a confession, of sorts

It recently occurred to me that this blog is called Confessions of a Neurotic Stoner, which may imply that a neurotic stoner would, occasionally, make a confession or two.

This has not happened as of yet.

This will be my attempt at making some kind of “confession.” It may not be shocking or revelatory, but just a sneak peak in to the mind of this, somewhat recovering, neurotic stoner.

I am 25 years old and have smoked pot consistently for the past seven years. Well, first….

Before I went to college at SFSU in 2000, I lived in Tuolumne, CA with my Mom and her partner, Benitta. Benitta is a huge pot smoker. She could, and this still remains true, smoke about seven joints a day. These J’s are roughly the size of a Camel Wide cigarette. I mean real fatties. They put me out even now.

Our relationship was rocky in the beginning. She came into my life at the end of a very tumultuous time in my family’s history. She and my Mom met, fell in love and she soon moved in. This on the heals of a very bad relationship my Mom had ended, what seems like just months before. In retrospect it may have been closer to a year, but either way my sister, Carla, and me were tired and weary. As far as we were concerned, Benitta was not welcome.

But time went by and we got our aggressions out and over the years we learned to get along and soon enough love was between all of us and life actually became harmonious. (Well, as much harmony that could exist with two teens in the house.)

Anyways Benitta smoked a shit load back in the day, as she does today, and I hated it. I thought it was gross and it stank up the house and I can still remember me swearing I would never smoke pot. Like, ever.

That didn’t really last long.

The first time Benitta got me high was during one of the epic Christmas parties my Mom used to throw for the hospital she worked for. She was head emergence room nurse of the county general hospital and every year she would throw a massive Christmas party, which everyone would attend. The house was filled with tons of hospital staff, most of whom my sister and I knew from visiting my Mom in the ER (and they loved us). There were also a grip of cops and firefighters and EMTs. You name ‘em, they were there, drinking, smoking and eating pot cookies Benitta would make just for the occasion.

Tuolumne is a small county and everyone knew my Mom. If they neighbors called the police and complained about the noise being too loud, the officer taking the calls would call our house and ask for my Mom by name, saying “Damn, Mary, sounds like a great party. Wish I could be there. Oh and by the way, your neighbors called again.” They never sent any cops to check us out, because all the cops were already at the house partying. (I get my social and networking skills from my Mom.)

Where was I now…?

Oh, yeah. So, at some point at one of these parties, I was probably in ninth or tenth grade, I think, Benitta takes me away from the crowd to the back of the house. We had a beautiful wrap-around porch, which was blocked off at half the length of the house. Benitta and I went to the backside of the house out the door of the master bedroom she shared with Mary.

I have no recollection of what we were talking about, but she must have taken me out there just to get me stoned. She had a fatty that was a quarter burned and a minute into our private convo she held up the joint, with raised eyebrows and asked if I wanted to smoke some. This being one of our first bonding moments, I felt it would be rude to say no.

Shut the fuck up, I wanted to try smoking some weed.

And oh I did. I remember hitting it and 11 seconds later that THC hitting my brain. I could feel it right away. In terms of smoking dank, there is nothing like the first time.
No matter if you stop smoking for 10 years, when you go back to it, you still won’t get as good of a high as the very first time.

I remember trying to listen to Benitta rant on about whatever. And girl, Benitta can talk…and talk and talk. (Don’t ever try to watch a friggin’ movie with her, its pointless.) And in my vein attempts to concentrate on the words spewing out of her mouth I couldn’t help but notice the painful grin that had set up shop on my face. I could not stop smiling big. I couldn’t help it. Like a woody in the morning, it just would not subside.

Then I noticed my arms. My arms felt as though they were moving all over the place, very slowly and deliberately. Yet they were just there, as they always had been, motionless at my side. Next, of course, the giggles came over me and I broke. I just started laughing my ass off. By this time Benitta couldn’t help but stop talking and smile.

“Yeah, you’re stoned,” she laughed. With that she put her arm around my shoulders and we staggered back to the party.

Like I said, there’s nothing like the first time.

Surprisingly, I did not start smoking pot on a regular basis after that night. I’d say I probably smoked just a handful of times during the next couple of years before I went to SFSU. Though, I did have sort of an outer-body experience when I ate a bunch of pot cookies at another of those parties, got the munchies and then ate many more. It wasn’t pretty.

I never really partied much in high school, so when I got to college, I just went off. I don’t think I had more than a handful or so of sober days that first year. Smoking pot was one of the biggest things to do in my dormitory. I lived right next door to a dealer and my best friend had a van that we could use to escape and go on adventures, bowl and baggie in hand. Those were some of the greatest times of my life.

Pot became very much a part of my culture. I lived with friends for the next couple years and we waked and baked, baked and ate and smoked and toked until we would pass out wherever we may be. I got into a relationship that lasted somewhat over a year and a lot of our free time was devoted to smoking weed. As I look back, a lot of my relationships were based on smoking pot. And it was fun, for a really long time. It was great.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started to notice a difference in the enjoyment level of smoking grass. (I love when people call it grass. So retro.) It was a couple of years ago when I began to notice my increased paranoia and, more so, anxiety levels when I smoked.

One of my favorite things to do was to come home after work, get comfortable on my chase lounge, watch TV and smoke bowls, alone or with my roommate. But then the anxiety started to creep in. I would find myself wondering around in my thoughts, thinking about shit I had to do and everything I wasn’t doing. I would be in a great mood before I hit the pipe, but when I did I would become unnerved.

This definitely increased when I graduated from college. When I was stoned I would really dwell on the fact that I had a degree, but I was still serving tables and I wasn’t doing much writing because when I was high I wouldn’t want to write, I wanted to watch TV and lay around and do nothing.

I began to research some of the long-term affects that smoking could have on a person, a lot them I knew, but I just wanted to read them in hopes that that would make me finally stop. They were the basics: pot, if you smoke all the time, makes you lazy, you loose your ambition, you become paranoid and you become much more susceptible to depression. The latter made me nervous, because I could see myself going down that road. Worst of all for me, I began to doubt myself greatly. I lost nerve and confidence. Nobody should let that happen to them.

These rules definitely do not apply to everyone, I must say. Benitta can smoke three joints and stack three cords of wood. I have a friend that smokes all the time and she just became a teacher. She is the most organized person I know and she accomplishes a lot every single day.

This is just what happened for me.

And, I know, its like, “Jeez, dude, why didn’t you just stop?”

I’m a very all or nothing person. I have an addictive personality. I can’t have a bag of weed and not smoke it everyday until it’s gone. I’m like that with everything. When I wouldn’t buy a bag, I would be good for a few days then a friend would smoke me out and I’d be like, “You know what, can I get some from you next time you purchase?” I have stopped in the past. The longest stint of sobriety was three months last year when I began training for the 2006 San Francisco Marathon. I did end up running that entire marathon and not smoking definitely helped me physically as well as mentally.

But this time its for real.

Like I said before I’m 25 years old and have been a stoner for seven years. But on September 17, 2007, just three weeks ago, I finally stopped. I put all my paraphernalia away in a box, I don’t smoke with my roommate or friends and I just resist the urge every time I get one, which is often.

But since then I’ve really began to have a positive outlook on life again. That week that I quit, everything seemed to click into place: I got a job interview at an advertising agency, I signed up for a six-week improvisational acting workshop, and I scheduled a colonic. All of these things I have wanted to do, but every time I would think of them while I was stoned, I would doubt myself and just kind of push them by the wayside.

I didn’t get the ad job, the improv class starts next weekend and the colonic, well, I had that yesterday, and I’ll be telling that story real soon. Since not smoking, I’ve also been hitting the gym a lot more, I have had so much more energy during the day, I feel awake and refreshed in the morning as opposed to groggy and I have been writing a lot more and just getting shit done in general.

I’m still neurotic, but I feel good.

So, there you go. That’s a little insight into me. This is what I started this blog for in the first place, so I hope you enjoyed it. As for the pot, I can’t say I’ll never smoke again, but definitely not any time soon.

Peace out, bitches.

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October 5, 2007. Life, Me Me Me!, Thoughts.

One Comment

  1. kydney replied:

    aww jaime! i’m so proud of u…not to say pot is bad…but that you came to wanting better things for your future. did i tell u i’m gonna try to volunteer for one of the AIDS organizations? it’s not the marathon one doe…i’m doing a food bank one cuz i don’t wanna exercise .. hahhaa. this entry is motivating me to hit the scholarship papers. i’ve been getting ready for halloween so i’ve been putting it off. but now i’m gonna start for sure. u’ll be reading them soon.


    Kyd

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