulate them.  During those sporadic periods of sobriety, I reflect on how badly I occasionally let my addiction get out of hand, and I wonder how I could become so indifferent.  It’s more of a removed and temperate curiosity though, because the indifference hasn’t actually left.  Now that I’ve done such a good job of perfecting it, I want to let it go a little, test what happens if I let out some slack.  How to begin the process of unlearning detachment? 

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Catching My Breath

“I have made the big decision…I’m gonna try to nullify my life…”

 

You know what’s funny about junkies is, they are so completely predictable.  They isolate, self-medicate, lie, bow out of anything and everything meaningful, rarely answer a call higher than drugs, and are generally completely and entirely irresponsible.  You don’t let them baby-sit or house-sit.  You don’t loan them your car.  You pray they won’t call, since it’s probably a crack at securing money or a safe place to use.  You lose sleep if they don’t call.  You eye them when they’re in your house.  Most of the time, you lose touch with them, whether you mean to or not.

 

It’s amusing how at the first sign of any confrontation, a junkie can instantly transform into the busiest, most reliable, and impressively hardworking person on earth.  When a junkie is faced with the prospect of something like inpatient rehab, there is no one alive who can compete with a junkie for first prize in responsibility, reliability, obligation, a sense of duty, and a full calendar.  “But I have to work!  “People rely on me!”  “I have responsibilities!”  “I can’t pay bills if I leave.”  “My life would fall apart!”  And the ever-conventional: “I just need time.”  Not hard to read in between the lines of why they really don’t want to go.

 

Of course, any junkie already knows his/her life has fallen apart.  Junkies suck at paying bills; they find employment difficult or impossible; they do a piss-poor job of attending to people and things in their life, including themselves; and they have this magical ability to ruin everything they touch.  The reality is, no one needs a junkie around.  It’s worse than wasted space, because it’s just a drain. 

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I can’t stay on track.  Every time I make progress, I lose it.  It’s like trying to hold onto water.  I can do it for a while, but the whole time, the water keeps seeping through hidden cracks in my hands until I’m left clutching air.  I keep trying to go back to where everything went so amiss, but every time I think I reach the inception, I find my mistakes are rooted still more deeply.  This is where I am now: whether or not to do methadone.

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Last time I quit, I promised myself that if I landed here again, I would try it.  I’ve gone in circles so long that I’ve lost my bearings.  Conflicting thoughts about quitting are causing a raging battle inside my head that drowns everything else out.  Reasons for wanting to avoid methadone: inviting The Man into my life, potentially swapping one addiction for a less superior one, cost, and a lot of uncertainty.  I’ve been trying to learn about methadone, but I have so many questions.  I don’t know what it will be like to go down there every day.  I wouldn’t have a say in how much they give me, and what if I get a physician who decides to start lowering my dose quickly?  It seems there is always an introductory cutoff level, usually around 30 or 40 mg.  What if that’s not enough?  Even if it is, it doesn’t deliver the rush like smack.  Sure I could add some benzos or alcohol into the mix, but it’s not the same, and what if they test for those?  Reasons to give it a try: I’m feeling a little threadbare. I keep doing the same thing over and over, and the only thing that changes is that I feel a little more apathetic each go-around.  I need to distance myself from where I get drugs, and I don’t know any other way.  A lot to think about over the next few days.

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Filed under Drugs