Unrequited love does hurt, as we all know from experience. It has generated some of the most creative pieces of art and literature, or can devastate ones entire life, resulting in deep and ruminative anger. With drugs and alcohol in particular, an insidious trap can occur. Many people use substances to avoid feelings, getting an artificial and temporary sense of relief. But every time you do so you convince your brain that you are not strong enough to deal with those feelings. When they arise again, your brain quickly learns the road to relief, and you use. But the vicious cycle has now begun, and you begin to use to avoid the very thing you are most afraid of: that you are not worthy, not valuable, and do not deserve to be happy.
Using drugs isolates you from other people. Temporarily and artificially one may feel connected to the universe in the midst of a drug induced euphoria. But the reality is the rush is just that: a rush, by definition an experience that has no longevity or substance. It is the rush of wind that blows through you, blustering into a hurricane that carries you further and further away. And in that growing isolation, that deep and desperate distance, a loneliness looms and one uses yet again. To get away from the loneliness, and the fear of being alone.
Being with another person always has the risk of winding up alone. But using to avoid rarely results in being truly connected. The drugs isolate you as surely as they wear off, and leave you longing for at least an artificial pleasure. Even if love hurts, at least you have been seen and heard and valued. At least for a while.
Of course it begs the question “Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before.” I’m for taking the risk!