Cultural analysis as therapy

Old 05-21-2020, 06:10 PM
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Cultural analysis as therapy

The thing about booze is that it's just like the other drugs when used daily or weekly for months and years. Look at the alcohol addicted, they are crusty and wasted and swollen, violent, paranoid. It's probably worse than heroin in how it kills its devotees slowly. And yet, the alcohol addict may think of himself as respectable because there's this huge social support for self proscribing booze, which is called 'moderation'. And everyone else who fails to achieve this goal is mystified. How do they do that? I think one of the key reasons those 'moderators' are not viewed as addicts and why they don't slip onto skid row as easily as meth 'heads' is that they are supported. They have homeostasis, basic needs met, nutritional needs, housing, etc. They often had stable childhoods. Or maybe they aren't loved and adored too much, which is the instability I see in people like Bill W.. Those of us who have slipped through, or broken through, may feel like we are doing something wrong. Why can't we moderate? Well, maybe because the drug has done its job and now is the time for learning.

What I think I have learned is that self proscription, often known as moderation, is enabled by social protocol rooted in inequality, status hierarchy, and the accompanying sub optimal relations, social and economic, embedded in the system wherein the moderate is responsible and the others are wildlings. I think this is all a part of self differentiation on a broad scale. Alienation, ignorance, curiosity and intuition, insider, outsider status. It's adolescent alienation often prolonged for lifetimes. It is a wedding of culture and chemistry producing substance use, misuse, chemical dependence, and shaman or doctor supervised medication. Associated manufactured hierarchies of class consciousness, tribal status, become associated with varying drug usage patterns. It's all this prolonged process of self differentiation on a grand scale. There is curiosity there to overcome separation, to connect. Addiction stems from what is initially a positive aspiration I think. To learn. To experience. To wake up to the situation.

Crack is a dosage measured for the poor. An awful dose of what elsewhere is a medicinal leaf. A dram of Scotch is a more manageable dose, but it leads to the same place for the adulated man who has broken through and cannot see that he is common. Once the artificial social drama is stripped away, I think it's easier to view the problem, to neither glorify nor denigrate. It's addiction, and addiction is seeking knowledge and experience. And when the message isn't or can't be received, then it's just medicating the emptiness. But usually it's somewhere in between. Moderation perhaps. Double edged. Like with religion. Or work. Or self expression. It's human beings being human. We learn. We aspire. I think there's some value in viewing this positively from a cultural perspective.

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