Things I Do When I’m High

(I was gonna go to work, then I wrote this blog post…)

First off, that’s ‘blood sugar’ high, not ‘4/20 blaze it’ high – I don’t take drugs because of the whole Straight Edge thing, and of course if there’s a slightly pathetic, not-particularly-debilitating-but-still-a-bit-annoying medical condition, you know that I’m gonna suffer from it, and suffer from it a lot. Essentially, when I have too much sugar in my bloodstream, I can be said to be ‘high’ (as in ‘I have a high blood sugar), which can be caused by anything from miscalculating weights of carbohydrates, a pump failing (because insulin pumps fail with an alarming regularity), to a natural post-food progression from an okay blood sugar, to a high, before a gentle decline back to being okay. Being high leaves me unable to concentrate on things, and debilitatingly restless, creating an interesting dilemma where I’ve this great urge to do everything, but can’t do much at all: revision is totally out of the question, mentally-intensive games like Football Manager and Fire Emblem are too complex for me to figure out, and even multi-tasking is a bit of a stretch. I also end up getting painfully thirsty as my body tries to dilute the amount of sugar in my bloodstream by overloading on water, so I can’t even nap and wait for my blood sugar to return to normal. All in all, being high’s a bitch that forces an impatient, easily bored person like me to be patient and do boring things. And some of them are as follows:

1) Rewatching old Runaway Guys series on YouTube: the Runaway Guys are a group of Let’s Players that I’ve honestly grown out of in the last year and a half, but were genuinely the most fun thing I watched for a good few years when I was fifteen or so. Going through their old series, especially the competitive ones like Fortune Street or Mario Party is equally nostalgic and exciting without needing too much thought.

2) Playing Tetris: this requires a bit more brain power, but is genuinely great fun, and a good way to while away an hour (the amount of time I must wait before rechecking my blood sugar to see if I’ve come down). I can also continue my ongoing goal of listening to the entire Rise Against discography (including the Transistor Revolt stuff, the Nightmare Before Christmas song and the Long Forgotten Songs b-side album) in a single sitting while I play.

3) Going for a walk: perhaps my favourite on the list, but an impracticality at the moment as I’ve imposed a limit on all physical activity on myself for about two weeks. I was burned out after juggling three sports all year, and my Ireland trip (which contained about 200% more hiking than I imagined) didn’t help much last week – my legs need a break, inconveniently.

4) Trying in vain to complete the House Of Hell Fighting Fantasy book: If you don’t know Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone’s peerless Fighting Fantasy series, I pity you – it’s a fifty-something strong series of gamebooks, in which the player makes decisions at the end of each paragraph about what to do or where to go next, meaning each story progresses interactively, instead of in the traditional, linear fashion all books not named Tristram Shandy or Use Of Weapons do. And I maintain that beating House Of Hell, a story in which you must escape from a mansion of Devil-worshippers, is the hardest thing a human being is capable of achieving; I’ve played and replayed the app version for like two days now and I’m not even on the final boss.

5) Doing laundry: most menial tasks are a non-starter because being high generates physical fatigue as well as restlessness, but laundry is the right combination of bag-hauling, button-pressing and waiting to be a viable time-killer.

6) Writing blog posts about not being able to write blog posts when you’re high: yup, this post was written while I was high. That’s honestly where the inspiration came from, and might be a bit of a hole in the theory that I can’t focus on things like work when I’m high; that being said, it’s taken me three times as long as usual to write this post, it was originally full of spelling mistakes, that first paragraph is abominably long, and I think this whole thing is devoid of any attempts at humour, let alone successful ones. Oh well, I tried.


4 thoughts on “Things I Do When I’m High

  1. Hi James,

    I’m currently in the initial stages of researching a documentary about young people and have just been reading your blog post on ‘Things I Do When I’m High’. In this blog you mention that you’re a Straight Edger – and I wonder whether you might be able to help me at all with the research I’m doing?

    I’m interested in how the roles of young people and their parents are changing. One of the things that the press has really picked up on recently is the change in attitude to alcohol – and this is something that I am keen to look into.

    It would be great if we could have a chat. I can tell you a bit more about the documentary and what we’re trying to achieve, and you might be able to tell me a bit more about being a Straight Edger. There’s no pressure to be involved, this is more of a friendly conversation.

    If you’re happy to talk to me, please do get in touch. I can be reached at ZKK on 0207 482 6180 or by email at . Or I’m happy to give you a call, whatever is easiest 🙂

    I hope to speak to you soon.

    Georgia Smith

    1. Hi Georgia – short answer I’d be very interested in this! I’m currently on holiday though, and I won’t be back until Saturday – can I send you an email then and we can talk afterwards, or would this have to be a more immediate thing?

      1. Hi James,
        No problem! I hope that you’re having a lovely holiday!
        Why don’t we speak early next week instead? Would you mind dropping me an email so that I have your email address, and maybe your phone number and convenient time to chat? I’m around on Monday if you’re available?

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