I want to share my story, it will take a while but the details are important. It’s a long one. I left some things out, like my utterly deranged sexuality. I hope that someone out there will read this and know that they really don’t have it so bad.
I live in the shadow of my past.
I was not abused, none of my family or friends have died, I am privileged and well off financially. My mom left my dad when I was 3, he was an abusive alcoholic.
I am attractive, intelligent, clever, creative, witty, inventive, all that good stuff. Despite all these things, I am a social recluse. I never understood the value of human relationship. Schools can teach a lot, but its up to the family to instill the most basic of human traits in a child. I certainly wasn’t neglected, but I shunned every opportunity ever presented to me. I didn’t see the point. I gave up at the first hurdle. I wasn’t neglected, no, but I was never pushed or encouraged by my friends or family to make something of myself. I lived in my bedroom, glued to the computer screen.
I always told myself I couldn’t. Friends were for other people, they aren’t for me. I can’t play an instrument, or be an astronomer, I can’t. I knew I had ability, but I knew someone else out there was better, so why bother? I denied myself opportunity with the mindset that I was bound to fail.
I was happy in my own way. I considered others very ignorant of the subtleties of life, not ignoring my own faults, but I had a blindspot. I could see all the details, but the whole picture eluded me.
I got into recreational drugs in the summer of junior year. I started with psychedelic mushrooms, actually (I ran before I walked!). What wonderful fungi. A door was opened in my life; I was amazed that this entire world existed within our own, completely invisble to those who had never experienced it. I was completely engulfed in this new aspect of life. I researched everything I could about every psychedelic known to man, started smoking weed, and became a hardcore stoner.
I took particular interest in the visual aspect of these drugs. Hallucinations fascinated me. I don’t really know how it happened, but I started getting into cough syrup. From all the research I had done, dextromethorphan (active ingredient in cough syrup) seemed safe enough. I was dosing at regular “safe” intervals, taking 2-3 weeks in between trips. Responsible, right?
I’d seen mentioned on the internet something called “diphenhydramine”. DPH. Benadryl. Now let me tell you, I’m a particular fan of horror movies. Seen all I could. The trip reports for this stuff were incredibly interesting; people would think there were spiders everywhere, see their dead relatives, hallucinate actual entities and animals and oh man I HAD TO TRY IT
I didn’t do much research this time. I took a massive dose. I won’t go into details about what happened, I could go on all day. But I was generally.. terrified by the experience. Absolutely horrified, but so much more interested than before. The only downside (how naive) was that one would go into a state of delirium, losing absolutely all control. Logical solution? Mix it with DXM! I could hallucinate all I wanted without becoming delirious.
I started going out with my friends less and less. I stayed home, mouth dry, slight headache, watching figures dance across my walls and insects scuttling across the carpet. It was good. But the hallucinations waned more and more every trip. I knew it.. I knew it then, but I didn’t acknowledge it. My imagination was being slowly destroyed. My mind was deteriorating. I can’t describe it in any other way.
I was in a cloud during this time. I was totally unaware what was slowly happening to me. I moved out of my parents house, and got an apartment of my own. I dosed the stupid drugs one more time, and actually called it quits. I couldn’t stand how terrible I felt the morning after (how naive).
A roommate moved in. Dreadful experience it was, due to my horrid state of mind and non-existant people skills. I was still doing psychedelics in this time period. I had noticed lingering hallucinations ever since I started doing DPH. Psychedelics had their own effect. Every trip left its mark on my mind and vision. I was quite vulnerable to this, I’ve come to realize, due to whatever damage I’d done to myself with benadryl.
This time period.. eh.. culminated, I suppose, in a particularly intense DMT trip. My entire world was torn asunder. I emerged.. completely blank-headed. It was almost as if my mind was encased in a shell. I basically stopped talking to my roommate and my friends. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t focus any more. I would forget what I was doing while I was doing it. I could sit and try to think of anything, anything at all, and come up with nothing. I had a self depreciating laugh every now and then, comparing myself to an old person with Alzheimer’s.
In about a months time, it all started to become clear. Just what I had done to myself and those around me. I began to “rebuild” my mind, so to speak. It was in this time period that I felt like I had “grown up”.. Life began to become clear. I saw reason in making acquaintances, the value of work, the joy in building with others, improving oneself with others in mind..
And then theres me. This epiphany came a few months too late. I find it a cruel joke to even allow me to conceive of greatness when I am incapable. I find every day devoid of purpose but to torture me with constant reminders of my own folly. For once in my life, I feel like I can see the whole picture.. but I am yet excluded from it, more so than ever. Whereas before, I could have strived and pushed.. Now I feel dirty, cursed, inadequate and weak.
I cannot speak to others. I have nothing but negativity in my words. I am unpleasant to be around. People are uneasy around me, and I can SEE it.. Everyone is so ITCHY. Coworkers scratch themselves as I walk by, as I speak to them, when they speak to me. Like clockwork. I try saying different things, holding myself different, being uppity, but still it is the same.. I am powerless to stop them from itching. I mean that literally; make no mistake. They scratch themselves. People in my class scratch them selves when I walk in the room, they get fidgety and can’t sit still. People who drive by when I walk down the street are often itchy. My own mother is itchy. It is subtle torture beyond anything I could have possibly conjured.
The hallucinations are nothing to spit at, either. Too many to list, but I cannot go a moment in my day without seeing glowing spots swimming around my vision, figures in my peripherals, glares burned by bright lights, and more and more and so much more. They function quite well as a constant, irritating reminder of my own stupidity and inadequacy. There is nowhere I can go, nowhere I can look without seeing a reminder, right there in front of my eyes..
I guess I should also mention the towering health effects I’ve incurred from my delves into the realm of insanity. Benadryl isn’t too good for your brain, or your heart, lemme tell you. I can FEEL my heartbeat. I can feel it in my entire body when I sit, and sleep, and stand up too fast. I can safely say my heart and circulation is quite FUBAR; I don’t plan to live long enough for the real health effects related to that to begin. Oh, and I’m also developing schizophrenia. Isn’t that nice? As I drift off to sleep, I often hear an incoherent ensemble of voices rambling on and on about nothing in particular, paired with strange and indescribable visions of people doing all sorts of things. I also have slight audial hallucinations, like whistling and cats meowing, that seem to be coming from “off in the distance somewhere”.
If you’ve gotten this far.. well, sorry. I know its not a very good story. I don’t tell anyone. I just nod and smile and walk away. But I had to get it “out there”. It’s almost comforting to think that someone might read this. It’s not good to be totally alone every single day for months on end, I guess. From the viewpoint of someone else, I would have a hard time feeling anything but scorn towards myself, knowing the entire story. I did this all to myself. It’s all my fault. And thats a fact I live with and embrace every single day.
And the days just drag on and on…