DAY 6 | The test #1 (spiders and the sudden-sobriety fuzz)

I was wandering around the garage one Saturday morning when I came face to face with this tiny spider, still and barely noticeable, on the daintiest of webs. It was right in the spot where I’d usually get high.

facing-addiction-the-test-1As I began puffing away on a joint, I started to feel for the little creature. I decided to send some smoke its way. I hope that’s not animal cruelty.

I got hungry a little later, and assumed the spider had the munchies too; but I couldn’t see how it would ever catch anything in its spindly little web in the corner of our dark garage.

Getting a fly into that web became my mission for the weekend.

Actually, I’m glad my wife was away, because I basically left the garage door open and the lights on for two full days and nights.

I’m not sure if the spider ever ate. It had disappeared by Sunday night.

My weekend with the spider happened to be the culmination of something I called The Test.

Now, my idea for The Test had been simple: I’d choose a random week to go from Monday through Friday without using any weed; then I’d get high again that weekend and record my experience.

That first day and night, Monday, was excruciating. I hadn’t gone a day without using in probably a year. I only slept about two hours that night. I remember having this vivid, chaotic dream about driving frantically back and forth between all these nearby dispensaries. In the dream, they were all closed.

Others have described well the jolting discomforts of sudden sobriety, and my experience was no different. I had insomnia for days. I couldn’t settle down. I felt like I was being annoyingly hyper at work.

As mentioned, weed seems to weave itself into every fabric of my life. When I’m not using, just knowing I won’t be able to enjoy my normal activities the same way leaves me feeling glum and sluggish.

Sure, I could watch TV, drive to work, take a shower, laugh with people, or do whatever else I might normally do high; I just don’t look forward to any of it the same way.

Sobriety feels like being away from a close, fun friend—kind of like the aftermath of a sudden, unfortunate breakup.

I once wrote this while high:

“Do you ever feel trapped in a condition where you can’t think or function the same way without what you’re addicted to?”

During the week of The Test, I found it almost impossible to string together even the most basic thoughts and words. I remember thinking it would be awesome if my mind could just always do what it seems to do so freely whenever weed comes into play.

My hope was that finding a way to control my addiction would allow my mind to adjust, restoring its ability to reason and imagine without needing outside stimulation.

By that Saturday, I was broken. I had all these weird aches and pains. Muscles were cramping. I couldn’t get warm enough.

So I went in the garage, met my spider friend, and smoked…

Moments later, I wrote this:

“The experiment was a success. I feel great. It’s been less than a week off of weed, and I’m super high.”

I was glad to see a few days sober had reversed some of the massive tolerance I’d built up.

I also felt good about myself for having kept my addiction under control all week.

Whenever I use weed compulsively, I feel guilty right away. The guilt starts to prod at my conscience as soon as the high sets in.

Afterwards, the fuzz of sobriety dims the subtle light of my convictions. Everything gets hazy and unpleasant again until I’m pulled back out of that mental fog by my old “fun” friend.

I feel great about myself whenever I don’t use for any length of time; but once I start up again, I seem to slip so easily back out of control.

That’s what happened after The Test and so many other times, before and since.

Here’s a summary of The Test: In May, 2014, I didn’t use weed at all for five days. I had a really good high when I smoked again. Then my addiction pulled me back (as always) and I continued using compulsively as before.

Was The Test a success?

When you tried to suddenly quit something, how did you feel? What happened next?

Tomorrow: a high thought from the weekend of The Test that led directly to writing this story.

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Intro, DAY 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, Afterword


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