the time has come to make my confession

I have a secret to share: I like getting high.

Those are words that I never thought would be uttered by me (in any form),  and until The Pause, it would have been unimaginable for me to do so. After I made the decision to accept the half-gummy my partner offered me during our mountain retreat this summer (see the spark), I began a journey of self-exploration, and much of the thanks is owed to having taken the ‘blue pill‘ (no, not that blue pill – odds are that some of your brains are going there, just like mine, but no, although it does bring up a point, so read on) and journeyed down the rabbit hole (uh-oh my geek is showing again).

When COVID-19 bullied itself into the lives of my partner and myself (not to mention the rest of the world), it opened the door, but discovering THC was the kick that pushed me through it, delivered me from The Boil, and started me down the path to changing my physical and mental health for the better.

i really should have paid more attention in chem class

In the days that followed the mountain retreat, I admitted to some of my closest friends and family that I’d discovered THC and had welcomed it into my life as something that allowed me to feel, and to understand the world more clearly. It seems odd to say that, as a moderately educated individual, I thought I did understand the world, but I have come to understand just how shallow and limited my perspectives were.

I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions I received when I shared my ‘news’, they were generally supportive, if not happy that I’d found this new enlightenment for myself. One family member shared with me that were already using small doses to help them relax before bed and to sleep, while other friends shared they had adopted it themselves since legalization and made me feel I was late to the show, brushing it off with a ‘good for you’. One of my best friends said bluntly that pot was a gateway drug, but didn’t attempt to convince me to give up my new friend (I’ll file that under ‘supportive of my decisions and new happiness’). My partner has certainly seen the difference in me, our closest friends, too, and maybe in time when I can actually visit with my family members again post-isolation, I hope they will as well.

Since July, I’ve been learning not just about THC and the wide variety of delivery forms it comes in, but also about me. A new self-understanding and awareness developed of who I am, what I value, became clear, and brought with it a far greater appreciation of the elements of my life that had previously contributed to my happiness and well-being.

The best part of introducing THC into my life? I’ve learned that I can readily (with the help of a few milligrams) revisit the state I previously had identified as moments of clarity. No longer was the appearance of these moments random, or required a special set of circumstances to summon (the devil you say?).

Here are some of my learnings I have made over the past five months about THC’s effect on me.

The positives:

  • The rush of time slows; every second of time that passes while I’m enhanced by THC feels like three.
  • My mind is learning the ability to be creative again, to generate ideas in a rapid manner; if I need to brainstorm, I will be calling upon the assistance of my new friend to help.
  • My Artistry is stimulated by it’s presence (blame it for the blog).
  • Physical pain fades and quickly when THC is introduced into my system; this is great for my neck and shoulder pain.
  • It relaxes me, and quickly; I can go from a miserably tense and anxious day to whole out relaxation in a matter of minutes.
  • It can also energize me and help get mundane household chores not just done, but done thoroughly thanks to added focus provided by the right strain.
  • By serving, it is far cheaper than alcohol, and my wallet is thankful (if it ever speaks to me beyond metaphorically, I’ll seek help).
  • My mind opens and I want to engage in conversation versus shutting down and becoming a bystander; very happily, this is in direct opposition to the tendencies of my introverted unenhanced-self.
  • Music is so much better when I’m high; I feel it and get surrounded by it, causing me to listen to it and enjoy it more than ever before; THC will be joining me at our first concert out whenever the new vaccines allow us to return to something that resembles life before The Pause.
  • Oh my god, sex while high is AMAZING (short of finding a font that adds colour and flashing lights, I cannot emphasize this more), just wow.
  • I get to experience things I have enjoyed previously in my unenhanced state, even more when I am enhanced (see Inception, or eat a fudge covered mint Oreo stoned, I dare you, but better yet, do both at the same time).
  • When I awaken the next day, I remember the previous day clearly, and for the most part experience little by means of regret.
  • Used in moderation, THC leaves me with no lingering ‘hangover’ effects.

The negatives:

  • When I do experience a THC hangover, it feels as though my mind is cloudy, and it can be hard to self motivate to get things done (I’ve learned what I should and should not do on school nights).
  • Some cannabis strains do have negative effects that accompany the positive (the good news? you can avoid the worst of them by being smart about your dosages): flashes of paranoia, sudden drops of blood pressure, and in the worst cases, ultra sensitivity to what the body feels, and a multitude of paths my mind will take me down (it can be mentally exhausting).
  • Not that I’ve been tempted to, but driving under the influence would be just as dangerous and irresponsible as driving drunk.
  • It dries out my eyes (yes it is true, Visine is also another new friend).
  • There’s a learning curve; like booze, everyone’s tolerance is different. I don’t try to match the consumption of others; they have many factors impacting their tolerance that you might not share.
  • Two words: couch lock.
  • The stigma is still there, but I’m amazed how many people I know who have also started to utilize THC for what ails them, so I hope this fades over time with the help of heroes like Seth Rogan.

I think its safe to say that THC has been integrated as a regular part of my life now, as I use it no differently than alcohol (my drinking buddies are either going to miss me or join me on the dark side). If I had to make a choice there is no doubt in my mind that I would choose THC over alcohol if I could only have one of them in my life. On occasion when the two do get together to play, the results haven’t been negative, as I am hyper keen on retaining some control over myself; I do go through stretches where I elect not to consume anything, because I don’t want to.

On other occasions, I want to tap into the logical, unemotional, and rationally numb state that had been me, that served me well in my work and volunteering endeavours, and I still want to use that former self, but with specific purpose, rather than my default state of being. That numb person, that identity, is no longer one I embrace as defining me.

There’s a new me now, and I thank THC for helping to show me the new way.

(Being the uber geek that I am, I offer my sincerest thanks and apologies to Jon Favreau, but there will be no suit of armour to go along with this way.)

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