Alcohol and I crossed paths when I was 15. We fell in love for a short period of time, but I soon left him for another love – drugs. My first night in the other realm was with my high school crush, James. At school we would talk about rock n roll and I would listen to him talk about his parties. James was the guy to know because he smoked pot with his parents and they let him have friends over to do the same. Since I was a child, I was fascinated with the 1960’s scene – Warhol, The Doors, Hendrix, Lou Reed. When James told me about his parties, I pictured a fabulous Warholian get away . One night, I finally attended.
When I got there, James gave me a tour of the house – including his room. Like his T-Shirt collection, the walls of his bedroom were covered with images of Jim Morrison, KISS, and Deep Purple. It was a step into the time machine that I’d been searching for. I anxiously waited for him to kiss me, but that never happened. He then led me into the kitchen – where the party was.
I vividly remember sitting around his kitchen table with a large group of friends; Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” was playing. The voices of those singing along amplified the room. Everyone seemed so happy, so light. In contrast to the heaviness I was carrying inside, I was attracted to the lightness of these people. Someone offered me a hit off of a joint and I decided to try it. To this day, I’ve yet to experience a feeling more freeing than my first puff off of that joint. As soon as my high found me, I couldn’t stop laughing. I was no longer thinking about the fight my mom and I just got into or the fact that I hadn’t seen my father in years. All that mattered was that moment, that song, and those people.
Shortly after that, someone handed me a Smirnoff Triple Black (feel free to judge me). I had just smoked weed for the first time, why not try my first sip of alcohol while I’m at it? That sip turned into several which turned into quite a few. I don’t remember much else from that night, but I can picture that scene at the table like it happened yesterday.
I left that party with an insatiable appetite for being high, weed being my drug of choice. When that was no longer enough, I found Xanax and hydrocodone. Cocaine and ecstasy soon found their way into my system, as well. Nothing was more important to me than feeling comfortably numb.
When I was 17, I passed out in science class. I had been smoking pot throughout the day, and had taken five full bars of Xanax. I was revived and carried into the nurse’s office. Blurry images of my mom sitting and sobbing still haunt me to this day. They searched my bag and found a bottle of pills. I ended up getting expelled and had to get my GED through a separate academy.
I’ll dive much deeper into these stories throughout my blog posts. The point of me telling you this now is so you know where it all began. Now you’ll have a deeper understanding for my love of intoxication. When I was 16 years old, hanging out with James and getting high, I had no idea that was the beginning of nearly 15 years of self destructive behavior. I stopped doing hard drugs around the age of 22, but that only led to me drinking more.
I somehow made it through those harsh years of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. Despite it all, I have zero regrets. My obsession with this lifestyle taught me how to live for the moment, travel the world, and gave me the balls to move to New York City. It took me moving to the craziest city in the world to learn how to slow down.
I’m grateful that I lived through this so I can tell you my story while sipping chamomile in The Big Apple.
Copy Editor: Alisson Wood