Without a doubt, life can suck sometimes. Even if life’s suckiness is relative, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have hard times now and then. When things do suck, I really do understand the urge to throw back a couple of shots and/or burn a joint. Getting high can help change a person’s mood and relieve the pain that life’s suckiness can cause. So, I really do understand why people can use substances as a way to cope with life’s bullshit.
Lately, it seems like I’ve been surrounded by sickness and suffering. I mean, studying and teaching about Addiction may seem like a constant uphill fight – and it is. But on top of my usual set of crap, I’ve had to deal with some personal issues that are both sucky and scary (if I’m being honest). To say that I have been feeling less than “ok” would be like saying the ocean is “kind of” wet.
Tuesday was about as bad as a day could be, for me, and I felt sick to my stomach for most of the afternoon. At one point, when I wanted to scream, I gave my feelings some thought and recognized that I really, REALLY, didn’t like feeling the way that I was feeling. I probably could have scored some weed and smoked myself into a comfortable numb. Or, I could have driven to Albertson’s supermarket and bought a pint of Cuervo 1800 and gulped down a shot (or two or three). Hell, there probably was a time when I would’ve done both: I would’ve burned some decent Jamaican Red and chased it with some Lapis and ridden a puffy cloud of oblivion until all bad juju was well-covered….
But then guess what? I’d come down from my cloud and whatever of life’s bullshit that I wished to escape would still be there awaiting me. But then I’d have to face it with a damn headache and wheezing for air because of the damage smoking did to my lungs. So, instead of even thinking about puffing the magic dragon or drinking the Devil’s juice, I let myself feel the negative energy and in feeling in, I distanced myself from it enough so that I could get to the root cause of what was making me feel so damn crappy.
I scraped away the first layer of the pain and found sadness. I was sad because of news I received that day. But I wasn’t just sad, and the sadness wasn’t the reason for my malaise. I dove deeper and found anger – but again, even though I had reason to be pissed, that wasn’t “it” either. When I finally allowed the core of the negative energy to bubble to the surface, guess what I found: FEAR. Without realizing it,
Without realizing it, the experiences of the day trickled into my core and I let it foster. Unconsciously, I became the architect of my own fear and I realized that it wasn’t doing me a damn bit of good, nor was it going to help me face that which I needed to face. I prayed, not for the fear to be gone, but I thanked God for the opportunity to fight fear and anger and death and as I prayed, the veil of bad juju was lifted. There was no need for Puff.
I get it – Puff the Magic Dragon can be a quick fix to a bad day. But though it and other drugs might provide a small bit of relief, they won’t solve a damn thing. I’d rather face life’s suckiness on my terms and with a fully engaged mind and soul. Life can suck sometimes, for some more than others. But hiding from it will only make the suckiness a whole shitload worse.
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