A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know


By Don Wright

I’ve never been addicted to drugs or alcohol. From that perspective I know nothing about addiction. The one thing that I can allow from my personal experience is that I’ve always been afraid of the prospect of being addicted to anything – good or bad.

I learned early on that my constitution didn’t allow drinking to excess, it simply made me too sick. To me there’s nothing worse than being nauseous. I’m sure that’s an insult to many that are able to laugh at nausea.

Early years found us smoking dope with friends, staying up late and watching SNL – Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and the rest of the cast. Any of you that experienced those wonderful fun times will feel a kindred spirit. But as with many things, people are prone to “improve” things and they turned their efforts toward making pot more powerful. That was the beginning of the end for me and many others. What was once fun turned into anxiety and paranoia.

Change is the only constant here and while those times were fun, family, careers and responsibilities soon demanded all of our attentions.

But there are those that continue to live on the edge. They have the constitution for abusing their bodies in ways that I can’t even comprehend. Willing to take chances with their lives that would give fighter pilots and astronauts pause. Nightly drinking to passing out. Heroin, cocaine, meth –habitual users where the only real question is when, where and how the next high is going to be had.

I can’t imagine. Don’t even want to entertain the idea. There’s so many wonderful things out there to put your attention and efforts to I simply can’t imagine spending time and money in that way – but that’s just me. Ignorance on my part – thankfully.

But what little I have seen in others is heartbreaking. In movies, articles, news reports, literature and countless ways we’ve seen what abuse can do to us.

So here’s the issue. Free will. Free will to do what you wish even if it’s your own destruction. I’ve written about the sovereignty of our personal spirit and how the rest of us do not have the right to dictate to anyone how one should live their life. How we are not required to “do” anything and that interference is never justified except in the case of protecting innocence.

At one point I’ve even advocated that the war on drugs should simply be stopped – all appearances tell us that, “war” is un-winnable anyway. But are we protecting innocents there? We’re seeing state after state ratify marijuana legal.

The notion of helping someone help themselves has always rung true with me. If someone wants help, asks for help, and is striving to help him or herself, then that is something that we as a civilized society should respond to. There are a lot of avenues and groups offering help and assistance, I can’t say whether it’s enough or not.

When someone begins to think from a heightened perspective, one will also experience a heightened sense of compassion. You can’t look upon another’s struggle without commiserating. Without placing yourself in their position. Knowing that if you’re one of the fortunate today, a reversal of fortune could very well be in the cards tomorrow.

There’s always been strong rift in our country (US) between the haves and the have-nots and seems to be reaching a crescendo now that it never has before. I think the elevated noise we’re hearing is coming from those fearful voices of those that have the most to lose. Their way of life, their money, their security. Even though very little if anything has been taken or asked of them.

The argument is everyone should work for a living and pull their own weight. I understand that. Another argument is that we’ll become a welfare state if we continue this track. I understand that fear as well. But I don’t think it’s valid. Sure there are always some that will take advantage of others – the rich and the poor alike. But how can we ignore someone that is trying to help themselves?

There’s enough resources on this planet for all to live in relative comfort, and all are entitled to those resources just as much as any other. I’ve always thought it strange that arriving on this planet before another entitles one to more of everything. But again, the argument from the companies mining and drilling for resources will say that, “yes, the resources are free, you’re paying us to process and present them to you.”

Like most issues, it can become an argument of money or resources. A shame when you consider the suffering of the addicted and those that love and care for them.

My message to young ones out there before they fall into the trap of addiction – simply, don’t. Regardless of how bleak opportunities may seem, there are levels of bleakness that you don’t want to know about. Ask for help and it will come from unseen directions.

If you’re addicted and struggling to help yourself, there are answers out there, keep looking and asking – the right one will show up. I send you my best wishes.

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