An Essay on the Psychological Misuse of Our Nation’s Drug of Choice
14 April 2003
I went to Don’s house on Friday to spend some romantic time with my ½ fiancée. Instead, he asked me why I thought I was entitled to spend the night at his house when I had only given him about a 2 hour notice. I told him that I did that all the time and he got defensive. He told me that he had made plans for later in the evening, at about 10 o’clock, at about the time I would usually be at home and sound asleep. He told me I could do no such sleeping at his house. I asked him what he was doing. The reply:
HIM: I’m getting together with some friends. ME: What friends? HIM: Just some friends! ME: OK… Where are you going? HIM: Somewhere. I don’t know. ME: What time will you be back? HIM: All I’m saying is that I may be getting together with some people and we might be going somewhere later tonight! ME: So you may be getting together? Why can’t you just call it off if the plans aren’t set in stone? HIM: *Giving in*
One who shows ignoble fear in the face of danger or pain.
I knew from the second that he didn’t name names that he was going to be smoking pot at 10 o’clock. I want to write an editorial about how men sabotage themselves while using everyday language, but that’s another piece. This piece is about how many Americans will misuse drugs throughout the course of their lives.
After I confronted him about what he was really going to be doing, he caved in and told me everything, including the fact that he was under a lot of stress and couldn’t handle it alone. We talked for several hours and I did indeed spend the night and he did not slip out and smoke. But during the course of this conversation, he kept alluding to the excuse that he has formulated in his mind: “I am under too much stress. Smoking pot is the only thing that keeps me balanced.”
And Don isn’t the only one.
· AJ has a friend whose fiancée used to smoke pot to calm down. He was a good student and all that. But his fiancée (AJ’s friend) really disapproved of the habit. She begged him and begged him to quit until he was interviewed for a job and found out that there were to be random drug tests. He abruptly quit but turned to cigarettes as an even unhealthier substitute.
· Don has a friend whose fiancée’s brother died from a drug overdose, so she despises all drugs. She told her fiancée (Don’t friend) to stop smoking pot or she would leave him. He did, but started smoking those damn cigarettes and now drinks a lot more alcohol than necessary.
Everyone has stress. But not everyone deals with it the same way. Most of us deal with it holistically--maybe an Advil here are there. Some people take tranquilizers. And some use illegal drugs to dilute the pain.
Well I’m here to tell all of you it’s a lie. It’s an excuse. It’s an addiction and it’s unhealthy and I don’t care what you have to say to defend yourself. There is no defense.
And this is my written response to finding out that the day after my fiancée and I talked through the night (and he told me that my understanding of his complex psyche had similar effects to that of marijuana), he took the liberty to smoke his stash the following day after I left:
There is no plausible excuse that you can tell me to absolve yourself from the shame and guilt you feel every time you call me up and complain that someone is talking about you in a way that could damage your ego. You are left with no defense when we both know that your mental condition’s prescription supercedes any other attempt at self medicating. You cannot possibly think that I could understand that your paranoia and your obsessive nature is anything but a side effect of the drugs you are willingly subjecting yourself to. How dare you think that I will listen to you complain about how you are drowning in debt when you can afford to spend $30 every week on a quick fix. And don’t you ever, EVER think that I will believe you when you tell me that talking through the night every night is going to make your mind clearer, only to postpone your drug party for one more night.
I won’t believe you. I shouldn’t have to live with the guilt. And I can’t take the stress that your ignorance is bestowing upon my soul.
And you won’t even try to do anything about it.
So goodbye. Coward.