On Escapism: The 2 reasons those drugs won’t work

I should tell you that as I begin writing this I’m considering whether to pop an opiate, a benzo, both, or neither.

“Should I take it/them before writing? Will I be lucid enough if they kick in? They’re not strong doses, but I’m allowed to take three at once… What dose is a strong dose? What can I get away with here?

“Mid-writing? Best of both worlds. Do some sober writing, and then experience a bit of wacky writing, see what happens…”

The other option of course is to take the drugs for the medical condition for which they’ve been prescribed. In a minute. Or now. It doesn’t matter.

They seem like innocent, innocuous questions. But there’s a hell of a lot going on behind those debates. For me – maybe for you too.

This is your brain on(/anticipating) drugs. *frying pan*


Walking home from the doctors surgery (still free at the point of use in early 2017) with a bag full of pain-relief, Fleetwood Mac lights up my 2007 3rd gen iPod nano.

(…bought with my first bit of student loan – did ’07’s Apple Inc. team miss the planned obsolescence memo or something? Or did they only officially incorporate it as policy later this decade? I remain gratefully stunned. Hang in there, my square little buddy.)

‘Never Going Back Again’ was one of those songs that came up during a transition period for both my mental/emotional health and my iTunes library, and if I remember rightly it was around Christmas a few years back, when the feels stakes are unavoidably higher. So Me and It have got one of them nostalgia links, formed by my desire not to fall back into old patterns of behaviour; the ones that killed me, for a while.

Now, for the first time, my mind is (arguably) in better shape than my body. I’ve just been told by a number of health professionals (some standing to profit, some not) that my x-rays show ‘spinal decay’ (basically arthritis of the spine, or at least it will be if I don’t do something about it) and muscles full of scar tissue. That explains the decade of back pain, and the current spasming that’s causing the involuntary yelping that’s causing the embarrassment in public.

My first desire was to GET SOME SWEET SWEET DRUGZ to relieve the pain. I even consciously determined, as I staggered to the GP, that if I was given a script it would likely be for valium or codeine – neither of which I’ve taken or been prescribed before. I didn’t realise, but I see now that I felt a bit excited.

I got given both.

My second desire, on the sunny stagger home, became something else. Somehow, it became not the desire to be able to move freely in the absence of muscular pain – how dull, basic. It was to sit outside in the winter/spring sun and while away some hours running free from the anxiety and anger that have recently colonised my brain again. (Yippee.)

It was to experience freedom from weight, anticipation, doubt, fear, connection, recognition, association, need, responsibility, contact, regard, honesty, faculty and understanding.

It was to throw myself into the dive, falling with no fallout, into the luxury that science and society has finally and rightfully allowed me. I’ve had enough anguish again today, thanks. And I have this paper that says I don’t have to. SEE YA.

How many valium is too many valium, really?

Lindsey Buckingham, but particularly Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks’ harmonies at 48s in, pulled me out of that smug, and into tears. Into admitting that tired, angry, frightened me is still strong somewhere, and she keeps forgetting to work with the rest of me, and what I know and need, and it’s kind of dangerous. Frightened me will do frightening things.


In giving up the ‘freedoms’ and faculties above, I give up my power. In not being there, attending to anxiety, anger, or anything else – whether that’s SMASHING THEM, or just working out why they’re there, what for, and better understanding them, which is kind of the same – I crush what is a burgeoning, and still fragile power.

You can use drugs to forge connection, sure. “Smoking and drinking are social, though – ” yeah, I get it. Short-term relief can seem nice. I could sit around abusing painkillers and downers with people, and find some things that we already had in common. They’re also incredibly addictive, mentally and physically debilitating, and a short term plug that’s easy to abuse or misunderstand as a ‘cure’ to my problem(s); a way to avoid governing myself or my vicinity.

Don’t pretend the high will last into significance. It’s not going to fix the fact that I could have sorted my back out years ago if I’d just paid attention to it instead of weed, how to fit in with obnoxious people, and whether or not the apocalypse was coming (it was/is.)

Gone are the days for chemical denial. Only recognition of all that’s good and bad. Just maybe not all at once. Whatever you can manage at a time. As long as you’ve got a variety of the two and how they make up the in-between that we live in.

Can’t deny that YouTube tutorials for physio core workouts have been available since I bought my iPod, and it’s high time I sorted my life out by doing that, instead of abusing (rather than properly using) substances.

Getting fucked up isn’t going to change the world around you. Plus not getting fucked up all the time is just a nicer life.


Reason 1: all life is suffering, and we live in a relative universe. work with that.

Reason 2: you’d be a complete asshole if you went around pretending everything was roses

Just so we’re clear, please do escape. Frequently. Just do something that doesn’t wreck and stunt you and, you know, maybe even benefits you or other people.


FOR FREE. BECAUSE I’M IN NEED. I’m looking at you GOP. We all are.

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