I live many lives. All of us do.
One moment you're imagining yourself in bed making hurried love to some random person you just met at a bar, the next you're talking to your mom on the phone telling her you're sleeping over at your best friend's house because no one can drop you home. How intoxicated are you in the middle of all this? High enough to justify a one night stand but sober enough to talk your mom into letting you stay?
In the 22 years of my life I have been a different person in every memory that I can call my own. Everything I am as of this moment is a mixture of everything my brain can recollect.
To put it very simply, We are what we remember about ourselves at any given moment in time.
Let's one up ourselves on this life defining philosophy by scratching the surface of the above statement.
What we remember about ourselves at any given moment is greatly influenced by what we desire.
For example, When you first see an engineering-college-rock-band member running his fingers on the fret board like a geek on lsd... you are most likely to think about the time you held a guitar in your hands for the first time. Those unsure fingers full of nothing but potential. If only you had had the time, it would have been you on stage and not this random, fuzzy-haired, skin and bones drug addict.
For some inexplicable reason our focus changes.
Your internal justification mechanism tries to convince you that you're meant for greater things than just playing a musical instrument, and also that you're better off because YOU don't do drugs. This reaction is an intrinsic argument of sorts where you seek refuge in the confines of an allegedly higher moral ground so that you can stifle the thought of a reality that could have been. However, the part of you that's there standing, mesmerized by the movement of the fingers (use of drugs notwithstanding) is conveniently shattering all moral argument. You tell yourself there's a price for everything.
That's where the damage is done.
The next time your friend offers you a drug, any drug, you take it. One, then another. Your head spins. You close your eyes. You're falling. Into what, you can't see. From where, you don't know. There are moments of intense energy. They go faster than they come. The randomness of your cognition makes you laugh at the senselessness of your thought process. You've been converted. You don't accept this thought.
All you ever needed was a reason. What you don't know is you are the reason.
It troubles me to see all of you. Writers, lovers, musicians, leaders, scientists... all these things you could've been but will never be. "The was that never..." Yes, that's what you are.
What you will do is crawl into a room with padded walls and live there until you're ready to be normal again. Normal enough to walk between those who haven't been to the place you have. They will look at you with sympathy, but from a distance. They don't have time to listen to your tale of survival, they are preoccupied with their own. And whenever you smile, you know they get a sneak peak into your broken spirit.
I have been to rehab, twice. The first words the doctor said to me at NIMHANS still echo in my slumber till date..."Rehab is for quitters."
Every now and then I look into the mirror and tell myself just that... "Rehab is for quitters..."
I have clarity on the underlying meaning of that statement now. I was a quitter when I took the damn thing up. That first joint. That first drag. No wait, that first touch. Yes, that first touch when I catapulted my inhibitions into oblivion for that fraction of a second. A moment of insane curiosity, perhaps. Whatever.
Like I said at the onset, life may change with each passing moment but our approach to it remains more or less constant. Addictive intoxication has a defining effect on this "approach" that makes us what we are. The uncomfortable laziness you spot in most of your marijuana smoking friends. The complete lack of self-respect when your sugar-chasing buddies ask you for money. That girl who sleeps with men in exchange for salt-shakers... I could go on but this will only get more unpleasant.
You're probably between 18 and 30. These are the best years of your life. Waste them if you must, but not on drugs. And as cliche as it may sound, it's the first joint that does the damage. Because the moment you touch it, you've breached the line of the forbidden.