Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Do I have a disease?

The debate rages on, but Congress seems to have made that decision for us.

What would we do without politicians?

Don't answer that...

Anyway, I was feeling depressed about having used on Monday. Tuesday had me babbling in one of my "support groups" dedicated to Harm Reduction. As in do no harm to others or to one's self. Or in my case, minimize the risk to myself.

So after reading from "Addiction Inbox,"(A link to that article is in the title to this blog entry) an internal argument rekindled inside of me. I posted to my group the following:

I keep forgetting.
Do I have a disease?
Am I of weak moral fiber?
Have I only made and continue to make bad choices?
Am I only trapped in the endless cycle of a dependence on a chemical to make me feel normal?
And what ever the answer, do I have a snowball's chance in hell of escaping this hell?
Oh, fuck it...

A reply was posted by someone, much smarter and wiser than myself. Out of respect to this private list and to protect the author's privacy all identity has been stripped. With all that said, the reply was this:

I choose to engage in recreational intoxication and to do no harm.

Although this entails some risk so do other behaviors such as gay sex, skydiving, or driving an automobile. We do not choose to call these diseases.

The people who have a disease, the sick ones, are the one's who want to outlaw drugs and fill prisons and lock up people like me in 12 step indoctrination camps and take away my freedom of religion and shove the god of billshit down my throat.

I do agree with this, with possible exception of the gay sex.

All sex is risky, but that is for someone else's blog or editorial.

I smoke crack. There are inherent risks in engaging in that activity and I do my best to minimize those risks. And while that activity isn't always a pleasurable one, it is something I choose to engage in from time to time. In a sense, it has becomes hard wired into me.

So far as the harm and risks are concerned, there is little left to lose and I insulate myself so no harm is done to others. I try to minimize the financial consequences so that my life can be a bit more comfortable. In that regard, by using harm reduction techniques in my finances, some success has been realized.

But eventual abstinence is a goal. It may not be in reach at this moment, but is something I'm working to achieve. But my usage is reduced significantly from where it was not too long ago. In part that has been a benefit of writing this blog.

Beating myself for episodes of hitting the pipe are counter productive. I am, as the steppers are fond of saying, "a work in progress." That progress will be measured in the long term results. One of those goals is to be abstinent with money in my pocket.

It probably won't happen tomorrow, may be not next week or even next year. But it's a goal I am aiming towards.

You gotta' have some goals. I'm keeping mine simple and allow for mistakes.

If you've never made a mistake, you've never done anything.


  1. Erie, those are GREAT goals...achievable! And if your honesty here is even half what it feels like then you are doing so great...applause!
    You know i do so want to have a life back too I've ended up spending about $300 on my vacation and you know that wasn't bad really. I make about twice that each week. My bills are paid and i think of our "dudes"...i really identify with your writings here and they HELP. If on your way to Dallas you layover in Kansas City...lemme buy you a steak and we'll see a movie (not gay just nice) my email is kevincodyatmedotcom
    hope you don't mind so many of my comments-i am using your blog to help me too. no offense but jsut maybe i can do a bit better this way too. I would NEVER maintain my own blog...jsut too scattered

  2. Here's another thing i hope you may expand on-i get a really great day after using and gettting some sleep. Its like I am normal...i can enjoy smells and a walk in the park. But then that quickly fades at about day 3 or 4...i start not getting a kick outta little things. Really don't even consciously see if for awhile. Probably a dopamine lag...then completely expended. BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN even he hungry monster has NO POWER at All. but just like a snap of the fingers...i want to drive 90 miles a hour to get to him just to get ripped off again by nicklesize dimes. MTF! And hen of course its on. But there are those times though fleeting which i am totally 100% here and now. And most times people while they anger i can still love or have compassion for them at the same time. I used to be fairly violent but budhism has takin that away for the most part.

  3. a couple final things for now, my dear friend in erie, i don't have a disease. I am at best genetically predisposed (biology) to addiction. I think of it these terms: one is genetically predisposed to near/far sightedness, one is genetically predisposed to certain traits. No one calls a child in need of glasses visually diseased because something happens (either by action or time) which cause those genetic markers to activate...not anyones fault and definitely not a disease. Not necessarily even abnormal they just are. It is my decision which makes the difference. Not Bill W nor anyone else can say its so when is most definitely not-their disease concept was their choice to help define their actions in a context which made sense to them (and btw -they had a book to sell or a God to appease). Good for them but not good for me in fact i think it is more dangerous for us with serious addiction problems to follow their lead because it a lie...and an industry. And those people have a VESTED interest in keeping this big fat lie a secret from outsiders and to a certain extent from themselves because of all the things they have said/done and all the time they've vested in the aa program. I just feel good about being able to be honest and cut aa out of my life.
    I hope you don't mind me taking up so much comment space on your blog, but its my way of thanking you and getting to some thing for may at your discretion delete whatever you want...i would not at all be offended.
    I also have been tempted to sell back my prepaids with the dude but the exchange was ridiculous - a carton of newports for a 30 piece which is really a 15-20 piece.LOL...but thats just me. cmon?! And 20 minutes is really 3 excruciating hours too...
    I thought i'd give you a beggining to my story here to...I starting coke in the eighties...i had a few lines when i was 17 i had a could and was in St peter, nose was running so bad i had to prop my feet on a bale of weed (coffe table) and and ride out the buzz with my head back and tissue stuck in there. I used on and off really without much issue til i shot up and then still not much issue. I started stealing a bit but that was too much hassle. I went along pretty fine for a couple of decades. But i started shooting crack (vinegar) on a weekly bases then moved to nearly daily sometimes hundreds of times...cops and cuh got heavily involved over those next five years and I had no clue what trouble i was in...stuck needing to use to get up I'd shot up crown+crack and could not at this point go into any bathroom without shooting up (i'd always carry around loaded rigs or such..i laugh as i look back. I had this contact carrying cas you know the ones which have two round lids one L the or r. I used to say the l is for later and r is for right now. Jeez...hope you chuckled. But that was me. Not proud not ashamed. I didn't realizing i was hardwiring as u say. boy o boy was i hardwiring!

  4. Keep writing KC. It has to be helping you, and you know it's helping me.
    Later and Right now. Hmmm...


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