A note on marijuana withdrawal
Send a message over Telegram and the weed is at my doorstep in 20 minutes. 10 sour gummies of concentrated edibles that can be stretched into 40 doses that give a high for 8 hours apiece. It's subtle to the point that no one notices that you're high, it's discreet enough to be smuggled onto a plane, into a movie theater, to office parties or to handle calls with my mom. Every occasion calls for its consumption – a long train ride, a walk in the park, a potential date, a club night, reading books, listening to the latest podcast that dropped, ticking off movies on the watchlist, or watching porn in an immersive mind theater. A malleable pleasure that can be tinkered with for a greater part of the waking day, with all moments wanting, wishing, dreaming for the next high.
Marijuana addiction is considered an easy one to beat, compared to the turbulence poised by opioids, benzos or nicotine. The physical withdrawal symptoms are meek: A sense of pervasive boredom and disturbed sleep patterns which are whooshed in by hyper-real dreams that blur the demarcations between the real and the imaginary. The psychological withdrawal symptoms are harder, where one's ritualistic consumption of the drug and the habits formed in the post-drug haze which form the foundations of the drug user's personality wither away, leaving a dark vortex of thoughts and emotions that have no place to coalesce.
Five months after refraining from a prolonged multi-year habit, life feels alien and all activities from sex to a simple walk are plagued with a sense of detachment for which there seems to be no cure. Marijuana consumption has a lot of pop culture and general public acceptance, with the bud being legalized in many parts of the world, though research into its negative effects is scant. Intensive, prolonged consumption of the drug has altered my perception of the world where everything plays out like a film, reality itself superimposed on myself as if filtering through the lens of a camera, where the cameraperson is the drug itself. This skewed perception has become the static viewpoint from which I experience the world, an effect that remains hard-coded in my mind even post-quitting.
I believe that everyone has several beings in them, the notion of a single personality domineering is an assumption upon which society is built. Marijuana gave me the tools to foster several facets of myself and bring them to the creative forefront. There's the gourmand, the music aficionado, the cineaste, the general observer of the world around them, and the sexual being, all of which co-exist within me and waiting for suitable conditions to expand and explore. Through the withdrawal process, all these beings are held in limbo and become a garble of personalities that shape-shift when needed for precision. Ideas that germinated through weed binges now seem like distant possibilities, while the feeble mind tries to construct life as seen from a high lens it finds itself deprived of the necessary sensory aids provided by the drug. This incapacity leads to devolution of basic experiences, food has become tasteless, film and music have become monotonous without the spatial depth that THC flavored it with, the world moves by at a quicker pace than my taste allows for and sex is something I had to relearn by being mindful, understanding it's a dance in togetherness rather than a singular point of pleasure.
The perception of time is skewed, at times a few hours feel like seconds and a few minutes out for eternity. At what notes these perceptions play out is still a mystery to me. In the moments of skewed time and with omnipresent triggers of the addiction, even five months in I get deep pangs to get back to my dealer and get a month's worth of dope. The addict's mind is a terrible master, it can deceive the rational mind into believing it's irrational and then let the irrational, unconscious mind take over. ” Just this one-time “, “You can try it for a month, and then stop”, “Who said being sober is the norm to existence?”, “Better be addicted to weed than to money”_.
I wrote this last month going through a bout of psychological withdrawal and succumbing to the irrational reasoning in my head. Called the THC taxi and since then not a day has passed without being in a cloud of thoughts, I have to reset the cycle again and endure boredom in another soulless loop.