I only took one or two online tests though, and have not read a lot about it. Can you recommend a good resource? I've known about MBTI for a very long time, but I am just becoming exposed to the Enneagram and function use.
I wonder if continuing emotional intensity later in life is associated with being an enneagram type 4? If Fi can be used to manage one's emotional state, no reason it can't be used to either amp them up or turn them down.
Of course huge life changes bring with them emotional intensity, as well.
It seems this thread has veered away from my drug use and back toward it's original intent, and I'm glad for that, but I do want to add this:
I started off talking about my experience as a hard-core INFP and the intense feelings contained therein, and I ended up realizing that my depression and drug problem (yes, I said problem) are indeed related.
So I want to add something about drugs, for clarity's sake (in case anyone cares to know, without going through the Hell I've been through), and out of deep and abiding respect for Arclight. He mentioned his drug use earlier in this thread, so I don't think he would mind my repeating it here, but he uses good drugs, and I've used good and bad drugs. Way too many bad drugs, and way too often. I just don't want anyone to associate Arclight's constructive drug use with my destructive drug use...
Listen: what follows is my learned opinion, after many years of experience:
There are good drugs and there are bad drugs.
The good drugs - Weed, Shrooms, LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy) - are not addictive. They are not destructive. One doesn't lie, cheat or steal to get and use these drugs. They expand the mind. They do not destroy it. And yes, I like to be altered, and I will do the good drugs again. They don't hurt me. They have all been used in therapy (in progressive cultures and settings), and can help in untold ways when used properly.
Now for the bad drugs... the ones I have not done in a year (but still haunt me), and will never do again: Cocaine, Crystal Meth, and worst of all, Crack Cocaine.
Yikes. These are bad. Do not tread there. They are most certainly addictive, and they will destroy you. They take you up so high that the inevitable fall back to reality is devastating.
They change you. Whereas the good drugs expand your mind, these bad drugs derail your mind. Off to a whole other place where you should never go. They change the way you think, the way you are, and they lie to you. They make you do things that, simply, are not you. This is a bad thing.
Okay, nuff said about drugs. I won't know until I read this later if it says what I really wanted to say, but so be it. I did my best.
Thanks for reading, thanks for understanding, and to those special members who help me every day... big hugs and big love.
I relate, but don't necessarily see myself in the same way. While my emotions are occasionally so intense I lose the sense of reality (it's kinda poetic state) it doesn't make me feel like my life is pain in the way you describe it. Pain is really not anything normal for me. If it comes, I tend to make the most of it () but I bounce back fast. Or, maybe it is like "you can hit me, but waterboarding is something I can't handle". I need to be in a nice place with nice people and there is nothing I can't handle, but if I lived alone in a one-room apartment I would probably feel down all the time (I used to be like that). I've thought about this a lot lately, and I think that if I am good representation of the type, then INFPs are in fact very dependent on their social surroundings. It is like we are introverted in a whole different way than the "lone wolf" stereotype.
As for the drug use. I've never done any illegal drugs except weed, and then some others to test them out, but all of the tests were kinda inconclusive as I took too little. I am kinda glad that they are illegal, though, since I would like to try them and knowing my other addictions to the legal drugs (coffee, cigarettes, and maybe beer) I might be hooked. Weed wouldn't be a problem, this is for sure. I would most likely use it in order to fall asleep.
One thing more. I seem to have the same sort of admiring to life as you. I don't want to make it safe. Sure, I don't do anything outright stupid, but I don't try to maximize security as I see it quite contrary to life. I like accidental situations. But the difference is that I don't find pleasure in pain, and pain doesn't seem to especially like me. Life's good. Hah...
(Oh, I can't believe someone rated this thread "one". I had to balance it out. I loved to read it...)
(Oh, I can't believe someone rated this thread "one". I had to balance it out. I loved to read it...)
Thanks for pointing that out; I voted it up too.
I love reading this thread too. I've been lurking but sharing my thoughts with AT privately. I identify with a lot of the things AT has said, but more than anything this has helped me understand the INFPs in my life.
Murphy Brown: What is it with us? Why can't we take the easy road once in awhile?
Avery Brown: Because it's boring and dishonest and uncomfortable, like wearing a pair of shoes all day that pinch your feet.
I don't know if I agree with you about good vs bad drugs, AT. I lived on a reserve for several years where most people did drugs to cope with pain and depression and insecurity. Even in the cases where it was limited to weed, it became a bigger and bigger escape from real life. Then when people checked in with real life, it was even more intolerable to face. It became no longer a temporary escape, but a permanent one. At the very least, it is expensive to live that way. Moreso though, you miss so many experiences by numbing yourself to what is really going on around you. You may experience new things in your mind, but ultimately those fade and you are just left with yourself once more.
When you have physical pain, the purpose of it is to alert you that something is wrong and needs attention. If you just medicate it with painkillers because you are afraid of what that pain might indicate, you may either be needlessly worrying or you may miss the opportunity to treat something that could be dealt with, but gets progressively worse if neglected. The very information you are trying to avoid (that you are seriously ill), is what you are actually making happen to you! If you faced it head on, you could be done with it and get on with life.
Emotional pain is the same. It is there for a reason, to indicate that something in your life needs attention. Sometimes that means that you need additional support people in your life. Sometimes it means that you need to talk about things that have been too painful for you to look at directly for a long time. Sometimes it means that you are living in an unworkable situation and you need to make changes in work, living arrangements, boundaries etc.
By medicating emotional pain even with weed (and honestly I don't know anyone taking weed that is not taking it for those reasons), you are avoiding dealing with the root cause. The brain naturally does this for us in various ways (weed is just an artificial means of extending that), especially if it thinks that we are going to face a vulnerability too great to bear. Unfortunately though, it's only when we face the futility in what we are doing that we can eliminate the frustration that turns into aggression against ourselves or others. When we face futility, then we can start trying new courses of action that will yield better results instead of being stuck in a holding pattern that doesn't work and continues hurting us more. In the process of numbing yourself, you also numb yourself to other people's pain, to the problems that need attention, to caring so much (because it does hurt to care). These are incredible losses! Over time, the people that matter most to you become alienated because you are numbed out more often than not. Your problems continue to sap your emotional energy so that you have nothing left over to give anyone else. Yet the coping mechanism means that you do not feel the pain enough to seek out the help that would restore your emotional reserves and allow you to look outward.
This isn't an anti-drug lecture, but some of the other drugs you listed as positive ones can have serious mental, physical and emotional effects in the long term. They aren't as benign as many would like to think and can cut off so many options for a healthy and positive future.
Sorry for the consecutive post - Just wanted to say I've noticed that for regular drug users, they don't come across as especially out of it or not present. In many cases, you may not even know that they are high. Most are pretty functional, especially if it's something like weed they are doing on a regular basis. However, like with some anti-depressants that just dampen all your feelings, it can have a negative impact on your relationships. Anyone I've talked to since quitting relying on substances in that way is shocked at how much they thought they were present and coping fine and are shocked at how much more clarity and understanding there was after they quit. They were not perceiving the extent of the drug's effects on their interactions or on their personality.
I should add that some of the most sensitive, interesting, intelligent people I've ever met have used drugs extensively. My statements about it are not a judgement on those who use drugs (as I have a number of people in my life that I care very much about who do), so much as a commentary on what I think are some harmful motivating factors for choosing to use them and that there are negative effects on those around them.
By medicating emotional pain even with weed (and honestly I don't know anyone taking weed that is not taking it for those reasons), you are avoiding dealing with the root cause.
While I agree with the general idea of your post, I would like to remind that the bolded part is as true as saying that anyone who drinks a glass of wine is self-medicating his/her emotional pain. People drink for various purposes. Some like the feeling of being drunk, some like the taste, some like how it lubricates social interaction, and some like to numb themselves. I don't see why there should be more strict attitude to weed than wine.