Is there a way I channel my Marijuana use positively?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (29 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I was thinking long and hard about how to present this question, so I'm going to try to make it as straightforward as possible, and present all factors that contribute to my dilemma.
Until I was 21, I stayed away from alcohol or drugs of any kind because I just didn't see them as contributing to anything -- to my social life, or just personally. I like to think I survived my angsty teenage life by just channeling my frustrations into reading, studying, music, and just trying to be as "clean-cut" as possible, holding onto some vague notion I had of integrity. Oh, as you can see, I wasn't very popular. I had some close friends, but others usually agreed that I was sort of a bore to hang out with.
Alcohol entered my life in senior year of college, my closest friends pressured me once, I gave in, thought it wasn't too bad, and I've always stuck to keeping it a very 'optional' thing in my life. It's not a big deal to me at all, I never feel like I "need" a drink, I'll have one if the social situation demands it, but that's it. Though I would lie if I said I didn't like a scotch on the rocks when it's super chilly. So basically, I personally think it's never been a problem.
Come grad school, I'm 24, and one night I was feeling especially adventurous, hanging out with my very close super-hippy friend listening to some Pink Floyd (you know where this extremely cliched anecdote is going), and he asked me if why I'd never smoked weed. I remember this all very vividly because that night changed me in some ways. He said my actual personality, the one I have with my closest friends, was sort of at odds with the way I present myself to strangers. Apparently I always struck him as the type that would be "cool" with the drug use. We talked about the entire Floyd catalog, obsessed about acid folk, 60s culture, all the hippy super drug haziest things you can think of. He was right. I was "cool" with the drug use, and I LOVE counter culture and psychedelic music, but I just never thought about smoking anything. It seemed 'off' to me in some ways, I'd never even considered it because I grew up believing it to be unnecessary.
But you see, as I said above, I was feeling super adventurous that night, and said what the heck. It was a big blunt. Definitely big for a first time user. I coughed a lot, but settled into it, and chugged along, waiting for something to happen. You've probably seen this moment with countless friends, or in pop culture with any teenager experiencing their first high, it was exactly as cliched as that, only replace that person with a 24 year old. My exact thoughts at that moment were: "This feels right."
It did, it felt SO right. When the high wore off, I felt like something inside was re-arranged. It made me feel amazing, more empathetic in discussions, made me feel super clever for saying stupid shit, and all the other common tropes you can think of when you get high. It made me -- happy.
And further use through grad school only confirmed it more. It made me feel I should've rebelled more as a teenager. I felt I should relive all those years, I couldn't believe how stuck up and humorless I was. It changed me as a person. I got along so much better with people. Contrary to what I expected, it made me feel well-rounded, and motivated to do my work. I actually did better at classes and my thesis, because in some ways, I felt just way more comfortable with myself. I felt like I finally got who I was, what I wanted from life, my relationships made sense, I was more empathetic to everything and way more grounded. I wanted everything life can throw in my face and embrace it.
...and I wanted another high.
I certainly didn't think it was a first sign of dependency at the moment, because it wasn't interfering with anything. It's been just about 3 years since that first happened. I can firmly say I now have a moderate Marijuana habit. I say moderate because I go a month or two without any successfully once in a while. Anyway, but when I do stick to it, my use is limited to a joint a couple of hours before I go to sleep a few days during the week, and about 2 or 3 a day during the weekend. I've pretty much stopped drinking alcohol, I just don't need it anymore. Again, except for the rare scotch on the rocks.
So, well, I'm about 26 years old now, with a very good job in the software industry. I've never had to worry about drug tests at work. I feel like that makes me a little complacent sometimes. BUT also, I have NEVER been high at work, and I would never even consider that. My finances haven't been affected by this habit very much, though, as I keep telling myself once in a while, it's greater than zero dollars, so I am committing a portion of my life to this.
I don't want to be an addict, I've never thought about harder drugs because I know I don't need them, the sort of high I get from this feels good enough. It does remind me of the times when I wasn't into anything though, and how I ended up here; so I keep reminding myself not to go down that path. I know it's very minutely eating away at my lungs, but I tell myself I'm at least not a cigarette smoker with packs a day habit. I'm in Massachusetts where less than an ounce is decriminalized, and I never find myself in possession of more so I'm OK. In a way, I know I'm violating some law, and I haven't felt the need to explain that away to myself yet.
Girlfriend doesn't object to my drug use, my family doesn't know about it, and my friends don't care about it.
I want to place a very high priority on being a good employee, friend, and family member and it would hurt me very deeply to let this come in the way of any of that. It doesn't happen now, but I don't want it to in the future.
tl,dr: Please tell me if any of you use marijuana regularly and find that it doesn't interfere with your life. Tips to avoid your life being affected adversely because of the habit? Everyone I talk to just says "Come on man, just chill out and take it as it comes" or "You need to straighten up and be an adult". I am looking for something a little more meaningful.