How dating a drug addict helped me let go of my worries
Disclaimer: there are plenty of ways to let go of your worries without needing to find a drug addict to date. This is personal experience and not a method I’d recommend trying for yourself.
One of the best decisions I ever made was to date a drug addict.
Yes, you read that right. Before I go any further, I should make one thing clear – I’m not saying this because I did drugs with him.
I’ve seen what long-term drug usage can do to people, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.We asked an expert whether we should be exercising on holiday or not
However, during the brief time I lived with this guy, my outlook on life changed pretty drastically.
The first time I realised there is no point in worrying about what you can’t change was when he invited me to an alternative club in Islington.
‘I’ll meet you at the tube station at midnight,’ he said, floating off into the crowd.
Usually, I’d be against going out this late – I’m a big fan of home comforts, and this went against the grain, for me.
However, I thought ‘f*** it’, and got on the tube. It had been a rough week. I had a tenner to my name because the Job Centre had cut my money again, I’d traveled all over the city for interviews and been rejected for all of them, and my landlord had decided to evict me because I was unemployed.
I was losing everything, despite working so hard to keep it together, and I felt incredibly alone. So why not just go to a club and get lost in the atmosphere, see what happened? I had nothing left to lose.
He met me outside the station as promised and led me through Islington. We walked into the club, and I was thrust into an alternative underground environment that was exhilarating and liberating.
We stayed on the dance floor for hours. The music was a mixture of all the genres I loved. As I danced, I watched the people around me.
There were couples in a world of their own, wrapped up in each other, swaying to the hypnotic pulse of the music.
There were people dressed in every outfit imaginable, dancing alone, not needing anyone to complete them.
A tall man wearing a mask was dancing with glowsticks.
A woman in a corset and heels was dancing in circles with her eyes closed.
A group of men with long, unruly hair energetically fist-pumped the air and jumped around.
‘The people who keep going to the bar for water are on the E’, the guy told me, laughing. He was one of them.
But I realised I didn’t need the drugs some had sought so they could let go. I could forget about my worries by just soaking up the atmosphere and realizing… it really didn’t matter.
The night was young. We could make it whatever we wanted it to be.
I felt alive. I felt accepted. I felt like I was home.
The next time I went, I decided to step it up a notch.
I used to feel quite insecure about my body – I’m not the skinniest person on the planet, and once upon a time, that used to bother me.
But, as I watched this guy go into the toilets, pop an E and float back out to lose himself in the music, a blissful smile on his face, I’d started thinking: ‘I want that feeling. I don’t want to get a random pill off a stranger in some dodgy toilets, but I do want to just see what happens if I…just discard the rules. Do what I want. See what happens if I do something daring.’
So I bought a dress that showed a lot of skin, and got on the tube.
When I arrived, the guy greeted me as he had the previous week. Then he did a double take, and smiled.
As we walked down the street, cars honked. People stopped and stared.
I did a twirl. He laughed. And so did I. I didn’t care. I felt free.
After a few weeks, I was living with him. I had nowhere else to go. On paper, I’d reached rock bottom, despite doing my best to keep my head above water.
I spent my days lying on the floor of his bedsit, applying for 40 jobs a day, attending interviews on the little cash the Job Centre trickled my way and getting rejected, eating poor quality, cheap food, because it was all I could afford, and wondering if it would ever get better.
I did this for two months.
How did I cope? Well, I had the support of some amazing friends. There wasn’t much they could do physically, but they were there, online, to listen, when I needed to talk.
I also observed the guy I was living with. He’d come back from work, light up a joint, and just… forget all of his troubles.
I decided I could do the same – without needing to get high to achieve that effect.
The simple logic I used was: ‘If I sit here worrying about everything I have going on, I’ll have a complete meltdown.
‘If I let go, and just do what I can each day, I’m doing everything possible. So there’s no point in worrying.’
And so I didn’t.
What is the ‘F*** it’ philosophy?
The school of thought I was tapping into without realising is commonly known as the ‘F*** it’ philosophy, which has a very simple rule of thumb.
Just say ‘f*** it’ and do whatever you like.
Ignore what everyone is telling you and live your life the way you want to.
John C. Parkin wrote a book on this philosophy, stating that we can find real freedom by realising that things don’t matter that much – if at all.
Funnily enough, I stumbled across the book in a shop a few months after I found my own place.
A few months in, he told me he wanted to go to Amsterdam. ‘I have a week off work. Let’s do it.’
‘We barely know each other,’ I wanted to say, but then I thought…why not? I was already living with him. It could be a fun experience.
He made all the arrangements, and before I knew it, we were on a plane.
We spent a week just wandering the streets of Amsterdam. Drifting into bars and clubs.
He had his joints on him. I didn’t. The atmosphere was enough. I felt my head clearing more and more.
On my last day there, I took a bus into the city centre to meet him.
After a few stops, a woman got on. She looked tired, but not weary. Like life had given her many obstacles, and she’d weathered them, learned from them, and moved on.
She sat opposite me, put her bag on the seat next to her, and took her hat off. She looked up at me, and saw me looking at her with mild curiosity. She smiled. I smiled back. We both knew how the other felt.
A few months later, I moved on, and found a place of my own, but I’ll never forget the time in my life where I learned how to chill out – from a drug addict.
It makes me sad, sometimes, that he’s been taking cannabis and ecstasy for so long that he’s given up on wanting to achieve much in his life.
His bedsit was in an appalling state before I moved in with him. He hadn’t washed his bed sheets in eight years.
In fact, because he was so detached from reality, he didn’t see the point in everyday chores such as laundry, cleaning his place, and so on. His mattress was blackened with filth.
However, I’d learned how to strike a balance. I wanted to move forward with my life, make progress, and achieve my dreams – but I also didn’t find it hard to let go when I was greeted with setbacks, rejections, and bad luck.
It was all part of life’s rich tapestry – and it had taken watching a guy pop E in a club and chain smoke joints to realise that.
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