It’s coming close to a year now that I ended my affair with marijuana. As refreshing, productive, and lucid as it is to be sober, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss it.
THC has the delightful ability to make everything better: music, food, girls, writing, riding the bus, doing the laundry. There are also things that can only be appreciated after a joint. You don’t see, hear, feel things the same way.
It turned into a lifestyle, a word I like to use because it sounds so much better than “addiction”.
Between 2004–2006, I’d only be sober for about nine hours on weekdays.
Weekends were straight wake-and-bake, especially if there was a party, a camping trip, or some good old dim sum.
I was a complete light-weight too; it didn’t take much to have me floating for a night. As a result, one ounce of BC hydro would last me more than a year. An added bonus was that I never needed a dealer; there was always some convenient source through a friend of a friend. O Canada, land of the free, the Inuit, and the plentiful bud. I’m sure that Pierre Burton would agree.
Sessions were a habitual provider of great memories (from what my brain was actually able to retain). I still think of Darren at the wheel of the Civic, looking over at me and whispering “Vanilla Sky” as he’d taunt our mortality by letting the wheel drift the car into the oncoming lane. It was at once terrifying and invigorating, something you could only feel after a session in the park. Even a few of my favourite entries were either inspired by weed or written under the influence.
Food was also a big thing. Every meal was like nectar and ambrosia. I never really stopped eating over the course of the day, as I’d have food around me at all times. Pretty soon, I hit a satisfying all-time high (no pun intended) with my weight. Now that I’ve stopped, I lost it all. They won’t even let me donate blood anymore because I don’t meet the minimum weight requirements. This is what I looked like, circa early 2005, and this is what I looked like circa early weekend. How I miss the fullness of my face.
Sobriety is different. Everything is clearer, but toned down. Life gets evened out.
As much as I miss it, I won’t go back to smoking weed again. I had a hard enough time stopping in the first place, and the risk of getting addicted again isn’t worth it.
Maybe I was just getting older, but near the end, the side-effects started taking their toll on me.
Instead of the racing ideas and inspiration from when I started, I turned into a zoned-out waste. I’d be completely useless when it came to talking or thinking. I stopped liking myself when I was stoned. My stomach felt like it was slowly digesting a sack of pebbles, and my throat became sore and dry. Even now, I still come across the odd stash of honey lozenges in the back of a drawer.
It was especially scary in the last few months when I could feel my tolerance building up. I was constantly chasing after that head-tripping peak from the early days, smoking more and more, but it’d never last longer than a half hour. The weed would help me sleep, and when I stopped I turned into an insomniac. For a while, the will to do anything eluded me because nothing was entertaining.
Now I’ve quit my vices altogether. No alcohol, no caffeine, nothing. Sobriety is underrated.
I know I’ll never go back to that time in my life, but I sure do miss it.