“What does it all mean?” I remember the moment I asked myself that very question.
My use of MSJ’s were up and down. I would repeat the same drill. Buy a batch of 1000; sell some, consume the rest. Have a couple weeks off, then repeat.
It caught up with me in a ‘time off’ period. I remember being in a pool hall in a shady part of town, it was quite lairy (it always was). There was a bit of trouble and I remember feeling really anxious, wishing I could click my fingers and disappear. Scared and confused, I had no idea what had happened. I had grown up in an area where my friends and I was accustomed to this behaviour, we were responsible for it sometimes (none more so than me). But in that moment whilst on the verge of an internal panic attack, I strolled out the snooker hall, my heart about to explode, I asked myself “what was that all about?”. It was the first time I accounted some serious withdrawal symptoms.
I still had my high risk job, one of the most dangerous around and sometimes a Valium the night before felt necessary to calm my nerves. I was competing at a decent level in combat sports so the same went for that. I loved a night at a gig or the pub to watch a band so one or two with a pint was lovely. And to be honest I still loved getting in a right 2 and 8.
I really had slowed my intake , massively slowed it. I justified it as ; well the boys do cocaine , I’ll do Valium instead. But the transient and intermittent way I was consuming, meant I had started to experience and more importantly understand withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms I didn’t like. Detached , anxious, cold, angry and vacant to those around me. The exact opposite of the feeling when I was consuming.
The discontentment started to breed questions I had never thought. I thought I can’t carry on like this. I either quit or carry on the functional addiction. I decided to quit.
I lasted three months , after a trip to an European city synonymous with partying, I ended up getting the highest I had ever been, the ecstasy tablets I took were like nothing I had experienced. The comedown was horrific.
I fought and fought taking the blues but after about 3 days, I couldn’t fight the come down anymore. I got in my car, over to the valley and went in for another thousand. I collected my ticket and it was all aboard the bus again.
Somehow; professionally I was going from strength to strength and I was so happy in my relationship. I was fit and looking my best. I had kept it all under control, all in a pot with a lid on but for the first time it was starting to simmer. I started to wonder about my addiction and once that seed was planted, everything started to change. The fun disappeared; I was asking tougher questions and began to wonder was it all sustainable. I was losing track of who was me straight and was me on Valium. The mind is the most amazing tool but it finds the path of least resistance and the quickest way to break you. And I was in a precarious spot.
My love affair with Valium had started 9 years prior. Barring the odd hiccup on the way I had made it to a point in my life where I wanted a big challenge. I decided it time to take a crack at the capital. High pressure, high stakes with a new young family in tow.
I was optimistic and thought I could sustain this way of living. After all; I’m not an addict (I thought), I stop when I want and go back when I need to. I didn’t really know what that made me back then.
I’ve touched on prior, that life is a series of moments; good bad and indifferent. And every now and then it can throw you a body blow. Once my body blow was delivered, I realised a few home truths….I couldn’t stop when I wanted, I knew exactly who I had become and I was 100% addicted to Valium…
* 2 and 8 = State