A few years ago, I had traveled up to Las Vegas to hang out with my friend Joe and Amy Shay up in Las Vegas.
I’d been fighting – hard – an addiction to cocaine at this point, and after unsuccessfully trying to quit cold turkey a number of times I was trying to wean myself off the substance.
Now very few people knew I used the substance. Jackie Killeen and Spencer Anglin were regular friends who would indulge with me and during the time I’d used it if I had a problem they did too so they never accused me of being an addict.
And while overall I LOVED the most of the experiences I had had with cocaine.
There were certain aspects of it that was negatively affecting my life.
For instance. Missing events I had planned with friends such as seeing movies and hanging out because I’d been unable to stop the urges that said “Just one more hit” the night before which led to seeing yet another sunrise.
For instance. How I was beginning to feel health wise – especially with working out – like a big bloated warthog as the cocaine had a tendency to make me feel horribly bloated and unhealthy despite not eating.
And the nosebleeds. How many times I found myself with an uncontrollable nosebleed and excusing it to Kena, the woman I was dating as “Just my allergies”.
The simple fact of the matter was – I was tired of making excuses and the lifestyle. It had served it’s purpose, but as I was learning – an addiction isn’t as easy as flipping a switch and saying stop.
There’s a definite enjoyment with the stimulus felt that just can’t be turned off as easily as a switch.
So on the trip to Las Vegas – I’d planned on spending time with Joe and Amy for a long weekend, but had made the mistake of bringing 2 grams of coke with me.
Logically. I’d rationalized it like this: They won’t know. And if I am around them, I’ll be forced to do it in moderation. On the ski slope I can use it to wake up more. and for that long drive I can make sure I’m alert.
Oh Yeah, that was a goal for the weekend – to go skiing at Mt Charleston with Joe.
So when I arrived. I took the side room in their house as I usually do.
And found myself in the same habit.
I looked at the clock.
1am. I am trying to fight the urge to do another bump. It had been since 7pm the day before that I’d had one.
1:30am. The feeling intensifies and I’m finding myself losing self control.
And finally. At 2am. I break out with the little vial in the bath room, pour myself a line, break out with a dollar bill, and am back to my new normal. Despite the exciting feeling associated with cocaine. I feel. Calm.
I can think.
And I stay up all night. My mind thinking freely about whatever it is I feel like.
That was the thing about cocaine.
It provided an unparalleled sense of freedom for my mind.
One that persists to this day despite not having done it in 5 years.
The next day. It’s 7am. And Joe is up.
Now here’s the rough part about cocaine – especially on the tail end of my addiction.
I felt dirty in ways I can’t describe and don’t ever really want to return to.
I’ve been up all night. Haven’t slept a wink. I know I’m talking differently. I’m well aware of it. And I also feel transparent, almost paranoid about him being able to see right through my veneer of addiction.
And being wired and awake but still tired at the same time is a very weird state to be in. It’s like mentally I know I need more sleep. I can feel it in my body. But my mind’s like ‘screw this, we are ON’.
But I knew – my body knew – that I needed that sleep – which is where I was really tiring of the addiction problems.
I felt clumsy.
I’m not athletic to begin with. But when I am well slept, I have pretty decent control of my body. But take away some of that sleep. Even though mentally I’m awake. Physically, my body isn’t on the same page as my mind.
And skiing. Which requires coordination. Motor control. Dexterity.
Well, let’s just put it this way. I found myself wanting to relax physically and not jeopardize my physical self by skiing.
I abhorred the idea of it.
But I knew Joe was looking forward to it, he’d taken a weekend off for it.
But I was REALLY badly not wanting to go.
I looked at the weather report. And saw it was supposed to be snowing. There’s nothing worse than skiing in a blizzard other than skiing in sleet and rain. And I pointed out to him the weather.
“OH it will be fine when we get up there,” he insisted.
I couldn’t tell him no.
So I reluctantly packed my skis and rest of my stuff up in his car.
As we headed towards Mt Charleston and up the mountain side, the wind started picking up in tune with the veracity of my own desire not to be on this mountain.
The more I thought “I really don’t want to be up here, I really don’t want to be up here”
The more the wind picked up.
Now I’ve read enough stories in the past to have summarily dismissed stories like this as fiction, but I couldn’t help but draw a mental analogy to the cocaine floating around in my head.
And the snow which was now going sideways across the road as the winds blew harder.
It was weird.
Joe persisted. He was adamant.
But something in me needed to understand the importance of single events like this in the bigger scheme of things.
And as my head pounded from the lack of sleep hangover.
As I wished harder I didn’t have to go skiing this day.
The car began drifting sideways and threatened to blow the car off the road.
The wind, rain, and snow was horizontal at this point and by my estimate was at least 60 miles per hour, maybe more as a couple trees had blown over.
“Jesus, “ Joe said, and pulled off to the side.
He looked at me.
“Maybe we should go back. Spend the day on the strip,” he said.
“That sounds like a great idea,” I responded, and acted mildly disappointed.
A year later, I returned to Las Vegas.
Normally, it had been a trip I’d take every 3 months, but during this time I’d successfully kicked the addiction to cocaine by using what was then an over the counter substance known as Bath Salts.
Bath Salts, is a synthesized amphetamine similar in chemical composition to cocaine which was legally sold in spice shops as late as 2011 and marketed to people like me as an inexpensive way to kick a cocaine addiction.
By this point in time I had seen other more extreme evidence of mind over matter other than what could arguably be dismissed as a freak snow storm which happened to coincide with some of my choices and desires.
So I had actively begun questioning societal labels.
For instance – was there more truth to the label of fiction used with the Greek Gods known as Poseidon, Aries, and Chronos – were these real people with an elevated senses, perceptions and awareness of a world and with this awareness did there come a very real ability to manipulate matter in very specific ways with the mind?
The evidence was mounting.
Even with Joe and Amy I’d noticed that Amy – who’d had a history of back pain – Joe had suddenly and abruptly developed back pains himself.
Accordingly – I’d found myself questioning this label called ‘coincidence’.
I’d also begun paying attention to people’s behaviors.
One day, I’d sped on the freeway while on Bath Salts. I was going 100 miles per hour. And I was finding all the other traffic in the area was speeding up right along with me. I’d pass them by. No matter the car. And they’d speed up too.
I slowed down. They all slowed down too.
Now mind you Bath Salts is an amphetamine. Not a hallucinogenic.
I began to look at patterns in the animal world – and ants and bees – and comparing it to humans.
And asking – how does an any know to build an anthill in a specific way? Why do bees build in specific patterns? Why do minnows and flocks of birds appear to turn at precisely the same time and uniformly?
And why was it humans were exhibiting the same behavior as ants and bees?
So while in Vegas I’d been staying in a Motel 6 in Las Vegas.
Joe and Amy, who I had stayed with for years every time I went there – were afraid – afraid of me. And by this time I have no money, so Joe gives me $100.
They haven’t talked with me since. That was 2011.
But while I was there. I talked to a homeless man.
He claimed he owned the Four Seasons.
At the time – I carried a little copper ball with me for luck.
And as this was genuinely the first time in my life I’d taught myself to judge less. To listen and understand perspective. And to back away from this need to make others wrong to make myself right.
When that homeless man said to me I own several mines – and that is worth a LOT of money.
I asked why’s that.
He said “Well it is at least 65,000 kilograms”
I did the conversion.
I suppose. Through the course of the drug journey. I’ve found my own version of the truth.
It’s easy to judge that homeless man and call him insane.
But real intellect – in my opinion – is the logical ability to make someone else right from their perspective without labeling them as crazy or wrong.
Somewhere in there.
In the messiness of living a life.
I began to realize.
I love my friends. Joe and Amy. I am not sure what you see from your perspectives and while I respect you for the individual and united choices you’ve made together, and love you for that, your life and lifestyle is not for me.
Bill and Pam Stokes. Same thing.
Kevin and Becki O’Reilly. Same thing.
Jeff and Roz Kleinman. Same thing.
Ron and Debbie Ostreim. Same thing.
And Spencer and Gina Anglin. Same thing.
Having a wife feels like a job. And while I’m not against hard work, I don’t want it to feel like it. And I especially don’t want my partnerships and friendships to feel like this on a regular basis. It may, I understand that, but it shouldn’t on a regular basis in my opinion.
I’ve been told I’m the hardest working man here in Studio City by many people. I’m educating myself to learn the secrets of the ancient Gods and spending a great deal of time understanding perspectives and the mindsets that made what they did possible.
To some it may appear like I’m playing games. To some, the experiences I have encountered and gone through may have appeared like a drug addiction. And some of it absolutely was.
But to be clear. There’s certain people. Rachel Gooch for one. Who are unhappy in their marriages. Others. Jackie Killeen for instance. Who are just unhappy with the choices being presented to them in their lives.
THEY selected me. Our meeting wasn’t coincidence. WE chose eachother.
And while there’s something in me that knows – factually – that all of you couples – who’d been trying hard to find me a partner – something I can’t tell you how I know – I just know you were.
Not everyone’s like you. Not everyone wants to be. That doesn’t mean we don’t respect you and your life style.
Quite the contrary.
It’s beings like you who made choice and my lifestyle to choose alternative possible.
Thank you all for being a part of my life.
And I hope that was only the first chapter in our journeys together as friends and you’re not fully ready to close that book just yet. I’m still the same man. I just had to – for lack of better words – reprogram my own mind in a healthier way for me and what I want out of life.
Happy New Year.