This year I have made a pledge to myself. This way of escaping isn’t working for me. It may for you. And if it does, by all means, light it up. But, after years of wishfully denying that reality, I have realized that facing life with anxiety, by escaping with weed, won’t work for me.
There may be a time, when I’m in a different place, that I can return to those glorious green buds. Maybe if I use it in a limited fashion, I can incorporate it in my life. But for now, it’s out. Perhaps an occasional puff with friends, but having my own and using it daily is far too detrimental.
The rebound is too powerful. The other side of the relaxation of a night stoned is the next day’s anxiety, which manifests more as a panic than as a general unease. That feeling is more powerful, and I find it more detrimental to my well-being.
The upsides are numerous. While weed relaxes me, it obviously makes me cloudy. The cloud distracts the anxiety, and usually I won’t sweat at all. Interestingly, if I do sweat, the secondary anxiety about others noticing doesn’t seem to be there, apparently also because of the anxiety. As I’ve mentioned previously, this is proof, to me, that I don’t have a sweating issue, but an anxiety disorder.
With some additional anxiety, but without the cloud, I can focus on how to live a more productive life. I can put more attention into the things in my life that add meaning, like this blog. Letting go of weed is the primary reason I’m back posting here. I also don’t experience nearly the same amount of panic. Without the feeling of dependence, I’m more at ease knowing that, even if anxious, I am facing my life’s challenges.
I must admit I am using other substances to manage the anxiety, hopefully temporarily. I take a small amount of Klonopin each day to reduce the feelings of panic I often experience. I’m aware this too is a dependence, but I feel it’s necessary for the time-being. More critically, Klonopin doesn’t undermine my mental acuity and my focus on the directions in which I want to take my life, and it allows me to build confidence that I can face anxiety without blowing my mind into a cloudy confusion.
Other people with anxiety have told me they can’t handle marijuana. The high itself creates an anxiety avalanche. But I also firmly believe there are many potsmokers out there that, whether they’re aware of it or not, are self-medicating with weed. I’d caution against that tact. The initial benefits can quickly turn on you, and the problem you’ve attempted to remedy is then far worse.
Next time: Working Your Way Through It – Sweating on the Job