I had always been a fan of Marijuana.
For years, I smoked weed with no problems. Weed was like a beer to me.
If my day had been stressful, or it was the weekend, I’d roll a joint, smoke up, and relax for a while with a bag of Cheese Doodles.
I never had a problem walking away from weed, or going days or weeks, even months between smoking pots.
It was purely recreational. But, weed always made me nervous – failing drug tests was the biggest problem even though I NEVER got high during or before work.
I only smoked on my own free time the same as any other person might drink a beer or 2 on the weekend.
Then one day on the front page of the local paper there was a story about Spice.
I’d never heard of it, but the newspaper went into great detail about what it was and what it did and how it didn’t show up on drug tests.
It was the best piece of advertising for a drug that I’ve ever seen. I went to a few smoke shops in the area until I found three that sold it. And I bought my first 1g bag.
That was six years ago.
It started out innocent enough.
One 1g bag would last me 3 or 4 days, and it felt a lot like a weed buzz.
Then came the ban on the ingredients and the alterations to what was in the Spice.
It seemed that after every ban on ingredients, the next “legal” version to hit the streets was 10x stronger than the previous version that had been banned.
I’ve never felt anything in my life take such complete control of me like Spice did.
The higher it got, the more I wanted it. I went from two-1g bags a week in the beginning, to one-1gram bag a day within one year.
That was $20 a day. Every day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Do the math; I did, it made me sick.
I smoked all the time.
My boss at my job was an absentee manager who only came to collect his deposits and barely cared enough about his employees to even notice that I had started to come to work high every day.
I was smoking Spice in the morning right out of bed, before work, even at work, and after work. I developed what I now call the 6 hours DT.
I smoked until it was bedtime, and 5-6 hours after falling asleep I would wake with uncontrollable insomnia.
The only cure was to smoke more to get back to sleep.
I stole money from work to pay for my habit; I pawned a lot of things I owned to support the $20/day addiction.
Over the six years that I smoked I developed:
A pancreatic infection where I would spend 2 or 3 hours a night puking up bile,
My blood pressure spiked at around 160/90 for several months,
My body couldn’t control any part of digestion; I had all the symptoms of IBS,
I had to have friends hug me in a bear hug sometimes because I just couldn’t catch my breath anymore and only by squeezing me tight, I able to control my breathing,
I swear I died at least twice.
I remember passing out on the floor and seeing the bright light and shadowy figures surrounding me before my ex-wife managed to wake me up after 5 minutes of shaking me,
I gained 50lbs from bloat,
The Spice made my bones brittle to the point that one day during a fit of coughing I fractured a rib.
And yet I continued smoking.
I was a master of covering it up.
I stayed high so much that people around me no longer even noticed I was high, I was high so much they never saw me “down” so high became the norm.
I carried around a beard trimmer bag that had my pipe, screens, pipe cleaners, and spice in it all the time everywhere I went.
This went on for six years.
My wife even got addicted to it after about four years.
She used to smoke every time I smoked, until one day she became so depressed over her addiction that she went to work and drank antifreeze in an attempt to make it stop.
She spent a month in the hospital on dialysis and coded twice before she was released in 2014.
I started trying to quit in Feb of 2015. It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through in my life.
I went almost a week with only a few hours of sleep while I spent most of the night curled up in the corner of the room with 2 or 3 blankets wrapped around me – shaking and crying uncontrollably.
I wandered around the house aimlessly at night with insomnia so bad that I could only sleep when I was so exhausted that I laid down on the floor where I was at and managed to catch a nap for an hour or two before waking up and curling up in the corner some more.
And then I relapsed after about two months.
And I went on a binge.
I started smoking 5g a day for about two months until I didn’t even know who I was anymore.
Then I stopped again and went back to curling up with the blankets all night until I was clean again for about a month.
This cycle went on all year in the year of 2015 until Christmas of that year when I went on yet another uncontrollable binge after my wife told me she was leaving me.
This time, though, I lost my job while bringing.
I swirled into an almost suicidal depression and in the stress-filled state, it all caused I developed pneumonia and almost died from asphyxiation due to not being able to breathe on several occasions.
In Feb 2016, I recovered from pneumonia and swore off Spice for the last time.
I lived off of the belief that “Sometimes you have to lose everything to get your life back.”
In March of 2016, the last shop in town that sold Spice was raided by the police and the owners arrested.
I felt a wave of relief flood over me when that happened. With nowhere to get Spice from, the craving for it finally subsided.
I’ve been clean since Feb 2016 – 6 months now.
I still want it. I go through days where I just wish I could have one more bag.
Just one day to get high. It’s the roughest drug I’ve ever had to quit. I can sometimes still taste it, smell it, and imagine the feeling it gave me.
I don’t know how or why I’m still alive. I look back over the last six years sometimes, and I am simply amazed that I’m still here.
I have a new job now, 100x better than the job I had before with supervisors who care about their employee’s well-being.
My wife is gone, but I understand. We remain friends. She has her demons to deal with after the attempted suicide.
A broken record for sure, doesn’t ever try Spice. It’s Heroine, Crack, Meth, all rolled into one.
It will control you whether you think it will or not. You won’t even realize it’s controlling you.
It will become such an ingrained habit that not doing it will feel wrong. Just don’t.