My Drug: Indifference


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. 


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? 



Filed under sobriety

6 responses to “My Drug: Indifference

  1. Like surfing? I don’t know how to surf. But maybe the process of unlearning detachment is a little like learning to surf.

  2. You were high when you wrote this one, huh? When the dope wears off you will be engaged.

  3. bottlecappie

    I’m unable to fully articulate why, but I think you’re conflating indifference and detachment.

    You can care about something, and still be detached from expectations about the thing/person/whatever that you care about.

    I’m sure that someone somewhere has expounded on this idea far more coherently than I – I will go digging and see what I can find.

    Hope you’re doing allright.

  4. Free to think, free to believe...

    Indifference, eh? I don’t know how I can comment as I’m mostly someone who indulges in petty comfort habits – smoking a pipe of tobacco (just thought I might as well be clear) a little gin to administer gently over hours and a good book with the radio talking to me (stuck on Radio4)…

    But on the other hand… I’ve had moments where if my life just slipped painlessly away I would have probably only watched it go in a fascinated way…

    It’s difficult to cross that bridge once you’ve passed it by – it always seems to lurk as the ultimate defence – if you don’t care then how can you be hurt… But life still passes and I carry on my way and once when I mentioned how much I just thought that ‘life’ was too much bother I was shocked and shaken about how much that disturbed him. From that I’ve made a couple of decisions, healthy decisions – you decide, firstly – I’m going to keep that thought away from friends and family and secondly – I have accepted that I live and will live until something comes along and changes that…

    I may find it difficult at times but then I am slowly learning that indifference whilst defensive has no reason to keep going and so I try to leave it behind and just ignore it but in my darker moments I know the bridge to indifference is there and that it is my fear which bids me cross it not my hope. I know which one will help me live a life and I do my best by distracting myself.

    And so I keep going…

  5. just had one of those dreams too. also dealing with similar life “mal”functions. strange how we are so similar, yet so fucking distant. stole your picture, and your brain. xoxo

  6. Angelcakeluv24x7jinx

    I think your dream is breath taking

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