Sex, DRUGS, Booze, and Metal, Man!!By Michael F. Coles, 10/10/06
Sex, drugs, booze, and Heavy Metal; a well known combination in almost every Metal-head’s life; my life included (with the exception of booze-kinda-sorta). I have already written an article on sex and my sex-life experiences (well, up to 1998) in my 3rd/4th issue; “I love you, so now we can have sex.” And I have also expressed my concern and opinions on Metal (lyrical content/life-style) and how I feel about Metal and in the music scene in general (can mainly be read within the introductions and some interviews). And now, with my most recent experience that I had at the Central Illinois Metal Fest this past summer (Summer 2006), this one particular experience has finally compelled me to write on this touchy and ever so feely subject; ADDICTIONS and their consequences (as if we addicts already didn’t know the consequences).
So there I was, sittin’ and smokin’ some herb when suddenly the one man-band known as The Cemetery Rapist announced that he was going to do a cover song and that he wanted some assistance performing this certain tune. The guest vocalist came up and growled a cover from the ever so known in the Illinois underground, yet somewhat despised by many, Slough. The guest vocalist got on stage, and although I am using my own words, he did say a few things before he played the song saying to the effect; “I know most of you knew Tyler and that he wasn’t liked by many, but he was my friend and this goes out to him.” I thought back, this is the same man behind Extreme Scene Records; Church Burner (my personal favorite back in the day when, um, well, yeah….), Cyborgasm, Anal Getaway, and my other and actual more-so other personal favorite, The Secret Life. As soon as I heard the name Tyler and Slough, the first thing that crossed my mind was; “I wonder if he can hook me up?” a question that any addict would ask if he or she were in the mood to get a “fix.” I put my smoke in my pocket, hopped up from my seat, and immediately started looking around for Tyler. Not having any luck, when the song ended I walked up to the guest vocalist and his circle of friends and asked; “Hey man, I go way back with Tyler, is he here?” He turned and looked at me with a disturbed smile, almost as if he wanted to punch me. Or maybe he thought that I was just being a jerk and that I was insulting Tyler?
“Dude, Tyler died two years ago.”
“Drug-overdose?” asking with a blank expression and not really knowing how to take it all in, knowing, somehow, deep inside it was drug related.
“Yeah, but it’s not what you think. He was getting pulled over by the cops and he swallowed his stash. He got arrested and while he was in his cell his stash came open and it killed him.”
Turning away towards his friends and not really wanting to acknowledge my existence any longer, or so it seemed, it made my existence, my emotional state of mind, even harder to grasp, harder to accept. I slowly backed away and walked away with self-disgust. The rest of the evening I just couldn’t stop visualizing in my head Tyler’s whole experience before his death as if I would have experienced it my self. Being emotional, being an artist, some of my thoughts were pretty intense and not to mention graphic. And then I asked God; “Why?”
Why do I still continue to use the same substances (not just weed) that others have died on, or have a problem “controlling” even if it is in “moderation?” I have always mentioned to people who wanted to use a substance for the first time (sadly to say it was usually with me); “Just don’t forget who you are.” But who actually remembers those words? I know I do, and I’ve met a few others like me who can act “normal” and live a “normal” life under the influence of any substance (yet still running away from life), but the majority of the people (other addicts) that I have met in my life time as a user, most of them do forget, and some of these people, some of these addicts, some of these friends, some of them died. And who’s to blame? The one who “chooses” to abuse? The one who makes the product? The one who deals it? The friend who hangs out at someone else’s house or that goes to a party where “free substances” are being passed around? We are all to blame, but in the end it all boils down to you (me); the individual addict.
I started smoking marijuana when I was 14, and yes, because my friends were doing it. Yes, I was told by my elders not to do it. I heard in school (ever since I can remember); “Stay away from drugs because they’ll kill you.” Who hasn’t heard the warnings, but I didn’t care. I was almost in high school, I was young and dumb, and I was in line at the Axiom in Houston, Texas getting ready for my first dead horse (R.I.P.) experience, and what an experience it was! A circle of friends started passing a joint around, and when it was finally handed to me, I carefully sucked in my first cloud of smoke. I laughed, I laughed, and I laughed. It was a fun night, and a night I wasn’t ever going to forget, and a habit I would later accept in my life as a daily habit the same way a cigarette smoker smokes cigarettes. Some still find it hard to believe that I have never smoked cigarettes, but in all reality I think cigarettes are the WORST drug (next to booze), and find this particular habit very disgusting in every way. And the fact this substance is legal (along with booze) makes me sick to my stomach when I think about the death rate these 2 substances are accountable for. Other than prison terms, as far as I know (and correct me if I am wrong please), to my knowledge no one has ever died from smoking marijuana.
I never really started smoking on a regular basis until I turned 18, only smoking every so often between the times before then. But after a small brief period when I didn’t smoke for about a year or so (my girlfriend didn’t want me to), after she and I broke up, Mary Jane and I hooked back up, but this time it was “chronic” (a word I use to describe someone who smokes every single moment of the day). I have had periods when I only smoked at night and at home, but for a few years now, due to whatever reasons I may have, it seems that the pipe (or my bong) just doesn’t want to leave my mouth! I “wake and bake,” toke up after breakfast, before I work out, after I work out, after I eat before work, right before I go into work, after my dinner break, and as soon as I get home, and even as I am writing this article. I’m telling you folks, it is chronic!! But why do I smoke it so much? Am I not contradicting the purpose of this substance? Why would I want to smoke it before I go and work out? In all reality I think I need to let go of the weed and get on some sort of anxiety medicine or something. Everyone thinks I am on speed due to how hyper I am, but this is just the way that I am. Occasionally the herb will calm me down, but not always. It seems that there are times when instead of calming me down, smoking the herb causes more anxiety than relaxation. Maybe I’m just smoking it way too much? Maybe it is one of the many side effects that can occur that I am not aware of yet? Whatever it may be, and although I do know for a fact that I do abuse it, I will argue until the day that I die that this plant is a good plant.
God created all things for a purpose, and although there are times I still question some of these things, or their purpose, the facts remain. Marijuana, if used for medicinal purposes, is truly a blessing for those specifically infected with HIV or cancer, but can also be used aiding others with other illness’ (too many to print) as well. And even if most doctors are afraid to admit this fact, the majority of all doctors would agree with my statement. “So what seems to be the problem then Mr. Coles?” My problem is that I don’t have any illnesses (Well, with the exception of a chemical imbalance in my brain.), so why am I such a chronic smoker? What do I gain from smoking, other than risking jail time and “polluting” my lungs? The thing that convicts me the most is my family in Mexico who barely have enough to live on could easily use the $300-$400 a month I spend on my habits. I could use that money to pay off all of my credit card bills sooner. If one has read the Monster Massive review, if I would have gotten arrested in St. Louis for the choice that I had made, I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now from my home. My life would have changed for the worse and all because of a plant and a habit that I picked up as a kid. I’ve had MANY close calls in my life due to Mary Jane and other substances, and it still makes me wonder why we addicts let such substances control our choices that could land us in prison or that could even lead to death. Death………..
How many of us have lost a friend due to a drug overdose, or because their choice of substance use changed them completely to the point one just couldn’t be around that person they once loved? Other than finding out about Tyler’s death last summer, thankfully (but not really thankful for the loss), the only other loss, or death, that I have experienced as of late due to a drug overdose is my late friend Randy. One morning Randy was found dead in his vehicle with a needle in his arm while parked outside a bar. Someone had sold him something “dirty” (as if it wasn’t all dirty to begin with) and it killed him instantly.
There has only been one time (or night) in my life when I “banged” a substance (coke), and although there was a “logical” reason why I did this, I must say I was kind of scared of losing my life, but was more afraid of losing her. I have done coke plenty of times in my life, but never like this. Although I will not get into the details of the whole thing, I really wanted God to show her what she was doing, not only to herself and her family, but to me. As we were shooting up every 15-20 minutes, she kept apologizing to me, and I repeatedly said to her while she was shooting it up, and shooting it up in me; “Let’s just throw the rest away.” But just like almost any other addict, she wouldn’t just throw it away. Finally, after it was all said and done (we shared 3 grams that night), she broke down and started crying and she said everything I wanted to hear. Thankfully, she hasn’t done it since.
Once again, I felt I was to blame for what we did. I could have said; “No, I’m not going to get that for you and we are not going to do that.” But deep inside I felt like “we had to do this” in order for her to see the reality of what she was doing to us and her family. I know that I am an addict when it comes to certain substances, but I knew that shooting up wasn’t something I was going to get addicted to due to the fact the only “speed” I’ve ever really been addicted to is ecstasy, and thank God my connection left town a few years back.
Back in the day, I really wanted to try shooting up a substance (heroin) just for the sake of trying it (I like trying every substance at least once), but thankfully my friend talked me out of it (and I still haven’t tried it and never will). A few years have passed since that day, and just until recently this very same friend who talked me out of shooting up, he and his girlfriend are going through rehab and treatment as I type. He knew that shooting up had changed his life for the worse and he did not want me to experience what he was living; a life of hell. Now that the worst part is over (withdrawal), they are both now trying to pick up the pieces that have been broken over the years.
As I have already mentioned previously in “Finding Mikey,” I accepted Christ when I turned 23. Although I have had my share of; “I quit, but this time I mean it!” periods ever since I became a Christian, these periods only lasted a few weeks at a time. Some people think or believe (that aren’t a follower of Christ) that just because one accepts Christ into his or her life that all temptation and that your humanity is taken away, but that is just not the case folks.
(The 3 lines below were taken from the Bible and were also taken from an e-mail sent to me by Doug Apple and Apples of Gold Radio Ministries.)
Hebrews 2:14 says Jesus shared in our humanity. Verse 17 says He was made like His brothers in every way.
Verse 18 says that Jesus was tempted, and that He suffered through the process. That’s why Hebrews 4:15 says that He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 12:3 says Jesus endured the opposition of sinful men. Yes, He suffered, and 5:8 says that He learned obedience from what He suffered. 2:10 says Jesus was made perfect through suffering. 5:7 says that Jesus offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears, and God heard Him because of His reverent submission.
No human will ever live without temptation, or sinful desires. Some people who have never experienced Christ on a personal level (not religion, not a church), will always say that us Christians are using this Christ, this “religion,” as a crutch to get through life.
Although there is truth in this statement, us Christians have to come ½ way with “it all,” He’s not going to just do it all for us. If this were the case, and once again although there is some truth to this as well, we would only be hosts or merely puppets, but then free-will would not exist, the greatest gift (yet curse at times) that He has given us all. As I mentioned before, I have been using and abusing substances since I was 14, but the only thing I ever really did on a daily basis was marijuana, that was until I got a little older and a little bit more courageous to try other substances out (hence the term “the gate way drug”).
So why do we choose to abuse? We addicts choose to abuse to escape reality, because it is in our blood, or because we think it’s “fun,” but we’re only fooling ourselves thinking this way. And the reason it is in our blood (mainly alcoholism) is because our mother or father were escaping their reality that they themselves did not want to face; almost making it a never ending cycle of addiction. But the biggest reason I feel we choose to abuse is because we want to escape our reality, our existence, our pain. Who wants to face pain? Who wants to face the suffering?
What exactly are we running away from? What “hell” do we addicts not want to face or accept? What is it that makes us addicts choose to abuse? I have been told from various counselors that I have ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that I am bi-polar. When I was younger and wanted to find peace inside myself, my soul, in the end it all lead me to Him (Christ), and I accepted, thinking that by accepting Him that I would find that peace and all of my misery would “magically disappear.” And although I did find that peace inside, there was still something missing, a piece to the puzzle in my life that “made me” still want to use substances (escape), and where I still held on to a lot of anger and rage inside my soul. There was something still inside of me that I wasn’t letting go of or letting Him have, but I was yet not aware what was causing this pain inside. As I have learned with time, God allowed me to see certain things about my childhood and about my self when the time was right.
Beside all of the wars, death, and all the other negativity on this planet, I always thought that my parent’s divorce at my age of 5 was the main reason I carried this rage inside; my depression if you will. How my parents choices in life of selfishness (mainly my father’s) was the main reason for my depression, until one day “I woke up.” Studies show that young boys (1-5 years of age) who have been sexually molested oppress their memories of having been sexually abused. On December 6th of 2003, a day and night I will never forget, I woke up and thought’s I did not want to have or ever thought I would ever have, popped out of my head. I immediately called my mom and sister and asked them how old I was when she took me to this certain babysitter who actually lives 20 minutes from where I currently live. After talking to them for a few minutes, my cousin Tony arrived. Although I had a really big reason not to go out that night, Tony and I ended up going to the show anyway. On our way up to see Children of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir, all of the thoughts that I was currently having were making me feel uncomfortable, and it was really hard for me to take it all in right before the show. It was a bit awkward for me that evening for sure.
When we got back that night, the first thing that I did when I got home was open issue #5 of The Outcast and read a poem, or story, that I had written for that issue.
“All in One”
The touch that can reach the depths, be it him or be it her, they are both the prey of my taste. So ruthless they can be, so cunning, yet their weaknesses are no different than they themselves who seek on their flesh. But yet the overruling power of the hunger inside you, me, it, and all….. It makes no difference.
See them on the pictured box as they and some indulge in the graphics they fantasize about. How they starve, how they crave. Day after day, and night after night, the sickness just grows into another form, yet they ignore. One would think that they were the ones who controlled you, me, it, and all….. But it makes no difference.
The young are the innocent, yet you, me, it, and all.... It makes no difference. WE take what we desire, WE feast upon the innocent. All over the pictured boxes; all over the pictured paper form. Seen by many, hidden by many, yet it all tastes the same. Yet you, me, it, and all…. WE have the taste of a whole new generation right before our site.
WE will not leave them all so soon. He hungers them, and
He’s so subtle.... One would think.... One would think that they would all see the lies, the sickness... Yet they ignore. Or do they just not care?
So patient, yet the patience erupts before his eyes on that same old pictured box night. He awakens with the thought of the tongue, the thought of the innocence loss.
The innocent you say? The innocence is broken at birth by the ones that came before you, and the ones that came before they. The innocent cry for help, while the ones before indulge on the way’s of the damned, yet they ignore.
He stands before me, waiting as I indulge in the festivities of the wheel of chance. Chains are broken because of the eyes curiosity. Seen thru mine, once you’re inside, you know the time has started.
Names are many, and the times are plenty, yet the time is running out; yet WE ignore.
You, me, it, and all…. For I am Lust, eternally ALL, eternally damned.
After reading that poem, I broke down and cried like never before. At that very moment EVERYTHING that I did not understand about my sexual appetite, my thoughts and poems on rape and pornography (like the one above), my rage, and the strangest of memories; I finally understood why this proctologist I saw when I was 26 asked me the questions he asked me at my appointment. He kept asking me questions regarding a homosexual life-style, which really baffled me. In the end, it was because my rectum and my insides were ripped, and thing’s weren’t as they were supposed to be inside, which baffled me just as much as him thinking I was gay. What I did not understand 3 years ago (From Dec. 6 2003) when he told me the things he told me and asked me, everything had now began to make sense; and I gave thanks to God. I gave thanks because I finally understood who and what I was and why I was. If He would have allowed me to know or see what had happened to me as a child at a younger age, I know for a fact that I would have killed the man who did this to me by now. I was 29 when this came out of my head so I was able to control my rage to a certain degree, meaning I didn’t go and slaughter this man. But I must confess that the thought of killing this man has crossed my mind from time to time, and not to mention all other pedophiles on this planet. The thought of me becoming “The Punisher” was very appealing at the time when these thoughts came out of my subconscious.
Although I gave thanks, I will not say that I “let go” of this information right away. And I will not say that I do not get angry when I let myself get angry. No matter how old one is, being sexually abused, or abused in general, isn’t something that is easy for every human to let go of, especially if one is all new to this information and who has the state of mind that I do.
I recently watched the movie Trade – where young children are abducted and sold to greedy men for their sickness and lust. I’m not sure why I wanted to watch this movie, due to already knowing how I would react ahead of time, but after and during this depressing flick, I cried and screamed at God asking Him; “Why!?” over and over, and just wanted to know how He could “allow” such filth to exist (pedophiles). One of the biggest “issues” most humans have with God, including me at times, is Him allowing evil to exist. But in the end it all goes back to free-will, so blaming God isn’t the answer to the sickness that exists in this fallen world that belongs to the fallen ones. How can I blame God for allowing free-will? I just have to remind my self that in due time everyone who needs to pay for their deeds will pay. We will ALL reap what we have sown and the wrath of God will be more than sufficient in the end for anyone who may deserve it; which is almost the entire planet. I didn’t create life, so who am I to take a life with a vengeful heart? Forgiveness and letting go is a very difficult thing, especially when it’s something as gruesome as pedophilia. And knowing that this man never got convicted when he was accused, and that he could still be filling his need to destroy a child’s life makes me angry, sick, and it puts me in a negative state of mind when I catch my self dwelling on it. I just don’t get it, and like I mentioned 100 times before, letting go is so hard.
But going back to the theme (addictions), I will not claim perfection and say that I do not want to escape reality by using. Although I wish I could say that God has taken my humanity away and has lifted my desires to use, I’m an addict, and there are times that I still want to use and abuse and escape my reality.
The weekend before Christmas of 2007, after leaving my girlfriend’s house (who is now my wife), as usual, I had my pipe and jar of nug with me for my 6 hour drive home. As I am driving along and passing through Rolla, MO, I end up passing a cop on Route 44. Having my cruise control on, I didn’t really think that I was speeding. As I am driving along, from a distance I see him pull out onto the highway and begins to close in on me. As he pulled up behind me, I assumed that he was running my plates. Minutes later, not pulling me over, he pulls up to the side of me and drives right along the side of me for a minute or so. Not knowing what to think about this peculiar behavior that began to annoy me, I finally turned towards him, looked straight at him, and gave him a; “What exactly are you doing!?” kind-of-look. He immediately slowed back down, got behind me, and turned his lights on wanting me to pull over. As Homer Simpson would say; “Dope!!!”
Sitting there not knowing what to think about this whole fiasco, he finally reached my van. Unlike most cops that I have encountered in the past in the State of MO, this guy was pretty nice. After talking for a few minutes and telling him where I was going, where I had been, and other topics that were in relation to my recent trip to Heather’s, he finally said something to me that still baffles me; “I know you have weed and paraphernalia on you, if you give it to me now we won’t have any problems.” How did he know that I had stuff on me when it had been an hour or so since I last toked? The windows were down so I know it didn’t smell in the van. Did I look it? Did he smell something, although it was in a jar? I didn’t know what to say. Instead of denying it, I looked down, and shook my head and told him; “Yeah, ok.” I reached into my bag and handed him my pipe and then he said; “Give me your weed.” So I did.
“What would your daughter and fiancé say if I arrested you right now?” he asked.
With tears swelling up in my eyes; “They wouldn’t like that and I would be embarrassed.”
We talked for a few more minutes after that and said he would be right back. Nervous, teary eyed, and praying; I waited for him to come back with more cops and handcuffs. After a few minutes passed by, he ended up giving me a warning ticket for speeding. For the next few weeks I didn’t smoke, thanking God for giving me yet another chance and for allowing me to have a clean record; still. He has given me so many chances, yet still I choose to neglect the facts and His mercy in my life.
After a few weeks of not smoking, once again I began smoking only at night with a selected few every so often, but not buying it. As time progressed with my selected few, I found my self in the same ol’ situation’s, with the same ol’ peeps. Disassociation and not smoking with some of the people you grew up with (and even newer friends at that) is a very difficult thing to do when one is surrounded by stoners and one has a problem saying; “No!” I basically let Mary Jane “sneak” back into my life, smoking once again on a daily basis.
Although my wife doesn’t hassle me for my bad habit, she does get upset that I would want to jeopardize my life when I have 2 kids to think about now. It does sadden me that “they can’t even help me quit” per se, but yet all I do is whine. How selfish can one be? Letting such habits control their lives? Why are we addicts so week in letting go of things that we know are holding us back from who we need to be? Why is it so hard to let go of the past? How does one give it all to Him? How can I, knowing the truth about my self, my life, my faith, and everything I need to know, still keep using, even if it is “just pot?” I don’t gain anything from using, so why do I feel the need to self-medicate? Well, as I was told by a psychiatrist once, the supposed reason I self medicate and a lot of others self-medicate is because we all have the same bi-polar disorder. Maybe one day I will “give in” to this “fact” and try to get on some form of medication to help with my chemical imbalance. Although my wife says to me from time to time; “You could be doing worse things.” I just know that smoking the herb is holding me back from having a better relationship with myself and with God, something that I have been striving for in my life for a few years now.
I’ve been whining about all of my bad habits (my selfish desires) ever since I became a Christian. I’ve seen more than enough people O.D. (but some thankfully lived), pass out, destroy their lives by using certain drugs, etc., and yet I continue to be a part of it in certain ways. I have a wife and children to think about now, and yet I still continue to put myself in certain situations that I shouldn’t put my self in. How long before “it’s too late?” How long before I realize what I’m really doing to my self and everyone else around me? Why do I and many more like me repeat the same mistake’s over and over and over again?
I really wanted to end this article with glory, His glory, by saying that I have been sober and that my life has been changed around with His help, but then I would be lying. For some reason I refuse to help my self in the ways that I need to help my self in. I have tried and just can not figure out why I won’t let my self let Him change me from within. I can’t understand why I won’t let go of certain bad habits that I hate and that at times control my life and state of mind. I can not figure out how exactly it is I’m supposed to let go of my rage and my depression, or let Him take it from me. Hopefully with time and some patience I will let Him have control and learn how to let it ALL go. Who said change was easy? Who said change happened over night?
All there’s left to say now, as I finish typing this confession of sorts if you will, on October 25, of 2008. I have gained so much knowledge over time about who I am and why I am and have applied nothing God has shown me for the better. I take for granted the things He has given me, the mercy he has given me with the law, and the things He has shown me. I really haven’t used anything he has shown me to help me in my life and in my depression and still remain angry inside from my childhood traumas. I am selfish and deserve nothing but His fair judgment for seeking nothing but to satisfy my own flesh. The only thing left I can really think of to say now, as I have pondered over the last 2 years working on this article on how exactly it was going to end. May God have mercy on my soul and may He help me wake up from this dark depression and rage I carry forth in my life. Please help me save me from myself oh Lord!!
With love, your unfaithful and selfish servant – Michael F. Coles