When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead

I take little pleasure in hearing about people’s vacations to exotic destinations because I can’t relate them to my experience, and because I feel vaguely disapproving that anyone would even want to go. The same applies when a drug user talks to a non-drug user about his latest high.

People travel for all sorts of reasons just as people use drugs for all sorts of reasons. I started my own drug use in the ‘60s partly out of curiosity, but moreso in the belief that they would lead me to enlightenment, it being the era of Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert. When I would meet a person who said, “I don’t need drugs to get me high, or, “I prefer reality to staring at the wall like an idiot,” or, “I don’t use drugs because I like who I am,” I would regard them as ignorant if not cowardly. It later occurred to me that similar arguments could be applied to travel. For instance, “I don’t need to go to the other side of the world to experience happiness,” or, “When you’re a person of depth, your own backyard is no less exotic than Rampur.”

Other than coffee and an occasional drink or two (never more than three), I hadn’t been high on anything for years until I started living with chronic pain. Then came narcotics, marijuana, sleeping pills, Neurontin, and Cymbalta. Now, never a day passes but what I don’t take three or more of these, marijuana being the only one that I don’t use regularly because I can no longer tolerate it. I’m not addicted to any given drug, but if it’s possible to be addicted to the desire to get high, then I’m addict because I love getting high. I always loved getting high but until I started living with pain, I just didn’t do it everyday.

When I was in my upper twenties, I only had regular access to two drugs—marijuana and alcohol—so I bought books about legal substances that could get a person high, things like lobelia, kava, jimson weed, and fly agaric. Some sounded so scary that I didn’t even dare try them, and of the rest, I had to order some, and none of them took me to where I wanted to go. Then LSD came into my life by way of one friend and psilocybin through another. My sister was by then a coke addict, so I snorted that a few times, and then someone gave me angel dust. I also took speed on a few occasions, but, except for marijuana—which gave me insights and hallucinations—I never got what I wanted from any of these drugs until I tried ecstasy, and it took me as high as I could even imagine going. When I shared some with a friend and she went into convulsions, I felt disillusioned that a drug which had been, for me, a source of overwhelming love and happiness could turn right around and make her seriously ill and panicky.

Like a lot of people, I didn’t care for narcotics at first, and they weren’t even that good at controlling shoulder pain, but they were what I had, and they were better than nothing, so I took them, and I’ve continued to take them for six years now, more recently for back pain and knee pain as well as shoulder pain. The enjoyment of a lot of drugs is like the enjoyment of riding a bicycle in that it’s no fun until you learn to do it well. Take Neurontin. I mentioned it a few posts back, and at least two people wrote about how unpleasant they found it, what with it making them dizzy and causing them to walk into walls. I initially liked the drug because it would enable to sleep through the pain when nothing else would, but then I learned that if I went from a low dose to 900 mgs all at once, I too would walk into walls, but the pain would disappear, and I would lie in bed for hours on end having amazingly vivid and happy dreams, one after another after another. Like touring Borneo, the effect of a drug is partly what it is and partly what you are able to make it.

Back in the ‘60s, young people were divided into two camps, those who were open to experimenting with drugs, and those who were not, and neither camp thought much of the other. I was never ashamed of my drug use, but was instead proud that I had the courage and the desire for growth that was necessary for me to take substances that scared the daylights out of me and had a reputation for putting people into mental institutions or worse. When I finally got an inkling of just how bad a bad trip could be, and determined that I was more prone to them than less sensitive people, I became more cautious. That was why, of the three times that I took acid, I only took a full hit once. It was also why I stopped taking hallucinogens at night, in unfamiliar places, when unwell, or among people I didn’t trust and couldn’t easily escape.

As the hippie era wound down, people came to regard drugs as less a vehicle for growth than a means for entertainment. Again, there’s a parallel with travel because a lot—probably most—people travel for stupid reasons. Maybe they’re simply bored at home, or maybe they want to travel for the bragging rights, or maybe they expect foreign countries to effortlessly enrich their minds. When you think about it, is there really that much difference between stories that start out, “I saw twenty countries in two weeks…” and those that begin, “I was so fucking wasted…”? Nothing, in itself, can make you a better person, and anything can be done for unworthy reasons, but the boundary isn’t always clear.

Like with narcotics. They can be used to relieve pain, but they’re also good for the emotional distress caused by pain. The common belief is that you’re only justified in taking them for the former, which means that you’re better off seeing a shrink or taking anti-depressants for the latter. My guess is that most people who use them for very long use them partly for psychological relief even if they take other measures, because when you’re sinking like the Titanic, there’s nothing like the profound relief of a drug that can give you instant peace and happiness.

I was stricken when I learned that, within blocks of where I live, people rob pharmacies at gunpoint for the very drug that I take almost everyday. I know that these people will be locked away in prison, and that strikes me as throwing tragedy after tragedy. Peggy has another view because she’s seen how manipulative druggies are when they come into the hospital, not because they’re sick but because they want to make people think they’re sick in order to get drugs. In Peggy’s view—and the view of a lot of healthcare provides—addicts are lying, thieving sacks of shit who deserve prison. Because I know that the only thing separating me from them is lucky genes, I feel a mixture of outrage that some addicts let themselves sink so low and compassion because I don’t think they can help it.

I don’t know what the answer is, although I doubt that legalizing narcotics could be any worse than locking people up, because if they were legalized, fewer people would progress to heroin (most people turn to heroin because it’s cheaper and more available than legal narcotics), and no one would rob pharmacies at gunpoint or go to a doctor pretending they were in pain. Narcotics, bought legally, are far cheaper than liquor, and, having taken them for years, the downsides are not terribly obvious to me. I know they’re bad for my health, but I also know that I can function so normally when taking them that my mental state isn’t apparent to others, and this makes me wonder if addicts couldn’t hold at least some jobs if their drug supply was assured. If any drug that I’m taking has caused an obvious change in my behavior, it’s not narcotics but Cymbalta because Cymbalta has caused my extremities to twitch, but it has also alleviated my depression. The last time I was on an anti-depressant, Peggy begged me not to go off it, and I’m sure she would beg me now if I said I was going to quit taking Cymbalta. That’s how pronounced a difference such drugs can make.

I simply don’t believe that addiction in itself is the worst thing in the world as long as a person can afford whatever substance he or she is addicted to, and as long as the drug in itself doesn’t cause disruptive or criminal behavior, as with meth. My thought is that we would be better off legislating against bad behavior while on drugs rather than legislating against the drugs themselves. Alongside the futility of attempts to put an end to drug use, I think people have the right to use mind-altering drugs. I’m probably more intolerant than most of antisocial behavior while on drugs (for example, if you kill someone by driving while blind drunk, I think you too should be killed), but drugs don’t make a person drive while loaded or otherwise act like an ass.

I have a friend who smokes pot, another who drinks to excess on occasion, and a third who doesn’t use any drug, even caffeine. Of these three, the least interesting is the one who smokes pot, so I’m far from claiming that drugs are every case desirable, yet I’m incredulous in the presence of people who won’t at least try marijuana, especially when it’s free and offered by a friend. Hell, I might not be keen on travel, but if I won a trip to Uzbekestan, I would surely go because, well, why not? I would learn as much as I could in advance, put as much energy as I could into being enriched by the experience, and see how I liked it. Why not approach marijuana the same way? The usual answer is, “I like myself as I am,” which misses the point when said about drugs just as it misses the point when said about travel. To be anti-drug is to risk missing a trip down the rabbit-hole with Alice, and that’s a terrible thing to miss. There’s so much in our heads that we’re unaware of, and drugs can open the door to them. That’s a precious gift in my estimation.

Now, I’m going to tell you as good a drug story as I know. Three months ago, overwhelmed by pain and consumed by depression and thoughts of death, I started taking Cymbalta. Now, I rarely think of death, my pain is still appreciable, but greatly reduced, and I only feel depressed for moments at a time. All of this I attribute to Cymbalta. If a person can have a stroke and immediately assume a radically different personality, or, as in my case, take a drug, and undergo a dramatic change both in mood and in the content of his thoughts, how can we regard anything about ourselves as constant? But if we are not a constant, then what are we but sacks of chemicals that are waiting to be acted upon by other chemicals? So much for innate human dignity.


Elephant's Child said...

Lots to think about here. As I expect from you.
I agree with you abour anti-social behaviour and drugs. And have never met an alcoholic I wanted to be around (including family members). The people who I knew were using other drugs were mostly much easier to be with - though I sometimes felt disconnected from them. And a friend swore to me that heroin was the very best pain killer - though she eventually medicated herself to death. Accidental? I don't know. She used it to escape, first from physical pain and then from emotional pain and needed/wanted that escape more and more.
My body/mind don't react in ways I am comfortable with to the drugs I have tried (legal or otherwise). I drink alcohol, very sparingly, but that is about it for me now. And the caffeine in tea.
Innate human dignity? Not that I have seen on a collective basis.

All Consuming said...

You're spot on about legalising drugs, it would actually save lives all round, and here alcohol is the biggest killer yet is perfectly legal, this is despite it being the only drug that seems to make anyone violent. Other drugs drive people to become violent in order to procure them, which is different. A huge percentage of domestic abuse is fueled by alcohol, not weed, not ecstasy, not LSD etc.

I like to travel, but the best travelling end up with me alone looking at the sea somewhere with a book in hand. It is escapism, but planned as such. I remember a life changing moment re travel occurred when I was sat on a small dock, on a beautiful desert island, with the stars out in force, and thousands of illuminated fish lighting up the stunning sea below my feet. But I was miserable as hell because I was with someone who was behaving badly towards me, yet I was remaining in a relationship with, and I was in physical pain almost all the time. It cured me of my want to travel the world ina way, and made me appreciate home much more. I still want to travel, but more to see people rather than places. This may well change mind you.
I'm so glad about this drug you are on, and have no issue myself with staying on the ones I take at present, and have done for many years, that keep me sane and as happy as I'm going to get (without taking ecstasy, which as you say, can make you feel the happiest ever possible, or turn on you. Not worth the gamble, though I took it without losing around thirty times.).

Snowbrush said...

"have never met an alcoholic I wanted to be around (including family members). The people who I knew were using other drugs were mostly much easier to be with"

Same here, plus drunks reek of liquor. I hated to pick up drunks from car wrecks when I drove an ambulance, because I could smell the alcohol in their blood, and the combination stunk.

"a friend swore to me that heroin was the very best pain killer - though she eventually medicated herself to death."

I think you're friend was right. I've had morphine and Fentanyl, and I know Fentanyl is much, much stronger than morphine, but since you don't get as much of it, I don't actually know which is more effective, but I've always heard that heroin was tops, so if I were in enough pain that it was either kill myself or buy heroin, I would buy heroin.

"Innate human dignity? Not that I have seen on a collective basis."

But even where it exists individually--through heroic acts and such--if it (and all that we do), are the products of chemicals (cause and effect, as it were) rather than choice, we get no credit. By the same token, we deserve no blame for our failings.

"alcohol is the biggest killer yet is perfectly legal, this is despite it being the only drug that seems to make anyone violent."

Same here about alcohol being the biggest killer. As for it being the only drug that makes people violent, angel dust can, as can meth. I know that there are also a lot of super strong "designer drugs" nowadays, but I know nothing about them.

" ecstasy...I took it... around thirty times.)."

Oh, baby..wow, wow, wow. I only had it three times, and the day after my last time, I was sitting on bus, and when cars would pass us, their wheels would look like they were turning backwards, which surprised me because I thought the drug was out of my system.. Tell me, though, was ecstasy as good the 30th time as it was the 3rd?

Snowbrush said...

"ecstasy...I took it... around thirty times.)."

It could actually happen that we will meet someday, and wouldn't it be grand to do ecstasy together? I wish the heck I still had a source for that kind of thing. Sometimes, I'm tempted to look, but not tempted enough as of yet to do it. What I would really like would be to have a source for heroin in case I ever needed it. Now that I know pain, I like to have all the insurance possible, and this means access to drugs.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the sweet nectar of Bourbon! That warm and loving feeling washes over you and makes your mind accept it's reality with dignity and grace. It is not the alcohol that smells bad, it is the fear and depression and angst that accompanies it. Bourbon is more reliable than prayer! It answers you each and every time with it's loving embrace. It is like your mother pulling a blanket over you and tucking you in all safe and sound. It makes the forced march to the abyss into a parade!!! ha ha ha

Snowbrush said...

"And a friend swore to me that heroin was the very best pain killer - though she eventually medicated herself to death."

I'm obviously too scattered today to say everything I want to say at one. My sweet and loving Child who lost her friend, as you surely know, the problem with something like heroin is that you never know how strong it is or whether it has been adulterated. This is unfortunately true of many black market drugs, and it means that you can take the same amount today that you took yesterday from a different batch, and still die of an overdose. An extra strong batch hit Eugene a few years ago, and people were dying with the needles still in their arms. Of course, I no idea why your friend died, but what could be sweeter to die so fast that you couldn't even take the needle out of your arm?

"Ah, the sweet nectar of Bourbon!"

To each his own, Rat, and blessings to you, and thanks for stopping by (I'll return the visit, my friend) but if I may be so bold, most liquors stink to my nostrils and whiskey is the worst of all. Give me vodka any day.

Elephant's Child said...

Her family swore it was an accident, but she overdosed twice that day. The first time the paramedics were able to revive her, the second (a few hours later) she wasn't found. I don't believe it was accidental at all. She isn't in pain now - but I miss her. Still.

kylie said...

i dont think anyone appreciates hearing about other people's exotic travels. an acquaintance of mine recently went on a family trip to fiji and i am sure it was very nice but i sure as hell didnt want to look at the blurry, uninteresting, poorly composed photos and neither did i want to hear her commentary on said photos. there is a difference between a nice memory and a story to be told

Snowbrush said...

"She isn't in pain now - but I miss her. Still."

Thank you for sharing about her. Suicides are even harder to live with than "ordinary" deaths.

"i sure as hell didnt want to look at the blurry, uninteresting, poorly composed photos and neither did i want to hear her commentary on said photos."

Now, see, that's where drugs are a really big help. If you had been on narcotics, you could dozed off. Ecstasy, and you would have found both the photos and the commentaries divinely fascinating, would have complimented her constantly on the quality of both, and hugged her intermittently as you thanked her from the bottom of your heart for sharing them. On the other hand, if you had taken speed, you would have thrown your drink in her face, cursed her soundly, turned over some furniture, slammed the door on your way out, and rammed your car into hers for good measure. Ah, but on angel dust, you would have strangled her, chopped up the body, made some of it into steaks and the rest into stews and invited your friends over for a feast. Now, see what you're missing by not doing drugs?

Helen said...

' there is a difference between a nice memory and a story to be told' ~ great observation! Your response? Priceless.

I've never been keen on telling all when it comes to travel, I prefer keeping the memories to myself (savoring them, occasionally reliving the best ones). And I do have a few doozies!

My drink/drug of choice? Vodka on the rocks with a bit of lime or lemon. I get all giggly when I smoke pot .. of course the last time I imbibed was 15 years ago.

Linda said...

I never felt less about drug users because my brother and sister just younger than I did drugs. Alcohol makes people stink in my opinion. I can tell when bloggers drink and post. They are always judgmental and disgusting.

Until I was 30 I never even had a sip. My friend started me on screwdrivers. If a person drank enough vodka, I could smell it on them even if I had had a drink.

Quite frankly, I do not want to use a product made by someone high. What employer can afford health insurance on people who do not have all their faculties at their command. People never think their drug affects their coordination or judgment. It does. Of course, if a person chooses to do drugs, stay home, sleep it off, that's not a problem.

However, people do use drugs at work. When I taught GED, one student came for class, smelling like the joint he just smoked. Another student was huffing in the bathroom with products he found. Neither student was the same right after their drug use.

It is really sad when someone dies with a needle in the arm still. However, if dying was the wish, I think going fast was a good thing, as you said.

This week, I am temporarily solving my pain problem with cortisone injections in both knees and one in my spine. If I can just function for a short time, I can get things ready around here for surgery. Well, I am making the appointments this week. It would be great if I could attend my 50th reunion not looking like a permanently crippled person and not make sounds because of the unremittent pain when I stand, walk, or sit down. Oh, it would be nice to be able to walk at all after a long drive there. Sitting up to type might be nice!

When I have back surgery, I know I will have to take some heavy-duty stuff and then try to wean myself off after I am addicted.

kylie said...

which drug should i try first?

lotta joy said...

IF alcohol was as highly taxed as cigarettes, there'd be much more tax money collected. But since few congressmen smoke, yet all drink, there would be massive street protests by men in three piece suits.

Where illegal drugs are concerned, if they were legal, maybe I wouldn't need so many locks on my doors, since I'm seen as a source of income to the alley addicts.

Knowing first hand, that some of the most deadly drugs are the ones legally handed out by doctors, I wish I was brave enough to try Cymbalta. I need it. But the 3 second commercial telling me of its benefits are outweighed by the following 3 minutes telling me of the deadly consequences for many who try it.

Due to the illegal drug usage, I can't even get something for my pain due to the popular medical superiority that I'm merely using my doctor to get high.

"I'm not a drug dealer" my doctor sniffs, then when she does give me three pills, she can't help but degrade me with a final salvo of "Now don't sell these."

Last month I told her If I really was a "druggie", I'd have better rapport and service from Shaniqua in the alley. She didn't like that.

Sorry for ranting, but it's the medical gods, not the dealers, who piss me off.

Stephen Hayes said...

You probably know from reading my blog that I love to travel and have visited many exotic places on this planet. I've also tried various drugs over the years, including Heroin and Acid. Frankly, I prefer travel. Drugs never expanded my mind the way travel does.

Furry Bottoms said...

Meth was good to me during college. I started meth, like you said if it was free and from a friend, why not? And I was curious too.

I would get straight A's in my classes and exams while I was using. I have no freaking clue why.

And I would fail dismally when I took nothing and was rested. It was the oddest thing.

When I stopped using drugs, because I thought I knew it to be the best thing for me... I barely passed my courses to get my diploma. And I fell into a deep depression, gained 100 lbs and can't remember shit. It really did damage my IQ. I knew it would, the instant I felt my brain frying like eggs on a hot pavement and knew I had to stop altogether or I would die.

So, I am of two minds here about drugs. I can't condemn it as a purely evil entity at all. I really cannot. It helped me in college tremendously. I only nearly failed because I stopped using. But on the other hand... wow. I cut the tip of my thumb off, I had serious panic attacks, I lost my mind in many ways. It was bad.

So what can I say? I experienced both the good and the bad. I know marijuana helps a lot of people. I think the key here is moderation and control. Don't get swept away. Don't let anything take over your mind or your life. That would apply to drugs and people and everything else.

I hope nobody ever asks me to be on a debate team and to choose a side. Public outcry would make me choose the anti-forum but I would feel like a hypocrite.

Snowbrush said...

"I get all giggly when I smoke pot"

I never laugh on pot. I'm either too out there or too in here, usually too in here.

"When I have back surgery, I know I will have to take some heavy-duty stuff and then try to wean myself off after I am addicted."

No surgery scares me like back surgery because of the high failure rate, so I look forward to finding out more about your's, so I can hopefully feel relieved. I have no idea why you think you will become addicted unless you have had problems that way in the past, and I rather doubt that you have. Narcotics are like alcohol in that billions use them, but a relative handful of that number become addicted. If you're like a lot of people, your problem won't be addiction but rather getting enough narcotics that are strong enough for a long enough time. If I were you, I would ask for oxycodone minus the acetaminophen. In other words, not Percocet, but the narcotic that is in Percocet. Also, you need to take stool softeners while on narcotics, and that ain't no joke. You will pay if you don't, but for some reason, a lot of doctors fail to mention that.

"which drug should i try first?"

Marijuana. It's safer and will help you survive the boredom without either getting mushy or killing people.

"I wish I was brave enough to try Cymbalta."

You might check out the percentages of people who have severe reactions, and you might weigh the benefits of less anger, less depression, and reduced pain, against the odds of one happening. The trouble with Cymbalta is that it's expensive even in the generic because of late, drug makers have discovered that just because a drug is now generic and can be made for fractions of a penny, they can still charge excessively for it.

Snowbrush said...

"Drugs never expanded my mind the way travel does."

It's like they say about there being no one path to anyplace. Also, everything good has both benefits and risks, just as everything we do means that, by doing it, we give up something else that we might have spent that time doing. Personally, I'm unaware that most people benefit in any way that's obvious to me from travel, but it's also true that most people who take drugs seem to actually be worse-off for the experience. I can but give my own perspective complete with my own prejudices, and obviously I incline toward drugs but without having your experiences of travel. I think of travel as a hobby that some people are passionate about, and others aren't, but then the same could be said about drugs. I was always attracted to them, and could never understand how anyone couldn't be.

"I started meth, like you said if it was free and from a friend, why not?"

I said that about pot, not meth because if I had a child, it would scare the bejesus out of me to think he or she was using meth. When I did speed, it was back when it came in a pill that a lot of truckers used (I think it was benzedrine versus methedrine). I liked it quite well. One night while high on it, I heard music coming from a flushed toilet, but other than that, it just made me feel my best--you know, smart, high energy, interested in everything, etc. I'm not the least bit surprised that you did better in school while on meth, but, as you know, I'm sure, it has diminishing returns that way, and there are no long-lived meth addicts. It also leads to paranoia eventually, and that's what makes people dangerous. I have no knowledge of it reducing your IQ unless, perhaps, you become seriously addicted, at which point it takes away everything--including your teeth. I mean, just look at before-and-after photos of meth users:


If there's a drug straight out of hell, meth is it.

Snowbrush said...

"So what can I say? I experienced both the good and the bad. I know marijuana helps a lot of people. I think the key here is moderation and control."

There's way too much hysteria around drug use, most of it promoted by the very people who have a financial incentive to lobby for harsh laws against drugs--i.e. the Drug Enforcement Administration. These people show no sign of caring about anything or anyone but getting money for their agency, and hence for themselves. I don't mean to pretend that drugs don't wreck lives, but alcohol does too, and my guess is that most drugs aren't nearly as dangerous as alcohol--or even cigarettes. It's the addictive drugs that are scary, but most people don't become addicted. If you're an addictive personality, you will probably become addicted, but if you're not, you probably won't. I don't think it's smart to be smug on that score, but the truth is that narcotics are the most addictive drug that most people will ever use, yet most people who use them are only too glad to get off them when they no longer need them for pain control.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I do enjoy traveling...but I so hate getting there! And the cost! I don't do it often but I just love a beautiful beach... and I find our own beaches here in Cali kinda ugly!

All Consuming said...

"Tell me, though, was ecstasy as good the 30th time as it was the 3rd?" - Oh yes. It was unfailing in its delivery. the thing I came to dislike was how false it seemed to make people I barely knew. I got sick of hugs off strangers basically hahaha. But when you're with a friend, and a good friend, and both on it.....it's lovely. If we met I'd happily take a quarter of a tab (all drugs affect me very strongly so I never needed more than a quarter), or, ideally a small amount of pure mdma, which is supposed to be purer, I say supposed to be, it isn't always - and we'd just sit smiling at it each other, you and I, Peggy perhaps having a glass of wine or a box of chocolates the size of you next to us, and it would be the best face to face meeting we'd ever be likely to have *smiles.
I also stopped because I absolutely hates the come downs which occurred two days later and made me deeply, deeply unhappy. I took it as payback for the massive dose of happiness and reckoned that the whole thing would be slowly messing with my own seratonim levels to the extent I could well end up permanently in trouble in an area (depression), that I was already far, far too susceptible to. I've since seen a few cases that prove my concerns to be have been correct. Everything in moderation is the key. Taking E once a year will do you no harm, and that's about how often I;d be likely to take it these days, though I have had no such chemicals since I started on the prescribed crazy drugs Humira and Methotrexate. These days...I don't even go to clubs anymore, just pubbys when on Claude, or meeting friends for a couple of hours, and thats a rarity.
Weed has always turned me into a giggling incoherent idiot, but it was brilliant for period pain - just in case anyone out there has tried everything in that area and come up with no help at all.

PhilipH said...

Even when I was an executive officer in HM Customs and Exise in 1972 I advocated legalisation. I was not looked upon kindly. Why cannabis is not legal yet is just ridiculous.

I've tried loads of drugs: all legal though. Right now I'm on Warfarin, to prevent blood clotting; Statins for cholesterol; Candesartan for high blood pressure; Tildiem300 and Flecainide for atrial fibrillation. Been 'medically addicted' for some eight years now and I'd dearly love to dump the lot - but "She who must be obeyed" (i.e. the missus) insists I keep taking the tablets.

Very informative post Snowy.

Snowbrush said...

"Peggy perhaps having a glass of wine or a box of chocolates"

Peggy is weak in the area of vice--which is why I have had to be strong--her one indulgence being four ounces of coffee each morning when she gets up--around 11:00--in a mug with soy milk. She didn't even take up coffee--if you can call that "taking up coffee"--until two or three years ago. I have no idea why she never did before, or why she decided to then. As for wine and chocolate, both give her migraines. The wine she doesn't miss--not being a drinker--but not being able to eat chocolate grieves her so much that every few years, she has a little, always with disastrous results. I suppose you read of her marijuana experience that helped her migraines twice. She took it two more times, and it didn't help at all, so she hasn't tried it again. If Peggy were to use a drug, she would favor tranquilizers (she takes Ativan when she flies), and since marijuana has that effect on some people, I don't why she doesn't keep using it. Except for the time she got really bombed, she liked it. You've told me things about ecstasy that I didn't know--thankl

"I have had no such chemicals since I started on the prescribed crazy drugs Humira and Methotrexate."

I know what you mean. And with legal drugs, you have at least some chance of knowing how they might interact, but this isn't the case with the illegals when mixed with the legals.

"Why cannabis is not legal yet is just ridiculous."

The trend is in that direction here. Colorado and Washington have legalized it, and it's on the ballot here in Oregon. As with gay marriage, I think it likely that as states legalize pot, and the sky doesn't fall (and the taxes from it roll in) other states will join the bandwagon. Interestingly, it is still against federal law, but the states that legalize it are more or less saying screw that. I very much believe that a lot of federal regulations are created by agencies for no better reason that they get money for enforcing those regulations.

rhymeswithplague said...

Well, see, now you lost me again. I have absolutely no interest (and never have had any) in experimenting with legal or illegal drugs for fun and recreation and simulating exotic travel. I don't even like to take the pills that physicians have prescribed from time to time, and I stop them as soon as possible. I was never interested back in the 60s and I'm not interested now. Anybody who would offer me drugs is definitely not my friend, no matter how friendly they see themselves.

I'm not being judgmental, I'm just saying the whole shebang is completely off my radar. I think I have smelled marijuana once in my lifetime, and it stank something awful.

Sorry I can't join your party.

All Consuming said...

You can always join the part rhymes, I can imagine you playing your music as myself and Snow have smiles of appreciation that just get wider and wider. Now you might say you'd prefer sober appreciation, but in this life we should take what we can get so far as a good audience and compliments go. The feelings are real, and I imagine your company would be at least half as good as the drug anyway. We'd not be any trouble either as on E there's no sarcasm doled out, just happiness and love man *grins wickedly.

Snowbrush said...

"Anybody who would offer me drugs is definitely not my friend, no matter how friendly they see themselves. I'm not being judgmental."

You remind me of something that happened to me about 20 years ago. I rode with a friend to a reception for a new lodge officer that was held 50 miles from here. It was the first and only time that I ever saw alcohol served at any function of this lodge, but it being a reception to honor a particular person, and him wanting wine, wine was served. As my friend, Jim, and I got ready to leave, Jim asked if I had had any wine, and I said no. He said good because if I had, our friendship would be at an end, and I would have to find my own way home, although we were the only two people there from this area. Of course, he wasn't being judgmental, he just didn't think much of drinking, regardless of the amount or the reason. I see you as equally inflexible in that you divorce behavior from motive when the motive might have been admirable (for example, if you were suffering from glaucoma, or unable to find relief from the nausea of chemotherapy, or living with intractable pain). But even if the motive were not so admirable, your willingness to discard someone like so much garbage simply because he offered you something because he thought you might enjoy it but with no knowledge of your opposition to it, paints you as rigid and judgmental in this regard.

"The feelings are real, and I imagine your company would be at least half as good as the drug anyway."

Yes, what one feels while on drugs is real, and sometimes reflects the best that is within a person. Years ago, I had an extensive sinus surgeries that I insisted on staying awake for, and I remember complimenting the doctors effusively when it was over and while high on the drugs I was given. My feelings were sincere, but I would not have felt them so deeply or reported them at all had I not been high. It's as simplistic to think think that drugs make us someone we're not than it is to think that age, gender, hormones, temperature, diet, amount of sleep, etc. make us someone we're not. Rather, they just bring out different aspects of ourselves than we would have otherwise been in touch with. I think that a lot of the fear of psychoactive drugs is rooted in a fear of what's within oneself.

rhymeswithplague said...

"I see you as equally inflexible in that you divorce behavior from motive when the motive might have been admirable (for example, if you were suffering from glaucoma, or unable to find relief from the nausea of chemotherapy, or living with intractable pain). But even if the motive were not so admirable, your willingness to discard someone like so much garbage simply because he offered you something because he thought you might enjoy it but with no knowledge of your opposition to it, paints you as rigid and judgmental in this regard."

I suppose you are right to a point -- but only to a point -- about my being "rigid and judgmental" in certain areas. But you kind of jump the shark when you transmogrify "not my friend" into "willing to discard someone like so much garbage"... Do you see that you went immediately to an extreme position? I can like a person and continue to associate with a person even though in one area there may be something the other person advocates may not be in my own best interest. In that one area, the other person might not be my friend, is all I'm saying. I want always to be vigilant and discerning about what is good for me and what is not good for me. In my dealings with others, I hope I have as open a mind as is possible for a dreaded Christian to have. This, in spite of hearing my own mother's voice saying, "You're known by the company you keep." Guilt by association runs deep. I mean, I keep coming here, don't I? I haven't "discarded you like so much garbage" and I rather resent your suggesting that I would do so. But not for long. I can't resent anything for long, except maybe pedophilia.

Don't be so ready to jump to conclusions, Snow (and I have three fingers pointing back at myself).

Snowbrush said...

"In that one area, the other person might not be my friend, is all I'm saying."

Thank you for the clarification.

"Do you see that you went immediately to an extreme position?"

Based upon your clarification, my position was indeed unreasonable, but based upon your original statement, I don't believe it was. As I see it, "not my friend" is a million miles away from "not my friend in that one area."

Joe Todd said...

Their are people that have taken so many drugs they can no longer get "high" no matter what they take. The drugs or whatever just don't work anymore.. I am glad to hear the Cymbalta. is working well for you.. good luck