Weird search strings that got here: Why does meth make men horny?

Just a quick one, and I know I haven’t written one of these for a while…

Why does meth make men horny?

First of all, meth makes everybody horny. I don’t know or care why, but it does. Deal with it, or be sensible and don’t do meth, because it does a lot worse than increasing your libido.

Another thing meth does is make people stupid when they’ve been awake for long enough. Stupid people ask the wrong questions. Why doesn’t matter. It does what it does. Why ask a question when you don’t really want to know the answer? (Yeah, I am being sarcastic because I don’t want that question answered. Fuck you.)

Do you really need to know? Do you really want to know how meth works on your brain, which neurotransmitters are involved, and so on? There’s a lot you don’t know, a lot you don’t need to know. You need to know that meth is a short term path to a great high, and a long term path to destroying your life, ending every relationship you have, losing all your possessions and maybe your mind, and leaving you with nothing. But by all means, remain oblivious to the way it effects you and wonder why it makes other people horny.

Thinking about this some more… I made some assumptions when writing this. I assumed that the person asking the question is a woman who uses meth, asking about a man who also uses meth, oblivious to the effects of the dug on herself.

I could be wrong about the situation, but probably not, because when we use meth, we think that our feelings like anger over little things, and our sexual desires, are normal. We see the effects of the drug on everyone else but think our feelings are “real”. They aren’t. If you use meth every day, you are under the influence of it all the time, even when you don’t feel high. Every feeling, everything you say and do, is directly or indirectly influenced or fueled by the drug.

The reason I could be wrong is that the same question could also have been asked by someone in a relationship with s user. If that’s the case, then my advice to you is get out. Give your partner an ultimatum and make them choose you or the drug. because as long they use meth, they are in a relationship with meth, not you.

Posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Recovery | Tagged | 4 Comments

It’s THAT dreadful day again. 18 years since my father died.

It would have been his 75th birthday today as well. (He died on his 57th.)

I’ll never forget that day. It was a Sunday and I, at 29 years old, was still living with my parents. I hadn’t even bothered learning to drive, because of my crippling anxiety, shyness, and laziness. Dad drove me to work; he would do anything for me.

My brother (two years younger than I and not living there any more) and I had put money together to give Dad a George Foreman Grill and I’d woken up keen to see his reaction to his birthday present, as he loved cooking. I rose excitedly and ran to my parents’ room to wish him a happy birthday, but hardly had the words out of my mouth before my mother urged me not to wish him. “Why?”, I asked. And then I saw something was wrong… He was not well. She’d already called the ambulance more than 45 minutes before. I decided to have a shower; then wait with him.

But before I could get into the shower, Dad asked for my help… He needed to get to the toilet, but couldn’t get up. I had to carry him. It was almost impossible, as he didn’t seem to have any strength in his legs. I asked where the pain was, but his reply was a mumble. I couldn’t understand if he said “nowhere” or “everywhere”. I had never seen my father so weak. I also didn’t know those would be his last words to me. If anyone ever asked what his last words were, that’s all I have. Nothing profound, nothing I could even understand, just a muffled mumble as he tried but failed to describe his pain.

I went to shower. When I got out not five minutes later, I found Dad had somehow managed to walk to the lounge by himself, so that he could sit on the couch and wait for the ambulance. And he was just sitting there. Dead.

I tried to administer CPR, but all that did was lead to a horrible wheezing sound as air escaped from his dead lungs. I sat on the floor, in shock. Later my brother showed up. “It’s too late”, I managed, unable to come up with the words to express anything more. I think he tried CPR too, uselessly. Then maybe an hour later the ambulance showed up. The paramedic took one look and said, “Sorry, we don’t take bodies away.”

After that is a blur. I sent an email to work telling them my father had died, and included the lyrics of The Cure’s All Cats are Grey. This:

I never thought that I would find myself
In bed amongst the stones
The columns are all men
Begging to crush me
No ships sail on the dark deep lakes
And no flags wave me home

In the caves
All cats are grey
In the caves
The texture coats my skin
In the death cell
A single note
Rings on and on and on

The Cure – All Cats are Grey

I remember bits of his funeral. I remember my brother’s girlfriend at that time telling me not to look at her “with those dead eyes”, and I remember Father Tom Nicholson reading my eulogy that I could not, even the words where I asserted that it was not his time and there is no god. I don’t remember what else was in that eulogy, except that it was emotive and used repetition of the word “Daddy” in key places throughout for greater impact, and Father Tom read well enough to pause in all the right places as I intended it to be read.

That night I cried myself to sleep over Dad’s words… he had told my mother, who also didn’t drive, not to worry, that he would still take her to work on the Monday… That’s where he was a better man than I. Everything he did was for us, his family. Unlike me who is selfish… I drew strength from his memory when I quit meth, unlike everybody else who said that they did it for themselves as if they had never done anything for themselves before. When I quit meth, I did so despite loving being on that drug. I quit for others, not myself (and you’d be amazed how often people contradict me when I say this out loud, by the way – as if they know my thoughts better than I do), and used the memory of Dad’s selflessness to inspire me.

I don’t think I was ever the same after that day.

I worry about my son… How will he cope with my death one day? He is far closer to me than I was to Dad, especially since his mother is not in the picture. Josh and I are unusually close, and he is affectionate, unlike me. Every day he tells me he loves me, and wants to be hugged two or three times every day. I do talk about death. Just as I have tried to teach him about the dangers of drugs so that he is prepared and doesn’t repeat my mistakes, I have also tried to prepare him for the inevitability of my death, but one can only do so much. There are some things you can never anticipate until you experience it for yourself. Death of a beloved family member is one of those things.

Posted in Relationships | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

My beautiful son

This past Saturday, my son’s school had a Valentine’s dance. I didn’t take him last year, but this year he really wanted to go, so we did…

It was a little weird for me, as others made an evening of it, taking bags and snacks with, and the couples sitting at tables under two large tent covers, often with more than one child. Awkward me walked around with Josh, or sat around as far as I could reasonably get from the crowd.

Here’s how he looked with the glow in the dark wristbands and purple spray on his hair…



After I saw how he looked with the purple in his hair, I was almost shocked… When did he get so good looking? Actually this will sound horribly conceited, but I always had a high opinion of my own looks, especially as a child… but I think he looks better than I did. I was never quite pretty. But I do recall how the girls, and later the women, love the pretty boys. I see trouble ahead.

It was a fun evening. Josh and the other boys his age don’t really dance… The run around and like to slide on the floor. In the hall, the older kids danced, and so did some oddball parents. There was this one guy in his mid thirties, his combed back thinning hair in a goofy bob as he danced with his children. A white guy with no rhythm who didn’t really belong anywhere near a dance floor. He reminded me of an awkward kid I used to know… But that’s what we do, right? We awkward kids grow up to be awkward parents… teaching by example about things of which we know little. But I will enjoy this while it lasts, while he is still young enough to think that Daddy Bear knows what the heck he is doing.

Posted in Parenting, Relationships | Tagged | 1 Comment

An explanation for the group psychology behind praying in tongues

I believe I have an explanation for the strange group psychology behind “praying in tongues”, as practiced by some born again Christians. Rather than write it as I did in a comment to a reader the other day, I’m introducing it in an anecdote of how I learned of this odd practice, and then I’ll offer my explanation of how I believe it works.

Years ago, in early 2007 I think, I realized I had a problem with meth addiction. I was looking for a way out, and my employer at the time, a man who owned a small software development contracting company, invited me to his home to join their church meeting.

I’m an atheist, so going to a church meeting might seem weird to readers, but you need to understand that contrary to the misconceptions of many religious folk, the path to atheism is through having an open mind. Critical thinking means considering all sides, unless you are certain that a side has no merit. At that point, I was willing to try anything. (Aside: Considering all sides also means not giving any extra weight to a religion that happens to be the one you were born into. For the Christians I’ve met, being open means considering Christianity and immediately discarding all other religions without even thinking of considering them. All religions are equal, but Christianity is “more equal” than the rest.)

So I went to Ozzy’s house in Durbanville. About twenty people attended, a group larger than I’d expected. There were all reasonably successful people. Ozzy, his wife, and two children, lived in a large house that could comfortably entertain a group of twenty or thirty. People were milling about, chatting, drinking coffee that his wife prepared, and eating cake. There was also a fat old cat that I could pat rather than interacting with the humans, so for me it was purrrfect.

It was a pleasant experience, with people sitting around and chatting, discussing the Bible, and so on. I can understand the attraction of it, the sense of fellowship it gave them.

Then things turned weird. Towards the end of the evening, as everyone sat in the study, a woman started “witnessing”. I’m not sure if that’s the right word. She was half praying, half talking to the other people, predicting that they would be successful, making some vague personal comments in between, almost like Barnum statements from astrology… I thought she was pretty good. She could make money as a medium, conning people with a clever combination of warm and cold reading, but I digress… Then she launched into prayer. It started out normal, and then she began throwing in gibberish words and phrases. Everyone else started praying too, and doing the same – spurting out made up words and phrases. I sat there dumbfounded, thinking, “What the fuck, man? I thought these people were sane.” Of course that was my cue to leave.

Since then I observed someone else doing exactly the same thing. Well adjusted, intelligent people, who literally pray out loud in gibberish, and somehow it is acceptable to them. They’re not speaking “in tongues”. That’s not a real thing. What would be the purpose of speaking in a language that you don’t understand? Actually, it seems to serve two purposes… It makes them feel like they are part of something greater, and it is, of course, an impressive spectacle. It’s something that can draw others in, if they are so inclined to observe long enough and catch the pattern of syllables and vowels to combine into interesting nonsense words.

I left that guy’s house hurriedly, wondering to myself what could drive smart people to such a behaviour, where each one surely knows that they are just making up childish gibberish, but each also thinking that the others are doing it for real. As an addict, I understood how behaviours that were unacceptable could become normal… I didn’t use meth until my early thirties, having been brought up with the idea of hard drugs being taboo. But soon I found myself in a strange new world where everyone I knew used meth, and I no longer thought of it as unusual. It became normal for me. But I had nothing on these people.

Then the other day, I heard of pluralistic ignorance. If you don’t want to follow the Wikipedia link, in my own words this is the social psychology where a person who is a member of a group rejects a behaviour of that group, but also believes that everyone else accepts that behaviour, so they go along with it anyway.

In the case of praying in tongues, since it isn’t real, everyone rejects the behaviour personally, but believes that everyone else is really doing it. It is ironic and hilarious to me, because somehow they never discuss it, somehow they have to hold on to the silly idea that it’s real. Of course, when I saw that back then in 2007, I chose meth. Hell… if accepting madness was the only alternative to being high, I’d take the drugs every time. Of course it isn’t and I am happily clean and sober. And of course this strange behaviour is not something that all Christians do.

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On meth, your problems seem impassable and you never move forward.

As I took my daily bath this morning, I lay thinking about my life – how it has changed and how different it is now to five years ago when I was on meth. It struck me that my mindset back then was not uncommon, and I have observed that others commenting have had similar issues.

The main difference between then and now, besides of course that I’m no longer high on meth all the time (or ever), is that I have moved on with my life. The things I think about now are quite different to the things I thought of then. I’m pissed off, for example, because I get the impression that my son’s school teachers don’t actually do much teaching. (For example, an English speaking child shouldn’t be given Afrikaans spelling words to learn when he has no idea how to pronounce them or what they mean. Like, maybe explain them to the children first. Is it unfashionable for teachers nowadays to fucking teach?) Back then, my mind was preoccupied with irrelevant nonsense rather than getting on with my life. On meth, I was stationary, moving neither forward nor backward… making no progress emotionally and paying for it by being penalized by others who didn’t allow me to see my son. (And so on and so forth.)

On meth, I was consumed by, for example and among other things, my obsession with my failed relationship with my ex. I call it my, “Oh my, boo-hoo” phase, ironically after a lyric from a Sisters of Mercy song I loved. (Ironically because I think the guy who sang it has been in that phase since the eighties.)

Even though the relationship was over for years, I moped around wondering whyWhy doesn’t she love me? Why did she cheat on me. Why can’t I get over it and trust her? Why why why? Oh my and a boo-hoo

The same thing happened with a job I lost in 2011. Even though I fucked it up, for months later I continued writing about it on my old blog. (Thank goodness I took that down and you can’t see it any more.) The company was called LaserCom, but I wrote about “the company with a name that sounds like LoserCom”… blaming the company director and others as if they had some vendetta against me and I lost the job because of that… As if the guy was really doing anything other than, you know… trying to run his company. Of course there were people who took my side, because I always could get people to see my point of view, even when I was out of my mind on meth and my point of view was flat out wrong.

On meth you get stuck. It might look like anger, or bitterness, or depression from the outside, but that’s not what it is. Instead, it’s more like tweaking on a grand scale – focusing on that one thing and being unable to move forward. In fact, that’s exactly what it is..

I’ve seen comments from others who have exactly the same problem, and as it was with me, they don’t know it. You can’t know it. As long as you continue to use, you simply don’t move forward. You might be functional, but only barely and you’re certainly not normal. It takes years of sobriety, or at least it took years for me, to see this in hindsight. I couldn’t back then, and I doubt anyone else can, which is why I’m writing this. Maybe if someone else points it out, you can see yourself as you truly are?

Posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Recovery | Tagged | 1 Comment

The urgency of addict parents cleaning up

Every so often, I speak to someone or read their story, of how they had no relationship with one or both of their parents because of addiction. It’s different every time; not all were removed from their parents as my son was removed from me. But one thing is always the same: their parents did not get them back, unlike my case where I did get my son.

It always leaves me sad. It leads me to think and imagine an alternate reality where I did not succeed, a reality where I either continued using meth, or cleaned up too late, and lost access to Josh forever. It could so easily have happened.

This post was going to be much longer, but I think more words would only distract from the point… There is a small window from the time when your child is first removed (or you lose access through divorce or separation or whatever the case may be) until the the time when you lose access for life. In between, you need to understand the urgency. The longer you continue to use drugs and don’t see your child, the higher the probability that you will never see your child again.

I’m not going to project my own experience on everyone – in fact I got lucky. I didn’t have any sense of urgency. After my son was initially removed, I relapsed and used for another three years. Then once I got clean, it still took a further two years after that before the court placed him back with me. It could so easily have worked out differently. I know so many people who didn’t get their children back, and I know even more adults who were such children of addicts. The fact is, most addict parents will lose their parental rights, and if you’re living in that small window where the chance of losing them for good has begun, you need to wake up and understand how serious and urgent it is to do whatever you can to stop using drugs, and get your children back.

Posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Parenting, Recovery, Relationships | Leave a comment

How I lost my faith

I have written parts of this before, so bear with me, please… A question I have always asked myself is why and how I went from sincerest belief to a position of utter disbelief in about thirty seconds… because that’s what happened. I went from theist and devout Catholic to an atheist who will never believe again, almost instantly. And it wasn’t what I wanted. To explore my thoughts on this, I have to go further back and compare my loss of faith to two other events in my life: The moment I found out Santa wasn’t real, and my transition from cub scouts to boy scouts.

When I was six years old, my cousin Miechelle told me that Father Christmas wasn’t real. (That’s what we call him here. I don’t know why.) My reaction was one of anger. I wanted to believe. But I couldn’t. In the moment when she said it, I knew. I knew that an old man didn’t travel around the whole world in a flying sled with flying reindeer visiting all the children at night. I knew the Santa’s in stores were just men in costumes. I knew. I wanted to go back to my belief, but my cousin with the weird spelling of her name had given me just enough information for me to understand that there was no going back, and suddenly I was separated from the other kids. Suddenly I did not live inside their fantasy world and was no longer part of that fellowship.

When I was around eight years old, my best friend was a member of the local cub scouts. The hall was just down the road from my house, in walking distance. So I joined too. I never did quite fit in anywhere, since my time was spent in my own little imaginary world, mostly detached from others. So I didn’t care for the cooking, merit badges, tying knots (none of which I ever remembered anyway) and so on, but there was one thing I did like. At the end of every evening, we’d all stand in a huge circle, holding hands, and shout out together the name of the woman who was in charge, “Akala, Arrrr kaaay la, Aaaaaaaaaa” and run towards the middle. I loved it. I felt like I was part of something. It gave me a sense of belonging, and was one of the few times in my life that I ever did fit in anywhere, even if it was only for a minute.

But then two things happened… I graduated from cubs to scouts, and my younger brother tried it out. That same hall had an upstairs section, with poles that you could slide down, and rooms on top where the scouts went. I found myself no longer fitting in at all. Suddenly I was surrounded by older boys, who were listening to music and talking about sports and girls while sneaking cigarettes. One of them made fun of me for wearing short pants, while they wore trousers, and “trousers” was a word I did not know. He mocked me for that too. And yet my brother hated cubs. He attended once, came home, and told us about how stupid it was that they all held hands and shouted “Akala”. I was shocked, because he hated the one part of it that I loved. Then I went in early, up to the room and looked down at the cubs. All at once, I felt what he felt, that the boys holding hands were being silly and childish, and I saw Akela as no more than a middle aged woman in a silly brown suit. The illusion was shattered, and I, who no longer felt any sense of fellowship with either the cubs or the older scouts, left and never went back again.

Fast forward to me at sixteen years old. One day a Finnish friend asked me if I was religious, and I answered that I was Roman Catholic. I naively asked what religion she was. She scoffed. She laughed at the idea of belief in god, and asked why we could believe in such nonsense. And just like with my cousin whose parents don’t know how to spell Michelle, I knew she was right. Virgins don’t give birth. Nobody walks on water, changes water to wine, raises the dead, or does any of those things that Jesus supposedly did. Not now. Not two thousand years ago. God doesn’t “speak” to anyone now besides the mentally deranged, and there is no reason to suspend one’s disbelief and accept that it was any different thousands of years ago.

And just like that, my faith was gone, never to return again. I didn’t choose this. It was taken from me. Again, I was angry at first. I prayed. I attended Mass. All for nothing. I hated it. It was like trying to go back to cub scouts. There is no going back. It took me years to become comfortable with my atheism.

And this gets me back to where I started… Sometimes I wonder why. Why did my faith vanish in seconds while it doesn’t work that way for others? My brother is still a devout Catholic… the same brother who in a moment had me see through the false sense of fellowship of cub scouts.

To be fair, I always had my doubts. At six years old when I started Sunday school, the others prayed to Jesus and I would not. I didn’t see how the son of god and his father could be the same person. And a couple of years later when they explained the Trinity, it made even less sense. Maths can be complicated. Science can be complicated, but never beyond comprehension… but to state that something is beyond comprehension dogmatically is the same as saying it is magic and you can’t understand it because magic. And magic isn’t real. It’s made up, just like the complexities of god.

And yet, the process of my disbelief seems quite different to most. From what I’ve read, disbelief in both god and Santa is normally gradual. I even saw that with my son… At first he thought only one Santa in one store was real, and the rest were fake. He came to his disbelief over a period of months, rather than my instant switch from belief to disbelief.

Somehow I have never convinced anyone else to disbelieve. Not that I try… But when I was sixteen, that friend didn’t try either. Her scoffing at the idea of belief was enough. When I hear the faithful, and read their blogs as they tell each other what they want to hear, I see through the illusion. They’re no different to those little boys holding hands and yelling Akela. But most will never know it.

It’s not those people who I, as an anti-theist, have issues with anyway. Their faith is innocent and admirable, something taken from me that can never be returned. But their religious leaders don’t always share that faith. They remind me more of Beaver, the scout leader who married my friend’s mother, and then turned out to like little boys more than he liked women. And I don’t only mean paedophiles… I mean the Angus Buchan’s and Joel Olsteen’s of this world. People who exploit the believers to enrich themselves.

I set out writing this, thinking I had answers that I could simply write down. Somehow the loss of that feeling of fellowship when I was a child helped facilitate seeing behind the curtain of religious belief. Now I’m no longer so sure. Maybe my brain is “wired” a little differently and I was always a critical thinker? I don’t know. I do know that my loss of faith wasn’t a conscious choice. And there is no going back.

Posted in Skepticism | Tagged , , | 6 Comments