Citation: Playmore. "The Long Road: An Experience with Cannabis (exp81008)". Erowid.org. Oct 5, 2010. erowid.org/exp/81008
I lived most of my life in a sleepy rural town in the northern US. Not a lot happened from day to day, and I had known the same group of people since the time I was maybe 5 years old. Around the time I was seventeen I tried weed at a concert. I didnít have much of a reaction, which seems to be normal.
I tried smoking again, not long afterwards, and got really, truly high for the first time. Some of my friends and I were at a coworkerís house, and he had let us use it to smoke. The overall experience was completely new, and very freeing. It gave a sense that there was something bigger out there, and it made me feel like I was living dangerously and bucking some conformist trend. I was maybe 15 at the time, and I just felt like it was the coolest thing ever. We watched a movie, and it seemed like everything was absolutely hilarious. I laughed more than Iíve ever laughed since that time. It kept bubbling up inside of me, like I couldnít control it. Everything I saw had more detail than it did before. Eventually, I started coming down and the experience faded away. It left a very big impression on me.
Over the next couple of years, I smoked infrequently with some people who became very close friends. Finding marijuana was always such a rarity back then, because you had to do it so discretely, and honestly I had no idea how to do it. We would build up a desire for some smoke over a month, then decide to go hunting for it. Some nights we wouldnít find any, other nights we would hit the jackpot. I never remember having a bad trip during that time.
Time passed, and eventually I got a girlfriend that disapproved of smoking, so while she didnít expressly say ďchoose between the weed or me,Ē I sort of felt that was the situation. I liked the girl more than weed, so I stopped smoking for quite some time. I still did it every once and a while, but it was infrequent Ė every few months, at the most.
Around the time that I was a freshman in college, I bought my first eighth. That was when the bad trips started. I remember that I had a special container that I would store it in, because it wasnít allowed in the dorms. I started to get paranoid. I was in a new city, and for the first time in my life, I was the one on the hook for the weed. If somebody found me with it, it was my ass.
I started smoking more when I was alone, not telling anybody about it. It seemed like it was a bad idea somehow to let other people know. Most of my friends were straightedge or generally disapproved of drug use, a big change from high school when people were open about such things.
When I was stoned, I started rationing myself, never getting as stoned as I did in high school. When I was stoned, paranoia was the dominant feeling of the high. I developed an aversion to any kind of loud sound, afraid that somebody would find me or ďcatchĒ me smoking. I would sit listening to music on the lowest setting on headphones, or on the TV with the volume on 1. Time seemed to pass extremely slowly, and the quality of the high seemed to change totally. 'Back to normal in 3 hours' became a mantra. It was devoid of wonderment and of the positive feelings I felt when I had done it in high school. Still I kept smoking, hoping that it was just a phase that would end.
When I was a sophomore, I had a very traumatic breakup with my girlfriend. The whole situation was messy by anybodyís standards, lots of drama, lots of finger pointing, lots of trying to change and get back together. Messy. I started having physical symptoms from the grief of losing the relationship. I was put on antidepressants.
About this time, I got a quarter of the strongest marijuana I have ever owned in my life. It gave me a strong hallucinatory high, and my roommate and I would regularly smoke three or four bowls of it between just the two of us.
The paranoia and distrust were amplified by my mindset at the time. I was also feeling deep depression from the breakup that I was trying to anaesthetize with the weed. Being high took on another tone. It was impulsive and beyond my control - darker. I would get home from classes and, facing the option of being high or thinking about my situation and feeling the associated grief, I would always choose the drugs.
One thing that you never read about in these reports, though, is that getting high doesnít take you to some magical land where none of your problems are your concerns. It only makes you feel whatever you happen to be feeling at the time through the magnifying glass of the high state. Being bored and high is much worse than being bored, in my opinion.
This was one of the first times that I started compulsively thinking, while high, that I had broken my perception and would never return to my straight, thinking state. I also worried compulsively about my memory, thinking that every time I forgot something it was because of the drugs (Iíve been forgetful since I was six Ė itís just who I am, drugs or no drugs). I lost another little piece of the great memories of being high, and I tried all the harder to recapture it.
The next year, everybody I lived with had vices, but none of them were regular smokers. I retreated to my room every night for various, non-drug-related reasons. They were much louder than me, and I found them very abrasive, though they were all very nice people who I canít say enough nice things about Ė some living styles just clash, I guess. It drove me into seclusion again.
I started driving around while high. I would go to late showings of childrenís movies like Spirited Away or whatever Pixar movie happened to be out. Sometimes I would smoke in my car outside the theater before going in, though this made me more paranoid. For a short while I recaptured the wonderment of the early experiences by feeling independent of other people, by not worrying about the perceptions people had about me. I felt free.
Over time I began making bongs in my room, again in secret. I would travel to Home Depot (sometimes stoned) and return with an assortment of bottles and tubes. I would spend hours in my room drawing plans, which I discovered I liked a great deal, and turn them into a working creation. I got very, very stoned, very, very regularly around this time. Often I would be terrified and feel very alone, amazed at how stoned I was and wondering what my family or friends would think if they could see me in the state I was in. I had strong hallucinatory trips. My body would seem distorted and my perception felt like it belonged to another person. I started to feel as if I had been removed from my body.
Things continued like this for some time.
After another bad experience, my drug habits changed again. I began consuming more sporadically, still alone most of the time, but I became more open about the drugs. It seemed like a bad idea to hide it. Transparency seemed to solve the paranoia, and I had another six months or so of positive experiences. I should say that during this time I had very few responsibilities. I was finishing up some classes that were really formalities, I was living by myself with a healthy circle of active friends who I saw almost daily, and I was working at a student organization that was very open and fun, where most of the staff had drinking problems that put my drug use into a different, somewhat quaint context.
After graduation, I had a job. There were constant worries about whether the job would work out and whether I would have to find another job later on. I worried that I would be tested, and the quality of my experiences dropped. I found that drug use was off the table for casual conversation and I felt more and more closeted at work. In addition, I had been dating a girl, and the two of us had differing views on drugs, though she was accepting of my use. Still, experiences were largely negative at the time.
To this day, they have remained predominantly negative, and most of the time when I get high I still feel like I want to be alone or that I want to be doing something by myself or that I want to not be high. It isnít that I donít like people or that the drugs are necessarily bad or anything, but I have a stupendously low tolerance to THC and I am often so high off of a few hits that I start losing my ability to function and have to stop smoking when everybody else wants to get more high. Additionally, people seem more distant in general, and I have less patience for them.
My hope in providing this long-form experience is that I know there must be other people out there having similar feelings, and I donít want them to think that theyíre a freak, because most people who talk openly about drugs are either tireless cheerleaders or detractors, falling to the extreme sides of the issue. If you have experiences similar to mine, Iíve found over time that itís a good idea to step away from your habit and wait for a positive environment to come your way again. Donít worry about losing touch with the drugs or of not being able to get them. If you have friends, youíll probably always know at least one person who has the elusive connections. Try and be selective and find fitting and positive situations where you think that the drugs will really make you feel good. Donít do them compulsively, donít do them out of fear of feeling what life hands you. Do them because itís the right time and place for them. If that time never comes, no worries. It just wasnít the right time.
Now I make an eighth last six months at a time, and the quality of my experiences is much higher, though there are fewer of them. Less and less people smoke over time, but I have a feeling that itís a habit that Iíve picked up for life. I just have to be responsible and honest about what it does for me and how to achieve it.
Best of luck to all, and I hope that this is useful to somebody out there.
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