EVOLVE YOUR ADDICTION
Everything you do has a purpose, and drugs are here for a purpose.
Rebel against normal expectations by planning to replace one addiction with another. As soon as you quit, cravings will arise. They might manifest as a needle fixation, an insatiable desire for a particular taste in your mouth or the feel of a substance in your bloodstream or just a desperate want for something to take you over. If you direct this longing towards something connected to finding your cosmic self, it can become an asset. The strategy is to ‘evolve’ your addiction. Otherwise you’ll create a liability by turning to nonbeneficial replacements such as alcohol, sugar, caffeine or nicotine.
As my speed years came crashing to a halt, emptiness and depression overwhelmed me, so I started drinking. Compared to shooting up speed, drinking was socially acceptable and the hangovers were good for disguising my depression. But, as it turns out, drinking myself unconscious every night proved pretty much as unacceptable as being addicted to drugs. Plus I’d often wake up with no idea where I was or what I’d done.
Once I found myself on a yacht out to sea. I thought I’d been kidnapped (although in retrospect I can’t imagine why anyone would want to kidnap a highly inebriated six-foot-four German), but it turns out I’d volunteered myself as crew the night before in some bar. I had no memory of this. What I do still remember though, is that being on a yacht in a large swell is not a good idea when savagely hungover.
Most of my boozy tales weren’t so entertaining. I reached the point where I couldn’t get through a day without drinking. Eventually I was drinking in parks with other outcasts. Everyone told me I was an alcoholic and had a problem (another one). So I’d buy a full carton of beer but only drink twenty-three cans, leaving one untouched to prove that I could stop if I wanted. Once I realised that the alcohol was just adding to my imbalances, I moved down to the more socially acceptable end of the replacement scale, which meant chainsmoking and endless cups of instant coffee (it was the 1980s).
Prescription medications can become a non-beneficial replacement too. I regularly treat clients who think that medications are ‘better for you’ than recreational drugs. But from a Chinese medicine perspective all drugs work the same way: they draw upon your inner resources, your chi, to alleviate pain or change your mood. Your organs can’t tell the difference between what we’ve labelled recreational or pharmaceutical. Medications can further undermine your health and happiness by depleting your chi, and this is why some antidepressants can make you feel even more depressed or even suicidal. Additionally, withdrawal from prescription drugs can be so painful. I’ve seen people get back on recreational drugs just to get off the medications (if
you are quitting pharmaceuticals seek professional medical management).
I’m not on an anti-medication rant here. That would be a bit hypocritical coming from someone who enjoyed a wide range of chemical pleasures, including medicinal drugs, for fun. Medications have their place, but becoming addicted to or dependent on them after the recreational drugs is not evolution. You are still on drugs – not to liberate your spirit and feel ecstatic freedom, but rather to dampen urges or suppress pain. This puts you back in mundane acquired territory, and this is not what you signed up for.
Do replace one addiction with another