I suppressed most of this memory for years. The second-to-last (hopefully) time I smoked cannabis was in my bathroom, after a few intense months of overconsumption, where I had a brief experience I could not comprehend or properly explain until now. I heard five distinct conversations. No one else was there, windows closed, and I wasn’t playing music. That hallucinatory moment was like hearing the audio from some crowded café and left after that hit…
Maybe I was a lightweight.
There were major underlying psychological issues. I started smoking during a job that made me miserable. Familial stigma prevented therapy or counselling, I had no compulsory education on the real effects of cannabis consumption, and somehow this thought creeped into my mind: “Everyone else seems to have tried this. I wanna try it.”
What if I could time travel to tell that lost soul about this reality?
I see black floaters, hear things that might have just been off in the distance, and have temporary moments of mental confusion. A few hours before writing this, I experienced something that happened frequently after one session: I’ll sink into situations so deeply that I can’t comprehend a space behind my eyes and I feel physically trapped.
At least I know true autonomy, experience happiness, and the depression is gone.
It would have been nice if I could have known there were risks. Especially now in this age of decriminalization, people will carelessly smoke cannabis everywhere. I get confused, disoriented, vitriolic, and most of all hateful each time I’m minding my own business downtown before some asshole’s cannabis smoke fucks with my brain.
Here’s the thing.
I have no problem with other people responsibly consuming cannabis. It’s just when I’m forced to smell it against my will because someone is being inconsiderate, it’s like cigarette smoke, but instead of an innocent cough and or unpleasant smell, it’s mental Russian roulette. All my concentration efforts could be destroyed instantly.
I blame social stigma and educational failures.
If society didn’t villainize socially deviant behavior, and taught proper drug education with realistic examples to impressionable minds, maybe that miserable past version of me could have talked to a counsellor about those rather ordinary troubles? It’s hard to say, because then this “Zombiepaper” version of me wouldn’t exist today.
I’m mostly happy with how I am now.
That former version of myself exchanged all potential talent for a steady paycheck. At least this version of me can start applying some of those formerly squandered efforts into laying everything on the table. If I were professionally diagnosed with schizophrenia, maybe I could help normalize and destigmatize some behaviors?
If I hadn’t written any of this, no one would suspect a thing.
It took me a while to remember what I did with the unsmoked cannabis after my mind returned to the bathroom (portionally pictured above). I flushed it all away. What’s noteworthy is that even after overhearing those five conversations, I didn’t stop.
Psychosis wasn’t strong enough deterrence.