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my life with drugs

Created on: 01/19/10 03:43 PM Views: 3314 Replies: 9
my life with drugs
Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:43 AM

John (Boyd) Edwards
01/19/10 01:44 AM
Spinning around on the lawn, at 7 yers old, until I would fall laughing as everything spun as I looked up to the sky. Then there was a thing we did around 6th grade where one person would hyper-ventilate for about 15 seconds and then his friend would "bear hug" him from behind squeezing hard with locked fists in the solar plexus. This would cause unconscientiousness, and we loved it. Luckily this craze didn`t last long. It probably wasn`t the best thing for our brain cells. Next came ciggies. I buddy taught me how to inhale behind Barren Park School. Later I would steal cigs from my parents packs and secretly get "dizzy" from them in our driveway at night. I was eager to try drinking. I had seen my parents and their friends drinking at all their gatherings. The first time I remember getting drunk I was 15 and was out with "the guys" I remember drinking most or all of a large bottle of 20% wine like Thunderbird and later hanging out of the back window of the car with the wind in my face and saying "we`ve gotta do this every night! By my senior year drinking was happening at least on every weekend. When I was 18 I moved to downtown SF and was able to be served at all the nearby bars. I thought it was SOOOOOOO cool to sit in a dimly lit bar, where the bartender knew you by name, and slowly get wasted. By that time drinking was definately a daily habit with my first drink (usually started with a few beers)in the afternoon and then I was generally fairly wasted by bedtime.

I had by this time discovered "speed"(pill form). It was common in those days for people especially women to be prescibed speed (my mom was one of them). I found that mixing speed with drinks made one feel even better than just drinking. I was never what you would call a "speed freak" but I probably did it maybe 100 times during my early 20`s. When I went to Menlo College I met a bunch of rich So. Cal kids who used speed to stay up all night to study for tests. That was the first place that I tried it.

It was in `64 (I was in SF and a Pre-hippie)when I finally got stoned on weed for the first time. I loved it. By the fall of `64 I was an everyday smoker. I was working as a bartender in downtown SF. I combined my weed habit with my drinking (and cigs)and I was taking LSD and other psychedelics (mescaline, pyslocibin, peyote, etc, on the weekends. I went to Spain to live in `69 and at that time switched to hashish (that was what everybody smoked over there ).......Some people think that hash is stonger and more dangerous than weed but thats not really true.

When I came back from Europe in `72 I got involved with cocaine. I did a little "here and there" for a few years (snorted it)and later in the early 80`s I used it a lot. Probably 3 days out of every week. By `85 I realized how bad it was for me and quit(by myself....I have never been drawn to those 12 step groups) In `86 I did the same thing with drinking. I had made feeble attempts to give up the booze (one time for 4 years). I haven`t had coke or booze since then. I still however enjoy my pot still. I eat it more than smoke it now for the sake of my lungs. I eat pot cookies and drink pot tea. I can`t say that pot has hindered my life. I have alway been self-sufficient and provided for myself and others (including 7 kids). In my opinion alcohol and tobacco causes way more harm to us as individuals and our community than all the other drug. If anyone wants to ask me any questions , feel free. boyd

RE: my life with drugs
Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 11:06 AM

Hi Boyd
I never realized what an "interesting" life you led. Even after dating most of our Jr. year I was unaware of your other life. I admire you for finally stopping smoking and drinking and your other substances. I am married to a drinker and smoker but none of our 3 children smoke and only socially drink. My husband is good but was raised in Idaho and all his "cronies" still feel that the drinking is OK daily. Even tho most have had at least 1 DUI. Thank gosh we did not live long in the Boise area or else we would not be together now. The same bar daily with the same group of guys does not make for a strong relationship.
After working with high school kids here in the Reno area for a number of years I went back to college and got my AAS degree in Substance Abuse Counseling. I set up the 12 step programs for outsiders and the students at the high school weekly and attended right along with them and a Masters Degree Counselor. It was always rewarding to see the students with the big substance abuse problems graduate. Some I still run into today while out in our community.
Some I know did not make it and may be out there somewhere. We have very close friends that have a 44 year old son the has used various drugs since about 15 years old. Sometimes they know where he is (rehab. jail, etc.) other times they don't know if he was that white, male, body found dead under a bridge in downtown.
Good luck to you.

RE: my life with drugs
Posted Saturday, February 20, 2010 11:04 PM

Hi Judie, Thanks for responding to my post. I guess that during my junior year drinking was just starting to get a "grip" on me. Didn`t some drinking "go on" on some of those dates? I seem to remember quarts of ale at the Luau. I`m glad to hear that you have not had "troubles" with vices and that you have helped others who did have issues.

Frankly, I was a bit disappointed at the "lack of response" to my post. Many read it (or at least glanced)but you, Judie, obviously, were the only one to reply. Maybe I should have put "Questions or comments welcome". Probably some thought that I was trying to brag (I wasn`t). I expected some questions like "Did you ever get in trouble with the law?" "How many of your kids followed your bad example?" "If you could lead your life over again would you do it as a stoner?" "Have you tried Salvia?"

There must be at least a couple of our grads who have had "experiences" with "dope". I only saw one drunk person at the saturday dinner party. Come on guys, don`t make me feel like thwe only Cougar who ever smoked a doobie or snorted a line.

RE: my life with drugs
Posted Saturday, October 2, 2010 09:04 AM

I wrote quite a bit last night. Somehow I clicked the wrong thing and my note has disappeared. This is a test - if it works, I will try again.

Kathy Peck Lane

Edited 10/02/10 09:05 AM
RE: my life with drugs
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2010 12:40 PM

try again

RE: my life with drugs
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2010 08:47 PM

So, here we go again. This is my third attempt. I fall back to my, "I'm not modern," when it comes to computers.

It seems to me that when it comes to substances, everyone is his own expert. Each person's story is unique and personal. I am not an expert on taking drugs because I approached them very rationally. I simply could not trust that something was what someone claimed. Certainly, the buyer has to trust the seller. When I looked at it, I also looked at alcohol. My conclusion was that at least alcohol has labels that mean something.

I am sure my approach to this subject is a result of being the child of an alcoholic. My dad went to work everyday, brought his check home, ate dinner with us every night. However, he liked his bottle more than he liked any of us. I was a lost child. I could not break through the bottle to my father. When a child is without a relationship with his father, he is lost. He does not know how to define himself. It took many years to overcome.

Sidebar to words we use: In the 50s we used the general he. Now we say he/she. I prefer the 50s.

We know that children in substance abuse families go toward or away from substance abuse. I went away. However, because of my counselor training with Good Samaritan Ministries, I now see that we are all addicts of something. As the child of an alcoholic I became a responsibility addict - commonly referred to as codependent. Now I say I am in recovery, and with the right stresses, I can relapse. I suffered and caused a lot of suffering as a codependent. I consider myself equal with all addicts.

I often give assignments to clients. I believe 90 AA meetings in 90 days is a great assignment. The assignment is not completed until 90/90 is complete. IE if a day is missed, the 90/90 starts over. I also give the assignment to people who are not involved in mind altering substance. The addict mind is busy, busy, busy. I have seen this assignment transform lives by slowing the mind. The follow through breaks the addict defenses that preserve denial.

Right now I am thinking of a woman who has been in recovery for many years. She was stuck on one thing hanging over from her family of origin. It is a very sick family. Listening to her story, one would be tempted to give her a pass. After all she has come so far. Instead, after resisting the assignment, she relented and did 90/90. She broke through to being able to talk to her family. She is now fighting for her life because of a medical diagnosis. She is in relationship with her family but exercising good boundaries instead of rejection. So, she can fight for her life from a position of peace instead of internal conflict.

I had the good fortune to marry a man who came from a family where drinking alcohol had a normal quality. By this I mean, alcohol was not at the center. Relationship was at the center. Thus, I had the opportunity to come into balance about alcohol. I use wine in cooking, we serve it a couple of evenings a week with dinner. We have an occasional highball. I am also fortunate that I do not have an addictive tendency to it.

I agree with those who mention self medication with drugs and alcohol for ADHD etc. My younger sister drank a lot. It destroyed at least one of her marriages. When she got treatment for depression and anxiety, the drinking stopped. She does not regret losing the alcohol. So, she probably was self medicating symptoms. But again, it is unique and personal. I sometimes wonder if my Dad drank to cover depression and anxiety.

Sidebar to words: Boyd, did we use intestinal fortitude as a term for guts in the '50s? Hats off to you for bringing out this subject for conversation. There is a lot to it.

Thank you,
Kathy Peck Lane

RE: my life with drugs
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2010 10:18 PM

Oops, I forgot. Do you agree we are all addicts of something?


RE: my life with drugs
Posted Monday, October 4, 2010 02:28 AM

I certainly agree with you, Kathy. I am addicted to productivity or work, whichever way you wish to put it. But, I have also been addicted to drinking at times, usually as a result of loneliness, or dealing with my kids' problems.

Two of my kids have serious addiction problems and only in the last year have I been able to really separate their problems from my own, and offer encouragement but not enablement (?word).

Right now is the best time in my life, in terms of being in control of my circumstances and understanding myself. I am very happy, even though my two kids are still struggling with trying to get clean and stay clean. The most important thing I have learned is that the desire to do so much generate from them not me. So, interestingly enough, since I have become supportive but not co-dependent, they are deciding to change on their own.

My son is like Boyd. He doesn't like the 12 step programs. However, like Kathy's example, he hasn't come to grips with the fact that he is depressed. I also feel that for minor cases of depression you can 'train' yourself out of it, by owning your situation and modifying the way you react to your circumstances.

Posted Monday, October 4, 2010 02:31 AM

This topic was moved to a different forum.

RE: my life with drugs
Posted Monday, October 4, 2010 03:12 AM

Wow, this is some topic. I have a totally addictive personality but, fortunately, in my old age I am addicted more to work than to drugs or alcohol. I spent years working in advertising then film production where the drugs and booze were readily available wherever we were in the world. Somehow I lived through those periods. Now it's primarily a few glasses of our homemade wine. But with smart phones, laptops, ipads and instant worldwide communications, my addiction to work 24/7 is still running wild. Although this work addiction doesn't put toxic chemicals into the body, the three and four hours of sleep can certainly take a toll. Throw in some energy drinks and I guess it's a whole other form of addiction.

Edited 10/04/10 03:13 AM