The word ODEON

I have never taken hard drugs in my life, but I created an obsession with being spiked and could not trust anyone.


When I was 16, a lot of my friends began taking hard drugs; cocaine, ecstasy, acid, but because of my bad experiences with weed (which I had smoked nearly every day for 2 years), I never joined in because of my paranoia and negative mindset, although the temptation was there.

It did not change my relationship with any of them and when we went out, I would stick to drinking alcohol, whilst some of them would also take pills. The problem was that as my paranoia grew, I couldn’t trust anyone.

What caused this lack of trust

I went to the pub one night with a few friends and we shared a table with a few others from our school. It was the usual case of a few drugs being passed around amongst some drinking. I drank a few pints and then walked home, but once I got into bed, I found myself having a totally new experience (not a nice one):

  • Pounding heart
  • Unable to catch my breath
  • Excessive sweating
  • Unable to focus

I am sure that a few of you reading this can guess what was happening to me…I was having my first panic attack. What I thought had happened, was that I had my drink spiked at the pub. This caused me to lose trust in everyone, not just friends, but it reached the point when I would not even let my own mum make me a cup of tea! It was not until a few years later when I finally shared my problems that I realised this panic was created in my head, not by someone putting a pill in my drink.

New obsessions

With this lack of trust and what I thought had happened, new obsessions came in the form of words and letters:

  • ODEON – I think most people know the huge cinema chain ODEON. Well there was one in my hometown that I would pass on the bus every time that I went into town. Once this new obsession began, I started to rearrange the letters so it read ‘OD-on-E‘. To translate that for you, it meant that I was going to ‘Overdose-on-Ecstasy’.odeon
  • SLOW signs on the road – when riding my bike through the country and city, I would regulary pass these words painted on the tarmac. My new obsession meant that I always had to let my tyres pass between the S and the L, my reason being that I associated those letters with LSD and if I rode between them then I was breaking them up.


When did it end?

I had these obsessions for years and to be honest I still see these signs and associate them with that, but once I knew that it was a panic attack that had caused these horrible symptoms and not somebody spiking my drink then my mind eased. I could leave a drink in a room with close friends or family and allow people to make tea for me. I look back and I wonder if anyone ever noticed?

I hope that if any of you are struggling with similar obsessions, or have experienced a panic attack and not known what it was that this can help you feel less alone.


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