[Tripping On…] Now And Then…

I think it’s a matter of willpower to keep things like alcohol around without consuming them. Years ago, I removed that temptation by getting rid of all of my alcohol, and it’s been easy for me to maintain that ever since. When I’m feeling shitty, it’s difficult for me to go grab alcohol that isn’t there. I could drive to the store and go get some, but the logistics prevent me from drinking even casually.

Media makes meandering through alcohol seem like a pleasant thing.

Rarely does media – especially the more popular forms of storytelling media – talk about the problematic side of addiction in any sort of serious perspective. That’s not fun! That’s not advertiser-friendly. I don’t post photos on Instagram, for example, because I received so many alcohol ads despite turning off all alcohol advertising and even going on a 45-minute purging of any personalized advertising that I posted on my account stating all of this. Now, I’ve found that whenever I browse my account, it’s ad-free.

That solves the alcohol side.

I don’t have any cannabis or cannabis-infused products around but when I was out last week, smelled cannabis, I didn’t particularly mind. Something like that would normally repulse me. The culture around cannabis is this sort of bullshit fake culture about being chill and relaxed, when really, the people I’ve met or the people that advocate for that sort of lifestyle are highly judgemental and are rarely as relaxed as those who might casually consume cannabis but not make a huge deal out of it.

Can I consume either of those two casually?

Considering that I still have my post-surgery painkillers along with Diphenhydramine around, I’ve had surprisingly more willpower than I could have imagined. For the Oxycodone, that is mainly for my use in regards to rehabilitation. On days like today where I had a bad spine day, possibly flared up due to overexertion, it would have been nice to take one to relieve the significant amount of pain I was in. Instead, I was able to rest through a majority of the pain, but I do wonder, at what risk to my overall willpower?

Will it be harder when my spine or tailbone next act up?

I look at things like overeating as symptoms of that sort of problem. Sure, I didn’t take an Oxycodone to relieve my symptoms, but I took potentially thousands of excess calories. It’s been difficult for me to get the pain relief I need. My now-former second pain management doctor’s office was terrible at communication and the doctor, despite being nice, could really only do injections that aren’t covered by my insurance. A $650 injection could solve my problem, or, as I’m reading more about now from people that are permanently disabled, these injections can cause medical issues that aren’t really worth the gamble.

In my mind, I’d rather take medication than an injection.

The problem is that you can moderate the injection but not the medication. I received an excessive amount of medication for my post-surgery medication. If our society were structured better at treating addiction as a societal problem rather than a personal problem, if I were to, say, become addicted to these painkillers, then it would be easier for me to get the treatment I need, and, the medication wouldn’t be as freely prescribed in my situation. Instead of, say, 100 pills, I might only get 20, but that’s easily refilled at 20-per-week or 5-per-day with a doctor’s prescription. That could be one way to go, but, I don’t know.

I think we should be more responsible when it comes to our medication consumption.

Whether that’s alcohol, cannabis, or Oxycodone, it seems like it might be fair to consume some alcohol on special occasions, THC cannabis for creative sessions, CBD cannabis for pain relief, and stronger painkillers for stronger pain relief. Instead, everything seems to be set up so that alcohol is seen as this super fun happy-time drug that has no consequences. People can drink and drive and even if they murder someone with their vehicle, there is still a debate over whether that person is guilty.

I suppose the thing I might advocate for is the right drug for the right problem.

I’m still waiting for pain relief from my daily tailbone problems. Taking one 10 milligram Oxycodone will help resolve that issue more effectively than suffering through the pain. Because I don’t know how long it will be until I get pain relief, even if I split the pill half, I don’t know when I can next find relief. I have to wait three weeks before I can see a doctor that will look at my spine from a physiatrist’s perspective. That’s three weeks without being able to do much of anything. This is the American Healthcare System at its finest and it is another example to me of how inadequate this system is at treating patients like human beings.

Why do I have to wait nearly a month to get pain relief?

I have insurance, I live in an affluent part of America, and yet the healthcare I’ve been given overall has been so terrible that I go through doctors like I go through underwear. One doctor treats me like garbage or can offer little to nothing for me, then I have to move onto the next one. There’s no point in remaining loyal to any of these doctors that are freely willing to overmedicate to quiet their patients, whether it comes to painkillers or, like my old PCP doctor did, throw me a prescription for an anti-depressant because, yeah, I was getting bummed out that I was in more pain over my spine hurting back when it was just a mild daily spine issue.

There is no alternative for me.

I am stuck within this system that is content with advertising the occasional relief from reality, now and then, in media and doctors’s offices.

What if I could get permanent relief by actually fixing my issue?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I took this screenshot in a bar inside the videogame Final Fantasy 7 – “A drink now and then is good for you. It’ll relax you a bit. …If you know when to stop.” – as an inspiration to write about how I feel about addiction.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Screenshot: Final Fantasy 7.
Written On: 2020 October 22 [10:29pm to 11pm]
Last Edited: 2020 October 22 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]


My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.