Citation: Mark. "Heavy Contrast: An Experience with Cannabis vs Cannabis - Hash (exp22671)". Erowid.org. Apr 3, 2003. erowid.org/exp/22671
*HEAVY READING AHEAD*
Life is good? - A section of my life.
I'm being perfectly honest about all of this. I've posted this intensely personal information so that people can make up their own minds about cannabis before they devote themselves to it. Apologies for any possible bad spelling or grammar, I'm writing this as quickly as possible so I can get it up before my internet connection dies. Writing this brought back some painful memories...
About three years ago, I tried my first joint. It was probably the best experience of my life so the next day I did it again. I'd smoke hash about three times a week, due to my generous mates passing joints to me. After a few months, I started to buy hash now and again (I'd started smoking cigarettes too). I was having a great time, meeting all new people, staying over people's houses and staying up all night smoking hash. I'd started doing bongs too, which pushed up my tolerance quite a lot. As the bongs got fatter and I bought more and more hash, my schoolwork started to get worse. Every morning I'd wake up a mess!
Go forward a six months, and it had gotten to the point where I'd do anything (except theft) to get money... Scrounging, working at anything I could. I'd buy an eigth every day, sometimes a quarter. I did the first day of Year 11 (the final year of 'high school' in England) and walked out after half an hour. I came straight home and starting smoking bongs. I'd started smoking bongs in the house too, whenever it was empty, which was most of the day as both my parents worked. I couldn't sleep without smoking most of a mix (about 1.3g). I was averaging 7g a day (a quarter - £20 - about $40). I could see through the haze that life wasn't exactly going to plan but I didn't care. Getting stoned was great fun, and I had the respect of my peers from my ability to inhale obscene amounts of smoke and not die!
Where I used to be heavily into guitar music, I was now into hardcore drum n bass. I failed all my exams, by basically not being there. I broke up with my girlfriend (incredibly badly) and one day nearly did something incredibly illegal that cannot be mentioned here. I stayed in all day smoking bongs and writing music on the computer (which sounded good then but on reflection, was fucking abysmal). I'd have almost psychotic episodes, smashing things up. Screaming at the walls, crying in the corner. I stopped eating properly, and lost about a stone and a half. My short term memory completely erased itself, I could barely hold a conversation. I'd get up at two in the afternoon, stay up all night. I went into therapy and completely lied to the councellors about my smoking. My parents despaired and also became moderately depressed. I could see I was breaking the family up and I didn't give a shit, all I cared about was getting wasted, although day by day, I realised my tolerance was stopping me getting as fucked as I used to. I 'quit' a few times, only to start again a few days later. My parents knew about my smoking and we had countless tearful arguments, I told them I would quit, but it just didn't happen.
I reached my lowest point when I started to mutilate my arms with any sharp object I could find. I vaguely remember sitting on the roof of my house stoned whilst my parents tried to talk me out of jumping off. I'd also drink HEAVILY when I couldn't buy cannabis, I just had to be out of my head on something. Therapy became a joke but I still went (it WAS free...). My closest family knew about my problem, but what could they do? I was put on several antidepressants (prozac and fluoxetine) and anti-anxiety medications (mostly chlorpromazine) at this time but with all the smoking conflicting with them, generally I got worse.
Eventually, things started to look up, I cut down on hash, down to about an eighth a day (3.6g, £10 - $20). I was taken off the prozac, which actually *improved* my mood. I found a new girlfriend (which went on to be a nine month relationship, but i'll come back to that). I started hanging around with a different and much friendlier circle of friends and my music started to improve at an alarming rate. I started home tutoring in the vague hope that I could take my GCSE's again. Eventually I cut down my hash intake to about 1.3-2g a day, but I still wasn't enough. I was depressed, I'd still have violent outbursts (though much rarer). I'd lie to the therapist, and eventually therapy stopped. This situation went on for a long time...
Fast forward to 2002. I started the year in an ecstatic relationship, I'd never met anyone like her before. I was still smoking and generally being slightly miserable but I was coping better. Then suddenly I broke up with my girlfriend. I fucked up! After some intense smoking I realised I had to stop everything. So I did.
One day I just stopped smoking. Put my hash down the waste disposal and smashed up my bong. The next five days were the worst of my life, I didn't eat at all, the doctor was called out because it felt like I had a huge lump in my throat, almost making me gag. I'd cry endlessly, I hardly got out of bed and I knew I had to go back into therapy. I'd also chain smoke plain cigarettes to calm my nerves (and to get the hit of nicotine - i had to get a hit of something!). Eventually the symptoms went and I was put on risperidone which unfortunately made me drowsy so I had to take half doses.
In August, I got back with my girlfriend for a WEEK, and when we broke up for some reason I was pretty numb. Who gives a shit? - was my opinion. I'd never thought like this before! My musical abilities were coming along nicely, I'd met some new friends again, who'd I'd see about once a week.
Then one day... I HAD A TOKE ON A JOINT... The old familiar feeling crept over me and I realised what I'd been missing all this time. I started having the occasional bit on a joint at weekends, and some TINY bongs. I started to notice that the day after smoking cannabis, I'd feel slightly depressed and angry, the following day, it would be gone. The ammount I smoked seemed to be in direct proportion to how depressed I got. I felt I could keep it under control. One day I went to see my second circle of friends and I had a bong which was SLIGHTLY too big. I was nearly sick, I got pretty stoned, which made me panic, shake, sweat, you name it. After that day, every time I felt the slightest effect of cannabis in any form, I'd start to panic, my throat would dry up and I'd shake and sweat. I found that if I could keep my mind off of it by playing intense video games and the like, I could actually enjoy being stoned (only SLIGHTLY stoned!). If I got stoned enough to really feel it, I'd just panic. I realised that I just couldn't smoke cannabis any more, that one bong had ruined it for me, I'd never enjoy it in the same way again. The same seemed to go for alchohol too. I quit once more.
Fast forward to the present day and I can't remember when I smoked cannabis last, I never drink alchohol either. I'm no longer depressed, I still have a bit of anger, but nothing like it used to be. I smoke about 3-4 plain cigarettes a day. I feel mostly healthy, my memory and concentration are back. I've done a few part-time college courses and my music has come on so far that I'm close to getting a record deal and have already done a remix for a label! I hang around with an entirely different group of friends, who accept me for being myself, not some smoking, insane mess of a human being. My tastes in music also changed again, I needed something more energetic, from all this new energy I'd recieved so I got into Aphex Twin and Squarepusher.
When I look back at the past two years (the parts of it I can actually remember) I look on it as a mixed experience. If I hadn't had that first joint, I wouldn't have got into electronic music and I'd now be a struggling guitarist but now I never stick to one style, and have generated a lot of official interest (without blowing my own damn trumpet!). It taught me a lot of self control, and how to deal with my feelings. I'm in therapy once every 2 months, just so they can keep an eye on me. I sometimes take the risperidone to help me sleep, but not every day. Some days I wish that I could smoke cannabis and have the crazy life of the early days - without the problems - but I know it'll never happen and it doesn't bother me. Cannabis has changed my outlook on life, I don't think the way I used to, I'm probably considered weird or quirky, but I don't give a fuck! I live a pretty solitary life, probably considered boring by some but I stopped caring what people think a long time ago. Things can only get better from here, I know I'll stay clean from now on.
Take what you want from this story, I know a few people who smoke cannabis habitually and they're absolutely fine, I know people who smoke it at weekends recreationally and they seem slightly worse off! I'm not looking for sympathy or pity by telling you all this, just trying to give an alternative view to those researching the drug or thinking of trying it. Some people are perfectly alright on it with no adverse effects, and some people (like me) can be completely destroyed by it. Make your own choice, but consider the risks...
thank fuck it wasn't crack
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