Playing it safe with social marijuana use
I didn’t grow up with social marijuana use; I didn’t feel drawn to it and I didn’t really come across it until I started to go out to parties in my late teens. At age 17 I met my first bong at a backyard party.
It was dark and I was already well buzzed from a few drinks and wandered over to a group gathered around a bucket on a table; somebody asked if I wanted to try it and in my search for anything that would help ease the social insecurity I was feeling, I sucked back the smoke through a repurposed soda bottle. My world reeled, I lost all capacity and I pretty much lay wasted on a couch for hours before I could even function again.
Following the intensity of my first experience, I didn’t touch it for a while after that, but I can recall a number of other times where versions of this experience were repeated. Throughout my twenties my relationship with marijuana was a social one – I never paid money for it, I never smoked alone, I only occasionally smoked or ate a pot cookie and always because somebody shared it with me or wanted me to join them.
This calculated approach made me feel ‘good’ about it and better than people who smoked all the time. I wasn’t the one with a drug problem and I didn’t feel responsible for the consequences – after all, I didn’t buy it or grow it, right?
Making it a social thing gave me the perfect alibi that it wasn’t my problem and also that I didn’t have a problem – I was in control.
Looking back, I never once got stoned because I wanted to; I was getting stoned to:
ease my social tension
make others feel more comfortable
not feel isolated and alone
. . . all the same reasons why I later snorted the odd line of cocaine or tried ecstasy and speed. It was ‘experimental’ or ‘recreational’, but all with the undercurrent of seeking a way to be social, be something, be someone, be included.
And for many there may not be anything wrong with going along with the crowd, especially when this moderated approach seems fairly harmless, particularly when quantity is applied as a measure. I was only dipping my toe in, I wasn’t really invested, I would participate and be social, maybe suffer a hangover, husky throat or be off for a few days but I wasn’t hurting anyone, right? Taken in small doses, recreational drugs weren’t affecting my ability to turn up to work or to pay my bills and taxes.
It was also from Serge I first heard the expression:
“Everything is everything and nothing is nothing.”
It was the first time I had considered the possibility that every move, every choice I made mattered… even the smallest puff of a joint around friends. What if every action, behaviour or thought either hurt or healed? Not just affecting myself, but everyone. This was an unsettling proposal for someone who had been going along for the ride for most of her life.
Hearing Serge talk about quality prompted me to look deeper and begin to appreciate the possibility that we each have a unique quality we bring to the world just by being our natural selves – kind of like how we were as kids when hanging out with friends and playing . . . it felt simpler then. The more I started to feel that perhaps we all have this quality that is really worth something, the more I started to consider that it is worth taking care of my body and all the parts that make it the whole that it is. In valuing my body, I couldn’t ask parts such as my lungs to ‘suck it up’ anymore, even for just one night or party: taking care of my body became more important than the need to fit in, ‘relax’ or find relief in social situations.
“When you are with you,Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 577
you cannot harm your body –
It is impossible to harm something
that is with you.
Separate from your body and it is easy to bring
harm and or abuse to it.”
Over the years I have been practising connecting to what this quality of ‘being with me’ is and I feel like the more I explore it and connect with it in my day-to-day life, the more I can allow myself to be, and the more I feel like it’s worth being me.
With this focus on quality and connection I am finding the social tension just isn’t there anymore, and neither is the subsequent attraction to finding relief by going along with what others are doing.
These days I love sharing and connecting with friends with ease in all manner of social situations, and life feels simpler just allowing myself to be me.