Chasing the First

imageWe do a lot of looking back trying to reclaim something that has long since passed.  It could be the first time you fell in love, which I have seen be the most common chase; or it can be chasing the first of the year to start over and make this time count.  We are a society looking for something, not living in the moment and in turn causing ourselves major pain.  I admit I have fallen victim to this pattern of life, chasing a love as good as my first love, trying to have that euphoric feeling I felt the first time I cooked dinner for my friends, and for the purposes of this post, my first high.

I have recently realized what the pull of drugs really seems to be.  I personally do not like drugs.  I use to have a small issue with methamphetamine, used from anything from weight loss to all night sex sessions.  I never felt a pull to continue to use especially when I came down but for some reason when I was offered I used.  In the beginning it was more of a weekly thing but as I just got over the feeling in my spirit and the characters I met that made me feel unworthy as a fellow drug user, I began having weeks then months between usage.  It was in those months I saw the expiration date and I’m happy to be beyond that phase in my life. Of course with any drug addiction, even one as small as mine, it’s a daily struggle not to fall off the wagon.  The key for me was to have other, more important things in my life like this blog, expanding my cooking skills, and amazing friends that don’t use drugs.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m pretty up front and honest about my life.  I might not be proud of much of it, but funny thing is I kind of am. I have experiences few have or ever will, which gives me a perspective that doesn’t look down on others but can empathize with a variety of people and situations.  I can say my appreciation for simple joys has increased and my need for many things from praise to the latest gadgets as diminished quite a bit.  In the end, being close to the bottom and watching my behavior as an observer out of my skin during the highs saved my future and my present.

imageThe interesting thing about my drug use was how much I didn’t like using the drug. I’m someone who likes a certain amount of control of my mind.  I like to speak with deliberate intent and care for no one but myself.  I don’t like being misunderstood and I simply enjoy knowledge and expanding my mind’s capabilities.  Using meth increased an already overactive mind so I was experiences deja vu that probably weren’t, I was hearing everything and then not hearing things because I was so tuned in to one thing. Writing was not possible, nor was reading or doing anything that made me feel like myself. With all that I used off and on for years, completely chasing something I would never get again: the feeling of that first hit.

The first time, unlike with sex, was amazing. I was inside myself in such a way that I knew why people used meth. I felt all my senses, and to be touched and yes have sex was intense.  I quickly wanted numerous times with this feeling but alas they were few and far between. I can probably count of both hands how many times I truly enjoyed being high after the first few times, and that’s the real pull of drugs.  I wanted that initial rush again that only lasted an hour if I was lucky. Then I was stuck on this elevated level, unable to come down and feeling it for days afterwards as my body pushed it out of my system. I kept thinking that rush would make up for it but I continued to be disappointed I wasn’t coming close to the feeling I had remembered, so I waited a bit then tried again, and again, and again growing more dissatisfied. It seemed like each time I was done I would get a hit that was so close, causing me to begin the chase again and feeling disgusted about it.

imageThe good thing about my normal way of thinking, and having Buddhism in my life ( I couldn’t meditate or study the Dharma on that stuff) is that I was able to step back and look at this and other things very carefully.  I was able to see that chasing that first high was no different than a lot of first chasing.  We all chase after something and it’s that chase that tricks and traps us. Having this knowledge can truly set you free and change the direction of your life, as long as you are willing to see, while the first was great, no thing can be duplicated to match another thing.  This wasted energy for nostalgia or whatever the case may be is damaging and we must decide to nurture and move on.

I truly don’t need that first high. Even writing this post makes me get those chills, anticipating beginning the chase again.  I’m fortunate I have practices in place and people to call to talk me off the ledge. I’m glad I’m learning chasing anything is the real problem.

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