I used to take a lot of LSD when I was in my mid-twenties, back in the Seventies. Too much in fact. That’s why one day whilst on my way to Kilburn High Road tube station I decided to cross the road to get there by stepping across it. The cars were only six inches high, and the road was no more than three feet wide after all. So I began to step off the path and..
..what?! Wake up for god’s sake! I saw RealSize cars that would have killed me if I had stepped out off the pavement and in front of them. Very frightening. So I walked, frightened and sheepish, up to the traffic lights, and crossed the road when other people did. That way I knew I was okay.
A couple of weeks (I think) later I was on the the platform of some Circle Line station waiting to go somewhere. The train approached the station, the platform angled down sharply and I had to swiftly grab a hold of a fire hydrant to stop myself slipping down the platform and under the wheels of the train.
Ah, okay, this is what LSD flashbacks are.
So I went to see the doctor. He said that I needed to see a psychiatrist because I was, he said, in a bad way. So I went to see the psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist asked me a few questions about how I was feeling, my drug habits and my background. He wasn’t very nice to me. No sympathy, no empathy, no dialogue and, it seemed at the time, no real interest in me either. Waste of time?
Then he leaned back severely and accusingly in his chair and spat out (something like) the following;
‘So if I’ve understood you correctly, you are a middle-class rebel brat who has no job and who uses the miserable pittance the state hands down to you to buy drugs which lead you to come and see me when you have taken too many and ask for other drugs and treatments to replace the drugs you already use? You want drugs? Here they are.’
And with that he scribbled out a prescription for something or other, threw it across the desk, looked into my eyes and quietly said “Get out”. I picked up the prescription and left.
Once outside I felt so humiliated and vindictively revenge-filled that I just had to take out my frustration on something or someone. And I found my scapegoat immediately. More drugs?! Hell no!
I ripped the prescription into as many pieces as I could and threw it into a nearby rubbish bin. I had taken my revenge on the psychiatrist. Then, that evening, I decided never to take LSD again.
And I have never taken it to this day. But what did the psychiatrist really mean by his words? Was he really being insulting? Or did he think that a hard dose of honest truth would somehow bring me to my senses?
Who cares. He gave me a very necessary slap in the face just when I needed it and that’s the most important thing.
Ah, the things people say….