Junio 17, 2004
One Day Up One Day Down

It would be nice if my mood wasn't so weather dependent or work-related or female-enhanced, and it would be especially nice if my good moods were a little less drug induced.

Even though it seems like I have a problem with marijuana, I know this isn't really the case. I mix tobacco with my weed, and that's what I want, what I crave, what I need. But just to get that little nicotine buzz, I'm doping my brain on a regular basis, and by the time the dope wears off, which is usually pretty quick these days, I'm spaced out and brain dead and kind of irritable.

I think that I am a hedonist. I'm always looking for some kind of something to make me feel good, or even just to change how I feel. Whether it's coffee, or beer, or harder booze, or weed, or coke, or cake, or cookies, or smokes, or having sex, or jerking off, or a hot shower, or something.....anything. I mean, it used to be, back in university that I would just drink and smoke as much as I wanted to on a regular basis. An average night was probably a mickey of gin and six beers at home, then out to the bars for some drinks. In Montreal with the bars shutting down at 3 a.m. there was always plenty of time to get so shitfaced that people would find you passed out in an alleyway, or passed out in the bar, or yelling incoherently at someone. And the next day was sure to bring a healthy dose of pain and shame, prompting me to spend the entire day (so many entire days) in bed.

I didn't like pot much in first year because I got so paranoid. I had a lot of perceptual hallucinations and felt things too intensely. Also, I had a great level of anxiety about my health and would often notice that my heart was beating too fast or that my temperature was dropping, or that if I turned my head the tension in my body was sure to cause my neck to break, and generally I just thought I was going to die.

But something happened in second year. I still got scared, but I had moments of uncontrollable laughter too. And I realised that smoking in the afternoon, making a nice meal, having a few drinks, not twenty, just 6 or 8 and listening to music was really nice. But mostly it was the laughing that got me. Laughing has always been my favorite thing, so I was sure to get involved with pot eventually. It helped of course, that most of the people I got high with were jokers and had good senses of humour.

But now, I really don't laugh more when I've been smoking weed. I do feel pleasure from it. And it relaxes me, temporarily. And it involves smoking. I can't believe I don't smoke anymore. I mean, I hate smoking now. I see it more for what it is, and it is disgusting man -- mostly it just smells bad. But I miss it.

It still looks cool I think, but it reeks and you get dirty. Your clothes are dirtier, your hands, your mouth, it sucks. Also, when I was smoking I had that latent paranoia in my psyche somewhere during every fucking cigarette that was telling me that my body wasn't liking what this was doing. When I was younger I didn't give a shit, but now, I can't pretend that I don't. I just recognize a difference between when I feel healthy and when I don't and I prefer feeling like I have energy and shit. But at the same time, sans cigarettes, I just sit and tap my foot, or drum on the table or bite my hands or run my fingers through my hair and it feels MANIC. But I have to remember that I did that when I was smoking too. I still did those things, I just convinced myself that I felt relief for that five minutes during a smoke.

I can't remember what I wanted to write about when I started this entry. One Day Up One Day Down. Well, I guess that's what I wanted to write about, how everything is in flux. Two days ago I felt amazing. Today I feel borderline depressed. Two days up Two days down? I find it impossible to keep things in perspective sometimes. Why can't I appreciate the great job I have and the great friends and the easy life I've been given. I find that it gets buried under mountains of ambition and huge piles of fear, and while I'm excited for the next chapter of my life I feel I'm clinging to the previous one desperately. If I could only figure out exactly what I want to do, I'm sure I could do it, but right now, I can't narrow it down....I want it all...everything. I'm greedy for everything, but I smoke pot and do nothing. I mean, I probably do a lot more than a lot of people when they smoke weed, but I think that without it I could probably do more.

I just can't cope with that feeling sometimes.

The feeling where all you're doing is sitting down but you need to chew on something stat, or tap your foot so hard that you sprain your leg, or numb your brain before it self-destructs. Know what I mean?

Posted by King at Junio 17, 2004 04:23 PM

I think most of your problem is fear. Your anxiety, nervous energy, is fueled by the fact that you aren't really doing what you want to do. Ambition isn't a good or bad thing. If you've got ambition then you must address that. Some people don't have any. Some only have a little. Some may have too much but in any case one has to accept that and work with it. Go for it, work hard to get what you want, forget about everything else and I'm sure things will work themselves out.

If you're falling, dive.

Posted by: Gene on Junio 18, 2004 10:50 AM .

Yeah, might as well go out with a bang, huh?

Forgetting about happiness is one route. I don't mean that in a really nihilistic way, I mean de-prioritize it or whatever and let it surprise you if it actually happens. If my shitty body is all up in my face wanting a snack, and it just ate, I think to myself, what does it matter if it has a sack of chips RIGHT NOW or not? Same with the inevitable cigarette cravings. The body can be a spoiled child that shouldn't always be indulged. It's possible to be a little too absorbed in one's moment-to-moment needs, which is ultimately an obsession with minutiae which is a waste of your mental energy, of course, but also it's probably a way of distracting yourself from something else. We all need our distractions, but some are more constructive than others.

Maybe it's finally time to enroll in clown college...?

Posted by: D on Junio 18, 2004 02:42 PM .

Not just yet. But thanks for those words. I have to say D, I love your tendency to address your body like it's some greaseball you met outside a club: "if my shitty body is all up in my face..." what a great line.

Gene, while I think what you are saying is valid, I re-read what wrote in this entry and it says:

"If I could only figure out exactly what I want to do, I'm sure I could do it, but right now, I can't narrow it down....I want it all...everything."

I think you're right about ambition and whatnot, but what you said was:
"Go for it, work hard to get what you want, forget about everything else and I'm sure things will work themselves out."

And I'm saying: I don't know what I want right now. In your case, you may have a singular focus, which means that the goal is there -- you just have to overcome whatever it is that is between you and the goal. In my case I'm now saying "I'm not quite sure what the goal is anymore." I mean, loosely I do perhaps, but the other night, after I watched this Tony Robbins infomercial, I started writing down my goals. Just my private personal goals, now matter how ambitious or crazy they might be -- I just tried to write them down, and I had a really hard time. I realised that I'm not sure where I want to be, or what I want to do. I know some things, but there's actually too many things for one person to do in one lifetime I think, and that's a problem.

Posted by: king on Junio 18, 2004 03:13 PM .

Well then why don't you just commit to one (or maybe even two) things and see what happens. You don't have to do everything all the time. Let's say for example you temporarily narrowed it down to acting and writing. Do those two things and see what happens. If you truly cannot narrow it down then you have to be careful that you don't find yourself 5 years down the road in the exact same position (a close friend of mine is 46 years old and exactly in this predicament). I just directed a feature film, does that mean that I'm not an actor? Does that mean that I can't work in television, or the internet? I hope not. I believe that by doing that one thing properly, and with all my focus, energy and courage, that more opportunities will come my way as a result of that; more directing, but also acting, tv, internet, pornography, waste disposal, sculpting, pornography, graphic designing, gardening, and more pornography.

Posted by: Gene on Junio 18, 2004 03:37 PM .

i've often thought that having too many interests can be the most paralyzing characteristic. if you pick one, will you get pigeon-holed? will you miss an opportunity to do this other thing you might have loved more? you never open doors because the breeze might slam all the other door shut (damn, that was a terrible metaphor).
the problem with intelligent people who have lots of interests is that it's not good enough to be "jack of all trades, master of none". if that were enough, then you could jump from interest to interest like some kind of psychological to-do list. but smart people want to be *masters* of all trades. and sometimes they wind up being, well, jack.
i think it would be refreshing to be one of those people who are good at one thing and just do it. you know, like someone who just has a knack for carpentry, so they just grab a hammer and don't look back. or like an artist who is just compulsively driven to create create create and doesn't have a choice.
king, it's not easy to be where you're at. and you'll probably never really feel like you've found the *perfect* spot for you (way to sugarcoat it, huh?). but maybe that's just it. maybe the perfect spot for you is not to be in one spot. maybe you can find your own way to be master of all trades.

oh, and i think D's advice about de-prioritizing happiness and letting it surprise the shit out of you has to be the best advice i've heard in a long time.

Posted by: marijke on Junio 18, 2004 04:42 PM .

Thanks commenters. I will think about this now.

Posted by: king on Junio 19, 2004 08:12 PM .

After 10 years of smoking grass on and off again, I've figured out that, rather than helping me to relax, the grass just makes me uptight. I'm 22 and I don't need to be uptight. Who needs it, right? When I smoke grass I shut the fuck up immediately and just fiddle with my cuticles until they're all scraggly and microanalyse every single goddamned word that anybody says. It's terrible and introspection is really just imploded narcissism and that's as bad as being uptight. I'm conflicted though because I like to consider myself a champagne socialist and smoking grass is one of the only ways to slum it a little. I think maybe the trick is not to smoke very much grass at all; just like one pull on a small joint and then squint your eyes and puff out your cheeks and with a really tight voice say, "Dudes, I'm cool for now".
I think that for all the talk about grass not being addictive and it being harmless or whatever, people are extremely hesitant to really think about the intellectual and emotional side effects of grass. When you're fucking about with mood altering stuff every day then even if you manage to be really active and productive or even just function, you're still muddling up your mental and emotional health, both of which are pretty delicate.
King, I don't mean to get all harsh or whatever and to be fair I've often cited you as a foil to the argument that grass makes people unproductive and boring. At the same time though, grassing yourself up a lot can make proportion and context in your life really tricky.
As far as deprioritizing happiness, balls to that; comfort and joy should always be a priority because those things are what the Western World is for. I think being blindly optimistic is the best remedy for being upset or anxious; just insist to yourself that things are great or are going to be great and that you can make them great. Use exclamation marks all the time!!! Be really intense about everything!!! What have you got to lose??? Credibility? Credibility is always fleeting anyway!!! You are young and healthy and successful and clever and capable of exciting things!!!

Posted by: TheDiscourse! on Junio 21, 2004 12:15 PM .

Against happiness: "There is consistent evidence that happy people overestimate their control over environmental events (often to the point of perceiving completely random events as subject to their will), give unrealistically positive evaluations of their own achievements, believe that others share their unrealistic opinions about themselves and show a general lack of evenhandedness when comparing themselves to others.'' Indeed, Bentall has proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder."

Posted by: D on Junio 22, 2004 11:00 AM .

That happiness article was disturbing D. It did not make me happy. I dislike articles where they're like: "A study has shown that happy people are more likely to be prejudiced." Then throughout the article they refer to the link between happiness and prejudice as if it's well-established fact, when it could have been a study of ten people who happened to be both happy and prejudiced against other races. Does that mean that prejudice leads to happiness? Maybe not repressing your natural tendency to be prejudiced is what makes you happy. Did they study the same people before they were happy, or after the happiness had faded to see whether their prejudice went away with the happiness? I think this is weird.

And Discourse, I think you are absolutely right. Whether or not I have been a foil to the argument, it only makes me wonder what I could be without pot. But I too am compelled to "slum it" as you say. And I have yet to train myself to function socially without some kind of inhalant. I don't know what it is. Sometimes at a party, you need something compulsive to do. I'm bored with drinking, I don't really like any harder drugs, I can't smoke anymore, so I can only go to parties to stand around now. Smoking something helps. But I have to admit, the other night at the MMVAs I smoked too many joints. I was too spaced out to really participate the way I wanted to. But there are those few moments after a coolie where everything is a-okay. And I was thinking about this....I myself am very suspicious of people who don't do anything bad. Whereas people with vices have my instant respect. Now some people are too far gone, but I like hanging out with smokers and drinkers and potheads, and even cokeheads sometimes, more than I like hanging out with someone who doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs at all. Maybe I feel inferior to them. Or maybe we have little in common. Maybe my own identity is too caught up in being a good-time charlie or some shit. I don't know. But I gotta get off the shit. I gotta get off pot. You are right Discourse, absolutely, but then I'm gonna have to do something else. Maybe...exercise? God, I don't know.

Posted by: king on Junio 22, 2004 03:24 PM .

King, have you tried violence? It gives you that rush you crave, and it's also good exercise!

I know what you mean about not liking healthy people. I have no choice but to be one now, and I hate myself. My heart is in a bar getting smashed and chainsmoking.

Oh, and buy some cigars you moron. You're smoking pot just to have smoke in your body, and it's turning you into a zombi. You don't even laugh anymore!

Posted by: D on Junio 22, 2004 04:54 PM .

Hmmm...you may be right. So I quit pot yesterday. I've already experienced extreme depression.

Posted by: king on Junio 24, 2004 01:21 PM .

I hear extreme depression can be a laff-riot!

Posted by: D on Junio 24, 2004 01:53 PM .

Nice entry King. I have been wanting to quit smoking now for a while but I the problem is that I enjoy it too much and am super fidgity and wouldn't know what to do with myself. I know that is a super lame excuse but I guess you really, really need to want to quit and I think I only really do not really, really. Lately I have been getting grossed out with the smell and when I am at the gym and working out or doing a class start thinking that I might be getting alot more of this work out if I had full lung capacity. I guess the fact that I still can excercise a lot and don't get winded makes me think that maybe I smoking is not really affecting my health in such a bad way but I know I am totally fooling myself.

I have only started smoking weed again on a regular basis 'cause we have a new room mate, Max who just moved in. He loves smoking pot and always has a joint rolled and waiting when I get back from the gym and I can never say no. I still laugh a lot after having smoked a joint and find it easy to relax which I normally have a problem doing so I guess I think its a positive thing at least for now.

I also find I have been having a lot of up and down days as of late. Some days are amazing and other days just totally suck. Some times I think that having a boyfriend or being in a relationship would solve that but I don't really think that is true. I have been single now for six months and have had an incredible six months in retrospect. I love the freedom of being able to do what I like when I like it and not have to answer to anyone but myself, maybe a little selfish but its working for me right now. I think for the most part I am feeling pretty positive about life but can't help hoping that something special may be just around the corner. I guess in some ways that might set myself up for minor dissapointment, but I try not to think about it too much and just live in the moment for now. So cliche, but true. Wow, I have babbled on, sorry. Guess thats what happens when I smoke and joint and start writing, full superfluous (sp?) banter.

Posted by: Sassy on Junio 24, 2004 11:29 PM .

King, go for a run. Exercise is like a drug. In a bad mood? Run it out for 30 minutes, get your endorphins pumping, feel good about your body. Then you can lie around and do nothing with absolute conviction. You need a lifestyle change if you're going to quit pot.

Posted by: filion on Junio 25, 2004 09:42 AM .

Sassy, please don't ever say that not having anyone to answer to but yourself is selfish. You know it's not. It's empowering and fantastic and even in a relationship, while you may give up certain liberties, I don't think you should feel that you're answering to someone. And furthermore, if you just started smoking pot again and it's relaxing you and making you laugh and uniting you with your new roommate then you should smoke it. I think there's plenty of people that need to smoke more pot, unfortunately I'm just not one of them. I need to smoke no pot at all, for a while. Also, I think that even if you do get paranoid, it's still better for your mind overall than that other drug that is in heavy rotation pretty much everywhere in the T-Dot these days.

And filion, you are right of course. Running would be the perfect thing, especially since it is such a lung-heavy pursuit. But I find your comment a little harsh -- as usual. Are you implying that all I really want to do is sit around and do nothing? I should go for a run you say, and then I can sit around and do nothing with absolute conviction? What are you talking about?

Posted by: king on Junio 25, 2004 02:09 PM .

Why so hypersensitve? I was referencing myself and how I like to sit around and watch bad dating shows after working out.

Posted by: king on Junio 25, 2004 05:02 PM .
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