How not to act

Not sure why this occurs to me now. Maybe because of a manuscript I’m reading.

I was relatively well-behaved as a high-school kid…well, not. I tried to stay sober my whole senior year, because I had gotten in some trouble as a sophomore. But my friends wouldn’t have it. The day before I ran my fastest time for two miles, I was smoking hash out of an aluminum beer can, inhaling who knows what shit. Then I matched it at the New Englands after being utterly plastered the whole day before, “working” on my friend John’s snowmobile.

When I was in college, I would take stolen Desoxyn (methamphetamine) and other diet drugs like phendimetrazine (Bontril, almost worse than meth) to do all-nighters, sometimes two-nighters. Once I was up for at least two and a half days straight and took maybe one piss the whole time. Kids always had parents with medicine cabinets. I would also do “whippets” (sniffing nitrous oxide) and get others to join in the fun. I dropped acid, ate mushrooms, blew bongs. I was getting a 4.0 as a varsity athlete and being the worst, worst ringleader imaginable. I sort of fucked up the whole UVM track team, and I was miserable. I was not a charming character on these nights, I’m sure, especially while hiding behind various appliances because I was tripping and refused to come out, or too drunk to stand up. I just always had to feel different.

I did what I did to get by. I have some stuff in my background, and I became a high-achieving degenerate. I’ve struggled with alcohol issues since I was in college. It took me out of Bishop Brady coaching, ensured I wouldn’t finish medical school, destroyed relationships with multiple girlfriends, and unquestionably kept me out of the Olympic Marathon Trials. All I can do now is look back and be grateful to be alive and have people who care.

DON’T ACT LIKE I DID. It doesn’t turn out pretty. Don’t get fucked up on drugs and alcohol. Talk to your friends,they’ll be there–and look inside for the real
problem.

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  1. #1 by Sven on June 26, 2009 - 6:25 pm

    Don’t forget it destroyed your budding mathlete career too.

  2. #2 by kemibe on June 26, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Actually I did manage to stay on the math team! I hated it and only did it to get out of school early.

  3. #3 by mgordon on June 26, 2009 - 10:15 pm

    If you take out the high achievement part it sounds a lot like my past. I made an effort to clean up and suddenly school, work, and relationships are a breeze. Go figure.

    Oh, I do get laid less but the quality has definitely gone up. So I guess that’s a wash.

  4. #4 by llewelly on June 27, 2009 - 3:59 pm

    But my friends wouldn’t have it.

    All through HS I had friends who did weed or E or whatever – and none of them ever tried to talk me into trying any drugs. I figured “peer pressure” was a myth, at least as far as drug was concerned. (Maybe I had better friends.)

    When I was in college, I would take stolen Desoxyn (methamphetamine) and other diet drugs like phendimetrazine (Bontril, almost worse than meth) to do all-nighters …

    When I was in college, I did most of the all-nighters I needed to do (which were all due to my demanding full-time jobs, rather than school) with no drugs at all – not even caffeine. I did a few with caffeine, but it seemed to me the caffeine didn’t help after the first four hours or so. I didn’t experiment with alcohol or other drugs until after college. Guess what – my college career was ruined by insufficient funds.

    In HS I always said “no thanks” when the bong (or whatever else) came my way, but school officials hassled me regularly about my “drug use”, and often refused to accept signed excuses for my absences on the grounds that they had something to do with drugs. In their eyes, the length of my hair was more reliable than any piss test. And the rest of the math team was angry with me because I never came up with the money to travel to the important competitions – so I missed everything that wasn’t local.

  5. #5 by llewelly on June 27, 2009 - 4:04 pm

    Trying again because this blog doesn’t have preview:

    But my friends wouldn’t have it.

    All through HS I had friends who did weed or E or whatever – and none of them ever tried to talk me into trying any drugs. I figured “peer pressure” was a myth, at least as far as drug was concerned. (Maybe I had better friends.)

    When I was in college, I would take stolen Desoxyn (methamphetamine) and other diet drugs like phendimetrazine (Bontril, almost worse than meth) to do all-nighters …

    When I was in college, I did most of the all-nighters I needed to do (which were all due to my demanding full-time jobs, rather than school) with no drugs at all – not even caffeine. I did a few with caffeine, but it seemed to me the caffeine didn’t help after the first four hours or so. I didn’t experiment with alcohol or other drugs until after college. Guess what – my college career was ruined by insufficient funds.

    In HS I always said “no thanks” when the bong (or whatever else) came my way, but school officials hassled me regularly about my “drug use”, and often refused to accept signed excuses for my absences on the grounds that they had something to do with drugs. In their eyes, the length of my hair was more reliable than any piss test. And the rest of the math team was angry with me because I never came up with the money to travel to the important competitions – so I missed everything that wasn’t local.

  6. #6 by yogibear on June 28, 2009 - 11:42 am

    The road not taken haunts all men.

  7. #7 by catgirl on June 29, 2009 - 10:11 am

    Because of yearly internships and corresponding drug tests, I never used any drugs in college. I know of several classmates who lost out on job offers or even got fired from internships because of failed drug tests.

    I don’t think I’ve ever pulled an all-nighter for studying. Most of my tests involved conceptual stuff rather than memorization, and I always figured I could try to reason out the problems if I was just well-rested and could think clearly. For me, sleep always helped more than cramming.

  8. #8 by Jim Fiore on June 29, 2009 - 4:26 pm

    I had a reputation in college (and probably high school) for taking psychedelic drugs. Everyone knew that I used acid, mushrooms, peyote, etc. Except that I didn’t. Never even tried the stuff once. I never took speed, either. I never drank hard liquor although I will admit to consuming too much beer and wine at various times. I assume the reputation came with the fact that I had very long hair (long enough to find its way into the front pockets of my shirt) and that I liked “trippy” music (Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd, etc.)

    I never liked cramming for tests, either. By my final couple of years I had a system down where over the course of a couple days I would reduce my notes to a couple of pages and then finally to a single page. Not by writing small, mind you, but by focusing on the major concepts and looking for similarities and patterns. For the stuff that was having a hard time “sticking”, I’d come up with some mnemonic trick. Once, in a physics test, I couldn’t remember if a particular term in an equation was squared or not. So I simply worked out the units with and without the square to see if I got the correct final units. That’s the kind of stuff I’d do. Oh, and to this day I’m not one for caffeine either. I sometimes have hot tea when we go out for dinner, partly because in the winter I’m always cold and otherwise because usually I’m driving. Other than that, I will sometimes have a cup of tea (brewed double-strong then iced) with double sugar before a big road race. I think it helps to keep me focused, gives me a few needed calories, and prevents me from feeling hungry.

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