The other night I had a using dream. I was grinding weed and rolling up joints and doing all that stuff that goes into using marijuana. I don’t remember where I got it from. I just suddenly had it and was using it and justifying it to myself by saying I only did it sometimes, I wasn’t gonna be a chronic again, etc etc. It was weird tho because often I have felt deeply guilty during these dreams, whereas this one I felt calm and in control even tho I was making a really bad choice for myself.
I woke up and was relieved I hadn’t really smoked weed. I live in an area where I smell it all the time, well that could be anywhere in Canada really, but when my windows are open I can often smell it coming from the courtyard. Anyway, the point is, I’ve known for a while that it would be really easy to get here. There are dispensaries all over the city, I could probably ask my neighbours, and although my friends don’t usually smoke around me, I could probably ask anyone and they would have three to four different connections each. It’s really weird, especially with the new laws coming into effect next year legalizing it.
That doesn’t mean when recreational marijuana use is legal I’m gonna run out and get high. Alcohol is legal too, and I am still not drinking and haven’t had a drink since 2012. Ditto tobacco. So it’s really just going to make things a little bit more visible. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with that, but realistically the only difference is that people won’t be trying to smoke discretely, because even now I could walk down the street and pass people smoking it, maybe in quickly palmed joints but you know. It’s fucking hard to hide it’s so smelly.
Anyway. I’ve noticed I have a bit more nostalgia about my substance use these days, and it’s kind of dangerous. I don’t want to be thinking about how much fun it was to take a pill in the shape of Obama’s head, without reminding myself I blacked out and woke up safe in my own bed the next morning but so much could have gone wrong in that time. Like there’s some shit that went down, and I’m still trying to be like “ha ha drugs when I used drugs blah blah.” BUT NO they weren’t great and like, there were so many ways my life became fuller after I quit. I remember the last several times I got high how anxious and paranoid and freaked out I felt, how much I wanted to be high when I was sober, and how much I wanted to be sober when I was high. That horrible out of control feeling, and the darkness. UGH! It got really gross. And then how long it took to quit, I wanted to quit for three years before I could finally do it, and even quitting originally started out as a six week break just to see how my body felt after detoxing from it.
And the detoxing was so horrible, I was miserable and bitchy and irritable and made everyone’s life hell. And my dealer was part of my friend circle so I still saw him around which was kind of weird. Ugh so weird.
Anyway, I don’t want to go through that again. I don’t want to feel miserable when I’m high and miserable when I’m clean. I just want to not think about it anymore. How long do I have to think about being clean and sober? Why do I keep having using dreams? Why does it seem so easy to go buy a drink, and yet why do I feel this looming dread if I even entertain the thought for a moment?
It’s also weird because I got clean and sober without using the 12 step programs. I went to a group for psych consumers who had addictions issues and we talked with each other and with an addictions counselor and a mental health nurse. It was really not like 12 step programs at all. We just talked, and some of us were really unstable and it was difficult. I was pretty together mental health wise when I started going, but some people were just out of the hospital, and some people talked and talked and talked until the rest of us wanted to die or crawl out of there. It was more health region programming based than NA or AA or any of the A’s. I liked it. I know a lot of people believe in the anonymous groups, but those didn’t work for me. I didn’t like giving up my life to a higher power, especially because what I know of God is that we all compose this entity known as God which means I’m responsible for myself really. And that doesn’t exactly gel with what 12 step groups are selling.
But I like accepting that I am ultimately responsible for myself. I mean I still do spells and create intentions and go to ceremonies and things, but ultimately I know if I want something to happen I have to make it happen, which includes staying clean and sober.
So I wish I could go back to that group or a group like that and talk to people. There’s a concurrent disorders group near here, but they are an anonymous 12 step based group also. And that just doesn’t work for me. Also sometimes people think of marijuana as such a soft drug to not even be able to be addictive, and then I feel judged like I was never enough of an addict. Whatever that means! There is a weird hierarchy of addicts tho, it’s bizarre. Anyway, I might keep looking for another secular health based group to join.
People have very particular ideas of how people should get and stay clean and sober. This society is very 12 step group heavy, even though there are a lot of flaws in it. But encouragingly a lot of people get clean and sober on their own. Which is what I did sort of and am still trying to do. I say trying even tho I have already done it, because I still have to wake up and make choices that keep me away from buying beer with alcohol in it, or visiting a dispensary, or saying I could have a puff with friends etc. I will always be trying just as much as I am always succeeding.