I was watching this video today and the comments on youtube were kind of thoughtful in some ways. One woman commented how she was 7 months out of a 6 yr abusive relationship and her sister told her it was her theme song. Another person commented that they felt that way about their depression for the song.
It occurred to me when I was watching the video the symbolism that I saw. The video is about transformations. The black fruit in the beginning- drugs. Eating something bad for you. Indulgent behavior. The pins in Christian’s back are what the girls are holding and using to walk with- crutches. Vices.
She was trapped in a box with blackness. Mindlessness. Darkness. Blindness. Refusing to see. She busts out of the box!!! She staggers away, the black billowing around her. The pins stick out of her back, and the more she staggers on, she’s able to pull the pins from her back and throw them away from herself.
I have felt this way about my relationship with weed. It is a relationship. I have been an everyday user for the past NINE (9) YEARS. It is officially the longest relationship that I have ever had. Boyfriends have come and gone, and still yet weed has remained.
I started smoking when I was 18 years old. I was in college and dating my first boyfriend. He had been smoking and hiding it from me and I was not happy about weed being in his life. I thought it made him stupid. I thought only bad people did drugs. I tried to make him stop smoking, and he would not give it up for me. I tried to issue an ultimatum and he would not have it. I didn’t want to break up with him, even though he was doing something I looked down.
I decided I had to give it a try to see why it was so important to him. He wasn’t willing to give it up for me, so I reasoned it must be…. cool. Good in some way. It was certainly important since he wouldn’t give it up for me. I tried it and everything was funny. We started doing it together until it became pretty much the focal point of our relationship.
We would sit out back in his dad’s garage and smoke. It was our main activity eventually. He was the one who started it for me, and I knew when I started that I started for the wrong reason. I felt pressured to do it. I had backed myself into a corner- give it up for me OR….. and I wasn’t willing to leave my boyfriend for not giving it up. I reasoned if it was a part of his life, I didn’t want to be excluded from that part of his life. I felt like I had to do it, try it.
It wasn’t hard for me to start enjoying it rather than resenting it. I came to love and enjoy it. And even when my first boyfriend broke up with me, I still wanted to do it and kept up the usage. I smoked with my next boyfriend after that, too. I don’t necessarily remember it being everyday in that relationship….
Things changed with my relationship with weed when I got with my first older boyfriend. He was an alcoholic. We both liked to smoke. It was then that my relationship with weed became something different. It wasn’t a fun thing to do anymore, it was a necessity. He and I spent our evenings figuring out ways to get high. It wasn’t optional anymore- I took to his addictive behavior like a fish to water. Suddenly, I needed the weed. I didn’t just enjoy it, I was willing to do a lot of things to get it and smoke it.
We would go to his brother’s house and beg him for balls of resin if we couldn’t afford weed. Anything to get that THC. We used to carefully transport it back to his house and he devised clever ways to smoke it and make it last. We’d put just a tiny speck of it on the head of a needle embedded in a piece of cardboard and light it, putting it under a glass and inhaling as much as we could from the trace amounts that we had. I didn’t just want need, I needed it.
I used to criticize him for his drinking problem, and he in turn told me, “You smoke weed like I drink.” I wasn’t willing to admit that I had a problem, that I had an addictive personality as well. I was addicted. I needed it. I threw away all my old friends during this period of my life. I gave up my old friends for drugs and alcohol. I told myself they were boring and lame, liking board games and never wanting to get drunk. I wanted a fun life, high life, drunken stories. My friends were not going down the same path as me, so I left them behind.
I didn’t just want to get drunk or high, I wanted to forget myself. I smoked and drank to excess. I didn’t just drink for a little buzz, I wanted to be black out drunk and not remember anything the next day. I thought I was having fun, but I was running away from my problems.
My granny had passed away and my mother’s depression was deep. I couldn’t face the depth of my mother’s depression. I used to sit in my room and listen to her shuffling cards in the living room and her loneliness was suffocating to me. She needed me in some way I couldn’t provide. My mom needed someone to take care of her, and I resented it and ran away. She was supposed to be taking care of me, but instead at every turn she tried to put me down or make me feel bad about myself. We had a bad relationship that was toxic to me.
Partly why I tossed my hat in with Joshua so much is because I was needing a mother really bad. He lived with his mother, and she was spiritual and nice to me. She only saw good things in me where my mother never wasted an opportunity to try and make me feel stupid or inadequate in some way.
When I met Jake, I still had a bad relationship with my mother. I was mostly living in my car and off the kindness of my exes. I hated going home. I hated being around my mother. Her loneliness killed me, I had to get away. I couldn’t make her better, she only ever got worse. I didn’t like to go home so I would spend nights using wifi in Mcdonald’s parking lots or I would stay the night with Hakim or Joshua, bouncing back and forth between the two. There were nights that were question marks to me, not knowing where I could go but home. I didn’t want to be there.
When I got with Jake, there was FINALLY someone to take care of me. There was finally someone who wanted to possess me and keep me and do right by me. He bought me clothes and he took me away from my mother. He welcomed me into his life and his home and he let me bring my weed with me even though he no longer smoked himself.
Through all those years, I kept on smoking weed. I’ve tried to quit smoking weed in the past and I never felt the way that I do right now. The first time I tried to quit cold turkey and I was a basket case, extremely emotional. I couldn’t quit. My compulsion was too strong. I needed it. I went back on it after only 5 days.
The next time I tried to quit, I actually went over a week without it. I went 12 days. That time I threw away my pipes. I don’t remember why I started back when I did. This time, I believe I have actually hit the 12 day mark and I feel differently about it.
I’m not necessarily quitting cold turkey, I have went like a few days at a time and then had a smoke of resin that I have still laying around. The problem before is I would have that compulsion to smoke and I had to go out and buy a bag of weed, and that was history. Having a bag of weed meant I needed to smoke it all. I couldn’t control myself. I couldn’t sit down and just have a little, or only every once in awhile. If I had weed, the goal was to smoke it all consecutively until it was gone and get more.
My one year wedding anniversary is next month. I got married when I was 26 and part of the reason why is because I recognized I wasn’t getting any younger. I wasn’t 23 anymore, if I waited around I might end up old and alone. I looked at Jacob and I told myself, you know by now if this is going to work out. If you don’t want to marry him, then you need to leave him. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him, so I married him.
This time around smoking feels different because my motivation has been more adult that I could ever have imagined. I’m 27 now and when am I going to have children? When am I going to grow up? I can’t smoke weed forever.
I have had urges to smoke, have romanticized my relationship with weed. I thought I was missing the joy in my life by not smoking. I wasn’t happy not smoking and I thought about how good I feel and how much more I smile when I’m smoking, but I’m not really living. Smoking is the same thing as when I used to want to get drunk all the time. I thought I was having a good time, but I wasn’t— I was trying to forget myself.
You can’t forget yourself, though. Like I said, my motivation for quitting is entirely different this time. I looked at my life and I realized I was not happy. All my friends are fictional and I never see my family. I spent all my nights watching TV and all my days off sitting at home smoking weed. Weed is keeping me from being the person that I need to become.
I decided to go back to school this fall. I quit college almost 4 years ago, and with the decision to go back I started thinking more about my future. Jake says I am not healthy enough to have natural children. I weigh too much. I smoke too much. I’m not responsible enough. Weed has done a lot of things for me over the years, but now I am realizing what I always knew.
Weed keeps me from;
- cleaning house
- having meaningful relationships with my family
- making friends/strengthening friendships
- working out
- caring about myself
- attending to my husband’s needs/a better marriage
- making more money
I’m sorry weed but I can’t keep doing this. I want all the things I just listed. I don’t want to surrender to mindlessness anymore. I don’t want to not care about myself. I want lungs that are healthy and I want to get healthier, eat better, go to sleep earlier. I want more money in my pocket. I want to be better than I have in the past. I want to do something that my future self will thank me for. Weed, you are keeping me from realizing my full potential. You are holding me back. And when someone holds you back, you either let them go and move on, or you resign yourself to your fate.
I don’t have to resign myself to this fate. I want more for my life. I want to like myself. I want to have friends. I want to have a better marriage and more money. I have to leave you. I can’t be with you anymore. We had a lot of good time together, and there’s nothing wrong with you in small amounts, but this life where you are the only thing that matters is not working anymore. I don’t want you 16 hours of the day anymore. I don’t want you to be my everything. I want a life.