Despite the inane delays surrounding Rhest for the Wicked, I am moving forward with other writing projects. My current project (actually, one of several) features detox and rehab as a theme. I’ve done a lot of research on these things, and have had friends who have gone through it. But I never have.
I’ve never been a drinker. Nor a smoker. Nor have I done any drugs. I’ve experimented with all three and never found any of them at all appealing. Not the slightest thing. I have friends who are huge alcohol aficionados and more than a few proponents of altered states. But no experience has given me even the slightest interest in repeating those exposures.
I didn’t really even know the term ‘straight edge’ until the professional wrestler CM Punk brought it to the forefront. Though that element of his character has largely fallen to the wayside, I still hear mention of it from time to time. Straight Edge is, simply, an abstinence from chemical inhibition. You don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, take steroids, etc. But for many people, this seems to have been some kind of conscious choice, especially within the straight edge movement. For me, it wasn’t a choice. It’s just who I am by default.
I’ve lost friends to drugs (both overdoses and as victims of the ‘drug lifestyle’). And while I haven’t lost a friend to alcohol, I’ve had friendships end thanks to alcohol. And I’ve been ringside to see the effects of alcohol on families. Those horror stories were never worth the ‘fun times’ such substances seemed to make possible.
The profession of writing has a long history of substance abuse, whether it being Jack Kerouac, Earnest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, or hundreds of others. And more than a few people assume that being a writer means, as if by default, a certain level of consumption. But at least in my case, it isn’t so.
I don’t look down on people who consume. I don’t think that I’m better somehow. I just don’t understand the appeal. And as I research rehab and detox, I realize I really don’t want to understand appeal either.