Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  

Friends with Benefits

teafaerie | Musings | Friday, February 28th, 2014

Dear Mary Jane,

I’m afraid that this letter is not going to be easy for you to read; but there is a lot of important stuff that I really need to say to you right now, and you know how writing things out helps me to organize my thoughts.

Photo of the Teafaerie

First off (and perhaps most importantly) I want to take the time to remind you of how very much I appreciate you. You were my first love, and I will never forget the magical days of passionate discovery that we shared when we first got together. I was so very smitten with you!

You were the girl that my mother had warned me about. Which, of course, only added to your considerable mystique at the time. And you were always a whole lot of fun to be around, even if you sometimes got me into trouble. You were popular with the cool kids (unlike dorky old me), and when we first hooked up I thought that your casual lawlessness made me look sophisticated. Plus, you already seemed to be acquainted with almost everybody who I wanted to get to know better, and whenever I brought you to a party I always had a fairly easy time making friends.

As we grew closer you became my constant companion. Everything just seemed like so much more fun when we were together! I love going to the movies with you, I love going camping and exploring the great outdoors with you, and I love going out to dinner with you. I even appreciate just sitting quietly at home together. And you know how much I enjoy your company in bed and in the bathtub!

Besides, you’ve always been there for me when I needed you. You help me to relax when I’m too wound up, and you gently soothe my little aches and pains whenever I’m not feeling well. (Remember that time when I was nauseous for DAYS and you were the only one in the world who offered me any solace at all?)

I want you to know that I haven’t forgotten about any of that, and I never will. Furthermore, I want you to know that I really and truly do hope with all of my heart that we will always find some way to remain friends. There are aspects of myself that only you can bring out in me, and I really do want you to be a part of my life!

But… (You knew that there was a butt coming, huh? I really am sorry for dragging this out.) But the reality of the situation is that we’ve been growing apart for a long time now. I’m sure that you know what I’m talking about.

It’s not your fault. I’m the one who has changed, and I totally take full responsibility for that. I’ve recently gotten really busy with a lot of important projects (some of which you admittedly helped to inspire), and I simply don’t have as much free time to hang out with you now as I used to. And I KNOW that you really want to assist me with those projects, too, but trying to work on some of these things with you can turn out to be rather like letting my 4-year-old niece “help” me make cookies, you know? It may be a whole lot of fun, but it doesn’t exactly get the job done any faster.

We’ve both seen this coming for a long time, I think. But it really clicked into focus for me when we spent a couple of months apart recently. I missed you, of course, but I also got a chance to rediscover a few things about myself that I’d almost forgotten about over the years, and I feel that I could really get a lot of benefit out of exploring some of those long-lost elements of my personality at greater depth.

There are also a few things that I’ve been feeling vaguely angry with you about for a long time, but I’ve only recently been able to articulate them. To put it bluntly (and again, I apologize if this seems overly harsh), I’m getting extremely sick and tired of your passive aggressive bullshit! There. I said it. Like for instance the way that you keep ordering pizza and filling the freezer full of ice cream when you know damn good and well that I’m trying to eat more healthy foods.

Why are you always “accidentally” mislaying my car keys? Why do you persistently encourage me to procrastinate whenever you know that I’m on a tight deadline? And the way that you’re always trying to make me feel like I need you in order to medicate my persistent background anxiety feels a little bit codependent around the edges. Anxiety is a natural part of life. And somehow I managed it just fine while I was away from you, now didn’t I?

But even more disturbingly, its been becoming more and more obvious to me that you’ve been subtly sabotaging some of my other important friendships all along. I’m thinking specifically of my childhood friend Morpheus, with whom I got a long-awaited opportunity to reconnect during our recent separation. Truth be told he took me on long, wonderful, exquisitely lucid adventures almost every night while we were apart, and I have to admit that I enjoyed every minute of it! I really had forgotten about how very much I love him. And frankly I found it suspicious how easily I was able to regain access to his realm almost as soon I got far enough away from you. I mean, jealous much? Is that why you always try to make me too lazy to go out and play with my friends? You tried to convince me that I needed you in order to fend off the dreaded Sobriety Sickness, but it turns out that after it settles in for about a week, the natural state actually has a lot to recommend it. But you didn’t want me to find out about that, did you? You always seemed to find some new excuse to drag me back into your clutches, every time I almost managed to get you out of my system for long enough to notice that sobriety itself can actually be a fascinating biochemical state in its own right.

The uncomfortable truth is that you’ve been making me feel kind of nervous lately. It’s nothing that you’ve said or done. It might be a simple matter of my changing metabolism. Or maybe I’m just growing up. But ever since we took that break, simply being around you seems to fill me with a sort of ill-defined contentless anxiety. Maybe it’s just a phase that I’m going through and we’ll be able to work it out and get back together someday when we both have a clearer idea about what it is that we really want out of our relationship.

I hope this doesn’t come across as a goodbye letter. Like I said, you’ve been such an invaluable inspiration to me, and it would break my heart if you and I were to ever lose touch with one another. I just think that it would be beneficial for both of us if we were to spend a little bit more time apart for a while. It’s partly that I want to explore my relationship with Morpheus, of course. But more than that, I guess that I feel compelled to try to find out who I am on my own. We’ve been together for half of my life now, you know? I’ve haven’t really experienced what it’s like to be by myself since I was in college. I guess that it’s just something that I feel like I need to revisit for a while.

I’m so proud of all of your recent accomplishments! I wish you the very best of good fortune in your upcoming legal battles. Hang in there! I really do think that it’s only a matter of time. And good luck with your medical work, too. You’re such an extraordinarily talented healer, and I strongly believe that you’re well on your way to establishing the wider credibility and social acceptance that you so richly deserve.

I hope that you can understand where I’m coming from here, and that you don’t end up taking any of this too personally. I just need a little bit of me time right now. It happens. And like I said, I’m sure that I’ll eventually want to start seeing you again at some point. But I think that it would be much healthier if we were able to eventually work out some kind of an occasional friends-with-benefits arrangement, rather than trying to make a go of it as full time partners.

Oh my sweet, sweet Mary Jane! I’ll never regret the time that we spent together. You’ve played a big part in making me who I am today, and I shall be forever grateful. Thank you for all of the laughs, the lessons, the insights, the fun adventures, the comfort, the inspiration, and most of all for providing me with your unique and fascinating perspective on life.

This isn’t the end, old friend. It’s just another opportunity for transformation.

With kindest regards,

The Teafaerie*

 Taefaerie Says Farewell


  1. Just wonderful. Thought of and shared with so many friends :D

    [Thanks to shawn for pointing out a couple of transctiption errors between MS Word and copying into the blog software, not sure why those words got dropped. — erowid crew]

    Comment by Sean — February 28, 2014 @ 6:17 am

  2. same here :-) me not sure is it over or we still friends :-)

    Comment by Tobi — February 28, 2014 @ 6:57 am

  3. What a beautiful story with a metaphoric moral. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by LeeAnn — February 28, 2014 @ 7:49 am

  4. Beautifully said Faerie! Have been through the same myself. Not living together seems to work for me. When a friend brings her around, that’s great and a fun time is had by all, but constant contact is too much. Fantastically written! Thank you.

    Comment by Dave — March 1, 2014 @ 5:26 am

  5. Wow, this hits home hard! I feel like I was suppose to stumble upon this, because Jesus… it sounds like Morpheus taught you that Mary can be more of a source of comfort and numbing than a true eye-opener, although I’d say it is, sometimes it seems necessary to make Mary’s involvement less intense. I loved reading this, I hope you salvage the relationship :)

    Comment by Tony — March 1, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

  6. Please don’t ask me to forget,
    No’r dare to wish we had never met,
    Why spurn the ecstacy we had,
    Just because the end was sad,…

    Best by far to keep in sight
    The rapture of that first delight?

    Ever gratefull for the chance
    Of such a sweet, ‘though short romance!

    Comment by Mick McGuinness — March 3, 2014 @ 11:54 am

  7. I needed this! Thanks for writing. Bookmarked, and I will revisit this as I pursue a similar denouement of my codependence with MJ.

    Comment by Lou — March 3, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

  8. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this open-letter to the goddess we all know and love…!

    Comment by Frater ΦΑΙΝΩ — March 3, 2014 @ 12:17 pm

  9. It is amazing how it is most of the time for one of the two parties concerned, in the end of a relationship , or rather the transformation of a relationship, the metamorphosis…Separation very often ia viewed as a failure, and has to be antagonised…
    We walk together for a while…and then, there are roses to be observed on one side of the road, and boats on the other side of the lake shore… different intersts… we can still be friends, though… we have grown, or so we hope…

    Comment by Monique Glibert — March 3, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

  10. Wow what an awesome way to describe your relationship with MJ :) I can totally relate, been seeing her for almost half of my life and now havent seen or talked to her in about 6 months, feels pretty proud of myself :) Again, very well written! Kudos!

    Comment by Marcus — March 3, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

  11. Thank you so much for this.

    Comment by bRosh — March 3, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

  12. Thanks for sharing, i can totally relate.
    Thanks again,

    Comment by Rick — March 3, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

  13. THIS WAS B-E-A-UTIFUL. Thanks for the read :) I am in a similar situation at this very moment.

    Comment by ogopogo — March 3, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

  14. Thank you for expressing what I’ve been trying to convince myself of for a long while now – getting rid of my green bitch starts tomorrow. You made me feel a little braver, thanks again.

    Comment by apnea — March 3, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

  15. What a wonderful story. Congrats on your writing ability. Loved it.

    I too have the same relationship with Mary Jane, but it’s becoming a love/hate relationship, and may be time for a “trial separation”.

    Morpheus … hallucigens? DMT? AYA?

    Comment by shane — March 3, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

  16. really well and creatively said (a true inspiration from you-know-who). i too feel that sense of a relationship with her, and like all relationships you have to establish some boundaries. thanks for reminding me.

    exactly who is your morpheus?

    Comment by brandon — March 3, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

  17. This is fantastic. I can relate to your story so well, thank you for sharing.

    Comment by Matt — March 3, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  18. Beautifully put, having just ended a 40year relationship with Mary myself it was beneficial seeing your similar journey expressed with gratitude and respect, gave me pause to remember and acknowledge the positive side to our time together. Blessings on her for bringing me this far. Thank you xo

    Comment by Michael Fitzgerald — March 3, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

  19. Did you just write this!!?? WOW, hats off to you, this is truely awesome and resonates with my path on so many levels… THANKYOU, ciao!

    Comment by Shannon — March 3, 2014 @ 11:44 pm

  20. This story was a great light-humored, yet serious metaphorical summary of a life adventure with cannabis. It touched on all the commonly experienced, yet majorly disregarded “pros and cons” of a cannabis habit. I felt a close appreciation to her experience with cannabis and the dilemmas that arise with habit.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 4, 2014 @ 3:39 am

  21. Morpheus is the god of sleep. I think teafaerie is referring to how cannabis seems to suppress either dreams, or the memory of dreams.

    Surely everyone has experienced the “dream rebound” during cannabis abstinence?

    Comment by Zenuri — March 4, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  22. Cannabis is a teacher like any other plant. It teaches a certain (higher) frequency.

    Blaming MJ for personal shortcomings and procrastination? Here’s an insight: your true self didn’t want to do certain things in the first place. It just showed you a mirror. Typical realizations: “I hate this job/town/partner”. This is just a call to outer or inner change (migration or self-transformation).

    Things that you loved you did anyway then under influence, how come? You don’t become the PLANT when you eat/smoke it, only your mind realizes all the ego-bullshit and some part of the stuff that doesn’t serve you.

    If there is the necessity to work/survive you will do it in any state of mind! That we all need to somehow function in the world is somehow clear to me. Cannabis removes masks like a few other psychedelic (beneficial) substances. What a shock to the mind/ego!?

    One shouldn’t reduce anything in the world to just ‘material effect’, since cannabis is a spiritual molecule as well with a very long tradition in human history (for a reason).
    Some yogis claim that they are able to achieve the cannabis frequency purely via meditation, it’s worth a try. Thanks for your article. If you think that with a more rational ego-based life-style you will ‘control’ more in your life which you assume will bring more happiness, then please write another article. :)

    All the best

    P.S.: There are many many various frequencies one can tune into

    Comment by Ave Mateusz — March 4, 2014 @ 10:21 am

  23. Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams. I’m thinking of the Sandman version, though…

    Comment by Teafaerie — March 4, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

  24. I actually wrote this at a coffee shop in Amsterdam…

    Comment by Teafaerie — March 4, 2014 @ 10:16 pm

  25. I really enjoyed this. It has a sweet, amusing form (“Let’s take a break,” letter). Further, it voices some of the minute frustrations many have when confronting habitual use of marijuana: misplacing things, being too chill to get in work mode, and complicating grocery shopping (I should say impulse control, in general)– without vilifying it. I think many of us in the Western world with pressing responsibilities will empathize with the article.

    On the other hand, I was slightly concerned with that the discussion of “Morpheus” appears on the surface to be a decision to give up the herb largely based upon a decision to start taking opiates/heroin/morphine/opium again. Earth told me that I misread the Morpheus section and it is, instead, a reference to sleep and dreams. But initially I was a little unsettled because of my love for TF.

    Comment by AL — March 5, 2014 @ 2:22 am

  26. This was (is) my relationship with marijuana. After a 40 year relationship, I decided to take a break. It has been an interesting 290 days and the journey continues…

    Comment by Geoffrey — March 6, 2014 @ 8:05 am

  27. So many downsides to daily use: worst, and rarely talked about, we don’t do well at processing our emotions…

    Comment by gregorylent — March 6, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

  28. I must say, I can identify with this letter very much. It articulates everything I want to say to this incredible Teacher. MJ brings the dreams into the day, so you sleep like a log without any at night. She is an attention keeping muse. There are many benefits of her company; medicinal, social, inspirational, etc. However she does have a dark side, that is almost unspoken within the community of those who keep her company. You definitely elude to it, and I appreciate that.

    Comment by Eric Gray — March 6, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

  29. There s a misconception that we need to replace our normal perception of reality with an alternative when the truth is rather that we benefit from supplementing our normal perception with alternatives – and only when appropriate. I too abandoned Mary Jane for two years and managed quite adeqately, but the insights I gained on reunion made me realise how valuable she is. Since then (some 35 years ago) we have been meeting regularly, like weekly, and in doses only of what is needed to “do the trick”. I have the best of both worlds – and I dream.

    Comment by Mike — March 9, 2014 @ 2:37 am

  30. What a great summary of a life adventure with cannabis!
    It has a light, yet serious tone that identifies the pros and cons of cannabis use and the effects it has on your perception, attitude, ambition, etc.
    One day you will reunite. The anxiety you experience is her way of saying you have more important things to do.
    I can definately relate to the story though. Great read, I will share it! :D

    Comment by lsDxMdmaddicThc — March 10, 2014 @ 9:54 am

  31. I’m 56 years old and I’m using the herb sacrament since the early 70s. I noticed that in most recent years I’ve diminished my meetings with this alley, probably due to my daily duties and ‘responsibilities’ and maybe new metabolism…. But I have to say that I’m living in… Babylon… in a big, crowded town with awful vibes and neurotic people who don’t share my values and lifestyle, so I keep a ‘low profile’ and I must stay ‘vigilant’ in some way. But I have to say that during summer I come back to my beloved community of brothers and sisters who live in the countryside and there I gladly partake in smoking rituals around the fire etc. I feel at home there and and my relation with the green alley returns in all its splendor. So probably it’s just a question of set and setting and ‘modulating’ the personal visits to the herbaceous dimensions. Unfortunately all the anxiety of the (post) modern living sometimes doesn’t mix well with the ancient wisdom ( and ‘rhythm’) of the herb and we feel uncomfortable…

    Comment by Sky — March 11, 2014 @ 2:28 am

  32. Everything in moderation. After experiencing a year-long amphetamine addiction and having had a steady relationship with opiates, dissociatives and benzos for some reason cannabis-use doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore. There was a time where I would quit cannabis but then slowly return to smoking 1-2g a day only 3-6 months later. It wasn’t until I later experienced far worse addictions that I learned how to better control my use using both willpower and decisive planning. I continue to smoke weed but only buy a small quantity every couple weeks. Besides that I often take one other substance(including alcohol) each week.

    Comment by Raw — March 17, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment