For as long as I can remember I have suffered from social anxiety. Which is weird for me to admit because despite my issues I have generally excelled in this area. I would consider myself a people person. I like to talk to people. Until that is, I don't.
There are times when I imagine pulling all of my hair straight up and out of my head, climbing out of my skin. When the anticipation of an event or an interaction wreaks undue havoc on my nervous system.
I realized at an early age that it's the moments leading up to these events and interactions I couldn't stand. The anticipation. The idea that anything could happen and would go wrong, The chain of events that could potentially be set in motion often left me feeling alone and alienated from others. I was visualizing a worse case scenario for life as it came at me. It was no way to live.
Now, I'm not saying that there's some magic wonder drug that helped me to conquer these moments. But....... there IS some magic wonder drug that helped me to conquer these moments.
It's not as if I'm breaking new ground preaching the benefits of cannabis. Rather I am trying to help break the negative stigma that has surrounded this plant and it's use the last hundred years. It wasn't always this way. Hell, immediately before becoming President of the United States of America, George Washington was himself a cannabis farmer.
Reality is wild sometimes. Life can become incredibly overwhelming.
Early on I would throw copious amounts of alcohol at my social anxieties and anxiety in general. I drank my worries away until I could neither drink nor worry any longer. The only downfall was that after some time, my liver had packed up and quit on me. My life as I knew it was destroyed. The sad thing is some of the issues I had been dealing with prior to my alcohol abuse would go unchecked and unattended to for years while I "figured it out". My issues compounding. Anxiety always pecking away at my shoulder. Trying to distract me. To waste my time and energy. Trying to consume me.
I couldn't have discovered cannabis any sooner than I finally did.
Having abstained from alcohol for many years now, I feel OK telling people that that part of my life is behind me. I don't even think about touching the stuff. Haven't in quite a while now. Feels good. Real good. I credit most of my efforts to quit/abstain from alcohol to cannabis. It offered relief when there was no other way. It offered....relief is the perfect word. It offered a much safer, kinder and gentler alternative to help cope with the psychological issues I had been suffering from. One in which I was able to maintain the ability to function. One where I was coherent, witty and yes, intelligent.
Cannabis had shown me another way. Whether through the pure medicinal properties inherent in CBD or the psychoactive ones in THC. But, typically and honestly a mix of both... I found the tool(s) I had needed to help me to get back onto my feet. To live again. Literally. Before very literally drinking myself to death in my late 20's I considered myself a social butterfly. All things considered. Only, my social interactions were almost entirely fueled by alcohol. Without it I was back to square one. Sitting alone, nervously anticipating the worst.
With cannabis I found a way to side step all the unnecessary hassle. To calm my mind and thoughts. To put my nervous system at ease. With cannabis, I found the time to slow down to stop and enjoy the simple things in life. To sniff the flowers if you will. Finally, I was able to be in the moment. To live life.
It's difficult to put in words the effects I feel when ingesting cannabis.
If I am smoking there is a moment in the beginning just after the first hit has expelled itself from my lungs when everything feels lighter. My mind a big giant balloon; deflates itself entirely. The monkey falls off my back. The weight from my chest. A smile comes out of the corners of my mouth. And why wouldn't it? My neural receptors are receiving a positive boost from interacting with the fresh cannabidioil just inhaled. Cannabinoids are known to exist in the part of the brain known to control emotional behavior, mood, sleep, stress, irritability, fear and even the sensation of “craving.”
My brain is now elated. Good times.
If only for a moment the weight of the world has disappeared. There is joy and celebration everywhere. I cough. Then return to my daily routine. My mind now much more focused on the here and now is able to rest.
After all, it's now far more interested in shiny objects, music, friends and laughing.
I am able to live life.
Like I said.