I sat, quietly observing a Crystal Meth Anonymous meeting in West Hollywood that had an unusually large number of newcomers. Many of them, though terrified, were bursting to share their experience. One newcomer — a gay male in his late forties — was speaking, when he paused, let the silence flood the room with anticipation, then blurt out:
“You all know what I mean! After we’ve slammed several times and it’s been a few days without sleep, we get real dark and sick, right? I mean, children, sometimes animals, can even get all crazy into Satan and that shit! But I have never fantasized about necrophilia.”
And there was another pregnant pause of silence, before he half-whispered, “Yet.”
The room was struck, dumbfounded. Not because of the audacity of this man’s claim, because of the normality of it. Our great shame had just been shit, sulfurous and dark, right in the middle of the room for us all to witness.
I can honestly say, I’d never heard anyone announce that at a meeting before — nor since. Of course, not everyone goes that dark while high on meth. But many do, eventually. At least, that’s my anecdotal observation.
Meth makes the mind go dark. My mind. Your mind. Everyone’s mind. True, some minds go far darker than others. But most of us, especially we who slammed, have experienced what it feels like to go horrifyingly dark with our thoughts and desires. Sure, maybe we haven’t hit that magic trifecta of pedophilia, bestiality, and necrophilia — like our all-too-honest newcomer — but most of us have, while high, gone to some dangerously dark places in our imaginations.
So, here’s my point. Two things to keep in mind.
The first point is: Those detailed and evil fantasies you imagined when high were NOT the product of your mind. Those dark thoughts were the product of a mind hijacked by meth.
Stop the shame. Meth did not awaken some nascent monster in you that now cannot be contained. Rather, meth hijacked your mind and ran amok with the nastiest shit it could imagine. That’s just what meth does.
Many of us went dark from time to time while high, especially when combined with sex. So the second point is: It’s the meth that’s evil, not you.
Please, don’t let shame of any past dark thoughts eat at you until you must, surprise, escape the psychic pain by using. Shame has triggered innumerable relapses. Don’t take psychological responsibility for such meth-fueled darkness. It’s meth, not you.
Shame may be recovery’s most toxic emotion.
The longer I am clean, the more certain I am about meth’s evilness. We users are, in a manner, inhabited by a demon from hell and she goes by the name of Tina — or once did. She’s Ice these days, I’m told.
Face your shame and reframe it. It’s meth, not you. By the way, this has the advantage of not only being true, but it turns darkness into light.
The evil? That’s meth. Not me. Not you. — Meth.