Let me tell you a story. A story about a moron meth dealer who accidentally helped me get clean by repeatedly selling me fake meth. It’s a story I haven’t told before. But I have to mention some other things first…
Actually I have seldom written about my last few years using meth. They were not good years. Late 2010 to September 2013 were strange years… I’d relapsed together with Megan after she begged me for months to use again, and then she’d left me, and I felt like I couldn’t stop. I used by myself every day, and my mind was a mess. I found myself treading a fine line… between insanity and madness.
The human brain is more fragile than we like to think. We, all of us, have many more moments of madness than we’d care to admit. Every time you get into a good book or movie, your mind slips into this other state that you might not even notice, a state where you believe the unbelievable, a state where you don’t merely “suspend your disbelief” as that turn of phrase implies, but you genuinely believe in nonsense. Like when you sit around a campfire and tell ghost stories late at night… ghosts are real. You believe in them. And when you sit in church and listen to stories of burning bushes, talking snakes, and virgin births… those things are real to you. You might not even notice it but you regularly get into this state of mind where the unreal is real, where you believe in things that you would never dare mention in broad daylight. (Hopefully. There are exceptions of course. There are people who believe in ghosts and UFO’s and other strange things, people who talk about those things in the light of day. I’m not referring to that. I’m referring to that odd temporary state, the witching hour or whatever you want to call it – I used to call it the “gloom zone”, where you are genuinely afraid of things that go bump in the night; that state when those things are “real”.) Normally, that state is only achieved in the middle of the night, but it became permanent for me on meth.
I heard voices, knew they weren’t real, but I’d pay attention to what they said. I’d see things that weren’t really there, but look at them anyway – find meaning in them anyway. I think there’s a much finer line between sanity and psychosis than most of us realize. From hallucination to delusion to full blown psychosis is just a hop, a skip and a gleeful jump. We all cross those lines at times and it is more normal that we’d care to admit. But on meth the lines were more blurred for me than ever. I wasn’t psychotic, I don’t think, but it was close.
For me, there were two Megan’s. The one in my head, and the real one. The one in my head used to tell me she loved me, inexplicably via a whisper to my ear in the middle of the day while I was surrounded by people, or she’d cry for help as I walked through a parking garage in the middle of the night while no one was around. Or she’d scream in my ear causing me to cringe while people around me looked on in bewilderment.
I saw a connection between the imaginary Megan and the real one. It became a delusion that Megan and I were psychically linked somehow, and I thought that when I heard her voice in my head crying out for help, that she was in trouble in real life. The voices would reach a crescendo, she’d be crying and begging for help constantly, and then quite suddenly the real Megan would call me and then show up, “confirming” my deluded beliefs, staying with me for two or three days before going back to the other guy, sneaking out while I was at work despite promising never to do that again. Once, she returned to me while I was on the way to a job interview. I picked her up and left her in the car while at the interview, and then took her home and we used meth together. Then she left two days later when I started the job, which left me with the voices even worse than usual in my first few days. It’s a job I don’t even list on my resume because I was literally out of my mind. I was fortunate to get a second offer three days after starting that job, so I left it with no questions asked and managed to get some semblance of control at the next job.
I’d reached the point where even though I knew the voices were hallucinations, they were so real, I struggled to tell what was real and what was in my head. I was losing it, and had become a zombie spending most of my time noticeably staring into space while my brain tried to figure out what was real and what was hallucination. The meth, when it did something other than give me a five second buzz followed by three hours of anxiety and meth voices, often did nothing at all. (And by “nothing” I mean it did still give me hours of anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, but no high, no pleasure.) It was no longer giving me anything pleasant and I knew I had to stop. But I felt like I could not. And then along came Andy, meth dealer and idiot, to help me out by mistake.
Two out of every three days Andy sold me meth that wasn’t meth. I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t give me a high. At first that pissed me off, but then something else happened. My mind cleared. The voices vanished and suddenly, I was thinking clearly. Still getting real meth sometimes, I wasn’t clean, but by using far less than I had been, I was thinking clearly and getting back control for the first time in years.
After that Megan showed up with her daughter, then three months old in September 2013. That was the day I used most of what I had, which turned out not to be real meth, and then threw the rest away and went to sleep. I never used again.
But yeah… I have never given credit to Andy, the imbecile who sold me fake drugs so many times I was able to come to my senses and stop. Thanks Andy, you dumb fuck.
Edit… more on the subject of me being driven by guilt… Just as I slipped into addiction without really meaning to, I slipped out of it much the same way in the end. I knew I was going to stop, and although there were a few reasons, a prominent one was that I just didn’t like using meth any more. No grand ambitions to better myself or be clean, nothing like that. I just didn’t enjoy the meth high any longer. Andy the dealer who conned himself out of a cash cow, and Megan with her daughter being there, were also part of my cleaning up. But also, I just didn’t like being on meth. I couldn’t tell how much fake meth contributed because my tolerance by then was so high anyway. But it does leave me feeling a little guilty. Sometimes I feel like I get too much credit for stopping, when in reality I didn’t have to try very hard.