Citation: carl. "Short-term Goals: An Experience with Cocaine (exp16525)". Erowid.org. Apr 21, 2005. erowid.org/exp/16525
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What you are about to read is short true story about how Cocaine has effected my life, family, girlfriend etc. There will be no Bullshit so you may find some of the story a bit shocking or offensive. Names have been changed for obvious reasons
Still Interested? Then read on.
Chapter 1 - The seed of Curiosity
Before I start let me just tell you that I was no stranger to street drugs I had used L.S.D, Cannabis, Speed, Ecstasy etc on and off for some time before and had no real problems with them. Don’t misunderstand me here I’m not condoning the use of any of the above drugs I because they are all very dangerous substances to mess about with. I guess I was just lucky.
The year is 1994 I was setting off to work as a Gym Instructor but something was going to change my life for the worse that day and I didn’t know it. The time is about 8pm and a so called friend of mine walks into the Gym we talked for a while, you know the usual things what I was doing at the weekend, what girls I was seeing etc. He then says “I’ve got some Charlie here do you want a line” as I said earlier I was no stranger to Drugs but I had never taken Cocaine. I said to him “fuck that I’ve been told that stuff is very addictive,” He say’s “Bullshit it’s no different than Speed or Ecstasy”. At the time I thought addiction was like being addicted to Heroin, Physical addiction, I didn’t know there was such a thing as psychological addiction. “But believe me I know now, You feel as if you are loosing your mind”.
Anyway in the end curiosity got the better of me and I said ok giz a line then so I stood there while he put two lines on a table I watched him snort a line then it was my
Turn. To be honest if I think back now I was very nervous at the time but that didn’t stop me. He told me I would feel on top of the world, a great euphoria, powerful etc. So I rolled up a ten pound note and snorted the shit up my nose. The weird thing is I felt nothing at all which proves that the stuff he had must have been a load of crap.
Anyway a few weeks went by and another mate and me were going out for a few drinks. By this time though all I had been thinking about was what it would have felt like if the Coke had worked on me (Yes the seed of curiosity was well planted in my head). So I suggested to my mate that we buy some Coke before we went out, after all it was only gonna cost us 20 quid for half a gram yeah a tenner each, cheap or what Eh. So we cut up a few lines onto a mirror, Really not knowing what we were doing I said to my mate let me go first I know how to do this so out comes the tenner I rolled it up and snorted a couple of lines off the mirror. A couple of minutes went by and then WOW I got an intense feeling of well being, thought I could rule the world you know what I mean. I said to my mate who by the way was a bit naïve when it came to drugs quick have a go of this. So he snorted a couple of lines and a few minutes later he said “fuck me what a cool feeling” so we sat there for a couple of hours talking complete shit to each other. I told him he was my best mate and everything in life seemed rosey.
The thing that I really liked about Cocaine was as soon as I snorted a line I got the feelings virtually straight away not like when I take a tablet and have to wait for it to come up on me. So this Coke ritual became a regular thing every weekend when we went out. Yeah it was like having a new mate who would take all my problems away. The one thing I didn’t notice though is that unlike the other drugs I have used Ecstasy etc it left me with an indescribable craving for more and more. So the half a gram soon turned into one or two grams per weekend eighty odd quid or so. “NOT SO CHEAP EH”?
This went on for a few months then I found myself wanting to do this new hobby more than once a week so without telling any of my mates I would buy some more gear through the week and use it at home not just for social occasions like before. You may ask yourself how could I afford this habit but I was spending almost all of my wages from work on Coke. I started dipping into my savings I had about 7000 quid in the bank as I was saving up for a new car and believe this or not I managed to put the whole 7000 quid up my nose in just over a month. At the time now I look back I didn’t notice that this was not right but Coke changes the way I think. Instead of pounds and pence I start thinking in grams. It also turns me into a liar and makes me a very deceitful person. Any spare money I would get Instead of spending it on normal things Clothes, Records etc I would spend it on Charlie. Before I knew it I was spending up to 500 quid a week on the shite. Then one day I had an idea why don’t I start dealing it and make myself some money. So off I go and buy myself a set of scales and a message pager I put the word about just to close friends and almost over night I was making in excess of 700 quid a week. “EASY MONEY EH? NARR”
The more money I made the more Charlie I snorted until after a month or two I was actually snorting more than I was selling. You know that old saying, “DON’T GET HIGH ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY”. Well this is exactly what I was doing so in the end I ended up in debt with other dealers “Not Good”. I was doing all this running around selling Coke making no money at all and getting deeper in debt and more and more addicted. At the time I didn’t even think of what the consequences would have been if I was caught by the Police. By this time my whole life revolved around getting my daily supply of Coke.
As I said at the beginning of this story my job was a Fitness Instructor needless to say my Coke habit started affecting my work. I had spent the last 5 years Training (Bodybuilding) so I could enter competitions. My training became less and less each month until I didn’t train at all. In the matter of twelve months I went from 15 stone of muscle down to 12 stone of nothing (Get the picture) it was inevitable that my job training people was going to suffer also. How could I help people get fit when all I was thinking about was when my next Charlie session was.
A few more months went by and things went from bad to worse I was always late for work. Even if I got there I was so tired coz of the night before I couldn’t be arsed doing anything. I was always off sick so as you can imagine I lost my job, funny enough though I wasn’t sacked I resigned.
Chapter - 2 Paranoid
When I say I couldn’t be arsed what I really mean is that I was getting so paranoid I couldn’t face going to work in a gym environment. Sometimes I couldn’t even face going out of my house unless I had my supply of Coke in my pocket. Paranoid, I’ll explain more about this later.
After quitting my job I suppose that was the real time I realized that I had a problem. Another reason I quit was so I could change my social circle I thought this would stop me from snorting. “WRONG”. If I wanted any Coke all I had to do was pick up the phone and it would be delivered faster than ordering a fucking Pizza. So here I was with no Job no Money and the cravings for a 500 quid a week Coke habit. So my only option was to quit taking Coke, easy Eh? “WRONG AGAIN” This was my first attempt at quitting and I thought it was going to be easy. The first day or two weren’t too bad but all I thought of was Cocaine I would sit and fantasize about going and getting some all day. The night time was even worse my sleep pattern was all fucked up so I would be up all night thinking about guess what? COCAINE.
Even if I did fall asleep I would dream about Coke and I felt as if it was calling me in my sleep. I would wake up sweating, shaking and with an absolute indescribable craving for the shite. I started having panic attacks, I was very edgy and always on a short fuse. I would snap at people for the least thing sometimes even for no reason at all. I had been off Coke for about a week and I swear I could still taste the shit in my throat. As the days went by the panic attacks got worse, the Paranoia got worse I felt as if the whole world was out to get me. I even thought my family and friends were plotting to do things against me. I decided to go to my Doctor to see if he could help. I told him about my problem but he looked bewildered I could tell he didn’t really understand my problem. I’m not blaming him for anything though coz he has been very good to me in the past. He prescribed me some sleeping pills and off I went with my new weapon to fight my addiction.
These were ok for the first few nights but eventually even they couldn’t get me to relax or sleep even though I was probably taking about ten times the dose the doctor had prescribed me. The anxiety and panic attacks were still there and I felt as if I was loosing my mind. All I could think about day and night was Cocaine a few weeks went by and the inevitable happened I started snorting again. I needed something to occupy my mind and I was desperate to get a job to get some money.
The thing I really hate about Coke is that the high is so short lived. After that first line about 15 minutes later I will need to have some more to try and stop the intense feelings of despair and paranoia coming upon me. So if I am out in a pub I will spend most of the night running back and forth to the bogs to top up, all I am doing though is chasing that first high and it will never come back so really all I am doing is postponing the despair feelings for as long as I can. Here’s a little project to try out. Next time you go out to the pub stand near the bogs and I bet it’s the same people going in and out all night “not with a weak bladder I bet”. I can spot them a mile off coz I’ve been there so many times myself.
It’s now 1997 as I’ve already told you I used to work in a Gym so I made some good friends while I was there. It just so happens that one of my mates was a Doorman who had his own business. I gave him a call and he instantly gave me a job as a doorman which was very good of him now I think about it. If I thought for one minute that working in nightclubs was going to help my situation I must have been kidding myself. But really deep down I didn’t care as long as I could find some way to feed my habit. The first weekend was rough but I had to keep my shit together coz I didn’t want my new employer knowing my head was fucked up with Coke. Although I now think he would have understood my situation but I couldn’t take the chance.
So the weeks went by and it got harder and harder to stay off coke in this working environment so yeah you guessed it I started taking drugs again BUT not Cocaine though. I started using Ecstasy to make the nights go quicker. This went on for several weeks then the inevitable happened, I started snorting again. Let me explain how this happened. As a doorman one of my duties was to patrol the club making sure there was no trouble also checking the toilets for drug dealing etc. One night my partner and me walked into the toilets and caught two lads snorting so our job was to confiscate the drugs and hand them into the manager of the club so we ejected the lads from the club but did we hand the drugs in? NO we kept them for ourselves wow free Cocaine I thought. So we used the stuff ourselves but it didn’t last long so here I was back to square one with the intense cravings for Coke.
So off I go and find myself a dealer and bought some more gear. So did I have any wagers that weekend? NO. So here I am back on the Cocaine roundabout it all started happening again snorting through the week, snorting at work round and round we go. I am working in a potentially life threatening environment and having nothing to show for it. What really pisses me off is how easy it was to fall back into the Cocaine lifestyle. This went on for a year or two yeah just imagine how much money I was spending on the shite again. But I still hadn’t learnt my lesson then one night in work I met a girl called Paula “Who is still my current girlfriend at the time of writing this by the way”. She had never used drugs so I had to try and keep this Coke habit a secret for as long as I could coz I really liked her. Anyway a few weeks went by and she started getting suspicious about my behavior, mood swings, going missing for a day or two, why I had no money all the time and she noticed I wasn’t eating very much.
So in the end I had to sit her down and tell her. At the time I thought she was going to finish the relationship. Can you imagine the shock she got when I said “Look Paula I have got a 500 quid+ Cocaine habit” All she had to do was walk away and I was surprised when she didn’t after all she was only 18 years old and she is in college studying. So I thought the last thing she needed was a druggie as a boyfriend but to my amazement she said she would try and help me kick the habit. I agreed to try and stop but all I done was use the stuff behind her back without her knowing. It was as if I had a different girlfriend I suppose you could say Cocaine is like a partner I fall in love with the stuff Honest. Anyway a few more months went by and she eventually found out. Once again I thought she would sack me but god bless her she didn’t. This was the point that I decided I needed some proper help. After all it was the least I could do for Paula and myself obviously. I had fallen in love with her so it was Cocaine or Paula I just can’t have both honest I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work.
I thought it was going to be easy to find help other than my doctor so I phoned the National drugs help line. I told them my situation and they gave me some phone numbers of local drug support groups. I phoned several numbers and all of them were only offering help to heroin and alcoholics I couldn’t find anyone to talk to about cocaine.
Chapter - 3 Treatment
Don’t get me wrong here I’m not knocking heroin or alcohol users its just that I couldn’t see the point in talking to people with a different problem of my own. One of the people I talked to on the phone said, “Look an addiction is an addiction so don’t be stupid”. This really pissed me off I said, “what’s the use of talking to people who are suffering from a different illness than the one I have got” Yeah illness an addiction is certainly a kind of illness. I mean what would the point be going to the dentists if you had a sore foot “get my drift”. So at that point it really set me back I thought what’s the fucking point if no one is willing to help. My doctor just handed me out pills, and my psychiatrist didn’t have a bloody clue. In fact Paula was my tower of strength at that moment she was the only one who would really try and understand this thing I was trying to fight. I would phone her all hours in the morning i.e. 3am and she would be there for me to talk to in my moment of need. This went on for several week’s but I was pushing her to her limits and she would sometimes get angry with me “Can’t blame her though can you”. I mean she would have an exam at collage the next day and I had been phoning her through the night so she wasn’t getting her proper sleep.
So this started to affect our relationship and her college work. I was still trying to stop but the Coke had such a hold on me I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall and just getting nowhere. The temptation at work was just too much for me to handle and I felt lost and paranoid even though I had Paula to talk to. I think this must have been the time I was at an all time low because one night after a heavy Cocaine session my head was so messed up I took 30 Temazepam. How I woke up after that I don’t know. One of the staff at Drug free recently said to me “It mustn’t have been my time to die”. I guess I was just lucky Eh? This went on for a few more months then a friend of mine well to be honest he was my snorting partner found a support group. So as I said I was desperate to get off Coke so him and me went down there to see if they could help. They were very friendly and made us feel very welcome, At last I had found somewhere I could go to for Cocaine treatment and counseling. The treatment is called E.S.T that stands for Electro Stimulation therapy.
Let me explain how all this works. On your first session they will assess you i.e. You tell them about your drug habits that you have this is all very confidential and very informal you are put under no pressure what so ever. Then they will tell you about the services they can offer you. E.S.T, Counseling, Sleep Tea, Detox tea, Gymnasium, and a drop in center etc. At the moment I am getting E.S.T therapy and counseling, let me explain about the E.S.T therapy all it is a square black box with electrodes coming from it “DON’T PANIC” its very safe and very relaxing they connect the electrodes to various parts of your body. Ears, Ankles, Toes, Knees etc these are acupuncture points ant it sends small electronic pulses through your body. In the early stages this will help you with the physical withdrawal of your addiction. But in the long term it will help you with the psychological symptoms of drug withdrawal i.e. Anxiety, Panic attacks, Insomnia, Depression etc. What I have found it has done for me is reduce my cravings for Cocaine and help get my sleep pattern back to normal “Well nearly”.
One of the things that really made me feel better was when one of the people who work at Drug free told me that quite a lot of there clients these days are suffering from Cocaine related problems Not like in the 1980’s when we had the Heroin epidemic. My own opinion is that Cocaine has become quite cheap in later years. So I believe that we are heading towards a Cocaine epidemic ”That is if we don’t already have one”.
I still have good and bad days and nights. But at the end of the day it all comes down to willpower , I have to want to stop taking drugs myself and I do as I have explained earlier. I am still getting treatment every day and it’s been just over 3 months since I last used Coke I still think about it a lot but at least now I know there is somewhere I can go for help.
Here is a message to anyone reading this text that has a Cocaine problem. YOU ARE NOT ALONE there are people out there willing to help, also there are people going through exactly the same feelings that you have and with a little help and your willpower you can come off Cocaine. “IT CAN BE DONE HONEST”.
Chapter - 4 Relapse
What a surprise more like a bloody kick in the balls, After all what I have wrote I have had a relapse In other words I’m using the shite again. Stop before you faint ha and let me explain what happened.
The month is July 2000 as you already know I have been off coke about four months “Why go back to it after so long you will probably ask yourselves”. Let me explain what happened as I have said before Cocaine is a very psychological drug in other words it plays on my mind a lot. As I have already told you I work as a club doorman so coke is never very far away. I will find myself drifting off into my own world thinking about the shit then when someone offers me some your willpower has to take over. For the past four months my willpower has been very strong so I have been turning it down and saying no. But I guess one night I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time having the wrong feelings. To be honest I was feeling pretty good that night so funny enough that’s probably why I had a line. Coz I was feeling OK I had the attitude that one line isn’t gonna do any harm but one line lead to another and another this really started pissing me off so I wasn’t even enjoying what I was doing coz I felt so guilty. But I thought to myself it’s only one night so don’t worry. Big Mistake.
I can’t even use the excuse that it was my working environment that made me weak because I was working in a totally different environment than before. I was no longer working in a dance type nightclub I was working in a bloody social club and the average age of the customers was over 40. What I am trying to get at here is that it was nothing to do with my surroundings that made me relapse it was just the fact that I was not out of the woods with this bloody shyte and it still had some sort of hold on me. Anyway after the night had finished I went home and eventually got to sleep the next day was when it really hit me what I had done. I felt like shit and the cravings were back so I ended up getting on the phone and buying more gear. This went on for about a week yeah I was back on the Cocaine roundabout. I started feeling paranoid again.
I also started having a very aggressive nature you know arguing with people just about anything if you don’t believe me ask my girlfriend and I bet she will be all too happy to agree with this. Anyway I think I was carrying so much guilt around because of what I had done this was making me angry all the time. If I think about it the only person I was really angry with was myself. Anyway after about a week or so I thought this has got to stop because I was starting to loose control again. I managed to stop for about a week this time it seemed harder than ever but with the support of my girlfriend I managed to do it. Then slowly I started thinking clearly again even though I was still and still am fighting the cravings. I managed to pluck up the courage to visit the support group I mentioned earlier and told them what had happened. They were very understanding about the situation and told me not to worry and just look ahead and try and put the relapse behind me. They told me that relapsing was a very common thing with drug rehabilitation and to try and learn from it.
Chapter - 5 A time to stop
Oh well what you have just read is just a small story about how Cocaine has affected my life. I could sit here and type pages telling the various ways it has ruined things for me. Although I call this a small story BEWARE Cocaine is a very large subject. A subject I would advise anyone to steer clear of.
Here are some of the things I have and still am doing to stay off the Coke.
The most important thing is you really have to want to stop otherwise you will probably fail.
Ok here we go…Set yourself short term goals i.e. do things day by day, I was so messed up when I first wanted to stop I had to things hour by hour. So every hour I was not snorting was a pat on the back for me after a few days this got a bit easier so then I took things day by day. Don’t look long term yet it’s too soon so keep to day by day for now. Each day you are off the gear is a step closer to you quitting for good.
Try and find a new hobby something to occupy your mind coz if your sitting around bored the chances are you’ll start thinking about Coke. What I done is start using my computer a lot writing this book is also helping me and of course I suppose I am lucky coz I have got a very understanding girlfriend.
Another thing is try and change your social circle coz the chances are the people you hang around with are also drug users. This will probably be one of the hardest things you’ll have to do coz they will more than likely also be your friends. It’s been very hard for me coz I still have to work with the same people as before. But it can be done it’s not easy when a mate say’s “do you wanna line” even though I am saying no and walking away there is still something inside me saying yes this is were your willpower has to take over. It’s bloody hard I know but it has to be done I’m afraid. Someone once said to me “it’s all in your mind” and I replied “yeah I don’t know about you but my mind controls me, it makes me who I am so if my mind is messed up I’m also messed up”.
Find yourself a drug support group like the one I mentioned earlier don’t bottle things up, that’s the worsted thing you can do Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your feelings after all we are all only human.
Stay away from Alcohol coz when you get pissed you are vulnerable (all your willpower goes out the window)
Oh well they are some of the things I am doing to stay Coke free and they seem to be working for me. I know we are all unique but I hope what you have just read will give you some idea of what to do.
Remember short-term goals, day by day, week by week.
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