Citation: Andromeda . "An Antique Movie and a Blank Page: An Experience with Alprazolam (exp98603)". Erowid.org. Mar 29, 2020. erowid.org/exp/98603
*Of course, names have been changed...
There were two occasions, at least; that come to mind, in which the experience of anterograde amnesia has left me so shaken that I hardly know where to begin. I am twenty one years old, and my personality has many a time been considered addictive. Iíd like to disagree with that statement, but I would be doing myself a disservice to tell a lie right off the bat like that. At any rate, over the summer of 2011, after I had gone through what felt like a cathartic change of self in which being clean was the stone atop the pyramid, I fell back into the yawning abyss of uncertainty that is my Xanax addiction. Prior to that, beginning in my early teenage years, I began the long and arduous exploration of the world of drugs and alcohol. Stumbling upon Xanax was an even more life changing than I could ever have imagined.
During that summer, I met a new group of people. One of the people I would meet would end up becoming the other member of an extremely dysfunctional relationship. All we knew how to do was drink, smoke, and rail whatever magic pills we could get our hands on. During the month of May, the little blue key to our magic kingdom arrived in its translucent orange bottle. So what if the name on the bottle isnít mine? There were 40mg total. We took and took and took, which is easy to do since your memory is so impaired. Itís like this: you take two. You think you feel alright. You turn your attention to something else, but oh- wait! Ė you should probably take that Xanax. You should probably snort it, too. Again and again. The amount of detail that I do remember is, Iím afraid, very little. We three musketeers sat in our usual spots, I stepped into my kitchen to retrieve our utensils from their usual drawer, and we began. We discussed music, we discussed the weather, all this as we crushed and crushed our Xanax into a fine powder and lined it out. We each rolled up a $50 (because we had to be semi classy, you know) and gave a toast.
3 mg in and we decided to step outside for a cigarette. The familiar feeling of being suspended took over. I smiled and leaned against the door, admiring how wonderful my life was in that one moment (I would only later profess that I was wrong). Ding! A light in my head. Dim but noticeably present. It points my mind to underneath a black mug in my kitchen cabinet. There I hid three more pills from our last adventure, knowing I would want them at this exact moment. I slip inside and retrieve them, dry swallowing them in one gulp. When my friends, sayÖ Bob and Joe, as weíll call them, returned; the crushing continued. I joined them. Everyone was feeling too good to remember what realistic judgment is for, much less how to access it in our current state.
Everyone was feeling too good to remember what realistic judgment is for, much less how to access it in our current state.
Wednesday, 11:30 p.m... Line it up, giant pile of glory, andÖ
I am standing in the middle of the street, staring at the sign at the end up the road. I am on someoneís lap in my kitchen, balancing on my toes and trying to figure out how youíre supposed to kiss someone. I am laying in the grass on the main road a half mile from my home. Bob is clutching a Boise Weekly in his hands, screaming in delight at the gas station attendant, astounded that such a ďmagnificent paper can cost nothing at all!Ē I am rolling down a hill. I am on my back. I am still. I am nothing. I am paper thin and lighter than a feather. I donít exist.
A thud in my head. I make a movement, I discover that the movement was made by my eyelid. The shadow of Joe standing on my stairwell, quivering. He speaks. His voice threatens to rip apart my ears. There is a sound like rushing water. My ear drums are at the bottom of a river bed, and my pounding head takes the sound away, and tells me that I am dying. And I am so full of sorrow. There is a sadness so heavy and great that I imagine I will never be happy again. I imagine that it will be impossible. I give myself over to what felt like the hands of death. Joeís shadow disappears, the water stops rushing. It is black again. Friday. Noon. I read this information on the screen to the left of my head, which is stuck to the carpet. There is a huge chasm in my chest. I canít fill it up. I panic. I teeter on the edge of myself, I look to the right, and I see Bob. His chest is moving. I recognize him. There we are. We have made it.
All this, a lesson that should have taught me to never touch Xanax again. But here we are, last night, an offer. Itís free, he says. He, we will call James, for this purpose. I debate. I know where I have been. Itís the knowledge of lack of memory, itís the feeling you have when you honestly believe you will die. It is the fear. It is the hatred, the disgust, the guilt. And then the greed. You have an addiction. And the addiction sets me in James' kitchen, straw in hand and mountain of blue powder on the counter in front of me. Warning bells sound. I should go home, but instead, I feel the burn in my nose. I take a few more.
James and I go for a drive. We pick up a friend of his from a place I used to work. I hardly remember the drive. We get back to the kitchen, where more pills await. Jamesí friend begs a line. Or two. Or three? I ask this to myself because upon the consumption of my next line, my memory gives way. Itís like smashing into a wall. Color and action and then smack! Ė nothing until I awake.
It is 12:30p.m. I open an eye and see a familiar ceiling. How did I get here? I walk out into the living room of this familiar house. There are eyes. All look, but no mouths move to speak. I feel embarrassed. Mortified. The looks on their faces said more than their words could. I found out later than I drove at some point after one a.m. I am amazed that I made it there alive. I am agonized by another question. Did I stop another soul from making it home alive? On a walk, on a bike? Eerie. I feel ashamed at the possibility alone.
I am told that I arrived, and could barely walk; that I was entirely incoherent, drawling on and on, and barely able to form words. A friend finally got me outside to smoke a cigarette, which I didnít finish. I let it drop. I stumbled inside and repeated over and over again, ďI donít want to be here. I donít. I want to go home.Ē Eventually, two friends carried me into another room and I went under. Jacket on, shoes tied. Gone.
I call James. I ask him to tell me what happened at his house. He says that unlike me, he remembers everything. He remembers talking with me for hours. He remembers us doing something I am certain I would never do if I were conscious.
He remembers us doing something I am certain I would never do if I were conscious.
And knowing the condition of myself at that point in time, it scares me to think of it any further. I gave up my freedom to make choices, and the freedom to participate in the choices of others that directly involve me.
A paralyzed wallflower. Never again.
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
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