I recently met an old friend from high-school, and we got to talking about how weak-willed and politically-correct daily life is in Europe anno 2015. Even with the internet – mankind’s gigantic common subconscious – you would hope that there would be more honesty and straight talking than there is. Instead, we have Facebook, a giant pile of conformity and superficiality.
It’s sad that we can’t share truths, for risk of a social backlash. Like this story my friend told me, that she shares anonymously. Here goes.
“I am a 42-year-old modern European female, raised in Paris with a French father and a Dutch mother. I live in a big European city and in every imaginable aspect of life, I am a healthy, successful modern woman. I work as a chief executive for my own NGO where I direct several mid-to-large size projects in Africa and Asia, with almost 20 fulltime employees and over a thousand volunteers.
I am not a millionaire, but I make a very comfortable living – think senior lawyer or doctor type of income. I have three children, am happily married, my husband is also self-employed, though he makes much less than I do. We eat organic food, have a semi-luxurious home, a beautiful cottage in a forest and I am regularly featured in lifestyle and culture magazines for my workspace – for being a successful wife and mother of three. Moreover, I am physically and mentally healthy, I am not driven by fame, success, power or money. Occasionally I exercise.
“Simply put, I live a good life. And I do drugs.
“Not because I am stressed out, addicted, or in need of escape. I do drugs because I see no reason not to. When others open a good bottle of red wine after putting their children to bed, my partner and I like to take hallucinogenic mushrooms.
“I have no idea how often it happens, probably less than once a month. I just starting taking recreational drugs during my youth, and I simply never found any reason to stop.
“Cocaine is boring on its own, but it is the perfect companion to alcohol and a dinner party of six or eight guests. I hold such dinners a few times every year where we openly use cocaine during and after dinner. Our favourite drug is MDMA or ecstasy, the only problem is that it can take a few days to recover from the lack of sleep and since we have three small kids, we do this rarely.
“I find cannabis to be more destructive, potent and antisocial than any of the ‘hard drugs’ we use, and I find it hard to understand that cannabis use is legal where I live in Holland. But when it comes to health issues in general society, cigarettes and alcohol are ultimately the worst health offenders.
“I don’t smoke and I drink in moderation. I have run marathons and birthed three kids and I never took drugs while I was pregnant. At most I have taken drugs twice in a month, but because it takes a little time to recover, often I can wait six months. In these periods, I get no random urges to take cocaine or any other drug.
“I understand that these drugs can be addictive to others, but they aren’t to me. The simple fact is that all the cocaine, opium, ecstasy, mushrooms, ketamine, 2CB and acid I have taken has had very little impact on my life.
“And drugs aren’t going away. The war has failed, and it doesn’t make any sense to keep drug use hidden in a shadowy, secret and illegal world. All of my friends in my generation – doctors, architects, marketing people, executives, consultants, and politicians – have a relaxed outlook on drugs. I also know many people who have never touched hard drugs and have only ever smoked pot. To each to his own.
“So I have borrowed Thomas’ column to say that drugs are alright. It’s sad that even in liberal Holland, I cannot stand up and publicly say this, because I am a small-time public figure. I work daily with politicians, and interact with teachers at my children’s schools and kindergartens. Speaking out would do more harm to them than to me.
“There are caveats. You should never work under the influence of any drug. And while all can feel low from time to time, I never take drugs to escape. Instead, I go for a run or lie alone in bed and watch some TV. I don’t find it hard to not take drugs in these circumstances, though I know others might be more tempted. But for people like me, who can manage a safe, responsible and moderate relationship with drugs, it really makes no sense to keep quiet about it.
“I have heard about the Danish magazine Illegal! that is sparking debate about the drugs issue. And I am constantly reading articles about how drug legislation in Europe and the US has failed. This column is my small contribution to this debate.
“I just want us to speak more openly, not only about drugs. About everything.” M