Getting arrested for being high in a motel, walking around talking to myself, um that was traumatizing. I actually thought i was in the middle of resistance towards institutionalized repression of speech. I was walking around looking for Angela Davis and the guards were chasing me because I thought for some reason that someone else was trying to be silenced for calling out white privilege… okay. This is hard to explain, but that is how fucked up i was on meth.
So they take me into the back where I am sitting there with a cop, and I kept try to explain to them that I was being chased by the security for speaking out against oppression. The cop smelt me once and asked, “have you been high on meth?” I was so scared to lie when he could obviously smell me. So now I am being arrested and what do I do? I start crying. You would fuckin cry too! Don’t lie. They fuckin handcuff you, those shit hurt. And sitting in the back of the police car handcuffed felt like I was fuckin dehumanized.
The whole ride to the police station i was sobbing in the back of the car ranting about how fucked up it is that police arrest people who were emotionally and mentally impaired. I think I actually got to him, there was a few times I think he felt bad for me. He better have felt fuckin bad. Pig. I don’t care if he started feeling sympathetic, he needs to throw down his badge and fight in the resistance before I can give any cop validation.
I mean, why the fuck else do people use drugs? Because life is shit! I mean of course drugs are used for recreational reasoning’s as well, feeling good is a part of the human condition. But drugs also can remedy the emotional stress and oppression that is caused by bills, stress and overwhelming inherited situations. Its a forced position that people are put into because their bodies, their minds have been subordinated by the system. Sure mental health impairments range in all socioeconomic class status’s but why is it that poor communities, especially those of color, are the ones punished for it?
When I get to the police station, I am made to stand against a wall… facing the damn wall. I am so nervous, then they take me to get checked in, I guess that is what it was… i was so damn high. They check my blood pressure and everything. The girl who checks me in lets me know my blood pressure is too high and that i need to drink lots of water to try it and bring it down. I told her that it may be because I had anxiety and was feeling nervous. “Why you so nervous?” she asks me. What the fuck? Seriously? Why else am I nervous? Ugh! So they have to hook me up to an IV and hospitalize me making me spend my jail time in the hospital, handcuffed to the bed. So they put me in an ambulance and there I go! Shit it was ridiculous.
I get to the hospital and only receive an enormous amount of negative attention and attitudes from the nurses. Probably for the reason I was in there for. “Sir, do you realize you could die?” or “Sir, do you know what will happen to your body if you keep doing this to yourself?” They just kept asking me all these stupid questions to “get me to realize I was making bad life choices”. Ugh! They did not want to put me in a robe and most of the nurses did not want to go near me. When my mom gets there, she starts getting so upset with the nurses for leaving me in my street clothes. The nurses reply was, “he is old of enough to dress himself ma’am.” Seriously? I was so high I couldn’t move and I was having hallucinations, I couldn’t put on a damn robe either with an iv and things on my chest.
Its really disturbing how much shame is institutionalized towards drug users who are dealing with a real struggle. Its fuckin bullshit that the shift in accountability leaves from the economy, the oppressive nature of our system and the stress it manifests, and this shift is on to the individual. It is an overwhelmingly damaging system in which marginalized people’s mental health is so trivialized in the way this is handled. There is no legitimacy in the way drug “abuse” is handled.
It only gets worse for the people who are dealing with this when communication is completely cut off by these institutionalized attitude’s. They produce this construct of dialoguing about drugs in which shaming the individual is the first reaction when someone tries to discuss with friends, family, coworkers, etc.
I used it, I had no idea what meth was. I always equated it with marijuana in fact. That is how ignorant I was to how damaging it could become when I tried it. So I used it and I already was having tons of sex because it was my way of validating my body when I felt people had no desire for it. I grew up chunky and socially marginalized. I was the loner kid with glasses who ate lunch by himself because I had no idea how to talk to people. So naturally, other gay people at my school really didn’t find me attractive or maybe I just was so insecure I didn’t know they liked me.
So sex became an addiction you might say. It eventually led to me using and I liked it. I liked how I felt. I felt aroused and turned on. It is hard to explain but it made me feel needed by the people who were using the drug with me (this is called party’n’play in the gay community). Point is, I used, I liked it, and its completely embedded in our culture, in our communities, and yet I am the one holded accountable in all of this.
That is what being real about drug use is about. People fuckin like drugs. It helps them to get past emotional bullshit. I began to use more and longer once I realized that when i stopped using, the reality of the “consequences” (my family asking why i was gone so long, coming down and looking like shit, etc.), would come rushing back, along with my emotions. The longest I used was 5 days without sleeping, no eating, nonstop high. I knew if I stopped, I would have to realize what I have done. Meth helped me to not care, to shut down those feelings and emotions.
Soon I started to go to work, looking like a fucking tweaker. Its so fucking shitty to go to work, have people look at you like they are wondering what is happening to you (going to work looking shitty, being absent so many days of work, looking like you lost a ton of weight, etc). Not only are you doing this shit with no space where you can freely talk about this without being shamed, judged or policed, you have to keep this part of your life a secret. Well its no wonder that so many people who are struggling with drugs don’t tell their coworkers, their family and their friends. They have to worry about losing their job, their family, their life! You don’t fuckin create a space to communicate this shit, don’t expect us to tell you about it. Then people cry about why we lied to them?
This is a way of reproducing these institutional attitudes and how we legitimize mass incarceration. Painting a fake reality that we have resources available to get clean or something. Its bullshit, creating rhetoric that drug users have every opportunity to deal with their drug “problem” and can fix it before it becomes chronic.
Best part yet, is when people who tweak talk shit about other people in the community who also tweak as “sketchy” or as people who will steal from you. What I mean by that is even if they know how much meth fucks with your health and prioritization on survival (getting shit because you need it), they ignore it and produce hierarchical ways of perceiving their fellow tweakers. Let me try to explain this better, its like you are going through shit that you don’t understand. You don’t understand why you can’t stop using. You can’t understand why you would take your sisters car to get high. You don’t understand why you need it so much. And yet the people you tweak with you hope can validate the altered behavior you have been conducting, all of a suddent make you feel like shit. Because they respond negatively about your behavior. “Dude, just stop using then?” Like its that simple. You are using too and can’t stop but since you can manage your behavior better or maybe you just don’t want to admit you do “tweaky” shit when your high, you create an indifference to someone else’s behavior.
Its amazing how much institutional attitudes trickle down to the “tweaker community”. Shaming people who can’t control their “addiction”. Saying, “don’t tweak with that guy, he acts sketchy when i tweak with him and acts hella paranoid”. We are so consumed by these narrow, institutionalized attitudes we start harboring oppressive and hierarchical critical perceptions. People who do the same thing when they tweak, they call out someone who is just as sketchy as they are, or maybe more so. Its a form of ableism or able bodied privilege. Some people handle drugs differently, it affects their mind differently. Because someone else’s body handles the drug without altering their behavior so much, they assume that the other person “can’t handle themselves or just uses too much.
Its as if the trickling of these institutionalized attitudes have left behind a legacy. A legacy of bigotry. A legacy of racism. A institutionalized imprint as I have heard Angela Davis say in an interview once. The imprint of slavery. The imprint of racism. Thinking about how the War on Drugs has progressed from fear of the “dangerous class” to the point in redesigning oppression to look like its keeping our streets clean. But everything has a connection in how we see, perceive, and react to drug use. All of the attitudes presented here in this blog is a trickling down of years of marketed fear and misunderstanding of drug use. Its a legacy of bigotry. A legacy of colonization.
I realize that I did not talk about my hiv status in this blog but will talk about it in future blogs. When using meth during sex with other gay men, its called “party and Play”. Code word for men looking for other men to have sex with while doing drugs. This interaction and the way people hide their hiv status will be something I will discuss in future blogs.