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Tomarken.com > Ambivilen > College Chemical Culture (04-30-02)
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College Chemical Culture
Citizen Genet
4/27/02, 5:55AM-Toledo, OH

Most of my drinking at College was during my freshman year. In the very first days of school I was busy with class, regular assignments, football practice, and general friend making. I had expected to be active and I was in good spirits. I was pleased with my continuous motion and felt that I was on a direct route to accomplishing exactly what I had set out to. To maintain the highest self-satisfaction a single devotion to ones varied enterprises with all one similar end is required. How I choose to devote the most and best of myself should have remained a primary concern. There was only so much energy for productive hours, sleep, and also socializing. On a regular, say bi-weekly, basis it is not very taxing to stop and consider the standards which one upholds. That which is helpful or hurtful can easily be scrutinized in about a half an hour. Had I done this small task then I might have noticed a discouraging and real trend and forcefully made the decisions that were necessary for top academic performance. Specifically, when I accustomed myself to my own particular mode of drinking, my priorities shifted negatively.

I fell behind in my reading and hurried assignments because I was not allowing myself the full measure of sleep that I deserved. As the new habit was basically in conflict with the operation of many other areas my overall strength declined. The way that I drank kept me up at night while the sport I choose to join demanded supplementary rather than deficient reserves. My mode of drinking also wore out my mind so that what was once a sense of encouraging tenacity shifted to a duller stubbornness. I am one of those people who try endlessly to figure out my experience when I become distracted in any way. When I made myself ill from alcohol my experience became sharply subjective and so, basically, I became accustomed to being regularly philosophically distracted. It was not fair to myself to threaten the realization of most of my goals for the brief opportunity gain a new chemically facilitated grasp of existence and morbidity. Reflection upon drug and alcohol use while intimately involved may lead one to claim that they can care so little about so much. Perhaps so as to truly have captured an experience one must have knowledge of the background as well as the focus. In actuality ones spectrum of choice in intoxication is altered and then diminished so that very little control is exercised under which any supposed self-discovery is made.

To use any drug to have a good time is, was, and remains pitiful to me. I was greedy for the possible wisdom that can be uncovered. I saw in others something somehow perilous and I was intrigued. In truth the draw for most conventional drugs is that they limit ones perception and in so doing create a false shield from ones environment. Sometimes only the ugliness is visible and other times only the beautiful. But there is no superior wisdom there because the facts are found in the full experience and to hide the background spoils the integrity of any subject of the minds infatuation. The peril I noted was the result of the body?s coping mechanisms as the limiting of perception is analogous neurologically to severe trauma. My motive was a greed for a knowledge that was patently flawed. I found myself in the midst of some idiotic crusade to test myself. I wouldn’t be bothered to criticize any change in course.

The happenings of freshman year seem ordered to me now but at the time the pattern was beyond my attention. In addition I was feeling threatened by my classes and I aimed at making a display of everything excessive. If I had been honest to my deepest motivations I would have noted that by weakening my ability and time to complete schoolwork, I was making myself more agitated. The frequent alcohol use made my life more difficult and illogically I blamed the problem on over work. Thereby I cut myself off partially from a source of meaningful reward. I choose risk with more distractions, which started to include drugs along the avenue I used to release the energy that now was focused on an end contrary to my success as a student. My hands were itching for anything that could possibly pose a threat to my mind and take my attention into every bizarre and frightening place possible. I was wrongly aligned with the grand illusion.

Alcohol was the darkest and most readily available showcase horror. I drank for three reasons. Once my body was near sickness I could then fight my way out, boosting my image as a ?hardened? individual. Secondly I craved the scariness and the grimness of the ceremony. Third it seemed that some of my thoughts were new, but as I have said above the actual value in anything realized was so little when the manipulative effect of the intoxicant is taken into consideration. These intense factors were difficult for me then and most probably critically upset the balance of my mental functioning as drugs and alcohol alter many of the same chemicals that are presently regulated with my medicine. I had an affinity for actions that catalyzed the continuous afflictions that would announce themselves by the following year. The way that I drank was to induce a rapid disintegration of normalcy with an oppressive mixture of regularly opposite kinds of alcohol. My most usual drinking became a can of Natural light with one shot of Bacardi 151 poured into the open tab. I found that I could escape drinking a large dose of alcohol yet sufficiently weird myself out.

This Bacardi 151 is mostly used at parties to make a glassful of pop brim with flame. When combined with a beer it causes first the novelty of a hot face, followed by a few brief minutes of queer buzz and then an immediate numbing disorientation. I highlight this to further explain my motivations at the time. I was not seeking pleasure but rather a more extreme and uncomfortable intoxication. If I repeated the combination a kind of sickness was evident. The idea I had in mind was that these two ought to make the most unpalatable and volatile combination. I learned that this chemical trial had a strong effect with as little alcohol as necessary. I was actually concerned with my health in this particular way. I was afraid to drink to excess because I imagined my liver being melted into gooey spider webs as I had seen in a picture recording such a case.

I lacked the wits to collect myself for the short and invaluable time it would have taken for an overall cost vs. benefit health analysis. I had heard that I inherited a strong risk of alcoholism. I was not aware at the time that in some cases these relatives were actually self-medicating bi-polarity. I wouldn’t have dared to put what I supposed to be the certain and continuous viability of my mental health into question. I couldn’t be bothered with mental health concerns because the status seemed to carry no meaning. I felt that people who were considered mentally ill were mostly used to scare the populace in the way that the penal system actually works. I didn’t consider the extreme suffering and the extent of the alienating bizzarity possible. There is a delicacy of the human brain that I had such little respect for. I wouldn’t be taking the human brain lightly for long. By sophomore year I was already sick from the symptoms of my bi polarity. Here was my first thought on the matter. — Half the kids in my old high school have called me “crazy Nuge” or some derivation thereof. How could they deserve the poetic justice when they merely lacked creativity.

As for alternative directions, I could have found a healthier challange in something like playing a new instument. Actually, I remember turning away from one perfect opportunity to begin taking advantage of this stress reliving art form. One of my friends from Norton Hall was a very skilled guitar player. And at the dorm introductions, I had shared the tidbit of information to the hall that I enjoyed singing. So Curt, being kind enough to encourage, offered to search his repertoire to find any song that I might sing for a room of a few friends and strangers. But back then I proved too weak for such a real challange. I could easily have left quickly for two minutes and returned with a fresh hot copy of Nirvana lyrics perfect for the occasion. Sure, I would have had to step away from almost a lifetime of only choir singing to face the easiest little solo part in the smallest venue known to mankind. Some changes are destructive while other changes are constructive yet all change is difficult.


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