I just watched Requiem for a Dream.  Great googly-moogly! 

          When I was in middle school, I went to Jamaica with my mom, my step-dad, and my aunt.  While there, I inquired about the unique aroma that seemed to fill the island, no matter where we went.  I was told it was "the ganja," and I never asked again.  It wasn’t until 3+ years later that I figured out what that term actually meant.  Does that give you an idea about my drug knowledge and experience?

           Though I have attended public schools my entire life and many of my friends tried marijuana, and a few smoked it regularly, I never touched it.  Part of that is because I think smoking is just nasty, part of it is because I am allergic to smoke, and part of it is because I just never thought it was worth the risk.  I didn’t want to get caught, be labeled, get addicted, or follow any of the paths drugs often lead to.  After Kiley died, my resolve to never get involved with drugs hardened.

          After high school, my living conditions weren’t always the best and I ended up under the same roof with people who smoked marijuana regularly, as well as some white stuff, acid, and ecstasy.  They told me they were going to ski, and I had no clue what that meant.  I still don’t, to be perfectly honest, but I am sure it has something to do with white powder…  Now which white powder, I couldn’t even begin to guess, but whatever.  All this is to say that I have very limited personal experience with drugs, both legal and illegal.

           When I was watching this movie, I thought, "Maybe I could try it.  I mean, the weight loss alone would be great and as soon as I get where I want to be, I can quit.  I can’t afford to keep it up for long anyway!"  Then I remembered that the babes were slumbering in the next rooms and I dismissed the thought.  As the movie progressed, I felt sorry for some of the characters, but not sorry for others.  Why not all or none?

          With Sara (Ellen Burstyn), I felt sorry for her because she didn’t know that she was being prescribed amphetamines.  She knew they made her happy, but who thinks their doctor will give them amphetamines to lose a few pounds?  Her doctors also never told her they were addictive or that she shouldn’t take any more than was prescribed.  She needed more and more to get her "happy" feeling, and so she took more and more.  She wound up in an institution where she received electroshock therapy.  I am sure when she asked for diet pills, that was not at all the end result she had pictured.  She was also enabling her son and was very lonely – when something came along that made her forget that, it was good.  She couldn’t let that good feeling get away…

          In Harry’s (Jared Leto) case, I felt a small twinge or sympathy for him only because at times, it seemed as though he wanted to quit.  While he was very weak-willed, he did seem to have the desire to be "normal."  That little bit of sympathy completely petered out when he asked his girlfriend, Marian, to sleep with someone for money to keep their habit going.

          Harry’s best friend, Tyrone (Marlon Wayans), made me feel indifferent.  While he was part of Harry’s habit (they dealt together and often shot up together), he also took Harry to the hospital when his arm got infected.  Many people in the same position would have never taken him, or dumped him there, knowing they would most likely be arrested together.  Tyrone at least was decent.

          Marian (Jennifer Connelly) evoked no feelings of sympathy from me.  When you’re willing to sleep with people and completely degrade yourself and those you "love" for your habit, I have no sympathy for you. 

          It made me think…  We all have addictions.  Most of us have addictions that are 95% harmless.  It’s the other addictions we have to watch out for.

          What are you addicted to?  Is it healthy?  Why or why not?  Feel free to answer anonymously.  😉

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