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“I was always able to compartmentalize my binging so that work and school never suffered. A high functioning child, really. I wasn’t much into marijuana, but I did love psychoactives like mushrooms. I had my first panic attack after taking mushrooms alone and witnessing a horrific car accident on an icy bridge.

After Uni, I incorporated weed into my routine trying to kick the booze. Great idea. Now I was dependent on two substances. I had an escalating series of panic attacks. One in Florence, on a street where I thought a car bomb was about to go off. Another after realizing the level of depression I was suffering from.

Eventually I had a full-blown psychic break and manic episode.

I thought I was just feeling groovy, and things kept getting better and better. All my good senses firing at once – quick executive functioning, witty, dashing lothario in uber mensch god mode. Like flowers for Algernon, it wasn’t meant to last. Eventually I crashed. I’m so happy I did, but it is a frightening experience I never wish to have again. Life is full of ups and downs. But being manic only feels good once. After that, you know it will end, and the hangover is worse than cocaine.”


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