Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Insight 01: Fear and Loathing

My drug abuse started off from the most innocent proposal. A friend called me up and asked me to go to his house to get stoned on weed and play video games on his PlayStation. I wasn’t too keen on weed cause when I first tried it in my university days I got paranoid and threw up. But the stuff that my friend has was different. It was much more fun.

We were so stoned that we actually shifted the couch closer to the TV cause we felt that we were actually in the video game. And food tasted so good. When we were having a herbal soup I told my friend “Man… how I wish I could swim in the soup and do laps in it… man…”

At that time I was working at a design agency and it was my first job in the creative industry. I got disillusioned from the very first day of working as a designer cause I was asked to produce a few visuals for a pitch and I didn’t meet the deadline. I went to a bar after work, nursed a beer and I was thinking what the hell did I get myself into? Am I really cut out to be a designer? What the hell am I going to do?

But things changed after the stoning session. Still feeling the effects, I went to work, booted up PhotoShop and within a few hours I had two visuals ready for presentation. I was stunned cause I was never that productive before. And the client chose my designs over my colleagues who were many years my senior. That’s when I started the habit of smoking weed and my most creative work was done under the influence.

I was a stoner for 10 years. Things started to get really out of hand when I was stoned every waking moment of my life. And I mean being stoned from the time when I get out of bed till when I get back into bed. The thing is that my clients, bosses, colleagues and even my psychiatrists didn’t realise that I’m stoned when I’m with them cause I can be quite articulate even when I’m stoned. When clients ask me why I always have red eyes and heavy eye bags I would cunningly say “Oh I’m been working so hard on your project.”

But I didn’t realise that weed perpetuated my manic phases. I could be the most obnoxious person that you could have ever met. I talk so loudly that when my clients are having a meeting in a room next to mine they could hear me shouting on my phone. I’ll be speeding down the highway at 120 km/h with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand holding my phone whilst having a discussion with a producer negotiating deadlines and budgets. The worse thing is that I fell out with so many friends who were dear to me, including the friend that I first stated stoning with because I was just so arrogant.

I also went through a phase when I was addicted to Ecstasy. It started when I went to a club and a friend that I didn’t know so well asked me to try half a pill. Thirty minutes later I was dancing on the podium, having a whale of a time and high-fiving my friend. We danced will 5 in the morning and I went to his place to chill out. We started talking and we gelled so well that he became my best buddy. In fact I would call him bro.

We partied 3-4 times a week. Even on Mondays when the club is completely empty we would be dancing on the podium. There was a time when we bought a bunch of Ecstasy pills and holed up in his apartment for 2 weeks when we did nothing else but doing pills and talking crap. At the end of the session I had an emotional breakdown. I was crying and talking to myself.

But the saddest thing was that I fell out with this friend as well. A friend that was like a brother to me.

And then I got addicted to sleeping pills. I took them to put me to sleep after partying hard on Ecstasy. But even after my E phase I still relied on sleeping pills cause sometimes I had insomnia even after working for 48 hours non-stop.

One day I was drinking alone and I took a sleeping pill and washed it down with a bottle of beer cause I wanted to just go home and sleep. When I got up later I was stunned to find that parts of my car were dented badly. I couldn’t even remember driving home in first place.

Unfortunately I was crazy enough to actually like the effects of mixing beer with sleeping pills. I liked it cause it offered me respite from having racing thoughts in my mind. When I’m high I would call my friends and talk absolute nonsense with them. So much so that most of them don’t pick up my calls anymore.

So why did I abuse drugs? I’m not going to justify by saying that I was medicating myself and the rest of the bullshit. I did drugs because they made me feel good. Half the time. The other half of the time, it was bad. Really bad.

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;"
- Alexander Pope

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