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Day 59: Disease

Tuesday night was a big night. $66. In fact, I think I had it kind of wrong about Monday and Tuesday. I average $44/night on those days. That is far above my goal of $36. Rock on.

Tuesday nights I close with Tock. I work a partial shift Monday with him, too. When we are not on the road, we’re doing dishes and chatting. I’ve mentioned he’s trying to stay on the horse.

Wait. Does marijuana make you fall off horses? Or do you just ponder how cool an animal it is and smile at the fact that you and the horse are both wearing shoes?

Anyway, you get the metaphor. Let’s move on.

He’s trying to keep at it. He attends a class once a week or once every two weeks. He tells me it is like AA only more rigid, with homework. Drugs and alcohol are an interesting topic with him.

“I think calling it a disease is a copout,” Tock said.

I was shocked. “Really?” I said. “You think so?” I sprayed a mixture of ham, cheese, carbonized pizza dough and a few other juices off some containers and put them in the dish tray.

“Yeah, man,” he said. He tumbled a clean pan into a neat stack of pans and moved them to the rack. “It’s just too much of an excuse. I hear them all say, ‘I’ve got a disease. I can’t quit.’ It shuts them down.”

I nodded. I dropped the door of the Dishwasher and released the Kraken.

“I can see  your point. But I mean, I also know a guy who’s been on meth and possibly coke for-“ I tossed a hand like I was tossing a random number up for him to catch. “-twenty years, maybe? Thirty? He’s got it figured out. He knows he can only use every so often and still keep his feet under him. He can’t live without it. The hard ones physically change you. Make you need it,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said. He mentioned how any of the hard ones, especially heroine, could kill you with withdrawal.

“I haven’t been on the bad ones for years, thank God,” Tock said. And he meant the God part. He talks often about how grateful he was that Jesus found him. “I would turn into a different person. I’d do things I never would do otherwise. I’m so glad to be away from that.

“But even then, it was a choice. Not a sickness,” he said.

We went back and forth about it for a while. Then he switched gears. He talked about how a certain sensational conservative talk show/radio host was having a special on how Russia harbors as much anti-Semitism as Germany did before the holocaust, and how we might be gearing up as a world to see another genocide, but against Muslims.

Never a dull moment with Tock.

I can see the scholarly reasons to classify drug addiction as a disease. (I’m lumping alcohol and porn in there, too.) Two NIH articles are of interest.

I’d say it’s a disease. There’s a chemical change in the body that disrupts normal functions. The brain fires differently and breaks down the ability to resist impulses. I mentioned my friend that has been on hard drugs for years. There was a 7-10 year lapse between when I saw him in my youth and as an adult. He’s not the same man.

Tock’s point was that people feel enabled if it’s a disease and thus not their fault. He was trying to say that they live half-truths. The disease is their fault, and within their control.

Bad money problems are a disease, too. Spending can be addictive. Any bad habit can waste you and your relationships away, just like a cancer or a bad infection. I’m so glad to be dedicated to the money detox. Financial peace here we come.

Remember, checking accounts are like drugs. Too much withdrawal, and you’ll be sick and tired.

That pun would be intense. If we were camping.

Tensleep Station Tent-zm



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