The Homeless Drug Addict and The Civilized Man

It seems that the reason the homeless drug addict is more stimulated living their life in their lifestyle is for primordial reasons. When we live in a life of hunting and sheltering in a very barbaric and ancenstral way, we are living on the edge of life and present death at all times. When we live in a civilized manner, we are living on the edge of life and future death at all times. How can we prolong future death is a much more scary question because it hangs over your head. When you are afraid of present death, your fight or flight instincts take over and you don't think as much. It seems that we are made to understand present death much more than future death. While we understand that we will all die one day, it is not of apparent threat at the moment. 

 

I have been watching a lot of Soft White Underbelly's Youtube channel and I have noticed that many of the people he interviews that are addicts, get a sort of excitement in their demeanor when they say they spend their whole day hunting for their next fix. It seems that when they say they are not using, they have a lot more time on their hands, which could be detrimental to their psyche if they are not used to such ways of thinking. If you are used to fighting the present threat and there no longer is a present threat, you fight within your own mind and who wins that fight?

 

I think there's many solutions to this problem of homeless drug addiciton, but I want to take 2 different solutions into account for this blog post.

1. Help the person see power within themselves and to take solace in that life isn't that exciting all the time, and that you have to roll with it. This would involve changing how they view life and leveling their brain chemistry to a point where they can see the decision to take drugs or not take drugs to a level of decision making that is unbiased as possible for them.

2. Help the person live a life just as exciting as the one where they're constantly on the move and getting the natural high of life achievements while being sober. This is very difficult because this means you would have to figure out their whole life story, develop their interests and create an action plan to fulfill themselves in identity and purpose. 

 

Again, these are just 2 options out of probably near infinite options, but it seems that there is a space for past addicts to become great entrepreneurs or story tellers. One story I think about every so often is that of Buzz Aldrin who became an alcoholic after his moon mission. It seems that the excitement and stimulation of the journey to being the man on the moon was fulfilled. The danger is that where is there to go when the organization you are a part of has that as the peak. It seems that if you want your employees to continue accelling at what they do, they must have an almost infinitely trancendent goal marker. The carrot has to always be in front of the man for him to keep running.

 

Perhaps those who are homeless drug addicts are constantly able to chase the carrot of being high because they can always chase that high they got the first time precisely because they can never achieve the high they got the first time. It seems this could be a huge meta-realization for someone in this position, that the life they are leading goes nowhere because there's no meaningful realizations to be made just getting high for yourself. Meaning might be found in objectives that can affect other peoples' lives in a positive way as well. If you are only finding a (false) meaning in getting yourself high, the relationship you have with the drug is fake. The drug doesn't have a life of its own, it acts more in the way that a virus does, by hijacking your reward system.

 

If we empower ourselves to realize we control our reward system, perhaps we can live the life of excitement and enjoyment without drugs or alcohol. Perhaps that homeless addict can become something more if they can see the value in controlling their own present life and destiny. Often times we can control how we will eventually die, we pick our own poison, and I think that's the most empowering aspect of life and death is that there are two absolutes, but what happens in between is up to us as individuals. Continue to think differently.

 

- WPD

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