Just Say ‘No…’


I know how it happens.  It starts innocently enough.  Someone you know, a friend or just an acquaintance at a party, suggests you give it a try.  You KNOW the right answer, “No.”  You explain that you’ve heard the stuff is dangerous.  It destroys families.  It destroys minds.  It destroys lives.
“Nah,” comes the answer.  “That’s just what the government wants you to believe.”
You stick to your guns – at first.  But it comes up again…and then again.  Eventually, you agree to a little bump, if for no other reason than to get your friend/acquaintance off  your back about it.

You’re surprised by what happens.  You feel strong.  You feel empowered.  You feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself.  The next morning, you feel a little nauseous but you can’t shake the way you felt after that first little bump.  All of the other information is still in your head: how dangerous it is and the kinds of problems that can happen – but it felt so…good…

So you bump again.  Not much.  Just a little.  Not every day but once in awhile.  The warnings about the risks begin to fade in your memory.  The empowerment, the feeling of belonging, the energy are strong attractants.  You’re still a bit wary but before you know it, you’re bumping on a regular basis convinced you’re still in control of when and how much.  YOU choose…but that feeling…

You can’t really say when it changed.  You WERE in charge.  YOU chose when you bumped and how much.  You could take it or leave it, once, but at some point, you found that you needed the next little hit.  Somewhere, inside, you had concerns but you managed to talk yourself out of them, convincing yourself, instead, that you’re still in charge.  You haven’t been driven by the need to this next bump – bigger, now, than the one before.  No, this is your choice, this one last bump.

But it isn’t the last.  Before you know it, you’re fully involved.  People around you begin to notice.  Your closest inner circle begins to express concerns, first among themselves, then to you directly.  But you just want more.  The bump may not be as satisfying as that first one but you keep on chasing.  Before too long, there’s nothing – nothing – you won’t do to protect your supply.

Over time you surrender your dignity, your honor, your principles – anything to get that next little bump.  Your conversations become difficult to follow.  You don’t notice, perhaps, but the people around you surely do as your conversational contributions become peppered with half-truths, falsehoods, and outright delusions.  The more you bump the less stable you are.  Your brain becomes addled with an inability to discern fact from fiction.  Slowly, you lose your ability to think straight.  Logic becomes replaced by assertions and unsupportable opinions…

Your inner circle, the people who had been trying to warn you off of the stuff, begin to distance themselves from you.  People NOT trapped in that world can readily see that you’ve become unstable, dangerous, and, frankly, unpleasant to be around.  Wrath seems to be a feature, not a bug of your habit.  They explain that you’re not being rational.  They try to intervene.  They want to help.

But you just dismiss them – furiously – and denounce them and their efforts.  What do THEY know?  “Fuck them,” you tell yourself, angrily.  “They don’t understand…”
The more people try to help, the more the rage grows.  Eventually, it becomes clear to the people around you that you’re NOT going to give up bumping.  You’re going to cling to that feeling for all you’re worth.  Your dedication takes it’s toll on everything – everything.  Friends, co-workers, even your own family actively try to distance themselves from you.  Your support network falls away – frustrated by your loyalty to something so destructive, saddened that you’re lost and can’t even see it.

Soon, the only people who will have you are those who are also trapped.  You find yourself in a feedback loop that reinforces the notion that the world just doesn’t understand and only those brave enough to bump in the first place “get it.”  It’s a world of paranoia, delusion, and anger – and you’re trapped…

This is your brain on Fox “News.”  Why, what did YOU think I was talking about?

2 thoughts on “Just Say ‘No…’

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