Thursday, October 27, 2011


This morning I went to the doctor's for a simple procedure: the placement of a copper IUD. I'm now baby-free for ten years. Hurrah, etc, etc.

In order to prepare for this procedure I was instructed to take 800 mg of ibuprofen before my visit, as well as a drug that would soften my cervix and make the procedure easier. I was told that the procedure would hurt a bit, a kind of pinching sensation, in addition to cramps during and after.

I was not prepared for the agony that ensued. I screamed. Tears ran down my face. That shit hurt way more than I could have possibly anticipated. And after everything was in place it didn't get much better. I tried to communicate the crippling pain I was in, but the procedure had gone perfectly and I think the doctor probably thought I was being a wuss. I was instructed to take 400 mg of ibuprofen every six hours for up to a week if the cramps persisted.

The pain was intolerable. It washed over me in waves. Walking home in this condition was a nightmare. In the cold and and rain, no less. The moment I got home I promptly tore through my apartment in search of something to take the pain away.

I had taken 800 mg of ibuprofen just three hours ago (and it wasn't helping me for shit), and I couldn't possibly take more. So I took 1150 mg of a combination acetaminophen/caffeine/pyrilamine maleate for menstrual cramps. And 10 ml of codeine left over from when I had strep throat. And 50 mg of trazodone left over from my hospitalization in hopes it'd knock me out. And a glass of wine, for good measure. I laid on my couch crying and writhing in pain and wished for relief.

After about ten or fifteen minutes, relief finally came. The waves of pain gradually ebbed away. I felt more comfortable than I've felt in a really long time. You don't realize just how many minor aches and pains you deal with on a day to day basis until something removes them.

I sat up and the room spun. It then occurred to me that I was stoned off my ass.

My first reaction was to think: can I get in trouble for this? No, of course not. I had done nothing illegal (save the wine, I guess, though I think my state was mostly attributed to the codeine), and all the medications were even in my own name. I was amused by my own worry. Why did I think that? I was nervous about possible repercussions over the fact that I was high. This is the part of the paranoia instilled in us by our country's hypocritical, misinformed, propaganda filled, completely bollocks drug culture.

Have I done something wrong? The idea still plagued me. I couldn't think of any reason why I might have. I was in pain, I sought relief. I found a short term solution for a short term problem. I wasn't harming anyone, or even myself, as the doses I had taken were nowhere near dangerous amounts. Though my perception was most definitely altered, I was still thinking rationally, and still entirely in my right of mind. But I thought of a close friend who would most certainly frown upon my current situation. Why?

 That same friend claimed drugs should be used only for medicinal use, not recreational.

What's the difference?

What if I treated my terrible pain by smoking pot instead?

Marijuana is currently available for medicinal use in parts of our country. It's used to treat pain, asthma, nausea, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and dozens of other diseases in conditions.
Yet in other parts of the very same country, possession of it can land you in jail.

Poppies can be used to make opium tea, a brew that has been used around the world for centuries as a pain reliever, both physical and mental. It's served at funerals in the middle east to help loved ones deal with grief.
In the US, growing poppies and having knowledge of what you can do with them is sufficient to get you arrested.

Hallucinogens of all sorts have been used in various cultures for many generations as a means to a "spiritual experience." Native Americans living in reservations in the US are still allowed to use them because it's part of their religion.
Meanwhile, possession of four tabs of LSD can get you 5-10 years of jail time.

Drugs like oxycontin are prescription-only in the US, yet available over the counter in Canada.

How come recreational amphetamines illegal, but we essentially shove it down the throats of children who have a bit more trouble paying attention ("ADHD")?

When you have a look at all the different ailments, diseases, disorders and conditions that are treated with drugs, you have to wonder, what the bloody hell is the difference? How do you know what ought to be treated and with what? How do you know when something needs to be treated? It's difficult to tell, and at this point not always necessary. Doctors dole out prescriptions so easily people pretty much choose how to medicate themselves. Narcotics, barbiturates, psychedelics, amphetamines, stimulants, opiates, cannabinoids, stimulants, depressants, steroids, sedatives, dissociatives, empathogens. They're all just chemicals. They all have potential to be abused, and become dangerous to the user. But they all have beneficial uses as well.

So how do you differentiate medicinal usage from recreational? That guy getting prescription codeine for chronic back pain could be faking it just to get high and feel good. And that guy smoking pot without a medical marijuana card could be doing it to combat depression or arthritis. How do you know, and does it matter? Is the guy who enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning that different from the guy who enjoys a hit from his bong before bed? Is the woman who destresses by going fr a run or playing video games (releases endorphins) that different from the woman who does the same by having a glass of wine?

Drugs are a part of your life whether you like it or not. Sometimes you need them to combat sickness. Often your brain makes them automatically. Sometimes people just like to add a little more to their lives, does the reason really matter?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I resent my part time job. I know I shouldn't, I'm lucky to even have it. However, it sometimes gets the best of me. Namely because it is mentally exhausting to interact with hundreds of people hours at a time, especially when you have to force a smile and a happy mood. To be fair I think there is a certain advantage to working such a job at some point in your life, it can really do wonders for your perspective.

On the other hand, it can be entirely dehumanizing. When you're standing behind the counter, not everybody seems to remember that you are a human being. I will open with a friendly greeting and often the customer will interrupt by just barking menu items at me. I tend to take pride in my work, and I take things personally, and these two traits are awful vices to have when you've got a job in fast food.

From time to time my thoughts give way to the "cog in the machine" mindset, and I feel rather worthless. Here I am, selling my my life (for time is a very precious commodity) for $7.40 an hour. I find it remarkably degrading. I think I'd rather be a stripper. I just feel like I'm better than this, like my time is worth more.

Yet I can't get a better job for the life of me. Am I that inept? A kid who has been working at our store almost exactly as long as I have just got promoted to shift manager. Why not me? I can't even get the managers to train me on anything but the register. What am I doing wrong? It's not like I lack work ethic. Am I that unskilled? I've long thought of myself as being "above average," but evidence points to the fact that I may be lacking. Am I completely inept and I just don't realize it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Burning Bridges

When I was a child (moreso than I am now), I was awful at making friends. I had a few in passing, sure. A Puerto Rican girl in first grade that turned out to be really mean, a quiet girl in second grade who was into all that Lisa Frank shit, this chubby girl in my neighborhood who was super nice and who I actually got pretty close to. By and large though, I got picked on a lot, and I only ever had one friend in all of grade school that I still consider a real friend.

My dad would try to make me feel better by saying I didn't "need" friends. This may or may not have helped lead to my current mindset.

When an acquaintance of mine whom I highly respect said that "friends are expendable," I found myself agreeing with him. And I feel bad about thinking this way, but I don't think I'm at fault for it.

The number of friends I have depends on what mood I'm in and how you define "friend," and therefore ranges anywhere from zero to three-hundred eleven. But it's usually about six. This number recently dwindled to five.

I seem to have a knack for getting close to people who eventually cut me out of their life entirely. This is entirely understandable. If someone is poison to you, for whatever reason, then you ought to cut them out of your life. It's what's best for you. We can't all go around sacrificing ourselves for the sake of sparing other people's feelings. At the same time though, I can't comprehend it, because nobody has ever done something to me awful enough to warrant this. Does that mean I have done things to other people that are awful beyond my own comprehension?

Anyhow, I find it increasingly difficult to become close to people. When they disappear they do so quite suddenly, and I feel like I always have to be prepared for that.
I'm certain I'm not alone in that, as a matter of fact, I'm willing to bet most college students my age might say the same thing. Or not, I don't exactly have a large sample size at my disposal.
I wonder if it can be helped.

The Princess and the Pie

When I was a child (moreso than I am now), my father used to make up bedtime stories for me. They were full of magic and castles and all that great Disney stuff. I can remember a handful of them, but there's one that sticks out in my memory, and it goes something like this.

There once was a beautiful princess in search of a prince to marry. But her father, a very wise and powerful king, would not let just any prince marry her, he had to test them to find one that was smart and kind and worthy. So he sent a message to every corner of his kingdom, offering his daughter's hand in marriage. But only to a prince who could make her cry... without hurting her or being mean to her in any way.

And so princes from all across the land came to the castle, one after another, to try and make the princess cry. They sang her sad songs, told her sad stories, told her scary stories. But nothing anybody came up with could make her shed the slightest tear.

Then one prince came to her and asked her to show him to the kitchens, because he wanted to cook for her.

The princess found this very unusual, because royalty do not cook. They have servants to do it for them! But she was curious, so she led him to the kitchen and watched as he began to gather his ingredients, saying he was going to make her a mince meat pie. She watched him work, curious and questioning, and wanting to be polite, she also asked if there was anything she could do to help.

"Why yes! Could you please do me a favor and chop up these onions?" So she picked up a knife, and slowly but surely began cutting the onions, and before she knew it, tears began to roll down her face.

So the prince and princess were happily married with the blessings of the wise king, and they lived happily ever after and made mincemeat pie together every week.

I'm not even going to list all the ways this bothers twenty-year-old me. What the hell, dad?

I feel like, if I were to tell a bedtime story at this point in my life, it would go more like this. If I had a daughter.
(I hope I don't.)

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who fell in love with a handsome prince. He was kind and charming, very smart and he made her laugh. They did everything together, and one day got married and went to live in a beautiful castle.

But they didn't live happily ever after. The prince turned out to be an evil sorcerer in disguise, who used magic to trick many princesses into falling in love with him. When the princess discovered this she was frightened and heartbroken, and she fled the castle and escaped to her old kingdom. But not before the sorcerer cursed her, and covered her heart in ice so she could not fall in love again.

The princess was bitter and scared, but still very lonely. So she once again began the search for someone to live happily ever after with. Many princes came to court her, but the curse around her heart was so strong they could feel the evil coming from it, and it scared them away one after another. The princess grew very tired of meeting princes only to have them run off, and she began to lose hope of ever breaking the curse.

But one day something unusual happened. One certain prince did not run off, he came back to see her a second time. And then a third, and then a fourth. He came to visit her over and over, and they talked for hours, and walked through the castle gardens, and began to smile and laugh with each other more and more. Little did the princess know, the prince had the same curse as she, only cast on him by a witch! And every time they spent a day together, the ice on their hearts melted a little more, until one day it was gone entirely. They fell in love with each other at long last, and finally live happily ever after.

See? It's magical and realistic. Sort of.
I can't believe I just wrote that emo bullshit. Was it funny? Let's pretend it was funny.

I'll try to write about something less trite next time. Like how I think adults should talk to children about sex.
Yeah. that'd make a good youtube video.