Citation: Dables. "Rock Bottom Is a Subjective Thing: An Experience with Cannabis & Alcohol (exp49697)". Erowid.org. Apr 17, 2007. erowid.org/exp/49697
My experiences with pot use and abuse pale in comparison to most. I've never stolen anything for drug money, never hurt anyone because of drugs, and have generally been able to maintain my life, although this too, is subjective. However, it is easy for me to see myself doing these things if I continue down that road. I have an addictive personality as well as a family history of addiction (alcohol), but that isn't a scapegoat for me as it is for some. I simply recognize that I have the potential to get addicted to things, that I can't enjoy substances in the way others can.
I began smoking perhaps four years ago- trying it with one of my friends in his dorm our freshman year in college, but not really getting high until a year or so later. Then I got SUPER baked, and man, was it fun. It always is, the first couple times. When I left home (I attended a JC for 2 years) to go to a real school, all bets were off. My parents were pretty overbearing, so I didn't smoke or drink at all in high school, reasoning that it just wasn't worth it to get caught. Instead, I compensated for it once I got out from their watch. For awhile, I drank far too much, although in terms of college consumption it was only slighty too much. But weed! Oh, glorious weed! One of my roommates and I enjoyed smoking, but he had much more experience in it than I and is a person who puts work before play, so my habits matched his for awhile, which kept my pot use under control. I was smoking maybe an eighth a month, possibly less.
The next year, though, I got a studio apartment by myself. This was great for me personally, because I am introverted, but terrible for my bad habits. I, by some stroke of luck been given two CASES of various kinds of liquor, 'hiding' them for my brother from my parents. So I pretty much used them as my own private bar. Drinking alone didn't phaze me hardly at all, and especially not once I got used to it. I also had no one to socially regulate my weed consumption, so I smoked as much as I could afford, mainly on weekends and nights, but gradually working my way up to every morning.
One night, I decided that I had been hitting my bong too much, and my pipe was missing all the action, so I smoked a bowl from it. I noticed that my lighter was almost out, so after a minute or two, I dumped the ashes in my trashcan and went to the store to buy a new one. Holy shit, if the store had been anything but around the corner, I would be in jail right now. When I came back, I heard a faint beeping from the hall and one of my neighbors said she smelled smoke. I opened my door to have a cloud billow out. My trashcan was on fire! Right next to a wall! Which was covered in posters! I ran to the plastic trashcan and took it outside, where I put it out. Then I went it, turned off the smoke alarm with much difficulty, and opened every window in my tiny apt. I could have easily burned my entire building down. Did I mention that my father is a fireman?
This was enough to scare me away from smoking for a few months, but unfortunetly, my life sort of fell apart soon after, although it was not related to drugs. Basically, I used the college paper at my school to libel the shit out of some poor girl and her family, getting myself banned from the office. Everyone who worked there was my friend, so this was essentially a devastating blow to me. I almost got my school sued. This was all my own doing, and although I didn't start smoking pot again, my drinking increased to the point of about a fifth of vodka a night, give or take. I have a long history of depression, and self-harm in the form of cutting, allthough I've never been clinically diagnosed, and this was the worst bout yet. I knew the booze was a bad idea, so I stopped drinking and have my still sizable amount of liquor away.
However, I simply replaced the booze with weed. It didn't help that my two other good friends had also been involved in the libel thingy and were dealing with shit of their own. Together, as winter break started, we entered what we now call the 'Pot Coma,' where all we did for two months was get stoned. I don't know how I got the money to support such a habit, but support it I did, I was so baked so often that it wasn't fun anymore, wasn't really anything anymore. And I had started cutting again, which I hadn't done since high school. I hated the fact that the cliche about running from your problems with drugs was so true. I hated that i needed pot to feel normal, but mostly I just hated myself.
Towards Feburary of that year, I began to realize that this wasn't go to stop on its own. My internal sadness leaked out of my every pore, plainly visible to everyone. My friends were experiencing the same thing to lesser degrees, but given that I was back at the paper and given that we spent so much time working for it, we could easily justify it and say that we weren't lazy stoners, look at the 16 page paper we put out every week. However, when I look at what I wrote from back then it's painfully obvious that my writing quality had decreased dramatically.
That's one of the problems with weed: In small doses, for most people, it stimulates creativity, or at least gives the illusion of doing so. But it RARELY stays at small doses. And then, it just inhibits everything. I knew that I had to just snap out of it. And somehow---I'm really not sure how---I did. I quit for 3 months. It wasn't enough to bring back my grades though. That spring I got a 0.8 GPA. The rest of the semester, I was clean as a whistle. Well, the drinking came back, but in fairly moderate amounts, definetly not the blackout drinking I used to partake in. Then, the semester ended. I had nothing to do for a month until I went to a summer camp to work.
Now, one thing I haven't mentioned is that for most of this time, I worked at a preschool (the paper was volunteer on the weekends). And although I was stoned alot I made sure to never be stoned when working with kids. It was the one thing that kept me sober for at least part of the day. But that month, I relaxed my standards. I wouldn't smoke RIGHT before work, but it'd be close. I was making more and more excuses to smoke.
But then, off to Summer Camp I went, where due to the fire danger, there was NO way I could smoke. Plus I was up there for 2 weeks at a stretch, so if I didn't buy any beforehand, which I didn't, I wouldn't have any. I was so busy anyhow that I didn't have any time to smoke. However, my new girlfriend loved supplying me with vodka tonics (my favorite drink) when I did come home, so I got drunk every night I was back (2 days a month). I came back to town, sober as I ever was, and sure that pot was behind me. I just needed to get away from it a bit, was all.
Then my g/f and I were at a dinner party where a pipe was being passed around. My girl doesn't smoke pot at all, her parents were major stoners and she vowed never to be like them. However, she is also nonjudgemental so I helped myself to a nice toke. And there I went again. I spent the next month in another pot haze, telling myself I was just 'getting it out of my system' before school started and I had to straighten up. I wish I could go back in time and slap myself for that kind of logic. But when school started, I did stop. I was going to class, doing well everywere, and things were fine.
So I decided to smoke some pot again. Just once in awhile. Then just on weekends. Then just nights. Then only 4 times a week. You see the pattern, I'm sure. Concession after concession, till I was a stoner yet again. I kept up the same patterns, but the amount of time from occasional smoking to constant was getting smaller and smaller each time. I was losing control. By the time the semester had ended, my grades were fine, but everyone at the paper was PISSED. And rightly so. They had put in tons of hard work while I played video games. I was one of the main writers, but everything I wrote was late, or shitty, or both. My girlfriend said nothing about this. She didn't condone my habits, but was probably used to putting up with them. I knew I was mentally addicted, I knew I'd have to stop, but I just couldn't. And the munchies had taken their toll. I had put on about 40 pounds due to my lethary. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I couldn't walk up stairs without getting out of breath. The only thing that made me feel good was weed.
I kept waiting for something to stir me into action, waiting to hit rock bottom so that I would have the impetus to change. It never came. I saw 'Walk the Line' and then it hit me: Rock Bottom is Subjective. Yeah, my addiction wasn't too bad, by the standards of addicts. But by my standards I was scraping the bottom. I didn't need to kill someone while driving high or steal from my girl to buy weed to be an addict, I already was one. I could look to others to say that I wasn't as bad as some, but what good is that? The bottom line was that weed was stopping me be the person that I want to be, and I was letting it. That was rock bottom enough. So one night, cold turkey, I quit. Flushed my weed and got rid of my pipes and bongs. It felt good. I was in control again.
It's been about a month since I stopped. I have a hard row to hoe. I think about weed constantly, another sign of a true addict. I've smoked a twice. I reget doing so, but I'm trying. At least I'm not smoking on my own, I guess. My thinking is becoming clearer again and my girlfriend is shocked by how much my memory has improved. I'm working on eating better and losing the weight I gained. Everytime I want to smoke, I look at my giant gut in the mirror and ask myself 'Is it worth it?' It never is. I don't think I'll ever be able to smoke pot again, because I know how it starts but I don't want to see how it ends.
I don't think pot as a whole is a bad thing. But it HAS to be used responsibly. I lack the ability to use it responsibly, therefore I cannot use it. I'm really glad I learned my lesson before it was too late, before I really fucked up my life, because thats where it was going. I wish I had known what was going to happen to me, I never would've smoked in the first place, because sometimes, ignorance is bliss. That's just my take on the whole thing. I'm sure many people have had it worse than me. Well, I had it as bad as I could take, and maybe that means that my tolerance for having a shitty life is just lower than most, thats fine.
Good luck to all the happy go lucky stoners out there, enjoy your smoke filled bubble, and perhaps if it ever clears up enough, take a look outside and realize that life used to be fun without pot, too.
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