I am a 30 year old gay man who has hit rock bottom. Last night after my several nights on G I've hit bottom. I started off the weekend on a normal night out. I tend to go for a frew drinks on a Thur/Fri night followed up with either ending up in a box of chips or at a sauna. It's been 5 months since I've taken G but on Thurday a mate I hardly see brought me back to his flat for a night cap and we ended up doing G and fucking on his couch. He then opened Grindr and invited some men over. Before I knew it there was 6 men over and we were all naked, doing G and meth and having sex. Before I knew it that Thursday night turned into a Monday and I got home last night. I had to phone in sick and have spent most of Tuesday in a veg state. I'm on a major comedown and tonight for the first time feel like killing myself. I feel so ashamed of what I've done this weekend. I need help. Please help me. I don't want to feel like this again.
Thanks for your post and reaching out at this really difficult time, you've absolutely done the right thing. I guess I'd like to start by saying that I understand, and you're not alone. Chemsex is one of the big reasons I joined HERO and wanted to work on OutLife, because for years I was in a similar position to you. I'd go out for drinks of an evening, end up taking chems and being in the same place you are now. I get how you must be feeling right now: the feelings of shame and regret are so real, even though they are unwarranted. Chems and sex are such a potent mix, and my emotions afterwards would be all over the place, especially because the comedown after G / mephedrone / meth is extreme.
Right now I want you to know several things. Firstly, help is out there when it comes to chem use, and things can get better. Secondly, you're not alone and the feelings you're currently experiencing will pass. I've got a lot of information I can give that I think will help, so I've tried to split it into three sections: safety, right now, and longer term.
Top priority right now is keeping yourself safe. If you're having suicidal thoughts (I used to get the same thoughts after using chems) then it's really important to keep your phone with you, and try to talk to someone if you can. I found that in the hardest moments, calling helplines was an absolute godsend:
1) Samaritans 116 123 - You don't have to be suicidal to call, and they will listen without judgement. It's an amazing service. If you're not feeling safe then I thoroughly recommend calling them immediately. Even if you are feeling safe, but the feelings are overwhelming, talking to them can be cathartic and make you feel better. I've used the service several times, and if anything, it allowed me to pass some of the time during the comedown with another human being. 2) Switchboard 0300 330 0630 - Other times I've called Switchboard, which is an LGBTQ+ charity staffed by LGBTQ+ people. Trust me, they've heard from people on chemsex comedowns before, so there's no need to feel self conscious. It's an amazing service, and unlike Samaritans, they might be able to refer to you to somewhere that can offer further assistance. I always found it comforting knowing that another person from the community was on the other end of the phone. 3) Emergency services 999 - If you're feeling really unsafe or are planning to take your life, please call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance, they can take you somewhere where you can receive care and get stay safe.
Next up: the short term. You're in the middle of an extreme comedown from the meth and G and you need to give your body and brain the things they need to recover. Below is a list of tips (some personal, others from official services) that will help you navigate the next week. You can get through it, and as time passes you'll feel better.
- Post-chems self care -
- Make sure you're eating, drinking, and try to take a shower even if you don't feel like it. It's really hard to do, and takes 100 times more effort than usual, but they're small achievements that will make your body and mind feel more comfortable. - Nest! Get a bundle of blankets, slap on an extremely comforting TV show, plonk yourself on the sofa and try to focus, as much as you can, on simply getting through each moment by diverting your attention to whatever you're watching. My favourite show was always Star Trek for a comedown as it's not taxing and not too heavy. - Call someone. If you have any friends that can help you, then make sure to give them a call, or even just a text, and let them know you're in a rough patch. If you're up to it, maybe ask them over just so they can sit next to you on the sofa for a couple of hours. I've had friends do this for me, and even though we wouldn't really talk, their presence was really comforting. - Don't try and fix everything right this second! It's incredibly tempting to think you have to try and sort all the problems right now: the chems, the issues to lead to chems. Right now your only task is getting your mental state back to a roughly even keel. It's okay to think about things you might do, but don't ruminate on them. You can take this one step at a time, and that's 100% fine.
- It's also worth mentioning sexual health here. You don't mention what kind of sex you had, whether you're on prep, or whether you used condoms, but if you think you might been exposed to a risk, then get yourself down to a sexual health clinic to see whether they think you should take PEP. In London, Burrell St and Dean St clinics are both excellent at chems aftercare and are extremely LGBTQ+ friendly. If you're outside of London, take a look around.
Lots of this information, and more, is available on the excellent Friday / Monday website which exists purely to give out advice to gay men on chems use: www.fridaymonday.org.uk/
- Longer term -
I don't want to make this section too long as I don't want to overload you right now. However, I would like to make you aware of a few services which could help out in the coming weeks. There is lots of advice and assistance out there, and I've used a few of these places myself.
- Antidote londonfriend.org.uk/get-support/drugsandalcohol/antidote-accessing-our-services/#.XdVH11f7QuU You don't mention whether you're in London, but if you are, then London Friend operates its antidote chems service which is AMAZING. They operate several weekly drop-ins across the capital. They're there to support you in your future direction, whether that's moderating your use, continuing but keeping safe, or abstinence from chems. I'd really recommend heading to one if you can. I found speaking to one of their workers empowering.
- LGBT Foundation lgbt.foundation/drugsandalcohol If you're further north, then LGBT Foundation offers a similar service, including one to one support, telephone and online support and access to mutual aid and peer support groups.
- London Friend and ELOP www.outlife.org.uk/lgbtq-peer-support-and-counselling It might also be worth thinking about talking to a therapist, over the long term, about your mental health. I've seen a gay therapist for a long while now and it's really helped to deconstruct the reasons for my use. Right now London Friend and ELOP are offering online counselling sessions for free. Even if it's just for a few sessions, it could be a really great step forward, if you're comfortable with it.
Like I said, I don't want to overload you, so I'll sign off here. I know you're probably dealing with a lot of feelings right now, but I hope some of the above has helped you feel calmer, and understand that there are routes forward. I've personally used a lot of the resources above and lots of them were incredibly helpful. I know I've said it several times now, but you are not alone! OutLife, and other services are here to help.
It would be great if you could check in and let us know how you're doing, whenever you feel comfortable. And if you have any more questions or want more links / resources, just shout.
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post. Also thanks for sharing part of your story.
First up, I'm fine right now. The first half of the week was bad. Really bad. But I got through it. That comedown was awful and I went through so much internal shit. But yesterday I started to come around and today I feel normal. I've been off work all week because of this and I know that can't happen again. So I've decided that I need help and need to move forward. But I know nothing happens much at the weekends so to stop this happening again I jumped on a bus and headed to my parents for the weekend. My plan is to start contacting support orgs on Monday when I get back and stop this from happening again.
This weekend I am not drinking, will be eating healthy, I'm going to take my folks dog for lots of walks and do a lot of thinking.
This is not what I want from life. There is no happiness from this life so why am trying to live it. Something has got to change.
Again, thank you for your reply and advice! It helped me a lot.
Hello Mikeh, Justin (moderator) has given you some really valuable pieces of advice. He has very good awareness of what is like...Hopefully with the main steps to take you have managed to start feeling normal...
How has your sleep has been? I would think that if you can manage to induce some sleep taking Horlicks or Lime tree infusion or even chamomile...You could do enough of the needed healing simply by having longer sleep sessions somewhere cofy and safe
...It should be possible to reduce harm from the chems scene or even avoid it all together in the future...If you do some introspection exercise you might be able to spot the triggers...I understand that we gay guys we pair up risk+ sexual arousal more than often but those are nothing but ways in which we condition our own mind...Something to take into account...
Going home empty handed after attempting cruising is not the same as rejection...Sex or sexual situations which can harm you, you do not need it in your life...And the same goes for mates who bring you around with the intention of starting chem sessions...You do not need people like that in your life...You might have develop friendships at a different level but maybe to cut the chems habits it implies deleting the person's number or contact details...The friendship in that case was contaminated for their own motive and maybe you just being around them it always going to make you feel like doing some...
It would take time to readjust the feelings in your sexuality but trust me there is people in your city who are finding sex with no substances added maybe just half a can of bear...And we are not saying here do one or one or do group...It is not so much about the morals but about the whole coctel of: adrenaline rush+ perception of risk+ high arousal+ abuse of substance and then the mind ends up paying its tall...it simply it is not a sustainable way of living...We want in this forum that you are safe and happy if possible. Feel free to let us know how you are keeping...We will be here reading and replying...
So great to hear from you. I'm really glad you came back to tell us how you are
It sounds like you're doing exactly the right things to keep yourself safe. Heading to your parents is a great idea. Also, dogs are so good for reminding us how to feel good. I got a puppy a couple of years ago and he's great at keeping my mood stable and providing structure and love, both things that keep me safe.
In terms of the coming weeks, I've found that making plans with friends is a great way to reduce the likelihood of spontaneous chems use. When I decided to go abstinent I would make plans with friends on Saturday and Sunday mornings / afternoons, even if they just involved someone coming over to play videogames. Might be worth trying to book some stuff in.
Sounds like you're being quite hard on yourself as well. Just keep an eye on that. Beating yourself up may seem like it's a good way to stop the same things happening again, but it can lead to esteem issues and self-loathing that feeds the whatever driving forces pull people toward chem use. Just something to watch out for.
Anyway, feel free to check in again and let us know how you get along with any of the support services.
Good to know that you seem to have come out from the main chem crisis...really I hope not to get moralistic although it is hard for me I have been told...
But a good time for introspection whether it is doing journaling, speaking to a relative or close friend will allow you to find out some of your values...One question is: Do you feel like finding a man to build a strong relationship and handle the future the both of us together? If the answer is yes I think that is why the chems sessions clash with your inner values as doing sessions is not a way somebody prepares themselves for a more future centred on one and one...But it isn't for us in here to say whether you should do/ should not do group sex or take substances in your leisure time but kind of you have seen for yourself that it can put your mind in an unpleasant spiral...
If we have used substances in the recent past, I would say we do continue to have a vulnerability to do them again...all the elements might be fully present again in just a few weeks if we do not put the measures to avoid them...
Each person is different so this dialogue with yourself will allow you to perhaps visualise some goals for you. Some states of mind in which we can say to ourselves: Yes that makes me happy and see if we can come to those 'goals' more regularly in the future. The boyfriend is possibly something that could be for you in your lifeline at some point?? I think it is worth it to consider what is it that can make us worthwhile/ deserving for that moment and that hypothetical person in your future...I for example have a mate here in London who struggles to get a boyfriend because he has 'indulged' in the cruising scene here for too long...And I can tell you that you tend to fall in love stronger if you have had a period of celibacy although that can cause emotional pain as well (It has caused it for me some years ago...long story)...
So just a few bits you might consider or maybe not...This forum is entirely free to use whatever way most suitable...Take good care, ok?
Hello MikeH, Just a quick hello to find out if you have started the year with good emotions for yourself...do you feel now more positive in regards to your future? Nothing is perfect...if your emotions are 'hard to handle' you can always follow up the advice you were given by the admin or check on us here with an new posting and we get back to you... Best wishes...Feel free to visit us anytime...