A binge by definition is an interval of time where one engages in an activity without limits. I think the corollary is probably ,”What the hell was I thinking?” or more appropriate to our current society,”Why didn’t you stop me?” This can be drinking, doing drugs, checking our I phones, gambling. You name it.
Binges of any sort make you feel better, at least while they are happening. They trigger this neat little neurotransmitter that tells the brain you having a really good time. So good that it beats the ordinary way of life and ergo people keep wanting to go back to it. The only problem is that when you sober up in whatever fashion, you are right back where you started which for most people is not exactly what we were looking for. Then you either go straight or drop back into oblivion. Tough either way.
I am intrigued by our opioid crisis in a strange way. If you are poor or abused the attraction is obvious. But why do people who supposedly have everything let themselves fall off a cliff to the point where whatever that good life is goes right out the window? You see execs, doctors, professors, moms or whatever following the road to ruin. It has been said that just one pop of fentanyl will bring you to a level of euphoria that doesn’t seem real. I have never had the pleasure and for that reason alone never want to try it. Because I would probably love it.
Maybe this all goes back to Adam and Eve if I can be somewhat religious for a moment. The oh so tempting forbidden fruit was too much to avoid. It was authority defying and of course mischievous.Undoubtedly this has to be where the phrase,”The Devil made me do it” made its first entrance.
It seems to me the operative word today is “over”. We want to go places we never have gone before. We want our kids to have everything. We can’t give them enough. There is always something in our lives that needs improving. Oh if only I had one more painting or a new bedspread or coffee maker. My car is three years old. I have to see what’s out there now even though I only drive a few hundred miles a month. Does this mean we are over achievers or unhappy deep down?
Put me in the lineup and snap my picture, Guilty as sin. I hit golf balls to the point of madness. I sit and think about this swing or grip and in the moment of Aha! jump in my golf cart to try it out. Ask Kathy and she will tell you I am sick beyond all hope. No argument here. I like to drink a scotch or two. Of course as the glass empties I become even more brilliant and scintillating…at least to myself. Am I unhappy? I sure hope not.
The crazy part is that all of this is contrived in a sense. Every part of our lives is fraught with you need this or gotta have that. My lovely wife loves to shop and the weekly deluge of catalogs bespeaks her success. Yet there is always one piece here or there that she needs to finally complete her wardrobe. When she puts that perfect lamp or rug in place there is nirvana until the next issue of Pottery Barn or Ballard’s.
No matter what, there is always just one more whether it is a bucket of balls or cocktail or the perfect ensemble. And that is the crack we all shoot. Apple came under fire this week for creating a phone that was so addictive that it is completely screwing up our kids. Why didn’t they foresee this new type of binge? Tis true but how did those kids get the electronics in the first place? Of course mom and dad bought them but that is beside the point or is it?
I am going to step in way over my head by talking about our current sexual mores. At the Golden Globes the women were dressed in black. They decried harassment and well they should have. In a lot of cases it is horrific. But did I miss something at the previous awards galas and weren’t some of those same women wearing see through dresses or necklines plunging down to their navels? What about the current crop of music videos by females? Men and especially those in authority have no right to force a women to do anything against their will but should the women take any responsibility? In all forms of doling out punishment aren’t we all complicit to some degree? Would love your thoughts.
About 150,000 of our fellow citizens died from lung cancer. There were over 60,000 opioid deaths last year. There were over 10,000 DUI fatalities. Is it stretching too far to say this was the result of binging? Is it also too far out to say corporate America has a lot to do with it. Tobacco through Altria is one of the best investments you could have made over the last ten years. How many beer ads do we see at sports events of all sorts? Drug companies? Oh yeah, their intentions are pure in the pursuit of science .
We all want to say it is not our fault. You should have stopped me. You have no right to tempt me. I was duped and coerced. They played on my weaknesses. As a restaurant owner or barkeeper I had no idea he or she was drunk even though they occupy the same table or stool every night. Look, I just make the stuff I can’t be responsible if people abuse it.
As in all binges the next day or month is not pretty. There are feelings of guilt, anger and humiliation. The first step is to realize the problem. The next is to do something about it. All of us.
Ted The Great
McKesson, a major opioid maker was found to have shipped thousands of pills to small pharmacies without any oversight or investigation. There were fined and then fined again a year later for the same violation. The second levy was for $106 million Last year they made over $200 billion.
50% of our population in the US has a tablet. 75% have a smart phone and 88% have a pc or laptop. Americans use electronics of some sort over 11 hours a day.
DUI arrests are predominantly white males with an average age of 30 As I was researching drunk driving on Google my search turned up numerous references to lawyers who could “help you beat your drunk driving “ arrest. I guess that is providing a service.