Marijuana – not as harmful as alcohol?

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Marijuana – not as harmful as alcohol?

When I was young, alcohol was my go-to drug of choice, along with food, and as alcohol and food often go hand in hand, I thought I was pretty happy.

But as I started to observe how alcohol affected me – not liking the person I became when I drank, or how it made me feel the following day, my body feeling hung-over if I drank one glass of wine or a whole bottle – I started to seek a new drug, and of course I did not have to look far. Marijuana was readily available, cheap and did not impact on my behaviour in the same way alcohol did, or so I thought at the time.

I was of course very particular about what I smoked; I would not smoke ‘hydroponic’, only ‘bush weed’ as I did not like how the hydroponically grown marijuana affected me – it was too strong and being someone who liked to remain in control, hydroponic marijuana was intense and bordered at times on being hallucinogenic.

I found smoking marijuana relaxed me, it allowed me to still function, it took away the anxiousness that I often lived in and allow me to still feel in control, safe you could say, such that I would not at any time become unpredictable or out of control like I could have when drinking alcohol.

Marijuana became my new go-to drug

Marijuana became my new go-to drug, something I used to take the edge off life, to dull my senses just enough that I could cope with whatever was being thrown at me – my newfound friend that at the time I thought was supporting me better than the alcohol did. It was still socially accepted but for me, without the side-effects alcohol brought with it. And what I loved the most was I did not get hangovers… I could still go out for an evening, socialise with friends and then drive myself home, remembering the entire evening without waking up feeling like I had been hit by a bus.

At the time smoking marijuana felt safe, ok, that it was not affecting me, and it was helping with my body aches and pains that I was getting from long hours on my feet in the hairdressing industry. It was not until I stopped smoking it that I could truly see the impact it had on me, how my anxiousness actually increased, and I was constantly thinking about when to buy my next ounce.

At first I smoked every now and then, on weekends and special occasions, then it became something that filled the gap, whenever I was bored, felt like a drink, or had friends pop in.

It slowly crept up on me from a social, occasional thing to a regular event, every night, in the mornings on my days off, at lunchtimes, no excuse was needed, and I was always able to access it.

Giving up alcohol and substituting it with marijuana was what I thought at the time a ‘better’ option, one that would allow me to cope with my issues and become more relaxed and mellow.

And yes at times I was more relaxed and mellow, but really all it was doing was removing me from the reality of life, existing rather than living, avoiding my problems and only dealing with things on a superficial level, just enough to keep everything at bay but never really completing anything in full.

Life no longer mattered

Life no longer mattered, my commitment had changed; I still worked, ran my own business, was driven and hard working, but I grew more and more inclined to let things go, to put things off and not want to deal with them, instead dealing only with what was important and leaving everything else until it was a ‘must do’.

I started to become irrational at times and frustrated with life, my anxiety had increased as had my bodily aches and pains – the marijuana was having many side-effects I did not even register until I stopped smoking, and I am now able to look back and see how different I am today in regards to how I was then.

Seeking distractions from life, from what I am feeling and observing around me, has been a pattern of mine, and there have been many vices over my time, most of which have had obvious side-effects that in the end push you to stop, reduce or make changes. For me with marijuana, the side-effects were not at the time obvious or impactful… it all seemed harmless, gauged by the fact I was still in control, I didn’t think I needed it, I was still functioning, working, maintaining my home and work life within the bounds of what was deemed successful and productive. Whilst smoking marijuana I was functioning, just.

The side-effects of smoking marijuana

It was in fact more insidious than I realised; smoking marijuana altered my state of being, my perception of life and what was ‘normal’ became blurred; I was no longer as vital as I used to be. And yes, there were hangovers – I was left feeling foggy, dazed and drained each morning after smoking marijuana.

But it was not until I began to cut back on smoking that I was able to feel the impact it was having on me.

It was a conscious choice I would make occasionally, to have a break, or at least cut back, and each time I would stop smoking for a little longer until eventually I stopped altogether.

Many of the side-effects such as the anxiety, lack of attention to detail, lack of appetite, inconsistent sleep patterns and moodiness, were not fully felt or seen until it had completely left my system, which took a good few months.

Whilst I was smoking, the effects did not stand out; they appeared to be a ‘normal’ part of life.

It was not until I stopped smoking and began to observe changes in how I lived, that I noticed the quality I was living, eating, sleeping, working and relating to people had changed.

With marijuana everything was in delay, on the backburner, and put off; life was a big haze.

How did I stop smoking marijuana?

I was having regular healing sessions with Serge Benhayon at the time and attending Universal Medicine presentations, and continue to do so now.

These sessions were an incredible support and a real turning point for me; without them I would not have been able to build a marker of truth in my body that allowed me to feel the difference between how I felt with marijuana in my system and how I felt when that energy was cleared from my body, or the damage I was doing to myself through the choice of smoking.

With regular sessions with Serge Benhayon, I was able to feel my body, how it was after a session and without marijuana.

There was a stillness I could feel, an acceptance of who I was. I was now able to cope with and deal with life, not wanting to hide or retreat from what was presented. I could see and feel the simplicity rather than seeing life as complicating and challenging.

Looking back now, I can see I was addicted, and at no time leading up to attending Universal Medicine did I ever think I had an addiction, I always thought I had a hold on it, I wasn’t that bad, I was still working, functioning, looked good, had my own business, lots of friends and acquaintances, I could give up whenever I wanted to. Well, then if that was the case, why didn’t I?

The sessions supported me to be able to feel the impact marijuana was having on my body. I was able to feel how I was in my body after a session – vital, alive, a clear mind and able to bring a focus to my day I had not had or felt for a very long time, and then there was how I was after I smoked marijuana – heavy, drained, thousands of thoughts flooding my mind, and feeling like I was constantly chasing my tail to get things done.

Smoking marijuana becomes a culture no different to that of drinking alcohol – you attract different friends to enjoin your habit, your circle of friends now all smoke instead of drinking alcohol. So when you decide to stop, not only do you have to give up the drug, but your whole social life tends to change, which was one of the hardest things for me to deal with.

Life free from marijuana

My life now, over 15 years on from smoking marijuana, is very different; I have a new level of vitality I did not have before, I am no longer anxious, in the overwhelm or avoidance of life.

When I wake in the mornings my head is clear, I am able to truly connect with others without needing a drug to make me feel confident and comfortable being around them… I am no longer just getting by.

There is a joy I now live that I never had when I smoked marijuana; yes, life can be challenging, but living in avoidance of ourselves, life and everything that goes on around and within us can never be dulled, no matter how hard you try; it is always there, no drug, alcohol, distraction or amount of food can stop it; it may dull it for a while but it will always be there.

I have learnt with much support how to just be with and love myself: I have not yet mastered it, but am more open to and willing to go there than ever before.

Seeing and feeling the difference in me from before and after I drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, having a marker of truth in my body, knowing the level of vitality, openness and awareness I have today, far outweighs the effects of any drug I could ever choose from this point on.

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HealingUniversal MedicineAnxietyAlcoholDRUGS

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    Photography: Clayton Lloyd

  • Thumb small clayton lioyd

    Photography: Clayton Lloyd