I've been smoking weed regularly since my sophomore year of college, which was about five years ago. It wasn't until my roommates and I moved out of the dorms and into our own apartment that we collectively wondered why we didn't smoke every day. Fast-forward to the present, and I've basically become the resident pothead of POPSUGAR, a title I'm not totally mad about. Before you judge me (not that I give a sh*t), you should know that modern stoners completely defy the stereotype that our parents still have in their heads. For one, I'm a millennial woman who works full-time and tries to hit the gym five times a week. The key word here is "tries," but you get the point. I'm not permanently glued to the couch at all times eating Ruffles (unless it's the weekend). Recently, I gave up marijuana for a full week, and it was awful.
Now, this wasn't the first occasion I've been away from my stash. When I'm visiting family back at home or I'm travelling, I don't even think about weed. I'm able to sleep and function just as well, and the absence of it truly goes unnoticed. And weirdly, I sometimes experience random phases when I don't really feel like smoking, which is exactly what happened most recently. Before I knew it, an entire week had passed without me puffing on a joint. However, throughout my little break, I had the worst sleep of my life and suffered from a constant state of stress and anxiety. I had never experienced what seemed close to symptoms of withdrawal before, and I realised how important cannabis has been to my self-care routine.
I realised how important cannabis has been to my self-care routine.
I'm a pretty chill person in general, and one thing about me is that I'm very good at separating my work life from my personal life. However, it didn't register that weed was what helped me shut off when I got home on particularly stressful days. Instead of enjoying a glass of wine after a long day, I typically smoke a joint while listening to music or watching my favourite show. During that week when I didn't feel like smoking, I was under significant stress and couldn't help but bring that stress home with me. As a result, I couldn't unwind before bed, and I'd lie awake going through every thought that was flooding my head. By the time morning rolled around, I was exhausted and moody from lack of sleep, and the cycle would repeat the next day and the next.
Finally, I reached a point where marijuana seemed appealing to me again, and thank God. I finally enjoyed quality sleep and woke up feeling so much more refreshed than the days before. And because I had a full night's rest, I was better equipped to handle any lingering stress without feeling overwhelmed. As I mentioned earlier, I normally sleep just fine on nights I opt out of weed. What I've learned, though, is that smoking helps quiet my thoughts on days I need ice cream and a hug. Most of the time, I use cannabis as an enhancement; not a crutch. It allows me to be more mindful, more appreciative, and present. I don't get high to escape my reality, instead, I use it help me relax and put things into perspective. After one puff, my problems don't seem so much like problems anymore. But without that little reminder that "things could always be worse," I found myself stuck in a whirlwind of "problems."
Although I don't need cannabis, it's still comforting to know that it's always there to remind me that everything will be OK.