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Destroying Everything Held Dear.




I used to be quite an eloquent writer and considered myself an intellectual. I always was the guy who was quiet, introverted, but always thinking. I learned that I was sharper, as well as more linguistically literate than my peers, around high school. As I came to my junior and senior years, my love of learning as well as philosophy and writing was my strong suit. I always struggled with depression and anxiety, but otherwise I had a pretty good life.


When I started college I was like a kid in a candy store. My professors were just like me, and taught me things that I enjoyed even more than their comedic lectures. When I got into writing class I was told repeatedly by the professor at the time how good a writer I was, despite trying to downplay it to avoid a teacher's pet reputation. I loved using words to elegantly articulate my thoughts and communicate abstract ideas, with a certain joy in being a smart ass. I especially loved history and anthropology. Of course after a year I started having problems with OCD. Even with the anguish of anxiety I still loved school.

I lived for school, scifi and video games; school now being my favorite. I got good grades, spent hours talking after class with my professors about a wide range of topics, and I loved every minute of it.


This was all until I met my soon-to-be stoner friend, getting more into party scenes. Eventually I was persuaded to try marijuana, as he was more than happy to toke with friends. I started out smoking sporadically; every few weeks or so. This was the beginning of the worst and most devastating mistake I'd ever make. Little did I know, as the online cursory research turned up little, that prolonged mixture of the drugs would render my short term memory horribly shot, and my precious literary skills decimated. That my thoughts would no longer be clear statements or mental sentences, but some convoluted mess of narrow cognition and emotional impulse. I no longer was cognizant of my own thoughts, and still am not. Even my long term knowledge, including things I'd learned through those treasured lectures and books were gone, if not frustratingly distant, foggy.


When I first encountered these symptoms I was not worried. I just assumed it was normal marijuana fog that would clear after I'd been off the weed. Other symptoms alleviating at about 5-6 months, as I'd read online in other accounts. However, along the way, I noticed that my issues did not quite line-up with traditional marijuana experiences, about 3 months in. At around 4-5 months I realized something was horribly wrong. I had smoked only a year and I was experiencing severe deficits in memory. What's worse, the symptoms weren't getting any better, if anything they were slightly worse. At this point I started considering the combination might be the source of the novel state of my brain. Indeed it is ironic that someone who was so smart could do something so stupid as mix medications. However, I'd looked it up and couldn't initially see any problems that would be enough to deter trying the drug. In fact, I thought it was awesome that I could smoke weed because I couldn't drink with the paxil. Of course I didn't search as intensively as I did when I was trying to explain my symptoms. I didn't look at prolonged effects, only any interaction. Most said it was fine. I was a stupid 19 year old, just trying things. Unfortunately, the mistake was a large one.


I looked and looked, but only ended up finding one post of a man who was warning others online not to make his same mistake. He had smoked marijuana for 2 years with paxil. He was warning others about how his memory was shot, and how he had trouble articulating himself. How he used to be sharp. Even in his post online he showed how bad he was, having lots of sloppy spelling errors and odd grammar. All I can think now is at least I didn't do it for 2 years, instead doing one. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I'd continued.


However when I realized the gravity of my mistake, my mental fog and that it would never lift. That my issues would stay with me. That my dense cognitive confusion and convolution, would never alleviate. By extension, I would never again be able to talk on the same level, or discuss with any detail or intricacy, topics which I was once enjoyed talking about for hours. My struggle with reading, much less remembering, details of what I'd read in even just a few pages of a book. I noticed how hard it was to try and keep up with story details, even in tv shows; where before I would be guessing what would happen well before hand, now I was barely able to keep up with what was going on. I then began to sink in denial and deep anxiety. I would never be able to pursue college level education, ever again. My purpose and joy was no longer available to me, no matter how hard I tried or wanted it. I could never fulfill my promise to myself not to live pay check to pay check as my parents did when I was younger. I could barely even remember simple instructions for cooking. My whole world was pulled out from under me, everything I valued about myself a memory.


More and more I realized that everything I had expected for my future; all my hopes for a good life and graduating college, gone. Fuck I hadn't even ever gotten a girlfriend, or had sex. Now, due to my self-inflicted stupidity, I would never have that luxury, nor would I even try.


I destroyed everything I loved and all because of one stupid mistake. I never even noticed until after I got off and paid attention. Now every time I see a post on facebook about finishing finals or playing video games with friends, or even just my old friends posting, it rips my heart out. Knowing that I ruined my amazing potential for a good life so soon, so stupidly. That I'll never be able to deeply connect with anyone like that again; barely being able to communicate. That this amazing age of technology and information we are entering in, I will be unsuited for. Now all I have are a bunch of jesus freaks trying to tell me that god can heal me. Debating because I know enough to know it's bullshit, but I'll never get past that into being into relationships with people who are educated and less bigoted.


So please, someone tell me. What is there left to live for? Is life really worth living if you are miserable and incapable of building any sort of meaningful future? Being completely incompetent and losing absolutely everything you held dear in life? I am beginning to more seriously contemplate suicide. Before it was more just daydreaming. Now though, it seems like a quick end to a life of torture being shown what could be, and what I ruined. It's not like I'll be able to have a comfortable life now anyways. Just living in poverty with no friends, and eventually no family, intellectually incapacitated; surrounded by people who are poor and statistically more likely to be fundamentalists out of ignorance, because what else do they have.



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I can really relate to what you're going through.


I was also someone with great potential in maths and science, never had to work hard to be the top student and everything I did was nothing short of exceptional. A few times in uni I would leave my coursework for even the most difficult courses until the very last day, never even taking part in the exercises during the semester, and by the end of the day I would have the most spectacular work that that particular course had ever seen.


Then I got hit with years of chronic insomnia, to the point that at one time I could perceive my inability to articulate even the simplest of thoughts (not all the time, just on a few occasions where my sleep deprivation was pretty severe), it was such a strange sensation, and even then I never realised how serious it was until I found myself unable to do things that were incredibly easy for me years before.


I quit a very prestigious job because it was driving me crazy, so it had a massive effect on my career. Now I'm still somewhat above average, but it can be gruelling because I'm working at a snails pace in comparison.


Of course I've learned a great deal about life, and perhaps that was the best thing that could have happened to me because I enjoy the struggle, it's like a montages out of a 1980's triumph flick with a brass fanfare in the background. I am doing everything I can to keep my brain fit and healthy, and on top of that I understand the joys and pleasures of life much more than I did and in all honesty life is as good as you make it. The rich can enjoy poverty and the wise can enjoy a life of folly.


Your passion will connect you with whoever you need to connect with, so don't underestimate the powers of human attraction. Sure you might be a few steps behind now and you will have to find new ways to build mental associations to compensate for your memory loss, which might help you to outgrow some of the cognitive shortcomings you've described. But judging by the writing of your post, and I hope I am right, you seem to still be able to express yourself, perhaps not to the level you used to but I think it's important to remember that life is vast and contentment is definitely possible in your case so long as you can come to terms with where you are.


Regret will do you very little, except perhaps for a little creative inspiration, but rather than looking at what you could have done better in the past, live right now in the moment.


By the sounds of it a little psychotherapy might go a long way in helping you get back on track.

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If you can still write as well as you do above, I wouldn't be too concerned about your ability to be articulate.


You know I am a friend, but I think before this happened you were way too arrogant for your own good regarding your intelligence, and what it would get you in life.


You are still intelligent and articulate. You just need to see past your distress. Most people I know could never write something as well as you wrote it above. I think you need to try and get a grip on the big picture here.

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I'm with Galien - you are still quite articulate. I've known several people who have done as you would call it "stupid things" that weren't the best thing they could have done for their brain, but they still lead a good life.


What's done is done - how I also wish that there was a "rewind" button, but there's not. I so hope that you can get past what has happened. There are no guarantees in life so there is no way a person can definitely say that since this got messed up, that there is no future now. For me, that's been part of my mid-life problems - the realization that I'm half-way through (theoretically) and life is certainly far from perfect. There is value in the saying - "make lemons into lemonade".


As falemon also said, please consider some counseling / therapy. I know from reading your posts over the time that you've been here, that you undoubtedly have a lot of depression in your life. It would be so great if you could overcome it.

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Your self depreciating attitude is getting really old. You're fucking lucky to even have what you do have yet you're complaining how bad life is. Get the fuck over it.

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That was beautiful, sad and succinct. I think your self-assessment is a bit off. You write very well.


I hear where you are coming from however. I also made the mistake of turning to drugs when I was younger... and I'll never really know the damage I did. I held promise too, and have paid the price in under-achieving. Where I may have gone on to a Ph.D, I think now the most I would be capable of is a Masters - IF I could pull it together long enough to afford to go back. Drug use left me a wonderful long term side effect - anxiety. Chronic.


But, I have been clean a long time now and went to therapy and continue to take care of myself. It's better now. I did have to deal with depression first which I suspect you are in at the moment. Get that looked after, please.


Keep writing though, you have a LOT of promise in that area. That is quite obvious.

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