On Addiction.

 The other day I was reflecting on the relationship I had with my dad. I am reminded about how bad it was by some memories and some emails I do not have the courage to delete; there is something eerie about reading a message from a person who is no longer with us. It may be my aspieness but I often get stuck in what an email means to me rather than what it really is. When I think of an email is either something I need to know or something I am waiting for etc. Now that I link the emails my dad sent me to a negative feeling it is hard to read them again. 

One of the last times I saw my dad I was living in Florence and he came to visit me. My dad would do these extemporary things that I would not understand and that would upset me. Case in point, he would insist to come to visit me. He was supposed to spend a day with me and it started decently but quickly turned sour. He would use any change he would get to drink something, knowing that it would trigger a negative reaction in me. I like to think he didn't know, giving him the benefit of the doubt, but there is really no change he wouldn't: he wanted to drink and we had to understand him. It was a disease. It was somersetting could not do anything about and we, my family, had to understand him if we loved him. I guess I didn't love him enough because I did not understand. I mean, now, being a middle aged man myself, I understand how tough life is. I understand addiction, I do; I myself have been addicted but, I never pretended that it wasn't a problem. I am currently still addicted to some things but they are not interfering with my life, they are not manipulative, so I keep them because they bring me some joy, a sense of reward even if temporaily and this reward helps me through life. However, I have been addicted to substances before. I know what it feels like and god if I remember how it felt when I quit; it was horrible.

When I abused substances I remember being in this fog that kept me away from the deep thoughts I usually experience. It enhanced the way I perceived sound to a point that I would want to create: I made music almost every day in fact. It allowed me to dig in parts of my mind that I cannot access when lucid, and to dwell in it, one last time before it dissipated. I hung on those moments from my childhood and truly enjoyed revisiting them on a high. But the time came when I had to ask myself what was my long term plan with this mood enhancing substances. I asked myself one question: when would I like to experience this high? This enhanced perception? Always, I answered. Always if I could. And that made me understand it was time to quit. And I did. Painful experience that was. 

Anyhow, back to my dad, I don't understand why he would not have thought the same. He also had kids, it wasn't only himself in his life. The only answer I can think of is that he was too weak to deal with a life without those supplements. I do not possess the wisdom to clearly analyze that, not at this time. But my anger leads me to believe he could have tried harder. Time will tell if I too will fall in his footsteps.

If I could give anyone one piece of advice is to not get involved with any substance that cause dependency. While I still drink coffee, I have gotten rid of all of my other habits - alcohol included - as I realize I do not want to be a slave in my own life. It is way too easy to think you can quit any time you want or that you are not actually addicted to it but if you ask yourself few questions you will realize you are indeed. When I asked myself when would I like to experience what drugs made me experience my answer was: always. I could write music any day and the act itself of playing felt like something in tune with my very soul asI was doing it. It felt amazing, I wanted it all the time. But that is how addiction goes. And, if you rely on it, the day will come when you will encounter problems in your life and will not even think that addiction is what is causing it. Then you won't be able to fix them. You may lose your partner, your kids...yourself. It is not worth it even though it feels so now. 

Stay sober, live life.


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