Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party weekend is only a few weeks away, so it’s a battle of the fittest and a starvation state of affairs leading up three days of parties this coming May 5-8.
The weekend attracts tens of thousands of gays (and some female friends) from all over the world. Gays take over the entire city of Palm Springs for what many consider to be a premier gay dance festival. It’s non-stop pool parties, dance parties, after parties, after-AFTER parties, a t-dance, a farewell dance party, and oh my, how EVAH does a gay keep up?
Unfortunately the darker side of this event is that a lot of people still feel they need to turn to drugs to keep the momentum going with every Tom, Dick, Harry, and a few Johns. Like Coachella, and other concert/dance events, the big WP continues to be plagued with drug use.
I’m sure there’s still an alphabet of party favors to choose from to make you go bump in the night. Sadly, some impressionable gays will try crystal meth for the first time that weekend and jump-start their journey into the darkest corners of addiction, while the more seasoned tweaker will push himself to the edge of insanity and hopefully experience that moment of clarity that guided many of us to the road of recovery after the desert dust settled (only the lucky ones get sober).
It soooo does not have to go down that way. Plenty of guys attend the White Party parties without the need for suspicious substances to powder their nostrils. It can be done. I hit up the White Party events these past three years and had a blast with not so much as a drop of alcohol soiling my lips. It took me seven years of sobriety to brave that weekend, but I did it, and I made it out of the desert with my continuous sobriety intact.
Anyway, in light of the White Party weekend underway, we at THE FIGHT magazine decided to talk about crystal meth in THE SHARE page for the big White Party issue. I want to thank Mike, Bealor, Armando Melendez and Brandon DeHart for lending their names, images and for being so candid about their experiences with meth. If these experiences inspire one person to lay off of drugs–especially crystal meth–then these stories are worth telling.
The White Party issue of THE FIGHT is on the streets like NOW, or you can visit thefightmag.com to read more.
We asked a few local clean and sober folks with various lengths of clean time to share about their experiences with crystal meth.
Crystal meth became my everything really quickly. I put the drug in front of my family, and everything I loved about myself went completely by the wayside. I just lived to use.
The scariest part about crystal for me were the audio and visual hallucinations. That is the main reason I stopped using. The drug is all consuming and the consequences were homelessness, insanity, psychosis and hospitalization. You are depriving your body of all the basic needs—sleep, food, water, and eventually you end up psychotic.
Crystal is a liar. It tells you you are going to connect with people, sexually, intimately, or otherwise, but the exact opposite happens. It was very isolating and any sexual connection was completely devoid of intimacy.
Being clean is the ultimate freedom. crystal does not run my life anymore. I get to actually be there for others, the isolation is over, and peace of mind has returned.”
—Mike Bealor, clean & sober since November 7, 2013.
SENSE OF SELF
I did meth, but I mostly abused Adderall, which is a legalized form of meth. I did it to stay up all night and to seemingly have fun, but it got to a point where I wouldn’t know where I was, or how I got there. I would lose all sense of self. It made me paranoid, anxious and angry.
I don’t recommend people doing crystal meth because of how it effects you physically. It’s very bad for your health, especially for people who likes to go to the gym and invest time on their bodies.
Today, I can have fun sober and still be a part of. I love that I can wake up the next day and remember what happened the night before. I can get to work and not walk around wondering what happened to my clothes. You don’t have to do drugs to party. Saying no is an option and that is an option that I take every day.”
—Armando Melendez, clean & sober since July 4, 2014.
OFF THE STREETS
I was 21 when I first did crystal. I met a cute guy that I really liked. I was only going to do it that one time, but that one time turned into almost 20 years of addiction.
It was kind of fun in the beginning, because I was able to stay up all night, but in the end, that stopped working. I’d be tired, depressed and paranoid. I thought people were trying to kill me. A couple of times I wanted to jump out of windows. I called the ambulance on myself because I thought I was dying numerous times. I also thought my family had turned against me. I was making bad decisions. None of it was good. I felt alone.
Today, I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones, because there are plenty of people who don’t get to recover from their addiction to meth. I’m close to my family, I’m off the streets, and I have a job that allows me to pay my bills. Things are starting to interest me again. I have a lot of people on my side. I’m grateful for my life today. I no longer feel alone.”
—Brandon Dehart, clean & sober since August 26, 2016.