When I was twenty-three, I found myself at an odd religious get-together in someone’s living room. Almost everyone there seemed way too cool for me to even talk to; but there was this one friendly, charming guy who said he was bipolar.
As the group went . . . a different way, the bipolar guy and I began discussing our histories with weed, etc. He said something along the lines of, “Man, if you’ve gotten high, then you’ve had the most special, beautiful experience a human can have!”
I wish we’d become friends. I never saw him again.
I’ve always felt that weed can be very special, beautiful, and even helpful.
But I want to be careful not to share only my best high experiences with you. That would be dishonest.
I mentioned my first, euphoric high. I’ve also had scary highs, restless highs, exhausted highs, paranoid highs, silly highs, relaxed highs, hungry highs, sleepy highs, emotional highs…
There have been prolonged periods when smoking weed would mean being hit by waves of fear and inner turmoil.
Today I’d like to share about a particular experience that led to one of the worst of those frightful phases early on.
When I was eighteen, I wandered off into the woods one day with an incredibly simple goal: to smoke until I couldn’t continue. I was fully determined to see just how high I could get.
With notebook and pens in hand, I was ready for whatever could happen with weed.
After the ritual of burning through more bowls than I cared to count, my inner world suddenly fell black. Something like a battle erupted into being within my mind. It literally felt like good versus evil—the “good” being my desperate search for some way to stay sane and hopeful in the midst of an “evil” consuming darkness that tore at me to my core.
No-matter what positive idea I tried to fall back on, the darkness simply swept through and overtook me, easily wiping out my little stabs at hope like waves demolishing sandcastles.
Each time it happened, I shook and threw up violently.
Near the end, I remember trying to keep as still as possible, just waiting and longing for everything to be normal again.
When I came to, I found myself sprawled across the ground beneath a fern tree, covered in dirt and vomit.
I couldn’t comfortably get high for quite a while after that.
Here’s something I wrote while high in early 2013:
“I don’t want to take any kind of official stand against marijuana or drugs.”
I do want to take the most objective look I can at the nature of addiction.
Do you think drug experiences can be special, beautiful, or valuable? What if you’re addicted to the drug?
Have you had any negative experiences you’d care to share?
Tomorrow: addictions vs. life goals.
P.S. After writing today’s chapter, I got high and wrote:
“I was just a kid when I disappeared off into the woods that day.
“I do still have negative experiences with weed sometimes, but they don’t tend to include any of the hellish, epic imagery.
“Usually, I just feel sick and have to lie down if I overdo it with certain heavier strains.
“There’s still sometimes that same feeling of just waiting in pain for the unpleasantness to end…”