Like after every long break I take from writing here, I feel I owe an explanation. For one, I owe it to myself for the purpose of centering and getting myself focused; then, for my readers — because I know there are a few faithfuls out there. (Hi, Dad!)
Looking back at where I left off … OMG IT’S BEEN SIX MONTHS?! Where did that time go? The best answer to that question goes like this:
Imagine you have an egg. Now, think about that egg and what it’s made of- the shell, the inside… yeah. Okay. You also have a hammer. Take the hammer and smash the egg with as much force and aim as you can muster…. what happens? EGG GOES EVERYWHERE. Shell bits and goo fly in every direction. That’s where the past six months have gone. All. Over. The. Place. It’s messy and disgusting and just everywhere… but hey- It was just a metaphorical egg and I was able to clean up the mess.
I’ll spare you a recollection of every nitty gritty detail but basically, my life looks NOTHING like it did this time back in August when I last wrote. At that time I was trying REALLY hard – like spinning my wheels hard – to SUCCEED. (RAAWWRR!) I was in an okay place… okay as in mediocre, okay as in I was finally getting healthy after that prolonged illness but still having issues, okay as in I had setup a pretty cool avatar for myself after abandoning social media for almost two years, and okay as in I KNEW deep down inside EXACTLY what was wrong with my situation.
When I said that my life looks NOTHING like it did six months ago- I was serious… I’m living in a state I had never been to, I’m surrounded daily by people I didn’t know existed, I’m participating in completely new groups online, my income is 100% self-generated, my diet contains foods I hadn’t been able to consume for years, my body feels like amazing, and well, the list goes on. As the list goes on I get to the most difficult thing I have never talked or written about publicly.
*(Side Note- At this point in writing this entry, I got up and stalled for a good 30 minutes. Deep breath, hard swallow. Here. We. Go.)*
This is where my entry actually begins… with this pile of word vomit which has been churning in my literary stomach for a long time: from December 2011- January 2015 I consumed a lot of pot. Yup. At first it was just here and there on occasion, then I got more comfortable with it, it became readily available and it took over- sending my left brain and all of its grand ability to create structure on a lengthy leave of absence. There were a few periods where I managed to take breaks for days or weeks at a time… but for a pretty huge portion of that time- I was getting high daily. (Sorry, Dad.) While this is becoming more and more widely accepted and common talk for Americans, I hid this from my family. Until now, the only person in my family who I know for sure knows this about me is my closest-in-age brother- though I didn’t tell him until after I quit.
Beyond this being one of those “I need to get this off my chest” things, I actually have a much more important reason for writing about this and exposing this part of my past. I’ve been tossing this topic around in my head for a while because with everything I’ve put myself through (for the better) over the past several months- THIS, this one was the most important. It’s important because I’ve finally put it in my past. Long ago, I recognized pot as my issue- that it was the mud my wheels got stuck in. I had become a headstrong young woman in my teens and continued to grow into a force to be reckoned with- constantly barreling forward, pushing my limits, achieving milestones, and shattering personal records were my favorite pastimes. The act of swearing I’d never take a chance on giving pot a try (after seeing both of my older brothers get in trouble with it) – or smoking anything, ever, for that matter – was limiting to me. The force with which I once opposed pot was immature and closed-minded, so I eased up and eventually gave it a try. I admit that I have no regrets in partaking of the experience- just perhaps the duration was a tad drastic… but I survived, I have untangled the mess it made of my life, and I’m in the best place I have ever been.
Attempts to construct concise thoughts and expressions on this topic since the day I finally shoved it out of my life have been futile. It’s all been arranged neatly and completely sensibly in my mind but to translate my brain waves into plain english had been lost on me… until the other night. That’s when the single most enriching human I’ve ever met read to me a chapter from Ram Dass’ book Grist for the Mill entitled “Rules of the Game.” The game in which Dass refers is THE journey out of time and space and toward God. That’s what we’re all moving toward- in our unique karmic ways, at different stages, and at our own pace. As aforementioned, I had once been marvelously in tune with myself and chugging along at a brisk pace – until I got hung up on a lesson – I knew I was stuck and I knew what was sticky. My experiences with and around pot may have helped me to add to and even clarify my vision for the unfolding here on earth but I could not for the life of me manage to get myself moving closer to it. Here is the passage that sums up this life lesson and the reason I moved on:
“This game is much more subtle; we have to listen to hear what our trip through is, moment by moment, choice by choice. Is this one getting me closer or isn’t it? And then we’ll learn how truth gets us closer, how straightness gets us closer. We’ll learn how simplicity of mind gets us closer. We’ll learn how an open heart gets us closer. Certain acts – for example, like smoking pot – may show us the place, but over time they don’t necessarily keep getting us closer. When we’re finally really honest with ourselves about it, we recognize that it showed us a possibility, but it doesn’t allow us to become the possibility. In fact we get to recognize that happiness doesn’t necessarily awaken us faster than sadness or unhappiness or pain or suffering . . . quite the reverse it turns out. Pain and suffering awaken us more , because the only reason we experience pain or suffering is because we are clinging to something or other.”
Everything is a lesson to me, I’ve been learning from every single doggone thing in life for many years. As anyone who knows me or has read this blog probably knows the darkness I went through with my health and spirit. I was so close to understanding so many things just before and as my health spiraled downward, but it was being in the pit of darkness I needed to be able to come to see the light anew. Constantly seeking a broader truth, opening my heart wider, and clearing the noise from my mind – these are all things that have stayed at the forefront of my attention and intentions for several years. I reached a huge expansion in the months following emergency surgery. It was also during this time that I really began to see that what I was holding onto with pot was not my truth. I was under this illusory belief that I needed it for the medicinal benefit, though, it had none for me. Being one to self-experiment, time after time I would feel the ill-effects cannabis had on me in its many forms… but I kept on thinking about all of the information out there and all of the inspiring stories about it changing people’s lives for the better. There was something wrong with me- as I tried to feel like I did before I got sick in 2012 and wasn’t healed by the surgery, I kept searching everywhere- mostly outside of myself. The people I was surrounded by daily told me this was the solution and any argument or doubt from me brought the suggestion of a new delivery method. What was my magic bullet? Was it vapor? Was it a tincture? Was it Indica? Was is Sativa? Was it edibles? What?
None. It wasn’t any of them. I was my magic bullet. It was my ability to squash out the belief that this substance – which had just a hand full of times made me feel so incredible that it brought my mind into a new space – belonged in my life on a regular basis to make me healthy and enlightened.
Seeking escape, I talked about it and attempted it on and off for over a year. It was in my environment, the influence was almost inescapable with where I was and who I was with. There was a lot more I was denying with this situation and as I began to rule with an iron fist my decisiveness on the matter, my wheels caught onto solid ground and I began to move forward. The universe began opening doors, spilling beautiful bright light into my world. It didn’t take long for me to feel forlorn in my environment and in my social circle with my reclaimed sober lifestyle. In my previous attempts over the year to escape, I encouraged and even begged change from my surroundings but the will of it to change was absent.
There’s this quote – Rumi, “What you’re seeking is seeking you,” and as it turned out there were all of these escape routes right there for me, I just hadn’t seen them – as soon as I was decisive and committed enough they were revealed to me. Ultimately, the escape was a breeze and everything that has happened since then has been step-by-step forward motion…