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My crystal chaos

Crystal meth is a crisis in the gay community, ex-addict says

My boyfriend is my hero. During a time of my life of great darkness, when most would have turned and ran, he proved himself as a man of great integrity and character.

I was addicted to crystal meth and my life was constantly in unbelievable chaos.

It’s the classic story of a young, rural boy moving to the big city, falling in with the wrong crowd, and getting himself into trouble.

I had been living in Vancouver for about a year, and met a friend that I had not seen for quite some time. As I was looking for a place to live and he was looking for a roommate, I moved into his apartment the next day.

I soon discovered that Derek (not his real name) was well acquainted with crystal, and my downward spiral began.

It began as a subject of curiosity and because I had vowed to try everything once.

Within a week, I was using at least four times a day and crystal had become a portal for escape.

I hated my life and despised myself so much that I was seriously suicidal; using allowed me to forget about my lousy life and ignore the self-hate. In fact, I almost didn’t hate myself anymore because using completely changed my perceptions and created a sense of euphoria. I was in a different world.

It was not long before I was constantly high, not to mention spending every cent on my habit and sacrificing my morals for my next high. Derek and I developed a habit of inviting guys with ‘party favours’ over to our apartment from the bars or off the phone lines, keeping them around just long enough for their ‘favours’ to run out, then kicking their butts to the curb.

Then things took a turn for the worse.

I became convinced that Derek and some of our friends were conspiring to kill me, or at least horribly disfigure me.

In a hysterical conversation with my parents, who are in South Korea teaching English, I expressed my unrealistic belief that Derek planned to kill me. Despite my frantic pleas for them not to contact the police, several hours later there was a knock on the door and two policemen entered the room. They asked me to step outside with them for a moment, and questioned me about the conversation with my parents, asking if I did indeed believe I was in danger.

I denied everything. They left after telling me about a safe place where I could get help.

***

Another three months of chaos, and finally the pressure took its toll.

I had somehow managed to convince my physician to prescribe me morphine, and one night I decided life was not worth living. I crushed about 20 of the little blue pills, formed the powder into lines, snorted them, and then settled in to write a goodbye letter to my parents, Derek and the man who would eventually become my boyfriend (we had just recently met at this time).

Then I phoned my sister in Saskatchewan to tell her goodbye (and basically good riddance). She somehow managed to convince me to call 911 and paramedics (as well as police officers) were soon on the scene.

I then spent two days in the Brief Intervention Unit at Vancouver General Hospital before being released, having resolved little but having averted death (despite my best attempts).

By this time, I had stopped trusting and the paranoia was killing me. But I still wasn’t quite done with crystal meth.

I made a real effort to stay clean and was able to make it for about a month until my friend from Whistler visited. The day he arrived, I relapsed and we spent the night doing an outrageous amount of meth.

My paranoia switched to Taylor. I believed that he and two of his friends were trying to kill me. I tried to lie down because I was very tired, but I was so sketchy I flew to the door every few minutes to ensure it was still secure, having heard scratching noises that I believed to be someone trying to break in.

I fell asleep with the phone in my hand, ready to call the police.

I woke up less than an hour later in a frenzy and called 911, still convinced my sleeping friend and his two buddies were trying to kill me.

The police arrived and shortly after that an ambulance arrived, and I cautiously left my building, fully expecting to be shot before I got to the ambulance. In my mind, even the police were in on the conspiracy and I spent the entire trip looking for vehicles full of assassins.

When I arrived at the hospital, I spent nine hours looking over my shoulder every time the doors opened, and finally came down enough for the nurses and doctor to see me.

This was the traumatizing experience that finally managed to bring me to my senses.

Looking back at this extremely chaotic period of my life, I am eternally grateful that I got another chance to experience love, life and the pursuit of happiness. And that my boyfriend was understanding, supportive and believed in me enough to give me a chance and not walk away when he probably should have.

I recently celebrated my 21st birthday and nine months of successful recovery.

From my personal experience, I have concluded that crystal meth is a killer, and this is a crisis in our community that deserves our utmost attention.

I was able to achieve recovery, but what if even one person isn’t so lucky or doesn’t have the support network that I did?