Ahh, the freedom of adulthood! Right? That’s what everyone thinks as they graduate from high school I guess. Don’t forget to check out the previous parts of my life story!
How Does One Live?
More aptly it’s the paralyzing uncertainty of adulthood. So, I graduated in 2007 and I did so when I was essentially in grade 13 or 14 or something like that. I wasn’t held back at all, I was given a choice at the end of my 12-grade year to stay an extra year to get set up with assistances and services to help me become independent. Sadly, none of that came to be. Right after I graduated in my extra year of school my parents decided to move us to Arizona. I had to move an entire countries length away from everything familiar.
Drug abuse was something already familiar to me even before I moved. A little before I turned 18 I started abusing cough syrup among other things. Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide was a comforting blanket. It was a fun time. It was so many things in so many ways to my brain. Being the main ingredient of cough syrup, it’s not really understood how or why it controls coughs, but it is VERY much understood what it does to the brain in moderate dosages. Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a N-Methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist (NMDAr Antagonist) that causes a dissociation of the mind and body. In lower dosages like 150-250mg its slightly traditionally stimulating while at the same time numbing and disconnecting and it makes music sound otherworldly and amazing. As you go higher in dosages the stimulation effect lessons or is just simply overtaken by the disconnection of your body and mind, but the musical euphoria just increases in intensity. During all this you will have nausea and stomach upset, due to the syrup or gel cap and just from the sensation of the drug that can sometimes feel internally like you are moving around or on a theme park ride. You’ll spend most of the duration of the trip (4-8 hours) wanting to be inside in a dimly lit room with music on loud and your eyes closed. Lower dosages are great for taking long walks with headphones on, which I did pretty much every day. This was a great portion of my life when my parents, mainly my mother, was causing havoc in the house. I’ve been through hell, mental torture, things that I’ve had to witness and things that I’ve been convinced to do or what parent to side with and emotions to swallow. DXM was the thing that helped me survive. During this time, I’d also steal my parents, mainly my father’s benzodiazepines, like valium and klonopin. I had some friends that were more social then I was and we occasionally smoked weed but not that often, but I liked that too, still do but rarely. To help with the nausea of the DXM I’d also take diphenhydramine which is what Benadryl is. Now this is an interesting chemical. It’s an antihistamine, so it gets rid of itchiness and nausea and all that allergy kind of stuff, but in higher dosages this chemical produces very VERY unpleasant feelings. Anticholinergic drugs are basically insanity in a pill. For me personally, and it varies on the person, once I go to about 50-75mg of diphenhydramine (DPH) I start to get this feeling of inner tension and horrible dry mouth and dry mucus membranes all over. I also start to get spots in my vision like static on the walls. Go higher than that to about 300mg and you are in for a bad bad time, the inner restlessness is maddening, and the static gets to the point where you start to see spiders manifesting from the walls and shadow and then disappear. Falling asleep at this level is impossible, but you also feel like you REALLY need to, but you can’t because as soon as you lie down you jolt awake and you just need to rock back and forth and breathe because everything hurts or just feels sensitive and you are getting hot.
The highest dosages I’ve ever taken of DPH must have been 2.5g and for DXM probably around the same but over the course of a day. I’m not proud of these times, but at the same time I’m not like thinking I’d ever do it over. I’ve been through real life hell and mystical psychedelic hell and bliss multiple times over. It was all an attempt to get away from the tension I could cut with a knife that was my forgotten aimless “Why is no one actually helping me, I want a plan for me PLEASE PLEASE goddammit why did we move why are you fighting, why are you back together, why is everything so fucking hard and confusing!?” life.
Once we got to Arizona the intensity of my drug adventures reached a peak. I eventually discovered research chemicals and figured out how to order those online with the help of my girlfriend I met online. Now I was doing REALLY neat psychedelics which were a blast. Fucking unforgettable memories. Amazing times. But my life was still shit. I was stealing cough medicine and other things from stores, stealing money and asking for money from my parents. I was unmedicated for my ADHD and just out of control. It was my drug abuse that led me to take a stimulant called 4-fluroamphetamine that reminded me about my ADHD.
Now let’s go back a little bit. I’ve been diagnosed with everything as a teenager remember? ADHD at the age of two. Asperger’s, bi-polar, general anxiety in my teens. Tons of shit. It was ALL just my ADHD, all of it. Every single way I acted was just my ADHD, and it was never treated properly. Being off of my medications in my teens when I just had enough of doctors telling me what was wrong with my brain tossed me into an 8 year long drug binge that just circled back when I finally realized something. I wasn’t getting high from this 4-fluroamphetamine, and when I thought about it I also concluded that most of the stimulants I took never did to me what it did to other people. I just felt normal, better, functional. But where was I when I did this research amphetamine? I was living in another state with my girlfriend who was then my wife. I was a wreck. I was non-functional just mentally, not even the drugs were an issue, I did em but like, they were never the reason for the mental states I were in. So here I am, in an apartment, away from home, living with my wife, jobless, scared, a broken man, my mom dying of cancer back at home. My wife did end up kicking me out and I went back home.
Back at home I was no better because there is just so much going on. Remember here, I’m not justifying anything I did, I’m just stating the history. I’m back home, my mom is dying of pancreatic cancer. I’m unmedicated and impulsive to the utmost degree. What do cancer patients have? Opiates! So yup, connect these dots, I was a scumbag and abused my mother’s painkillers. I got addicted “per-se” to opiates. Before I left to move with my wife I was also doing this, in fact, my wife joined in and we both were doing it. But now that I’m back home, mom dying, wife left me, everything a mess. Opiates. Morphine pills, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone all taken orally. I said “addicted per-se” because yeah, I guess I was mentally addicted, but then, I was kind of like impulsively taking anything I could research about online. But, I got myself into being PHYSICALLY addicted to them. After my mother passed away and what pills I had ran out I quit everything cold turkey. Straight up, only eating soup and living in bed for a week. It was hell, everything hurt, my nose wouldn’t stop running, I was hot and cold at the same time. But I knew the only way you get off this shit is to just fuckin’ get off of it. No shortcuts!
I had to be strong after my mother passed away. I had to be strong for my dad. I knew my dad would have so much trouble with this. I was right too. I mean, I’m KINDA no help in fact I feel like I cause him so much stress, SO FUCKING MUCH stress. But I had to be strong because I know he could slip into his old ways just like that. One day this proved true. Just me and him at home, he was working for the city at the time, and I think he woke me up and handed me the phone and said something like here, you need to talk to my friend or something. I don’t know, it doesn’t matter. I can’t remember exact words. I just know he was slurring and stumbling and I asked the dude on the phone what was going on. He said he thinks he took something. I just hung up the phone and got right into action mode.
Action mode is something I’ve had to go in to a ton in my life. Everything gets out of control. My dad does something, my mom does something. Something happens, and I need to just snap to attention and fix it. I still have PTSD of this. I’m always waiting for the next thing to happen that I need to be the most together person in the room to handle.
But since that last time my dad did that I slowly SLOWLY stopped all my drug use and started to find a doctor that would prescribe medication for ADHD. Yes, first I abused it, I was more testing the waters to prove what I thought. No euphoria, just stimulation, from all of them, methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine it doesn’t matter, I don’t get high from stimulants. So over time I figured out what dosage worked for me for helping with focus and impulse control. It took years. Mainly it took that look because we had to sell the house and move out of Arizona and back to the side of the country where family and support was at. But soon after that happened life was more predictable, and things were safer in my life that I could stop my drug abuse and just take my Adderall and start living my life.
This means that I’m essentially 5-7 years off track to whatever normal is. Normal doesn’t exist in the world, but what does exist is statistical bell curves. I’m not anywhere close to that curve and never was. I’m going to be turning 30 soon and I’m only now feeling that thing I guess most kids feel when they are 20. I want to live on my own, have my own place. I…. don’t know how working will, well, work. I still feel like my motivation is too unpredictable. It’s so hard to do most things. ADHD is a fuckin’ bitch but it’s not as much as one that my whole life has been. I’m not depressed, I get sad sometimes… I’ve never really had an issue with traditional depression. I’ve seen some shit, that’s kind of the way I shrug off all this madness I’ve been through.
About the drugs, I’m not some sober living blowhard that is taking steps or whatever the hell. I can control myself now and I’m a believer in recreational drug use under the correct circumstances. If I was in the right headspace and I had the means to do some LSD, sure, I would, same with any research chemical. DXM on the other hand is something I can’t touch again. The smell of cough syrup makes me gag, but the memories I’ve had of it make me tingle all over, in a good way. Some beautiful experiences and some dark, low times. But the thing is, my environment is so much more different then it was in the height of my fear and loathing. That’s the key to a drug abuse problem in that you need to change the environment and give reason back to the person. Before drugs I was a computer geek, after drugs I’m a computer geek with a psychedelic edge and some flashbacks here and there. But in the height of it all I was a confused kid with a hostile environment both in the world and in my head. I’m too busy and have too many things that I’d like to do. I don’t have time to roll some joints or pack a bowl and let myself relax. I try to do that and I do enjoy it, but I don’t make a hobby out of it like I used to.
I’m working on correcting the patterns I’ve learned to follow and am going to get over this PTSD that I have. It’s hard and the ADHD plays into it very much so. I have issues with controlling my environment and the people in it. Right now, that means watching over my dad a little too much. It’s all stuff I’ll conquer but I’ll be doing it at my own pace.
Thank you very VERY much for reading this. It was very hard for me to admit a bunch of the stuff I did in my life. It’s all here. Judge me, do whatever, I’m immune to it all!