My days in university were spent getting high, or looking for something to get me high. During those years, I did everything I ever wanted to do. From weed, to acid, mushrooms and MDMA. All of it worked, temporarily dulling the numbness of my existence. Except mushrooms, mushrooms forced me to face my problems. For a few hours at least. And once I sobered up, I chalked it up as a bad trip and went back to smoking weed.
I had a hard time forming relationships, connecting with other people was difficult. Especially in the romantic sense. If alcohol wasn’t involved, the vulnerability that’s required to form a deep connection was missing.
I had a hole in my heart. I was a wounded animal.
I started to wonder, was I depressed? Did I have a mental disorder? Something with anxiety? Borderline personality disorder?
It didn’t help that I was deeply fascinated by these subjects. And as all psychology students know, it’s easy to diagnose yourself with these disorders when you study them.
I could see people who had these disorders. The viscous cycles that ruled their lives. The emptiness in their eyes. The lack of emotions in their tone. They looked like zombies, sounded like them, and lived like them too.
I saw myself in these people. I wondered, did people see the same thing in me?
Unfortunately, one of them killed themselves. Most of them had tried to. All of them did drugs. Until the drugs didn’t work any more. A lot of them drowned their sorrows in other human beings, getting high off adrenaline-filled, hedonistic, body-driven, meaningless sex.
I tried to do the same. But my body wouldn’t allow me.
One of the reasons I did drugs for so long, and why I still do them, is connection. Drugs bring friends. And sometimes, people do drugs just to be around other people. That’s one of the reasons I smoke today. It makes it easier to start a conversation with a stranger.
Drugs may result in mental disorders. Drugs, create a temporary chemical imbalance in our brains. Mental disorders do the same thing. It’s very easy to do the former, and end up with the latter.
However, most people start drugs as a form of connecting with other people. We take them with friends, for recreational purpose. We take them to fit in with a crowd. And we continue to take them, to remain in that crowd. Drugs create a bridge between people. They dissolve boundaries and they allow us to connect in ways we rarely do when we’re sober.
We become one. We share the same problems, even if that problem is addiction. For once in our lives, we’re not alone.