A year of drugs

Submitted by a web-site manager

Many years ago, in 1970, I spent a year trying every drug I could lay my hands on. I felt I needed to break out of my tight, claustrophobic existence. My future seemed to be laid out in front of me with alarming certainty. I had my university degree, my parents had chosen the “right” man for me and I had a good job with an old, established company. What more could I want? Much more, it seemed. I kept thinking things like: “Is this all there is?” “What does all this mean?” Yet none of my friends ever questioned anything so I definitely felt like the odd one out. Then I moved away from home to another, much larger city with a vibrant culture and loads of young people who had mad hair and weird clothes and listened to music groups I’d never heard of before. I took up with one such group and never looked back…

My first experience was with marijuana. I was told what to do (inhale deeply, hold it and then exhale very slowly) and tried that a couple of times. Nothing seemed to happen and I felt disappointed, as everyone else was giggling and happy. I got up to walk around and the room seemed to tilt a bit so I put my hand out to steady myself on the wall. My hand went right through it and I fell down. Good grief, I thought. Nothing is really there in the way I had always thought it was. I sat up and I could see that the universe around me was somehow created but not actually real in the true sense of the word. Was it all just a figment of my imagination? I got up and put my hand on various supposedly solid objects and my hand went right through as before. I spent the rest of the evening in a state of amazement, which remained with me the next day and for many days thereafter. I felt I had learned something significant but I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

The next weekend, I tried Hashish – Afghan Gold it was called. A mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke rose up and I sucked the whole thing deeply into my lungs, held it and then exhaled slowly feeling the heat right through my chest. In an instant, I was in another world. Everything was still there but I saw it with completely different eyes. Everyone else was already stoned so we went out to a nearby fairground. I only made it as far as an immense oak tree that stood outside the entrance to the fair. It was backlit by the lights and so huge I couldn’t get my arms round more than a third of its trunk. I looked up into the canopy and suddenly realized that it was created in just the same way as I had been created. We had the same life energy. Here stood an oak, here stood a person and we were exactly the same. Although I wasn’t hallucinating, I could see that the tree had an aura of energy and when I raised my arm I saw that I did too. I spent the next several hours lying under the tree with my hand on its trunk feeling so sweetly at peace and in love. I have never looked at a tree in the same way since that day.

I had spent years struggling with the Christian influences in my life and, aged 13, had refused to go to Church. This caused a lot of disharmony in my life and I tried hard to express my feelings about why I couldn’t go any more. My parents couldn’t understand anything I said. But I stuck it out and only went at Christmas and Easter to stop my mother crying and shouting: “I don’t know where I went wrong” over and over.
So, newly liberated in my new city, I got tickets for a Janis Joplin concert. I spent hours listening to her albums and knew all the words and thought she was wonderful. On the way to the concert, I was given a tiny pill – windowpane acid (LSD) said my friend. OK I said and swallowed it. Nothing seemed to happen for ages. Again, my friends were way ahead of me. We found our seats in the enormous arena which was packed to the rafters with thousands of fans most of whom seemed to be in an advanced state of something or other. A blues band started things off and I dozed off feeling relaxed and happy. Then Janis came on and shouted: “Wake up everyone, I’m HERE.” Then she screamed one of her famous screams and I felt I had somehow got attached to her vocal chords and went straight up with the sound until I was somewhere above the entire arena surveying the whole scene. Colours began to shift and change, shapes flowed in and out of my vision. I felt totally serene and remained like that for the whole concert. Later, we went back to my place and, sitting in a corner seat looking out at the lights of the city, the hallucinations completely took over. It was gorgeous. I was completely entranced and kept laughing and trying to catch the images in my hands. Somewhere in the middle I realized that something holy was all around me. AHA I thought, God (whatever that is) is not in church, he/she/it is EVERYWHERE. How stupid are we? I laughed for a long time about that one.

I took LSD 13 times and never had a bad trip. I loved every moment. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t have a positive wonderful time. I also went on to take Mescaline, MDA (Mescaline, Demerol and acid), psilocybin mushrooms, cocaine, heroin (once) and, of course, lots of marijuana and hashish. It was quite a year. I learned things about myself and my world that I could never have learned without drugs.
I learned to listen to what other people said with a degree of skepticism rather than just blindly accepting it as the truth. The question “How do you know?” would arise every time I read or heard some authority saying this is the way it is/has to be. This meant that I approached my life with curiosity and a desire to explore things for myself. I realized I needed to find out the truth for myself and that was the only way to validate anything. As a result I became much more confident and balanced in my life – no longer just a yes woman. It feels great

Much later in life, I had experiences without drugs that almost exactly mirrored what had happened to me all those years ago. I realized that God was indeed everywhere 24/7 and not just in Church on Sundays. Further I fully recognized that the same sacred life force exists in all beings whether human, flora or fauna and that we are all connected and cannot be separated. My great challenge is to live my life in a way that honours what I know to be true

These are the only true things I truly know and I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to try all these things out. After the year, I stopped taking drugs. Somehow, I had accomplished what I wanted. I no longer felt hemmed in or programmed. A few years ago, I took a lot of psilocybin mushrooms and, once again, enjoyed myself tremendously and learned new things but, at the same time, I felt I didn’t need to do that anymore. I was done with that. I knew I could choose how to live my life and went on to have almost the exact opposite of the life that had been so carefully planned for me. Throughout, I managed to hold down jobs, contribute something worthwhile and even make peace with my parents before they died. I have nothing but gratitude for the doors that opened for me through taking drugs. It changed my life forever for good.