The Night That Helped Me Wake Up With A Smile

For those of you that have kept up with my updates, live streams and such, you probably remember the time that I announced that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease.

I don’t know if I ever told you how I got to the place of finally seeing a doctor. I am a stubborn man when it comes to going to the doctor. I know I need to fix that.

I dipped into a deep depression. It was the strangest I’ve ever felt and it still shakes me to my core when I remember it. It was more than fatigue. More than a numbness coating the sense of emptiness. It felt as it everything in my life was being staged. Nothing was real. Every moment faded so fast it felt as if it never happened at all. And during this time, I was still traveling, meeting new people and working to keep the upswing of my career in motion. But each trip, each meeting and even the momentum of my career felt like it never really existed. I knew something was wrong when it started to sneak up on me at night. It’s hard to describe looking into a mirror and not recognizing yourself without sounding cliche. The strange thing is I wasn’t on anything but caffeine at the time. (In fact, this was one of the reasons I started to dabble in edibles.)

I dealt with this feeling for almost over a year even after seeing doctors and trying to figure out what I needed to get healthier.

I don’t think I was unhealthy but I know I was tiring out. It’s hard to fight depression and sickness when your body isn’t ready for it. Tiring out didn’t start the depression but it did help the depression find a nice groove to settle in while I was exhausting myself.

Last year, something happened that took away the disassociation. Life started to feel real again. But it did slow down my progress which resulted in a slow down of work later in the year.

It has been a little of a struggle. I’m currently trying to find my peace with creativity and life again.

In fact, the last months of 2017 really hit me hard. It felt like I was moving but one of my wheels was off track. Just harder to push and louder than usual but I was so close to the next stop. Each failure and achievement requires a stop to collect yourself and start the journey again. You can’t wait to move on from the last failure but you also can’t live too long in the celebration of an achievement. “You don’t want to be the last one at the fair.” The grind was making my skin crawl most days.

But not too long ago, I got to a stop I needed. It wasn’t a stop that looked important. It wasn’t even a well lit stop compared to other ones in my life. It was just a stop in the middle of nowhere.

Now, this next revelation is going to really change how you take the rest of this depending on your own misconceptions or personal experiences with mind altering drugs.

I took shrooms. I had done shrooms years earlier and it was one of the best nights of my life. Then I took them again before the end of 2017 but that night was suffocating. The experience was still great but tainted.

Then I took a few just for giggles. And that’s what happened.

I was 3 for 3 with shrooms. So when I arrived to a stop where I could indulge again and properly enjoy it, I took it. Not alone of course. I’m learning that a good trip should be shared with someone that is looking to fly above and not run away from real life. You should never do drugs to run away from problems. Drugs should be a celebration… but remember, you can’t live too long in the celebration.

Back to the night. The plan was take shrooms, have the snacks and drinks ready, get comfy and watch the last episodes of this anime on Netflix called Soul Eater. For the “giggles” trip, I had I put on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 because I had seen it in theaters **cough cough** high (not on shrooms but on pot) and I knew it was a great, colorful film with enough humor to keep a high high.

This trip was stronger. There were times when my hand looked so far away and so little. Then they aged but still looked strong. I knew I was high so I knew not to fight it. Just enjoy it.

(Spoilers for Soul Eater Ahead)

Those last few episodes of that anime were intense. The entire series led up to this massive battle against a villain that was consumed with the idea of madness. If you’ve ever seen any anime, you know that most of the time the characters are still but the background is moving or there are dialogue scenes that stretch almost into the entire episode followed by one quick scene of action. When you are getting to the end of any anime series, all the loose ends come whipping around all angles of the story that it can be quite exhaustive just being an audience to it. And it’s all a cartoon where characters are doing ridiculous, inhuman things. The mind that can create those stories feels like it would be haunting to deal with.

Each character had their specific personality quirk. One wanted to be the coolest. One wanted to be the star. One was in love with symmetry. One just wanted a good cup of coffee. The characters would bring this up as a little bit of comic relief for the watcher after intense parts of the story.

Well, the villain wanted pure madness to consume the world. There’s no way to make madness lighthearted really. It just makes it feel more insane.

The shrooms hit right at the beginning of the final big battles. Lots of talking, lots of serious moments, little relief. I was going mad with the characters. I was questioning the length of each fight and the dialogue of each character. In anime, characters ofter discuss their past moves, next moves and assumed moves at great length. If you never watched anime, remember that scene in The Princess Bride where Vizzini was discussing how to figure out which cup had been poisoned. He talked about each choice, each outcome, each with reasoning that even contradicted what he said was certain a moment earlier. Almost every scene in anime feels like that.

I had to pace around while taking in the end of the series. At moments I only listened to the scene because I didn’t want to look. The characters were diving into deep levels of their own subconscious to figure out how to handle their next move. One was playing a piano for a demon in his head. One was talking to a glowing elk. And it makes sense when you know how anime works. Because none of it makes sense. But it does.

The ending move that the main protagonist had for the villain was so grand, so basic and so relieving that it changed my whole shroom trip. When the villain asked our protagonist why she won’t give up fighting him, she said, “If I give up now I’ll never be able to face the people who supported me and fought alongside me. It was because of them, I’m here now. They gave me their bravery. Now I need to add my own bravery to it.” The villain can’t understand why anyone would put their support into someone who looks so weak and obviously has nothing. He doesn’t understand it so much that it made him afraid. She lets him know she’s going to punch him with a fist full of bravery.

She punches him dead center in the face. He picks up his head and giggles that her punch did nothing. As he begins to gloat more, his vision cracks. He begins to break apart. Even still, he insults her punch as ordinary. She agrees and lets him know that having bravery isn’t special. “It’s something that everyone has.” The villain smiles peacefully at this, “Oh. Then it’s just like madness.” He explodes into light.

Die hard fans of the manga series weren’t happy with this ending. (I don’t think I’ll ever read the magna version though.)

But for me, that ending just instantly brought me peace in what was turning into an intense trip. I looked up at the ceiling. A ceiling can be quite serene on a trip. The feeling that rushed over me was a feeling of tranquility from the madness that engulfed me a lot throughout the past year and a half. I felt like the anxiety that gripped my throat as soon as I woke up each day and followed me throughout the rest of the day had finally loosened enough. Enough to realize that I’m choking myself each day with this anxiety. It’s my hand around my throat.

I needed that.

I was so happy.

I knew the next day, which was actually a couple of hours away from peaking through the blinds, was going to be clearer and better. I was ready to leave the stop, excited to move on to the next one.

And it has felt more real again.

Now, after the show ended, we were both on the descent of the high. It would still be about an hour or so before it was all gone, so I put on the original Willy Wonka. And let me tell you, that movie was made for when you are coming down on shrooms. The ideas and thoughts that movie inspired in me… well… that’s probably best saved for the next blog.

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