It’s been over two years since I last smoked a fatty. For those of you who don’t understand, I’m talking about marijuana. Weed. Cannabis.
It feels like another lifetime. Yet, I have lots of hilarious, oh-man-I-am-so-stoned-out-my-mind videos on my old laptop’s photo booth to prove it wasn’t that long ago. I can’t believe I used to get high every night and still write stories and parent and pitch work ideas and basically function in life under the haze of a green fog.
But that’s what it felt like, living life in a haze. Unable to truly feel and assess my life and all the ways I screwed it up. It’s funny how when you’re young, you think that pain and suffering and bad choices can’t touch you. Then you wake up one day and realize you have inherited the same problems as the rest of the world. And that’s when you seek to self-medicate.
When I flushed the last of my weed down the toilet in 2014, I flushed one of my favorite coping mechanisms (second only to food) down with it.
Now I had to learn how to cope.
The first year was easy. Even the smell of it nauseated me. I was happy to be free of the monkey on my back. No more hiding. No more eye drops or breath mints. The thought of smoking and coughing up a lung disgusted me. I had come so far, I would never go back. The second year wasn’t as easy. I found myself missing the ritual of it all, when I looked forward to sitting outside under the moon at the end of the night and puffing on some trees. I missed the feeling of complete relaxation, of numbness.
I’m right in the middle of my third year of a marijuana-less existence. I am surprised at how strong the pull from this delicate green plant is. For the most part, I’m happy I stopped smoking. I feel clean and sober-minded. Sometimes, too sober. There have been moments where I find myself really pissed that other people can just melt into the sofa and forget about their problems. All of the issues I used to run away from…well, they’re still here. Raising a house full of teenagers, trying to survive as a creative entrepreneur, being married to a person with anger issues — I don’t have the luxury of forgetting it all with a few puffs from a pipe.
I’m lowkey shocked at how quitting marijuana caused my anger levels to spike. I’m not an angry person! Well, except when I’m restricting what I eat during Whole 30. I had a few moments when I was so pissed that people could just stuff themselves with food and I could not. I guess it’s the same with weed. I’m angry that people still have their coping mechanisms intact and I don’t. Here is a thought…maybe, just maybe, I was a non-angry person because of the weed I was smoking. Hmmmm.
Still, I know deep in my heart that smoking weed is something I shouldn’t return to. Physically, it’s not healthy. Emotionally, it’s not grounding. And spiritually, it’s not the lifestyle God wants for me. And let’s be honest, how many parents who smoke weed are actively hiding it from their children? That is not the example I want to show my kids. They deserve better.
Until then, I keep moving forward. I will actively find ways to manage my stress and cope, just like every other human. I just have to learn how to deal with that hole in my soul that craves escape.