Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On Mental Fogginess

I have felt too mentally foggy since surgery last week to write the blog. Last night I stop taking painkillers. This morning I had caffeine for the first time in almost a week. I feel much clearer right now.

On the other hand, I thought several emails that I wrote over the past few days, including some written from the hospital, were competent -- until the recipients had to ask for clarification of some words that were clearly not the right ones. So I decided I better not try to grade until I could get external validation that my brain was truly up to speed.

When I told my father-in-law the above, he told me of a time he had twisted his back and was on serious pain medication for a week. He did his job through the week - but found afterwards he had no memory of anything he had done.

His conclusion was the punchline of my thought on this subject: "To think that some people take drugs on purpose." Amen.

I don't understand why people would want to have an altered consciousness. I am not talking about medicine that helps give you a normal, focused mind. I am talking about wanting to be high or drunk. I just don't get it.

In many ways I am a regular guy. (More ways than my family will assent to, I maintain). But I know from the long history of alcohol and high-inducing plants found in every culture I have ever heard of, that most people do like an escape (I guess) from this reality. And the well-off seem as likely to seek this escape as the miserable, at least in moderation. I don't condemn this. Jesus made wine - it can't be all bad. But in this particular I am an outlier, in the tail of the distribution.

I don't like to be mentally foggy. I like this reality, seen clearly.


Anonymous said...

You can't understand why people like altered consciousness and yet you're thrilled to have caffeine today? ;)

Gruntled said...

True, but getting a little bit more focused on reality seems to me quite different than getting quite a bit removed from it.