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Peter Pan Comedown

Written by LeggZ

After fifteen minutes of concentrating on a colourful, shiny shelf of the latest self-help editions I’ve come to one solid conclusion. There is nothing that can prepare you for the swerve balls that life occasionally launches at you and it’s necessary to be able to apply metaphorical Savlon at an alarming rate.

 I was always under the impression that being a child was bloody hard work and that after the junior years I would become an adult overnight, that everything at that point would become a hundred times easier and that any problems would be resolved with a casual glance and a wave of my hand. It’s only when the issues become more severe than you could possibly imagine that you realise the truth in the old saying "It could be worse". And even then it’s very rare that you comprehend exactly how much worse it could be.

I party…. Understatement of the year! I party hard, in fact I party like a fuckin’ rock star. It comes with the territory as it does with a lot of my circle. We as a generation share a common interest in socialising, going out and getting every last minute of pleasure and excitement out of the weekend, and with the advances in pharmaceutical science it’s easily done!

I think it intensified (for me anyway) over the last five years where the line between "recreational use" and daily survival became very blurry, up to last year when it became an incredible cocktail of chemicals, liquids, parties and women to the point that the weekend lasted for five days. The week happened around Wednesday, If it was lucky and it wasn’t postponed for another seven day period due to the weekend coming early.

I would say that over these years I have met a lot of people, I’m talking actual hundreds and during this time there are some of the nicest people and some of the nicest places, The issue I have with this is I can’t remember most of them and if I can I can’t remember their names or which one of the nice places I was in when I met them (unless it was a really good pill or I landed a suitably stunning female!). There is however a smaller group who are all more special to my life in their own beautiful individuality than words could express and unfortunately due to the chemical imbalances there are arguments, fallout’s and worst cases deaths. This may seem extreme, unfortunately it isn’t. Perfect example, recently a friend of mine died. We’ll call her "Clarity" for now, She was 31, extremely talented both musically and socially and a naturally beautiful woman. This opened up a whole crate load of confusion and emotion, I’ll explain. As an upcoming DJ who was making a rather wonderful imprint in her field she was exposed to it, however this was not the reason. She thrived on people and enjoying times and experiences with them, almost as if she closed her eyes and slept she might miss something. I’m not judging anybody here and I’m not taking wild guesses at a subject I know nothing about, I’m speaking from personal experience. I’ve done the 6 day benders, I’ve done the 26 pill birthday party and I’ve sniffed so much crap up my nose I’m surprised I still have one. Nobody wants the party to end, nobody wants the music to stop. Unfortunately it did and on the 24th of March 2008 she went to sleep after a few days’ festivities and never woke up. I don’t know what the Coroners report said and frankly I don’t care. I know that she died because she wanted to play.

I hadn’t seen her much during the year or two before she went, I suppose this is quite a frequent regret in these situations. A good friend of ours invited me to a boat party, which I hate. In fact not only a boat party but also a fancy dress boat party. I declined. However the fact that she was playing there was enough to convince me I could handle it and so I instructed him to grab me an eye patch from the fancy dress shop. We arrived, a rather unconvincing pirate, a rather gay sailor and a rather drunk Viking armed with a bag of lager. Good party but this was to be the last time I’d see "Clarity". Often wonder what I’d have said to her if I’d known.

The week following her demise was intense. It seemed impossible to go anywhere or see any one that she hadn’t left her mark on and gradually it became very clear how many lives she had touched, The other issue was not wanting to be down because she wouldn’t have wanted it? Bollocks! She wouldn’t have wanted to die in her sleep and nor would anyone else I know.

I considered a lot of things. The impact on the people she left behind, The records she would never play, The children she would never have but also my own mortality as I suppose everyone else did. This made me feel quite selfish however I have heart problems and am on occasion found at the local hospital full of pipes, wires and morphine (makes me itch like ants under my skin, not pleasant but again quite nice?). Now I have always found my care in these establishments to be first rate (apart from an argument with a lesbian paramedic who didn’t like being called babe) and also appreciate the effort that the individuals working there put into keeping us alive. So I guess it’s more selfish to leave hospital after said care and effort, hit the local pub and get a gram in. Unfortunately at the time it seemed like the best idea in the world as I’d been imprisoned for a week or two and had obviously missed some damn good parties.

I stopped the hardcore social use of drugs a short while before the death of my friend and I’ve wondered whether at some point in the period between there might have been the party that killed me. The worrying thing is that even with the deaths, injuries and financial downfall of so many people it’s forgotten very quickly and life soon returns to tornado status. It seems that running down the path to self destruction is acceptable, providing you’re having fun while you do. It seems crazy that people choose to gamble with something so precious, I mean I wouldn’t play Russian roulette yet in a way I did and more than once, in all honesty probably more than a thousand times. Quite difficult to look back on.

There seems to be a rather cloudy area between what it considered healthy and unhealthy, acceptable and unacceptable. Ironically a lot of "the circle" that do push it hard are vegetarian and a few will only eat organically grown! How the hell does that work? It’s a bit like the crisps we got as children that had a small sachet of salt inside to add your self. Chemicals sold separately.

I spoke to a good friend of mine who also knew "Clarity" in an attempt to find some rationalisation or peace of mind. He said this, "Drugs fuck you up. If you’re lucky you get out before the ride stops. If you don’t you either get stuck in the loop or the high. You can’t run round the exhibit pushing the buttons forever. At some point in life you have to grow up". I don’t know whether I have or ever will, what I do know is I miss my friend dearly, wish I’d seen her more and I’m so glad I’m here to miss her…. If that makes sense.

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#21 Marcel 2008-09-20 03:26
Well that ride is perennial for some,we jump on and off at our leisure.It's extremely rare that you see an old Junkie.I wonder why those lucid moments in regards to consumption and why there is no need to consume lasts until the arrival of the weekend.I think that lack of knowledge makes most scared but once you get to know what it entails and are equipped with knowledge that you feel "the control" and can stop at the next stop when you're ready you don't.Sometimes we all feel that we are on the magical mystery tour.Sometimes we have to realise that David Blaine has left the building and stop.
#20 jo 2008-09-18 10:45
We all get our wake-up call, the trick is to listen to it and find a way to change. It's hard. This article comes from deep down which is the best way to write, it gives the writing a powerful impact. Stay strong and keep writing.xx
#19 Jon Karma 2008-09-17 23:34
Reading your piece touched me and showed me a side to you that I never had the chance to get to know. Like most people I had my time on the social merry go round and being at a point in my life where I was very low it became increasingly difficult to jump off. Somehow I managed to keep my head when all around me were losing theirs and did escape the 1 day weekend sessions. It was hard and I believe what kept me there even longer was the thought that I could save someone other than myself. The point is, when it comes down to it you can only save yourself. Sorry for your loss bro. Take care...
#18 michelle deeney 2008-09-17 22:02
very impressive !! the article u have wrritten is very open and emotional, well wrriten
#17 jodie 2008-09-17 20:32
I wonder how many people think about never waking up after a bender? thats the problem nobody knows there limits.
Excellent , well done joe .
#16 John Doherty 2008-09-17 19:38
Just to clarify, i had to split my comments on joes piece into two seperate comments. So read the 2nd comment first so it makes sense. I could say a whole lot more on this subject but not right now. The tears running down my cheeks encompass so many emotions i can`t even begin to convey at this moment. x
#15 John Doherty 2008-09-17 19:27
Let`s` be honest, 2 bottles of spirits, 15 pints and several trays of shots does`nt constitute a healthy diet, and that`s on top of the side order of chemicals that would have every pharmaceutical salesman and drug supplier rubbing their hands with glee! I`ve recently lost another friend to "one too many binges" Chemical highs in various forms are still a large part of many of our lives, but i do think for the most of us the real pleasure we attain from this stopped a long time ago. So why have`nt we?

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