When a Bachelorette Party & Addiction Collide 

When a Bachelorette Party & Addiction Collide was first published in the Santa Barbara Sentinel under the pen name Elizabeth Rose.

I’m a week out from my bachelorette party, which means I’m a week away from my addiction getting the best of me. It’s not alcohol that makes me worry; it’s weed. As many of you who have followed this column know – thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, by the way! –I’ve struggled with this for a while. It turns out it ain’t over yet.

Back in 2017, I wrote a piece called “Last Dance with Mary Jane.” A farewell to arms, so to speak, of the vice that I love so much. But as recovery seems to go, it wasn’t a total goodbye. I quit on March 17, 2017, and smoked again in June of 2018. The on-again, off-again battle continued until last October when I completely lost my shit in the sense of massive anxiety and debilitating guilt after hitting a friend’s freshly packed bowl of pesticide-free Carpinteria-grown weed. (Ah, I can still smell it.) It was right before the Avocado Festival, while Jason was out commercial fishing for lobster all day. I didn’t enjoy the festival, of course. The shame of being high while Jason was working his ass off was crippling. You see, I had “quit” again the month before and told Jason that was the end for me. 

The worst part? I lied to him when he asked about it later that night. I’m sure he could tell from my glassy eyes and distant gaze that I did something. For a solid ten seconds, I held tight to the fact that I didn’t smoke but admitted the truth when I realized drugs were making me lie to my partner. The thing is, I doubt he would have been that upset if I had just admitted I smoked, to begin with. But instead, he was hurt and disappointed. Felt betrayed, understandably. Why did I lie? Probably from the shame of going back to the one thing that held me back from my best life. Perhaps because I was high.

We got into a big argument that night, where I played the role of every addict you see in the movies, trying to convince someone they will change. “Things will be different this time,” I said. “I’m doing the best I can,” and even, “You can drug test me!” It was pathetic. I realized the only way I could prove I was serious was to show it. I went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting the next day.

I know what you’re thinking. Actually, I don’t, but my guess is, Why are you still doing this to yourself? Why are you quitting because of someone else? Shouldn’t you quit for yourself? I’ve pondered over the last one a bunch because quitting for someone else is when resentment comes in. The thing is, Jason has witnessed marijuana affect my life negatively, my writing, mainly. He’s listened to me go on about my constant struggle, and he only wants the best for me, which I appreciate greatly. 

[By the way, I feel like an A-hole for being addicted to a substance that isn’t generally viewed as a threat. Alcohol addiction, people get. But weed? Nah, man. Pass it over! The paranoia is in your head. Maybe society at large doesn’t yet view weed the same as the rest. But addiction is addiction is addiction. You’re just born that way. There’s no need for shame. (Though we have it, and it sucks.)]

I went to the NA meeting on a crisp Sunday morning last fall, not entirely convinced I would stop. (The night before, I bargained with myself and Jason that my bachelorette party and Burning Man would be my “free zones.” How f’d is that?) I went to NA for the tools to help with addiction and to feel less alone with others struggling the same or worse than me. Honestly, for the past year, those tools have helped immensely.

And now, here we are. A week from my “free zone,” and I have to admit; I’m a little scared. Can I resist? Would I be able to handle it? No. That would be the answer to the last one. Even if I smoked then stopped, the craving would gnaw at me for months. Contemplating my future feels as if I’m holding a daisy in my mind, plucking the soft, white petals before tossing them into the air one at a time. I love me, I love me not. I love me, I love me not. I love me…

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  1. Girl, you are a beautiful soul! This brought me to tears because I get it, the struggle is real to leave a friend behind. Cutting things out of your life is never easy!!!! Friends that aren’t there for you, toxic family members, addictions, any movement forward on your path leading you to your personal legend is all soooooo hard! You just need to be honest with yourself and know that when you commit to your decision you are doing it from the bottom of your heart and for the very best for YOU! I feel from reading this you haven’t convinced your true self it is for you, you’re making it about Jason still and while it is partly, it isn’t really. It’s for you to be of clear mind, for you to do your best work, for your motivation, for your peace of mind that you are going to be happy in your relationship. It is for you not him. While you committed to him that you won’t smoke weed, you did it from your heart space and for your own happiness! Out of love for another person, so that you can both move forward. It doesn’t matter how anyone views your decision. If someone outside your relationship is a naysayer, fuck them, they don’t live your life! You are strong enough to have control over your own addictions because it’s your choice. While it smells good, tastes good, may make you feel good in the moment(debatable since you feel regret) it is detrimental to your true self that you take authority over it if you consider it an addiction. You are 100% capable of this!! I don’t know you, but I do know you got this lady! You’re golden! I’ve only been following you for a few months, but in that time I’ve grown to feel your energy like a friend. I have total faith in you!!! I will be praying for your perseverance to your decision, strength in times that make you feel weak, for blessings to fill the void of cutting out your vice, for full hearts and endless love to fill your relationship with kindness, and tolerance in times that you may feel defeated, or vulnerable. I will continue to pray for protection over the men working, and for us all on land to make the best decisions for the good of all. You, friend got this, and if anyone doesn’t honor your decision or tries to sway you they aren’t looking out for your highest good. Period. Sending my love and prayers

    • Celeste!
      I am just so totally moved by your comment. Thank you so much for the encouraging words that I know deep down inside but needed to see from outside of my head. It’s so hard not to beat yourself up about things so personal as addiction, but knowing that you can relate really makes the world less lonely in that respect. I’ve read your comments several times already, and I get a new takeaway with each one. Thank you for taking the time to type this out! I know your words will resonate with others as much as they have for me.
      Thank you so much again for following along (I am humbled!) and for being a part of this community. I look forward to rereading your message and the strength I’ll gain each time I do.
      With great love and prayers right back to you!
      Megan a.k.a. Elizabeth Rose