Something has been bugging me big time recently and I just don’t know what to do about it.
At the moment, I am learning to “choose my battles” carefully. As I mentioned in my Post about the challenges of staying positive, I cannot change the world, I know that and so I try to do what I can in little ways to better my little world, hoping that if everyone starts doing the same, eventually, it WILL have a ripple effect and the world may start changing for everybody (my world is already changing for the better). L’espoir fait vivre.
However there is a subject that I feel extremely strongly about and I just don’t know how to approach it to make a difference, and it is starting to sadden me: Cannabis.
I used to smoke pot, a reasonable amount. I used it only in my private life and went about my professional life without it. I became a master at it, I knew how long the buzz would last so I was “back to normal” before work started for instance, or was able to drive home after a meet up with friends.
I could take it or leave it, and had many years without and then I would start smoking it again and for a few months, then stop again,
When I lived in Canada, it became part of my everyday life. I was happy to smoke it alone (my husband had knocked it on the head after we had a bad experience whilst having a dinner party), and I would have a few drags of a joint before taking my dog for a walk before work.
Smoking it was actually a very uplifting feeling for me in the morning. I would set off with my dog for long walkies by the river and marvel at the beauty of the world. I loved hearing the birds tweeting and watch the Sun rise, with my heart full of hope and joy to be alive and living in this wonderful part of the world (Alberta, CN). I took some amazing pictures too during that time.
I could walk for hours in that wonderful state of mind, I’d meet people along the way and have chats here and there, I really felt so good.
In the evenings, I would use it to level my moods. If my husband came back from work and things didn’t go well, I’d go and have a few drags and come back all relaxed and happy. And so the evening could start again on a better footing.
With friends, I smoked it to replace alcohol, I much preferred being stoned than drunk. When Drunk, the truth would spurt out of me, often without care or tact, and I could often upset people. When stoned though, I was a very different person. Everything and anything interested me, being around me then was a whole different experience.
All this stopped for me when I went to share a joint with a friend after my husband and I split up. I had two drags on it, and hoped it would “take me away” from the turmoil my life had become (as two weeks earlier my husband told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore and then told me he wanted to be with my best friend). Things were complicated at the time and that girl was not the best choice to have that joint with (she was also one of my best friend’s closest friends).
There were issues between her and I and within minutes of having had those drags, I felt threatened and wanted to leave. She wouldn’t let me (trying to make me stay by force) and I suffered a panic attack, my first.
The experience freaked me out and I decided I had to stop smoking pot to deal with what was going on. So I did. That was two years ago. And I haven’t missed it at all since.
So it’s fair to say, apart from the last one, I had a very positive experience smoking pot, and it doesn’t appear to be addictive.
Yet, I have a problem with it now. I have a problem with anything that alters your mood that isn’t natural, and Cannabis, to me, comes under that category.
I have no doubts that it has its benefits, any natural product does, and yes, maybe it can help with pain relief, some say even help with Cancer. Fine. But let’s be honest, it isn’t what the majority of the people campaining to legalise it use it for.
The worst of all, it is being used by people with Mental Illnesses, proclaiming it levels their mood when nothing else has worked. And now, I see some top doctors are coming out saying it’s ok to use it.
It worries me.
On the Mental Health side, to me, it’s a chicken and egg situation. I have a feeling deep down that Cannabis actually creates a lot of the mental health issues there are around. Most sufferers I know are smokers, or previous drug takers and so it’s hard to see what came first.
Now, I also understand the financial side, as most campaigners seem to have latched on to that aspect of it = if it’s legalise it can be better controlled. I am actually rather amazed that Governments haven’t jumped at the chance of making more money out of people’s misery (I guess maybe they are happy with the income they get from cigarettes and booze already).
I also understand the argument about how people can get sent to jail for possession and sometimes the sentence is inappropriate compared to other crimes, when really Cannabis is not a big deal (its effect on behaviour being far less damaging than the effect of alcohol), and people should be free to do what they want.
I just don’t understand why people don’t see that smoking pot is yet another way to mask reality: they feel they are unable to cope with life without it.
I will admit I was a bit worried when I stopped that I would loose this wonderful feeling of well being I experienced walking my dog. Soon after I stopped, I also suffered from depression (for the first time in my life) and so it made me think maybe I should have carried on smoking pot as I never felt depressed then. But instead, I faced my life. And eventually came out the other side.
These last few weeks, I have started to feel the exact same feeling of well being I had when I was smoking pot.
I have started to love doing the exact same things I used to love doing while stoned. Walking a friend’s dog, marvelling at nature, snapping away anything that catches my eyes, chatting to random strangers, and best of all, I have a great big smile on my face when I do these activities.
How did I get there? I believe it’s because I sorted out the issues I was previously hiding thanks for the pot and alcohol.
Yes, I guess this is what is bugging me about smoking pot. It’s another form of escapism. Is your life really that bad that you need pot? If so, deal with your issues, because they won’t go away until you do, Pot is only helping you cope better. It’s just another crutch.
Wanna be happy? Learn to live without crutches.
[I will talk more about Mental Health and drugs in the future]