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Three Days of Psychosis
Methamphetamine
by Socs
Citation:   Socs. "Three Days of Psychosis: An Experience with Methamphetamine (exp32461)". Erowid.org. Jul 17, 2005. erowid.org/exp/32461

 
DOSE:
  repeated insufflated Methamphetamine (powder / crystals)

BODY WEIGHT: 140 lb


I loved Crystal. Whenever I remember her, all the unpleasant memories are conveniently set aside, and only the good remain. The first line! The perfect line! I missed her, so I wanted to find her again. I called my dealer again 3 months earlier than I had told myself to wait to see her again. I just had to see her again one last time before I said my final goodbyes. My dealer told me that this time was WAY better than the last. How that was possible I couldnít understand, and I didnít care. But I believed him and went for another 5 grams this time. Next time, if it worked out, I would get 10 grams. Maybe it could even become a long-term thing. After all, I could always trust that cartels could deliver grade A crystals. If not them, at least some local cooks might be able to churn out decent stuff. But I thought as long as theyíre crystals and not powder, they would be good. Take it from me - crystals can be crap, too.

Why did I even try it in the first place? Itís an easy answer for me. I just had to know what it was like. Iíd been through enough substances to know that I wouldnít be truly hooked on any particular substance for any longer than would be necessary for me to get everything I could get out of it. I also felt that it would be better to get it all out of my system before I got much older. So when I tried it for the first time, my first 5 grams had lasted a month, and it was like coming out of a long, pleasant dream. Never had every single line been so good! Unfortunately, this new batch of 5 grams was different. Completely different.

3 days later, I started to come to, realizing that I had been Alice in Wonderland, coming out of the strangest dream I had ever been in, only the dream had been completely real. I then felt the need to jot down as much as I remembered and get corroborations from real people who had interacted with me during the psychosis. I would say what I experienced were psychosis, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, the works. The media calls it meth-induced psychosis, but I use that term loosely for the sole purpose of giving it a recognizable name because what I took was probably less than 50% real meth, if at all. It was definitely cut with something else that contributed to such strong hallucinations within only a day after ingestion. Maybe the toluene from the hardware store used as a solvent in the lithium method was contaminated with lead, tin, or whatever. Or maybe it was mixed in with too much 4-MAR.

My journal is meant to remind myself just how far gone I was during that time and the degree to which my thought processes had gone awry. Some observations I make in the journal are made during the trip, not after the trip where I am better able to assess my situation. So some of my thought processes during the trip may make sense and others will be obviously incorrect and delusional.

Thereís quite a bit to read here. If you want sensationalism, gratuitous car chases, and buildings blowing up, this isnít for you. But if you want to get into the mind of a normal, healthy individual experiencing three days of psychosis resulting from too high a dose from bad quality 'meth,' read on.

Trip Begins Here.

'Sunday Evening'

Made the exchange. Driving back home now. Tomorrow is Presidentsí Day so I have a bit of leeway in experimenting on a Sunday. As soon as I got it, I snorted 100 mg to test it out before the long drive. It felt pretty good. It felt like before. I then took 200 or 300 mg more, then a few hundred milligrams more later on as I felt I could handle the amount, but I wasnít measuring the exactly amount anymore. I wanted to stop over and just experience it without any hindrance brought on by driving, so I decided to stay at some no-name hotel. Tripping a bitÖactually a lot. It felt too dreamy at times, like I wasnít all there, like when you are so drunk that youíre in a state of stupor. Almost an MDMA-like feeling, too, but not to the same degree. It was a little too strange considering my familiarity with what I knew to be very good quality meth just a few weeks ago. But it still felt good. So I didnít think about this very much. Just laid down on the bed and took in the sensation.

'Monday Morning'

Didnít get any sleep obviously, and in the morning when I was taking a shower, I could swear that on multiple occasions, the maid had come in without knocking first or without me hearing it time for me to stop her. Seeing the reflection on the door knob, I thought I could see her coming in. Eventually, I just put on the ďDo Not DisturbĒ sign and put that recurring hallucination to rest. After all, I wasnít a complete novice in hallucinations. However, this was clearly a warning sign that the delusions had started to take effect, and if not careful, would start to take over completely until I got some sleep. But that wasnít gonna happen. I would have to drive home today. Maybe when I got home, Iíd get some sleep. But I sensed the police may already have been onto me, and I would hear sirens off in the distance when I started driving back home. That red car behind me. Was it an undercover officer staking me out? I would look at the rear view mirror every two or three seconds. In fact, much of the time spent driving back was looking at the rear view mirror. Donít ask me why. Paranoia just does that to you. And it takes a lot of willpower to just be cool.

'A Bump in the Family Room'

I came home around 4 or 5 pm from LA. I started walking around the house, inspecting it, exactly for what I didnít know, just inspecting it, slowly making my way over to the family room from the kitchen to make sure everything was ok.

THUD.

I heard something right outside of the window. I thought I saw little kids hiding right outside the window. Could be my imagination only, but I knew that there were kids in the neighborhood who could just as easily find it more convenient to hop a fence to get a football that they accidentally threw over to my side of the fence. Theyíd thrown some balls over the fence before, and I had to get it for them. If they didnít think I was home, they could just hop on over. That wouldnít be so bad. But if it were anybody else, it could be serious. My attention was focused on who these strangers could be. I couldnít quite see them. But from what I heard, it seemed like they were climbing up and down the chimney right outside the window. Whenever I would peek over the window, I could hear them scurry quietly right below the other window. The sound they were making had by now become more pronounced. Either this was very real, or I was getting into some serious auditory hallucinations. I still hadnít made up my mind because the possibility of little kids turning this into a game of hide and seek was possible and probable, so I couldnít rule it out. But whenever I would move to the next window to see who it could be, I would hear them moving further and further away.

BUMP.

Then I heard the front door get bumped, as if somebody pushed on it and banged it into the door frame. The kids must have made it out of the backyard and onto the front porch, so I ran straight to the front door and opened it from inside. Nothing there. Stuff like this happened in my old neighborhood where kids would play these stupid pranks on everybody in the neighborhood by knocking on the door and running away. But again, it could be more serious. Somebody bumping on the door like that could just as easily be attempting an easy break-in if the owner was stupid or careless enough to keep their front door unlocked. As I was standing right in front of the door thinking about this, it happened again after a few minutes. I opened the door immediately this time, but again, nothing. From all reasonable deductions, it had to be the wind. But I could swear whenever I would back away from the door to just let this issue go, I would sense a shadow being cast over the door again. Could some kids have turned this into a cat and mouse game? Now I wasnít just hearing the occasional bump on the front door, I was hearing something on the roof, or was it the attic? My first thought was that, because of the simultaneous bumping on the roof, there were kids walking on the roof, swinging over to the door, bumping on it, and swinging back up to the roof, which could explain the reason I couldnít see them when I opened the door. So I decided to see whether it was possible to see all of this from the second floor window so that I could actually catch them in the act and allay my fears of temporary insanity.

Looking out the window on the second floor, I saw it! It was like a rubber chicken attached on a string right above the door. So THAT'S how they did it. I knew those kids weren't acrobatic enough to swing over the door, tap it, and then swing back onto the roof because I would have caught them by opening the door as soon as they tapped it. Kids might be quick and nimble, but not so much so that they can pull Batman-like stunts that easily. As the rubber chicken was still hanging right in front of the door, I ran downstairs again to catch the rubber chicken in action before the kids pulled it back up onto the roof. When I opened the front door, the rubber chicken transformed into what it had always been: a wooden decoration with the house number on it. It had been there all along ever since I had moved in, and I had never given it much thought, and yet all of a sudden this little sign had taken on a completely different interpretation in my mind. I wasnít completely crazy yet. Looking at it from a certain angle did look a bit like a rubber chicken! Iím not crazy! Not just yet, at least. From here, I should have shaken it all off, but I couldnít. I was slowly finding myself getting drawn further and further into the world I was creating. It felt like I was in a novel, slowly unfolding, unable to stop myself as the intrigue developed, with each incident paving the way for a completely new incident until at the end, the world I was in would resemble nothing of the real world I had been living in. But really, I reasoned, all these things so far were just the products of my hyperactive imagination. They had to be because while possible, they were hardly probable.

BUMP, BUMP.

This was why I couldnít just snap out of it. The incessant noise on the roof. Now I was thinking maybe the kids weren't on the roof. It was raining after all. I suspected they were doing something else; I heard them differently this time. The voices. The whispers. One sounded like an adult, but sometimes they both sounded like kids. I think there were just two of them. I couldnít really tell which ones I was hearing. I knew that on meth, even the smallest sounds take on such huge proportions that they can sometimes be misinterpreted. In the wild, when you are being hunted by a predator, this hypersensitivity to sound comes in handy. Every change in the environment can be sensed. With all of the hair on my body standing on end, I was like an animal in the wild, just living in the moment, methodically determining if any danger was imminent. I had once figured out eventually (after a couple of weekends of observation) that the sound of water going through my intestines plus the sound my mattress created when I shifted my position trying to get some sleep had conjured up sounds of footsteps in the hallway, as if my landlord were spying on me, suspicious of my behavior, just listening to whatís going on behind closed doors. In normal civilization, this hypersensitivity ends up creating more problems if you canít tune them out and just be cool. But for now, a little more investigation would be required before I could rule out the most cuckoo theories so that I could relax and go to bed. After all, just letting this go might be foolish if there really was something going on out there.

I had made a guess based on what I was sensing now that the ďkidsĒ were in the attic because I could hear them running around. I decided to go up to the attic. I brought a stool, stood on top of it, and removed the rectangular cover and propped myself up into the pitch black attic. This was starting to feel a bit like those movies where youíre being led by some force to a place where you really feel you shouldnít go because something evil always lurks in those places. I had to go. The intrigue was killing me. I HAD to find out what was going on. With my head peeking through the attic, I decided to bluff the ďkidsĒ and use my limited child psychology on them. I said, 'I hear you. Come out. It's ok. I know you've been hanging around in the attic because you guys didnít have any other place to stay. You guys didnít do anything wrong. Maybe you just needed shelter from the rain. Just donít make me come up there.Ē But I kept going.

I sensed their presence in the attic, but it was too dark, so I went down to get my flashlight. Back in the attic now, the whispers I thought I heard drove me forward, walking around the fluffy air duct insulations, getting scratched over old splintered wood. I went to one end to see whether they were hiding under some air duct insulations. Something moved, but I just couldnít get a handle on what it was. Maybe it was coming from outside the attic? At the edge of the attic, I wondered if it was possible to get onto the roof from here. There was no way. I saw what looked like a trap door and tried to open it. I could almost sense that they were on the other side of the wall, hiding and pushing down on what I thought was a trap door to the roof to prevent me from going out there and catching them. But there just was no way out from here. Either Iím missing something really obvious like another trap door in the attic that leads to the roof, or there is just no way to do it from inside. And just then I thought I heard somebody say, ďThere it is.Ē The voice seemed to be coming from below where my room would be. He was talking about the stash I had just brought home. The voice was that of a grown up this time. Damn it. Who is it? Was it my landlord? We had an arrangement where I rented out a room here. He was gone during the day most of the time, but was always home at night. Why didnít I hide my stash properly before getting into this stupid amateur sleuthing business in the first place? Judging from the faucet running in the kitchen, my landlord had come home, no doubt seeing how strange it must be that I was in the attic. So was it my landlord, or was it one of the Meth Task Force members who I thought had been in my house during my last bout with meth-induced hallucinations about a month back? That time, I remember there had been shadowy figures lurking in the dark in my house. In fact, I was nearly raided by an imaginary police force, though they didnít quite seem imaginary at the time. I had heard them right outside my room, trying to unlock my door from the other side to get in and arrest me. They had shined their miniature flashlights underneath my room to monitor everything I was doing in my room.

That had been a major scare. They had seemed pretty real at the time, yet as the lights came on and as I got some solid sleep, they had disappeared, and I had realized that they were just hallucinations. As a result, I thought I had learned a thing or two about hallucinations already, having read up on it so often in other trip reports and having had some experience with it firsthand. Damn it. So maybe that time a month back hadnít been a hallucination after all and the last time the Meth Task Force was in my house, they purposely tried to make me think that I was hallucinating so that they would be allowed to work without suspicion. I guess the ďkidsĒ on either the roof or the attic were actually recruited Task Force members who had been monitoring my house for some time. These two guys must have been recruited for their great sense of agility. They were the ones I had ďhallucinatedĒ all this time. In the acrobatic department, Iím no slouch myself, but staying undetected as long as they did, I had to give them a lot of credit. But how did they catch wind of my meth experimentation? And why would they even care? They ought to be following the Big Fish Small Fish principle. Iím as small as they come and the least dangerous as they come. So with my mind set on this new possibility of stealthy Task Force members searching my room, I searched a bit more around the whole attic, gave up on finding any ďkidsĒ there, and feeling very uneasy, but sure that nobody was in the attic, left the attic. I went straight to my room to inspect my stash.

'Coordinated Raid Preparation'

Ok, so nobody was home yet. The running faucet had been a hallucination. But even though I didnít find anybody in the attic, I knew somebody was still on the roof. I just sensed that there was somebody doing something out there. And the Meth Task Force: could they be real? I mean I know they exist, but in my house? Maybe theyíre not out to get me. Maybe theyíre just here with their own agenda completely unrelated to me, but you canít shake off sound that seems so real. So I went to the backyard to see whether it was possible for me to go up on the roof with a ladder. In the backyard, I didnít notice much except the house across from my house. I had played an interesting game of surveillance cat and mouse with them before.

A few weeks back, I had been looking out my window, scouring the skies for helicopters. I thought my neighbors were looking at me, so I had to somehow make it known that I was watching them, too, even though I had no interest in them. I had to do my part to at least to deter them from conducting any further surveillance on me although I was perfectly aware that my fear that they are watching me could become a self-fulfilling prophecy by arousing their suspicion to my seemingly suspicious behavior. Again, I just needed to be cool, but that wasnít going to happen because I had to see this through to rule out the worst-case scenarios. Focusing again on the task at hand in the backyard, I realized there was no way up to the roof from there. Maybe I could find a ladder somewhere, or maybe thereís an easier way around the front of the house. I turned to go back into the house, but then suddenly I saw something.

The familiar red and blue lights flashing from a reflection on a window.

Were the police making a visit to my house? How could I be sure the angle was correctly indicating that there were police cars in front of my house? I had to make sure that I wasnít hallucinating the whole thing. This time I HAD to make sure. This was getting trickier and trickier to feel so out of it, yet my mind making so many connections on its own that everything I was running into seemed undeniably real even with proper reasoning. Itís not paranoia when theyíre really after you. I went to the front door, opened it, went outside and walked around a bit. I didnít see anything else but some cars passing by. Unfortunately, I know the police are pretty decent at concealing themselves when they wish to be stealthy, so I stayed around a bit longer to see whether I could detect any coordination in a seemingly random and typical Monday night.

My suspicions were confirmed.

It seemed like the cars passing by in front of my house werenít just passing by randomly. Their movements were coordinated. Most of my hallucinations after about three days without sleep were usually mild stuff like little closed-eye animations and only when it was pitch black for that matter. But this was different. I was actually seeing this with my own eyes a few feet away from the street. Outright, full-blown, in-your-face hallucinations like cars passing by are very hard to hallucinate unless you were really really gone. Or maybe these really were cars passing by except I was just perceiving random movements completely differently. I was glad to find that realizing this possibility was still well within my grasp. But I couldnít just brush this aside and hope that it would go away by itself. The police donít go away just because you want them to. So I went to the second floor room facing the front side of my house and started peering out through the window, making sure that the light was turned off in the room and I couldnít be seen.

When a car moved from one end of a block to the other end, it would flash its headlights in a pattern similar to Morse code. Then the other car would move from that end of the block to another end and repeat the process with other cars so that at every point there was one car moving from one end of the block to the other end. It looked like they were patrolling the whole block. If that was the case, who were they monitoring? I didnít see any real police cars with sirens on the hood of the car, although I knew a few were out and about in the neighborhood, but I now had a suspicion that it wasnít just a run-of-the-mill police operation. This was probably a Meth Task Force operation that had been popping up recently. As a result, they probably had tons of resources and were probably starting at the bottom of the food chain, people like me, the casual users, who could supply them with information on people higher up the chain. So I guess I was the unlucky target of one of their first missions, which could explain some of their really really amateurish tactics like not being able to unlock the door to my room the last time I thought they were in my house. Out of the corner of my eye, but only through a reflection, I saw an actual police car with the sirens on the hood of the car. But where was it if it was just a reflection?

I spent a few minutes trying to figure it out, but soon after I started realizing that this coordinated driving was getting very very suspicious and forgot about the police car. I know I have stayed up a whole day now, and I had already been hallucinating a little, so I know Iím capable of hallucinating, but this is too real. I canít be hallucinating all of these cars passing by. I know Iím not capable of that degree of hallucination yet. Maybe in a few days, but just not today. Some of these cars are my neighborsí cars because I see them everyday. Are my neighbors cooperating with the Meth Task Force? Why did they all of a sudden have extremely strange looking tools inside their cars now? These devices in their cars looked downright futuristic. Well, not so futuristic, but like they had been modified to function as surveillance vehicles whenever I was able to catch a glimpse inside the cars as they passed by the front of my house. Perhaps the house next door to my left had been monitoring me, too? No wonder my neighbor was asking me whether it was ok for him to work on a shed on the side of his house that was adjacent to ours a few months back. He had actually been working on a way to funnel Task Force members to my roof! So then hereís how I saw it: there were about four or five cars that were switching positions to make it look like cars were passing by randomly. One car would make its way across the front of my house. It would then blink a series of some type of Morse code with its headlights when it got to the end of the street. Then another car from another place would do the same thing. This was basically covering the whole street block where my house was located. And whenever some of these cars were driving by, the radio transmission squawks would get louder, leaving me with little doubt that they were either the police or the Meth Task Force and that they were definitely planning something.

Why didnít I think to get a scanner? And I now figured that the stealthy ďkidsĒ on the roof were Task Force members coordinating with the team on the ground. What were they doing up there? I could hear them plenty well as they walked around the roof. Now they were talking and not even bothering to be stealthy. Maybe they were installing some kind of a device to monitor all of my phone conversations. Or maybe they had already installed it and were doing something else now. So thatís how they knew about the fact that I got a new stash today. They probably had been listening in the whole time. But this line of thinking seemed too outlandish. I allowed myself some room for serious doubt. Maybe covering the block was being done in preparation to raid somebody elseís house. Somebody bigger. Probably a cook or a major dealer. Or something completely unrelated to drugs. After all, it just didnít make much sense that anybody would coordinate something against me. If they had done any due diligence on intelligence, they would realize that all it would take were just one police officer on a routine visit on suspicion of illegal activity in the house.

But I certainly wouldnít expect these guys to have any real interest in my activities. I guess the Task Force members considered themselves to be an elite commando unit and had to do everything in that style. After all, who wouldnít love conducting raids like that? I would absolutely love it even if it was gratuitous! But what the hell were they doing on my roof if they werenít interested in me in any way? I need to shake this hallucination off, but I canít, especially now that there is some evidence that itís no longer a hallucination. I canít ignore something like this. So here they were, circling my house, no doubt preparing for a raid that would overwhelm me. Of course I would give up without a fight. I began to resign myself to doing hard time for at least a few years. It would be a huge transition in my life, but I was a bit surprised at just how well I was taking this imminent arrest and the prospect of doing favors for them to reduce my sentence. Or maybe they were just testing me to see how much of their tactics I would discover on my own as if they WANTED me to catch on to what they were up to. After all, had one of the guys on the roof not screwed up and made the noise outside of the family room that aroused my suspicion in the first place, I would have never discovered what had really been going on, and they would have been able to prepare the raid without me catching on so early on in the game.

But now that I had caught on, I blatantly opened the window and looked outside. I didnít even care to make sure I couldnít be seen in the room anymore. I just stood up and looked out without caring who could see me.

It was dark now, and my landlord should have been home by now. He was probably not home because maybe he was told to stay away during the raid. Or maybe he had suspected me of drug use and had reported me to the police himself, who then began to monitor me ever since. All the while as the few hours passed looking out the window, the coordinated tag team driving was still going on. Why were they doing this for so long? Why didnít they just arrest me already? Because the window was wide open and I was seeing these cars in full view, there was no way I could have been hallucinating. Hallucinations always happen in ambiguous forms, not so in-your-face that you canít deny their existence.

I was almost sure now that these guys had been in my house before. So now that I figured since they were monitoring what I was saying, I could just say my piece to them in a monologue fashion. There must have been a microphone hidden everywhere so it really wouldnít matter where I said what and in what volume. I told them that this was a huge waste of their resources. Thereís nothing of interest they can get from me. And besides, I actually appreciate what they do. My meth use is casual. I donít hurt anybody even when on it. Iím not like the dangerous tweakers who are mentally unstable and commit violent crimes of opportunity to support their habit. Those are the guys that represent a direct threat to society and should be sought after, not me. So do you guys want me to work for you? Is this how you recruit people? You let them catch on to what youíre doing and raid them?

Gotta say I wasnít all that impressed, I told them. Had they not made that noise in the family room, I would still be oblivious to their presence. These guys werenít doing a perfect job and were slipping up here and there. And on and on I kept talking to myself with the assumption that they could hear me. I then brought my trusty flashlight to my room in case they might come in handy. For one thing, what I might be hallucinating as it was getting darker could always be confirmed or denied by flashing my light to see whether it withstood the bright light test, meaning any place where enough light shines tends to mitigate or eliminate the possibility of hallucinations altogether. Also, maybe I would let them know without a doubt that I knew I was onto them by sending out a bit of my own Morse code style of coordinated flashes as well, either to throw them off or to alert them to my presence.

Perhaps an hour or so later (but who was keeping track of time now when something like this was occupying me?) as the shadows being cast by the streetlights in the neighborhood became more prominent, I caught the shadows of the 2 Task Force members on the front lawn. Seeing the shadows on the front lawn confirmed to me that they were actually up on the roof. But hey, this was old news to me now. Actually, I caught just one, but I knew there were two because I had heard them talking to each other before. Or maybe it was just one who was talking to his team with a walkie talkie. Maybe that was causing the radio interference in my room. My computer monitor had speakers built in and had a habit of making static buzzing noises whenever radio signals came into my room, almost always for my cell phone. But these days I realized that when my girlfriend Lily called my cell phone, she would tell me the calls wouldnít connect. This didnít happen until recently, so I finally had it pegged. They were installing some apparatus on my roof to pick up my cell phone transmissions. These Task Force guys were really cramping my style, and I was getting outraged.

The first guy I saw in the form of a shadow on the front lawn was working on installing some device on my roof. I never actually saw the guy, but I deduced this from the shadow cast over the lawn. So I shined my flashlight at the shadow on the lawn that corresponded to the guy on the roof, letting the guys on the ground know that I was onto him. When I did that, I heard another radio transmission squawking, and the shadow stopped moving. It was as if they told him to pretend to be a shadow of a normal fixture like a tree. ďNice try,Ē I said. ďI know youíre up there. Iím onto you guys.Ē He must have heard me. Then the shadow did a little dance, literally the way a guy who doesnít know how to dance would try to dance, maybe just to be silly. Yeah, no need to try to be stealthy when your coverís already been blown wide open. I figured thatís why he was dancing side to side like that, letting off a bit of steam in what is otherwise a very hazardous line of work. A little humor to break the tension? Then he got back to work.

So then it wasnít imperative that this operation remain covert. Otherwise, they would have cut the prep short and would have raided me already as soon as they knew I was onto them. Then maybe these guys were using my house for a different reason. But what? Of all the houses here, why would the Task Force members be installing something on my roof? Maybe they werenít after me? I really wanted to believe this. And by now these guys didnít seem as menacing, and it looked like they were just taking their time. They werenít as cautious because they knew it would turn out to be an easy raid against one guy with no weapons or the stupidity to fight back. Thatís the thing with the police. Unless they have something real personal against you, which they really had no reason to have, you are gonna make it out alive and virtually unscathed as long as you put up no resistance, verbal, physical, or otherwise. Now running into common criminals on the other hand were a different story. You had to fight back against those guys. But my worst-case scenario analysis and reasoning dictated that nobody outside of the law would have such an intense interest in a small fish like me.

Usually not even the police, but the War on Drugs does turn something seemingly minor into a major war, so I knew that it was entirely possible that I could just be a part of something much bigger than myself, but that the first step was always a small step toward the greater journey, and that first step happened to be me for the Meth Task Force members.

'POLICE'

About thirty minutes later, the guys on the roof were done with their work. I heard them scrambling down from the roof. I missed one of them as he made his way to a car designated for him. But I caught the other one walking like a cat burglar across the street. He was dressed in all black, quietly making his way to the trunk of another car probably planted there by the Task Force. This time, I wanted to give him a little taste of being completely exposed. I shined a flashlight at him while he was opening the trunk and doing his thing. As my flashlight shined on the back of his black uniform, I saw the words ďPOLICEĒ in bold, all caps, and white against the completely black outfit he was wearing. He pretended to not be aware of the light I was shining on him, but it was clear the other Task Force members saw it, so they were telling him to hurry up. I shined a light at him a few more times, holding the light on him for thirty seconds at a time. Then I mentally prepared myself for the raid that was going to come since I figured they were finished with their surveillance and were ready to make a move.

My landlord came home at around this time, and we just said our normal greetings to each other as he saw me standing in the bathroom. I donít know if he knew anything. I wouldnít say anything though in case he didnít know. I didnít want him to be unduly concerned by the fact that there was a Meth Task Force team outside who were about to make a raid on his house. Then again, maybe he already knew.

I placed the baggie of crystals over the toilet in case the raid did happen. I would be ready for them, and at least they would have no proof that I was carrying anything. My concern was that they would be so blindingly quick when they kicked the bathroom door down that I wouldnít be able to flush the stuff away in time. If the Meth Task Force teams were anything like the Delta Force counterterrorist teams, the psychological effect of the raid would stun me to the point of not being able to act quickly enough to do what I needed to do. So why didnít I throw the stuff away right now while there was still plenty of time? Because I knew that I could still be imagining this whole thing, as real as it all seemed. It was my second night staying up, so the hallucinations could have gotten much more vivid, especially in combination with a total of 800mg that I had snorted the previous day. I wanted to make sure there actually was a knock on the front door and that the Task Force team in fact could be seen indoors with my very own eyes. After all, my landlord wouldnít pretend they didnít exist Ė unless they told him to play along. In this world of spy games, I just couldnít rule anything out, but things were just getting weirder and weirder that I couldnít really explain.

Then again, I also couldnít deny that I had seen the guy who wore the uniform that said ďPOLICEĒ across his back, so I had to prepare for anything that would come my way in the next thirty minutes. I closed the door to the bathroom, locked it, and stayed there. Once the door to the bathroom had been closed, I heard some sounds that forced me to consider the possibility that they had entered the house and were hiding somewhere, ready to break down the door to the bathroom. But I needed to wait to be sure. I waited and waited. Iím not sure just how long I waited, but it felt like an eternity. It was probably just a few minutes in reality. But I waited just long enough to not make my landlord wonder why the hell I was in the bathroom for so long just standing there not doing anything. The Meth Task Force never came. I considered that maybe they wanted to catch me off guard or that I would grow tired and just go to my room, which is when they could catch me with the evidence so that the charges would stick. After all, while these guys werenít perfect, they also werenít stupid enough to spend all this time and resource on me to just let me go. But I soon gave up on even that thought as I got exhausted mentally from playing this game of cat and mouse.

I just said out loud to them you guys donít exist. There is no Meth Task Force. There is no raid. Thereís nothing here but my imagination. So I relaxed and finally got settled into the room, probably by now well into the early morning hours. I prepared my stash for quick retrieval and disposal if necessary and got it ready to move out of my house by tomorrow so that I wouldnít have anything on me in case they eventually did come.

Now that things seemed to have calmed down, I look outside the window in my room just to check out the scene. Maybe nothing happened after all, and I had just been imagining all of this. What a huge relief it would be to find everything to be just the way I remembered it once this haze clears up! But I spoke too soon. Somebody is out there, outside my window, and not in some paranoid ďTheyíre out thereĒ kind of way. Somebody is perched on the fence in my backyard. Heís dressed in all black, too, but his outline is very visible to me. How can I begin to explain this? Iím very familiar with shadow men as I have hallucinated them before, but this is different. This is just like the guy with the ďPOLICEĒ etched into the back of his uniform. This guy is not a shadow. I see him clearly. I shine the flashlight at him and he cringes. I do it again, maybe flashing a total of three or four times at him, and each time, he cringes, as if to hide himself from the blinding light. How do I explain this phenomenon? Itís possible, but not probable. But after all Iíd seen going on in the front of my house, this had now become probable reality as well. There had been guys on my roof earlier, so maybe this guy is just sticking around until the whole thing is over. A

nd off in the distance, I see a police car. The guy in the police car is mistaking my flashlight signals for the Morse code that he was probably waiting for. He starts up the car and starts moving toward my general direction. Damn it! What the hell had I done? Had I yet again interfered in some exercise the police were conducting? As if I hadnít already done enough to piss these guys off if they had just been doing their own thing outside my house all along! How the hell can I tell whatís real and whatís not? Maybe they had been real all along but had not been coordinating anything against ME. If that officer comes to my house to find out why Iíve been shining my flashlight at him, I can just tell him I thought I saw somebody hopping a fence in my backyard. Simple and most importantly, true. I would pass the lie detector test on that one. And if it came down to it, the guy perched on the fence, most likely part of the Meth Task Force team that I now re-concluded was real, could at least tell the police officer my degree of involvement in what had gone on in the past several hours, and maybe thatíll just clear up any misunderstandings. As in I was hoping that the Meth Task Force members would explain to the police that I meant no harm. Yeah, that would make everything ok because the Meth Task Force team members knew who I was now and we had some a strange solidarity thing going on by now.

No use trying to ignore what I saw though. But I now go through the same series of mental preparations for a knock on my door. For the next couple of hours, I just imagine somebody knocking on the front door. My landlord goes downstairs and opens the door. The police come in with either a sniffing dog or an ion scanner, sees that the dog or the scanner isnít picking up anything for them to be interested, and just leaves. All a product of my imagination. But as of now, in my mind, Iíve survived about four imaginary raids in the span of a few hours. Let me just say that itís quite exhausting to undergo these scenarios, let alone the mental preparation to go to jail.

Itís about 6 am. What should I do next? Sleep? I canít do that. It wonít let me. But I had to try, and so maybe I got an hour of sleep. Then off to work. How would I survive practically two days without sleep and seem normal at work? Easy. More meth, or whatever this crap is that I had. Iíve gone more than three days before, but it was on good stuff. This batch at least gave me enough energy to stay awake. So it was probably meth after all except it was just cut to hell with something else that was making me go cuckoo. And thatís exactly what I was. Every time I looked outside the window, I would see shadow figures outside. It was now getting brighter as the sun was coming up, and I found that where trees and rooftops intersected, I would see ninjas walking around. I had no problem convincing myself that what I was seeing now was all a hallucination. I didnít worry about the consequences of what I was seeing except for the times when the ninjas were staring back at me. But really, ninjas? Still, I see what I see. But I donít need to worry about ninjas raiding me. I may be crazy, but Iím not stupid. I just let the ninjas run around all they wanted, not caring what they were up to.

Even so, I was a bit curious to find out more about these ninjas. I had to find better places from which to survey them. When I looked out the window of another room, I would see ninjas everywhere peering over the fence of a neighborís house. Strange. It was daylight now, so they were very visible to the naked eye. I expected that one look with my binoculars would make the ninjas go away since a closer look would always clear up any misperceptions. Oddly though, instead of finding that they were probably some fixture that I mistook for ninjas, I would end up just getting a close-up of the ninjas whenever I saw them through my binoculars. They looked like kids in ninja outfits. A bunch of kids playing ninjas and commandos by dressing up and playing the part. Well, maybe it was real. Kids dressing up and playing ninjas isnít out of the ordinary. I told myself I would look into this later on when I got more sleep, but now it was too late to get any sleep; it was daylight now. All the shadow men would stay hidden during the day except these damned ninja kids, and frankly, I could handle reality quite well in daylight.

'Tuesday Morning'

Work wasnít too bad at all. I donít think my coworkers suspected me of anything. At least that made things more tolerable. However, I had to close the blinds near my desk because I couldnít stop turning around every five seconds to look for the red and blue lights of police cars. Everything was a cop waiting to happen. I saw red and blue flashes everywhere and always had this notion that somehow, somebody was looking at me through the blinds. Well, if they can see me, I can see them, too. But really, Iíve been through this kind of paranoia before, so this was nothing I couldnít handle. At least I knew this was all fake. But one thing that kept bothering me was that whenever I drove my car, my hearing was so sensitive that the new tires I had purchased sounded like police sirens. When I rolled down the window, I knew that there was a very slight humming sound the tires made, and that was all. But even when I knew exactly where this siren-like sound was coming from, after hearing some real sirens passing by, I couldnít distinguish the tires humming from real sirens. They both sounded equally real and loud to me. Just an annoyance of paranoia plus hypersensitivity to my surroundings. Very repetitive stuff. But nothing I couldnít handle.

I took a 100 mg line at work to stay focused. I probably didnít need it as I was already so wired, but I wanted to be safe and not crash all of a sudden without seeming suspicious. I was intrigued by how strange my own world seemed to me with these paranoid thoughts running nearly unchecked, yet to my coworkers, there really was nothing out of the ordinary in the way I behaved that made me stick out. This was my little temporary haven where I wasnít crazy. In fact, I was quite functional and even productive. But I was still a bit troubled by the fact that I still hadnít figured out whether yesterdayís Meth Task Force activities were all real or fake. What if it had been real? If it had been, it was obvious that I wasnít the one they were after since they would have arrested me yesterday when they had the chance. But if they had been real, with me shining a flashlight at an officer who was obviously trying to remain hidden in darkness, I probably pissed them off real nice and would hear from them sooner or later. Letís hope later. I would have to come up with a damn good reason why I interrupted a police raid or a raid training session by shining a flashlight at one of them. I had to protect my house, officer. I heard footsteps on the roof, and I had to make sure that it wasnít a burglar trying to rob my house. And if I pissed you guys off in any way, I hope you understand that it was a complete misunderstanding.

Work came and went. I came to work late and stayed late. Just a force of habit, but my line of work didnít require going to work early, so it was normal for me to stay even till 7 or 8 pm. It was getting darker outside, and the shadow men would soon come out to play. This I knew. I wasnít getting any saner, so I had to stay alert and on guard for anything out of the ordinary and just ignore the hallucinations. Fortunately, I was all alone in the office now. Or maybe that wasnít so good because then I would have no frame of reference as to what was real or not. If a coworker was there and a shadow man showed up, you can bet my coworker would not ignore him if he actually saw what I saw. But not me. Let the Swamp Thing show up and stand right in front of me, and I would ignore it simply out of the fact that it was too obviously a hallucination. Come on now, the Swamp Thing? Now, if my boss showed up all of a sudden so late at night, I would have to think twice because that falls under the possible, though not probable, scenario, and I would have to run a battery of tests to figure out whether he was real or not. See I wasnít so crazy after all! I now felt ready to take on whatever my mind would throw at me.

'Super Surveillance Equipment at Work'

But I really couldnít throw off the notion that I was being watched. A few times when I went to the bathroom, I knew the building manager was still around because she was walking around in the hallway with a few other people. What was she doing? Was she watching me? There were some cameras visible in the hallway, so surveillance was obviously not something they ignored completely nor took lightly. But was it possible that those conspicuously displayed cameras were simply a foil, and there were much much better hidden cameras that were watching my every move? And if that were the case, they would have seen me snorting lines here and there at my desk. They would have proof! This kind of thinking never leads to any good, and I was right. I just had to think through this thing while I tended to the noise I heard right outside of the window. I rolled up the blinds to make sure there was nothing outside the window. I would think not since I was on the third floor. But I couldnít have imagined what I just saw. I was right.

The building manager had put herself on a harness, the kind that allows people to wash the windows from outside of a high-rise building. I could swear I had seen somebody do this before on our building, so I couldnít dismiss it as the mere product of my imagination. I didnít want her to think that I was staring at her, so I rolled the blinds down, but I tilted the angle in such a way that I could partially see outside. She waved at me. She kept swinging up and down, disappearing from view and then reappearing, repeatedly. Maybe she wasnít watching me, but just washing the windows. No, she was keeping an eye on me. Why? She seemed nice enough. Whenever she was rolling herself down past my window, I could see her shadow being cast next to my desk, and the shadow would wave at me. So I would turn around and wave back. I figured she was just doing her own stuff, but maybe keeping an eye on me at the same time. I knew these people were suspicious folk, but I was wondering what kind of a surveillance policy they had that would warrant this kind of behavior. Perhaps I shouldnít have asked, because I got exactly the answer I was looking for.

On the ceiling now, there were security cameras that I never knew existed in my building. Overhead fluorescent lights started to vibrate and wave as if they were encased in liquid. Another building manager took control of the surveillance system on the ceiling that was overlooking my office. The building manager was looking through it. The AC ventilator also had controls that allowed the building manager to see me. He waved at me from the ceiling, and I could see the outline of his face. I guessed that he was in a different location in the building, but was able to monitor my room from these weird looking cameras hidden in the ceiling. The other office manager, the girl, swung around over the outside of the building with a harness. I went over to the office window and tried to pull up the blinds to see her, but whenever I did, the harness would pull her back up out of view. For some reason, I just assumed she was being playful and was playing a strange game of hide and seek.

So here I was, with two office building managers monitoring my every move at 7 pm. I was talking to the building manager above the ceiling. ďCan you hear me?Ē He said yes, but in a very muffled voice. So I assumed he could. I told him he must like being in this position because he must feel like God. I would stare up at the ceiling and just talk, and he could hear everything I would say. But it seemed he was very nice and was showing off all of the capabilities of the buildingís surveillance system. ďIncredible,Ē I said to him, loud enough to make sure he could hear me through wherever the microphones were hidden. This system must have cost a fortune. And Iím not even sure Iíve heard of any of these things. The gadgets seemed so advanced that they seemed almost unreal. Improbable. But couldnít be impossible. The art of surveillance is all about concealment. Advances in surveillance could have been hidden from the general public, and those with enough money would be able to purchase some of these incredibly high tech equipment and run a nearly totalitarian surveillance system. After all, this was their building, and I knew better to expect any kind of privacy. So I played along. If they were nice enough to actually show me their surveillance system, I would at least let them know how impressive they were.

In fact, the guy seemed set on showing off to me all of their capabilities. I turned off the lights to see how they would monitor me then. I saw little flashes of light moving around, and I figured out that he could control the hidden flash lights in the ceiling to have a good look at me even in the dark. I would be hypersensitive to movement, and any little flash of light would make me almost jump. At one point, I asked them whether they had cameras in the bathrooms, too. They said yes.

I was livid. That was a bit too much for me to take. Why would they go so far? Did they have to know EVERYTHING about us? I hadnít done any research on laws regarding reasonable expectation of privacy, so I didnít know whether that was legal or not. But legality be damned, this was just WRONG! However, they had some solid evidence of my meth habit, so I would do well to not piss them off. This style of Q&A went on for a few more hours until I realized that I wasnít getting any work done. At about 9 pm, I was wondering why they were still here. ďAre you waiting for me to leave?Ē They said yes. So I started to close down the office. I called Lily because I just HAD to tell her this. I told her that my building managers were showing me their surveillance system and how really really sophisticated they were. I also told her that I am not quite sure whether all this is real or a hallucination. And telling her this in front of the building managers felt a little awkward, but then again, these building managers, with their surveillance systems, pretty much knew all there was to know about me, so it wasnít like they were hearing anything new from me. Lily seemed a bit concerned and wanted me to get home right away. Good advice. I had a long day anyway, and I could use a little rest. But I really didnít feel like much rest after my discovery. These guys. Looking at me in the bathroom. What kind of sickosÖthen again, arenít I the crazy one?

The drive home was unnerving. I now accepted as a fact of life that the police really had been involved in some way with me yesterday. Yesterdayís hallucinations couldnít have been hallucinations. After all, even now, to a great extent, I could tell reality from fantasy. They had been on my roof. They had been conducting some kind of a raid or a drill. Apparently, if they werenít after me specifically, there was something they wanted from me. And had they not known me until yesterday, well, I did a pretty good job of drawing plenty of attention to myself. I had lost all privacy, not just at home, but at work, too. The fact is, I had simply clung to an illusion of privacy that I never had in the first place. In fact, there was no place where I could truly feel alone. The police, or the Meth Task Force, had obviously bugged my room. And if these building managers could manage to have such a sophisticated surveillance system, there was no doubt the police too had been tracking everything going on in my room, too. But I just couldnít figure out why. That they did was just something I accepted now. But the reason for all of it I still couldnít figure out. Would they let me know eventually? Was it just not the right time for it all to come out?

I bemoaned my loss of privacy and longed for the days when I was flying safely below everybodyís radar. Now I was public property, and I had no right to privacy. Even the police car that was near me when I was driving home could probably hear me. I donít know if they were specifically dispatched to monitor me, but I figured all police had a microphone in their car that could pick up ambient noise. So I decided to just talk out loud in my car, assuming that the microphone could just pick up on my voice. I started to tell him that I didnít really mean to do anything to interrupt their routine exercises or whatever prep they were making for a real raid. I just thought somebody was messing with my roof and that as a tenant, I should take good care of my landlord and make sure nobody broke in. I complained about my loss of privacy. I had to do my little monologue so that I would be understood. I had to let them all know that I wasnít purposely being a nuisance. Everything I did always had to have a good reason, even meth. I had to let them know that my intent was never to harm anybody.

But because I had obviously done something to trigger this massive surveillance and investigation on me, I had to do my best to figure out why. Was my dealer part of something very very large as well? I figured there was no real use for me because I didnít have any real skills they could use. I figured all they wanted out of me was that I need to do them a few favors instead of going to jail for possession. What kind of favors? Would my life be completely changed as a result of today? Would I be sent on extremely dangerous missions where I would have to buy some stuff while wearing a wire? I suppose the chickens had finally come home to roost, and I was to pay my dues for dabbling in something that was much larger than I could have imagined.

When I got home, I kept up my personal monologue, considering it old news that my room had been bugged by now. Everything I was saying was being heard and logged somewhere. After all, if the Task Force members had installed some antenna to pick up the transmissions, they would be monitoring my every move in my room. I called Lily again. I was feeling vulnerable and just wanted to talk to her even while knowing that everything I said to her would be logged somewhere. As I was talking to her in my room, I could hear the footsteps outside my window. Some Task Force members were obviously outside. I was getting distracted by this and couldnít concentrate on my conversation with Lily. In fact, a few feet away from me in my room, there was Task Force member telling me to be quiet. Maybe something big was going down. I wanted to know whether he was real or not, so I told Lily to wait while I went over there to perform the touch test on this guy. When I went over to him to touch him, he vanished into thin air. Stupid hallucination.

I told Lily this was just a hallucination. I had told her about my previous hallucinations, but this was the first time she was talking to me while I was in the middle of it. She was obviously a bit freaked out by now, so I had to just let her go and deal with the Task Force members myself. I knew a few of them were right outside my window, walking around on the lower roof. I wanted to verify that they were real. I wanted to know that they could hear me. I told them if you want to convince me that youíre real, you will have to do a few things for me. I told them to move my curtains. Then I saw the curtains wave a bit. Hmm, so maybe theyíre real? I told them to show me beyond reasonable doubt by removing the curtains on my window altogether. I knew it would be a tall order for hallucinations to actually interact with real objects. ďOtherwise, you guys are gone when I wake up in the morning,Ē I told them, meaning that if they donít convince me now, thereís nothing they could do to convince me that they werenít just a figment of my imagination. That I was actually thinking this allowed me to realize that I was probably just hallucinating. But I was so far down the rabbit hole that I just couldnít dismiss these things conclusively anymore. Besides, why would they feel the need to convince me theyíre real? Maybe they wanted to play with my mind.

So figuring that they might just be playing coy with me, I just tore down the curtains myself to verify the footsteps that I was hearing outside. Nothing. Didnít see anybody. The house across from mine had their curtains down, but quickly closed them as soon as I started looking outside. Probably another surveillance team on the other side. My neighbor had been acting suspiciously for the past few days. I figured the Task Force had started borrowing their house to get another point of view into my house. This was nuts. I couldnít believe I was entertaining such thoughts. I decided to go take a shower.

'Meth Task Force Showdown in My Backyard'

I took one look at myself in the mirror before hopping into the shower. Iíve gotten thinner, much thinner, but not sickly thin that would make somebody suspect that Iím using. In fact, Iím reminded of the former glory of my high school days when I was in my prime physical shape. Pure muscle. Absolutely no fat. I start to strike a few poses in the mirror. Impressive. This isnít me. This is somebody else Iíve created with meth. Muscles rippling, ready to pounce on a prey. I think to myself that in a raid like this I could be useful. After all, with my body still running on adrenaline and dopamine, I feel no fear. In fact, what Iíd been feeling all of yesterday and today still registers in me as pleasure. I could rush head on into certain death right now. Thatís what meth allows people to do. The adrenaline and dopamine rush allows soldiers to fight for days without fatigue. By now, I figure Iím a part of something going on around my house, but still no idea what, why, who, etc. The Task Force members are just walking around on the roof, scurrying about, hiding themselves from view. I canít see them, but I can hear them.

I hop into the tub and start showering. I take a quick peek outside the bathroom window, and all hell breaks loose. Itís raining. Maybe I canít see as clearly as I need to because of it, but I see enough to make me believe that this has got to be the clearest hallucination to date. It just canít get any clearer than this. This wasnít the type that vanished when you rubbed your eyes in disbelief. This guy was here to stay.

A spotlight was shown on a Task Force member who was either armed with an MP5 submachine gun. He was shooting at something in the sky. Who he was shooting at, I donít know, but he sure looked like a prime target for somebody else to pick him off. Who the hell is pointing a spotlight at him? Do his own team members want him dead? Regardless, he was in the spotlight, shooting away. I could see the other members, still hiding in the dark, on the roofs and on the fences now. What I heard before, I now verified with my eyes. These were the Meth Task Force members playing with my mind all along. The sound of the machine guns going off everywhere felt like thunder. This canít be happening, but it is.

What I found even more unbelievable was that none of the neighbors seemed to care. I felt torn. I knew that what I was seeing just couldnít be happening. It flew too far in the face of what I knew to be possible and probable, and believe me, this situation qualified for neither. Couldnít you just believe that it was the sound of the rain that you were mistaking for the machine guns? Well, how the hell am I supposed to explain the guy shooting the machine gun? I just couldnít tear my eyes away from the scene and convince myself that it wasnít real. I needed a second opinion, but there was nobody around me right now.

What was wrong with the neighbors? Did somebody tell them to act as if nothing was happening? If so, why didnít anybody tell me? Must be because they figured I already knew everything I needed to know from my run in with the Meth Task Force yesterday.

Lily happens to be online. I tell her what I see. There is a firefight going on outside my house, and I see people shooting machine guns. She tells me to just go to sleep. I ask her to come over and give me a second opinion because we had talked about the nature of hallucinations before and that one easy way to figure out whether Iím hallucinating or not is if somebody sober can verify what Iím seeing. She just tells me again to do her a favor and go to sleep. I tell her, yeah, sheís probably right. This is too unbelievable. I stop talking to her, but sleep is the last thing on my mind.

'2/18/04 Ė Wednesday Midnight'

Things have quieted down since. The longer I stayed away from the window, the better grasp on reality I had. Ok, so the Task Force members were a product of my imagination. Just giving it some time convinced me that there was nothing going on outside, but thatís the short way of saying that a bunch of things had gone on in my mind during those hours until I finally came to. No raids, no Task Force members, no nothing. It was now quiet in my room. Quiet both in the backyard and in my head. I think the worst of it was over. All a product of my imagination, and I came out fortunately unscathed. No bullet wound; what a comforting thought. Maybe all of this had been a big fat hallucination. I could only hope.

Just one more issue remained that I hadnít been able to resolve. While I still couldnít figure out what aspects of the cars passing by in front of my house were real and imagined, I was able to figure out that most of what I had seen must have been fake. The police donít meddle that much into peoplesí lives without eventually making themselves known to them. Thatís just not the way the world works. So goodbye to you strange and sordid products of my imagination. I hope to never see you again, but if I do, letís meet under more amiable circumstances.

However, something made me think that it hadnít ALL been a dream. There was something that needed to be resolved before I could feel at ease. My computer monitor had a habit of buzzing whenever radio transmissions were passing through it. So if somebody called me on my cell phone, my monitor would pick it up and start buzzing before my cell phone rang. And these past few days, my monitor was buzzing repeatedly at odd intervals even when my phone wouldnít ring. In fact, this was happening frequently. Were it not for this, I would have completely chalked up all of the experiences of the last few days into a beautiful dream from which I would wake up without a scratch, but unfortunately, I had to figure this out before my mind could rest.

So did this have something to do with the apparatus that the Task Force members had installed on my roof? This notion of the apparatus on the roof was the only thing bringing into this world what should otherwise be forgotten. It seemed like there was a lot of radio chatter going on. In fact, this was making me miss some of my cell phone calls. Lily had been constantly telling me that my phone was sometimes unreachable when I was at home. Had I been more knowledgeable about the principles of radio transmission and reception, I probably would have put this issue to rest much earlier.

A house across from my room was making the same buzzing noise. It was a louder buzzing noise, and I could hear it when the window was opened. I saw a large antenna on the roof of that house. It seemed like thatís what was causing the buzzing noise. Somebody must have a scanner that can pick up on my cell phone calls. Immediately, I replaced my wireless landline phone with some old wired phones so that they couldnít eavesdrop on my wireless phone conversations. I decided to run some tests because I could swear I heard something outside. When I made a cell phone call to my home phone and the call connected, I started talking into my cell phone quietly while sticking my head outside the window. To my surprise, I heard a much louder version of my voice being broadcast over the neighborhood! Somebody had the nerve to use a modified scanner to pick up my phone calls and then use a loudspeaker to broadcast it somewhere! Who could be doing this? I ran a few of my own tests and suspected that it was the neighbor with the large antenna on his roof. I saw some kids on the roof with the scanner, so I shined my flashlight on their roof. Then I saw the owner of that house get pissed and start walking toward my house. I had to go to the front door to make sure that this person didnít wake up my landlord. When I looked out the window, I thought I saw that lady take a picture of me with a flash camera. I opened the front door, and, with a sigh of relief, found nothing. My imagination at work again. But the real trick was to figure out what was real and what wasnít. There were elements of hallucination mixed into my reality, so I had to start parsing out the real from the fake. I think the kids on the roof were fake. But some activity was definitely going on inside that house, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I figured because somebody was picking up on my cell phone signals, whoever I called, they would be able to hear me. So I made a call to my home number and said I knew what they were up to and that they could stop right now, or I would have to alert the police to their illegal activities.

The loudspeaker seemed to have diminished in strength, but didnít seem to disappear completely. I figured by now I had enough evidence to call the police to see if they could look into this. Before I did that though, I wanted to get the street name and house number of that house. But hell, even before that happened, I saw a police car drive up to the house and barge into their house. Maybe the police had been listening in on my phone conversation and hearing me complain to the guy to turn off the scanner. After all, it is an illegal activity, nevermind what drug Iím on! I better check this out myself. So I drove around the neighborhood looking for the house. I first looked for the police, but apparently I had imagined the police raiding the scannerís house. So I just started doing my own thing, but hoping that Iíd find the police somewhere around so that I wouldnít have to deal with this on my own. I went into a few imaginary scenarios where the owner of the house was waiting for me in ambush with a shotgun, but luckily, nothing came out of it, and more fortunately in retrospect, there were no police cars around. There were moments where I felt the presence of my neighborís sniper rifle pointed at me somewhere, so I sped up a bit after I got the house number. But before I called the police to report this incident, I decided to be cautious and sleep on it. Tomorrow, after I get some sleep, I can decide if I still want to call. And that ended up being the smartest decision of my psychosis trip.

Had the police actually been dispatched to that house, I would have probably been scrutinized with great suspicion. After all, who would call the police with such baseless accusations unless they were paranoid? And who would be so paranoid they would do such a thing? Somebody on either coke or meth, of course. At least whatever was left of my ability to reason, slowly eroding with lack of sleep and too much contaminated meth, was keeping me from making near disastrous decisions.

When I got home, I made just one more call to my other cell and told whoever was picking up on the conversation that I was aware of what was going on and that I would contact the police tomorrow. That would at least get the culprit to think twice about doing this again. And with that, I finally got some sleep. This was around 2 or 3 am. I really deserved this sleep.

'Wednesday Afternoon'

Work went without incident again. I had lunch with Lily. She was obviously a bit shaken by my experiences. In fact, she probably started thinking I was downright crazy and mentally unstable, which was true, but only temporarily so. I was still wired on contaminated meth and sleep deprivation and didnít quite find my hallucinations as disturbing as others probably saw it. Needless to say, the lunch didnít go well. There wasnít much common ground I could find with somebody so normal like her. At the office again, I saw the building managers on the ceiling again. I just accepted that they were just residues of yesterdayís hallucinations and ignored them.

When I went home, I did some more research and found that my hallucinations werenít the typical, run-of-the-mill amphetamine-induced psychoses. In fact, hallucinations from meth use are more likely the result of sleep deprivation than from the meth itself. And from my previous experience, it always took at least three nights up before I started hallucinating. So this was definitely not normal. I had started hallucinating on the first night up with this batch. What I was able to get from my research was that it was probably a contaminated batch, perhaps from the lithium process. Or maybe it was mixed with 4-MAR. There were components of it that felt like an MDMA experience as well. I also read something about lith Ė the kind of meth that seemed to make people crazy. The kind of meth that gets sensationalized in the media. The kind that screws with your memory so badly that youíre constantly not only wondering whoís stalking you, but who youíre stalking as well. Definitely not the kind of clean-burning amphetamines that pilots use for sorties.

Unfortunately, these are all speculations at this point, and I can't even attempt a real educated guess on it until I am much better acquainted with the actual manufacturing process, so there is no way I know of to actually test the contents of the batch, so I just have accept that street quality drugs canít be trusted for purity. In fact, there is no proof that what I was on was even meth, except for its ability to keep me awake for three days with only a few hours of sleep in between.

Trip Ends Here.

'Thursday'

As the effects started to wear off, I finally felt almost normal, but incredibly spent. I couldnít think functionally and were periodically blanking out and near catatonic at times. Luckily, there was nothing important at work that would require my full concentration. But it all finally started to feel like the bad dream that it should have been. I finally saw my situations as a few of my close friends saw them. Up till then, I was still in the dream, therefore unable to see how disturbing it must have been to those I had been sharing my thoughts and experiences with. The real litmus test of how bad it must have been for Lily was when I was talking to another friend of mine about my experiences. This friend was an experienced drug user herself and for her to tell me that what I was telling her was a bit disturbing made me realize that my perceptions had been way off. I was too much in my own world to make any meaningful connections with those in the real world although I pulled it off surprisingly well at work since I didnít need to make any emotional connections with anybody there. And as bad as the thought of getting caught in a raid might have been, the dopamine in my system was telling me I was still feeling good about all this, even the parts that should not have felt good. Yeah, the paranoia and hallucinations werenít all that fun, but there was still a degree of pleasure that I derived from it simply because meth has the ability to make me feel good.

So what should have been very disturbing to normal people was strangely rewarding to me due to the dopamine factor. I still couldnít explain whether some of the things I saw were real or imagined, but Iíve now safely concluded that they were probably all hallucinations and delusions conjured up in my mind. I was troubled by the fact that this was the first time I had almost stalked somebody else, the neighbor who I thought was using a scanner to eavesdrop on my cell phone conversations. Up to this point, I always had good control over any hallucinations, making observations and learning from it. Although at no point was I a real threat to anybody else, they would not have known that and would have had to assume the worst given my state of mind. And I would have been just one more reason why meth was to be considered a dangerous drug.

'Soapbox'

As a result of this bad trip, I decided to give up untrusted street-level drug experimentation. If there isnít any way to find out what youíre really getting, the results are too unpredictable. Much of this was my fault for assuming that the quality of this batch was similar to the last one and ingesting too high a quantity during the first experimentation with the new batch. I had taken one gram in a matter of a few days of something I had no previous experience with. To be blunt, it was very stupid, and I need to kick myself a few times for such reckless use of something so powerful.

I am tempted to take a completely anti-drug stance on this, but I will still avoid that route. I do have my own guidelines for safe experimentation. I have learned so much from all of my experiences not only with meth, but with other substances that I am unwilling to accept that all drug use is harmful. Giving chemical substances the blanket term ďdrugsĒ and then saying ďJust say noĒ is useful only as a slogan to keep the non drug-savvy masses away from substances that could kill them. But for those who understand that these drugs are merely tools that can find their proper use, harm reduction is the way to go. Granted, there are some things Iíve learned from my experiments I wish I had not learned. After all, not all knowledge is pleasant, but one of my pursuits in life had always been the pursuit of ALL knowledge. I refuse to just bury my head in the sand when the pursuit of knowledge starts to get a little unpleasant.

Therefore, on meth and especially on meth, I have the following guidelines that I have tried to follow as a result of my experiences on them.

Granted, these are very specific guidelines suitable for me, so take them as you will:

1. Meth was not a lifestyle drug. This is due more to practical legal considerations. Unless prescribed Desoxyn legally, I wouldnít fool myself into thinking it can be a lifestyle drug. Supply will be short at times, and without it I could cease to function as a normal human being. Sometimes, I get bad quality stuff. And the longer I'm on it, the more careless I get, to the point where when the police come knocking on my door, it wonít be a hallucination. The bottom WILL drop out if you ever think that you can turn meth into a lifestyle drug.

2. Sleep and nutrition. Get some sleep. Eat lots of good food. These are the two things that meth makes very unpleasant for me to do. Lots of fruits and vegetables definitely help although ANY food is absolutely necessary. Some weed, beer, benzos, or other sleeping aids (such as diphenhydramine or melatonin) are handy to help me relax and sleep when I need to force myself to do so. I force myself to eat nutritious food, water, and gatorade and invest in some multi-vitamins and phenylalanine. The difference in how I feel is tremendous. Get some exercise. All of these factors probably account for me staying healthy during my runs and my ability to go clean in a relatively short time.

3. Nobody is after me. I have to just be cool, and repeat this to myself. And forget that motto ďItís not paranoia if theyíre really out to get you.Ē If the police already have designs on me, thereís no point in fighting back anyway. If I think somebody outside of law enforcement wants to hurt me, I may end up hurting that person first because of your paranoia, regardless of whether that person was really trying to hurt me or not. Just being cool and telling myself nobody is after me is the best way to avoid accidentally hurting somebody innocent, which is my primary concern as a responsible user. If I cannot accept this sense of responsibility to consider first the protection of others besides myself, I donít do meth. The paranoia associated with high doses can get me into all kinds of trouble that I otherwise could have avoided. My journal is a testament to that, and I can think of many ways my story could have turned out much worse. Maybe it would have had real car chases and buildings blowing up if I hadn't been more careful. Fortunately, nothing came of my psychosis.

4. Avoid substance experimentation if under 21. The younger you are, the less likely you can control your experiments. The younger you start experimenting with chemical substances, the harder it is to develop natural coping mechanisms to keep you away from substance abuse. I started experimenting with marijuana in college. By this age, I had developed most of my own philosophy to deal with life. There are always exceptions to this rule, but in general, the younger you start, the more ingrained such patterns of behavior are in your mind, and the harder they will be to stop.

5. Control dosage and frequency. Meth isnít really about hallucinating. Meth CAN be a safe drug. It just depends on how I use it. I find it most useful as an occasional substitute for caffeine. And even caffeine shouldnít be used everyday. It should only be used occasionally for a temporary source of energy. As a rule, I never want to use anything like meth for longer than two days, and do just enough to make me feel alert or slightly euphoric (depending on the reason I'm using it). My threshold for safe usage was usually around 200 mg. For pharmaceutical grade, it would probably be much less like 50 mg. I'm really pushing it after that. Chasing the rush from smoking or injecting probably comes with problems of its own, but I donít have expertise in that area as my experiences have all been from snorting.

6. Donít lie to myself. Meth does have the potential to allow me to lie to myself because desire can override reason. I may think I can do one more line, or that itís ok to do this forever. Be honest. If I feel I'm starting to lose control I'll take a break, either temporarily or forever. The ability to walk away from something like this will depend on how honest I am with myself about my ability to control something as powerful as meth.

7. Respect Law Enforcement. They may not think very highly of me if they know I'm using. But I remember that they're serving a very crucial role in society and on a daily basis are protecting my butt from the more dangerous elements as well. By all means, I'll take all reasonable measures possible to avoid them, but I'll always respect them.

There are a ton of other guidelines to be dispensed, of course, and some of these guidelines wonít work for others. There are also a lot of websites out there with much more comprehensive harm reduction suggestions. The ones I've listed are just things Iíve learned for myself that have kept me fairly safe in my experiments. I think meth can still be used safely when its quality is known and when it is used functionally as an occasional caffeine substitute or recreationally during special occasions a few times a year.

Otherwise, Iíve said my goodbyes to meth for now. I threw the rest of the 3 grams away after using another gram to taper off. I didnít quit because I couldn't control it, but because I just donít know what Iím getting when it comes to street quality drugs. And I didnít quit permanently. I will still give myself leeway to use on a very rare occasion should I ever come across relatively pure quality, and only a few times a year if even that. No doubt there are people running around saying meth is bad for you, and about 90% of these people werenít even getting real meth, but blaming it on meth anyway. While people react to substances differently, such wide-ranging experiences I read on trip reports indicates that quality control is such a huge factor in peopleís experiences with meth that this is probably one of the biggest REAL issue with drug experimentation. While even pure substances can be dangerous enough on their own and certainly have the potential to addict, what the drug gets cut with can account for the truly bad stuff that happens to a lot of unsuspecting users. But thatís the way the world works at this point, and there is no way of getting around this for me. I just have to chalk this one up to a bad experience that Iíll never have again.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 32461
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Jul 17, 2005Views: 35,172
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Methamphetamine (37) : Alone (16), Bad Trips (6), Difficult Experiences (5)

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