It’s half past six, two days until Christmas and I’m drinking alone. That sounds more depressing than it is. I’m grateful to have some time to myself. The guy I care for is off with his parents to pick up his brother from the airport, so I have the apartment to myself tonight. It’s a different kind of peace when you know there’s no one home to ask for help with anything. I’m using the time wisely, I took a nap and now I’m sitting here typing. I felt like shit this morning. You can judge my mornings based on how much coffee I drink before exercising. I usually stick to one cup to avoid spending the final half hour on the exercise bike desperately needing to pee, but this morning I drank all three cups before riding. Then I did something I rarely do when I’m exercising, I listened to music instead of podcasts. I rarely listen to music anymore. I spent about six months in a deep anhedonic state after quitting drugs and one consequence of that was I no longer felt the music. It all seemed flat when I couldn’t emotionally connect to it. I haven’t really listened to music much since then other than when I’m drinking. Not listening to music for years leaves your music collection in a weird state. Pretty much all of my music is some sort of depressing and most of it is ten to fifteen years old. From when I did actually listen to new music. One of the final songs I heard this morning sent me spinning. Drop by Blue October is essentially a song about not taking psych meds as far as I can tell, but to me it’s a reminder of what it’s like to spend days high out of your mind without sleeping. The psychosis that comes from not sleeping isn’t fun and in a lot of ways that song perfectly encapsulates that. Despite the grim vision of being high I feel when I hear that song it made me really want to get high. I’ve been mostly sober, outside of drinking, for four years and completely sober, again outside of drinking, for three and a half. I don’t feel the urge to get high all that often anymore. It comes from time to time, but for the most part I’ve put the urge to escape with the help of drugs out of my life. I still try my best to escape, but I don’t use drugs to do it. That’s why I don’t consider myself to be in recovery. I haven’t fundamentally changed, I’ve just found a reason that’s good enough to keep me from getting high. My reason is rather simple. When I spent days or weeks binging meth I ended up going basically insane. I started to hear voices and see things, I thought people were out to get me, and I became even more suicidal than I usually am. I don’t value much in life, but I do value my mind. I like to think I’m at least sort of smart and something that drives me insane is just not acceptable. It took me more than one months long binge to learn that I couldn’t spend all day high and stay sane, but I learned my lesson eventually and I quit. It’s really that simple. Back to this morning, I really wanted to get fucking high. I don’t have any easy way to get high these days. I’ve moved and I don’t speak to the people I used to do drugs with, so getting drugs would be quite an ordeal. It wouldn’t be impossible, I’m an addict and I’m aware of the people around me that use drugs, but it would be harder than a phone call. Thankfully that’s been enough and it was this morning, but I did spend a solid hour daydreaming about being high today. It’s that sort of day.
Besides daydreaming about getting high, I thought about Trump while I exercised this morning — because God forbid my anxious mind gets any rest. Besides playing fast and loose with out nuclear policy on Twitter, Trump appears to have reprimanded Newt Gingrich for saying he’s abandoned the phrase drain the swamp. Gingrich’s apology was amusing as hell, but it reminded me of a lesson it seems a lot of people have forgotten or never learned. Pointing out hypocrisy doesn’t change people’s mind. It’s too easy to rationalize the hypocritical act as justified because you like the person doing it. That’s human nature, think the best about people you like and the worst about people you don’t. Similarly, pointing out corruption isn’t going to convince Trump’s voters to abandon him. Voters expect corruption. That’s awful to say, but it’s true. I voted for Hillary Clinton despite expecting her to continue policies that benefit Wall Street and defense contractors. I don’t think she would’ve been as blatantly corrupt as Trump will be, but corruption is so endemic in our system that corruption is only a useful political tool if someone is being charged or you’re running an investigation and dripping juicy bites to the media on a regular basis to poison the well for a candidate. Convincing Trump voters to vote for Democrats or anyone other than him means showing them that his policies are hurting them personally or people like them. Paul Ryan’s cuts to Social Security and Medicare will do that, so that shouldn’t be difficult. Showing that he hasn’t changed Washington will also be necessary in breaking Trump’s spell. The disenchantment people feel toward Obama will come to Trump. He’s not going to fix Washington either, so feeding that disenchantment will be important to stop Trump in four years. That’s not say there’s no value in pointing out hypocrisy. It’s entertaining as hell, but it’s not convincing and doesn’t change votes.