Drug Abuse – Cannabis
Being seriously anti-alcohol until l was 18, drugs of any kind weren’t even on my radar. Drugs were for homeless degenerates right? There would never be a time in my life in which I would come into contact with them. Or so I thought.
In my first year of uni, I discovered alcohol, the effect of which I have written about in great length in part 2 of this category. Having been the embodiment of a goodie two-shoes my entire life, I suddenly discovered my rebellious side and even had a puff on a cigarette every now and then! (yes I was THAT crazy!) My boyfriend at the time enjoyed smoking shisha (flavoured tobacco) and although I tried it a couple of times, all it did was make me feel violently sick. To this day I can’t stand the smell of anything resembling shisha, even incense sticks.
A few students around campus smoked cannabis, and although I tried it once or twice, I really didn’t see the point. All it did was make me feel sleepy.
For the first two years as a student, I was just your regular binge drinking undergrad. Then, during my summer work experience in my homeland Germany, I met Lee*. He was tall, dark, handsome, moody, 6 years my senior and I was absolutely convinced there wasn’t a chance in hell he would ever take an interest in me. But he did (and more on that later in relationship category…yeh I know it’s a long time to wait, but I promise it’s worth it 😉
Lee had the kind of weed habit that wouldn’t allow him to sleep without lighting up a joint. He and his friends took cocaine and ecstasy every now and then, (more on that in part 4) but even as a young innocent girl I didn’t believe the lie that he told me; that ‘everyone has their drug’. I never touched any of it, but it was my first experience of how anyone could be exposed to class a drugs and it not be deemed a big deal.
From then on, I seemed to attract men that had some affinity with cannabis. More often than not, they looked at me as the ‘good girl’, as their saviour. That if they were with a ‘good girl’ maybe they could become good too. I wasn’t strong or confident enough to carry them through this expectation, I had my own things to deal with, and eventually the relationships would break down, until I met Michael*.
Having just come out of the worst relationship of my young life – cheated on and subsequently feeling worthless – Michael built up my confidence through love. But it soon became clear he had a serious weed habit, although at the time this was only over weekends, and soon I found myself joining him and his friends. It was ‘sociable’.
We moved in within months, but after 6 we, together with half our colleagues, lost our jobs at the firm where we had worked due to the economic crash. A weekend habit turned into a daily one, and soon I became addicted to the feeling of peace that weed brought me (although oddly this isn’t something I felt immediately, only after a few times of smoking cannabis).
Having only just left university during the economic crisis, I wasn’t able to get another job. All employers wanted was experience, of which I had none. Smoking cannabis became an escape. Like alcohol had become my way of escaping social awkwardness, cannabis made me not have to think about how I felt about myself at all, but I did not see this as an ongoing time in our life together. I wanted to start building up my life. I would often asked Michael for us to stop, but he would convince me, saying ‘just one more’. All his friends smoked too so it became impossible to avoid.
I was severely underweight at this point through anti-depressants, and I often ‘whiteyed out‘. I remember thinking about Michael, maybe unfairly, ‘if you were strong enough, you would stop for me, so I don’t faint anymore’. Of course I could have stopped, I didn’t have to smoke with him, but almost 6 years older (again), and only 22 myself, I looked to him as my protector.
After a year I’d had enough. I didn’t want this to be my life anymore. But for Michael, it wasn’t as easy as that. We stopped, we broke up. He promised to change, he got a job and I began to see the person I loved, the one cannabis had robbed me of and so we got back together. A year later we moved into a house together and adopted two cats. I thought we’d made it. I was planning my life with him. His parents were like my own and I lived in a happy bubble of family bliss. I was doing well at work, I started to find out who I was, who I wanted to be. Things were good for the first time in a long time in my life.
After 6 months, I found out Michael was smoking behind my back. I knew it, and he knew I had found out, but when I asked him outright if he had been smoking, he said no. I felt it break right then and there. The person I loved, the bubble I had been living in, hadn’t existed, I had made it all up in my head. I had been blind. Not long after that I left Michael. I could have dealt with the addiction, the depression and the lack of confidence he had, but I couldn’t live with the lying.
For months he promised to change, trying to win me back, but it was too late. We’d been down that road before. There was no going back.
To anyone who claims that cannabis is harmless, has not lived through watching someone you love be mentally destroyed by it.
My story on drugs doesn’t end here. In part 4, the final post on this topic, I take you through my experience with more serious drugs and offer my final conclusion on the category as a whole.
*Real names not used
Image courtesy of sakhorn38 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net