Things are… bad, at the moment.

I’ve not been keeping up with this as well as I had hoped to. Things stopped going as planned.

I tried heroin. I liked it, though I was hoping I wouldn’t. I haven’t done it again since, though that doesn’t mean I don’t plan to. Bobbie wouldn’t let me shoot it the first time, though I was really wanting to. He said he doesn’t want to accidentally cause my death, so he would rather me build a tolerance first. He said first I’d need to spend this week building up my tolerance to opiates – so that’s what I’ve been doing.

On Sunday, I tried heroin. I snorted two lines of it over the course of the day. I then spent the night with Bobbie, in his car, because he’s homeless. Monday, we did some running around. I finally got to do some of my old dope, my preferred dope, my drug of choice: meth. I snorted a line of meth around noon, and around 10pm that night, Bobbie cut me a line of opana.

It’s been a rough week. I went to therapy on Wednesday, which hopefully will help. I don’t go again til near the end of next month, though… And today I’ve just been dragging by. I’m high, and I don’t even know on what. Bobbie pulled out a pill while we were hanging out and crushed it up.

“What is that?” I asked him.

“It doesn’t matter,” he laughed.

And he was right, it doesn’t matter. Eventually, as an addict, you stop caring. All that matters is someone told you this will get you high. So you snort it, shoot it, smoke it, take your pick – that doesn’t matter either. All that matters is that I’m running from my sober mind.

Sydney might be going to jail tomorrow. Jeremy is already in jail. Bobbie might be going to jail on the first of next month, just four days from now.

And there I’ll be, alone again, just like before, just like I’m always afraid of.

I can’t cope.

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The Struggle to Stay Clean

I’m currently 46 days clean as of writing this post.

I have hated every day of this. I never hit that crucial point where I wanted to get clean, like most people do. I just knew I needed to, and as I saw my friends getting arrested one by one, I realized that I was going to end up in the same situation if I didn’t sort myself out. So I came home, confessed to my mom, and asked her to take my keys so that I wouldn’t be able to leave and seek out dope.

This is what kept me clean for so long. This is why I’ve made it 46 days in. But of course nothing is that easy; I’ve spent these 46 days thinking almost nonstop about drugs, hitting moments where I would have taken anything I could have gotten my hands on – hence me getting into my mom’s purse to steal her suboxone. Now, I’ve made a new friend. Or, rather, I’ve reconnected with someone I’ve known for over a decade.

Bobbie* has lived on my block pretty much my whole life. I met him when he was 12 and I was 9, when I became friends with his younger brother in my class. We never knew each other well, but we interacted here and there. Now he’s an opiate addict, heroin being his drug of choice. He’s not a bad guy – he’s been through a lot. I know he’s got a good heart, and he seems like deep down he wants off of this shit, because he knows if he doesn’t stop it’s going to kill him. I’m honestly scared for him.

Bobbie knows dealers in my town. I came back home because I didn’t know any dealers here, so no matter how bad my cravings got, I wouldn’t be able to relapse. Bobbie messaged me a couple days ago, asking if I needed dope. Of course, I’m still an addict, as much as I try to fight it – so I hardly hesitated to say yes. Some shit went wrong though and I got fucked out of my money, but he’s supposedly trying to help me make it back. That’s not my real worry with Bobbie though.

The problem is that Bobbie is trying to talk me into trying heroin. He’s been telling me how great it is, how it makes all your problems melt away. He claims he knows how to get good smack and help me hit a vein (because I suck at it) without it killing me since I’ve never done H and have no idea what my tolerance would be. I promised Sydney I would never touch heroin; it’s how he lost his mother, and Jeremy was an addict from 13-16 years old. There’s reason upon reason not to do it, but Bobbie has me tempted. I want my pain to go away, I’m tired of feeling empty, suicidal, and feeling like I have no idea who I am.

I still have one thing to keep me strong though.

Quit
A promise.

This is my fourth time trying to quit. The first and second times, I only made it two weeks before I relapsed. The third time lasted for one week, which may not sound like much, but when you spend 6 days out of the week twacked out of your mind, it feels like forever. All times but the first, Sydney and I had promised each other that we were going to quit. And the third time I relapsed, we relapsed together. Jeremy just dropped a fucking rock in each of our palms when we were all hanging out, and we were up and darted out the door to my car before you could blink. We sat and cut lines on the back of some video game cases, and snorted a line together. I’m still certain that was the highest I had ever been, especially off a single line. It was some fire shit, and it was a huge fucking rock so I had a pretty big line. The third time I relapsed was while Sydney was off at rehab; Daniel’s* mom messaged me, telling me how she had no way to get around so she could get her food stamps in groceries. She told me she hadn’t eaten in three days, and that there was no dope in the house so I should be fine to come back. I should have known better. As soon as I got there, she had me take her to pick up her boyfriend, who immediately doped up the cat; as soon as I found out he had dope, I asked if I could have some before I realized what was coming out of my mouth. I had a line cut in front of me and up my nose before I stopped to think, and by then of course I didn’t care. By the time I left a week later, I was to the point that I’d done 3 shots and 6 lines just in the last day. I binged harder than I had before, and my needle usage didn’t get bad until that week. That was the last time I did dope.

Sydney is one of my closest friends, and he truly means the world to me. He’s the one who convinced me to get clean, and we have a strange understanding of each other. He likes to send me rap lyrics for me to analyze and dissect (and I tend to reply with an essay long analysis of how he relates to it), and honestly based on what lyrics he sends me I can figure out with 99% accuracy, according to him, what’s on his mind or how he’s feeling. Other than that, he doesn’t often speak a whole lot, other than to give very good advice. I’ve learned that Sydney is always right. If you read the Acid Trip story, Sydney was the Man in the Red Jacket – and you always listen to the Man in the Red Jacket. He’s always been the one reminding me to maintain, to eat and sleep and drink water while I’m tweaking. He’s been the one telling me what I need to do to fix my life and comforting me when I’m having my constant emotional breakdowns, and he’s always right. He’s the only person to help me prevent an anxiety attack, even when he’s not there. He can talk me down and remind me to breathe and thinks straight. He lets me ramble and be needlessly excessive with my words when I’m hardly talking about anything to begin with, and actually reads everything I say, bullshit or not. He has a patience with me that I’ve never received before in my life.

Today, I told him everything going on with Bobbie. He didn’t get angry; instead he reminded me of everything I would be risking. He told me to remember the bad as well as the good when I think of the old dope days, he told me to remember how bad off he was at the end – only 120 lbs, covered in wounds from picking, and always obsessed with getting dope. He told me that he’d always be by my side as best as he’s able, and told me he cares about my health, whether I do or not. If anyone keeps me sober, it’s going to be Sydney.

And if anything stops me from relapsing, it’s going to be that promise.

“Also, remember how many times you’d promised to quit with me? Make this the final time and kick this shit”

My strength may waiver, but my friends’ strength does not, and I will stay clean this time. If I don’t, it’s going to kill me.

 

*Names changed to protect the identity of those involved

The Acid Trip: Part Two

We left off at the moment where I realized that Sydney had gone missing. This was a crucial moment where everything went to shit. I was coming down from my trip, though I was still far from sober. Everything was much more real and normal than it had been before, but I was still strongly affected by it all; though my visuals were gone, my mind was still very fucked up. I still didn’t have my glasses on, and at this point didn’t even know where they were.

I honestly can’t say how much I was still hallucinating; I don’t recall seeing anymore visual hallucinations at this point, but there were auditory experiences that I don’t know if they were real or just me freaking out. Jeremy muttered an “Oh shit,” and rushed outside to look for Sydney. I remained in my corner by the door, surrounded by my backpack and laptop bag, tucking myself safely between them. Small spaces always made me feel secure. In the distance I heard a number of noises that gradually increased my anxiety. I could have sworn I heard screaming and yelling, sirens, and a lot of banging around in the stairwell that led up to my apartment. During this time I was finally able to read and use my phone, so I began messaging my friend Mark.  I updated him on everything going on, and told him that I was freaking out because I didn’t know where Sydney had gone, and Jeremy seemed to be gone for an awful long time. There was no knowing what happened during this time, and the gibberish Sydney sent me made me incredibly concerned for his current mental state.

After awhile, though I have no memory of how long it was, I heard my front door close. I was convinced it was going to be the police, that my friends had been arrested and that I was next, because I know Jeremy hadn’t shut the door on the way out so surely they knew I was involved and that I was high as shit. Of course that was just paranoia and excessive anxiety, but not a surprising concern for me to end up with. The boys came rushing back into my room, stomping and talking almost angrily to each other. Jeremy walked towards my bed, taking a seat on the edge. Sydney stood halfway between the open door and the windows, defensively.

What I gathered during this conversation between the two boys freaked me out. During their time outside of my apartment, Jeremy found Sydney punching a red truck for an unspecified reason, and when he attempted to confront him, Sydney punched him in the face. Rather than getting in a fight, as he could see his friend was not in his right mind, Jeremy convinced Sydney to come with him back to my apartment.

Sydney stood, ready to dart out the door any moment or to fight anyone who might swing at him. He seemed to have no idea who any of us were. He acknowledged me, at least, pointing and stating, “I feel really bad for her**, I have no idea who that is but I can see that she’s** terrified.” He seemed like he didn’t intend to scare anyone, and indicated that he was afraid, himself. He spoke as though he believed life were a television show, that he wasn’t a real person and was simply a character. He would say things like, “I’m pretty sure someone is scripted to die this episode,” as Jeremy tried to argue that no one needed to die. Jeremy tried to remind him who he was, bringing up his love of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as memories they shared. There hit a point where my anxiety got so bad that I simply panicked, I shut out everything going on around me for the most part. I drowned out everything they were saying, instead focusing on texting Mark and telling him everything going on in case I would end up needing rescuing. At some point, Sydney threw his phone at my window. He allegedly thought it was open, and I, thanks to my lack of glasses and still incoherent mind, was certain he had shattered the glass. This shot my anxiety up to an all time high, and I had the worst panic attack I have ever experienced, even to this day. My skin was red, and stretched incredibly tight against my body. I couldn’t even close my hand into a fist and it hurt to move and breathe.

**I wanted to make a note here that though I identify as male, I was actually born a female. At the time this experience takes place, I was about 6 months into HRT and my voice had dropped considerably, but I still was very feminine in appearance.

It was about an hour later that the argument finally ended. I wish I could say it ended pleasantly, that Sydney simply suddenly remembered who he was and we were all perfectly fine. Instead, it ended when Sydney suddenly collapsed to the floor. Jeremy shot up from the bed to rush to him, and even I, in my anxious ball in the corner, snapped back into reality and the moment I realized there was a problem. I jumped up and stumbled over to them.

Sydney began crying, admitting that he had taken more than just the acid we bought and that he had been trying to overdose on anything he could. We asked him what else he had taken, and he told us he couldn’t remember. He began trying to list the things in his system, such as trazodone and some other sorts of pills, but he started gagging like he was going to throw up as he began to speak. I rushed to grab my trashcan and brought it to him. Thankfully I had been prepared for the trip and had an entire case of water bottles in my room, and Jeremy and I began helping Sydney chug down water bottles and scarf down crackers to help him induce vomiting. We had no idea what all was in his system and how much danger he was actually in, but that wasn’t going to stop us from taking this seriously. Eventually after throwing up a few times, Sydney was a bit more stable. He was still incredibly out of it, very unsure of who he was and a bit in and out of consciousness. We helped him stand up and led him out to the balcony for a cigarette in hopes of helping him calm himself, as he was still an emotional wreck.

I dragged a chair from the kitchen onto the balcony so that Sydney could sit while we were out there. He sat, slumped over more often than he wasn’t, as we tried to speak to him and keep him awake. He continued to cry, telling us that he didn’t want to die, not really. He and Jeremy spoke as I tried to provide the best comfort I could, having only known the two of them for a month. They spoke of finally going to rehab, getting clean so they could get out of school and finally join the USMC like they had planned for so long. He told us how he was sick of this shit already, having only tried dope two months prior to introducing me to it. He knew it was already out of control, and admitted he had a problem. I had no idea prior to this moment how much these boys were struggling. I didn’t know how much they were hurting.

Jeremy suggested we drive to our local park to try and get some fresh air and calm ourselves. I took a shower, relapsing in my self harming habits after months of progress in an attempt to calm myself from my anxiety attack; it did me no good, as my skin was still very tight and hard. I could not hold my hand steady enough to actually cut myself deep, and after a few attempts I dropped the blade, unable to clutch my hand around it. I got out, and we got Sydney a change of clothes before piling into my car. I let Jeremy drive, because if anyone can drive while fucked up, it’s him. He also appeared remarkably sober, though he certainly was not.

I remember very little of the ride, but I was still incredibly scared. I kept looking down at my hands and trying to flex my stiff fingers. Eventually we reached the park and parked at the lookout over the lake. Jeremy got out of the car and went to sit on the bench, while Sydney and I remained buckled in. Sydney leaned forward and spoke to me, unintentionally revealing that he had slipped back into his psychosis; he asked if I knew anything, if Jeremy was plotting against him. He seemed certain that someone was about to “murk” him, as he continuously worded it. I asserted that I knew nothing, and as far as I knew no one was going to die. I tried to remain calm and assure him he had nothing to worry about. He told me that if we were going to kill him, to at least warn him first. Jeremy came back to the car, later revealing to me that while he sat on those benches, his mind was very much in the same place as Sydney’s. He claims he was certain there were people with rifles in the bushes, and he sat their facing the lake and smoking a cigarette, supposedly speaking with his deceased brother while waiting for someone to shoot him in the back of the head. Meanwhile, I was sitting there aware that both of my friends had gone absolutely crazy, and was genuinely afraid I was about to get killed because they were so convinced I was going to kill them. It was shitshow.

Jeremy started the car and drove us to Walmart. I still have no idea why we went there. I dozed off during the ride, the first real sleep I was getting in 4 days save for my one tweak nap. I woke up as we parked, but could not hold my eyes open for more than a few minutes here and there. Jeremy realized I was unable to maintain consciousness, and he drove us back to my apartment. I don’t remember getting out of the car, or going inside my home. I don’t remember laying in my bed. I just remember waking up hours later, around 3pm when we had left the house around 11am, and checking my phone. After all the trouble we went through trying to hide our trip, I had ratted myself out to my roommate; he texted me, asking if I needed anything while he was out. When I opened my phone, I learned that in my sleep, I had opened this message and replied with, “Yam I’m I’m still high.” Thankfully my roommate had a sense of humor about it and replied with laughing emojis, and it was never brought up between us.

When I awoke, Sydney and Jeremy were gone, so I immediately went to work texting them and the two mutual friends I had with them, trying to find out where they had gone. Finally, I got a hold of them. Jeremy revealed that after they brought me home and I passed out, they wandered out of the house. He says he blacked out at this point, and Sydney says he was blacked out one hour after dropping acid until about 15 hours later. Jeremy says that while he may not remember much, he’s pretty sure they joined a gang and thinks they may have killed someone. I remain confident that was just a figment of their imagination, but Jeremy always swore up and down that he remembered there being a body, and a bag full of guns. I have no idea what they actually got into, but their other friend eventually found them and picked them up (because Jeremy thankfully had the rational mind to ask him to pick them up near my place), and took them each home. They were found a couple blocks away, near the high school.

By the time Sydney had lost his mind and convinced himself he was a 70 year old war vet in a television show, I had decided I wanted nothing to do with these boys. They were bad news and only going to get me into more trouble, and made me feel unsafe and at risk of being harmed. But by the end of it, I realized they really needed help, and promised myself that I would be there for them and try to help pull them out of their addictions. I never guessed it would have only led to my own.

The Acid Trip

The end of my first binge

By Friday, I had been up for 4 days, and Jeremy and Sydney had been up for much longer. I honestly don’t know how long they had been binging for – they never told me – but they admitted by the end of the trip that they’d been going for a bit longer than I had. I was working on closing at work that night – I had let Jeremy just drop me off, and he and Sydney held onto my car for the day. They promised not to go anywhere, but I had told them I would buy them each a pack of cigarettes if they cleaned out my filthy car. They came by work to see me, and helped me change the trash outside, and I bought them their smokes. While they were there, though, they suggested that we trip acid together when I get off of work. Sydney was currently staying with his grandfather, since his grandmother had temporarily kicked him out, so he was actually able to leave and come stay the night at my place. Jeremy claimed that we could just drop a tab of acid and pass out since we’d all been up so long (save for my one tweak nap), and have some crazy dreams. I didn’t have much experience with acid, I’d only done it twice with some really weak shit compared to what we got this time, so I fully believed it would go about the way J claimed it would. I pulled some money out of the ATM, gave it to Jeremy and the boys left to meet their dealer to get 3 tabs of acid.

After work, we all sneaked into my apartment. Harold told me when I first moved in that he doesn’t want drugs in the apartment, which is totally understandable. But I figured hey, it’s just acid. Surely we can hide this. When you and everyone with you is tripping, you are not going to be able to hide that you are all tripping balls.

I think it was about 1 AM when we all took our tabs of acid. I was totally unprepared for what happened next. My previous acid trips were so incredibly minor compared to this. Sure, I’d had visuals, but never this strong – I was still functional other times. This had me fucked the hell up. The first thing I noticed was that I could not wear my glasses. The contrast was too much for me to handle, and it freaked me out. I took them off, and when I wiped my eyes on my shirt, I swear to god I got sucked into another universe. It was probably only a few seconds, but I felt like it lasted for at least half an hour. I could see stars zooming around me, I felt myself moving as though I were lightweight (even though I wasn’t actually moving at all), and the only thing I can think to compare it to is when you’re too stoned to function and you’re riding in a car while it’s snowing – take that and multiply it by about 100 and that’s about where I was in this moment.

The room started to grow wider and everyone felt far apart as we started to separate into our own little universes. Sydney was lying on the floor, for some reason. I couldn’t look at him, because the color of his shirt was upsetting my eyes. I don’t even remember what color it was! It was mostly likely red, because that’s what he always wears – he was red, Jeremy was blue, and I was green. But my memory makes me want to say it was like a pinkish peach color or some sort of orange. Whatever it was, it was bright enough that looking at it at all made me severely uncomfortable. I could see the lines in everything beginning to separate, giving it a “3D” sort of effect. Instead of one solid outline, everything had two slightly offset outlines of varying colors. Because of this, I couldn’t look at Jeremy’s face, because his beard was the most intense 3D thing of all. I swear the hairs were actually red and blue for the night, even though logically I know they couldn’t have been. Jeremy was sitting on my air mattress, playing on his phone. He was snapchatting his on and off girlfriend. I was in a corner by my closet, watching the entire room bloat and isolate us. My carpet looked like alphabet soup – the letters began to swirl in the strings and I’d swish my hand through them to scatter it all. The floor stretched apart, making the few feet between each of us seem like yards, and then miles, and then entire universes apart.

Sydney, well experienced in tripping balls of any sort, and very big on sci-fi and multiverses and such, started blowing my mind. He was telling me all sorts of things about alternate universes and timelines, and I don’t remember what the hell he did, but I have a feeling he had me going in circles. Everything he did, I swear it felt as though it were scripted. It was almost as if he’s seen some sort of trip guide movie that I had just never heard of and he knew exactly what to do to spin me in all these weird directions. He went on about time, and how it’s only a concept and an illusion, and I swear I could see a holographic digital clock displayed in front of my lava lamp. I remember some sort of significance around “the man in the red jacket.” Sydney had made sure to bring his red jacket with him (which made sense because this was late February), and for some reason whenever he put it on he became the voice of reason. Everyone knew to listen to the man in the red jacket. After an indeterminable amount of time, Sydney mentioned that we should all try to sleep. I suddenly began to panic. I can’t sleep with these two new people in my room. I am NOT comfortable sleeping around them. I tried to tell them why, but I’m fairly certain pretty much everything that came out was just gibberish.

“I can’t sleep. I mean. I won’t sleep, I’m not going to sleep, I can’t sleep with you here.”

They tried to calm me down because they could see that I was suddenly going into a panic, my first anxiety attack of the night and 3rd this week. New record.

“I can’t go to sleep, something happened, I’m not going to be able to sleep, because, I can’t, I just can’t!”

They tried to talk to me, telling me that it was okay to sleep, that I would be fine. They tried to tell me I am totally able to sleep, and I just had to calm down. They didn’t understand, and I didn’t know how to make them understand. I couldn’t get the words out, they just hurt too much. Finally, when they saw they were only causing me to freak out more, they gave up.

“Fine, fine. You don’t have to go to sleep yet. I don’t think I’m tired yet anyways.”

We decided that maybe it’d be fun to go out onto my balcony while we were high. Well, they decided that. I was terrified to leave the room. This room was all I knew, and leaving meant my roommate could catch us. It wasn’t safe. I just could not bring myself to open that door and reveal all the strange vast open space that lay on the other side. In my room, it is small and contained, there is only so much space. We are safe in here, we can keep up with each other in here, this is where we should be and where we have been. There’s so much more outside that door, I was afraid. But Sydney put on that red jacket and as I said, everyone knows to listen to the man in the red jacket – maybe this was just some sort of rule I created just in my own head but it felt like such a crucial rule for this trip. Sydney always seemed to know what he was talking about with drugs – hence his name in my contacts as “The Friendly Neighborhood Drug Enthusiast.” He reminded me that I can still function just as normally as I did when sober; I jut had to get past that barrier of thinking I can’t do it. I was letting the fact that I was tripping freak me out, and instead of overthinking every action, I just had to get up and do it. I just had to keep moving. Really, that’s not a bad lesson in general. Sydney basically taught me that the same rule applies in every day life: Don’t overthink it, just get up and do it.

Finally, they had me convinced that I would be okay. I pulled open the door and in as smooth and fluid a motion as I could manage, I walked out and into the main part of our apartment, and just kept going until we reached the balcony. Upon reaching the balcony, however, we realized we had all gotten stuck whispering. My bedroom was right beside my roommate’s, so we had all agreed to whisper; it made it easier to hide what we were doing, and being up all night, we didn’t want to wake him. Yet even when we left the room, we had spent so much time whispering that we somehow were not able to raise our voices any higher. This first trip out to the balcony was astounding. Though not the first “time loop” I got trapped in during this trip, the time loop they got me in out there was the one that stands out most in my memory. We all stood there, smoking our cigarettes, and looking out at the world. None of the other houses near us existed for this time; we were all there was. The trees stretched up into the stars, and had shadows echoing their structures. And when the boys spoke, it was yet another moment when their words felt scripted, as though they were referencing something. This one felt like they were referencing some sort of song, though I’ve never been able to find one that sounds the way everything sounded in that moment. Everything around me glowed with strange lights outlining it all, and as my cigarette reached it’s end, they both told me to throw it over the edge, their words sounding like a repetitive echo of each other. I don’t know how many cigarettes we smoked, but it felt as though we repeated this process 3 times. Each time, they would speak words that sounded like song lyrics, words I’m not even sure they ever actually said. They would end it by telling me, “throw it over.” I swear after I did they made some sort of remark saying “and now it’s over,” which added to the effect of it sounding almost song-like in nature. I could see my cherry spark and sputter out as it hit the ground, and in my tripped-out state, it appeared as though the spark would soar up and lingered in the air, staining it. The best analogy I can engineer would be comparing it to a sparkler like the children play with for Independence Day or New Year. While on the balcony, I continued to stutter and stumble, trying to explain why I could not sleep, attempting to have a heart-to-heart moment with my friends, but only gibberish would come out.

Either this first trip or the second trip to the balcony, I put a cigarette out on my arm, and  then told Jeremy and Sydney, “I don’t trust myself not to hurt myself, don’t let me hurt myself; you gotta watch me.” I started freaking out, thinking too much about how I tend to be a danger to myself, with my history of self harm and multiple suicide attempts. They calmed me down and told me that they weren’t going to let me do anything stupid, that I was safe and that they fully intended to keep an eye on me since they could tell I was tripping balls.

We went back in, because my feet were freezing – I stupidly refused to put on socks, despite Sydney warning me that it was going to be cold outside, no matter how warm it may be indoors. They insisted I wear them and I refused, but I reluctantly admitted, as I was tip-toeing around the concrete ground of the balcony, that it had become too much to bear any longer. I remember very little from our trip back indoors. I know this is when I attempted to eat a vanilla wafer, which turned out to be a much more difficult feat than I ever could have imagined. I took only a small bite, a nibble at best, and it absolutely blew my mind. I both felt horrible for eating this poor little cracker-thing, and it also just tasted so amazing, so astoundingly delicious that it made me want to cry and I could not stand to take another bite. As I bit that insignificant, puny piece off, it felt as though a universe simultaneously burst into creation inside my mouth, yet at the same time imploded in on itself. I could not handle causing that Big Bang, nor could I handle the mass destruction and dismay I caused in the same way. I created and destroyed an entire universe. It sounds absolutely insane, and felt just as wild. We sat in the floor again, and over time I watched as our universes slowly grew back inwards and collided, the distance I felt earlier suddenly dissipating into an extreme closeness. It felt as though we were all sharing the same thoughts, the same mind. Every time either of them spoke, it felt like they said exactly what I had been thinking, and I had convinced myself we were all on the same wavelength. I often look back on this trip as the moment we all grew into the tight group we became, and attribute a lot of that closeness we abruptly developed to the fact that we were tripping balls and were wavering on that same wavelength. The walls grew in as my floor settled back to its normal size, the separated lines that turned everything 3D wobbled and settled back into one regular outline. I could tell that I was beginning to sober up.

On our second trip to the balcony, close to daylight, we simply stood in awe. Jeremy claims he rearranged the stars, and I watched as the trees grew arms and danced, shadows stretched up into the sky and waving, as the sky grew lighter. Just as the sun began coming up, my roommate opened the balcony door, and announced that he was leaving for work. I stood in silence and nodded, while Jeremy and Sydney, who could actually form words, told him to have fun and be careful. In hindsight, there’s no way he didn’t already know we were high as fuck.

However, my roommate’s interruption of our whispering was just what we needed to escape it. Finally, we were able to raise our voices to a normal level, both thanks to hearing a voice louder than what we had limited ourselves to, and thanks to no longer needing to hide. So I stood in silence just a moment longer, trying to figure out how to delicately break the news to my friends why I couldn’t sleep. Instead, I gracefully went with the approach of very bluntly blurting out something incredibly personal.

“Ican’tsleepwithyoutwoherebecauseIwassexuallyassaultedinmysleepinhighschool… and so now I’m scared to sleep around anyone and that’s why I’ve been freaking out and not able to actually speak and keep shutting down.”

They both stared at me in absolute shock for about a full minute. Then they turned to each other, still completely stunned. Both of them broke into a mortified awe, practically shouting, “Oooooh, holy shit, that makes so much sense now!” They were grateful to finally understand what I had been trying to say all night, and apologetic that they couldn’t understand me sooner and that I had gone through that.

Though we hung out on the balcony for a moment longer, after awhile I felt sad and wanted to be alone, so I wandered back inside, to huddle into a corner in my room. Eventually, Jeremy came in after me, and asked if I was doing okay. We sat and chatted for a second, though I can’t remember what we spoke about. I checked my phone and saw that Sydney had messaged me through Facebook. The message was just a bunch of gibberish, nonsense letters that were garbled together as he, in his distressed state, tried to convey some sort of message to me. I looked up at Jeremy, alarmed and realizing that shit was about to go really sour, really fast.

“Where is Sydney?!”

 

(To be continued in next post…)

Stay in School: The Story of How This Started

I mentioned as much in my previous post, but in case you missed that, I’ll say it again: my memory is absolutely horrible. I mean horrible to the point that if I’m not looking at someone, their face is just a blur in my mind. I don’t remember 90% of yesterday. I seem to have managed to remember I started a blog, but I don’t really remember doing anything else other than playing scrabble and smoking a lot. A lot of my time as an addict is no more than an empty gap in my memory; so much time was just lost because I spent so much of it awake.

But weirdly enough, I remember pretty much the entire day when I first tried dope. I know every wrong move that I made, and every action that led up to that moment. It’s going to sound almost ridiculous, but in this post I am about to explain to you how I ended up addicted to meth.

First, let’s start with some backstory. During this time, I was living in an apartment complex with a classmate as I attended college. I wasn’t actually on the lease. That would have been a lot of work that neither of us wanted to go through, and rent was already cheap. I didn’t plan on leaving the house much except to go to class, so how would they ever catch me? Yeah, dumb idea – but I’m full of those. Anyways, around this time, I had made a couple new friends, Jeremy* and Sydney*, that lived very close to my new apartment. Jeremy hated riding the bus, and lived so close that I offered to give him a ride to school since we had class at the same time and his campus was on the way to mine. He was actually in high school, but I was an idiot who was still taking 8am classes in my last semester, so it worked out.

*Name changed to protect actual identity

That Fateful Day

It all started when I overslept. I was supposed to wake up at 7:00am, so I could leave at 7:30 and have us both in class by 8. But it was a Tuesday, the first day of the school week for me, and I was just not ready to wake up. I didn’t roll out of bed until about 7:45.

I figured, “Fuck it, I can still make it.” Don’t know what could have possibly convinced me of that, but up I got, and I scurried to gather my things for class and get myself ready. Five minutes later I was out the door, and it was already five minutes til eight when I pulled up at Jeremy’s house. Shit. He hopped in the car, and on the drive back, we made a decision that changed everything.

“Man, I really hate my first period, I’m gonna get my ass chewed out for being late.”

“Yeah, that’s my fault, I’m so sorry; I totally overslept. Do you wanna just… skip first period? My first class is shit, too, and I don’t think I’d be missing much today.”

So, we went back to my apartment instead of going to class. Such a simple conversation and decision that felt so harmless at the time. My roommate, Harold*, had already left for class. The plan was just to chill in my room until it was time for our next classes, but of course nothing is ever fixed that easily. Sydney messaged me on Facebook around 9, just half an hour before our next classes. Well, he and Jeremy are best friends, and I was excited to be making new friends, so of course we jumped at the opportunity to go see him. We got to Sydney’s house, right down the road from where I had picked up Jeremy just an hour earlier, and before doing anything else, we all pulled up a seat on the back porch to chat and chain-smoke.

Somehow we got on the topic of drugs, and I was explaining to them the list of things I wanted to try – I already had plenty of experience with weed, and a little bit of experience with acid, but there were still other hallucinogenics and such I wanted to experience. During this conversation, Sydney and Jeremy shot each other a look; it was one of those mischievous, are-you-thinking-what-I’m-thinking sort of looks. I don’t remember which one actually asked, but one of them half-jokingly turned to me with the question, “Do you wanna try dope?”

Having grown up a very sheltered child, I responded with, “Well, what exactly do you mean by dope?”

“Meth. Ice, crank, Tina, tweak… dope.”

I don’t think they expected me to say yes. I think they mostly meant it as a joke, to mess with me. And for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I had said yes; looking back at it, these two kids seemed so normal and so perfectly fine, I figured if they did it regularly and came out okay, surely I would be fine to try it once.

First mistake: assuming I would be totally fine to try it once with no knowledge or preparation beforehand.

We spent a few hours trying to get a hold of any of their dealers. Obviously by this point, class had stopped mattering in the slightest. Jeremy had no intentions of bothering to go back, and I had “better” things to do. Finally, around 11, “Iceman” answered our calls. If I recall correctly, we decided on about $60 worth of dope for my first time. Not all for me, of course – these were my new friends that were so nice as to introduce me to this drug, and it being their drug of choice, I felt the need to share it with them.

Jeremy and I left in my little car to go pick up from Iceman. I waited in the car while he went to get the dope; when he got back, he showed me the bag and let me look at it, how clear the crystals were and how much a $60 bag really was. We drive back to Sydney’s and they show me how to properly crush and cut up a line of go, and even showed me the proper way to hold the rolled bill to snort it. I had never snorted anything before, let alone crystal meth, so I was a total newb. I went straight from not even liking pot and only smoking socially, and having only ever done one tab of acid, all the way to snorting crank, with one too-enthusiastic-for-my-own-good “yes.”

Second mistake: not only doing it once.

$60 is a fair amount of dope around here. I didn’t realize this, obviously, I was totally new. I had literally only bought weed myself for the first time like a week or two prior. I was one of those poor saps people would be likely to rip off because I was so innocent looking and knew jack-shit about this stuff. After we had all done our first line, I realized, that bag still had a lot of crystal left in it. I think I did 3 or 4 lines before I went into work at 3pm, at a little gas station just a few minutes down the highway from Sydney’s. I worked until 12:30am, and after I closed down, I went back to Sydney’s to stay the night there with him and Jeremy.

Third mistake: nosediving straight into a binge.

I felt like shit after work. Thank god for Sydney’s recommendation to chug down some coffee once the come down started to hit me, or I would have passed out an hour before my shift ended. Of course, when I got back to his place, I wanted more; it felt great and I was frustrated that I had “wasted” most of my first experience being at work. Thus began my 3 (maybe 4?) day binge, my first binge on the first time I had tried it. Jeremy and I left to pick up some more, and by the end I think I spent about $180 on dope. I spent the next 3 or 4 days doing art projects – making clay figurines, drawing, painting – while Jeremy binged Devil May Cry and beat it several times. I wish I could say more about it than that, but I was too busy tweaking out with clay to pay any attention to his game (which he got peeved about periodically, because Sydney wasn’t paying attention either).

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This is pretty much an accurate comparison to what happened with Jeremy.

Sydney, however… I don’t really know how to explain what he was doing. He was getting way too fucking high, that’s what he was doing. I think he honestly did more crank than either Jeremy or I did, and he was also taking muscle relaxers and basically any other drugs he could get his hands on. By Thursday night (or maybe it was Wednesday night, I honestly don’t know), he was seeing shit and talking to people who weren’t even there. He stood on the back porch smoking with me around midnight, and kept wandering off to the side of the building to talk to a Jeremy that wasn’t even there; I kept explaining that Jeremy was inside, still playing DMC, but there were at least 3 times where Sydney still tried to talk to him like he was out there. He honestly had me worried. When we went back inside, Syndey was so fucked up that I couldn’t understand a damn thing he was trying to say to me, and he couldn’t understand me. We sounded like we were just speaking gibberish to each other at that point, and I can only imagine how that would have sounded to anyone sober. Jeremy was somehow able to translate between us, and ended up having to help us if we tried to have any sort of conversation.

Somewhere around 3am that night, Sydney came in from going out by himself to smoke… and I guess was still talking to people who weren’t there. He managed to wake up his grandma, who spent all day at work and left us alone for the most part; she then came into the room freaking the hell out. Part of why she’s so strict about it is because of what happened to his parents, and this wouldn’t be the first time she’d caught him fucked up. Me and Jeremy knew this was coming, because we had been trying to reel Sydney in to no avail, so while his grandma had him in the living room screaming at him, we packed up all the drugs and anything drug related (so she wouldn’t be able to search his room and find anything), and bolted out the front door. I had my second panic attack for the week and tried to back out of the driveway despite foggy windows and panicked breathing. We made it to the red light before Jeremy asked if it was okay if he drove, to which I responded, “Please for the love of god, swap me seats and get us out of here.” He drove us to the nearby Walmart, where he tried to calm me down. I messaged several friends trying to find somewhere to go until morning, and we ended up going to visit my other nearby friend, Mark*, who I had known for years. I explained to him everything that had happened, and he managed to help me calm down from my panic attack. Before we had gone to see him, I had done another line of dope while we were in the Walmart parking lot, the first time of many to follow.

This was only the first time I had done it, and the story doesn’t quite end here. My first binge ended with the most intense acid trip of my life, but that’s going to have to be its own post – there’s way too much to cover it here.

Meth is too much fun, don’t do it.

Seriously, be careful with drugs. It starts out being all fun and games until you’re running from your friend’s angry grandma at two in the morning and nearly wreck just pulling out of the driveway.

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Maybe I should explain myself.

There’s a lot to explain, though. Let’s start with the simple stuff.

Who am I? Well, I go by Nick. I’m young and stupid and made a lot of really bad decisions recently. Really bad decisions.

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Like this. I did this (the photo and the drugs).

 I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I am currently 40 days sober, at least from my drug of choice, after spending some time severely addicted to methamphetamine. Though I’m really only 4 days sober in terms of everything. I got my hands on some suboxone for a bit; I can’t relapse if I’m too busy nodding off and weighed down to the couch. I’ll go into more detail about my story in another post – this one is just a brief (or as brief as I can manage to be, I tend to talk too much) introduction for any newcomers who might be interested.

Why am I making this blog? Honestly, mostly for myself. If other people take interest in my story, that’s great! I hope you guys learn something or at least enjoy my experiences. But I really like to document things; I have a dreadful memory, especially after my excessive drug use, and this will allow me to record my experiences so I don’t have to worry about forgetting memories I desperately want to keep. I also hope to sell some art to work up a fund for my travels, as well as find contacts who could possibly assist me as I journey across the state. I don’t necessarily expect to draw much attention, but I do still hope to at least find a few kind people who might be willing to support or encourage me as I try to find happiness that I don’t have to snort or inject. Also, I really hope that maybe someone who’s also struggling with addiction (or any of the other problems I face or discuss) might come across this blog and find some sort of inspiration or hope for themselves to get better. Recovery is hard, and I still regularly find myself craving that high, to a point where I’d be willing to take literally any drug just to escape sobriety. But it can be done. Ever ounce of my being is ready to quit, I am determined to find my purpose and discover what makes me happy, and what makes me who I am. Because it sure as hell wasn’t drugs, it wasn’t hiding from cops or tweaking out the window anytime a car passed by. It wasn’t going a week at a time without food or sleep.

I haven’t started my journey just yet; I am currently making preparations. I need to add to my fund, and decide what I will bring with me. My current destination is likely to be California, to make a surprise visit to my dad, who I haven’t seen in about 5 years. Getting to there from East Tennessee is going to be a long trip… but I’ve never been more excited.