Life without drugs… I haven’t missed things like pills or psychedelics because I took them so rarely.
Coca is a different in that I took a fair amount, although I never felt I *had* to. Annoyingly I have to report that I am better off without it, at least as far as health and wealth go. Basically I deliberately gave myself jetlag every other week, and although it’s not a controlled experiment (I’ve changed a lot of other variables) I think I’m benefiting from more regular sleep.
I have had two occasions in the past four months when I’ve really fancied a line. The lingering sense of loss though is for the social behaviour it accompanies – not feeling high, but feeling like I can sit with my friends and talk for hours. Of course, talking until 6am usually goes hand in hand with drinking until 6am, which is another way my health has improved.
The big kicker though, the drug I’d convinced myself I needed, was weed. Marijuana is not physically addictive (no tolerance or withdrawal symptoms), but that doesn’t matter if your brain has done the addictive work for you.
I never smoked a lot in terms of volume, but I was stoned almost every day for eight years. The minute I sat down on my sofa I’d be thinking about a joint, although the habit wasn’t pinned to any other situation. If I wasn’t at home skinning up wouldn’t occur to me, which drove me insane because it proved that my mind was getting the better of… my mind.
But I sleep badly and being stoned treats that well. If I was at home and I didn’t smoke, I didn’t sleep. As such, I was pretty concerned about going cold turkey in S’pore, despite feeling like I would be getting one over on a situation that had got the better of me.
The first few weeks were awful. Not so much craving weed as the struggle to sleep. The jetlag wore of quickly but I was left in bed staring at the ceiling for hours. It felt like I’d forgotten how to fall asleep. There used to be a purple haze that peeled me away from my body and floated me into space. Instead there was just me, listening to the night, aware of my skin and limbs, not believing there was any comfortable position to lie-in.
I was convinced that this was what life without weed was like. Then, wonder of wonders, I started sleeping. And sleeping *better* than I have in years. Again, no control given that I’ve changed pretty much everything in my life, but I’m genuinely surprised to find that I might not have been reliant on weed even in the small way that was plausible.
There are other benefits to my life of abstinence – floating away in a purple haze each night isn’t conducive to wild sex. Plus I get more done before bed than I used to. There are also things where I seem to have confirmed the myths – my memory is no different; I don’t find it easier to get up for work or to concentrate.
I definitely miss it, but not as much as I expected. When things went tits-up at work I could’ve really done with a joint – it is comforting and reassuring and enjoyable in a way that’s better than anything else I’ve tried, but I like being free from the feeling that I *have* to smoke.
I have no doubt that I will seek out weed as soon as I get the opportunity, but it would be really nice if I could have it back on my terms, not on those of… oh yeah, my mind.