Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Thing About Substances

People, who know me, know I am a bit of a teetotaler.  I do drink, but it is very rare. My history with me taking illicit or illegal drugs or recreational drugs is limited too. Let’s get one thing out of the way; I am an adult child of an alcoholic. My father went into recovery for alcoholism when I was three. Both of my blood uncles and my brother have struggled with alcohol and/or alcoholism. Several members of my family including some of those mentioned have struggled with drug dependence to illegal and/or legal.  My ex, Barbara, had issues with substance abuse too. Part of that was I did not want to know, the other was like many who substance abuse, she was a pathological liar. 

I know I have an addictive personality. I have been known to spend too much with blind collectibles trying to get the one or ones I desired. It is a big reason I try to avoid games like HeroClix or collectible card games. Due to those reasons I am very wary of intoxicants and gambling. I have seen the damage those things can do to people at their worst. I know I have what could be considered an obsessive personality, even though that has been toned down in the last 10 years. Many of my pop culture obsessions have gone to the wayside.

As I have said before, due to my medical conditions I spent my childhood in and out of surgery. I was under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs, all legal. I did not like the way they made me feel. When I got to be old enough to possibly experience drugs, I was not interested. First I had experience the pharmaceutical versions of many opiates, barbiturates, and cocaine derivatives. Second I knew that the street versions had risks due to cutting the drug with another substance and those substances could be toxic on their own. Thirdly I did not like they way the pharmaceutical versions made me feel, so why would I like the street version any better? 

In many ways due to my medical history I had little control as a kid, so I exerted it where I could. And staying away from drugs was a way to do that. In University I drank one to three in a sitting, maybe once or twice a month at the most. I had more important things in my mind to spend my money on (movies, comic books, recreational books, table tope RPGs, and food). In High School I loved going to Theme/Amusement parks for the thrill rides.  Once I moved to Oregon full time that was not as possible and I did not trust the attractions at carnivals and fairs for safety reasons.

It is not that I don’t like alcohol, but I drive a large amount and do not wish to get a DUI.  Even when I do drink 3 to 4 is my maximum, 1 to 2 is my norm. This rule did start back when I was only 150 lbs. I have not adjusted things since I have gained all this weight in the last 30 years. The cost of alcohol at bars seems ridiculous. Last time I drank Rum and Cola with Captain Morgan’s Bite (lime flavored rum) it cost me $8.

Tobacco, I never got into because of my breathing issues due to my medical conditions. I had grown up with two smokers and my brother smoked for years, all three have since quit. When I got into Shamanism, I tried to use it ceremonially, which means once a month or one a quarter. That stalled out, I eventually stopped altogether. However my former partner was a chain smoker. I saw that as a useless and expensive habit. I have been in a smoke free household for almost 4 years. That has been great. I have friends who smoke. That is their choice, I do not judge.

As I have said I never did any street drugs, as being afraid of it being tainted as well as my aversion to their pharmaceutical versions. Marijuana on the other hand I did try at the tender age of 25. Since, I have used it a total of 4 or 5 times. I was not impressed with that either. Many of my jobs had UA tests so I did not want to fail those and possibly lose my job. I lived with someone on medical marijuana, so was already afraid I would fail due to contact high.

Overall, I do not want to follow down the same road as many of my male relatives. After living with someone who was a substance abuser, I am more sensitive about it than I was before. I tend to limit my drinks to two in the rare times I do drink. I do not expect others to live like I do. This is my personal choice. All I wish is that people respect it. My friends tend to do that. If they did not, then why keep them as friends? 

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