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Drama Fiction Sad

They’re all the same. 


At first, you feel invincible, at one with the universe, so Zen that you’re certain you’ve found Enlightenment. The high reaches to the stratosphere, and the feeling is so warm and calming, it’s like being engulfed in the very essence of love itself. 


But it doesn’t last. 


I’ve tried so hard to find the perfect drug, but no matter what I try, I can’t find one that gives me a lasting high. 


I’m not picky, either.


I’ve gone to several different dealers, traveled the world searching for the next promise of finally satiating that need to find a fix. With each hit, I feel exhilaration, but only momentarily, and each time it takes more and more to get the same effect. 


I fall off of my euphoric mountains with a cascade of broken hopes that this time would be the time. The time that I figure out the formula for a lasting effect, the time that I can retain the buzz, forget all of my pains and anxieties.


I know this is possible, because of the countless examples of smiling faces that I see on social media. Family and friends, all finding the correct cocktail of their drugs of choice, and “living their best lives.” There are thousands of pictures and videos, all pointing to the one obvious, ultimate conclusion: everyone else is capable of sustaining the high, except me. 


My apparent inadequacy only fuels my quest to find the next score. 


Last year, I gave $12,000 to a dealer who swore his stuff was the purest, the cleanest, and would give the most lasting high. I spent two weeks wandering the wilderness, contorting into various unnatural poses, and attempting to “find the inner me.” I’ll admit, this high lasted the longest out of everything I ever tried, and it didn’t wear off for several weeks. But inevitably, I slowly slipped back to baseline. Half a year’s worth of mortgage money down the drain.


My taste hasn’t always been this expensive. In the beginning, I was satisfied with quick, cheap thrills to fill my veins and make me feel alive again. It was so easy to feel good when I was a kid, and the smallest amount of product kept me going. There were ads for it all over TV, telling me that I could buy the high for 4 easy payments of $9.99, if I acted now. 


Billboards taught a young me that bliss was just a bowlful of concentrated sugar cereal away, or that I was just one burger short of eternal happiness, and I wanted so much to believe it was true. Radio ads explained that the best of the drug that money could buy was at the latest theme park a few towns away. We went there twice as a family, looking for a fix, but it wore off before we even left.


As I grew older, I searched for the high in relationships, with friends, with family, with lovers. It always felt that if I could just gain their approval, become the perfect me, do everything they asked, that I could attain my goal. But when the feel-good chemicals wore off, and I found myself in a lopsided exchange, where I was giving so much of myself for such little return on investment, I became incredibly discouraged. 


 When it comes to trying to find satisfaction through other people’s opinions of me, the fall definitely outweighs the climb. 


The local church purported to be the best source of the best drug on today’s market, so naturally I tried there, too. Everyone there was so high that they were singing and dancing in the aisles, arms raised, smiling and weeping and hugging. That drug had zero effect on me, which was very disappointing, because it seemed so efficient for everyone else there. 


If anything, it made me uncomfortable and question my life choices.


A university several states away hailed their drug, Accomplishment, as the next big thing that everyone would want. They guaranteed that you would leave there fully doped up and ready to find a job that would either keep you buzzed, or give you money to buy it elsewhere. 


Talk about the world’s biggest sham. 


I spent 6 years there, taking hit after hit of Accomplishment, but all it ever gave me was a bad trip and a wicked case of lifelong anxiety for not living up to standards. And finding a high at a job? 


Yeah, good luck there. 


I know some people who found a lasting high through their careers, but those people are few and far between. Most people that I know go down some dark rabbit holes because of the state of their employment options, taking hardcore stuff like Belittling Others, Overeating, or Doom Scrolling. I’ve never gotten mixed up with anything that serious.


Okay, maybe once.


…Twice, but that’s because I was out of cash and was jonesing. I swear that I haven’t touched the hard stuff in a long time. 


I’m not saying the temptation isn’t there. What makes the hardcore stuff so malicious is that it feels really, really, really good when you’re taking it, that you don’t even realize the damage that’s done until it’s too late. 


I won’t pretend I’m a saint, that doesn’t do me any favors. I’ve done some of the hard stuff, but mostly I’ve tried the usual things: Traveling, New Car, Self-Help Podcast, Spending Spree, New Phone, Fad Diet, People-Pleasing (that was a hard one to kick), Buying a House, Prestigious Job, New Year’s Resolution, Coffee, Avoidance, Denial, and Compartmentalizing. 


These all seem to work for other people, but it’s never enough for me. A friend suggested that I try their current brand, they swear by it, but after everything else I’ve tried, I am skeptical. They are currently on Self Acceptance. Sounds like another scam to me. But they’ve been on it for 3 years now, and haven’t lost their high, so I might give it a try someday.


The problem is that the high from Self Acceptance takes some effort, and I’m not really into working that hard for it. There isn’t a dealer where you can just pick that stuff up. 


You’ve got to make that shit yourself. 


No thank you, not after being burned so many times before. It’s a hell of a lot easier to just go buy a new watch and give that a try, you know what I mean? I’ll take a swing at it when it’s more convenient. When I have more time. Until then, I guess I’ll keep searching for my drug of choice elsewhere. 


I heard that there’s a sale on Amazon this weekend…


March 08, 2023 03:36

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9 comments

Robert Dyer
17:21 Mar 16, 2023

What a fun read with great insight. I love the way you portray the different "high" we all search for through different methods. It was such an easy read. I laughed when I realized this was not going to be about drugs in the way we usually think of them. This was extremely clever and I admired it very much.

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Nona Yobis
02:27 Mar 18, 2023

Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it! I do love a good twist on the familiar :)

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14:15 Mar 14, 2023

This is fun, nice and quick with very clean writing. I think you could find some hits of accomplishment in writing for sure. I had to laugh at the ending. My story this week went of the same journey of the dysfunctional character going back to his old ways. Would enjoy see this snarky character you've created have some drama with the larger world in the future.

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Nona Yobis
02:26 Mar 18, 2023

Thanks! Yes, he did turn out quite snarky, didn't he? And I enjoy trying to include a twist in my stories, if I can! I read yours, too, very nice!

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Rebecca Miles
18:44 Mar 09, 2023

I enjoyed where this one went, the teasing out of all those different highs and how futile most fixes are be they burgers and theme parks as kids or spending sprees and fad diets as adults. The voice of this was really interesting: cheesed off by it all, snarky, but also resigned. It was a complex perspective for a complex topic and I really admire that. Amazon sales: now that's one hit I always steer clear of as the comedown from all those hours wasted searching is the lowest baseline!

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Nona Yobis
16:06 Mar 10, 2023

Thank you! It's funny that you pinpointed the voice, because this was actually a struggle for me this round! Usually when a story comes to my mind, the characters are clear, but this one wasn't, so it came out multidimensional. I'm glad it worked lol!

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Viga Boland
16:44 Mar 08, 2023

Britney Spears, sing it! “Ooops You did it again!” Yes, Nona, you did it again…played with my heart, fired my brain, shone the brightest light on why so many of us are never satisfied and always looking for something “more”, “better”, “perfect” yadda yadda. I love stories that highlight universal truths. Yes, you did it again. ✌️👌

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Nona Yobis
17:05 Mar 08, 2023

As a, "geriatric millennial," I love the Britney reference! That's going to be in my head the rest of the day, in a good way lol. Thank you so much for the validation, I found this idea to be clear in my head, but I wasn't sure if I communicated it in the same clear manner. I am glad you were able to understand me so well!

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Viga Boland
23:52 Mar 08, 2023

😂✌️👌😉

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