addiction

arvan's picture

The Story Of My Addiction

This post is about addictions, self-harm, self-discovery and eventually, self-care.  I recently had occasion to think back to when I was 20 years old.  I retraced my steps to the present day for the first time in one sitting and was quite surprised with my reaction to the story of my own life.

Looking back, I was terrified at the prospect of finding my way in the world.   At the time, I just knew that I was getting high all the time and felt shame, despair and fear like a lump in my throat almost choking the breath out of me.  I was on the verge of a great sadness, constantly frightened and alone.

I looked around for love or sex or something to quiet that feeling of loneliness, but no such comfort was there to be found.   I remember awkward, clumsy moments with women and some conversations we had about sexuality, friendship and literature/music.  I remember standing in my kitchen talking to one woman on the phone about her attraction to women.  She was wondering where to go with it and I wanted to be her friend even if it meant not being a lover.  I hope to god that I actually communicated that!

I remember another girl that I tried to get a relationship with, but she eventually stopped the relationship because I had no money and no clear indication that I was going to have any.  That triggered my shame issues and I chose to leave for the Green Berets like some romantic sod off to the French Foreign Legion in the wake of a broken heart. (what a mope!)

I figured that if my life didn't change, I was going to end up as someone standing around talking with great authority about how my life would be if I ever lived one.

So, off I go to the Green Berets because it was the hardest thing I could find in the military.  I joined the Green Berets because I was lost in my life.  I figured that I would either grow up or die trying.

arvan's picture

Sarah Graham: A Letter to my Body

'A Letter to my Body' is a series of essays - broadcast on BBC Radio 3 - in which five thinkers, artists and writers ask themselves how they relate to their own bodies.

Sarah Graham, a successful therapist and addictions counsellor, explores her at times turbulent relationship with her body.  From the age of eight Sarah was given ongoing medical treatment but she only learned the real nature of her diagnosis at the age of twenty-five when a gynaecologist finally revealed the truth: that she has XY chromosomes and is an intersex woman.

Doctors had even shielded her parents from the truth about her "disorder of sexual development".

The shock of the revelation led Sarah on a path of depression and addiction which nearly killed her. However she has gradually rebuilt her health and her self esteem. In this essay she makes peace with her body and challenges homophobia in religion and our society's polarised expectations of gender.

AIS Support Group: http://www.aissg.org/

Alex Karydi's picture

Hit it, Snort it, Chug it.... Don't call me an addict!

“Shhhh…
I will keep your secret, I will not tell… a soul
That you drink alone
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
I will not tell anyone when you do that line of coke or take one more hit of smoke
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
I will not tell that when you are high and drunk…
You like to hit me
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
I will not tell anyone know why my thighs are bruised, my eye is black and my heart is broken
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
Your secrets safe… I will not tell anyone
… That we are lost and alone.”

No you do not have a problem; it is the world that has a problem with you. No, you drink like everyone else, and the drugs, well that is just recreational and you are in control of that too! No not you because only street bums, whores, and low lives are addicts.

arvan's picture

My response to: The Pros and Cons of dating a druggie

If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that.

      (William Shakespeare)

I read this post at The Most Cake, earlier today.  It's a tongue-in-cheek look at being in relationship with someone that uses drugs.  I tweeted it in part for the humor and in part for the willingness to look at something from another point of view.

In some of the replies to the tweet and in the comment field of the post itself, I began to notice something.  Several people really laid into either the post itself or drug users in general.  I saw a bit of a familiar pattern emerge. 

It is similar to the monkey-pile I see people jump onto when targeting transfolk, queers in general, women and so on.  It is the mob brutality of gangs targeting individuals.

Society so readily accepts the negative judgment of drug users and the "othering" / damning of them.   How happy we are to flog someone in the village square for the crime of not being who we think they should be - and how their not being "good" is used by us as license to blast them with language, isolation and punishment - including violence.  In short, dehumanizing them is unquestioned and relentless.

But the point is that "druggies" are no less human and no less likely to be in a relationship.  They are just as likely to be loved by someone:  a lover, a sibling, a parent and that they are no less deserving of love than anyone else.

People sit in judgment under the banner of being "morally superior", but what kind of morality can issue the vicious attacks by someone onto another person whom they perceive to be weaker than themselves?

Perhaps my own road from addiction to sobriety allows me to look back to the desires I had for love, human touch and community - even in the throes of my addiction.  Perhaps I have learned after half a century that opinion and judgment are not nearly so valuable as we would have others believe.

-arvan

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Vibrator Addicted?

 

Have you ever been afraid of becoming addicted to your vibrator? I have, well I wasn't so much afraid as it has been a thought that has passed through my brain a few times over the years. Especially, when I was younger and much more impressionable. There's a myth out there that states that if a woman becomes accustomed to achieving orgasms with a vibrator, she will no longer be able to orgasm with other kinds of stimulation.

I thought that might have been true, because it was (it is) so much easier for me to come with a little vibration, but I've come to realize that it's just not true. Not in the sense that our sexual organs will become desensitized with use and eventually require more and more intensity. Ok, maybe within the same session, but that's true of any kind of stimulation.

For those of you that have watched Sex and the City, you'll be familiar with the episode in which Charlotte buys The Rabbit (check out the Sex Toys at Babeland) and after using it for the first time and finding battery operated bliss, she pretty much ceases to leave her house. The girls eventually have to stage an intervention to convince Charlotte to let go of her new pet. It was a funny episode and it definitely got the point across: pleasure can be addictive and The Rabbit is one hell of a vibrator, but it's not exactly reality, now is it?

rampracer's picture

Short story: The Homeless

Here's a link to a short story I wrote over at my blog A Different Light

 

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