Tag Archives: GHB

Eleven Days After Qutting Smoking and how I tricked my brain to stay smoke free

Artist Jessica Doyle goes crazy while quitting smoking

Somewhere in between determination, heart palpitations, lethargy and giddiness I stopped smoking cigarettes eleven days ago. Oddly enough I feel more level headed than I’ve felt in a long time, albeit a sleepy time.

I slept 16 hours per day during the first three days of the quit and sporadically puffed on a Nicorette Inhaler and on a nicotine-free electronic cigarette. I also thought about bookmarking a national directory of treatment centers on my browser in case I needed further help quitting.

The constant dizziness from quitting didn’t subside until day four and it’s still lingering today. And I can’t beleive the manufacturers of the Nicorette inhaler want you to use 12 cartridges per day! I’ve been using one per day since my quit and puffing on an electronic cigarette five to six times per day. And now, eleven days in, I’m weaning off both the Nicorette and the e-cig.

I’m not really sure what prompted me to stop smoking on November 19th, and can’t really say why I feel good or how come I haven’t gone crazy or regressed back into smoking again. I guess when the time is right you just do it and say frack off to everyone and everything else that gets in your way of completing the task at hand.

There are numerous reasons this quit is sticking…

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Chasing the dragon for the last five years

Chasing the Dragon Illustration by artist Jessica Doyle yellow, blue, green

Today marks five years sobriety for me off of GHB.

I drew this dragon five months ago. I added the watercolour five days ago and the image just screamed chasing the dragon once the colours began popping it to life. It still needs more work mind you… Subconsciously, I still chase that illusive dragon when working, creating or even when alone thinking or researching. When what I’m working on, creating, thinking or researching climaxes, I certainly do, feel high and struggle to get to the end. I almost can’t contain myself at times and must run outside to smoke a cigarette and sadly, nicotine is the worst drug of all, as it doesn’t even make you high.

I silently research drugs, their uses and legalities. I consider it a hobby and when I feel the need to use a substance that most certainly will cause me angst, I read back in my journals about the gruesome detox and agony I suffered through for months when sobering up from GHB.

It’s not a pleasant experience to break out in painful large blisters and pimples all over your back, arms and legs and to lose feeling in your extremities and watch your fingers and toes go blue from slowed blood circulation as you reduce your dose of GHB slowly and by half each day for one week at home. It’s not human to recoil into an infantile state regressing to points in one life while awake or asleep when bad things happened only to have to vividly relive them again and again until you aged and moved onwards to the next abuse or trauma.

Process of chasing the dragon illustration by artist Jessica Doyle winsor and Newton watercolour blue green

And I certainly don’t miss the need to dose every half hour at times and the need to overdose just to sleep for two hours at a time or the constant fear of knowing that I would die from sudden withdrawal without GHB running through my system if my drug dealer ran out of it or I forgot my bottle at home after leaving the house for that day. I would return home for the bottle. Always. You hit a certain point with GHB addiction where there is no turning back to just recreational use. Missing a dose can send you into convulsions. Missing a dose can stop your heart from beating. Missing a dose can take your breath away forever. While taking too much can make you fall asleep and go into a coma.

I do miss the first five months of the addiction; the time when everything was wonderful, my brain worked properly and life seemed easier even if it was only a charade.

And most of all, I DO NOT REGRET taking GHB or becoming addicted to it as there were times when it, was perfect.

Over the years people have said to me why not take a Xanax or a Valium to calm down. Are you kidding me? Really, offering a sedative to someone who was addicted to them for two full years (albeit the illegal kind) is like offering a recovered heroin addict a T1 or an alcoholic a just a small shot of whiskey.

Studio of artist Jessica Doyle showing chasing the dragon illustration paint watercolour acrylic

So, chasing the dragon is akin to being amongst the living.

Chasing the dragon is a work in progress. Thus far the mediums used are Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Winsor and Newton watercolour on Arches watercolour paper. It measures 8×10 inches (20,3cm by 25,4cm). And I do not ever smoke inside. My household is a strict non-smoking and scent free home.

The programs offered by addiction treatment centers are designed to help treat addiction to any kind of illicit drug.

Last night I went out and used copious amounts of illegal drugs

And today I am paying for it, needing to dose every half hour or so, so as to not go into remission and suffer through withdrawal.

It’s awful. I thought I’d be OK going to that party last night where I knew there would be GHB. Someone asked me if I wanted a shot and I said no then another person asked me again and I said no again. I should have just left that party. I should have just walked home. Then another person asked saying “Oh, Jessica, it’ll be OK” proceeding to explain that he was addicted to and now only takes it when he’s around other people. I caved, and said yes thinking it would be OK just this once.

And just like that…

…I’m completely addicted to GHB again.

I’d be a FOOL to even try that drug again with 1679 days sober off that stinking drug.

Three personal blog reader emails to share with you

Just over four years have passed since I first began blogging on March 6th, 2006. In essence I have a Bachelor of Blogging. And people are writing to me with their stories, gratitude and sometimes just to say hi.

I thought I’d share a few emails with you that I’ve received over the last few weeks from readers of this blog. They have been reproduced with permission and names changed if requested. All moved me in their own way and even brought me to tears… This is why I blog. This is what inspires me. Continue reading

The end of innocence or why we grow potatoes

Many anniversaries precariously show their face to me during this time of year when summer begins to end and everything alive turns crunchy beneath your feet as it withers and dies.

What am I trying to say? August 26, 2009 passed just as any other day yet it did mark four years sobriety and it was nine years ago that day that I moved out and left my ex-husband. September 5, 2009 still looms in the near future and with it comes the painful memory of my appendix rotting and doctors telling me there was no sign of Crohn’s and that it was just a bad case of gangrenous appendicitis. Right! Three weeks later in 1997 I was having 11 inches of bowel removed and weighed a ghastly 98 pounds. Sorry, but you doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Halifax should never have sent me home to Fredericton. I wasn’t even eating solid food eight days post-op after you silly doctors cut and stapled my abdomen crooked.

If I had remained a wife, September 5th, would’ve marked my eleventh wedding anniversary.

Today… today…
I, saw him again
Today
Today…

So what do you do when memories cloud your judgment? I turned inwards and let it ride and grew some purple skinned potatoes with my mom.

Secret #5 – Stop Smoking

Twenty years have come and gone since I picked up my first cigarette and smoked it. I like it you know.
the taste the feel, the way it filled my lungs and how it circled upwards twirling into the air once exhaled. It has always visually entranced me…

About three years ago I stopped smoking indoors. Yes, the amount I smoked decreased somewhat but that’s not the fucking point. And yes,
I’m somewhat grumpy
somewhat heaving
somewhat lazy and mourning
and saying good bye to a companion whose been by my side
for two
decades

The fallacy of smoking is that it’s wonderful for a person like me who moves from one extreme to another… the harder it is to do something the more I’ll find a way to continue doing it
braving sub-zero temperatures…

72 hours ago I put out my last cigarette.

And for all you Etsy sellers and yes this is on my mind you demonizing little forum writers… not all smokers, smoke inside and not all smokers touch their artwork with smokey hands. I am/was diligent with washing my hands and keeping myself clean.

And maybe I’m lashing out right now. It’s been so quiet. All I want to do is cry but all that does is make me sad and want to curl up into a little ball and sleep. My focus sucks. My creative energy has all but gone into the fog that’s rolling in from the bay outside. My chest feels heavy and I know it’s only because for once I’m getting adequate amounts of oxygen into my lungs. But you know what I want that vile cigarette.

I bought a house this week! Happy! but here I am crying like a baby about a cigarette. Why today is it bugging me so much!

I quit in 1997 for 13 months after my appendix ruptured and was literally rotting inside me. I had morphine to cope with withdrawal so smoking didn’t really matter when I could pump drugs directly into my blood stream.

I quit in 2003 for 19 months using Zyban. Mmm what to say about that except Zyban mentally can mess with your psyche pretty bad. Be for-warned.

I quit for 2 days in 2006. On the third day the DEA raided my office in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Yeah, so I relapsed and began smoking again. Fuck that I said. I want my crutch and I want it now. Those men have rifles pointed at me and there arresting my friends.

so here we are in 2009.
72 hours into quitting and I’m honestly fine.
Are you reading between those lines?
I read a book called “Allen Carr’s EASY way to quit smoking”.
I think it slightly hypnotized me. Needless to say I’m damn lonely right now.
NOT one of my closest girlfriends is a non-smoker.
THEY ALL SMOKE! 90% of the females aged 25 to 45 where I live, smoke.
And guess what!
The men don’t unless they are aged 45 to 65.
WTF?

I’ll tell you though… physical withdrawal from nicotine is NOTHING! It’s a wee little blip in time. It can’t even kill you.

It’s nothing compared to the wee seizures, bone chilling shaking extremities, skin eruptions, low blood pressure, hallucinations and psychosis from GHB withdrawal that can actually kill you dead.

3 Years Today and Five Ways to Make it to 4

Yes, it is that day of the year again where I can honestly say that I am sober of GHB addiction.

Five Ways to Make it to 4

  1. Don’t hang out with people who use the drug you were addicted to no matter how much you like them steer clear because a moment of weakness could strike at any time.
  2. Do something else. Pick up a pen and write or call a friend and talk out what you are feeling.
  3. Exercise. Do anything! Walking. Gardening. Swimming. Renovating. Picking berries. You don’t need to have an expensive gym membership to get in shape. It’s a big world out there folks… get outside regardless of the weather. I walk an average 15K a week and splurged on expensive sneakers instead. I rarely drive.
  4. Eat super healthy food all day long. Cut out or significantly cut down on fast food and processed foods and give your digestive track and waistline a break. I was a monstrous Pepsi addict. Yes, I consume Pepsi and drink on average two cans a day down from the 10 to 14 cans a day of two years ago.
  5. Find the love and honesty within yourself first and you will attract those qualities in others afterwards.

Bonus!

Change your vocation if you need to. My career choice of 10 years was making me sick. The more I worked in an office the more I wanted to use and pull my hair out. And this is not easy. I went from earning thousands every month to meager hundreds per month and lived in the most expensive city in Canada at the time.

I don’t have any words of wisdom or advice on how to quit what you are currently addicted to. I still smoke cigarettes as of today and someday will quit those to. What I do do is this; ONLY smoke outside! That choice in itself has cut my smoking in half. I never smoke inside ever! I am diligent with washing my hands and never smoke when creating art, packaging or printing. My studio is bright, south facing, smoke-free and clean. And to test whether or not your art smells of art or smoke simply ask a few non-smokers to smell it. It only takes a few moments of their time and will give you the piece of mind that when your customers buy your stuff it will smell of what it was created of and not of smoke. My art, reproductions and supplies smell of paper, ink and art supplies. Those non-smokers told me so!

Oddly enough, I am more worried about my art smelling of smoke than I am of myself being addicted to smoking. 😉

3 Ways to Positively Change You

1. Don’t visit the Etsy forums. EVER. period.

These days the Etsy forums resemble a mad hatters tea party on acid except everyone is serving nastiness and it’s become non-positive in every way shape and form. I can’t weed out the negative anymore. They can and will suck your creative spirit dry. As of today I will no longer peruse them. Good Bye!

2. Don’t sign up for Plenty of Fish.

I signed up last year. Then after three weeks of idiots never logged back in until two weeks ago. The idiocy has begun anew with a vengeance. To deter the idiots I made my profile mean (brutally honest). The idiots multiplied. How is this possible that such a small community as Saint John, New Brunswick is so full of rednecks! Moments ago I deactivated my account.

3. Don’t overexpose yourself to noise and crowds.

I love all the people in my life. Don’t get me wrong on this. My social life has been increasing more than I can handle both online and offline. Clubs. Parties. Weddings. Get-togethers. Family Gatherings. Drunk people. Loud Music. POF. Etsy forums. My creativity has seriously wained as a consequence. Thus, it is time to hibernate picking up and using flickr, blog and pen. I need some down time. Really. Badly. I sleep with ear plugs and my cat. I like it quiet just like that.

Just by doing those three things listed above I am adjusting my aura. To much socializing and not enough time alone to re-energize will make me sick. I learned while in treatment for anxiety and addiction that I am an introvert which simply means I need much more alone time and one on one time in small groups than 90% of the rest of the world who are extroverted and need people time all the time to re-energize.

This fact is good. This realization, that I am on the road to an unhealthy lifestyle makes me smile. Haha! Because I realize it and have pinpointed the three main sources of my anxiety. Now, I put it into practice by focusing on the good things.

I feel normal. As most normal people know when enough is enough. Much of my life I didn’t know what was enough or what was lacking. To “know” this empowers me to move into action creating masterpieces for your walls!

Life is an ebb and flow of ideas, choice and change.

In eight days I will be sober of GHB for three years. How about that!

Image credit – Aura, Acrylic painting on 2 by 2 foot board by me, Jessica Doyle. Both the original painting and prints are available in my art shop.