In retrospect, it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I only tried PCP once, but that was enough for me to learn just how addictive it was. I knew I had a problem when at 5 a.m., I was still awake, sitting on the floor pathetically cutting out tiny squares of yellow paper and attaching to them cardboard boxes. One by one by one. Over and over again. Like a mindless, drooling robot.

I couldn’t stop. I just needed one more “building.” One more centerpiece. One more backdrop. Just one more fix and everything would be perfect.

I finally collapsed around dawn, barely even able to wake up to attend the very party in which I had spent the last few weeks, including the last 24 hours straight preparing.

I had swallowed the drug willingly, and experienced the ecstasy and agony that comes from trying to recreate one of those perfect mom, Pinterest birthday parties for my son.

Parties for Children by Pinterest (PCP) had claimed another victim.

Like any addict, I had a dealer who first introduced me to the Pinterest party poison. One of my oldest and dearest friends, Kim, whose children are a little older than mine, has always put on the most amazing birthday soirees for her kids. She thinks of everything, from clever invitations to cakes that look like works of art to themed eats and drinks and favors. She has a small army of people (her husband, mother and sister, among others) to help her transform her carport and backyard into a magical new environment.

Her daughter has had a “garden party” complete with large, colorful tissue paper flowers stuck all over the yard for the kids to run around in as if they were in a field of sunflowers and joy, followed by a “sweet shop” themed fete the next year, with giant clear jars everywhere filled with colorful candies and cupcakes.

Her son has had a “food fight” party with “spaghetti” artfully thrown everywhere, a “rock star party” that had laminated VIP passes with lanyards as the invitations and a pirate party, where they turned their swing set into a pirate ship by attaching sails and pirate flag to it. Seriously.

I would say to my husband as we drove off from one of her parties, “Gah, that was just ridiculous. She must have spent a thousand dollars and a million hours on that. Just ridiculous.”

I hated her. I mean, I love her dearly, but I hated her too. Women folk (and Kim), you know what I mean. It’s a compliment.

I only hated her because I was beginning to feel really inadequate about the errr, “basic” parties I had been throwing for my kids. We had not really done much of anything for my son’s first two birthday parties other than stand around and watch him smash up his cakes while drinking wine. (I should probably clarify we were the ones drinking said wine, not him.)

So when it came to his third, I decided I was going to pull a Kim. Anders was really into superheroes, so I called her up and she told me to look on Pinterest for superhero party ideas.

I had never really gone on there, but once I did I knew who Kim’s “supplier” had been and how she had fallen down this rabbit hole. Image after image of creative party ideas. There must have been thousands of them – one even more alluring than the next. It was kid birthday party porn, and boy, was I aroused.

We were having a water slide in the backyard because you know superheroes dig those, so I wanted a “favor” that would compliment the water element of the party. (That’s the PCP talking, sorry.) And about image 612 into the party porn, I found one. Capes made of towels! Genius!

I called my dealer and told her about them. This being my first time, I didn’t want to do it all alone.

“Come on over, we can knock that out in no time,” Kim said.

So I took a deep breath and headed to her house one Saturday morning. She had all of her “paraphernalia” already out on the kitchen table — scissors, glue gun, felt, you know, the usual stuff.

She took the Superman diamond pattern I had printed out and she started cutting out pieces of yellow felt and told me to start gluing them to each towel (cape). Then she took my guest list and started cutting out the first letter of each of their names to put in said diamonds. Her breathing got somewhat shallow and her eyes glazed over. Then she said cheerfully, “Oh, these are going to be so cute!”

After she did a few, she slid them over to me and said, “OK, your turn.”

I was a little nervous but it looked like it made her feel so good, so I did it. And it did feel good. At first. But I would soon learn it would take more and more decorations to sustain it.

After we spent a few hours at her house, she sent me home to finish them up. A Saturday was lost and then a Sunday. But boy, they were indeed cute.

The week leading up to the party is a total blur. I shamelessly begged a graphic designer friend to make signs labeling the all of the items on the food table, like “Super Fruit” and “Super Rice Krispie Treats.” I don’t know why they were super or why food needed signs. But I was under the influence and I thought I needed them, and I would have done anything for them. Anything.

Rock bottom came that 5 a.m. the morning of the party, I had not yet been to bed and I was making “skyscrapers” out of cardboard boxes by wrapping them with colored paper and attaching little yellow squares as the windows. My husband sweetly told me to come to bed and get some rest because we had a big day ahead. I told him to go F himself. It was a dark time and place to be.

The guests arrived and the kids and most especially my birthday boy seemed to have a blast. Though they were more impressed with the water slide than the capes and labeled super food. WTF was wrong with these kids?

The mothers gave me that look, and said things like, “You should do this for a living” and “Oh this is too much!” I knew what they really meant was “Show-off bitch.”

They hated me. I hated me. I knew I had to get off the sauce. And I did. Never again, I said.

For his fourth birthday, we went to one of those bouncy places and I threw a store-bought cake up on the counter in the party room and we sang happy birthday. Easy peasy. Sweet recovery was mine.

Another year has almost gone by and I’ve been clean for the most part except one little hiccup around my daughter’s second birthday party. But it was just a brief relapse involving the invitation.

Last week, I asked my son what he wanted to do for his party this year.

“Mommy,” he said. “Remember my superhero party? We had the waterslide and the capes. That was the best birthday party ever. Can we do one just like that but with pirates?”

(Rookie move! Why did I even ask? Doh!)

“Of course we can, sweetheart,” I said.

My palms started sweating. I picked up the phone and texted my dealer.

“What do you have in the way of pirate party ideas and décor?” I wrote.

“Oh, I’ve got a lot of good stuff,” Kim wrote.

“OK, I’ll take it all,” I replied.

Here we go again. Arghhh!