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Taking a T-Break
Here at Friendly Aussie Buds, we love our weed. I mean, duh.
Recently, however, some of the writers have found that our *very* regular habit of smoking dope has produced increasingly diminishing returns, even as the yield we ingest grows. The pleasant and intoxicating high we sourced so much enjoyment from in the past has managed to lose some of its psychedelic charm, now that we have become so used to it. In fact, most of us at F.A.B have been using cannabis on a daily basis to regulate our moods and lives, without the respite of many T-breaks.
It’s common stoner knowledge that one’s tolerance tends to accumulate pretty quickly… and so too does the laundry list of stuff you’re putting off, in order to get stoned.
After years of smoking bud on the regular, Mitch agreed to be our test dummy. He spent some time away from the substance this month, just to see what happens. I’m speaking in the third person, here…
And of course, February is the shortest month of the year – so as a sacrifice, it really only made sense. The following article is the sum of my experiences, presented for your entertainment.
Sober Life: A Trip Report
To tell you the truth, I had already waned off the ganja significantly during January, over the course of a couple of weeks. As such, taking on this challenge wasn’t as difficult of a task as it potentially could have been. If anything, the break served as a scoop of extra encouragement to get some writing done, get my life in order, and redefine my broader relationship with dope… as well as some other habits of mine.
I didn’t really wish to sever my ties with the drug completely. However, I knew that things needed to change. The way my life was headed, I didn’t have unlimited time to smoke gratuitous amounts of weed in my room, as well as achieve everything I wanted to achieve.
So, I made my decision. I had a final puff of inspiration with my good friend Sam on the 31st of January. Stoned as fuck, we made sweet electronic music into the night. Then, I bade my farewell to cannabis, as I committed to spending the whole of February completely sober.
It was scary, at first. The first few days were the hardest, without doubt. There were multiple times at which I had reflexively reached for my bong. Luckily, I managed to stop myself at the last moment – but only just.
The withdrawal symptoms were quite harsh and destabilising. They ranged from slight feelings of restlessness, to tantrums and breakdowns, complete with crying and yelling. As soon as I became sober, a barrage of emotions and invasive thoughts came my way, all demanding to be felt and processed. I was in a shambles for about a week.
Now, call me crazy… but it seems like I was using weed on a daily basis to mute my emotional pain, rather than actually dealing with it. My compulsion was fuelled by backed up trauma, which had its source in my past – particularly my childhood.
No wonder I wanted to be numb. With cannabis in my back pocket, I could always go on a cheap vacation. I didn’t have to deal with the harsh realities until they dawned upon me in more serious ways. With a bit of ganja, however, that realisation could always be kicked down the road a bit.
I cannot deny that cannabis functions as a medicinal herb, for some… but other than some psychological pain I was experiencing, I didn’t have any debilitating health condition which really required it – and I still don’t. Mostly, I just like smoking weed for recreational purposes. It can really hit the spot when I’m hanging out with friends. Occasionally, I even mix my weed with tobacco. (Heresy, I know! But here are some alternatives I’ve been looking into…)
It was becoming quite clear through these feelings of emotional backlash that the relationship I forged with the miracle plant was actually quite unhealthy – even abusive. Luckily, my friends and family were right beside me. They patiently helped me through this process, even with some of them being devout stoners themselves. As the month progressed, and as my mind left its scattered haze, I was able to find my bearings.
I moved into a new place around the beginning of the month. The people I now live with aren’t stoners, at all. Whilst the rent was unbelievably cheap, and the company quite decent, they weren’t really cool with me smoking on their site.
I respected this – in part because you don’t find many other places charging $65 a week. Luckily, I had already slowed down from my daily habit to a complete halt – so this wasn’t a problem. Besides, it was in the centre of an industrial area, sitting beside a drainage canal; so, if in future I felt like it, I could still go out to smoke an occasional joint beside the ‘creek’.
There were other benefits. I wasn’t spending so much money on bud. As a result, I had over $100 more than usual to play with every week. I instead spent a lot of it on concert tickets and food; which is pretty funny, if you ask me. I also seemed to possess more focus in my day to day. I was getting more done, and was able to give myself more to other people, as well as the stuff I really cared about.
In truth, I found the month to be very challenging, at certain points. There were moments at which my ego would get pissed off that it wasn’t getting hits of instant pleasure all of the time. This anger would express itself in various other aspects of my life. I felt like I had simply disintegrated, for a while. Everything just felt meaningless and kind of bullshit… which is unusual, for me. I lost myself in the torrent of everyday life, with seemingly everything ‘getting to me’. After a while of this, I was compelled to transmute the frustration into healthier expressions; such as regularly working out, doing breathing exercises, writing, and creating different forms of art.
Additionally, because I’ve surrounded myself with people who are deeply ‘into’ this stuff, there were at least a few times where there was an abundance of weed, and I had to say ‘no’. This isn’t something I am used to doing; however, it was nice to practice it for future reference, like if I ever feel like it isn’t really serving me in the moment.
Weed is also a notoriously great way of falling asleep. I thought I had defeated my insomnia when I was smoking cannabis on a regular basis… but as soon as I stopped, I was sleeping a lot less heavily. I would often stay up into the later hours of night, or wake up very early in the morning. On the upside, I was now dreaming with much more vivid detail. I had some phenomenal astral experiences over the past month, with a lot of which proving to be very inspiring in my waking life. Finally, after a month of this, I feel like I am beginning to learn how to get to sleep without the aid of an external source.
The Final Verdict
In general, it’s been quite empowering to know that I don’t need this plant to go about my life. I feel more confident and upright as a person. In spite of the many obstacles I’ve faced over the course of this month, I’m ready to take on what’s next.
I feel like I’ve generally developed a much better relationship with the drug already – seeing as I don’t feel like I *need* the stuff anymore. I’ll be able to test myself as I slowly reintroduce it into my life in healthier ways.
If you’re a stoner and are experiencing feelings of dissatisfaction or emotional ‘numbness’, and are struggling to get your life in order, I would highly recommend taking a break from all of this stuff and seeing how you feel. A healthy bit of perspective can be a very sobering experience – if a little bit painful.
Besides, you can always return with a reset tolerance. Speaking of…
First Sesh Back
28th of February – the last day of the month. After a long and tiresome break, I definitely feel like my time away from the plant is a cause for celebration. So, I got together with Joe Lagrasso and had a few fat beaugs.
Let’s just say, I haven’t been that stoned in… a while. It was really pleasurable, and I can see how using cannabis occasionally can actually contribute greatly to its enjoyment factor. I’m looking forward to it becoming more of a sacred ritual, rather than a day to day supplement.
Anyhow, that’s all for this report – thanks for reading!