An excerpt from a letter I wrote in 1995 to a friend, attempting to explain just one of the reasons we could no longer spend time together.
I remember a time when I was very interested in, even obsessed with, getting high. As you know, I no longer have much interest in it. I want a quiet and peaceful existence that doesn’t involve drinking or dope smoking on a regular basis. I don’t want to spend my days in a fog figuring out where the next bag is coming from and how I’ll pay for it. I don’t want to wake up in the morning feeling like crap because I drank the night before. I don’t want to be broke from spending all my money on an ounce and waiting until I can sell three-fourths of it. I’m tired of being with people who just don’t care that they can’t function normally, or that things get broken, or stolen, or that they hurt other peoples, feelings because they are on some obsessed, self-destructive quest – even if they can’t help it.
I’ve chosen not to be self-destructive with drugs and alcohol (chocolate and cigarettes are another matter altogether, everyone has vices). I’ve chosen not to abuse. Of course, I still use – there are still times and places to party and get high, but they are fewer and farther between than ever before. This is not simply a conscious decision I made one day; “I’m going to stop drinking and smoking.” I never did that. Rather it was an evolution of my thoughts over time; that events and behaviors occuring while I was high, and/or in the company of those who were high, were becoming more unpleasant and had always been potentially dangerous (like getting busted, or drinking and driving, or having unsafe sex). I think it took a certain amount of maturity on my part to recognize this, I’ll say its about getting older and realizing you are not invincible – that your abilities to learn and work and care for yourself for the rest of your life could be impeded. So, I’ve changed, and unfortunately, I sometimes get angry with people who I view as not having ‘woken up and smelled the coffee’ when they assume that I haven’t really changed and attempt to convince me to party. I apologize for that.
I can’t believe I apologized.