Tag Archives: responsibility

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

Dodging Moral Responsibility?

David Hume said the nature of free will is the “most contentious question of metaphysics.”  I laud him for taking the matter so seriously, but what is it with my friends arguing free will to the bitter end lately?  Everything seems to be an indication to them that free will doesn’t exist to them…literature, movies, art, historical figures (although rarely personal experience).  I don’t understand this.  What is ironic, however, is that these same friends tend to fully support war as a means of perpetuating social “liberty”…the clear political antithesis of determinism.  That’s what drives me nuts about this argument, is that no one lives it out, and people who try to end up breeding enemies by the dozen because their actions can come across as irresponsible or harmful.  I love blogs because no one reads mine, so I don’t always feel the need to argue my claims before reflecting on them, and I’m free to blather and wander off the point as much as I want without having to provide a sound case.  This is one of those times.

Free will arguments are too loopy for me to follow.  I won’t try today…this is merely a chance to blow off steam from having to defend free will to people when I don’t even know what the hell I’m talking about.  There are incompatibilists, like Kant was, who argue that determinism indicates there is no free will.  There are compatibilists, like Hume was, who argue that determinism follows free will.  I’ve never seriously considered the arguments, so I don’t know where I stand, but it doesn’t greatly interest me.  I mostly only care about it to the extent of knowing that some people argue against free will as a way to dodge blame by remorselessly excusing a personal action or that of another.  Arguing against free will is a way to get around moral responsibility.  The topic has a place in philosophical debate, but it can become destructive when it’s tangibly carried out as the logical outcome of incompatibility.  If no one is a free agent, no one is morally responsible for his or her actions.  This seems dodgy to seriously commit to, since the consequences of living out such a philosophy could be messy.  Moral responsibility is an important component of moral human action (duh).  One of my friends, B-, justifies his destructiveness on the basis of determinism, and consequently, the world is a much darker place because of him.  If there is no free will, then what precisely is the external influence that is directing him? 

I can’t figure out why some people question free will so seriously when it seems to remain solely a speculative conjecture rather than an issue that affects which path they take (or are determined to take) in life.  Most people’s actions are rarely hindered, constrained, or forced, and yet they question free will so boldly.  Surely experience can contribute to philosophy alongside abstract theory…?  However, the few areas that seem to personally challenge free will for me probably have no place in a philosophical consideration.  If questioning free will doesn’t change how most people live their lives (this even seems to be as true of theological determinism as it is of logical determinism), then why the obsessive pursuit to find an answer and excuse personal actions under the umbrella of determinism? 

The most tangible opposition I see to free will is addiction.  There is clearly some determinism in nature, as with genes (although most genetic traits assume an on/off state according to environmental influences reaching all the way back to gestation).  With addiction, it truly seems at times like there is zero control over behavior, and that the inability for restraint far surpasses a matter of willpower.  That’s the embodiment of addiction…people can’t stop, no matter how destructive and catastrophic the consequences become.  In fact, the part of the brain responsible for the chemistry of addiction (a primitive little part located high up on the brainstem) is not under voluntary control…hence the extreme difficulty in reprogramming addictive behavior.  Aside from the question of addiction in a free will argument, little things give me trouble on occasion, like waking up from a nightmare when my frontal lobes haven’t turned back on yet…things like what if a person is drugged or tied, what of free will then?  These thoughts give me no trouble when I’m fully awake (unless I’m drugged or tied– kidding, sort of), because I understand them in the context of another person’s free will action.  It’s mostly the question of addiction that gives me trouble around the clock.  Oh, mental illness is another area that raises questions for me…it tends to be brushed aside or explained off in society, but I think people suffering from mental illnesses have quite as much of a right to be taken seriously with regard to philosophy as people who are not.  When my friend T- committed suicide, based on his comments and behavior leading up to that point, I don’t think he felt that he had any free will in the matter.  Those around him would certainly have liked an opportunity to try to persuade him otherwise, but only he really knew how unbearable things got for him.

Most of the time I view the contemplation of free will more like a dental procedure.  I dislike because I don’t want to lose that urgent sense of moral accountability for my behavior.  My behavior is already poor enough as it is; I don’t need others attempting to let me off the hook.

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Filed under Blogging, Drugs, My Life

Come on Men, Rally!

Male contraception is inching closer and closer to becomig a reality.  Yes men, you could wind up taking a little blue pill every day, just like your partners have been doing for years.  Role reversal, or egalitarianism?  Would you do it? 

In my experience, the woman not only ingests the birth control (exposing herself to a myriad of estrogen-related health risks and side effects), she also travels alone to the pharmacy to pick it up, pays for it, and must remember without help from her man to take the pill every day.  The heat falls on her for forgetting if a pregnancy ensues from a few missed pills.  (Through no fault of either sex, the woman must then assume the responsibility for pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding.)  Of course, this does not describe all contraception-using relationships, but I do think it describes a majority of them.

I am hopeful that most men will respond positively to the idea of male contraception.  It’s not that far away, but it requires a viable market.  What better way to swallow a little macho pride and show your partner you care than by saying, “Sure, I’ll go on the pill.  Anything for you, baby!”  Eh?

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Filed under Sex