I thought I’d talk about an experience I went through recently whilst on holiday in Amsterdam. Just by giving the location of where the events took place, I suspect that many of you will already have your own ideas about what I’m about to talk about, but it may not be exactly what you think – if it is, well done for guessing!
The holiday started out as most holidays do, laughing and joking with friends in the sun, sharing beers and hyping up the week before it’s even begun.
The canals were beautiful in the sun: the boats covered in flowers, little flotillas of ducks bobbing along side each other, tourists and locals enjoying the warm May weather. Of course we were in Amsterdam and as university students we were keen to try out the local produce.
Of course, I’m talking about drugs. Food and alcohol is all very well and good but to paraphrase the famous saying, ‘When in Amsterdam..’
This was what I told myself when I decided to experiment. In the past I had looked down on anyone who used drugs for pleasure, but I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I have to admit, that magic mushrooms in a sunny park are hilarious, and the euphoria that can be felt among nature is incredible.. I had never loved so many trees in my life. The high lasted about 4 hours and the come-down was a little rough but nothing that could prepare me for the next night.
To cut the tedious details out, I basically had an incredibly bad trip after eating a space cake. This was the most terrifying ordeal of my life, to the point I actually thought I was going to die. My blood felt as if it were burning, I could feel my veins pulsating, I could see the veins in my eyes, and for a while I lost all vision in one eye. I could control nothing. I could focus on nothing, but the burning and the colours that I could see, colours that I didn’t even know to exist. In my head the only way I could get through this was to refuse to die by screaming myself awake if I felt my eyes close. I found out the next day by someone staying in our hotel that I was in this state for nearly 6 hours..
In the 48 hours that followed, I swore myself off ever touching anything like that again. I truly learned the hard way, and the fear that some of the people I love in my life still frequent the use of substances like the ones I had scares me. When I returned to France after this holiday a few people had asked me, “Did you have any great epiphanies whilst you were high?” Of course, the only one I could think of was how little respect for my own life I actually have. I was essentially playing a game of Russian roulette, taking my life into my own hands with little thought of the outcome. I remember begging my friend to tell my friends and family how much I loved them, and not to blame themselves for my own stupidity. I felt so conflicted. I was so happy that this experience had not happened directly to any of the friends I was with at the time, but I would have given anything to have someone take it away.
Despite this experience, I was able to reflect on the previous days of the holiday and also on the previous places I’d visited throughout the course of this year abroad with a smile. This experience has taught me that:
a) Drugs are bad (for me at least) no matter how many highs you have before a bad trip, and everything felt whilst on a high or low, isn’t real.
b) I need to treat life with more respect and as cliché as it sounds, we do only have one.
c) I actually need to rediscover what it was that I enjoyed so much about living my life.
So, with all this in mind, I now have a reason to make the most of the time I have. I wasn’t expecting this post to be quite as existential as it turned out, and I didn’t write it to attack those who do enjoy taking drugs, we all make our own choices and I now realise that drugs are not for me!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Until next time…
**Pictures taken in Amsterdam, a must visit city!**