I decided to write about addiction on my blog recently, as you may have seen the article I wrote about addiction in general here. However, I’m doing this not only to provide an accurate academic view of addiction, but also to provide my personal experiences with it; as addiction affects every individual differently. I also hope to provide something that others with the same issues can relate to, as well as provide hope itself.
My addiction story with amphetamine began over five years ago. At the start of the year 2011, I was merely 13 years old. I had begun drinking heavily since the start of the year in order to cope with my first depressive episode, which was extremely severe and lasted a duration of six months. However, the start of the year also marked the transition from being in a depressive episode, to my first manic episode.
During January of that year, I would drink alcohol every night without question, resulting in myself going to school with a hangover pretty much every day of that month. It was around mid-January that I had my first experience with amphetamine, and I loved it. However, it wasn’t until the February in which I turned 14 that my addiction truly started. For a good few months I’d go out super early in the morning before school (anytime between 5am and 6am usually), in order to go pick up a couple of grams of amphetamine. Then I’d go back home, sniff a few lines, and off to school my amphetamine and I went. Regardless of where I was and who I was with, I would take amphetamine all day and all night. During this period I rarely slept, although that was due to the effects of both the amphetamine and mania, it was also due to the fact that any time I spent sleeping, meant that it was time spent where I couldn’t take amphetamine, and I wasn’t having that.
During these months I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was indeed addicted to amphetamine. I felt like I couldn’t do anything without it, I wouldn’t do anything without it, and I believed that when I was taking amphetamine, I was the best I could be. However, that was all completely wrong. I’d put both my body and mind through hell, and they both desperately needed to recover. When I did come to the realization that I was addicted to amphetamine and finally accepted it, I did attempt to cut down my use, to no success. It was that easily accessible, that I simply couldn’t resist taking it. My next attempt at beating addiction was making sure I had no amphetamine in my house or on my person, but once again, it was to no success. This was due to the fact that I knew I could leave my house, go on a fairly short walk, and return with as much amphetamine as I could get.
After my failed attempts of beating addiction, and having amphetamine rule my life, I was pushed over the edge and decided that enough was enough. I realised that the way in which I was trying to beat my addiction wouldn’t work, no matter how hard I would try my failed attempts were just that, failed attempts. I knew that I had to go differently about it, and the only thing I hadn’t attempted to do so far was go cold turkey on it; which I did, and I did it successfully. However, this wasn’t without its hardships. I remember having to take over a week off from school due to a horrendous comedown and withdrawals.
My stomach was practically destroyed, I couldn’t eat or drink without immediately throwing it back up during the first few days. This led to me feeling even worse due to being dehydrated and undernourished. I felt extremely weak and could barely muster up the strength to do anything, therefore I slept, or attempted to sleep through most of it. I had shakes and tremors for quite a while after ceasing my amphetamine use, even when my other withdrawal symptoms vanished. The cravings were impossible to ignore, till this day I still have no idea how I managed to have the strength to pull myself through this, particularly at such a young age. I was very irritable and depressed during the week of withdrawals, and I never thought I’d say this but thankfully the mania did return and I was left feeling great again.
I will always have a love for stimulants, especially amphetamine. Which I do still use from time to time, but it can get out of hand very easily so I know I have to keep my wits about me and remain cautious at all times. I never intend on allowing amphetamine to become such a large part of my life, but I never intend on ceasing the use of it altogether either. Everything is fine in moderation, and to end on a relatively good note, here is a quote from my 15 year old self which never fails to make me laugh:
“I take addictive drugs and then wonder why I’m addicted”.