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Category: My Journey

6 – Daniel-San

“Welcome to the SpringHill Suites, Mr. Hughes. What brings you to Pittsburgh?”  Well, Scott, that’s a great fucking question. I am here because I have lost my will to live. A darkness has been growing inside me for decades, and it has metastasized into every part of my mind, body, and soul. I used to be able to pretend everything was okay, but I have run out of places to stuff all this pain. Now it’s spilling out of me and hurting everyone I love. You are probably thinking, if things are that bad, then I should just kill myself,…

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5 – Curioser & Curiouser!

I didn’t expect to be so angry after my first psychedelic experience.  I felt stupid for believing all the bullshit propaganda I had been fed while growing up on Saturday morning cartoons. The puritanical terrorist organizations of the early eighties had convinced me drugs would destroy my life and I would get AIDS the first time I had sex. No wonder all my high school friends who were fucking and getting high seemed so happy. They were! Not only did the mushrooms not fry my brain like a scrambled egg, but I actually felt better than I had in a…

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4 – Hank Meets Frank

Deciding to try psychedelics and trying psychedelics are farther apart than the rules of conjugation might suggest.  The first obstacle was my deep-seated fear of drugs. I was only ten years old when the Partnership for a Drug-Free America started scaring the shit out of kids every Saturday morning with their “Just Say No” public service announcements. They even hired Mr. T to threaten children with physical violence if they even thought about getting high. It was an effective campaign because there I was, decades later, still worried psychedelics would instantly scramble my brain like a fried egg. That is…

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3 – The Omnivore’s Decison

The hardest part about telling any story is deciding where it should begin. This one starts with a book about food.  In 2011, the Universe felt it was time for me to make a change. In her infinite wisdom, she decided the best way to get things started was to wind up and deliver a 1-2 punch that would knock me on my fucking ass.  The left jab came when I got laid off. Like most shots to the chin, it was a total surprise. My wife had been a stay-at-home mom since 2001. While she worked ten times harder…

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2 – Gargantua

I spent the next few years stuck at the bottom of this crevasse, but something was different. If I squinted just right, I could see a tiny spec of light off in the distance. Most would have felt hope, but it was discouraging to know how far I had fallen. I didn’t bother screaming for help. Who is going to hear me down here?  I would have some good days, which I could occasionally string together into good weeks. But the darkness would eventually find me. While I still thought about suicide often, I never put the gun back in…

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1 – The List

I am not sure what scared me more, making a list of reasons not to kill myself or only coming up with one thing. I sat there for hours, the paper in one hand and a gun in the other, wondering who would finally win this existential battle for my soul. I knew my list should have been longer, but my depression kept me from seeing all the beautiful things in my life. I was born a healthy, intelligent, relatively attractive, white, heterosexual, American male who was raised by two middle-class parents. These genetic tailwinds allowed me to parlay my…

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