I often get letters from folks sharing their experiences… I call them “Field Reports”. And these field reports offer spectacular insights and musings that answer questions that many others have on their mind. So I’m sharing one with you today.
In the past I have abused cannabis via over-consumption. I have dealt with depression for most of my life and cannabis has been of great help – until it wasn’t. Basically I was in a toxic relationship with someone else who was abusing it and we were smoking entirely too much.
Fast forward three years after leaving that relationship and I still have a fondness for cannabis but I am no longer a ‘lifestyle smoker.’ That is to say I’m not utilizing it to enhance every component of my life or to get out of bed. I’ve taken extended breaks of months at a time but I do find myself returning to cannabis eventually. I often struggle with extreme guilt over using cannabis… “Does this make me a drug addict?” etc. I realize this is a question that is highly subjective and difficult to answer.
I’m wondering how you define cannabis as a healing medicine vs cannabis as a crutch?
Full disclosure I am remarkably hard on myself and struggle with perfectionism. I haven’t been adversely affected in my work or routine and I don’t avoid situations so I can partake. I guess I really struggle to understand where the line between my perfectionist/self guilt feelings cross into legitimate cannabis problem that does deserve attention.
I really don’t want to be on anti-depressants and I do believe in the power of positiviity and gratitude but I also do seem to be someone who has a tendency to be sad. So I sort of feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. Do you have any insight you can offer? Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. I truly appreciate your caring messages on your youtube channel.
– Josh R.
Addiction is a loaded word. And this might help you understand why it’s such a tricky thing to navigate.
The most cutting-edge understanding of addiction comes from the renowned addiction expert, Dr. Gabor Maté. He’s connected the dots to show that addictions originate in trauma and emotional upheaval, often during childhood. And that addiction is always a strategy to escape from emotional pain. In fact, he reminds us that it’s a smart strategy – as it’s a way to numb the emotional pain that can make life unbearable.
Personally, for me, this was right on the mark. From college onward, I self-medicated with cannabis to alleviate the on-going anxiety, self-doubt, sadness and depression that I struggled with. When I was under the influence of cannabis I felt better (I’d suggest that this is the same thing you’re doing). But when the effects of the cannabis went away, my unruly emotions returned.