Today it has been 365 days since my last cap of GHB. There is a documentary I have been working on for the last two years. It has been edited both soberly and amidst full blown addiction. Today marks the day that I will finish this project by integrating words I wrote beginning with The loss of control of my…
What began as a college project has evolved into something much more. This documentary portrays the initial ensuing battle that began three years ago when I first ingested GHB. I attempted three times to sober up. The first and second time respectively, I stayed sober for three weeks each time, only to succumb to FULL BLOWN addiction upon relapsing after the second attempt at sobriety. This third time of sobriety has been one full year in the making. It has tested my strength, stamina and own personal beliefs, morals and ideas.
Below is the synopsis of the timeline behind the scenes of Lucidity, the given name of the film.
In May of 2004 I began filming myself. I was not using GHB 24/7 at this time. I did recognize that something was not right though. I went to my family doctor explaining how I thought I was builing a dependancy on GHB in order to focus, relax and hence sleep at night. I was studying in college after having returned to studying after an eight year hiatus from college working as a graphic artist / illustrator, both as a freelancer and employee of various business’. By the end of the week I gave up GHB upon my doctors advice and suffered no major withdrawal as a consequence. I had only been ingesting two to four caps in the evenings and on weekends at that point. I also began on Celexa. The Celexa had a strange effect on me. My pupils dilated.
During those first three weeks of sobriety I filmed. The camera was always by my side. On the last day of the third week I took a cap of GHB. I started where I had left off from before. I was no longer filming at this point. I has recorded about eight hours of film. I began editing and capturing in Final Cut Pro. I was not high 24/7 but was taking on average five to seven caps of GHB daily. I was not high while in class, only at night and on weekends. The 21 course year long program I was enrolled in began to take on a life of it’s own. I could not keep up. The more I could not keep up the more GHB I consumed. I was still taking Celexa. By the end of July I had finished editing Lucidity. It was about an hour long. I presented it high to the class one late July sunny afternoon. Two days later, the second semester of college ended for three weeks vacation, until the fourth began. I was using GHB daily perhaps taking 10 caps throughout the day, all day. I was on vacation and wanted to have fun all the time.
I flew Back East to visit with my family and friends whom I had not seen for a year and half since making the move to British Columbia. I left ona jet plane high. I landed in New Brunswick Sober. My prescription for Celexa had been changed to Effexor. I spent the week in Saint John partying a few nights with friends doing some drugs but not consuming any GHB.
Upon arriving in British Columbia after an eight hour flight from NB, I took two caps of G. On September fifth, 2004 I checked myself into Vancouver Detox. I was an emotional mess. The curriculum at College had been changed and altered in a way that my class and I could not come to terms with. I couldn’t cope after two days of MESS from the newly appointed Director of the program I was enrolled in. I made the call and admitted myself to Detox the following day, knowing that it would be suicide to miss possibly five days of classes. I stayed sober for three weeks.
I was taking GHB in the morning at this point. In November and December or 2004 I began editing the hour long version of Lucidity. It is 40 minutes in length now. I added the crazy to it. It was then, that I knew I was truly addicted and the edits I did strongly portray the mind of an addict and how it works.
I graduated College on December 19, 2004. In February of 2005 I wrote the attached purple monologue. I had quite taking Effexor and was taking GHB to combat the effects of the Effexor. I deemed GHB to be the best antidepresent out there; as it was readily available and cheap. Very cheap. It was more effective than any other substance I had ever consumed in my life. I was unemployed aftyer graduation and appying for jobs and working on my art. I began working at Cannabis Culture and soon was given the responsibility of being the Art Director, all the while my GHB use increasing. I began waking up at night only to go back to sleep after a cap of G. I could get through a work day on three caps of G plus the two consumed in the morning before work. When I got home it was bi-hourly ingestion until bed. This routine repeated until August twenty-sixth of 2005.
Most days I was consuming 20 to 30 caps of G, overdosing at night two to three times to get precious sleep. I was beginning to nod out at work. My anxiety level was imense. I was capping every hour now. If I did not have a cap by the second hour I would begin to enter withdrawal. My feet were continually cold. We had just finished sending to print the third bi-monthly issue of CC mag at work – the one and only issue where I had been in full control of art. We were happy to have got it done. We were understaffed. We the designers worked long hours sometimes reaching 70+ hours per week. I didn’t know how to get out of the situation I was in at work.
Then it happened. The BCMP Bookstore was raided by the DEA with the help of the Vancouver Police. My world and those who worked along side of me and with me collapsed on the same day issue 57 went to print, the DEA raided. I had quit smoking cigarettes three days before the raid. After the raid I took the addiction up again.
On August 21, 2005 I decided to sober up. I knew at this level of addiction I could die from withdrawal. I was only sleeping two maybe three hours total a night. I was sweating constantly but cold. I could not think. I could not cope. I feared death but feared life equally. I was in purgotory. When Eric (my BF) awoke the next morning I broke down and begged him to help me sober up. It was a beautiful Saturday Afternoon. He asked how much I was taking and said he would not judge. I told him 40 to 50 caps on the worst days. He put me on a scheduled dosing taper. One cap every two hours, to be halved every day or two. The withdrawal process was grotesque physically and mentally. I could not sleep and could not contain myslef emotionally nor physically wihtout movement or run-on thinking. On Monday I went to the doctor whom seven months earlier I had decided was not practicing medicine in best of my interests. I was prescribed Lorazapam to help with detoxification and sleeping. That Monday night I slept for SEVEN hours staight. SEVEN hours. I had not slept for longer than a two hour period only induced through mini-OD. I continued tapering and began taking Paxil and still do to this day. The following week I attended Dual Diagnosis.
This past year is another documentary in the blogging/making. Sometimes it does not feel as though I was the person who experienced the other side. Today, however, marks the beginning of an ending. The Lucidity text was written last year, saved and put away. During the next week I will be integrating the text into the documentary. Lucidity will be released in chapters over the coming months.
Even while high I still craved more. The more being the ability to remember and record everything through pen, paint and video.
I am honouring myself today. I have no cake to eat. I have a film to release.