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I Used It to Escape From Reality
Citation:   paradox. "I Used It to Escape From Reality: An Experience with Cannabis (exp69165)". Erowid.org. Dec 4, 2019. erowid.org/exp/69165

  repeated smoked Cannabis (plant material)
I was a freshman in college and drama had taken control of my social life. My dorm living situation sucked. I was forced to live with people I did not want to live with and people had already divided themselves into social groups that were hard to break into. I began looking for an escape because I did not want to confront my social problems. I had been very straight edge in high school. I started drinking when I arrived at school and I was irresponsible and inexperienced, which seemed to have both positive and negative effects on my social life. I would drink to give myself an excuse to tell off the people that were making me miserable. It was socially destructive but I felt the need to vent. It also was extremely helpful socially because when I was at parties with new people, I was a friendly amicable drunk. None of this mattered though because I was unhappy.

A few of my good friends provided what I thought was the answer. Pot. These kids were academically successful and doing very well at a major university. They were social and happy, nothing like the stereotypical picture of a drug user that had been beaten into me when I was younger. This new image of cannabis intrigued me. I always thought if I tried it, I would become addicted. People assured me this was not true. I read reports on a harm reduction website until I was sure that smoking pot would not ruin my life. I desperately wanted to feel the high. I decided to try it.

The first time I tried, it was with my one friend, who happens to be the highest functioning drug user I have ever met. He rolled an enormous joint and we snuck off to a remote corner of our campus to blaze. My virgin lungs could not handle the harsh smoke and I did not get high. I was disappointed. My mindset was totally wrong. I hadnít even felt the effects and I thought I needed the weed to be happy. In hindsight I was messed up at the time.

On the third try, I finally got high, and it was nothing like I expected. I became paranoid and disoriented, my vision choppy, and my perception warped. I didnít even notice the high. It was a scary experience, but I vowed to try again in a better environment with people I liked. I had nothing else to do because I was isolating myself socially because I thought weed was the answer. All the pot heads I knew seemed social and happy.

Soon, I was smoking pretty regularly. The paranoia was gone, replaced with knowledge that as long as I was high, I couldnít feel sad. The munchies were awesome and I was eating like a pig. Weed makes me very introspective and quiet, and very tired and unmotivated the next day. I stopped running because I was groggy and my lungs sucked. I started to gain weight.

Sophomore year I was in a much better living situation, but with that new apartment came my roommateís vaporizer. I no longer had to try to hide my habit. It lived in my room. I smoked more than ever, ate more than ever, and had zero motivation. My grades began to slip enough that my parents noticed. In high school, I had been diagnosed with ADD, and I suggested to them that I go on Adderall because I didnít want to admit I was responsible for my problems. They supported me in my decision. Part of me just wanted to try a new drug, part of me hoped I would get myself back together.

As soon as I got on Adderall, the pot smoking stopped brining me down physically and academically. With my newfound motivation and energy, I tackled my schoolwork and started working out. However, the vaporizer and abundance of weed made smoking too easy. I lost a ton of weight the second half of sophomore year and my grades shot up but I was still in a social rut. Instead of being outgoing and meeting new people, I would smoke and become introspective and quiet. It was just too easy. Also, the Adderall scared me. Feeling its power, I knew if I abused it, I would destroy my life.

My first semester of junior year I studied abroad. Except for a weekend in Amsterdam, I didnít smoke the entire time. Socially, I forced myself to face my problems and I learned a lot about myself, and how the pothead mentality was hurting me. By the time I came back, I was ready to move on.

Weed when used responsibly is not bad. What makes it bad is the mentality that forces people to seek it out. The vaporizer is still there, and sometimes when I am feeling down, its promise of temporary happiness calls to me. I ignore it though because by smoking I just end up ignoring my problems. I will let myself smoke again only when I am truly in the social and emotional place I want to be. Weed is something to share with good friends.

Exp Year: 2006ExpID: 69165
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Dec 4, 2019Views: 1,095
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Cannabis (1) : Combinations (3), Retrospective / Summary (11), Addiction & Habituation (10), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Not Applicable (38)

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