On Losing One’s Shit

I had a humbling experience recently: A cold slice of humble pie, but without the pie – just cold. Pie would have been an improvement – even cold pie (so long as it was fruit-based). But I will move on, as the pie was not really the point. What I’m trying to say is that I lost my shit, both physically and mentally, and now I feel chastened.

There is a time in life for finding one’s shit, and so it goes that there too must be a time for losing it. I am not talking about the (relatively) measured response to, say, finding out your dog has fleas, or that your spouse is seeing somebody behind your back, or that you have burnt a pie (Damn, I knew I should have eaten before writing this) .

I am talking about when you lose your shit on drugs. Also known as HAVING A BAD TIME.

Now, if I were to try to recount all of the times this has happened to me, I would need a much bigger cup of coffee to write this post. For although they are finite in number (unlike, say, pi), they are numerous. If I discount alcohol, however, which everyone knows is a drink not a drug, then the number of occasions can be counted on one hand.

Here I will list the circumstances of these occasions, which I have turned into maxims based on the lessons that I learnt:

1.  If you are going to take a psychoactive drug that you have never taken before, and that you know very little about, dosing is not a competition. Taking unmeasured, generous, nay, greedy dips into a wrap of said substance may result in you being too high to interact with another human being. Subsequently, you may be dumped by your friends on your driving instructor (who sold you the drug), and unwittingly chat bollocks to him and his friends for 2 hours, before doing the macarena with him in a festival café.

2. If you are going to take a psychoactive drug that you have taken before, and that you know enough about, make sure that when you are advised by your friends to not place all substances in your possession in near identical, unlabelled wraps of paper in the same pocket, that you heed their warning. Such behaviour will help to avoid swallowing an unmeasured and excessive dose of a completely different drug in error, leading to complete disconnection from everyone that you meet at a night out that has been planned for several months. It may also prevent the loss of your wallet, phone, keys and glasses as well as antisocial stumbling into anyone within a 2 metre radius. If this advice is ignored, please be sure to thank and apologise your friends for shepherding you away from law enforcement officials, preventing you from falling down/up several sets of stairs, and the general embarrasment/worry that will have resulted from hanging out with an incomprehensible, sweating, ghostly mess for the evening.

3. If you are going to take a psychoactive drug that you have taken before, and that you know enough about, and of which you are sure of the correct dosage, don’t do so several hours after receiving some bad news, even if you ‘know how to handle it’. Smoking some weed that is known to be paranoia-inducing before the peak of such an experience may result in you freaking out and leaving the house to go for a walk in the cold and wet winter’s evening. If the change of setting to an unknown, dark and unfriendly environment should cause you to get wigged out by all the cars which are ‘moving way too fast’, return home immediately. Do not continue wandering the streets until corporate billboards have unsettled you to the point of forgetting you have drugged yourself, instead believing that you have been abducted without realising by the government and are living in a Truman-Show-like false reality populated by paid stooges. Upon such a false realisation, try not to throw your hat, scarf, gloves, keys and jacket to the ground, remove your shirt and run back to your house, which by this point you may also be convinced is a fake. As your housemate talks you down and convinces you that I might be better to go back and find your keys, try to rationalise against the idea that he is also a paid stooge whose primary job is to convince you of the authenticity of the false world you now believe yourself to be in.

If as a result of this sort of behaviour, you lock yourself out of your room and have to spend the night on the sofa, consider this a let off and decide to be more responsible in future.

In summary: stay safe, kids. Know your dosage, get your set and setting spot on and make sure you are surrounded by good people. Otherwise you might end up HAVING A BAD TIME, then writing therapeutic blog posts about your fuck-ups that are weighted disproportionately in favour of pie.

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