The night I arrived at my sister’s for this recent trip, she had two tickets to see STOMP for me and my 14 year nephew. At one point, I didn’t think I’d make the performance. I was going to delay my trip by a day to finish some things up at home. But when I heard how excited my nephew was…how he kept asking “Mom, is Uncle CT gonna make it for STOMP!” I knew there wasn’t any last minute details at home what could warrant a delay and missing this!
I got into the auditorium and we had great seats – I was dead center in row D and he was a couple rows back in F. To paint the picture – the hall is packed, the show starts…and it’s 110 minutes of non-stop percussion, rhythm, music, lights, sounds, energy. It’s electrifying! As I told my nephew afterwards “Did you realize that not once the entire evening did anyone on stage utter a single word? And yet, through their gestures, their looks, their motions, their sounds, their energy – you knew exactly what story they were telling. You knew the context of what was going on and the message to take away from each of their vignettes.” It was so POWERFUL!
I was sitting in the hall absorbing all of this. My body was on fire! My senses were on overload! I kid you not – I was laughing so hard, genuinely laughing, at the stories, the humor, the innuendoes. I caught myself every once in awhile because at points, I’m the only one laughing – or I’m laughing the longest. And I’m not even self-conscious about it wondering what people might think – my ego is completely out of the way. I was just enjoying my a*$ off! I am enjoying the show, enjoying life, enjoying all of the senses. And all of a sudden, it just overwhelms me. I was taking it all in, and it was like I stepped away from my body and was watching this. I could just see myself enjoying without limitations. And I wasn’t high. This wasn’t fabricated. It wasn’t a mask. It was deep and genuine.
I remember when I first started using – it was with ecstasy (X). X would heighten all of your sensations. The reason I loved X was I was finally able to FEEL – to really (what I thought was real!) FEEL! All the lights were brighter, the music was richer, the touching was more sensual. It was overpowering.
As I watched and felt STOMP, I realized — THAT was the “first high” I was always chasing.
Since I’ve been in recovery, addicts say we are always chasing that first high. And I kept relating that to my days of using cocaine or meth — and the concept of “chasing that first high” never made sense to me. While coke and meth were good, I wasn’t “chasing them…”
Now I understand – they weren’t my first high!
My first high was X – that sensation, those experiences, those feelings!
I realized that night watching STOMP – SHIT!
I found that first high!
And I found it drug-free! And I found it in my own senses! I don’t have to be fucked up to enjoy life…to feel. And right there in the hall, I started crying…tears streaming down my face. It’s not sadness, not loss, not grief. It is joy, it is peace…and it’s gratitude.
I can also remember with meth that you hit this wall ’round about 45-60 days…or 4-6 months, I’ll have to go check ;). But because meth fucks around with your senses and dopamine receptors so much, you fry them all…and without them, your highs aren’t as high and your lows aren’t as low…you kinda don’t feel. Life is bland. You “can’t enjoy life.” And used to “feeling good” on meth, that can suck…can get depressing…hence, the wall. I kept dreading when or if I would hit the wall.
That was my other excitement from the night! I don’t know if there are higher joys to come but WOW – I was on fire! I was bursting out of my skin! It was amazing. I cried for joy for about 10-15 minutes…watching the show…through teary-eyed lenses 😉 And life was good. I started laughing…I didn’t care who thought what. I was at peace. And it was like the entire stage, the whole performance, every individual in that troupe was performing for me…was giving me a gift…a gift I would probably never experience again. Like chasing that first high…I had reconnected. I had found my feelings. I had found the ability to experience life.
And the beauty of this high — I probably will experience things like it again. It’s real – it’s not artificial. I can experience both the little things in life — the butterflies, the birds chirping, the warm Spring air — as well as the overdramatic experiences and performances like STOMP!
And, then to think that I was here with my nephew. These were the kids I took myself away from. You know…talk about egocentric, self-centered. I took away their Uncle CT…but here I was back, enjoying them…being with them.
For all of this, I am truly grateful.
All that for $52 and a service fee of $12.