We’ve all been in the same compromising situation before, sometimes more than once: our clothes smell like skunk, our eyes are red and we eat every piece of food in sight; our pupils are huge, we can’t stop waving our hands through the air in amazement and Phish is playing on repeat on our iPods; our noses are running, we are sweating profusely and we periodically nod out without warning; we sniffle every five seconds, have an abundance of energy and there is dried blood underneath our nostrils; we stumble around dizzy, fall down, and laugh and cry at the same time. But no one notices, right?
Regardless of what you think, you are not hiding the evidence very cleverly: everyone knows you’re high. But you think that you’re keeping things together so well, what’s the deal? Odds are your drug use is altering the way you experience the world, yourself and others, making you oblivious to your behavior and actions. You may not be able to tell that you are behaving strangely because you are always under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but others can tell. People don’t nod out for no reason; no one eats THAT much cookie dough batter; when was the last time you saw someone with THAT much energy at 4:00am? Stumbling around and falling down are usually signs of neurological disorders, and no, your hand is not growing bigger and bigger by the second.
When we are high or drunk around people, we may later feel ashamed or embarrassed of what we said or did, or we may simply forget our actions completely due to our level of intoxication. But for the families and friends of alcoholics and addicts, watching a loved one continually harm themselves with drugs or alcohol is devastating. We may think that we are causing no one harm, or that we are only causing ourselves harm, but the truth is that addiction affects many people, not just the addict. We cause a lot of wreckage in other people’s lives: we burn bridges, break trust, destroy relationships, and disappoint the ones we love. This is the reality of drug and alcohol abuse. So, will you still have fun when you are aware that everyone knows you’re high?