At any point of any day, I could call Bill, and he'd be right there to pick up. It didn't matter if it was four in the afternoon or four in the morning. While you always find "insomnia" listed among the symptoms of meth abuse, that's a ridiculous way to describe it. I've had insomnia before -- tossing and turning for a night before getting a few fitful hours of sleep. Comparing that to what a motivated meth addict can do is like saying me and an elephant can both "poop a lot."
Though I could probably take the little guy in a fair match.
Meth let Bill stay up for days on end -- we're talking three or four days straight at times. Which is much needed energy when you're spending your days and nights cooking up more meth. I'm assuming it's not something you can just walk away from while it simmers, like chili. You know, because of the explosions.
Of course the body still wants to shut down, and after a couple of days, the lack of sleep starts to fuck with your mind (if you stay awake long enough, you start to have hallucinations). But that's an easy fix. Bill could just stop taking meth, and he'd sleep like a corpse for a full 24 hours. An entire day that could have been bad just up and vanishes.
But then you have to make your bed, so it's not without drawbacks.
But think of all the things you could get done in three days if you didn't have to sleep. You could watch Die Hard 40 times in a row. You could teach your kids how to make meth so they can carry on the family business. You could go back to college and have the entire semester's work finished in a week flat. Let's see you try that without meth. I'm actually surprised more meth users haven't become captains of industry.
Or maybe I'm just giving people too much credit.
Well, maybe the problem is the drug-induced schizophrenia ...
It's suggested by some doctors that after doing so much methamphetamine, the chemicals pull of this neat little trick where they go into the part of the brain where schizophrenia manifests itself and flips it on like a fucking light. Then, it promptly breaks off the switch and throws it into a nearby lake so you can't turn it back off. Others claim that it's not true schizophrenia, but simply a mirror image of the symptoms. In other words, it's the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" of being batshit fucking crazy.
Either way, one thing they all agree on is that the symptoms can last for a year or more, even after you've quit using the drug.
That's right. Meth can chase your ass right through an inspirational "getting clean" story.
And we're not talking about simple nervous paranoia here, afraid that the cops are everywhere. We're talking about full on hallucinations, hearing voices in the walls, constant feelings of being watched or chased. Oh, and it's often untreatable.
Just ask Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys.
But that's a good thing, right? The paranoia kept him on his toes. And he needed to constantly be in that state of mind if he was going to avoid prison. Fortunately for Bill, he (hypothetically) hung himself in his garage long before the cops ever busted him.
There were no doubt other factors, but there is also no doubt that meth helped him get there. Or rather, I should say quitting meth helped him get there. The drug commonly burns out the system that produces dopamine and norepinephrine, making it impossible for the user to feel any sort of pleasure unless they use. So when Bill attempted to quit, and crushing depression washed over him, he felt it was better to just check out early than to live with that monster.
Check out more from Cheese in 6 Things Our Kids Just Plain Won't Get and 7 Terrible Life Lessons Learned from 'The Neverending Story'.