Smoking To Remain Cool

The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club

Do you remember seventh grade health class? That one where you, plucky and pus filled, sat in front of an aging woman who showed you the first horrifying pictures of drug addiction all while smelling of cigarettes? In that front row you decided, or at least I did, that you would never be “that retarded” (this being the time before you realized the connotations that came with that word) to ever try drugs. This was before you went to your first “real” party in ninth grade, a mere two years after that classroom and the woman who died of respiratory failure showed you what societal failure was through vomit puddles and fallen out teeth. At this party (no parents!!) you partook in something that made ever thing else seem rather silly and from that moment on you weren’t an addict (you defined that on your health quiz in seventh grade and you got full credit for it) you were just shown what life could feel like when you ingested something the government deemed illegal and god damn, that feeling was amazing.

Fast forward to college.

The world was open. The idea mom’s passing in the past year haunted me through the form of apologies from strangers and people patting me on the back and knowing more than me. My anxiety medication caused me to shake when I found myself completely alone in the bars I had traveled in a group to. I don’t remember how I usually got back into my car but tears were rolling out and I couldn’t find my breath. I would thrash back and forth like one of those crazy blow up men they put in front of car dealerships or sometimes I would just freeze up, not being able to find use of any of the many nerve endings in my body. I was numb.

“You’re so strong,” people would say.

They didn’t know of my own private sessions.

As time wore on, as it does, I stopped taking my anxiety medication and for a brief portion of my life I was insane. I cried; I beat against walls both in my mind and out. Even now they are still there I feel, just softer and less important. One came out of the closet when I found out that my Dad had spent all of my mother’s life insurance on vacation for his girlfriend. But after a while, I found solace in something that grounded me.

This is where weed came in.

I had done it before. I had smoked pot before I even learned how to shot gun a beer (which was last year). My roommate Annamarie and I split dime bags (we were so hardcore). Everyone knows that if you smoke before you drink heavily you have a lesser chance of barfing the night’s decisions away. We at least believed that. Over time this evolved into buying Gs by myself and like that the waves of anxiety settled. I was self-prescribed and keeping my shit together like a (semi) functioning adult. I discussed my feelings with my dad to which he replied “Oh”.  I realized that I didn’t actually like going to bars with people who ditched me.

“You’re so strong,” people would say.

“I know,” I respond.

This isn’t meant to be a politically affiliated piece that pushes for legalization. This also isn’t a piece about how everyone in the world should just roll up a doobie and then there would be world peace. Though those thoughts are nice, I would just like to say that the substance made me feel sane. I no longer drown in myself, and man, that feeling is amazing. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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