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Why I Don’t Smoke Weed on the Reg Anymore

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Aug. 20 2019, Updated 5:33 a.m. ET

I know, I know. Everyone smokes these days. And I completely get the appeal: it helps with pain, anxiety, and sometimes even creativity. Like many people, I used to smoke in college. It started as a group activity (oop, almost innocuous) — a friend’s boyfriend was a stoner and we were all in art schools. Naturally, I said yes to free drugs. Plus, I had then just got out of a toxic relationship that I didn’t yet realize was very bad for me… just anything to numb those unrequited feelings, ya know? (Hey mum, at least I wasn’t smoking crack)

But quickly enough, I realized that weed really only works on a surface level when it comes to heartache. It numbs you so the sadness isn’t so intense, but it doesn’t work in the long term. You only need to be blackout drunk once for all the emotions to come rushing back, and that’s dangerous. Lucky for me though, I latched onto another guy (lol) but guess what — he was a stoner (big LOL). Soon, smoking weed became more than a fun and adventurous thing to do when hanging out with friends. I started smoking almost everyday for more than a year. Not constantly, but enough to mess with my short-term memory, and definitely enough to turn my whole second year of uni into one big blur.

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Wow, not to mention how paranoid I could get — I didn’t realize it back than ’cause I was younger and uninformed. But now I know that THC can actually make some people more anxious, even though it’s supposed to ease it. It has  something to do with your brain chemistry. Plus, at that age, many people suffer from a major case of inferiority complexes; for me, it came in the form of social anxiety that eventually developed into paranoia about people around me and a lot of insecurities about not being good enough for anyone.

Munchies were not a problem for me though (thank God) — I only had them for the first three months. Strangely I didn’t even get much of an appetite when I was high anymore. Probably only because I was too lazy to cook or get food. And of course, too lazy to go to school, too lazy to even go out and have fun (because why go out when you could just Netflix and Chill in your pajamas?), too lazy to think about life and what I wanted for myself… It’s a numbing agent. But like everything else in life, it’s only abuse when you choose to abuse it. And I was too young and weak to know better.

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Fortunately for me (and my bank account), I stopped smoking as much in my last year in uni. I knew that I had to stop at some point, and the paranoia was getting too much — we moved into a new flat and had elderly neighbors constantly complain about the smell, then the landlord threatened to call the police on us (landlords are jerks). I stopped rolling joints unless I was smoking outside the house, and started using this “dry herb vaporizer” thing, but it made my throat felt weird so I just gave up. A nice change of scenery — I was finally socially active again, catching up with old friends, and actually passionate about creativity.

I still smoke sometimes, when it’s handed to me. (“Never say no to free things” unless you’re a child and the “free things” are candies from a creepy man in a van.) But ever since I stopped smoking regularly about two years ago, I don’t really enjoy getting high as much as I used to.  Moral of the story: anything can be bad for you if you don’t know how to control your intake.

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