no, don't do that to yourself. be gentle with yourself. it is late, and you are up thinking about ___. i know how much you cried over ___, i know how much you double-guessed yourself, how much you wondered, how you blamed yourself. i want you to know that you did the best you could, given where you were in your own life. given your heart, your warmth, your listening.
___ was there, iridescent, seemed to own the city. for a while, driving into it felt like you were driving down ___'s streets, breathing in ___'s air. but, like the tori amos song, "i know he isn't you."
you had never encountered someone like ___ before. ___'s spirit was new to you, ____'s hands, the way ___ moved. i still love ____. i will always love the people whom, while in a relationship with them, i sincerely loved. it doesn't just go away.
alice walker wrote, "old shit just kept hanging and hanging." i want a space, somewhere free of regret, remorse, resentment, anger, blame, where both people are raw, stripped down, unencumbered, honest, where talking can happen. and then, as though from a dream, awaken, and feel lighter, unburdened, clear.
"all my lovers were there with me/
all my pasts and futures/
and we all went to heaven in a little rowboat/
there was nothing to fear/
and nothing to doubt"
i met with ___ for dinner, only a little after a month since we broke up. i couldn't pretend to "be friends" and "have fun" because i still needed to heal, still needed time to process what had happened with us. ___mentioned the dying plant, and i said, "water it." i remembered ___'s middle finger resting on ___ cheek, how it was aimed at me. let me be free of sarcasm, cynicism, and dour humor, blocking me from sincerity. i wanted everything to be above-board, up front. ___ looked so sad, seemed to be crying when __ was laughing. that was the last time i saw ___. it took me two days to feel what i'd felt that night at dinner, and when i did feel, i wept.
___ told me ___ resented me for not being able to understand what it's like to have an addiction. but, as my friend said, "you don't have to have an addiction to know what it's like, or to be understanding." even when i broke up with ___ once, we got back together.
this letter came out better the first time, dear self, but it was deleted. we are always writing for multiple audiences, it seems.
and i want to rest now.
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i still think about you. and i read something i want to share with you. i know you have always been trying to fully live, i know you are always free. that's what i love about you.
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Like you, I think there would be more happiness and less misery in our
little part of the world if fewer teens took drugs. But I suggest that you
simply tell your own truth: how you feel about the drug use you have
observed, and why you yourself do not do it.
As far as policy goes, I agree with the goals of the Drug Policy Alliance,
with one caveat: When I was a teenage drug abuser, if I remember
correctly, well-meaning people did offer me useful information about the
drugs I might or might not be taking. I nodded and looked concerned. I
made them tea and said, "Would you like to sit on the couch?" But if I was
going to not take drugs, there needed to be either A) no drugs around or
big dogs and men with sticks between me and the drugs.
If I had known you at the time, a hip, intelligent young person who did
not use drugs, I would have admired you and would have wondered how you
could be so cool and yet not do drugs. Maybe I would have thought it was a
little sad that you didn't get off like the rest of us. Or maybe I would
have thought it was great. It's hard to tell. But I doubt that it would
have stopped me. I was too desperately unhappy and too cunning and
insincere, too guarded, too aloof, too afraid and too afraid to show that
I was afraid.
I was meeting my needs the only way I knew how.
How was a guy like me going to use practical pharmacological data to make
balanced decisions about which drugs to take? My main goal was to get so
high I couldn't see my shoes.
And therein lies my concern about the realistic, common-sense approach: It
seems to assume that the adolescent drug user is a rational actor who can
weigh risks and benefits.
I frankly don't know what anyone could have done to help a kid like me. My
problem was not a lack of pharmacological data. It was the problem of how
to be a human being, how to live in society, how to experience God, how to
grow up and be a man. If somebody had offered me answers to those
questions, I might have listened. In other circumstances there might have
been a wise elder, healer, philosopher, warrior, priest or some such to
help me express and channel those needs. No such luck. Not in that world.
My drug use may have been misguided, but it had at its heart the most
noble of desires: the desire to know the universe, to be at peace in the
world, to liberate the better self, the true self, to allow what is good
in the self to shine, and to know mysteries firsthand, to experience the
inexpressible beauty, harmony and complexity of consciousness.
I understand your dilemma: When you say you're against drug use, you seem
to say you are against certain noble strains of the questing American
spirit -- Beats and hippies and transcendentalists and Expressionists and
So I suggest two things: 1) Tell your own truth about drugs. But more
important, 2) work to build a culture that meets the needs that people
take drugs to meet.
People take drugs to meet legitimate needs: initiation, profound
experience, encounter with death, exploration of consciousness,
exploration of personal limits physically and emotionally, a certain
derangement of the senses, to feel more deeply, to taste the edge of
Our problem is that we do not know how to collectively actualize the
mystery of the universe so that our children can be ushered into adulthood
confident that they belong. We need rituals that create vivid experiences
of reality, vivid enough to make the drug experience pale by comparison.
We need to live in a way that makes drugs irrelevant.
We don't know how to live that way. We don't know how to live vividly enough.
That is what I would pray for: that we learn how to live."http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2006/06/...buse/index.html
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