“The 48 Laws of Power” is an insightful guide on human relationships. It’s half an hour long, but worth the time investment. It also inspired me to write something that I’m trying to come up with a better name than “What I Learned from Being a Drug Addict”, but have no clue what else to call it. Basically, I’m thinking about doing a series of articles on (roughly) these ideas, some of what are restated versions of some of the Laws of Power:
0. Why I started dealing
- Act in the interest of the group rather than yourself
- Befriend people that are wildly different than yourself
- Aim for people you respect rather than people you like
- Education isn’t that important
- Family, friends, loose associations
- Understand the morality of who you deal with
- Be loyal, but selective
- Reflective listening
- Not everyone needs to know everything immediately. Or at all.
- Short term profit, long term problem.
- Be aware of how you’re perceived
- Treat your employer as if they’re god. (In-control, all-knowing, it’s better if whatever it is comes out of your mouth rather than out of the grapevine)
- Realize when your behaviour might reflect badly on who you associate with.
- You don’t need to know everything all the time.
- Everyone’s stupid about something.
- Don’t get revenge, let them hang themselves.
Here’s why I’m willing to share:
- This was a relatively brief period of my life, which we’re about two years out from.
- I’m trying to treat this portion of my life as “field research”, and feel like I learned most of my knowledge about human behavior in this portion of my life. Most of my social skills/ability to deal with other people came out of this portion of my life. I hung out between the IT department/art department/my history teacher’s room in high school, and am in general not much of an optional socializer. Probably would still be hanging out with the same three people I always did if not for this happening.
#2 TL;DR version: Went through a crappy period, learned useful things, want the rest of humanity to avoid learning these things the way I did. Let me share my findings with you.
3.I feel like if I’m aware that there’s basically a guide to “hack” how I operate out there somewhere, I am significantly less likely to repeat this behavior.
4.I feel like there’s not a lot of understanding/openness in this area, and feel like it needs to be humanized a little, also I came to the realization that 21-year-old me would be completely terrified of/disdainful toward 27-year-old me, and 29-year-old me is trying to reconcile the two.
5. Trying to find meaning in something negative.
Here’s what I’m not going to talk about/disguise as much as humanly possible:
- Anything that I feel identifies/incriminates other people.
- How to do stuff ie: it is not my intention to write a guide on how to operate in “the underworld”.
- Stuff that I’m pretty sure I could get arrested for. Self-explanatory.
- Crap that is basically horrible and pointless.
#0 Why I started dealing:
(This is hopefully the most specific-to-drugs thing I’m going to write)
Let’s figure out finances for the “functional” meth addict portion of my life:
Rent: Shared living arrangement, approx. $300/monthly, not responsible for utilities.
In my area, you can potentially find a one-bedroom/studio for $450/month, but it won’t include any utilities, and it’s more reasonable to expect to be in a $600 apartment with water and garbage covered. Then there’s hotels, which I was doing for a while, but that’s like $45 a night at the worst kind of crack motel you can imagine, maybe like $350 for a week for a place that doesn’t have bed bugs or blood/pee/poop stains on the mattress (which is the one thing it has going for it, really). If you’re convincing you can sometimes get a good monthly rate, but that ranges into more than I could afford/would attempt to do financially.
Debt: Deferred college loans, occasional payday loans to deal with or ignore depending on what my whim was at the moment.
Food: Free, Salvation Army lunch, food stamps.
Life essentials: No clue what I was doing at this point, going to say I spent $50 on bathroom essentials/cleaning supplies/maybe some random crap, etc. in a month
Meth: Let’s say I was doing approximately a $20 bag a day, which isn’t a rockstar amount, I could make a 20 last two days if I needed to at this point, but would use more sometimes, so we’re going to conservatively estimate $600 monthly. (20×30=600)
Bus Fare: I’d either get a couple ten rides (approximately $20 a piece, I think) or a $60 dollar monthly pass. Let’s say I got a $60 pass.
Money spent to merely exist, get to work, and have a place to sleep: $1100
Legal income: College dropout, minimum wage or slightly better, let’s say my income was approximately $1000 a month. Could have picked up a second job, but at approximately $8 an hour, the time vs. money trade-off is pretty bad here.
So yeah, I was spending approximately $600/monthly on drugs, which was roughly 55% of my income, and only “manageable” because I hacked my way into super-low life expenses.
-$100. So this entire month goes off without one single slight problem, if my hours at work don’t change, if I don’t get sick, if I spend money on absolutely nothing beyond the given items, if I manage to completely moderate the hell out of my drug use and use just enough to keep myself functional, if I eat nothing but grey peas and grey meatloaf once a day for an entire month, I will still need to come up with a hundred dollars. Before this point, I’d hooked friends up with bags, etc. but never really approached passing drugs on to others as a potential money-making idea.