Maybe We Should Put Down the Meth?


We’ve finally made it to the last hard drug I was ever addicted to: Meth. 

Out of all the addictions I’ve had, this is the one I find the most tempting to go back to, and I need to make a confession: This page wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t gone on a meth binge this past winter. Before I explain all that, let me tell you the full story.

The first time I did meth was about 13~ish years ago. My best friend and I had gotten an apartment, and we met some dudes who had some. He had done it in the past, and said we should do some. At the time, I was on a mission to try every drug there was, so I had no objections. My friend gave me some warnings like make sure to drink water and eat when I came down then gave me a line.

I was in love immediately. 

The stuff made me feel super confident, like I could say and do anything. I just wanted to talk forever (and so I did). I had so much energy, I felt like I’d never need to sleep again. Me, my best, and the two guys who gave us the stuff stayed up all night hanging out. When we started to come down in the morning, we went to McDonalds to get some egg mcmuffins. When they opened the drive-thru window, the smell from inside the building combined with the queasiness the meth was causing, and I threw up all over the side of the restaurant.

That whole experience resulted in a month long meth binge. I was a pizza delivery driver at the time, and all my tips would go towards speed… and my paychecks… and my best friend was spending all his money on it too. The two of us ended up getting evicted ‘cause we blew all our money on drugs. The tweak also ended up interacting with my bipolar pretty poorly, and it made me psychotic. The way I ended up breaking the addiction was ending up in a psych ward.

After I got out of the psych ward, I swore I’d never touch the stuff again. For over a decade I kept the promise. However, at various points I did end up getting addicted to amphetamine-based ADHD medications that I realize aren’t much different if you take them in the doses I was. I’d steal them from my brother, from friends, and anywhere I could get them really. I ended up thrown out of a few places because I couldn’t stop stealing adderall. Entire month supplies would disappear as I stayed up for a week straight eating them. The whole time I’d tell myself, “Well, at least it’s not meth!”

That was an on-and-off thing until around the end of November last year. A friend of mine told me he was giving me a line of meth mixed with coke, and because I was in the middle of an ADHD med binge I decided to say “Fuck it”. At first, I told myself I’d keep it under control. I figured because I’d kicked so many addictions in the past, it was no big deal.

The thing I failed to take into account is that all my addictions started with me telling myself I’d keep it under control and it was no big deal.

At first, it wasn’t too bad. Once every two weeks or so, I’d go to my dealer’s house and binge for a weekend then go home. Slowly, every two weeks became every week. Then it turned into every couple days. Then at the end of February, I went to my dealer’s house and spent a month straight there. I didn’t plan on it, I just kept buying more and more. Once I looked back I realized it was almost April and I hadn’t been home in five weeks. I’d also lost about 30 pounds, and looked like a picture of a holocaust concentration camp inmate. My solution was to just start doing the stuff at home.

During that month at my dealer’s house, I wrote the first few essays from my phone out of boredom. For some reason, my meth rants were popular so I kept writing them. Someone suggested I make a Facebook page, so I did. It was popular, so I bought this domain from Squarespace. Without the energy and self confidence I got from speed I wouldn’t have started writing or sharing it with the world. My whole life, I’d always been really self conscious about things I wrote and never shared it with anyone. That’s what I meant when I said this page wouldn’t have started without meth.

The problem was, it made me write super redundant shit. It also made me write things that made no sense. I’d end up posting things and then spending all my time fixing them. Even after I did that, they’d still be rough drafts essentially. Even after I stopped doing speed, the rough draft problem persisted but it was nowhere near as bad.

One of the reasons I had to stop doing speed was because it almost killed the page the same way it created it. I’d get high and spend my time distracted on Facebook and Reddit. I’d run out of money, and when I didn’t have the stuff all I could do was sleep. I’d tell myself I needed speed to write, and then when I got some I’d get distracted again. If it wasn’t FB I wasted my time on, it was crawling around my room looking for imaginary pieces I thought I’d dropped. I’d tell myself there’s no way I went through x amount of drugs in y amount of time, so there I must’ve spilled some. 

For hours I’d crawl around checking the same spots over and over, picking up anything that looked like it could be meth. Breadcrumbs, pieces of drywall, anything that was a white crumb. I never once found drugs, yet I’d do it all the time. The real kicker, I’ve realized, is that when I did write on the stuff it turned my writing to shit. The original version of “The Beatdown” was the last straw that made me put the stuff down, but it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen right away.

Also it’s probably worth mentioning that I lost a good 30 lbs during that binge I my dealers house because all I did was smoke meth and made me lose my appetite.

When I took an honest look at what the drug was doing to me, I couldn't make rationalizations about it having positive benefits anymore. I had to stop before it led me to a trainwreck.

Addiction is a cycle of obsession and compulsion. When I first started to quit, the constant drained and exhausted feeling that defines meth withdrawal made me lay in bed wishing I had drugs. Even though I wanted to stop, I’d feel compelled to do the stuff just to have energy. The same “Once every week or so” pattern that I had at the beginning of the addiction also defined the end of it. When I moved out of my apartment last week, I had the urge to crawl around one more time looking for that mythical disappearing meth. The stuff literally takes over your mind until it’s all you think about, which is why it’s best to never start.

Stay in school and don’t do drugs, kids.

Dave BarlettaComment