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This is a question Drugs

Tell us your pharmaceutically-influenced anecdotes, legal or otherwise. We promise not to dob you in to The Man.

Thanks to sanityclause for the suggestion

(, Thu 16 Sep 2010, 13:30)
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Not funny.
Apologies for length in advance.

This is not a mad crazy LOLWTFDRUGS story, merely the tale of a youngun who did some silly things and lived to regret it.

Let me begin by saying that I was not the typical South African youngster. Learning to read at age 3 and going to a "special" school for sub A (reception/year 1/first year of school) for having "learning difficulties" tends to pigeonhole a person, regardless of intention. Though I must say, I'm not completely absolved of blame, developing a massive victim complex when I was still in a cot. Looking back, it does not seem completely normal to lie in a metal cage festooned with colourful teddies and cutouts of Winnie-the_pooh whispering "everybody hates me" to myself. Yet this is the first thing I can remember from my childhood.

Primary school passed in a blur. I was convinced that I was a pariah amongst my classmates, and acted accordingly. This probably did not do my adolescent self any favours - kids remember things, guys, no matter what child psychologists say. Throughout my middle-and-high school career, I was convinced that I was looked upon as a freak, a weirdo, perhaps even someone evil and otherworldly. It was at about this time that I started reading HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, wishing that like Fortunato, I could be sealed off with nothing but darkness and a cask of strong, tasty alcohol to keep me company.

See, this is where my story becomes interesting. If you think that this is nothing more than a badly-punctuated teenage rant, allow me to adjust your viewpoint. By the age of ten, I was regularly drinking heavily from the contents of my parents' liquor cabinet, seeking some kind of remedy to dull the edges of my own neuroses. Never mind that these were created out of whole cloth within the darkest reaches of my mind (can young minds have dark corners? I'm not entirely sure), I thought I had a problem and took steps to remedy it. It was amazing how many times I was off sick with "a cold" or "the flu". Strange that my parents did not pick up on this... the people I whom I was convinced were monsters ever since the age of 4, when I read "Where The Wild Things Are".

By the time I got to grade 10 (16 years old) I was already an accomplished drinker. Vodka? Pssh - easy. Brandy? We PERFECTED the stuff... if you're British, find a bottle of KWV or Van Rijn 10 year old, tell me how smooth and complex they are. Nothing to it. So when I went to my first house party, at age 16, people marveled at the amount I could drink. When my father picked me up (in his BMW 325 - we were and still are rather well off, this is not a tale of poverty), he commented that I smelled of alcohol. I brushed it off and got on with my life.

This continued until I was 17, at which point things got slightly out of hand, to the point I was bumming lifts home off older mates to avoid being flat-out fucked in front of my parents. On one of these occasions, I stumbled down the road to the home of my friend S. S and I had been friends of a certain kind for a long time - she was forever single, and we experimented a lot with sex and usual teenage bullshit. She, however, was very into smoking and weed, starting both when she was 14 - the same time we started experimenting.

Anyway. So I managed to walk the 800 meters to her house, to find her and all her mates smoking weed. Being drunk, I took a massive drag on what turned out to be pure chronic (serious stuff). Pulled a massive whitey and passed out on her floor. Vowed never to do it again... famous last words.

Over the course of the next two years, I took up smoking with a vengeance. 20 Marlboro Lights and about 3 grams of weed a day got me through matric, somehow, with three distinctions. Can't remember half of it, so don't ask how it happened. A year spent living in a commune in Israel didn't help much either.

Last year, I started chef training. There, I met a girl named K. Queer as a hat full of rainbows, she nevertheless became my friend. Bad Idea. K was seriously in love with coke. She got me involved, and from then on it was all systems WHOOOOOSH, line or 2 in the morning, couple of beers and a spliff at lunch and another line or 2 to come down... don't ask how that worked.

I lost many people's trust, I almost lost my family (almost got kicked out of the house many times, but that's a story for another time) and all my so-called "friends" fucked off at high speed as soon as they noticed how fucked I was. Thankfully, I never got too out of control - never arrested, never convicted of any crime.

In January of this year, K and I decided to drink a case of Savanna (crap cider) and do about a R1000 (about #100)'s worth of coke. The last thing I remember is going to sleep, and waking up naked in her bed, with her dealer sleeping on the floor. In a strange clear moment, I got in my car, drove off, phoned a series of people (K her dealer, my dealer and his friend) and told them all to fuck off. This sounds impossible, I know, but it actually happened. I was fucking lucky to get off scot free - there were so many times that I could have killed myself and people around me.

I'm by no means clean now - I still smoke way too much and drink enough for five people. However, six years of meditative therapy has given me a new perspective:

Still with me? OK, cool. Read on.

It's like this: Whatever happened, I did to myself. NO one else is to blame, neither my parents nor those people I went to high school with whom I thought were gunning for me. My life is in my hands, and any drug-or-booze-related fuckups are my own problem.

Reading B3ta helped too - it's really nice to know that people don't always see the negative side of what could be a terrible situation. So thanks, guys. You helped me see the lighter side of things.

I'm getting on my feet now. Four years of culinary training helped me land a job as sous-chef at a fantastic restaurant in Cape Town, where I'm earning enough to achieve independence and move into my own place, away from my parents. On October first, four of us are moving into a beautiful house in Plumstead, in the south of Cape Town. This is a new deal for me... no more coke, no more weed and no more fucking people around.

Apologies for length. This came as a surprise for me too, I didn't expect to contribute to this QOTW at all - for some reason, I felt this had to be said.

Dan X
(, Tue 21 Sep 2010, 0:27, 10 replies)
Interesting story and well written.
Glad you're on your way up. There comes a time when you just have to say fuck it and get your life back.
(, Tue 21 Sep 2010, 8:42, closed)
Good luck to you mate

(, Tue 21 Sep 2010, 8:58, closed)
Good luck
Have a click
(, Tue 21 Sep 2010, 10:54, closed)
Good luck mate. Those pitfalls are all to easy to fall into.
(, Tue 21 Sep 2010, 11:01, closed)
All the best. Your new leaf is turned over. Hope it works out for you.
(, Tue 21 Sep 2010, 16:49, closed)
Pure. Awesome.

Was she hot?
(, Wed 22 Sep 2010, 4:37, closed)
She looked like an Afrikaans farm girl. Fit, but you know she stays in shape by masturbating horses.
(, Thu 23 Sep 2010, 9:58, closed)
I'm alway bemused/confused by stories like yours.
I take my hat off to your for your honesty and guts - no question.

But is it more impressive to get your life back after letting it slide off the rails like you did, or to just not let it get out of control in the first place?

I've wondered something similar in relation to the way modern Americans hark back to their European ancestors and say things about how brave they were to escape poverty, oppression and hardship to forge a new life of freedom in a New World.

From the perspective of someone descending from the Europeans who didn't leave, isn't that just running away? Isn't it more impressive to stick with the hardship, oppression and poverty and still come out smelling of roses than it is to run away?
(, Wed 22 Sep 2010, 13:14, closed)
Don't be a quitter, kids
"Isn't it more impressive to stick with the hardship, oppression and poverty and still come out smelling of roses than it is to run away?"

I'm confused. Are you saying you wish he'd remained a neurotic coke fiend? :)
(, Wed 22 Sep 2010, 18:34, closed)
I'm not trying to impress, nor moan about my circumstances.
The fact is, I fucked up. This happens to people sometimes - we're only human, after all.

However, I'm still alive, something that many of my friends failed at. I realised this the other day and broke down somewhat, which is why I wrote the above drivel. I wish I had never put myself through all that, but it happened.

Besides, now I'm in control, so things are going well :)
(, Thu 23 Sep 2010, 10:01, closed)

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