It started as a suggestive experiment one evening.
I told myself it’s just an experiment, a one-time thing, just to hit and see what it feels like, and then revert to my banal routine. I’d heard stories about people doing it just for the sake of a trial and then getting hooked so bad, that they spent the rest of their lives in regret. I told myself I was not like them. I thought I could fixate my mind to a particular objective and overcome the fervor when I wanted to. I knew I was not like them.
Two of my friends led the way through some lanes of our locality I was unaware of, till we reached a deserted point. He dialed a number and in five minutes there was a amiable guy before us. Being a rookie, I stood behind while they negotiated, and was told to pay less for my cut, still it seemed rather expensive, but I was assured that it was a ‘high quality product.’ They took out the syringes, filled them with it and one by one flushed it down a vein in left arm.
After about ninety seconds, I felt my heartbeat increase. It was definitely kicking in. I began to worry a bit, as I could feel my heart pounding and my pulse increasing. I finally felt as if it had reached a plateau. My heartbeat became level, albeit still very high. Many people say that one feels euphoria – being invincible and/or the desire to start doing something you’ve been wanting to. I did not feel either of these (and I did remember to think about these things). For me, the positive effects came directly from knowing that I had reached a plateau and I was going to be fine. I felt invigorated, yet also very comfortable.
I was rationalizing everything tremendously, but it was SO intense! And it was only getting more intense faster! I didn’t know what to expect, I was sinking within myself, accelerating downward like into the depths of my own oblivion. I was a novice, I had no idea what to expect, and the world had become out of sync. I became amazingly irritable and wanted them to leave me alone or not talk in my presence. They did not understand or appreciate my fear, and they began to get loud again. I ran back to my home and laid down with some wistful hope that I could wait out this storm.
As it turned out, the experiment had me coming back to it the next week, and the week next to that, following through three months. It never got boring, but it did give way to a desire to try more of the similar stuff. So, one evening, I chose to idolize Jessie Pinkman…
As I held the smoke in for a ten count and exhaled, I thought I felt nothing except a little excitement that was neither bad nor pleasurable. The complete rush some people called a ‘whole body orgasm’ hit me shortly after and I distinctly remember demanding ‘more’ as soon as the realization of heaven-on-earth came. Some people say that the effects of smoking crystal last 10-15 minutes. For me, it was just the shortest instant of gratification. Everything afterwards was just a great increase in energy and confidence geared towards obtaining more of it.
Out of all of them, my best experience was probably trying lysergic, which Steve Jobs himself called one of the most important things in his life. The guy had a reputation for selling good acid so I happily gave him my cash. I took the single tab on a late Saturday morning in a positive state of mind with no worries or anxieties. It was to be the first and last time I’d ever trip alone. Outside, it was a glorious sunny day but I was happy enough in my temporary sanctuary to even think about going outside.
The rush started blazing up my spine and racing through my guts, I felt a little uneasy with it but had enough mind to allow myself to just go with it and wait until the rush plateaued. I was having a wonderful time, watching floral Escher type patterns breathing over my skin. I vaguely recall deciding to go downstairs again for some reason then the next thing I recall was waking up on the floor of the dining room. The first thing I noticed was that there were flies buzzing around a bowl of food on the kitchen floor. I remember feeling perplexed as to why both flies had two bright neon like images in red and blue.
The next time, I decided to shoot up somewhere other than my isolation. If you could imagine for a moment being surrounded by people in a busy place where their heads had been removed and replaced by Squids and Octopus you might begin to accurately picture the scene confronting me in the park. Everyone had tentacles smothering their faces and dangling down their necks like fleshy snake beards, even the women and children were not exempt from this disfiguration. In retrospect, it was one of the worst days of my life, It was the closest I can imagine to having full blown psychosis.
It became our weekend ritual. The most intense beautiful technicolor. And each time we did it, we wanted to do it again, and again. I tried saying I’d only do it once every two weeks, but that lasted 5 days.
Everything was either the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, nothing in between existed anymore. My sweat started smelling so strongly of ammonia that it hurt my eyes, it was caustic, and it burned my skin too. I couldn’t run two miles without being worn-out and fatigued.
At no point of time was it peer pressure. It was my own choice and I was responsible for what I was doing and I made that decision in my absolute senses. I was not driven by the craving to fit in with a crowd or to appear cool or badass amongst my friends. It was simply my lust.
And that lust had me coming back to that experiment over and over again. I slept every three or four days for an hour or so and woke feeling rested. I was almost an hour late for school every single day. My evenings were never productive because I couldn’t think straight about what work I wanted to do, unless I was gratified of my priorities.
This one time, I shot up at a party and over the next hour nothing much happened except that I found myself talking quite openly and confidently with the others, moving very easily into interesting conversations. This was very unusual for me as I am normally quite shy and overly self-conscious in social situations and it takes me a while to loosen up.
The next thing I experienced was a striking shift in my visual perception. I don’t mean a hallucination or a distortion, but a wonderful step up in the aesthetic quality. For a moment it was like being in one of those nostalgic dreams where the world looks all gold and sepia. But then I found that my vision was becoming beautifully enhanced. It made my normal visual experience seem like cheap, fuzzy CCTV footage in comparison. Now I was seeing the world anew in sharp, lush, top-quality technicolor. All of a sudden, everything felt really good. I couldn’t stop smiling. The fresh air was wonderful. A slight breeze on the back of my neck sent chills that rapidly multiplied throughout my body. It was a very abstruse experience.
Everything was profound in a very positive way, especially the music since it resonated everywhere. The music! Oh, the music! Wow! It sounded so good, so organic! The uplifted state stayed with me and took a long time to fade — at least a dozen hours. It had unleashed in me a rush of joy that was still accessible when I focused on it weeks later.
The scary thing was though that, after a few days, I was having trouble seeing. My vision was fading. Distinct figures melted into shadows and everything had a sparkle to it.
Too long without a fix, and…I can’t even describe it. It’s like I was dying in every awful way you could think of, all at once. I was constantly conscious about covering up my left forearm to hide the syringe spots. Pain in all my bones, bloodshot eyes at night, throwing up, chills, and I couldn’t sleep for days.
But there’s no such thing as “control” when it comes to habituation. Then finally, one day I told myself that this is getting out of hand and it’s about time I put a hold on these ‘recreational experiments’. It was that moment I had firmly decided to put an end to this and start living life the better way. One week later I found myself in the middle of a lane, with my shirt torn and money stolen, but a vial of acid in my hands. I was disappointed, but not unhappy.
When I was younger I used to tell people that I am ‘depressed’, when I was sad, probably because I felt the problems a thirteen-year-old me was facing were the worst in the world. It wasn’t until three years later that I realised what depression actually is.
I felt like I was being schooled on existence. I had reached denial.
I haven’t tried sharing this with anyone because the one person I did, first thought I was kidding, and later pronounced me a junkie, went away and hasn’t talked since then. Most people have no clue what it feels like, and I don’t expect them to either. Just saying, “I feel very sorry for what you are going through”, doesn’t change anything. Your sympathy doesn’t help ease the pain. Truth is that no one really cares if you are alive or dying or decaying to certain death or feeling helpless or seeing your reflection staring back with desperation or thinking about killing yourself every other night. No one gives a shit. No person’s actions are driven by complete selflessness. Your sympathy is better off with you. I have cried myself to sleep on nights more than I can recount with no one being there.
It has been five hundred and sixty days that I haven’t done any drugs on the regular basis exempting certain occasions, and things are slowly crawling back to normal. But I still want it. I find myself awake, eyes wide open in the middle of most nights, wondering how can I meliorate this lust. I can’t sit in one corner of my room and recollect all that has happened in past three years because I want it. I can’t finish the book I’ve been waiting to read for a year because I want it. I can’t put up a smile anymore and walk outside like nothing is wrong because I know I want it. I can’t feel content with the life I have because I want it. I can’t complete my last three drafts because I want it. I can’t sleep tonight because I want it.
I can’t. I can’t till I have it. I wrote this in all honesty, mostly to help myself, to remind myself why I don’t want it. And still I want it.