I want to start at the very beginning of my story: I have always had an addictive personality and addiction runs in my family. In Grade 9 it was drinking, Grade 10 came weed, cigarettes, ecstasy, mushrooms, cocaine, ketamine. Grade 11 came nitrous, acid and then there was M3 (mixture of meth, coke, and k). I wanted everything but I never knew when to cut myself off. I would steal and lie just to get what I needed to get high. We had a support group of about 14 of us, we would constantly want to get high, find new links for each other and make each other all feel relatively normal. Most of us were functioning in our daily life, saving the drug use until the weekend, while others were already starting to slip mentally and going on binges. It’s a scary moment for anyone when you realize one of your best friends doesn’t think they’re living on the same planet anymore. I was that friend. A few of the people in my group would sometimes have little mental break downs or show signs of not being stable, but I was constantly not okay. I now know what happened to me was a mixture of all the drugs I had been doing leading up to the disastrous point that put all my brain chemical levels out of whack. It may be hard to believe but it’s not so hard to get lost into believing that what you see and hear is real no matter how extreme it may be.
When the hallucinations started I was sitting in the usual apartment where I normally did all my drugs at, watching TV. It was around 4 am… Earlier that night I went to a rave, did some ecstasy, but felt relatively sober. All of sudden, the subtitles at the bottom of the TV started speaking to me, saying the world was going to end and specifically saying my name. At that moment, three of the people I was with decided to go to the store, leaving just one guy sitting on the couch with me who I barley knew and my other friend sleeping in the chair. Next thing I know the TV is telling me I have ten seconds to save the world by having sex with this guy next to me to prove my dedication to God or else the world would explode and we would all die. (I was also an atheist by the way). You think that’s fucked up? Well get this, I drag the guy into the bedroom, we have sex and I think he is aware of everything too because he was reading the TV just like me. After that, I just sat back down kept reading the TV because I knew this godly controlling power had better thank me for what I had done. Next thing I knew it started telling me to go to sleep, and when I wake up I will be in a better place. So I go lay down on the bed, close my eyes and start holding my breath. At this point my head is spinning, I can’t believe whats going on, I just saved the world and I’m going to wake up in paradise. So now I’m basically lying down trying to commit suicide, just by holding my breath as long as possible. There were points where I thought I could literally feel my body floating away from the bed. All of a sudden I’m like, “Wait I can’t die here I want to die in my own home.” So I go home with my friend and cry in bed all night thinking I’m getting signs sent from God from everywhere. I even lit candles for my parents to find me in the morning.
Finally, I fall asleep. When I wake up I feel like I’m in a new dimension where everything’s the same but I’m this prodigy and the TVs are talking about me, and all the lights are the worlds cameras into my life. They exist to prove I am real and I saved the world, I would read books and it would be God sending me messages. I would talk to my friends in riddles because I thought I couldn’t seriously tell them what happened, just hint at it or I would get in trouble. I thought everyone was constantly watching me on YouTube so I wouldn’t eat so I wouldn’t have to barely ever go to the bathroom. I would yell at people on the streets because they would glance at me. Even though I was really abrasive, no one around me really even started asking me why I was acting like this for almost a month. I even had a job at the time working for my cousin. I tried to be nice and polite but I still thought everything was revolving around me so every sentence I heard was something twisted having to do with me. I’d think shadows were real, hear noises and think they were spirits. Eventually my closest friends would be crying in front of me but I just couldn’t understand why. My cousin who I was working for finally managed to bring me to the hospital. I thought I was there so they could run tests and the world would know I was real. They forced me up to their mental health ward and put me in a room. At this point I was 5’2 and 92 pounds and I totally thought I had changed the world for the better. This was the end, I would be queen of this world with this guy (who I thought was the devil) who would be king and my best friend was Jesus– that’s how everything had come to be. So I get out of the hospital, another month passes by, even after all the medication they were giving I was still psychotic. By this time I realized I’d have to pretend to agree with everyone or else I’ll have to be in the hospital.
The first day back at school this random girl is talking about how the babies are dying in some country and my whole brain snaps back. I don’t know if the medication just decided to kick in or what it was about that moment, but I finally realized everything wasn’t real from the moment with the TV to the 3 months after. That day I went home and didn’t leave my house for months, other then to just see my psychiatrist. I even contemplated suicide holding a knife to my wrist but just couldn’t seem to press down hard enough.
Only one of my best friends stayed with me throughout this dark period in my life. It’s really difficult to understand why these things happen to people who may not necessarily deserve it. For me personally even though it took me a hell of a long time to come to this conclusion, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s scary that such a horrible thing could bring so much good out of me. I now want to work in mental health and addiction, I want to show people they’re not alone and there is hope. To this day I take Lithium which is a mood stabilizer for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Even though I don’t do drugs, sometimes it causes me to black out when I drink so I still have to be very careful.
Drug induced psychosis isn’t something you can recognize in people everyday; as you can see it took months for me to get help. If you know anyone who might be suffering from mental illness, help them see a therapist or talk to their loved ones. You might just save their life. Remember even though they may hate you at this moment, they will thank you for the rest of their life.
After reading this you may think it’s a joke or made up but it’s not, it’s my life and if you ever know someone or hear of someone or even see that guy talking to himself on the side of the street don’t laugh. That person would never want to be in that situation for a million years but for some reason they are. All you can do is try and get them to help or show your support towards how necessary mental health resources are in our community. And one last thing, if you have gone through something similar to this remember you are not alone.