Why does a person make a decision to take drugs? Why does one do anything? What makes us get up everyday and go to work, school, or do nothing at all? Life is all about choices and believe me, I've made some pretty bad ones in my day. I wouldn't say that they were necessarily "horrible" or even wrong for the situation. They just seem a bit... Out of character. Doing something I never thought I would ever do makes a person realize how far I've come in the past few years. Call it growth, call it destiny, call it stupidity. Honestly, I don't give a shit. Things happen and I can never change the past. People spend so much time thinking about the past. Studying it, dissecting it, reliving it even. Hindsight is 20/20 they say, I say don't even look back at the things that you have done in your own life. I'm not saying having memories is necessarily a negative thing, but one of two things happen when you try to elaborate on things of the past: 1) You have a fond memory of said thing, but you really don't remember every detail and you probably have distorted it to such a way where it is skewed to be more positive than it actually was. 2) Guilt comes into effect, you feel painful, shameful, hell, even remorseful. Maybe I have never done anything too wild in my life that I don't really have true regret. I feel sorry for some of the things I've done and the people I've hurt. But nothing was intentional, and I'm rarely ever going to regret the past.That's no way to live a life.
In regards to drugs, let's talk about it. Let's see, we have: Marijuana, alcohol, LSD, Ecstasy, heroine, mushrooms, cocaine, PCP, codeine, methamphetamine, peyote, salvia, k2, and I'm sure there's some really awesome stuff I neglected to list or maybe haven't even heard of before. Now, what really makes these things so negative in our society? We've always heard, "drugs are bad." They have tons of different marketing campaigns they push in our faces in elementary school, commercials we see on TV, as well as advertisements. I remember being told that these things would totally destroy your life if you even knew someone who took them. You watch tv shows like Intervention and you see people on Death's door. You see Steve-O taking in more whippets than oxygen. We all had a big laugh at Charlie Sheen banging 7 G rocks and FINISHING them (he also banged some pornstars as well, both sexually and physically). I see Sheen and I think a few things such as this guy is really living the American dream. I mean, look at this cat; He's unemployed, a drug addict, and yet so savvy and charming that we can't help but watch him and even pay to see him perform mutterings that really don't even make sense. He married a girl who I thought was truly an angel when I was going through puberty. I remember praying that I would find a Playboy with her in it somewhere in an abandoned house or maybe I could catch a glimpse of one of her R-rated movies on cinemax late on a Saturday night. Now, my puberty and Denise Richards' sex appeal is neither here nor there, but I'm just saying, look at how much he's accomplished? Dude was "Wild Thing" Coach Bombay's brother! Now he got kicked off a show, which honestly probably wasn't even that funny or original, but he was getting paid 200k+ an episode to just show up and say some cheesy jokes and wear his completely ridiculous bowling shirts, all in-between him smashing Buddha-sized rails of coke in the green room. Yet, he is an American Darling, albeit a really fucked-up representation of America, but he is what he is, and we love him for it.
One thing about the perception of drugs that I don't really understand is how drugs are compartmentalized into different categories of whats acceptable and what's simply not. I admit that I'm guilty of such actions, but is it really right? I think someone shootin' skag (heroin) is pretty hardcore and definitely not something I would never openly endorse, but honestly, I'm somewhat of hypocrite for thinking I'm a socially better human being than those who do it. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" I'm not sure of the verse, but I remember Jesus saying this to a group stoning a known adulteress (yes, I did say 'stoning' for all the high people reading this who just giggled a little bit.) Just because it's not my drug of choice doesn't mean that I'm all the sudden better. The fact of the matter is, almost everyone is on drugs, so maybe drugs are a part of life. Think about it: Nicotine, alcohol, anti-depressants, pain killers, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, cough medicine, they all do something for us. Some say they take them for "purely medicinal" reasons, but the fact is they still take them to be normal, to be happy, so technically, they are addicted, very addicted.
What really pisses me off are these super-conservative, self-righteous, pretentious people who talk about people who smoke marijuana in such a negative light. These same people are the "church going type" or maybe not even religious, just simply judgmental assholes. They love to demean those who are homosexual, socially different, economically different, all the while patronizing those who are not a carbon-copy of themselves, rest assured their shit stinks the same, if not worse. These same people just want to feel better about themselves. I have found out that they like drugs just as much as any of us. They try cocaine and such when their younger, but when they get older, in between working their office jobs, and piety, they love to consume a nice glass of wine before bed, or take vicadin or two, or maybe they have just let so passion out of their lives that their drug of choice is heart-medicine and Viagra to go with that. Viagra to add some more intimacy to their lives, yet they are truly unhappy with their spouses, and often their infidelity sweeps into their kid's life. Let's move on from the pretentious and talk about myself.
Now, I would not consider myself a tremendous pot head, but personally, if I had to choose a drug that I would have to do everyday and could still function properly, it would have to be marijuana. I would say I've always had a pretty good experience with it. Every person reacts differently ofcourse, but it seems to always be good to me. I have had one bad experience, in-which I felt something that resembled tremors going through my body, and then I ate Nutella straight from the can, with my fingers, which of course immediately eliminated all problems I had. This is a plant, simply that, a plant. You smoke it, partake in it, it is no where near as harsh on the lungs as a cigarette is and actually has a pleasant taste to it. The only negatives I would say about the so-called "Item 9" is that it is unfortunately Illegal in the US, decriminalized in some states, but it ultimately is associated with social deviancy, and we can't have that can we? It sucks that I have to stay away from my beloved mary jane, but we all have to have priorities don't we? What about God's intention with Marijuana? Did Adam grow it in Eden? Was Eve just super-baked and the snake knew she had mega-munchies and that made her decision a lot easier? Honestly, I doubt it. I'm tired of these stigma's associated with the wonderful plant. Let's talk about the laziness associated with it. This could be possible, I wouldn't exactly say it makes you "lazy" per say, but it definitely does make you want to sit down, chill out, and just enjoy the people, and the environment around you. It does not stop the creative process in my opinion, but it does stop my drive to get out and do things. But everyone is different.
Many people who are close to me know that I have recently been diagnosed with Chronic Depression. And while I was slowly descending into depression, marijuana was my one release, the one thing that made me actually smile, made me actually feel somewhat socially ready. Zoloft has recently replaced marijuana and after 3+ weeks of taking it, I feel great. I feel lively and ready to conquer the world again, which is good. Yay Tony. Everyone needs something, right?
So, let's talk about my social experience with drugs and alcohol. I have a quote of a friend of mine. Now, I would not say this person is one of my best friends, nor do I really admire him a lot, but I like him, he makes me laugh, and such as anything or anyone in our lives, he has molded me into the person I am currently. His quote goes like this, "Doing drugs isn't cool. Doing drugs with friends, now, that's cool!" Naturally, he was inebriated when he made this statement but it made me laugh and it is really an ingenious statement. Social acceptance and drugs go hand-in-hand. We don't always do them to fit in, but usually it starts that way, then it seems as if it evolves in to us taking them to "lighten up" or to let to mood become more relative. What is the most important thing in life? Relationships, feeling close to other people. I know this is true for myself. All I want to do is love and to be loved. This hasn't always turned out the best but it's a fact for me.
My First Time:
The first time I tried any drug at all, I believe I was around the age of 13. Of course, one does not just do drugs without someone showing them how to properly do them. Nor do they do them without knowing/thinking that the result will be enjoyable. Marijuana was the drug I was to consume. The quality was poor, a little schwiggity schwag. My cousin, who was the same age as me, had been smoking with her boyfriend (who was 18, but that's neither here nor there) and had asked me if I wanted to. My best friend at the time had been staying the night with me, as he normally had during the weekends of 8th grade, and he insisted that we do it. Saying he had done it before and he had enjoyed it. So I go into the garage with them, and see the smoking apparatus they had constructed. They called it "the steamroller." Now, this thing was massive, and I wasn't exactly sure how to even smoke out of it. It was a large cardboard cylinder with rigged with a vacuum hose and was about four foot long. I had no idea how to smoke out of it so my cousin showed me. I remember taking about two hits and coughing extensively. I'm talking about something happening eight years ago, but I do remember feeling so good. So relaxed, so relieved, and most all, so HUNGRY! I raided the cabinets, but there wasn't much. I remember the craving for peanut butter, just pure peanut butter. I grabbed the entire jar of peanut butter, poured in some Reese's Puffs and just went to town. I awoke the next morning with pieces of puffs randomly around my bed, but I do remember it being a completely new experience for me, something I liked. I asked my cousin if I could keep a little bit of it for myself, she obliged and gave me a small nugget.
A few days later, I had been up late, as I had done a lot of times while I was going through what I have recently discovered as my times of falling into depression. I had stashed the very small amount of weed in-between pages of an old Bible I had been given by my uncle Curly when I was a baby. It was an King James Version so I couldn't really understand the dialect of it, I usually read the more contemporary bibles I had, but it was still very dear to me because it said Anthony on it. I looked at the marijuana, and realized that I had nothing to smoke it with, and I knew you had to use something. I had no knowledge of how to use the massive steamroller and it required two people to light it so I had to become the McGuyver of smoking weed at this moment. I knew that I could roll it up like a cigarette, but the printer paper I had available to me was much too thick and coarse, and I knew it would really hurt my lungs when I smoked it. I was watching my normal late night marathons of Degrassi so I had really wanted to enjoy television high for the first time. I needed some sort of paper that was thin and could burn easily. Then it hit me, the pages in the Bible would do perfectly! They're very thin, and there's so many of them that I wouldn't even miss them! I would never rip a page out of my Goosebump's books, many of which I had never read, but I only had one copy. I had at least 5 different Bibles. I had grabbed one of my Bibles I had from the previous year in school (the private school I attended required us to purchase a certain Bible every year, and each one was different.) I tore out part of a page from I believe it was Isaiah or maybe even Songs of Solomon. I recall feeling somewhat guilty about this, but thinking that if I smoked it, maybe the words would stay with me, be within me, it was almost spiritual to me to do it. Needless to say, I became thoroughly high, and I watched Drake, before he become black, talk about his problems on the Canadian teenage soap opera, Degrassi with a smile on my face. I read some of the Bible, too and prayed a little bit, and I felt good. I have only told a few people about this because for a long time I was ashamed, but now I don't feel as if it was truly that bad. Another good question comes to me, What role does drugs have in spirituality?
I have heard from a few people (Sean Shahkarami for example) of how certain people only feel spiritually connected to higher beings when they smoke marijuana or consume other substances. I remember hearing about the Native Americans smoking peyote, and passing the Peace Pipe as well and burning other incenses to invite the gods to join their ceremonies. There's something mystical about changing your state of being to becoming closer to God. I'm not saying this is correct, but I certainly am not one to condemn it. I remember at a religious retreat my senior year in high school, we were having worship and praying to the Holy Ghost. I attended a very charismatic church at this time and we were going through something called a "Tunnel of Fire" of which we waked through a tunnel of youth and had anointing oil placed upon our foreheads. The oil burned, but I think it did because it had some form of cinnamon or peppermint on it. After walking through, I was stricken with some overwhelming feeling of grief. Grief of the sins I had done in my life, not drugs necessarily but of jealously, sexual promiscuity, as well as lying, judging, and being hateful to my enemies as well as to those who I loved and that had loved me. I had cried for about 30 minutes, the entire time laying flat on my face, speaking in tongues. I tell this story because after that 30 minutes had past, I felt the need to laugh, laugh uncontrollably. Soon I began to feel a feeling I can only describe as being similar to being drunk, but without all the negativeness that come with it. I was so joyful, social, loving, and I felt as if everything had been laid before me and my slate was completely clean. It lasted me the entire night. I remember the entire time that I was so close to those around me, I understood everything about them, I loved them and everything was simply glorious. The world was beautiful, and God could come speak to me and say whatever he wanted. There were no barriers, and I knew he could hear me. I know he did. There was no hangovers, and I honestly have never felt that way again. But from that moment on, I have no longer been afraid of my life direction, what I will do. I know God will be there for me and though I am not perfect, everything will be as it should.
I do not write these blogs with any set intentions of what to address, or place any boundaries or prepared ideologies to make sure I include. I just let it flow. I think I understand what drugs are, we are just chasing that one feeling that I felt that night at the church retreat, it may necessarily be wanted a feeling close to God, but God plays a role in it. The love and affections we can feel with others, He blessed us with that. We take drugs to feel super-human, to escape the reality of the world. The world was not meant to last forever, and it certainly wasn't created to be the entirety of existence. There must be something more. Something unseen. Something comprehensible at this current state of existence...Hmm
Alcohol, A little naughty water.
Let's address alcohol. Haha, all I can do is laugh in relation to alcohol. Some of the most hilarious experiences of my life has happen while I was drunk or around drunk people. Something about it just brings us to life. I can not see a party at my age now being considered a real party without some form of alcohol. That may sound deplorable, but it's true. Alcohol is a purely acquired taste, and let's face it, when you took your first drink of beer or liquor, you cringed and thought to yourself "I don't think I could possibly drink enough of this stuff to ever be drunk." Wine was the first thing I ever became inebriated with. I had around 5 or 6 glasses at a friend's house my freshman year of high school. I remember his father letting us have some, as he was also pretty drunk at the time. He got a pretty good rouse out of chasing me with his gun, which was not loaded. I remember attempting to jump his wooden fence and it breaking as I grasped the top of it, causing me to punch myself in the nose. He ran up to me while as I lied there with blood running down my face. Picked me up, told me he was only joking with me and I was a "funny kid." On our way back inside the house, he proceeded to punch out the porch light because it was simply "way too fucking bright." I could spend an entire day speaking of the calamities than ensued whilst being drunk, but I will spare you such until a later time. Drinking drinking drinking, fun fun fun. It has it's place and should only be done on weekends, or Thursdays for the thirsty college student.
I'll close out this entry with a little conclusion of drugs in general. I know I only elaborated on marijuana and alcohol, and those are not the only drugs I've tried, for the sake of time and space I will address those on a later date. The fact about drugs is that they are really not for everyone. If you're an impressionable person or have an addictive personality, you probably should stay away from them in my opinion. That's the reasoning behind the advertisements and campaigns and pseudo-brainwashing we impress upon our kids. In the same way that "some people just can't handle Vegas" some people just can't handle drugs. Be it; Cocaine, pills, heroine, amphetamines, they're not for everyone and you should chose wisely what you put in your body. I think the portrayal of drugs as being villainous is meant well, somewhat ignorant, but overall it is meant for the average Joe who can not control his carnal urges to over-do something. In a society where obesity is at an all time high, we somewhat promote over-indulgence, and it is only natural that use of recreational drugs becomes abused. It is an escape, and sometimes the perception of the world can become so ugly and frightening to people that they must escape. We all have fear. We all can become nervous and anxious. We all have problems, but numbing them will not address them or make them better. I do feel as if we should not blame problems solely on drugs, though. Drugs do not kill people, contrary to popular belief. The people who take them kill themselves. Just as guns do not kill people, the people who use them kill people. An object, a chemical, has no malice, no intentions, no hatred, no bias.
My opinion of drugs is not a negative one. They can be fun. They can make you relate to a certain group of people. They can make certain situations tolerable. Above all, we must think about what you hold dear to yourself though. What is the most important to you? Why are you taking the drugs? Are you taking them to feel closer to the people around you? Or are you taking them just to take them? When you start taking them because you simply must, then you have a problem. What is dear to you? If the only answer you have is "drugs" then think about when did doing drugs stop just being something fun to do with your friends. When did drugs become something I need? Most importantly, where did all my friends go?
Drugs can have a safe place in the world, but I pray that I will never see the day when drugs simply become Tony. If that day ever happens, I pray my friends will still be there. I know God will be.
I don't have such worries about this. All of this is speaking hypothetically of course.