chaos can be dangerous
naming myself a safe drug user
It is important to normalize safe drug use, including having hard conversations. For many significant reasons, my responsibility has shifted tremendously. I am talking more openly about the shift and why.
Understanding new perspectives are fun for me! I take a lot of courses. Sometimes I even have to make promises to my Coach, best friend, or husband that I will hold off from filling every hour of my day with more learning. And then, some juicy PD opportunity arrives in my inbox, and moments later, I am maneuvering my schedule to fit the new brain feast into my plan.
For the most part, it is worth it. And for that reason, I am confident that this conversation I am sharing today will perk your ears.
Last week during intensive training: Compassion for the Addictive Process & IFS with Cece Sykes -I became deeply passionate about excellent foundational content. It was scary as fck, but I mustered up enough courage to speak up as a professional person in addiction recovery while naming myself a safe drug user, right out in the open and in a professional public space.
You might wonder how I can be both? A person with a history of addiction and a regular drug user? First, I want to say that this is possible for me because of what I have committed to learning about myself and studying, both with safe drug use and addiction. I also acknowledge I am a privileged person, and there are fewer barriers for me. Let me share some of what I know about this. Everyone's journey is different, and I can only speak for myself. My explorations began with unlocking trauma in recovery - a history of abusive relationships, way back to family of origin, attachment issues, body image, aging, self-esteem, self-worth, blended family and motherhood, trauma, and the related mental health and emotional challenges of existing as a woman.
Approaching drugs through the chaos is dangerous for me. Learning about my addiction process helps me understand where and when my choices are chaotic. Identifying this essential marker has offered a benchmark for safe use.
Dr. Carl Hart qualifies his concerns by stating that language shapes how we think and behave. "We need to embrace drugs themselves, relationships with drugs and the continuum of use in a holistic way."
To normalize drug use, we need a new way of referring to and flexible approaches to drug use and acknowledging the many benefits of the experience.
Like the other day, a retail store clerk asked me the usual "did you find everything..?" and "what are you up to for the rest of the day?"
"Yes, thank you. And drugs," I replied. I hope the store clerk has a fruitful chat about drugs inspired by my cheeky reply. 🐒
A well-rounded conversation includes the discussion of risks, pitfalls, and possible adverse outcomes. Exploring the origins of use and how these behaviours relate to other life issues has helped me guide and find the balance. It is not careless to talk about drugs. Only talking about drugs when it has become a problem IMO is a big part of the problem.
We ought to recognize that drugs without education are reckless and abusive, and education without drugs is trite and frail. Drugs, at best, are tools. We need education to enforce the need for justice and fairness. At its best, drugs rework everything that stands against education—raising awareness and reducing the risk through education and building community, trust, exploring, and sharing openly.
I want to focus on relationships, connection, and having a deep, mutual connection with each other. I know this feels like a complicated topic, so I'm around if you want to chat. Please let me know any questions or comment below.
Hugs and Drugs,
Psychedelics Today is exploring and discussing the necessary academic, scientific and other research in the field of psychedelics.
The Center for Optimal Living: After having a negative relationship with other substances, using psychedelics for healing requires a careful, supported, and reflective approach. See panellists investigating how social, biological, and psychological issues influence this process.
Thank you for sharing this. Also, "I mustered up enough courage to speak up as a professional person in addiction recovery while naming myself a safe drug user, right out in the open and in a professional public space." CONGRATULATIONS!
One of the things I've been trying to navigate in my book is how to talk about my relationship with drinking alcohol as someone who has struggled with alcohol abuse. People always assume I am 100% sober or that I'm in AA, and neither of those things are true. I hesitated with even writing my book because of those assumptions, but I'm getting braver each day and more committed to sharing what it looks like to be in alcohol recovery and be someone who still drinks, someone who does drugs, etc. It's tough with my family history and the other trauma-related parts of the book, we gotta do it, right? We gotta talk about it all if we're gonna talk about it, right?