It is part of a “queer”, if not an “awesome”, contemporary linguistic phenomenon : the word “wasted” no longer means only what it used to mean. It’s the new code for “drunk” from alcohol, or otherwise physically and mentally incapacitated by consumption of other mind-changing chemical substances, in a word, “stoned”.
The word “wasted” is worth a wallow, if I may accentuate the alliteration to which I am addicted. I’ve said before on this Blog how much I regret having wasted fully half of my life as a believer and as a professional promoter of Catholicism. I have dared to tell my Franciscan former confreres how much I pity them for having continued to waste their lives following Jesus and his poor Poverello. Some say I am now wasting my time (they do not mention talent) attacking such credulity and attempting here to enlighten and encourage Believers on the Brink to adopt atheism.
About to turn eighty, I am still surprised and delighted that at age seventy-four I went on the wagon and am still on it. I have no illusions about the real possibility of my going back, if not to the flesh-pots, to the Single Malts that had become part of my daily routine. Was I ever “wasted” ? Of course I was ! Luckily my addiction never resulted in physical harm to others, but it did nothing to improve my own health. And it must have been a considerable cause of concern for my loved ones. I hope that all that is behind me, now that I have decided not to kill myself slowly or even quickly through the abuse of alcohol, nor to waste the time I have left by being “wasted”.
I am particularly conscious of the blindness of young people already in the grip of the “demon” drink, or of equally diabolical drugs. As with religious blindness, they have to find their own way out of the slavery to which they have submitted. “Ab esse ad posse”; “From what exists we can identify what is possible”. But if a run-of-the-mill bloke like me could find freedom from both these ways of wasting one’s life, others can. I wish all of them “Bon Courage”. Dare to decide. “Carpe diem”. I will not have been wasting my time writing this, if you do not regret wasting yours reading it. The steps I am proposing are not easy to take, but when you do, you’ll never be sorry you did, either as a non-addict or as a non-believer.