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How I Got High on My Own Supply

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How I Got High on My Own Supply

I’m no angel, I have partied pretty hard in my time and to be honest I’ve had some of the best times doing so. During those times I have made life-long bonds with the people I shared those experiences with. Feelings of euphoria and connectivity have certainly opened both my mind and neural pathways to experiences beyond the physical world, but there was a price to pay -- over time, the highs weren't so high and the lows became lower!

In the early days I could party pretty relentlessly with almost no deficit to pay back, but over the years the pay back has increased to the point where one session could take a couple of weeks to really feel okay again. For me, the deficit meant low mood, irritability, lacking energy and finding mental challenges more taxing, but for some of my close friends the fall out has been far worse.

I've studied psychology as a mature student. Through studying I have learned a lot about the neurochemistry at play when we indulge in such activities. It’s enabled me to understand why some of us habitually hang on to one vice or another, or like myself have done so sporadically over the years. I have seen some of my closest friends and family use various substances sporadically, which on occasion has sadly culminated in addiction.

So what’s going on when we indulge in such activities and why are some of us more inclined to becoming hooked? Substances can only elicit the neurochemicals that we naturally produce. So surely there’s a way to extract these feel good neurochemicals without engaging in such activities!

Well it all very much depends upon our own individual neurochemistry; the predominant neurotransmitters at play in such circumstances are dopamine (pleasure response) and serotonin (feel good). Our levels may be either low or unbalanced due to a genetic predisposition of our current life circumstances, for example: stress. My close friends, who may have had either low or unbalanced levels, have experienced higher highs when indulging when compared to someone like myself who’s more in balance. This has then often resulted in their lows after the event being lower than my own -- ultimately leading them to suffer from anxiety, panic attacks and in some cases serious depths of depression.

Worse still, I have witnessed some of them becoming more inclined to indulge more regularly to help mask the deficit they’re experiencing. They don’t do it to feel heightened anymore, but to simply feel normal and avoid the symptoms of withdrawal.

For me personally the highs I’m experiencing just aren't quite what they used to be; the deficit has increased markedly, I guess I’m just growing out of it all and if I’m honest the whole experience has begun to become a pretty monotonous one.

I have been practicing Vedic meditation for almost a year now. It had such a profound effect on me instantly, that since learning I've taken every opportunity to study Vedic Meditation and as a result I have temporarily stalled my psychology studies to do so. I hope to combine the two at some point in my career as they have a lot to lend each other.

Through meditation I have personally experienced better highs than I ever did on various substances. Not only that, but because I’m eliciting my own neurochemicals there’s no adverse side effects. My personal neurochemistry is in balance due to my daily practice -- I feel calm and content, daily stresses pass me by without such detrimental effects.

Meditation has helped me regain what’s important in life, but most of all, it has made me happy without resorting to external stimuli. I can generate my buzz all on my own.


This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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Comments

1. Julie
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Eleanor. Congrats to you on one year today!
2. Laura B.
Hi Eleanor, I was looking into meditation as a treatment route for depression and anxiety, and your inspiring story convinced me to pursue it, along with my friends. Meditation and mental health go hand in hand and it would be great if everyone pursued it!