Don’t give up. Meth addiction doesn’t have to defeat you.

Yesterday I read a comment from someone who read my post about meth voices after you stop using meth. So I was wrong… I’d always assumed that the voices disappear for everybody after a couple of days clean, just like they did for me. But I’d forgotten about a man I met who ran a sober house that I stayed in at the start of 2010, just after my stint in rehab. He was in a psychiatric ward for six months after cleaning up. So maybe I was lucky… for some people, the voices continue even after you are clean. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. You are stronger than the drug.

The comment, and hopefully my reply too, make for compelling reading, so I’ll let them speak for themselves. Here’s her comment:

Jerome, thank you for sharing your story with the world. It’s very brave but much more than that, your sharing is compassionate for those of us who “still suffer”. I started hearing voices when I got into meth heavily but I had paranoid tendencies before that – after my father died when I was about 12 years old. That trauma plus others along the course of my life, coupled with my determination to “feel better” (meth is the world’s greatest antidepressant, according to a shrink I used to see) my heavy meth use over the course of 20 years caused me to hear voices that plague me even after putting it down in May 2015. There’s no guarantee they will ever leave me alone (go away). Sadly my children have to deal with my “psychosis” and I know how very difficult it must be for them. I may have opened a gate that can never be closed, as a psychologist once told me. Another example of how meth can steal a life is, my (ex) boyfriend who used to be 200 lbs, muscles like he lifted weights but didn’t, is now laying in a hospital bed unable to move anything but his head and his left arm a little. He has an NG tube to feed him and his muscles are all atrophied. He cannot speak but a few simple words. He’s down to about 150 lbs now. His dilemma started last May (this is why I got clean) when he called me with speech very very slurred, I thought he’d had a stroke. It was SPINAL MENINGITIS – which is something else meth can cause, something a lot of people (professionals as well as addicts) aren’t aware of! From there apparently he had a major stroke (or two?) which put him in the vegetable like state he’s in now. We were not bad people, we were good addicts. Meth won the battle in my mind and in my b.f.’s body. Both of us are living in our own separate hells now.
Here are two very good examples of what meth can do to a life, I pray no one has to find out for themselves or think “it’s not going to happen” to them…
Please pass along this message to those who might be thinking of using or trying to quit. I hope no one has to go through what I’ve had to live in my hell in my mind for the past 20 years, or the way my b.f. ended up. It’s not right that a drug of all things can do this to anyone.
Last night I relapsed, after almost 10 months of clean time off that shit. I can’t believe I allowed voices in my head to make me react the way I did and just say “Fuck it”. It could have been my last “Fuck it” ever and my kids wouldn’t have their mother in their lives anymore.
Now you know why I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon your blog and read a little, enough to put me back in the right place even though the voices are still messing with me relentlessly.

Take care and God bless. (Don’t worry, I won’t AMEN you LOL)

And my reply:

Thank you for your comment.

I’m sorry to hear about how bad it has been for you.

I’d always assumed that the voices were the same for everybody – that they stop a couple of days after you stop using meth. But now I see I was wrong.

Btw, I haven’t written my personal story this time around. The first time I attempted recovery, I had lost my car, my house, everything… and even my child was staying with my brother and his wife. I was living in an empty room behind an abandoned house. There was no hot water and I had no towel, so I used to shower with cold water every morning and then dry myself with a facecloth that I’d wring out over and over. After I caught my girlfriend with the dealer who lived there, she ended up sleeping with him in a bed in the same room in front of me. To get someone to actually give a fuck about getting me into rehab, the only choice I could see was to taunt the guy… provoke him into beating me up, at which point she asked him if he was OK, because the smell of my blood in the room was so strong, it was overpowering and he was throwing up. Meanwhile I was gashed above my right eye, and my left cheek was cut so badly next to my lip, almost right through making a hole in the side of my face. I went to sleep on my mattress on the floor, shifting my face to the edge so that most of the blood pouring out of my mouth and eye would end up on the floor rather than on the mattress, because it made the mattress really wet and uncomfortable… At least with it gushing onto the floor, I could manage to fall into some kind of sleep.

So that is how I remember the end of my drug using story… lying naked in a pool of my own blood, denied everything – even unconsciousness. (Though I did relapse and use again, this is the end of my story that I prefer to tell. Second time around it didn’t end so badly because I didn’t allow it to get to that point again.)

After that, my brother helped me and took me to a rehab. Then after 9 months clean, I still went back to using, and used for nearly three years before cleaning up for good. So your relapse is not the end of the world. What I’m trying to say is: Don’t give up! Fuck the rest of the world, but you can find the strength to prove to yourself that you are stronger than that chemical, that you can beat it.

So there you have it. Meth took me to a living hell quickly, in about five years. Maybe in a way that was a good thing… I often wonder… If it hadn’t gotten so bad so quickly, might I still have been using? Maybe I would’ve used for twenty years rather than just around eight, and maybe the effects would’ve been permanent. Let this be a warning to anybody who thinks they can use without consequences… And remember, as bad as my situation described in my comment above was… I had it easy compared to some people.

What I would like people who are not addicts to take out of this is: Addicts are not bad people. They are not like the stereotypical junkies you see in movies and on TV. Good, decent people can get sucked into addiction. The woman who commented is a good person, a religious person. She is somebody’s daughter, somebody’s mother, and she never wanted to be an addict. She just wanted something to feel better when she was down, and she found it in meth. But meth addiction is a slippery slope to a living hell, and she found that too… A living hell that is almost impossible to escape – since by the time you reach it, you are totally dependent on the drug, and no longer know how to live without it. (This last bit is probably too much for most people to understand, but once you are in that cycle of addiction, no matter how bad it is and no matter that the drug is then the cause of all your problems, escaping that cycle is more than difficult – it’s almost impossible. It doesn’t help that once you do escape the cycle, you find yourselves in programs based on nonsense like the 12 steps, but that is not my focus of this post.)

I hope it’s not too late for her though… and my message to her and anybody who identifies with either her current situation, or my past situation, is this: Don’t give up! Just don’t…

Posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Recovery | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The exodus never happened?

No time to write but I will share this…

I have read a lot of articles lately that state that the Jews were never slaves in Egypt (and the pyramids were built by paid workers, not slaves anyway) and thus the Exodus never happened. The argument that archaeological evidence for the Israelites’ enslavement should exist, but none does, seems compelling to me, though I am not an expert in any sense. This would mean that the exodus, the passover, all of it never happened at all. One of those articles is here.

Anyway, I tried to explain this to my mother last night, and it resulted in a huge argument. I should have known better. When you get to a certain age, threats to your beliefs are unwelcome, it seems…

Anyway, I do not know enough to form much of an opinion on whether the exodus happened or not, but knowing the truth would be interesting. I have no emotional investment in what the answer may be, but the truth seems more important to me. It seems that such things wouldn’t have been written if there wasn’t something behind the myths, but what is that something? Maybe there were common migration myths that somehow joined together? Maybe those texts were simply a means of controlling people?

Posted in Skepticism | Tagged | 1 Comment

A plug for a fellow I met a few years ago

A few years ago when I attended rehab, one of the most interesting and intelligent people I met there was a journalist, who at the time intended to write a book about his own fall from grace and recovery. I’d since lost track of him, but found him on Facebook again a few days ago. I see he has published his book and is doing well. His book is named Dystopia and is available at all major bookstores, on Amazon etc. Or you can start out by reading his blog

Posted in Recovery, Writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Feeling dumb. I am only knowledgeable enough to know how ignorant I am.

Again, I have no real time to write, but will spend a few minutes to write something quickly. (Though I’m getting tired of these easy posts that can be banged out in five minutes apiece. I hope whoever is reading them isn’t tiring of them too.)

It has struck me today that not only do I not have enough time to write, but I also can’t seem to find the time to read. What I tend to do is, whenever I find something interesting I want to read, whether it be an online article or a starting point to read up on a subject that I find interesting and would like to learn about, I bookmark it for later.

My list of bookmarks, disorganised as it is into two folders called “To Blog” and “To Read”, into which I add these links whenever I find them… now goes right off my screen. Actually I only added the “To read” folder last week because the other one has 85 unread links by now. Bear in mind that all those links are about things that I’m interested in, but know nothing. I only started the list recently, and it’s already daunting.

The older I get, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I know that I know very little. Back when I used to use drugs (and people occasionally bizarrely complimented me on my intelligence), I’d remark that I was only clever enough to know how stupid I was. These days it seems, I only know enough to get a glimpse of how much there is that I don’t know. And that’s a lot. I wish I had more time to learn all these things that I want to learn.

The latest interest is that a friend pointed out a link between Darwinism and socialism, and gave me some pointers on where to start reading. Socialism is one of those things that I’d like to know about, but know nothing. Also a cousin recently suggested that I get into philosophy. I know precious little about that too, but from the few excerpts that I’ve read, I really would like to read the works of Nietzsche, mainly because his views that I have read make much sense and resonate with me. My tentative opinion is that he was an insightful genius way ahead of his time, who predicted the secular society slowly being adopted by much of the world today. I have a lot of reading to do… but when?

Sometimes I do feel like a bit of an imposter… But is that the imposter syndrome, or am I really just realizing how clever I am not. Anyway, if you are like me; if you doubt yourself and your abilities/intelligence even when you’re doing well, you’re not alone…

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Spam really pisses me off

I still don’t have time to write… I’ve had a post in mind about how great things are going with my son and how quickly he adapted to living with me, but I’ve had such little time, it has changed around in my head too much already. It was originally supposed to be published around the one month mark, when he was with me for one month. (15th January.) Sadly, when a post changes so much in my head without even being written, I normally don’t write it at all. (So far it’s about three posts this year already that I thought out and never wrote. Not having time to write them sucks.)

Anyway, I checked out the blog stats, and even though I have no time for writing, I feel obligated to comment on the two spam comments I just deleted… (Why do they upset me? I’m not sure… They were blocked anyway, but the fact that those kinds of comments still show up leads me to despair of humanity a little, because presumably such comments are making money for some people. So spam still works, which means people actually follow those links.)

Firstly, there was one about SEO. (Search Engine Optimization.) While I suppose there are some bloggers out there who don’t know (and many like me who don’t care) about SEO, one has to ask the question: If your SEO tools are so fucking fantastic, why do you need to post comments to random blogs to advertise them? Surely, we should all be tripping over each other’s virtual heels in the search results, as we stumble over your spectacularly situated site at the top of our search results again and again? Alrighty, so we don’t search for SEO every day, but even if you do make the effort to search for “SEO tools”, those spam-marketed monstrosities do not feature. What this tells me, is that you are trying to sell tools that don’t even work, to people who don’t need them. Two wrongs might make a right, but do two redundancies relay relevance? I don’t think so.

And secondly, somebody posted a comment to my article Channelling is not real… a comment about how to lose belly fat. Because of course, the first place people are going to go, on their quest to lose their fat bellies, is an irreverent blog-post that mocks channelling and Theosophy in general. I mean, where the fuck else would you go?

I have to wonder if the spammers themselves are idiots, of if idiots are their target market. Maybe a bit of both? Surely they should realize that the probability of hitting a target, that is somebody who would actually want to read their adverts, is minimal. Surely?

Posted in Humour | Tagged | 2 Comments

An interesting example of someone fishing for answers they want to hear (Confirmation Bias)

Recently I was confounded by this share… (Note that there were a lot of replies. I’ve included only some of them; my own require less name and picture blurring.)

HappyTheyDied

Context… once again this is an “atheist versus theist” debate group. The person who made the odd statement that we should not be sad when people die (because it’s natural?) is a theist.

What’s odd here is that he disregarded every comment that explained how we are sad if people we love die because we miss them. He took offense to my comments in particular for some reason, so at least I managed to make him state his case, but it’s a case that doesn’t make sense. (You can’t see because of the way I cut and pasted parts of the conversation via Photoshop, but that long thread at the end starts with him replying to one of my comments that isn’t shown.) He is saying that death is natural and that we (atheists) have accepted that; therefore we should not be sad.

Of course that is a non sequitur. The two statements are unrelated: The premise being accepting death as natural, while the conclusion being a lack of sadness. He must know that the conclusion does not follow from the premise, yet he insists that this is the case for atheists and is not interested in any answer that contradicts this notion. So what’s really going on here? Obviously I am not psychic (and neither is anybody else by the way), but I can make an educated guess as to what his thinking is, even if he doesn’t realize it himself. No, he is not a psychopath…

What’s really going on here is an implicit (and as usual unstated) argument from morality. (Described in detail here and here.) That is, he assumes that all morals come from god – from his religion’s god in particular, which in itself refutes the argument – but he will never see that.

So he is thinking that all atheists lack morals, and empathy, and all that go along with morality, because we have rejected his god-given morality. Therefore we are incapable of feeling sadness… in other words we are all logical “robots” like Mr Spock. Or we are all psychopaths… something to that effect because his straw man of an atheist has no morals and even no humanity without god.

So his post is written only to satisfy his confirmation bias. He will disregard every comment that doesn’t confirm this odd straw man version of atheism, no matter how much sense it makes. This fascinates me because it is an example of confirmation bias taken to an extreme. My comment, and the comments of many others, explain quite clearly why we would be sad to lose loved ones, but he remains unconvinced. Nothing will change his mind. He will learn nothing from this debate. He will only be satisfied when someone writes something that he can reinterpret (that is deliberately misconstrue) to confirm his conception of what it means to be an atheist.

And that fascinates me. There is no way I or anybody else can ever get through to that person. I wonder how many others there are out there just like him?

Also of interest to me is that this is once again an example of someone telling atheists his definition of what atheists are. (Indirectly of course.) He assumes it and wants us to confirm this straw man, but essentially that’s what it comes down to: To him an atheist is a sinner, but more than that, an atheist is someone who has rejected his god-given morals, where all morals come from god, and is therefore incapable of feeling empathy, incapable of feeling sadness or loss, but rather lives by logic alone and is evil and a danger to every god-loving theist out there. And when any atheist says anything that contradicts this strange view, it should be discarded without even a moment of thought.

This theist is in many ways the polar opposite of someone like myself… I rejected all gods because I realized that there is not only a lack of evidence for them – there is plenty of evidence indicating that man created all gods… gods are a by-product of our cultures and are interesting in terms of understanding human development over history. Morals are also a by-product of human culture where a lack thereof would be a disadvantage to survival. To come to my opinions took critical thinking and a willingness to question what I had been taught. (My indoctrination.) My opinions are always fluid and I have changed them drastically over the years, responding to my improved understanding of reality, and this leaves me a perpetual student of life; my worldview is filled with wonder at nature as I grow old and have a better understanding of this amazing place in which we live and the truly astounding animals that we are. Whereas his worldview requires dogmatic belief and unyielding faith, faith that is so rigid it can not be questioned at any cost, even if he must assume that anyone who does not share that belief is inhuman. Moreover, he then “debates” people who do not share his views, but chooses not to engage with them but to present them with his assumptions about what they believe instead. (No irony here. I don’t go to Christian groups and tell them what they believe.) How pitiful it must be, to be such a person, to be incapable of even a solitary, independent, critical thought.

Posted in Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spoon of god, you take away the porridge of the world. Pour milk on us.

Yes, I’m mocking Christianity again, and I’m not sorry. (Actually I have more important things to write about, but do not have the time to write them. I’m sharing this because I find it both funny and baffling.)

What is it about some of the faithful that they must post absolute nonsense to debate groups? There is no debate with them when they are well and truly beyond any chance of rational thinking.

I present exhibit A. Keep in mind that this was shared to a debate group, with people who do not believe in any god. Atheist members may have come from popular religions, or they may be among those lucky enough never to have been indoctrinated in the first place. So the only argument that any of us would ever like to see is one that contains actual evidence for one of the gods that theists claim exists, not mindless comments like this. The OP was this:

People are swords and utensils to God. That being said, I believe that every culture is inspired to God through there own prophets so that God can have tools to use. Like any maker of things, tools have a wide variety of usages. With so many cultures professing their God as the right one I think it’s fair to assume that God needs a wide range of peoples to make His point come across the right way. I think it’s important to note that Christ is the only way to get to God and that people who don’t know Him will never fully understand their purpose in God. We are swords and utensils to God. Let’s make ourselves into a special utensil…

The grammar alone pisses me off. Whoever wrote it doesn’t seem to know the difference between there and their. Also, he doesn’t know how to use commas. Despite those issues, the above is probably one of the better pieces of grammar I’ve seen from the believers. So let’s ignore the grammar…

To prove that I didn’t maker this up, here’s a screen-grab, minus the names and group name.

spoonofgod

What do you even say to that? Of course everybody who replied was being sarcastic… But as funny as the nonsense may be, I’m starting to get sick and tired of it all. There is no debate with people like this.

I suppose one potential question and comment that could be directed in response to this, if I actually wanted to continue discourse with the person – which I do not, is this: So this god created us all, the entire world and all people, all animals, all plants, and everything, as well as everything in the rest of the universe too… What kind of tools does this almighty creator need, and why would he need them crafted out of his creations, which he created from nothing? Clearly the post is one of those feel-good believer type statements, one that might sound profound and meaningful to those who already believe, but the statements themselves do not really say anything.

The post also contradicts itself. It states that every culture is inspired to god through its own prophets (again let’s ignore “inspired to god” and assume it means “by god”), then later states that Christ is the only path to god. Can’t have it both ways, moron… If every culture’s prophets are valid, then every culture’s religion is valid too, and you have argued yourself into corner. But of course, having contradictory beliefs is something that every theist lives with, and even accidentally writing them in the same paragraph will not be enough for said theist to be aware of his cognitive dissonance.

Posted in Skepticism | Tagged , | 4 Comments