She told me this story and asked that I pass it on because maybe it will save someone's life.
"It was Labor Day. I had lost my mother, and then my brother hung himself, a series of events that had me confused and numb. I had no feelings anywhere; it was like I was in someone else's body going through motions like a robot. A friend invited me over to his house early in the afternoon. When I got there a lot of people were sitting around the table just 'bulbing it up.' "Try it," they said, "it will make you feel better." I watched them for a while. I saw a woman take a light bulb, carefully twist the end off and painstakingly clean out the inside of the bulb, then tape the end of the bulb, leaving room for a hard plastic straw. The straw has to be hard. I watched from a place of total indifference and unconcern. Something in me said I should get away from here, I should not do this, but I didn't care what happened to me now. I watched as she poured a little packet of meth in the bulb and shook it down, then put the straw in and got out her lighter. Everyone who uses meth has a lot of lighters. The lighter was held to the bottom of the bulb for a long time. When the bulb turned yellow and filled up with smoke, my boyfriend handed it to me and told me to inhale long and slow through the straw.
At first I felt nothing, then my head started to tingle, with a whoosh and a rush of lightning. I was suddenly on top of the world. I never felt so good before. I cannot describe the ecstasy, the elation, and the euphoria; suddenly I was somebody. I was invincible, witty, and clever, out there, full of energy. We did about $400 worth of meth and stayed up all night. We drank beer but it had no effect on me for a long time. The alcohol lies in wait until the meth wears off. When the beer hit my brain at 9:00 the next morning, I passed out and the next thing I knew it was 10:00 oâclock at night. When I woke up I smelled it right away. I did it again. People came and went and brought more. We went on and on without sleep for days. People leaving would douse themselves with perfume to cover the smell.
I had never been a pot smoker, but I learned that the only way to come down from the meth high was to smoke pot; otherwise the pain of just stopping was unbearable.
I tried to quit. The depression was worse than being buried alive in dark, stone cold, musty soil. My windows had to be covered with foil to keep all the light out because light was unbearable. I did not want to talk to anybody, see anybody, or even live. I just wanted to lie there all alone in the dark totally worthless, full of rage, nerves raw, body rubbish, unable to eat, quivering, and shaking with cold chills and sweating profusely with meth coming out of every pore in my body. I could tell no one what was happening to me. There was no one I could trust. My daughter fed, bathed, and took care of the younger kids; she begged me to be the mother I used to be and helped me to the bathroom. Time was suspended in cold murky pain that went on and on.
When I could get myself out of the bedroom I went to the Dr. and asked him to give me something for depression. I did not tell him about the meth and he would not give me anything. The only way out of the living hell was to use meth again. When I could not get meth I used whatever was available, cocaine, pot, alcohol, mostly I lived in a blackout. Other people where like ghosts and shadows, it did not matter if they were there or not as long as the drug was.
Months went by. I quit going to work. When I could pull myself out of the haze enough I went home to see what my kids were doing. They would beg me to stay, they told me I smelled like Elmer's glue or baking soda. I could smell it myself on my skin, in my hair, all over my clothes. Some of the people I hung out with had meth sores all over their faces and arms and scraggly hair and were losing their teeth. Once I was sitting on the couch watching the people at the table--they had been cooking meth and now they were putting it in little piles. A guy fell off his chair and bumped the table. He was having a seizure but nobody noticed because everybody was too busy trying to rescue the meth that spilled on the floor when he bumped the table. People were down on their hands and knees sucking grains of meth up with straws and spoons. I watched him writhe, thrash, twist, squirm and struggle. I could do nothing. That night he had four seizures. No one noticed any of them. All I could think was I had to get out of there. God had to be there because I could not have done it by myself.
I grabbed my friend's car keys and ran out the door. I drove clear to the next state and when I looked in the glove compartment of the car there was money, lots of money. I bought gas and food and kept on going. Eventually I went back to my friend's house; I don't know if he even missed me.
One day I was smoking a cigarette when I saw two little people about 3 feet tall. They came up to me and I saw they were almost bald with little patches of hair; they were an ugly yellow and had no eyelashes; their eyes were oval, slanted and yellow; their teeth were snaggled and when they talked their teeth clattered together making clicking noises. I was freaking out as I looked at them, I was terrified when they spoke to me saying "come with us and end your life now." I looked at my friend to see if he saw them too and when I looked back they were gone. It is the first of many visits from them--they want me to kill myself. I must be crazy I think. I can never tell anyone about this.
One day I am sitting at home with my daughter when her boyfriend comes over. He too is a meth user. He tells us this bizarre story about how he almost killed himself the night before. He said he was climbing the city water tower and there were two little men with him, he described the exact same men that I saw and he said one was in front of him pulling him up the ladder and one was behind him pushing him and, through clicking chattering teeth, they both said, "you have to jump. You have to jump. We are here to help you kill yourself." He fought with them. Knowing that he saw them too was validating for me. I thought that maybe I am not crazy after all. What a relief! I have since heard many meth users describe these same little men and most often they tell people to hang themselves.
I am so sick of myself and my life I do not even want to live. I want to kill myself but I can't. My children's faces float before my eyes whenever I think about it. I pray. From somewhere comes a God who I thought would have given up on me long ago because I am so bad. In a desperate attempt to be the mother my children need, and with fear and trepidation in my heart, I surrender and go to treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. For a meth user thirty (30) days is nothing. It takes weeks and weeks. Facing the self-hatred, the losses and the childhood abuse issues that I had never dealt with was an exercise in learning how to live one minute at a time, one day at a time, in indescribable pain. Eventually I learned not to hate myself so much and give myself another chance. Thank God my children forgive me and love me. Thank God for His mercy."
I told a friend of mine about being asked to tell this story and his first question to me was "Did she see the demon?" He had his own experience with this living death.
The call of excitement, elation, an escape from pain, and sometimes just plain curiosity makes every person a target for this drug. Statistics show that it hits all of us: rich or poor, young and middle aged. Middle and upper class, white teens and young adults are the majority of users. It is rampant among the Native Americans, and is slowly destroying people of all ages on the Indian Reservations. It is happening everywhere. Arm yourself with information. Protect yourself and the ones you love.
Evelyn Leite, MHR, LPC, is an author, counselor and trainer with over 25 years of experience in the addiction and mental health fields. Evelyn incorporates feelings and compassion in the therapeutic relationship with a wide range of experience in chemical dependency, addictions, co-dependency, and domestic abuse, sexual and spiritual abuse. If you or someone you love is abusing meth or other drugs, contact Evelyn for help.