It’s not, like, an original fantasy — see the Kevin Spacey (I know, I know) role in American Beauty about 20 years ago — but I’ve been watching some documentaries lately, including the harrowing-slash-uplifting Heroin(e), about women fighting escalating overdoses in West Virginia.
Any narrative about people fighting drug addiction inevitably has people in it who have survived drug addiction and are coming back from nothing to a semblance of a life; as I was saying to my wife yesterday, it’s something I almost feel envious of — not the horrors that led there, obviously, but the simplicity of a life where everything has pretty much been burned away except for the barest living.
Again, it’s hardly an original thought; not exactly a brainwave in American Beauty either, that was just the first time I saw it expressed. I mean, Walden. Which has its own sets of criticisms and defenses, but still.
And as my wife points out, it’s hardly like I need to suffer the harrowing nightmares of drug addiction to actually simplify my life.
It’s interesting to notice that voice in my own head and chase it down a little, though. I choose complexity when I could choose simplicity, and it’s its own addiction, just like booze, or at one point cigarettes.
The idea of kicking complexity, though — get down to exercise, books, studies, and work — it’s scary in a way that getting rid of, say, booze isn’t.
We talk a lot about self-medication as an alcohol thing or a cannabis thing or even a food thing, but distraction as self-medication is an interesting thought.