My cooperative and mutualistic love/hate relationship with drugs.
According to the scholarly and reliable search engine Google,
Pronounced: /k??äp(?)r?tiv/ ? (Again, who the fuck speaks Russian these days anyway?)
Defined as: Involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal
Pronounced: /?myo?oCHo?o??liz?m/ ?(Alright Russia, have a rant)
1.Defined as either: The doctrine that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being.
2.Symbiosis that is beneficial to both organisms involved.
Now, I know you're all dying to hear my scientific input, and in my first semester subject BIOL108 we actually learnt some pretty trippy things about algae… Go algae, its ya birthday.
We are all well aware that symbiosis is called mutualism, in which both participating organisms gain one or more advantages. If you didn't know that, well, fuck, we have some serious problems here.
"The green color in Chlorohydra viridissima is due to unicellular green algae which live in the hydra's gastrodermis. The algal cells are called zoochlorellae. The relationship between the two kinds of organisms is thought to be mutualistic, with the algae utilizing the carbon dioxide output of metabolism in the hydra to synthesize organic compounds useful to the hydra; the oxygen requirements of the hydra may also be met to some extent by the secretion of the algal cells as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Chlorohydra viridissima kept in the dark eventually loses its algae and dies, even if food is available, indicating that the hydra is dependent on its algae. The advantage to the algal cells is believed to be simply shelter, but some suggest that Chlorohydra also meets physiologic requirements of the algae." (I would reference but this page didn't provide an author, SUCKAHHHH)
Let's get down to business. We would have all learnt from an early age how important it is to co-operate, work together and pick up skills from other people we associate with. I guess that sort of outlines the concept of mutualistic relationships, where we can suck the life out of somebody and benefit, and somehow they all benefit too. Lets provide an example that is not scientific in nature.
Ok so, let us use the concept of defqon + drugs + me. Now, Defqon 1, the most prestigious, most mind blowing festival, the only festival in which you can hear the thumping bass from outside a good 5 kilometre radius, the only festival where you can wear whatever colour fishnet stockings you desire, the only… Wait, this story is meant to be based around co-operation and mutualism, not exactly Defqon 1… I'm off on a tangent again… I should really just write a whole novel about Defqon 1, give it to Q-dance in exchange for 7 minutes in heaven with DJ Coone.
What I was meant to do was outline the concept that people go to festivals, they take drugs to enjoy their day which benefits the smiles on their faces, making them dance all day to songs they may not even like, therefore conclusively giving the DJ a good response. Everybody wins. Also, all of you are probably guilty of the classic crime of having a friend with benefits. Fuck buddy, whatever you want to call it. You both have sex with each other, kill time, have somebody to stay up late and text and offer some sort of emotional support when times get tough, but mainly have some sort of good sex. I know I have, it was quite the symbiotic relationship, almost like bacteria in my small intestine. Oh the days… So we all benefit yeah? I'm sure even those with an IQ of 3 probably understand these very concepts raised on symbiosis, co-operation, mutualism and algae. So after reading the absolute longest introduction you will ever read I think that I should probably proceed and stop floating off into tangents.
15 Years old: My first pill.
Yes I know I was 15, yes I know I wasn't even legal age to start getting my vagina smashed but rah rah self explanatory in the title, I took my first ecstasy pill. In my context at the time, I had only just started drinking alcohol and to be honest at first I didn't particularly enjoy it, I hated being a sloppy little emotional cunt, I hated always ending up in a bush somewhere with some guys testicles down my throat or with my boobs out in the middle of the freeway. I was a wild motherfucker. I took my first pill at a party, taking it down like a man with a swig of water was probably the most adrenalin pumping experience, sitting around waiting for something to happen just made me kind of clammy. When it did hit, it was great. I remember doing cartwheels around some person's backyard for a good 3 hours, made friends with people I didn't even like and had a shitload of confidence to "accept life for what it was". The next day was a bit of a float around for me, nothing like being severely hung over but nothing like being able to get up and go for a run. Overall, I didn't feel completely floored, nice euphoria, bearable and eh, for a first time, safe.
After my first time, you could say I became a little bit of a fiend and became keen to start taking them every weekend. "I am never drinking again." I said (most people say that after they take MDMA for the first time). Although my friends had never taken pills before and thinking back on it, I must have been one of the first people in my grade at school to try it, I know that my actions were very disapproved. But you know me, I'll flaunt it, and brag about it until I find something better to brag about (I fucked a famous person). I have always been an individual, the type that doesn't necessarily give into peer pressure, but is the one enforcing the pressure on other innocent souls so when I first started taking ecstasy I practically had nobody there backing me up and telling me that it was okay. I had people saying how bad it was for you, how disgusting it was and hey, LOOK AT YOU ALL NOW. Fried cunts. The second time I took drugs however was not a great experience. I took a pill containing a synthetic version of MDMA called Piperazines. As soon as I put that pill to my tongue and felt the contents fizzling away violently I knew that I probably shouldn't be taking something that is burning my whole mouth and physically too chemical tasting to ingest. Whatever, I took it anyway, and suffered. Piperazines or otherwise known as "pips" are not an enjoyable thing to take, with side effects ranging from shaking hands for days, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, weakness in the arms and legs, inability to sleep and an extreme crash afterwards. Feeling an onset of a heart attack was not my finest moment as I weakly approached my Dad and asked him to take me to hospital. I told him that somebody may have put something in my drink but he told me to try and go back to sleep. Thankfully I had a friend with me there and she stayed up with me practically the whole night to ensure me that a heartbeat at 140 beats per minute for a whole 24 hours was just a part of nature. That was like 2 beats a second or something, not even fun for me. After this incident I didn't exactly learn from my mistakes because in a few weeks time I was out taking pills again at a few parties. I was quite weary of how they tasted on my tongue however so you could say I was being a little cautious. Around my 16th year of life when I was beginning to experiment with drugs I was suffering my own personal trauma as per usual and really did not know how to handle it. I was constantly depressed, lost, getting dumped by stupid boys and I hated school. I channelled my energy into occasionally taking drugs and embraced the depression I faced after. I would immerse myself in the shaky hands, the tears and the constant crappy feelings I was encountering and I guess that after a while it became my friend. I wrote some pretty great depressing material around this time period, shame I burnt a whole book with dirt on all of my ex boyfriends (no one is safe on here *evil laugh*)
On the 7th of July, 2011 I tried LSD for the first time and I wrote a whole story which I may edit and publish later so I will not go into details on this trip BUT I think that this was definitely my turning point when it came to underestimating the power of drugs. As extremely knowledgeable drug anthropologist Zinberg states that "the effects of a drug are determined on the drug, set and setting."
•Drug: the pharmacological action of the substance itself
•Set: the attitude of the person at time of use, including his personality structure (individual attitudes are influenced by social expectations)
•Setting: the influence of the physical and social setting within which the use occurs
So here I was, a 16 year old little shit who thought that she knew about the whole big world surrounding drug use because she took about 5 ecstasy pills in her life. In the context surrounding the day I took acid, I had never taken any hallucinogens before so I would have a low tolerance. I had just been through a breakup with a recent boyfriend (absolute prawn with a small penis) so my head was really not in the right place. For all my parents knew, they thought that I was out shopping for the day so I had lied to them, had the lie just floating around my mind, I was paranoid that they would catch me out and I was expecting to not feel that much. I also was with two people who were not very close friends at the time, they were friends of mine but they were not my best friends, I did not trust them as much and did not know them as well. Zinberg would be so disappointed in me. After I experienced an extremely bad trip consisting of ongoing paranoia, a passion to just disintegrate into the earth and die, fear beyond belief and just a horrific experience in general I started to become aware that I really was not in the correct headspace to use drugs. Although looking back on it now and realising the ecstasy I had been taking was about 1/8th of the strength compared to what I started taking later on, the whole concept of taking drugs for the right reasons never occurred to me. I was taking drugs to enhance my bad experiences, to swallow myself further in my rut of depression and strangely talk myself out of living and changing. After the day I tried acid I went completely clean off drugs until I had finished all of my final school exams and when I was mentally ready.
They say your first MDMA roll is the greatest, most unforgettable and most amazing experience. If we didn't count all of the weak as piss ecstasy pills I had taken back when I was 16 I would regard this statement as being 100% correct. I can still feel in my mind the huge smack of MDMA I felt when I took one and a half pills at a nightclub after not touching any sort of drugs since my little stint when I was 16. I had finished exams, I was with a good friend who I trusted, I had no worries in the world and I was definitely in a better mindset. The smack was overwhelming at first, both myself and my friend started burning up but shivering at the same time, our pupils dilated to fill our eyes, I grabbed her hand, squeezed it and did not want to let go. It was almost like somebody physically took my brain out of my head, added the most extraordinary colours and sparkles, placed it in a blender until it was a sticky chewy paste then blew it up into a huge, vivid bubble. Compared to the pills I had taken before, the feeling I got this time compared to nothing; where had I been my whole life? I honestly had and I guess today I have not felt anything like that first time. It was so unexpected for me, I was just expecting to feel it come on slowly and then find myself dancing and smiling all night but it was as though a huge SMACK just came out of nowhere and took my soul. I was overwhelmed but my friend and I rode out the come up together and in about 40 minutes time we started to reach an intense peak. Smiles, dancing, talking at 180bpm, un denying love for anybody and everybody and feeling an extreme euphoria that made all of the problems, grudges and worries dissolve away. This is MDMA people. It is such an amazing and magical drug with such mind expanding powers that challenge you to really break down your walls, forgive people, love yourself and smile relentlessly. After that night, I began taking ecstasy every weekend to revive and relive the sparkling magic I felt that first time. With every high comes a low unfortunately and when I began taking pills my "scat" (scattered feeling and comedown you experience the day after) was not very bad, it was bearable but I just felt as though I was lazy, relaxed and slightly depressed. However, as I kept taking drugs on a weekly basis I felt as though my comedowns began to worsen. I felt as though it would take me about 4 days to feel like I was back to my normal self again and then the next 3 days I would prepare myself for the weekend. Sounds like a pretty vicious cycle. I had many connections with dealers, I had a small group of friends who were doing it with me and I was happy living in this cycle.
When university started for that year, I found as though I was mentally and intellectually slower, no longer craving to learn the wonders of science and medicine but craving to party every weekend instead. After dropping out from university (within the first 4 weeks) and working full time it was accessible to me that I really didn't need to be using my brain cells and that on weekends I could abuse them as much as I wanted. Although I was not taking huge amounts of pills, my tolerance was slowly creeping up. The magic you feel the first time will not be there forever, you physically have to replenish your serotonin completely for you to have an experience similar to the first time. I didn't care but, I absolutely hated drinking for several reasons such as the calorie content, the expensive price, the fact that it made me fall asleep and well, it didn't make you dance all night. I did begin to cut down my use a little bit to fortnightly instead mainly because I didn't have many friends who wanted to go to the city and party (boring cunts) and I got a little sick of turning up to work on Monday morning wanting to throw myself off a 10 storey building. My relationship and thoughts towards drug use was not a very healthy attitude. Substituting alcohol for ecstasy is really not a sensible thing to do, no matter how "skinny" you feel the next day. I knew drugs were bad, but I physically did not know how damaging to the brain they can be. I felt as though I would always have a good night with them, I would never end up upset or crying or feeling crap if I ran into an ex-boyfriend or something but when I drank it was more of a gamble. I think last year in the year of 2012 the longest break I had from ecstasy was 4 weeks and that was leading up to Defqon 1. I used to think that lasting a whole month was so long and practically the end of the world. When I would see other people on it too and I was trying to take a break I got so tempted and sometimes I would just give in and have one or two. Another thing I would like to point out was my relationship with the drugs while I was actually on them. The come up on ecstasy can be very overwhelming and "smacky" for people as large amounts of serotonin are building up and being released in the brain. That is why some people lose balance a little, feel completely fucked and incoherent, experience rolling and hard to open eyes and just feel extremely smacked out. When I began taking at the end of school, I fucking hated the come up. I hated feeling smacky and overwhelmed and out of control of my own mind. For those who used to go out clubbing with me in 2012, many of you would catch me sitting on the couch for a good half an hour, holding somebody's hand and looking genuinely frightened. I don't know why I used to get so scared when my pills first hit me, I always got the feeling that I wish I hadn't of taken anything, I felt scared and smacked out and just wanted it to be over. I would always sit with somebody I trusted and they would try and bring me out of it and after a little bit of time I would get up and feel the peak and rush come on and then for the rest of the night I would be fine. That defeats the whole purpose of drugs for me now, I used to absolutely hate the smack feeling, used to avoid it and hide out, not speaking to anybody for anything ranging from 30 to 60 minutes until I felt like I could get up and dance. Feeling a smack would happen about 90% of the time I would take pills, so practically my night would consist of taking some, waiting for it to hit, feeling it hit and running straight for the lounge with my boyfriend, holding his hand and not saying a word for about 30 minutes average then when I was ready, get up and carry on with the rest of my night. So strange. Now of course, as my appreciation, knowledge and attitude towards drugs has changed so have my experiences of coming up. I will look into that later.
Towards the end of 2012 I began taking drugs more than I ever had. During the warm, enjoyable Summer months before I would begin university (for a second time) I felt as though I had the need to "go hard before I start uni". I was going out 2-3 times a week and rolling at least 2 of them. Although I had some amazing nights out, I did find that my mood was becoming extremely irritable, depressed and I was just living for the weekends. This extreme phase lasted only for about a month thankfully until I took another "break" of about 3 weeks. 3 weeks seemed like an eternity for me to be honest. Back then I never knew how people could go for 3 months without drugs. During the Summer months I also gained a lot of knowledge on drugs and had a passion for doing independent research. When university began I had a lot of events on such as festivals, birthdays and things that involved taking drugs. I remember I did go to a festival and practically broke my personal record, setting the standard for myself and when I would tell my friends casually their jaws would drop and tell me that for a girl of my small physique that what I was taking was an excessive amount. Na, 7 pills and a cap over a few hours, that's totally sweet alright. I actually know some guys who to festivals and get all up in the double digits, now that's fucked. I didn't think that 7 and a cap (all up equivalent to about 9 pills) was that bad to be honest. I just wanted to keep going, keep dancing. In 2013, however although I had some nights out taking ridiculous amounts, I actually changed my attitudes towards drugs a little bit through my discoveries of how fun drinking can be when you drink the right thing. I found that when I was drinking shots without sugary soft drinks or vodka and soda I could stay awake all night dancing and enjoying myself, so around March this year I was actually going out clubbing without drugs and having some really great nights out. I was learning to appreciate how fun alcohol can be and learnt some little strategies on how I can stay awake dancing longer without drugs which really helped me begin to look at drugs in a different way. I used to only go clubbing when I was doing drugs, I never used to go clubbing without them, but as I started to have some great nights out dancing until 4am with only vodka in my system I really began thinking to myself. Drugs should really be a rare occasion and on this rare occasion go as full out as you wish. Going to the city every weekend and taking 1-3 pills is just plain fucking stupid. Why not wait 3 months, go to a festival and the after party and take 5 or 6 instead? It's definitely healthier when you think about it because you spend the last 3 months having a clear mind in comparison to only having a clear mind 2 days of the week. When I was suffering from a major wave of depression this year, I knew that the best thing was to stop taking any drugs until I was in a stable state to be able to handle the harsh comedowns. I knew that this was a very healthy attitude to have, rather than trying to deny my mental illness by just taking drugs every weekend and appearing happy then suffering a crash for the whole next week. Through my lack of concentration from my depressive states, getting out of bed to go to university and finish all of my assignments was such a mission anyway and I was really determined to try and give myself a good break until my exams were over. I think I went for about 6 weeks or something and I know it's not that long, but for me that was the longest break I had ever taken, I waited until my university exams were finished and waited until I felt ready to take drugs. I think that I truly appreciated it more now that I was recovering well and that I was feeling natural happiness. My roll was great too, I think mainly because my head was in the right place. Recently this year, I have also learnt how to effectively deal with the overwhelming come ups I was experiencing. I know that coming up was something I used to dread and the feeling of being smacked out terrified the shit out of me but one night I remember I was out dancing and it hit me in the middle of the dance floor. I turned to one of my friends and said "I'm fucked, I need to go sit down." They replied with "No, you have to stay here and embrace it. Ride it out and enjoy it." In that moment, I knew how right that friend was, there was no point in taking drugs when you couldn't handle the come up. Although my knees felt like jelly and I could barely move my body or control the negative thoughts going into my head I tried my absolute hardest to gently swag to the music. The most powerful thing I know now is the power of the mind, that very night when I was feeling completely fucked up I told myself that it was normal, I told myself to ride it out and feel it's beautiful power and I told myself that I was feeling wonderful and amazing instead of telling myself how fucked up and scared I was feeling. Ever since that night, I have gotten so much better at handling that moment where your drugs kick in, that moment where you feel as though you would sit on a lounge and lie there forever, that feeling of paranoia and fearfulness. That feeling for me now is the start of a mind expanding night, the start of a great feeling and it is now something I actually enjoy. I have actually had many experiences now when I do not need to go and sit down to gather myself, I just make sure that I am with a close friend who I can enjoy the moment with, enjoy the music and just soak all the positivity up.
While I was in Europe my whole perspective and attitude towards drugs really changed. It made me realise how much of a drug obsessed society we live within here in Sydney, Australia. I think in that whole trip I only did MDMA/ecstasy 3 or 4 times, used marijuana 4 times, but I kind of did hit the bags of cocaine pretty hard, but even that, I only touched coke about 7-8 times in the whole 5 weeks that I was away. That's practically nothing when you compare it with other people's European experiences. Those 3-4 times I did it but, I went hard. I did not want to get on it every night and feel shit for the next few days, I did not want to ruin my days exploring some wonderful places because I was lying in bed all day. I know cocaine made me feel rundown and horrible, the fact that you are running to and from the bathrooms every half an hour to have another line was just so unappealing to me and when I was in Barcelona my nose and throat experienced some pretty bad consequences due to demolishing those little white bags. I know cocaine was a one of kind of thing but, considering the only cocaine you can obtain in Sydney is practically sugar and Panadol crushed up and sold for $300 (sorry guys, coke here is not even worth it, unless it smells like petrol, then you know you got the good shit). Travelling made me appreciate drinking socially even more, most nights I would go out clubbing and dance until 7am with alcohol only and I loved it. I loved waking up later not feeling scattered from drugs and I loved my ability to sleep off a hangover and dance again the next night. While I was away also, I especially enjoyed the Dutch culture. They have the most amazing, pure drugs in the entire world. Pills that are 4 times the strength of anything you'll find in Sydney, yet it is not such a big deal there, you never hear about or see people overdosing and dying there. People in Sydney are just becoming feral and obsessed with going to "the cross" and "getting on". The amount of cunts that come up to me on a Saturday night and ask me if I have any. For fucks sake, were at World Bar, not fucking Defqon. Can't you simply have fun with alcohol? Do you seriously need to do it and "muzz out" in the smokers area and chain smoke all night? What is the fucking point anyway? I know I only take drugs now to dance and sustain myself for long periods of time at festivals, not to go out to a club and chain smoke with my eyes rolling in the back of my head. I know I shouldn't be so harsh because I used to do it every weekend at clubs, but it only seems to be getting worse in our culture.
Sydney has the lowest quality pills in the world, MDMA is in extreme shortage, yet, you look around the clubs at everyone and most people are completely fucked up. On another planet.
Even at Defqon this year, I chose to do heavy amphetamines with only a very small amount of MDMA instead of a lot of MDMA mainly because I just wanted to sustain myself and dance for the whole day, I didn't want to "gurn" or look filthy. I wanted to remain as sober looking as possible and actually remember my day and enjoy the amazing music for what it was. Looking back now, I definitely could have done the day sober. I have been to a few events with just alcohol and have had a great time, the music always puts me in a great mood. My next challenge is to actually go to an all night hardstyle event without drugs and I know that I can do it. I am a true hardstyle lover and I know that I don't need drugs to make me enjoy myself. Of course they do enhance experiences for me but they really are no longer so necessary for my life.
I go out clubbing on a weekly basis pretty much and even if I have a few drinks I can find a way to be social and enjoy myself, I really feel as though I am growing out of this drug ridden obsession. I don't completely forbid myself from taking drugs and I do not frown upon others who do. This is why I could describe my current relationship with drugs as mutualistic. I benefit when I take them and I also benefit when I do not take them. They have taught me some good, bad and ugly lessons, they used to benefit me negatively but now they are a positive thing in my life. It's so important for people to find a healthy balance between the reality of life and the fantasies such as immersing yourself in the sparkling illusion of drugs. People laugh at me when I talk about this balance and say "but you go so hard?" Not necessarily. I used to make a whole experience out of taking drugs, I used to post funny photos and videos on social media and I never used to hide the fact that I did them. I was and still am upfront about when I do them, except I just used to let a lot of people know a few months ago. The pupils mainly give it away anyway.
I never thought that I would form a healthy relationship with drugs in my entire life. I thought that I would always be walking a tightrope between acceptable and damaging amounts. I thought that my reputation would always be one of a person who just lives for drugs and taking "munted selfies". Yes I do have a little collection… Changing my reputation from somebody who came across as stupid and superficial to somebody with a surprisingly intelligent and intellectual mind has been very important also and I needed to overcome my destructive habits and replace them with more mutualistic outcomes in order to achieve a different reputation. I set up some important boundaries for drug taking and this occurred when I really started to get over the scene I realised that there are so many other natural joys in this life to experience. Plus I am more of a funny cunt when I drink anyway.
•I do not take drugs anymore on odd nights in the city
•Doing drugs at house parties has always been a big NO-NO and still is
•Giving in and taking "just 1" is never worth it
•At very minimum 7 weeks break between rolls.
•If I am going to take, I will make it well worth it
•No taking drugs if I am going through any personal strife
•Mainly at festivals only
•Never feel pressured by anybody, any scene or anything
•Take mainly pure substances only, (Hey Sydney, if you get lucky, the most MDMA you'll get in a pill here is around 30mg, you may as well rack up some table salt for more of a high) My advice is to get yourself some rock MDMA or amphetamines, or go to Holland.
•Only take to enhance an experience, not hide from problems.
•Do not complain about being scat, it is my own fault.
So I guess these outlines are pretty fair when it comes to my relationship with drugs. I used to treat them the same as I would treat chocolate. Now, they are a very prestigious treat that I know I should not mess around with and that I should be saving for extremely special occasions.
Thank you again to everybody who put up with me during my little drug phases and also thank you to everybody who read this story. I hope that for those people who sadly still live to "get on" on the weekend, I hope can all find strength in yourself to experience good times without it. To those who would like to stop taking on such a regular basis, you have nothing holding you back, I am telling you now, you WILL still have fun times without it. To those of you who would like to have a drink with me, I am an extremely great drunk these days and will be out smashing the vodka lime and soda's this weekend and giving the buckled cunts a run for their money on the dance floor!
Party hard, dance hard, stay safe.
And remember, Zinberg is judging you all!