I spent several years experimenting with drugs in the early nineties.

Every day, for several years, I was ’off my head’ as we used to say….

I never went down the route of injecting.

But I was often on some form of a cocktail of acid, mescaline, speed, and E – all built on a fairly substantial bedrock of various sorts of marijuana.

And of course, alcohol thrown into the mix.

Why I took drugs

Drugs were always something I seemed to want to do, ever since I knew they existed.

There was something about them that was alluring.

Many be an identity of ‘being different’.

But also a promise of a better life. A different way of being.

An escape or abandonment of myself

A numbing down of pain.

Why I suffered

The escape from suffering was a crucial component in this.

And it’s not like I had had a bad life.

Sure we had our own problems in the family.

But I think more it was that I was oversensitive

I was acutely aware of the suffering in the world.

And I found it difficult to escape it.

Or deal with it.

Or know what to do with it.

Life didn’t make sense

And life as it was presented to me didn’t make sense.

Get educated. Get a good job. Have kids. 

And earn some money.

That was what was being lauded as the path of life.

A path that led to happiness.

And yet when I looked at those around me.

No one seemed to be happy.

A place of safety

But yet when I took drugs,

It was like I had suddenly been transported to another world.

The problems of life.

The lack of meaning.

The imposition of people and culture.

All that had gone away.

What I was Seeking

I was obviously searching for something through my use of drugs.

But what was I seeking?

I think I was seeking annihilation

A place where I had finally lost myself

Where I no longer existed

Where I was completely gone.

The holy grail

And one night I found it.

Lying in the chill out room of the Blue Monkey

Loaded up with speed and hash 

And E allegedly laced with ketamine and smack

I disappeared completely 

And found that place I had been searching for

An ecstasy 

A numbness of bliss

A removal from pain

And all things myself

But then 

Once again 

I came back.

The turnaround

It was then I realised I had to stop

I saw clearly this was not the way.

I realised that the problem with drugs for me was singular.

The problem was that you always came back.

The problems was that the effect didn’t last.

And you were somehow less equipped to deal with those problems.

Each time you left them and returned.

Drugs as a Gateway

But drugs for me provided a gateway

Not to more addictive substances 

Or a life chasing that hit

But to a realisation that there was something else.

Another way of being

Mind is primary

And it was very clear to me that mind was primary.

Because when I changed my mind

By taking drugs

The world changed.

Often radically

And I saw very clearly that to some extent we create our own world

(much as I didn’t realise quite how much that is true)

And I realised I need to take responsibility for my own mind

For the way I was creating my world

Meditation

So when someone offered to teach me meditation

The pathway had already been cleared

I was open to learning

And I saw its potential

And I remember clearly after that first twenty minute session of meditation

How my perception had changed

And how I immediately saw things differently

The crucial lesson I learned

So when people come to me and say they are suffering

That this or that is happening

That something is at fault with their life

This is always my approach:

What are you doing to create this world you are living in?

What role are you playing in this?

And though incredibly unpopular amongst many

Taking full responsibility for the world you create

Is also a gateway

Because it gives you the power to effect change

To not be a victim

And to create a life that you an live

Where you no longer suffer

In the way you did.