Tuesday, October 7, 2014

That One Time I Got High

This is a morbidly humorous true story that entertains me vastly in retrospect, so I thought I would immortalize it in text here, and perhaps in your memories. Out of respect, I'm naming no names.

The Accidental Culprit

One week, when I was perhaps 19 or 20, I was having an incredibly difficult time bringing myself to sleep. It had been days since I'd had more than an hour of sleep, and even that was forced. After confessing how frustrated I was about this to my dad, his girlfriend said I could borrow one of her sleeping pills. Alright, I thought, what damage could it really do? I accepted the aid.

To this day, I have no idea what brand of pill it was. All I remember is that it was little and white--a tiny stark orb in the palm of my hand. It was easy to take, which says something, because my gag reflex is very sensitive and taking pills is a massive undertaking. Once that was done, I thanked her and went into my room.

Let me put this into perspective, because it's moderately important: My room was laid out with the bed in the middle of the room, with only the headboard touching a wall. I got back into bed, situating my laptop into my lap. I was playing Spore at the time, making a creature. About ten to fifteen minutes go by without any change, other than me progressing in the game. I checked the time and thought to myself, "These meds should be kicking in soon. I should go ahead and lay down."

My sense of timing could not have been more accurate. I leaned down to my right to take a drink from my cup, and when I leaned back upright and looked at my computer screen, it looked like the whole thing was melting. There were bands all over the screen, drooping and melting down to the bottom in a staggered fashion. Every time I'd move my eyes to a different part of the screen, the effect would reset and begin again from the top. I acknowledged that it was time to turn that sucker off and lay down.

I managed to get my laptop turned off and moved it to the left side of my bed in a numb haphazard motion. Suddenly, in the darkness of my room, my eyes started catching flickers of something from the corners of my vision. I leaned back against the headboard and closed my eyes, trying to relax. 

When I opened my eyes, I could no longer perceive the walls of my room. It felt as if I was in the middle of one long chamber, blackened by darkness. There was only a dim light coming from an unseen source around my bed, and within an arm's reach of the bed's perimeter, soft, subtle cloths hung like scarves from the ceiling. They were transparent against the blackness, like a bride's veil. The most strange thing, however, was that, no matter where I looked, I had the sensation of blurred shade-like people whirring past me on either side of the bed in an endless line. It was only perceptible from the sides of my vision, though; where my eyes focused was nothing but darkness or hanging fabric. 

Caught up in watching the madness, wondering if I was high from the pill the entire time, I slumped forward. The slump was more than intended, and I lost consciousness face-down in my blanket. When I came to--I do not know how long it was, but it was no more than an hour--I was looking at the wall to my right, and beside me, trailing onto the floor, was a puddle of vomit. I recall having a glancing thought of "Did I do that?" before I decided I needed to let my dad know what was going on.

I got up and ambled to my door. Now, the FUN part.

How I Remember It

I slowly walked across the kitchen and into the living room, where I found dad asleep in his reclining chair. I shook his shoulder lightly, and when his eyes opened, I said 'I think I'm high' in a concerned way, my voice troubled from nausea. He told me to sit on the couch, so I did.

 I looked up at the tv and saw that dad was watching George Carlin performing comedy. I pointed roughly in the direction of the screen and mumbled something to the effect of 'you're watching George Carlin.' I kept holding out the hand that pointed, watching the tv screen proceed to melt down in the same surreal way as my laptop screen did.

Finally, I lowered my arm, and Dad told me to lay down so that I could get some rest. I was hunched over the arm of the couch, feeling too sick to move. I remember dad's girlfriend tugging at my ankles, trying to help me move into a laying position. I complied and a blanket was put over me, and after that, I remember nothing but waking up the next day.

How it REALLY Happened

I slowly walk out of my room and hang a tight right, roaming into the bathroom. I stand in the bathroom, looking at the walls and ceiling while swaying unsteadily. After a few minutes, I walk out of the bathroom like a zombie, heading toward my dad, who was reclined in his chair, already awake. When I get close enough, I reach out and grab his foot, shaking it back and forth as if to specifically get its attention. Dad questions me, but my responses are incoherent. He tells me to sit down on the couch until I finally listen.

He tells his girlfriend, who goes to get a pill to counteract the nausea. Queue the part where I motion at the screen and mumble about George Carlin--thankfully, I didn't outright invent that part in my delirium--only my motion is clumsy and my words are horribly slurred. I ramble to myself in a daze until she comes out and gives me the pill and some water to take it with. Remember how I said I had immense trouble taking pills? Apparently, I was so high and overdosed that I didn't even remember a second pill being involved, not to mention taking one.

After that, they couldn't get me to lay down, and had to drag me across the couch by the ankles and put a blanket over me to get me to go to sleep. 


I woke up the next day with what I thought was a full, clear memory of what happened. Someone was nice enough to clean my vomit for me, if I remember correctly. I felt a bit off, mentally and physically, but it wasn't crippling by any means. I wouldn't know the real lingering effect until later, when I was so damn wired that I couldn't even feel fatigued for a day or two. It kind of sent me into an amplified state of my previous insomnia, but at least I'd had one night's sleep during my stupor.

Moral of this Story

NEVER--and I repeat: NEVER--take a pill without knowing what it is, how it effects you, and what the dosage is FIRST. I was so grateful for help that I didn't think to ask, but that was a very foolish thing for me to have overlooked. Now, I'm left with a story of an awful event and the feeling that I'll never touch a sleeping pill of any sort ever again. Honestly, I'm lucky to have came out of it with only intense insomnia!

Please be careful around medicine. Be aware of what is in it and pay CLOSE attention to what the directions are. Always watch your kids and make sure they do not get their hands on any medication, whether its meant for children or not.

And, for the love of God and all that is, if you MUST pursue a high, do NOT use pills to do it. I don't endorse breaking the law, but if anything, use pot: you'll wreck your fridge, but not your brain.

~Matthew D. Hammond~

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