Friday, December 29, 2023

Doing Drugs Is Fun! That's Why People Do Drugs!

Balancing your checkbook isn't hard, unless you are high all the time.

I was reading an online forum about finances and some social justice warrior was railing against "big banks" for charging overdraft fees.  Someone responded, "Well, it isn't that hard to not have an overdraft, so why do it?"  And as you might imagine, he was shouted down by a chorus of people feeling sorry for themselves.

I bounced a lot of checks and had overdrafts when I was younger, mostly because I was high most of the time and doing dumb things like buying beer and paying by check.  It wasn't until I started my own business and had to balance my own accounts with an accounting software that I realized that waiting until the end of the month to get a "statement" was stupid.  You have to keep your own record of your accounts so you can reconcile them with the bank's records.

And it took me even longer to treat my own finances like a business and log every expenditure and deposit and thus know, down to the penny, what my available balance was in every account at every moment.  And today, thanks to the Internet, this is a lot easier to do!

If you're not high all the time, of course.

Why was I high all the time as a youth?  I could blame it all on my upbringing, which was kind of weird, but not a lot weirder that most. But that would be using a crutch - a popular crutch used by drug uses and scofflaws when they get into trouble. "I can't help it man!" they cry, "I came from a dysfunctional family!  My Mother used to dress us all in matching clothes!"  The horror!

I am not trying to trivialize childhood trauma, only point out that it isn't all that uncommon.  A lot of people have horrific childhoods and manage to turn out just fine - after a lot of hard work.  We don't give them a pat on the back or an "atta-boy!" but instead reserve our praise for the junkie who is in his third rehab, after committing a number of felonies.  He's had it rough!

Or has he?  Because being high all the time is a laugh riot which is why people do it and why I did it. Many "homeless" people actually choose that "lifestyle" and eschew offers for "help."  They don't want a place to stay, particularly if it has rules that have to be obeyed.  They don't want a job (the horror!) or even food, but cash-money to buy drugs and booze and get blotto and live under a bridge.  There is no easy "cure" for folks like this, who make up a huge portion of the "homeless" and just giving them a free place to stay with no strings attached isn't going to change the way they live, only their address.

And by the way, the "homeless crises" makes up less than a fraction of a percent of the population.  It is a very visible and annoying fraction of a percent, though!

I wrote about this before, many years ago.  People posit that drug addiction is a tragedy - that drug addicts are "sick" and that it is "hard" to "kick the habit" and as a result, they relapse.  But the reality is, being high as a kite, while it may appear to be a miserable existence, is actually quite pleasurable, which is why people do it. And the people doing it don't want to stop, either. It is not a matter of "they can't help it!" or "They need treatment!"   You can't help people who don't want to stop doing drugs and enjoy them, because they are, in fact, pleasurable.  You did listen to Amy Winehouse's song about "rehab" - right?  She wasn't just making that shit up.

Yes, drugs can lead people to dark places.  When you are on drugs all the time, well, staying on drugs seems to be the order of the day.  Everything else is secondary - including responsibilities such as jobs, children, the rent money, and so on.  I noted before how a friend of mine's husband who was in law school developed a crack habit and proposed spending the mortgage money on crack.  She balked at the idea, "But then the mortgage won't get paid and we'll lose the house!"  He replied, "Yea, but we'll have a boatload of crack!"  They divorced, but not before he took out loans in her name - to buy crack.  He ended up starting a meth lab after moving back home and being supported by his father.  He was having a grand old time and leaving a trail of wreckage in his wake.

But to hear some folks tell it, he's the victim.

Some are starting to question the whole theory of addiction.  We were told in grade school that physical withdrawal symptom from hard drugs - or even alcohol - could be devastating or even deadly.  But some are starting to question this premise that addicts are the real victims and not just - in some cases, at least - raging narcissists who are having a grand old time at everyone else's expense.  And when called out on it, of course, they play the victim-addict card.

But you have to ask yourself, if drugs are so horrific, why do people do them?  Because it is pleasurable and fun!  Even when you are not "high" the prospect of being a bad-boy drug user (or bad-girl) is intoxicating enough, particularly to young people.

I am not sure what the point of all of this is, other than when I was getting high every day, no one cut me any slack or tried to "help" me.  In fact, not only did I bounce checks, but I squandered money, flunked out of college, and was thrown out of prep school.  I had to face harsh consequences and that was what, in part, forced me to re-think my love affair for drugs and alcohol.  I didn't need some coddling or rehabilitation or excuses made for my behavior - I needed to experience the consequences of my actions, unvarnished and raw.

When it comes to drug use - or any other form of self-destructive behavior - the stick can be far more potent than the carrot.  And no, coddling people is often not a "kindness" but the worst form of cruelty!