This is part 3 of my summer series where I explore the more vulnerable parts of me. I have discussed my relationship with my dad in part 1, the divorce of my parents in part 2, and today I examine the effects of that divorce – a journey into experimenting with drugs.
During my early 20s, I spent a year exploring Europe, backpacking through the mainland and doing a working holiday in London. However, I think it was more of an escape from reality rather than a journey to see the world.
Escapism is really running away from the pain. To me, the pain was my own home, full of violence and turbulence. I never associated the word “safe” with home – it was the scariest place in the world instead of the safest. So, I ran away from the pain, I attempted to avoid the conflict, not deal with the roots instead pretending that everything was alright.
Of course, everything wasn’t alright and so I ran away in the form of “travel.” It was one of the most educational years of my life learning about the rich history and culture of Europe. However, a darker side of my life was about to open up…travel didn’t really kill the pain of a broken childhood. I ended up living in a shared house! The shared house had Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, and even some Canadians like myself.
Every week, we would have house parties. Every week, we would go out to bars and clubs exploring the London Night Life. It was totally out of my comfort zone and not something I would do back in Vancouver but I was oversees – I could do whatever I wanted without consequences, right? I grew up an only child, pretty sheltered and closed off. I even got voted most shy in high school.
However, in London, I began opening up. I began having fun. I began to experiment. Unfortunately, we are often products of our environment. The shared house was full of drugs. People smoking marijuana in the living room; on the balconies, and in the backyard. People dancing and popping pills to stimulate them as they partied hard. I was never taught leadership as a youth so I did what they did. First, marijuana. Second, ecstasy. Third and finally, LSD.
The LSD experience was my first time trying acid and my last time doing drugs….ever.
I will never do drugs again. Never. It was a stupid stage of my life and I made bad choices. Luckily, nothing bad happened to me.
My biggest takeaway was the incredible danger associated with even recreational drugs. So, now I am a strong advocate of the “Say NO to Drugs” movement!