The first time I smoked pot was at a friend’s house just after my senior year of high school.
There were eight of us on the back porch, huddled in a circle among cigarette butts and empty beer cans from past late nights. I was known as the “good girl” in our group, so you can imagine my friends surprise when I said I wanted a hit.
I knew I’d experiment in college. A “smart” decision, I thought, to have my first time with people I trust rather than a bunch of frat boys who would see me as a nameless piece of meat.
I was eighteen. I had it figured out.
I told myself I could handle it.
Hits From The Bong
They passed the bong. A homemade contraption made from plumbing fixtures and a plastic salsa bottle stolen from a local Mexican restaurant.
And as I lifted the bong filled with schwag (bottom shelf weed) to my lips, I saw my friends look at one another, silently questioning if I would actually do it.
My friend, Travis, struck the lighter. As a newbie, my coordination wasn’t the best.
“Cover the air hole with your thumb and slowly suck in when the fire hovers the bowl.”
I took his lead, inhaled, and watched as the bong slowly filled with thick white smoke.
“Ok, move your thumb!”
Unblocking the air hole, I pulled the cloud of marijuana into my virgin lungs. I held it in until my throat started to burn, then coughed and gagged as my friends clapped and laughed at my first attempt.
I didn’t get high, of course. Pretty standard for a first timer.
So, the next weekend I tried again.
This time, behind a dumpster at an apartment complex of my other friend’s home – because if you’re gonna do drugs, you gotta start by doing them right.
Smoke Weed Every Day
Before I knew it, I became a career smoker.
I used weed as a means to entertain myself. As if day-to-day life was too easy or boring, it was a way to add challenge and a little edge.
It became a barrier between myself and others. I floated through life in a delusional world.
Any activity – going to the grocery store, gardening, cleaning the house – was an excuse to get high.
Then, the worst part, I’d attach to negative thoughts and feelings that I otherwise wouldn’t think twice.
Doubting my self-worth and my relationships, I’d have so much anxiety that my heart would beat irregularly at times. I even went to a doctor to figure out why.
Me: “I get these weird murmurs in my heart occasionally. It really freaks me out.”
Doctor: “Well, sometimes freaking out is the cause of irregular heartbeats.”
That’s when it hit me.
Paranoia and doubt had become such a part of my life that I didn’t know how to exist without it.
It turns out, paranoia will actually destroy ya. It most definitely destroyed me.
Dear Weed, I Miss You
But the strange part is, I miss it.
I miss the ritual of finding weed and buying it.
Opening the bag and smelling the green goodness.
Inspecting each bud then stuffing a glass bowl.
Searching for a lighter (Where the F is the lighter?! ) and the relief that came when I found it.
Lighting the bud and inhaling the smoke.
The burning sensation of holding it in.
The pressure in my head that meant I would be high soon.
The moment of happiness before anxiety set in.
The crippling bliss that eventually became my identity.
My name is Elizabeth Rose and I’m an addict.
I cringe to think that for half my life I existed as a stone cold stoner, but after seventeen years in this abusive relationship, I finally called it quits.
We all struggle in life, some more than others, and I’m not saying my struggle is over or that it’s my only one.
If you said to me years ago that I would live in a state where weed is legal, and I wouldn’t smoke, I would have spilled bong water while laughing in your face.
It’s been about a month since I’ve smoked weed and I still think about it every day.
But knowing I’ve gotten this far in life with it, I’m hopeful to think how far I will go without it.
UPDATE: As of May 2019, my struggle is not over.
Do you smoke weed? If so, what’s does your relationship with it look like? Please enter in the comments below!