Making a Real difference

Submitted by a professional musician

One of the more significant drug experiences I can remember well occurred a few years ago when relations with my wife were at a low ebb. We both travel a lot, and a few times have found ourselves in situations where the lack of time together has resulted in a severe lack of communication. As a result a number of small things accumulate, remain unresolved and we become angry with each other. It’s the type of anger that sits around because the small things that have triggered it have not been attended to.

My brother was staying for the weekend and the two of us decided to take some MDMA on Friday night to remember old times when we used to smoke cannabis as kids. After taking the MDMA we set off on a walk into central London, and spent about 4 hours walking around the streets chatting and relaxing. During the evening I had the impression that the anger I had been harbouring against my wife was skimmed off the surface of my mind, and I was able to feel the love for her that I had not been feeling for a long time. This was good: I was yet to be convinced that it could last longer than that particular trip, but I thought that if we could have that experience together then we might gain some benefit.

So the next day I managed to persuade my wife that we should take MDMA together that night, and she agreed. She had the same experience as I had, and we had the most wonderful, loving date in London, checking out some bars and just wandering around the streets taking in the atmosphere together – something that we did as young lovers but had not done for a very long time. When you get into the habit of not touching regularly and lovingly as a couple (just the simple things like holding hands, caressing and hugging), it can be hard to break that inertia in everyday life: it often seems to be the case that when one person makes a warm gesture, the other rebuffs it for whatever reason – too busy, not in the mood (“if you were sensitive you would notice that”) and so on.

MDMA had the effect of making both of us feel connected to our bodies, so we danced a lot in clubs, and cuddled for ages, bringing back a warm physical connection that had disappeared very fast when we were furious with each other! Of course when we woke up the next day all the problems that we had in our lives together had not really gone anywhere, but the way we were communicating and relating was genuinely and totally different, and so we were in a much better place to work out what needs to be done. Sorting out problems from a place of love, feeling on the same side, is radically easier than being in fierce opposition.

It was our experience that there was a certain proportion of our anger that was about real things that needed attention (and we were able to address these things so much more easily from that loving and calm place). But there was also a good proportion of that anger that just simply disappeared into thin air. It was that slow-build frustration that occurs in so many relationships – I have seen it destroy a few completely – through the individuals feeling unnoticed, undervalued and unloved. So by just noticing, valuing and loving the other, the anger does melt, and in this case it reversed a frosty period of several months. As a tool for working on our relationship MDMA was powerful and transformative, and I wish more people were open to that possibility. Whether the drug-induced experience as regarded as ‘real’ or not is irrelevant – if, afterwards, you are in a different state of mind and that is a positive difference, then hallelujah. That difference is unquestioningly real, and in our case had a very positive outcome.