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If heroin is a dragon, then meth is a vile, sleazy murderer, a slinking thief that slips a knife into your reality and leaves you wondering what’s true, what’s a lie, and who’s coming to kill you (when really it’s always been the meth).
And yet when it whispers to you, it tells you these lies you always believe:
“You’re so much more powerful on me. I take you to places you’d never be able to reach on your own. I’ll help you touch the stars.”
“You need me to feel. You need me to breathe. You need me to live.”
“You’re never going to get anything done without me. I’m the tool that makes you what you are in the eyes of everyone. Without me, you’re nothing.”
“I’m just a method of getting you where you need to go. You can trust me. I’m not a problem.”
“I’ll never let you go.”
And it sounds beautiful, the world those lies create.
Until it’s not.
Part of Meth’s Power Is How Powerful It Makes You… at First
The thing about meth that most people don’t understand until they do it is how awesome it makes you feel.
I mean this literally—awesome, as in filled with awe.
Meth is power. Pure power.
The first time I tried meth (it was crank in Kansas), I felt like I could do anything. I was amazed at how efficient it made me, at how strong it made me (feel), at how much work I could get done.
I wanted it again and again and again. Fortunately for me at the time, I couldn’t figure out where to get more.
Turns out I could have just gone to my local Kansas trailer park and asked around, but I digress.
There’s this novella called Beggars in Spain about people who don’t have to sleep. I’m sure you can see where this is going. I read it when I was doing a lot of Adderall and hadn’t gotten to meth just yet, but it made me unbelievably jealous.
Adderall was never enough to keep me awake for more than a couple days at most.
What I wanted was to never sleep again. I wanted to be like those beggars in Spain. I wanted to live a life where I constantly felt like I had power, the same power I distinctly lacked at that time in my life.
When I finally came across ice in Dallas, I felt like I’d found the perfect drug.
It had uses. For so long I tried to look at drugs as tools. Every drug was a tool to deal with some fucked up aspect of my fucked up brain and fucked up life.
Meth fought my depression off completely and made me feel like my life meant something, but it also gave me the energy I needed to do the things I didn’t want to do, that depression kept me from doing, like going to school or trying to get a job.
Its power filled me with awe. I thought it would make me a god.
It just made me insane.
Hidden Knives—Life Got Bad When I Got Addicted to Meth
Turns out I’m not a functional drug addict.
I don’t know how the hell there are people out there who manage to function while on serious dope, but I am not one of those people, and that was made very clear to me when I started using a shitload of meth.
I always hear people who were tweakers talk about all the depraved shit they did while on meth, but I never leaned that direction.
Instead, I just ended up with full-blown insanity.
The meth paranoia was unbelievable. I was living with my parents when I got into this stuff heavy (obviously, given the fact that I was completely unable to live any sort of life of my own or function in even the smallest way).
I found myself once again failing out of college and unable to do the things I thought meth would help me to do. Instead of doing homework all night and then working on my award-winning novel during the day (which only existed in my head), I started hiding knives around my parent’s house in case the FBI came calling, which, in retrospect, wasn’t a totally baseless fear.
What did all this power that meth gave me lead to? It led to me playing a lot of video games all night long and not doing shit of any consequence. It led me to hang out with this guy who liked to mix his heroin with his meth and then talk his head off while we tried to watch Rome.
It led to me sitting in a bathroom in the dark in my parent’s empty house with a knife in each hand yelling at the FBI that I was ready for them.
You Can Heal from Meth Addiction
While the crystal high is at first overwhelming and incredible, it fades so fast. It becomes a big emptiness you keep piling shards of ice on to fill. It’s like trying to fill a black hole—you can’t pour enough matter in fast enough to even tell if you’ve made any progress at all.
There’s not enough meth in the world for a guy like me.
When I finally got sober in 2011, I was using a lot of different drugs, including meth, every day (well, every day I was able to borrow or steal money or sell something precious to me to get what I needed that day).
I was worried when I got sober that I wasn’t going to feel anything but anger ever again. That turned out not to be the case.
I can tell you for sure that my brain was foggy for a long time. I thought I’d snorted myself stupid. My sleep didn’t regularize for at least a year. I struggled to comprehend things.
But day after day, I stayed sober. I worked the program I was told to work and helped the people I was told to help, and over time, I realized that I was healing.
My short term memory eventually recovered. Thankfully my long-term memory was never affected.
My brain still feels foggy sometimes. I still struggle for words and thank god for dictionaries. Maybe all those times I got knocked out did more damage than the meth. I don’t really know.
I poured a lot of dope on my brain over the years. It took a long time to dry out.
But it did dry out.
You can recover from meth addiction. Your mind can recover.
But I know that’s not the case for everyone. If you’re still struggling with it, get help, get a sponsor, and get out of your head.
Reach out. Tell me if you’re struggling. Leave a comment. I’d love to help or just talk.
In the meantime, if you’re struggling with depression after getting sober from meth, then read my article on depression here.