Ran Prieur http://ranprieur.com/#9a417fe513f58988c3b5b1e84cfc57397194a79b 2018-10-01T13:10:59Z Ran Prieur http://ranprieur.com/ ranprieur@gmail.com October 1. http://ranprieur.com/#b3e2234553776e6decb753a857587b8e0a186bd4 2018-10-01T13:10:59Z October 1. Update: turns out there are two Sarah Perrys. The one who used to write the blog The View from Hell, and lately has been posting her stuff on Ribbonfarm, is not the same one who has an essay in the Guardian, Out of my mind: writing under the influence of drugs. Anyway, it's mostly about pain:

I have come to understand literary drug culture as being more properly a culture of pain, and the relieving of it; of works written under the influence both of suffering and the doped-up euphoria of respite.

Using herself and other authors as examples, she tells this story: people are living in unbearable physical pain; they take drugs to move in the direction of being normal; and the drugs color their writing, but not as much as the pain does.

My world is almost exactly the opposite. I'm living in bearable psychic pain: anti-motivation, anhedonia, anxiety. I plod through the garden of the numb, going through life by forcing myself to do stuff I don't feel like doing. Then I take drugs (cannabis, rarely LSD), and everything becomes beautiful and important and alive. I gain adequate emotional intelligence and wild creativity, which enables me to do a whole different kind of writing, trying to distill that heaven into words.

But after a day or two, the weed just makes me numb (which some drug users are seeking, but I'm trying to avoid). So I go back to sobriety, and for a few days, I feel worse. Without drugs, I climb from the pain-pit back to the bleak plateau, and as soon as I get my feet under me, I launch again.

I know some people have reported reaching that state of grace without drugs, and I continue to try all kinds of meditation techniques, including some I've invented, but nothing has worked yet.

Two loosely related links: Does CBD Really Do Anything? We don't know yet. And Evidence that addictive behaviors have strong links with ancient retroviral infection.