Life Altering

The past couple months have been life altering for my wife and I. I have a son from a previous relationship that lived with his mother. She, (my child’s mother) was going on 5 years of continuous sobriety – as far as I am able to verify. She was a heavy IV cocaine user and would occasionally shoot up heroin to control the cocaine come-down. I wrote about her in my¬†memoir.
She is now dead.
Another person added to the never ending list of addiction related deaths. Another, so close to home. A family torn apart. A daughter gone forever. A mother gone forever. A son, forever without his mom.
My wife and I have made all the necessary adjustments and changes to be the permanent care takers and parents for my son. The transition has been going really well considering what the poor boy has been through.
I quit my full time job and will be a stay-at-home dad for the near future. I want to build a stable bond with my boy. He has had so much change and disarray in his life that he needs a great deal of consistency and care from a stable and sober role model.
My wife has been completely amazing and flexible through this life direction whiplash. I have so much to learn from her generosity, love, and her unshakable companionship. She never ceases to amaze me.
My son’s chances of becoming dependant on drugs and/or alcohol are very high. Both parents’ were drug/alcohol users which covers the gene side of addiction and he comes from a single mother household, now a deceased mother, and already has an ACE (adverse childhood experience) score that is higher than his age. Individuals with an ACE score of 5 or more are 7 to 10 times more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. That covers the environment and statistical side of things.
He has a huge mountain to climb and many obstacles in his path. We will do everything we can to get him through this with only minor bumps and bruises. It will take a lot of work and a lot more luck. Of course I am not a determinist, so I know everything I mentioned does not determine his life outcome, however, for us NOT to look at these things would be cowardly, and very dilatory parenting.
I will try to post another update on things within the week. I know I haven’t been consistent with my posts but things are beginning to mellow out here at home. More to come soon.
Any thoughts or comments in general would be great. ūüôā

 

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Drugs and Tampons

I had experienced a very short, yet rather disturbing dream last week. It woke me in the middle of the night so I knew I needed to remember the dream. I replayed each deranged and confusing scene in my mind until I knew I would remember it the next day. Because of the strange and disturbing nature of my dream, I wanted my therapist to help me unravel its hidden metaphorical meaning. Here is the dream, and the conclusion we came to.

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The Dream:

I was in my parents basement. I used to live in this part of their home when I was young. It isn’t the damp, unfinished type of basement. The floors are carpeted, walls painted and there are small, half windows towards the top of the ceilings. This particular room looked identical in the dream as it does in real life. The only comparable difference with the room in my dream was this lonely mini-refrigerator against one of the walls. There was nothing else in the room except for this plugged-in appliance.

As I started to walk towards the mini-fridge, I noticed I was not alone. I was being trailed by an old friend of mine that I used to do drugs with, before my addiction took a firm hold. In real life, this friend had gotten sober but later died from an aggressive type of brain cancer.

As we approached the fridge, I told him “don’t worry, I have one for you.” I was assuming he was asking me for drugs or I at least thought he was wanting drugs.

I knelt down on a knee and opened the door on the mini-fridge. I reached in the fridge and pulled out a neatly wrapped tampon. I handed my friend the tampon. He then carefully peeled the wrapping off the tampon but there was no tampon in the wrapper. It was a syringe. He pulled the plunger back on the needle until the black rubber grommet came out of the clear cylinder. “POP!”

He then put the plunger into his mouth like it was a thermometer, or a sucker stick.

This was the end of the dream…

Breakdown:

Possible meanings:

Parents’ basement¬†– Unresolved issues; deep, dark secrets.

Old friend (now deceased) – A quality of the friend that stands out most in myself. Not necessarily about the friend himself.

Tampon – A tampon is a solution to a problem.

Taking something out of a fridge – Is a continuation of a situation(s).

Syringe – Influence/drugs.

Syringe in the mouth – Drugs as a solution.

Analysis:

My friend putting a tampon/syringe into his mouth in my parents’ basement represents either a latent or former desire to turn to drugs as a solution to my childhood/familial issues. The issues remain, therefore the desire remains. It suggests that if the unresolved issues remain unresolved, I may be at risk of relapse. This dream may have been a warning from my subconscious brain.

Disclaimer:

Dream analysis is not science. It’s not proof of anything. It could be complete nonsense. I am fully aware of this. However, I have found this extremely helpful and absolutely mind blowing. I also believe there is utility in analyzing the complex and complicated world that is our subconscious mind.

Have any of you analyzed one of your dreams?

Thank you all for taking the time to read about my strange tampon dream. ūüôā

 

My book is finally finished!

 


I wanted to write a quick post about what has been going on over the past few months. I haven’t been consistent in posting on my blog….consistent or non-existent? Either way I haven’t posted here in a long while. Here’s what has been going on in my life-

I have stayed sober. Sobriety, or rather, the urge to use drugs has not been a problem. Of course I think about it from time to time still but there hasn’t been an emotional or psychological mind or body reaction to my thoughts. They have all been more of a “look-back” at the past. No stomach-turning roller coaster drops of drug induced fantasies. Nothing like that.

My wife and I have grown a passion and love for reptiles. We have acquired a lot of beautiful ball pythons over the past 6 months and if someone had told me that snakes each have their own personality, I would have told them they are insane. Sure enough, snakes are pure awesomeness. Some are cuddlers while others like to pretend they are a rock. “You can’t see me! I am a rock!” Some people don’t consider “being a rock” as having a personality but I have met people with far less statuesque ability. I don’t want to make this a blog about our pets so I’ll end this with a picture of our snake named Wanda.


Shifting gears a bit, I found myself hesitating on completing my memoir. My father and I started the book almost 9 years ago. We had countless meetings together trying to flesh out each other’s work, coordinating his chapter with mine; which we wrote in separate homes at seperate times by discussing important talking points. It was a large amount of work but at least we were in it together. After my father passed away I felt extremely lost. I felt lost because I knew I would never be able to talk to my father but I also felt lost with the book project. It was so close to completion. I did have our editor’s help and my family members, but it still made me feel empty and alone. The project seemed to lose its meaning in a way. I felt we had built a special bond during his last years here. Maybe realizing that my dad did all that work to never get to see it completed made me feel that pain. I don’t know exactly why it became so difficult to finish. We had so many great discussions about what it would be like to have seen the book completely done, bound, and in our hand.

I finally finished the book. Despite what my false self was yelling in my ear. I knew it was mostly lies and fear. I can’t blame the fear. After all, My memoir don’t paint me as a shining moral hero. I titled the book – A Walk in His Shoes. ¬†It released on Amazon and Kindle on December 3.

I will write a more thorough post this weekend detailing more of what has been going on. If anyone is still interested in reading my memoir, you can get it as a hardcopy or as an ebook. If you are wanting to read it but don’t have the funds to purchase the book, let me know and we can work out a trade. Thanks everyone!

Hard copy—> ¬†CLICK HERE!

Ebook——-> CLICK HERE!

A Walk in His Shoes

Facebook page—> CLICK HERE!

On the Facebook page, I am giving a free signed copy of the book away on the most recent Facebook post. If you are interested in winning a signed copy of the book, click the Facebook link above. Thanks everyone!


			

Is the buying/selling/using of drugs immoral?

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Have you noticed that drugs¬†are always portrayed as “evil” or “bad”? Since I have been old enough to understand language, society “as a whole” speaks about drugs with a morality factor attached to them. They, or “we”¬†claim that the using, selling, and doing of drugs is somehow immoral. Philosophically speaking, this is just not true.

I should mention first the religious aspect to this right up front. As you may already know, I accept atheism as a valid methodology so my¬†morality, or rather my¬†ethics have to come from a universal¬†standpoint. Ethics that are not universal are merely preferences or opinions. Some religious edicts state that our body is a temple and therefore to do harm to it is immoral. In that case, it is immoral to put sugar in your body. Rationally, that circle can’t be squared. Also, ethics that are brought forth by a power that is exempt from¬†the same¬†ethics put in place by that power¬†is just rank hypocrisy. Thou shalt not murder! Great idea! I think we can all agree on that so lets not then turn around and create a global genocide.

As noted by early philosophers, ethics were invented by evil people to control and oppress good people.¬†What that means is ethics are like a diet book for skinny people.¬†Bad or evil people don’t care about ethics except as a means to lower their competition and for human control of the good.

It may seem like I am cheering on drug consumption and sales but¬†as a former heroin addict,¬†that is not the case. I am looking at drugs from a purely moral perspective; I’m trying to analyze drug use¬†using philosophical¬†first principles.

Initiating force or violence against another person when not in self-defense and¬†¬†violating the property rights of another person are the fundamental core ideas of first principles.¬† Violating either of these principles is immoral. (If you are questioning “what makes first principles valid?” I can make that case but to do that here would take this post too far off topic and it would also make it far too long. If you want more info on first principles please comment below.)

So the next question is- Does using, selling, or buying drugs violate either of these principles?

Without the state sanctioned “illegalities”¬† of drugs, it would be easy to argue the crimes woven into the black market of todays drug world would disappear. When the government creates a prohibition law, what inevitably happens to the value of the now illegal good? It sky rockets. Every time, without failure. Not only does the value of the illegal good go up exponentially, crime rates rise too. One instance of this is the alcohol prohibition in the early 1900s. The rise in crime that followed was¬†a major driver in the state’s decision to¬†reverse the prohibition.

Back when heroin was legal, it cost 10 cents a hit. As soon as it went into the black market, it shot up

Prohibitions are also¬†the main ingredient for mafias and gangs. How could mafias’ or gangs’ function without a black market? When you¬†push things into the black and gray markets of the economy you are causing harm to the natural economic flow¬†of the market. Drug lords now have a lucrative and prosperous foundation to build their violent mini empires. All this because we believe that using violence (using the state to create a law)¬†to solve social problems is a legitimate way to fix complicated social issues. Same holds true for prostitution and illegal gambling.¬†

Prohibition is a real gun pointed at real people. We need to stop thinking we can solve problems by pointing guns at people.

Prohibition is a real gun pointed at real people. We need to stop thinking we can solve problems by pointing guns at people.

The amount of harm caused by prohibition is far worse than the harm caused by a drug itself.

1- With prohibition, there is no dispute resolution for buyers and dealers so weapons and other violence must be used.

2- With prohibition, there is no way to know the potency of the drug you are buying therefore you raise the risk of overdose and poisoning.

3- With prohibition, you may lose professional licensing or become un-hirable to companies for decades.

4- With prohibition, families are torn apart by incarcerations, financial fines, court and lawyer fees and the negative social stigma.

5- With prohibition, as mentioned above, the cost of product increases hundreds of percent causing more illegal activity. (I eventually had to break other laws to continue using heroin. It was too expensive.)

6- With prohibition, people who are addicted to drugs can’t come forward for help because it is treated as a criminal problem instead of a health care issue.

7- With prohibition, illnesses like Hepatitis and AIDS are spread around the drug circles because access to clean needles and other paraphernalia is made difficult.

8- With prohibition, many women turn to prostitution to supply their addiction.

This list could go on and on…

As we know, drugs are handled by the government as a criminal problem. The budget for the War on Drugs in 2013 was 26 billion dollars. Less than 2% of that was used in a treatment or preventative means. The vast majority of the budget every year is used on incarceration costs, police force, and other violent and aggressive tactics like multi-operation sting-ops that cost massive amounts of tax payer resources.

Confucius said “The beginning of wisdom is calling things by their proper name.”

What an amazing quote. Lets put this into practice. Lets call the “War on Drugs”¬†by its proper name. The war on drugs insinuates that the state is at war AGAINST drugs. Is this the case? Have you ever seen a sack of weed in handcuffs?¬†I know I have been in handcuffs but the heroin I had on me got off without a single charge.

With just a couple of seconds of thought, its easy to see that the clever wording of “the war on drugs” was used because it is hard to argue against. Most people don’t want drugs in their family structure so a war against drugs sounds great to the average person. “You are against the war on drugs? You must want babies to die too, right?”

It’s not a war on drugs. It is a war on families. Particularly minority families. Making drugs illegal will NEVER cause the problem to get better. When you use force and violence to attack a complex¬†social problem you will see a short-term advantage and the long-term will be much worse. This is why the drug problem in the US has continually gotten worse since the WOD was initiated.

So how can we accept that legalizing drugs is the right thing to do? I know when I first heard about these arguments, I had a recoiling emotional response and I thought that legalizing drugs would be a terrible idea. Of course that was not based on any facts or evidence. It was an emotional response that was threatening my incorrect belief. Based on facts and evidence, I have now changed my stance.

Are drugs dangerous? Well, of course they can be but so can a paperclip.

Are drugs bad for your body? Overall, they can be very harmful to us. But so can cheesecake.

If I was selling you a $20 hit of heroin and I hand you the heroin and you hand me the $20, is either one of us using violence to get want we want? Is it not peaceful trade? Isn’t it a praxeological axiom¬†that we both consider ourselves to be better off because of the trade? If it wasn’t, why did we trade?¬†Is it fundamentally no different than if I was selling you a cheesecake or a box of paperclips? Trading, buying, selling drugs peacefully is not an immoral action. It may not be honorable or preferable, but it is not immoral.

People who need drugs are going to acquire them by any means necessary. Even if they are illegal. Even if they know they will go to jail. Even if they know they will lose their home. Even if they know they may die. We can see this very clearly now. The war on drugs; the criminalization of drugs is making this much worse. If drugs were legalized, we could rid society of the stigma associated with addicts who suffer under the life crushing violence of the state. Funds could then be used to help people who suffer from addiction problems. Open up more recovery options and widen the grasp of addiction treatment facilities. The possibilities would be opened up enormously and some real change could begin.

I believe this is moving humanity forward and extending the value of personhood. If you look back through history you can see the major leaps forward in mankind. Those moral shifts have allowed freedom and growth to take place in the human species. We used to eat each others flesh. Then we realized “hey this is kind of gross and wrong…and used up too much salt and pepper.” Then we enslaved other humans. Women had little to no rights. Then we realized “we are all human beings.” We kept universalizing and extending our ethical guidelines. I hope soon we will do this for the little people. Our children. Once we start treating them as full individual human beings we will see a growth in the world like no other. If we could evaluate the last few decades of the war on drugs, we would see the disaster for what it is. Making more laws around the same system will not help fix the disaster the state created. We must legalize all drugs, gambling, and prostitution if we truly want to make the problem better for our society.

I don’t want children or future children to believe that drugs are okay to use and that there are no problems with drugs. But you don’t solve that problem by creating laws against drugs. You do it through the peaceful raising of children and maintaining a nuclear family. There is no more of a non-answer in solving the drug problem than believing that creating more laws is helping the situation.

I understand I am making some pretty wild claims. If you disagree with me, please tell me where I am mistaken. I will correct my mistakes if better and more truthful arguments are brought forward. I believe it is important to accept reason and evidence, especially when talking about the zeitgeist of societies. 

Win a Free $25 Amazon Gift Card

WIN ME!

WIN ME!

I have not given anything away to my followers yet and its long overdue. It’s not much, but it is free and quite easy to win. For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just follow the steps below.

1- Reblog/reshare this post.

2- Follow this blog via email, if your not already.

3- Share any one (1) of my posts from www.jdusty45.wordpress.com on any other social media site.

4- Comment “Done!” on this post.

If you enter to win, your name will be drawn at random. From a hat, a real hat. My hat. I will have my wife draw the lucky winner on June 7. (next Sunday) Good luck!

I saw my heroin dealer this weekend

On Saturday¬†my wife and I went to the city to attend a reptile expo. The expo¬†was at the state park which is also the same area of the city I used to roam around¬†while I was homeless. My old heroin dealer would ride his pedal bike, meeting up with¬†us desperate and wayward users who had no access to a¬†vehicle. I didn’t think much about the correlation¬†between the location of the expo¬†and my past drug excursions, but I did think about it briefly, prior to going. I didn’t put a lot of concern on this because my employer is in the same city as where I was homeless and I have built new and sober memories at these areas now. Also, I didn’t want to ruin our day by navelgazing.

The area of the expo is an area I haven’t been to since I was using and when we were driving through the area, I began talking with my wife about how I was feeling uneasy and had a sick feeling in my gut. It was raining quite hard and transients were walking up and down the rough and¬†graffiti littered streets. Right after we started talking about my emotional state, I seen a man on a bike pedaling towards our vehicle. We was not stopped- we were heading north on the¬†narrow neighborhood¬†street and the cycler was riding south on the sidewalk. As soon as I seen the man on the bicycle, I knew it was my heroin dealer.

I told my wife who it was. I didn’t feel like it was something I wanted to keep to myself. To someone who has never been addicted to heroin, maybe this situation seems kind of inconsequential but for me, it was a pretty scary situation. I am very glad my wife was with me. I am glad she is willing to listen to my issues and fears without much warning.

I know that if that would have happened earlier in my sobriety, I would have slammed on the brakes, bought heroin, and got high. The sickening feeling I had did pass, but it did shake me up for a few hours. Addiction continually baffles me in its unrelenting patience and power. It’s not something to play around with. I go months without so much as a thought about heroin then BOOM! there it is. This is a rushed post because I am at work. I wanted to get this down in writing before the raw¬†feelings of the situation disappeared. Thanks for reading.

Laughter – Not always the best medicine!

I often hear laughter coming from individuals while they are mentioning traumatic past experiences. Whether they are talking about how they were abused as a child or how they used to shoot up drugs into inconspicuous places. A short giggle here, or a wry laugh that ends their sentence. A sentence that is not at all funny or laughable and often times my experience of the conversation is a visceral response that is raw and painful.

I do understand the laughter and where it comes from. I used to do it as well. I¬†now believe that laughing at traumatic things in our past¬†is harmful to us and it is also a dishonest response. I should clarify one point before going on. I am not against humor or comedic responses to life. I am actually quite the joker when it comes to laughing about life’s many situations.

There is the saying by Carol Burnett about “Comedy is tragedy¬†plus time.” I agree with this to a degree¬†but there is a fundamental piece missing from this particular meme. If the tragedy has not been dealt with- through self-knowledge, therapy or other means of self work, the tragedy is comedic only because the issue is still raw and too painful to deal with. Because the individual has not worked through the trauma of the past, they must giggle or laugh as a defense mechanism to cover over the true emotion under the laughter.

The laughter is also an invitation to the listener to join along in the conversation as a tale of laughable past times. Of course if the listener joins in with returning laughter, the trauma will continue to destroy and manipulate the host. I didn’t realize how selfish it is to laugh about my own unprocessed trauma. Telling others about your past traumas with laughter causes the listener to feel the emotions for you. The feelings you are covering over are being felt by the person you are talking to. If they are not feeling¬†your hidden emotions, they are non-empathetic and you are wasting time talking to that person anyway. Maybe that is what you want. If you just want someone to join along with your misplaced laughter, that’s fine too but I can not join along with that kind of empty relationship blather.

I’m not saying that laughing at your own trauma is contemptible or horrible or anything like that. Like I mentioned above, I understand it and I used to do it myself. All I am saying is I think it is a very important topic that we should evaluate honestly and objectively. Nothing in recovery is more important than being honest with yourself. If you notice someone giggle or laugh at something traumatic or horrific, pay attention to how you both deal with that situation. Challenge yourself to talk about the laughter in the discussion and you may be amazed at how advantageous and open your conversations can become.

Laughter is not always the best medicine.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on this topic. ūüôā

THANK YOU!

And kiitos to my rakas <3

And kiitos to my rakas ‚̧

I started blogging about my addiction to heroin in May. Over the past 9 months I have met some wonderful online friends who have helped me in so many ways. Giving advise, hope, support, and love.

I plan on continuing this open journey with you all and I appreciate all of your support.

Thanks to all of you who have allowed your stories to be told in such a vulnerable and naked atmosphere. Being honest and open is what relationships are truly about.

I have enjoyed reading many of your wonderful posts. Whether funny, happy, helpful, angry, sad, depressing, joyful, engaging, silly, or thought provoking, I have enjoyed the growing journey with you all.

Here’s to 2015!