Addiction and Self-Worth

By la fee brune · Aug 12, 2016 · ·
  1. la fee brune
    As many of the people reading this already know, after trying to use opium responsibly for a couple of years (mostly in the form of PST, but also, occasionally, smoked), I've allowed myself to become addicted to it. In Cocteau's Diary, he declares that some individuals are born to become addicted and that opium is less harmful than the malady it cures for these people. Was he right? Is this just how it is for some people? Is it even possible for me to feel okay (not even happy, really) without propping myself up chemically every day?

    I often feel like I'm just too broken to survive without it. I was bullied relentlessly as a child, and I often feel like it's ruined me for good. I was never pretty enough, never "cool" enough. I have no self-esteem, and there's only a void where my sense of self-love and self-worth should be. I feel abysmally depressed when I'm not getting external validation, and it poisons my interactions with other women, in particular. I have an unceasing need for validation from men because it blunts the self-hatred temporarily. I feel like I see things too clearly when I'm sober. I see the value that society assigns me, and I rage against it in the absence of belief in my own worth.

    Therapy doesn't help. My shrink tells me to work on developing hobbies or to try to take more joy in my education. I often feel as if she's trying to convince me to accept society's consolation prize, since I don't measure up to the standards which society sets for women. I wonder to myself, was it the same way for Cocteau? Did he see what the world really thought of him, and was he crushed by the weight of it? Is that why he took solace in opium?

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    Author Bio

    la fee brune
    Opium fiend, bon vivant, and all-around pain in the ass.

    Annoying others since 1982.


  1. Delia
    As usual perro you have a gift with words and articulating yourself. These are intresting questions that l think at some stage all women have felt while it might pass for some for other it sticks and stays.

    I would like l say that l for one think you have a beauty both internal and external that you share with DF and l enjoy reading your posts/blogs because you give me the privilege to be able to have a glimps of the world through your eyes.

    Have you considered changing shrinks? If her suggestions are dismissive of your feelings l would question if you have a strong enough relationship with them to reach your goals you are setting in your personal life. I wish and hope for acceptance isn't a large request but l imagine it would be impossible to get there with a shrink you don't connect with.

    I hope you find the inner peace you are seeking.
  2. la fee brune
    Thank you for your concern, I really appreciate it. I have been thinking about changing shrinks, actually, but I'm a bit worried that I'll end up with someone very intolerant of my habit (the current shrink, while ineffective, is also very non-judgmental). It's kind of odd how normally I've been able to carry on with this addiction up until now, but I worry about what it's doing to me physically. The languor is overwhelming sometimes. Which is okay if you're a 19th century French colonial or something, but not so much for a graduate student in the 21st century...
  3. Delia
    I think the best gift you can give to yourself is searching for a shrink that will show understanding to you and help you reach your goals. I hope you consider changing and finding someone that fits with your comfort because at the end of the day they are suppose to help you.

    I think you are incredibly strong to come out with your self medication both in your thread and post, everyone to some degree self medicates and you should be able to express this without judgement from fellow (wo)man alike.

    I think you are making wonderful progress with coming out about it, how you have dealt with it, how you accept it and really believe you should be proud of yourself for this :vibes:

    As always perro you know the right thing to do you are a beautiful, educated women that had the world at your feet - even if some days you struggle to see it.

    As always, keep your chin up and know that l think very highly of you
  4. la fee brune
    I don't know how much of this will make sense to anyone else, but I think a lot of my addiction to the tea has to do with my inferiority complex regarding my socio-economic background.

    What I really want is not just to smoke opium, but also to collect the paraphernalia, and I always imagine that I'll never be able to fit into that social milieu. Like, they'll label me as a plebeian or something because I'm not "classy" enough. This is why I haven't made an effort to reach out to people who collect this stuff. I don't think they'll take me seriously.

    And this depresses the living crap out of me. So, I whip up a batch of tea and think to myself, why not? What's the difference?
  5. Once.up.on.a.time
    Oh sweetheart you are very beautiful and worthy of anyone's time and attention. You shouldn't fail to try what you feel will make you happy. In doing so you deny the chance that you are wrong and keep yourself unhappy anyway. Does it hat make sese?

    Much love xxx
  6. Spiritos
    A different tone of voice than the one I've come to know of you in the recent past.
    Is your doubt exclusively caused by a sudden awarness or realisation regarding your addiction? Or were other circumstances maybe involved as well and this was a trigger?

    You always seem to carry such a strong, balanced and humorous persona. l'm very much aware we all wear social masks though and I also realise that maintaining a balance and using humour are highly effective as a coping mechanism but still this post felt something out of tune, so it's simply an observation.

    Also I was under the impression your use of opiates was pretty much similar to mine. In that sense that you choose them to be a (controlled) part of your life and thus you were taking tolerance breaks every so often already, so I'm a little surprised about this current realisation. Do you mean this is the first time you let your use lead to physcial dependency that you couldn't taper or is it different this time in that the psychological aspect or perceived necessity is weighing more heavy on you?

    Your introspective reflections also seem to revolve around validation as in "being allowed to" or looking for a plausible cause and effect as a justification. From my perspective this seems completely unnecessary. Why on earth would you? For myself I could also easily and with justification reason some aspects of my youth or my psychology have lead me to using drugs as a means of self-medicating. But then I think, what would this realisation actually change in my demeanor? Is there an aspect of self-medicating in my use? From a certain perspective, no doubt. Does using drugs add some spice to my life and at times lift me up? They do and they will, no matter what motivation is behind it.

    I feel as a society we're very biased towards cause and effect in general and in this context to the relative new awareness regarding addiction -or psychology as a science for that matter. It makes sense since this means everything can be broken down as being causal and thus we can exercise control and that's great when we feel energized, motivated and things go well, but the flaw (and imo inconclusive premise) of this idea is, it makes us feel like failing when we can't , don't know the exact reason or even worse, know the reason but not even feel and act accordingly. I strongly oppose this idea.

    I'm not saying nothing is without cause and we should simply abide without taking action, I just feel there are many more perspectives to this, especially regarding addiction where the general perspective is there are underlying issues which in correlation with genetics (nurture vs. nature) can increase the chance of drugabuse. It might be the case but 'm pretty sure there's a vast majority of people with similiar profiles who don't get addicted. My perspective is simply that drugs are optional. It does take caution & practice in using them "responsibile" but same applies to driving your car on the highway.

    I think key in your case (if I may be so frank) is acceptance and stop setting other people's lives as your standard, because it's not them nor their life. I know, corny as hell, way easier said than done, but very true nonetheless. I'm not completely there yet either but internalizing this truth -I feel- is a solid start.

    I think you have a lot of self-esteem already, I read it in your posts after all. And it's not about manifesting it in value but rather in (social) awareness. You'd probably say it's "not really you" and it being a social mask but if it's not you then who else is it? Again it's all about claiming your right to be present and realizing no one in the world is gonna be as judgemental about you as you yourself. People are simply too occupied with themselves.

    I am unfamiliar with Cocteau but drugs being the "lesser evil" in some cases is something I wholeheartedly agree with. Then again (imo) this statement also polarizes it and puts too much weight on it. Why not think of drugs as being one element in a vast spectrum of many? No binary system of good and bad or cause and effect, just being that, present.

    A lot of what you attribute to psychological issues like seeing to clear (I agree wit this one as I feel drugs do enhance one's observational skills), not being valued enough, not being worthy enough to join an opium paraphernalia club and being judged by others can also be viewed as philosophical study. Like for instance, Sartre's "hell is other people". where he reasons it is the other person holding us captive in his gaze or Levinas who argues the other person's eyes (mirror to the soul) function as a critical arbiter judging us while in fact they do work as a mirror -which in effect leads us to seeing and judging ourselves. Btw. I'm not denying your feelings or perception, just pointing out there are several ways to look at things. For me personally this is a central theme in my thoughts since I can give words to my toughts a certain way one day while doing it differently another while both days being sincere and accurate about it.

    Btw. this is not a plea suggesting you to continue using drugs but I figure you'll get enough support on that angle already so just highlighting another perspective. If you truly fear for your health or wellbeing you should obvioulsy follow up on that idea. Also sorry for the long post but I always seem to need a lot words. I could argue this is me looking for validaiton as well or overcompensating for somehting. But even when I could, it doesn't mean I have to. After all, it's just another perspective :D
  7. Mr Bumble
    I wish I'd read this blog entry before replying to a post you made about your tolerance break, I think I have a better nderstanding of your personal experience with life and drugs and wouldn't have made the suggestion I made as its clear you have already tried.
    Lots of love
  8. mastermind22
    Your post really stirred some emotion in me. I can see where you've been and why you're taking opiates. The rage, not clicking w/ therapy, not meeting expectations not being good enough. thing that is that differs about me is I never knew if I didn't care or just couldn't feel the rejection. I've always had either apathy or rage all other emotions are fleeting and rare. Either way to be honest I never found out how my brain works. All I can say about society is that as a human I wasn't bearing any of that weight didn't care what the world thought would've popped like a bomb. 3 years of solace in opiates after six years of drug use from 12-18 being my only good memories. Bored whole childhood. They were my personal ritual and celebration of being alone and content. They cleansed my mind of the boring tedious reality and of my mind slowing. Of not caring and not feeling time crawl past. My 1st year of pills last 2 of pretty much daily iv heroin were a good way to additionally say f**k you to anyone's expectations.

    I felt where you came from and where you are. I can get the lack of validation, lack of self esteem the emptiness where you should have your societal value your worth. I get poisoning your interactions I've never tried to connect with people. Was bored. Had fake friends until drugs at 12-18 socially cut all ties. Just went it alone stopped acting like I had friends. At least I can say people didn't bully me because that rage came out young. Behind my back people called me a school shooter which is a concept that I just don't get. Just senseless bizarre and out of character for me makes me boil every-time there's a new one hate it. People are afraid of what they don't understand. I'm unique but I get by and keep myself amused. looking to do something with life that I never felt before now I hope you can feel some positivity too. I was in a somewhat similar situation of being alone. Being judged during childhood and feeling empty. Being like me and not caring not displaying a lot of emotion and then exploding was not acceptable. Still here kicking. After all those doctors, therapists and other people that don't actually help if you're like me - after all that I'm just now learning to chill - let their shit go and not be bothered with it. Sit back control myself and be positive.

    I can only wish you luck with your issues I understand them, I get the opiate use I get being enraged at society, I have that void. Hope things can work out for you on/off opium whatever you decide. Hope you find a way to feel good about who you are. I am learning to relax on my own - laughing and enjoying my sense of humor. I can't put that name Cocteau to a face or person but I can see why anyone could use opiates. Anyone can be crushed by a life they don't want, everyone has some degree of insecurity or instability or some personal weakness. I just couldn't handle being around all these boring people in boring classes all day. Took my out at 12 w/ drugs didn't look back. Became negative trying to change that. Couldn't stand all the noise that was deafening in my own void. I have met a few people that don't care about that. That share my humor.
  9. prescriptionperil
    Traditionally, in medicine, drugs are assessed by weighing the risks vs the benefits, which can be applicable to recreational drugs, too. I know my psychiatrist prescribed oxy to a couple patients, as sometimes opiods/opiates are the only drug that work in treatment resistant depression. I'm unfamiliar with Cocteau, but grasp the concept of the rationality of self medicating depression and anxiety if the benefits outweigh the risks. Addicts sometimes have the tendency to romanticize and rationalize their drug of choice, which can be another interpretation of Cocteau's quote. Tolerance can make opiod use unsustainable, although a psychiatrist stated when used for depression a low dose can work long term. You seem to feel the risks are worth the benefits using poppy seed tea to self medicate your psychic pain, which is a personal choice.

    My life has seemed a series of bullies, until I recognized and refused to be scapegoated.
    Unfortunately, the trauma remains.

    May I ask if you were bullied by boys, girls or both?

    You're funny, smart and honest, which are great traits. :thumbsup:
  10. la fee brune
    Both boys and girls. I was mostly bullied physically by the boys (although this tapered off by the time I was in high school), and psychologically by the girls. I consider the girls' bullying far worse, because the emotional damage it's left has lasted far longer than the embarrassment of getting my ass kicked on the playground. A lot of the bullying from girls took the form of systematic social exclusion, to the point where even those who didn't have an issue with me would avoid being my friend because they knew they'd piss off the bullies. This continued right up until the end of high school.

    When I see stuff like this happen to me now, it pisses me off, but I turn the anger on myself, because I get so frustrated with myself for being unlikable. I always feel like I must be the problem, not people who are nasty to me. I think it has a lot to do with how my dad handled my issues when I was young. Every time I got into some scuffle at school, he would blame me and tell me to stop doing whatever I was doing to make people dislike me.

    I've wound up with a lot of self-hatred due to the bullying when I was young, and for years, I just drowned it in alcohol. Our culture really makes it easy for people to do that, and I feel that, on balance, the drinking was probably much worse for me than the opium habit. I really appreciate everyone's concern.
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