#2 Idiot-Proofing

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A.If you’re prone to severe depression, don’t own a gun.

B.If your friend is severely depressed, don’t sell her a gun or go gun-shopping with her.

C.Dear God, if you’re both deeply depressed, why are you two looking at a gun magazine together?

 

In a way, this is a continuation of #1, but this is more focused on being aware of your own vulnerabilities, and how your friend’s vulnerabilities interact with yours.

 

C. How Your Vulnerabilities Interact with Others:

 

  1. If you’re diabetic, don’t own a bakery. I didn’t do this intentionally, but at the time I was doing meth, most of the people who majorly into meth distribution in my area were pretty freaking scary. I found that going through a person that mainly used heroin was pretty good harm reduction. Problematically, this is really what got me into needles, which either would have taken longer to happen had I gone the other route, or not happened at all. Unsure, let’s just say everything has it’s trade-offs. At various points I was around people that manufactured their own and hooked me up, but I was never allowed completely unfettered access to my drug of choice, which probably would have killed me. I strayed from the point here, really, but if you have this one weird kryptonite in your life, don’t have a stockpile of it in your basement and hang out with people that collect it.
  2. If you actively have a problem in your life, don’t exclusively surround yourself with people in the midst of the same problem. Weird stuff starts to seem normal, and you develop this weird homeostasis where if one person improves, the rest of the group drags them back down, and you all go downhill, at best slowly.
  3. I “only” did this twice, but I tried to help two people get clean without outside intervention. I’ve encouraged other people, but I mean this is on the level of completely putting my own problems on hold and making this person’s lack of drug use my entire life ambition.

 

Lessons learned:

  1. I am less skillful at being an on-call nurse, substance abuse counselor, therapist, and support group than a team of trained professionals and a support group. Know your limitations.
  2. The first time resulted in the most severely screwed-up romantic relationship of my life, and the second time ended a friendship. If something seems like a bad idea, it probably is. Try to think about the end result of something is going to be before you do it.
  3.  Ultimately, I relapsed both times. (There were other factors involved both times, but being in this situation didn’t help me either.) Again, if something is probably not going to end well, puts you at risk, and additionally won’t directly benefit you in any way, ffs, don’t do it. You are many things, but not a saint or martyr.

 

How this is meant to translate into your life is that you should try not to put yourself around people that are likely to screw you up. If the deepest tie the two of you have is something negative, and especially if y’all have been basically going over the highlights of it for the last couple hours, it might be a good time to excuse yourself.

B.I feel this isn’t one of those things that need to be said, really, but if someone is vulnerable to something, especially if it’s probably going to be a disaster for them, don’t help them get it or accomplish whatever they’re trying to do.

Yes, even if you might derive some benefit from it, you little sociopath, you.

In fact, if you can encourage them not to do it, that’s pretty cool. However, it’s not your responsibility to keep them under lock-and-key, either, especially if this involves missing work and screwing up your own life.

A. (Related to the other points, but bears repeating) Don’t put yourself in situations that in all probability are going to end badly for you, even if you want to do it on some level, or have convinced yourself that you can handle it. I think we all have this weird little part of our brain that’s actively trying to kill us, and it’s worse with addicts/alcoholics.

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