Ev­ery­thing you do has a pur­pose, and drugs are here for a pur­pose.

Living Now - - Health & Healing - By Jost Sauer

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

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