David M (dmascellani) wrote,
David M

The Feel of Steel (the unpleasantly pleasant and the pleasantly unpleasant)

Great night at the Lodge last night. Barney was elected 'Grand Pooh-Bah' and I had a really cool conversation with Fred. Seems that he's addicted to chaos. That's he can't .just tell Wilma or Mr. Slate the truth. (I'm No, he has to concoct these ridiculous scenarios and excuses that untimely blow up in his face and cause even more turmoil.

 It reminded me of the 'feel for steel'. A recovering heroin addict that I once knew told me intravenous drug users can become addicted not only to the drug they inject but also to the act of injection itself (‘the feel for steel' aka 'needle rush').  Many such users, in the absence of their drug of choice, will inject themselves with water and other non toxic, non lethal substances just to experience this ‘feel of steel')

I have never tried heroin I was offered some to snort at a party when I was 16. I declined. It scared me. I had seen what 'Smack' had done to the local addicts and there was NO way that I wanted or end up like them. They always seemed to be itching and scratching -that in itself was enough to turn me off - let alone ODing. (And I had read Go Ask Alice and Christina. F! :)  )

Then when I was 17 I was hit by a car. I was given a shot of morphine by a paramedic. Among other injuries, my right leg was broken. It was 'upside down' and my foot was touching the back of my head.

We'll have to give you a shot of this, so we can straighten your leg".
I was speechless with fear. I had no confidence in this 'shot'.  As best I could, I readied myself for excruciating pain.
I got the shot. Not only did I not feel my leg being straightened - I felt... up until that point in my life, 'Euphoria' had just been a word in the dictionary. Now I KNOW what it means. It was one of (if not the) best feelings I've ever experienced. True, I was injected with morphine, not heroin. But they are both opiates and, so I've read, the effects of both are very similar. In short, I can fully understand why someone would use opiates - even overcome a fear of needles and inject them.  I had a fear of becoming a junkie and of needles. I still have a fear of needles. To this day I have turned my head away and close my eyes whenever I get an injection from a Dr or nurse.
I could (can) understand how someone could up with the unpleasantness of injection in order to experience the pleasantness of opiate europium. But the idea that someone could become addicted to and enjoy addicted to the act of injection itself was beyond my reckoning.

But I have since learned that many people, addicts and non addicts can be addicted to the 'unpleasant' part of their 'pleasant' activities. Compulsive gamblers can become addicted to the 'crazy making' (the stressful chaos: lying, cheating, manipulating, borrowing, stealing money, going without food,  feelings of guilt shame, remorse etc) that is part of being in 'action' (the preparations for and the actual act of gambling.) And there are people (men, women, gay, straight, and other) who become addicted to being in toxic relationships.

There have been times in my life when I have been addicted to 'the feel of steel' (metaphorically), to 'crazy making', chaos, the unpleasant, and the toxic. It all reminds me of what I consider to by Freud's most profound question which went something like: 'Why do good, decent, intelligent people self-sabotage their chances for happiness”?

Needle High: http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/needle-high/


Chaos Addiction: http://asobermind.blogspot.com.au/2007/12/addicted-to-chaos.html

Mad Men on the Death Drive: http://www.partiallyexaminedlife.com/2010/09/28/mad-men-on-the-death-drive/

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