i have been in denial about the things i have been noticing and wondering about a friend. he has been in recovery from iv meth use for a coupla years and has shapeshifted these last few months. i have known something was stinky, but didn’t want to make it real.
i live very close to him and drive by his house frequently. the front door traffic pattern and the porch varmints have been increasing with each month. and a few months ago i had him over to check it out and it was evident that he wasn’t with me in the room. i convinced myself that he had stopped taking his add meds, which he heartily agreed with.
now i understand though that old ways have returned and he is using again. i’m sad. disappointed. a little angry. but i’ll get over those. i guess it brings the possibility of such a thing closer to me, since it happened to someone i know.
weirdly, it has been like watching an accident in slo-mo. the fragments of a cracking veneer and random disrepair continue to become evident. his other friendships are becoming like tall model sailing ships in glass bottles, just sitting on shelves collecting dust. his company du jour are all younger males that most likely don’t have much stability. i recognize well the predatory sexual practices that are likely at work.
i have only begun to understand addiction. i have lived around it and with it for my entire life, but i am only at the tip of the iceberg of comprehension. as i am reading the wonderful book on addiction by gabor mate right now i will quote from him on addiction. I found this series of quotes on a lovely site called change therapy.
in the english language, addiction has two overlapping but distinct meanings. in our day, it most commonly refers to a dysfunctional dependence on drugs or on behaviours such as gambling or sex or eating.
surprisingly, that meaning is only about a hundred years old. for centuries before then … addiction referred simply to an activity that one was passionate about …
in the words of a consensus statement by addiction experts in 2001, addiction is a “chronic neurobiological disease … characterized by behaviours that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving” …
the issue is not the quantity or even the frequency but the impact …
he then gives his own definition:
1. compulsive engagement with the behaviour, a preoccupation with it;
2. impaired control over the behaviour;
3. persistence or relapse despite evidence of harm; and
4. dissatisfaction, irritability or intense craving when the object – be it a drug, activity or other goal – is not immediately available.
he concludes his chapter, “what is addiction?” by saying
we need to avoid the trap of believing that addiction can be reduced to the action of brain chemicals or nerve circuits or any other kind of neurobiological, psychological or sociological data … addiction is a complex condition … we need to view it simultaneously from many different angles … to get anywhere near a complete picture we must keep shaking the kaleidoscope to see what other patterns emerge.
i am posting a paolo nutini song from his latest cd. i listen to this often when i’m driving. i am completely mad about him…