In the early days of my addiction, I’d often wait for my family to fall asleep before sneaking downstairs to smoke weed and watch TV.
I remember flipping through channels one night after a few covert tokes when I came across a movie that seemed interesting enough; but the notion of giving my “precious high time” over to something I wasn’t absolutely sure about felt far too risky.
I resolved instead to re-watch Arrested Development (AD). Just considering the denseness of the humor and in-jokes packed into every episode, AD seemed like something weed might enhance particularly well.
High people seem to love Easter eggs.
Anyway, that became my routine: Each night, I’d sneak a few puffs and watch AD.
When all three seasons were done, I dove into another show.
That pattern continued for most of 2011: I’d choose shows in advance to then binge-watch by night while high.
While making my way through that first season of AD, I ended up eating all these expensive diet ice creams my wife was saving in the freezer. It was kind of a waste since I wasn’t on a diet.
From then on, my wife was kind enough to pick me up boxes of mixed non-diet ice-creams for my secret nightly weed and TV time.
The next two years were punctuated by a slew of failed attempts at controlling what was fast becoming a solidly entrenched addiction.
In 2013, a new season of AD was released on Netflix. I was so excited. I planned to make that new season my final blowout—the last thing I’d binge-watch high before quitting weed until I could start using again later in a more balanced, controlled way.
It felt like the perfect way to end a season of my life—the same way it had begun.
I also happened to find an identical box of mixed non-diet ice creams in the freezer.
Here’s something I wrote back then (while high) about how I thought things would all come together:
“I want to have going public as a new, positive activity I replace my addiction with.
“It feels like I’m coming full circle—the end of my Devil’s Lettuce cycle. I’ll watch the new season of AD, go through this big box of ice creams, and then go public and start controlling my addiction.”
Though circumstances seemed ideal, my perfect plan failed in a very non-spectacular way. I simply smoked right through that new season of AD, and on into whatever show came next, just as I’d been doing.
No matter how perfect any of my plans for controlling addiction were, I never actually successfully stuck with any for very long. I always just ended up ignoring intuitions or whatever else might have threatened my continued compulsive weed use.
But I didn’t see that pattern of perpetual, non-epic failure until I started recording and preparing to share my experience. Then I couldn’t ignore it.
Have you ever made plans to change that failed? Did it matter how perfect the plans were?
Tomorrow: more on feeling addiction’s devastating effects, wishing for control, and yet failing all attempts to change.
After writing today’s chapter, I got high and wrote:
“On the roadrunner cartoon, the coyote’s plans never worked. But he never really stuck with any of them.
“He only tried each plan once.
“Was it really the plan that failed?”