Monday, February 16, 2009

Blog as Safety Valve: Yup, more about addiction

Writing a research paper is really restrictive. Who'd have thought that twelve damned pages would be a painful restriction? Who'd have thought that I'm actually nuts enough to wish for twice the space?

I did most of the basic research before I started writing and had a very solid direction for this paper. But as I got into the process of writing, I realized that it's not the direction I want to go at all. It has also sent me into a very different direction of interest in general, that may well have ramifications on the direction of my education. Though honestly, not much of a difference, as I intended on seeking a secondary degree in English and/or communications anyways. The direction I am seeing right now would just mean taking that secondary degree beyond a bachelors.

Anyways, I really don't want to say much more than that, because I don't want to influence the responses I am hoping to get from my request for definitions of addiction.

What I will do, is recommend one of my primary sources for the paper I'm writing, The Heart of Addiction, by Lance Dodes, M.D. His discussion of addiction is really, really exciting for me, because it largely reflects where I have been going. Except instead of being a high-school dropout turned non-traditonal student, he's been in practice nearly as long as I've been alive....

Now I head for bed, as I have school tomorrow. Though I need to wind down with some more brain candy. I actually worked up a sweat writing today, not a little one either - more of a defeating the industrial strength antiperspirant, need another shower sort of sweat. But then, I wrote a hella lot today.

And just in case you didn't catch it before, I love Pandora.

1 comment:

Juniper Shoemaker said...

Great! You've discovered the most maddening aspect of research papers. I think everyone who's really into their topic wishes for more space. Even though everyone understands that the space restrictions are good for you.

One of my professors liked to say, "Analytical writing is just like the construction of a geometric proof. Each sentence you write must logically follow the previous one. The space restrictions are one way of getting you to focus on that."

The Heart of Addiction looks interesting. I have been thinking a lot about your position on "harm reduction" vs. the absolutely prohibitive approach of something like the "twelve-step" process. (Okay. Tell me if I got that wrong, though.) Ostensibly, it's because I know so many people (mostly from college) who appear to have royally fucked themselves up on drugs. In retrospect, though, it may be because I associate drug abuse with cruelty and callousness as well as ruination.

Not once did the hard-using "friends" who pressed me to try ecstasy and pot in college do so out of a genuine desire for my close companionship. They did it out of spite or contempt. One of them even seized the opportunity to try to sleep with me the first time I got really high, because he knew I wasn't likely to do it sober. (What he didn't know is that I wasn't that fucking high. Half a tablet of E will only work so many miracles.)

This is a totally irrational way of understanding drug use, for numerous reasons that I'm sure you already recognize. Nevertheless, the idea of society embracing an attitude in which drugs are not only legalized, but also their use is (more scientifically?) judged on an individual basis, deeply threatens me. I have a lot to think about.

Okay. I'm sorry I blithered on like that . . .