The saying goes, “The most personal is the most universal,” but maybe that’s not true if you’re insane.

My atheist group had a picnic in the country today. I had said I was going, but changed my mind a few hours before it started because I’m always ambivalent about events that include more than ten people. Then someone offered me a ride, so I went after all.

My relationship with groups is ever fraught with angst, but this group more than most because I went from being its de facto leader to only attending an occasional meeting, a change that didn’t occur because I was a happy camper. Yet, I attend no other group; I know most of the people in this one; and I do retain some semblance of status and familiarity. I got the feeling today that I could step back into a leadership role, and people would welcome me, and that was good to know, but, then again, maybe they were just being polite. Part of why I’m so tormented about groups is that I have no faith in my perceptions. Other people seem as alien to me as if they were from another planet, which is one reason that my blog is so important. Here, I can share feelings that I share nowhere else, not even with Peggy (although she reads my blog).

After my nightmarish marijuana overdose last weekend, I’ve been having problems handling even one hit of the drug, so what to I do just before the picnic, but eat a half teaspoon of leftover marijuana butter so that I could clean the container. Maybe that wasn’t a good idea; I don’t know. All I know is that as the picnic went on, I became way too high, so in order to mellow out, I drank wine, but that just left me drunk and high. I kept using use the wrong words for what I meant to say, or else screwing-up the pronunciation of the right words. Oddly enough, one of the other men had suffered a stroke, and he was doing the same thing.

Now, I’m home and still way too wired. I feel stupid when I don’t see these things coming, but in my defense, I ate 3½ tsp of marijuana butter last week when things got so bad, so I had no idea that a mere half tsp would hit me this hard. And maybe it didn’t. Maybe I’m just fucking insane. I couldn’t even screw up the courage to open my mouth at the last meeting of this group (on Wednesday), and there I was today unable to close it. At least I didn’t rattle on about myself—I don’t think I did anyway—because I was much more interested in what other people had to say. I drew them out as best I could, and when one woman mentioned that something I had written made her think I didn’t want her in the group anymore, I instantly burst into tears for having pained her so.

Later, I almost cried a second time, although I don’t remember why. I was almost unbearably present emotionally, and unless I’m in a group where such behavior is expected (and I’ve been in many such groups), that’s frightening. It was where I had to be though. Someone would say something, and I would ask them a personal question about their feelings about what they had said—the kind of questions that most people wouldn’t dare to ask. That’s always risky, but if I can do it well, it makes for a more interesting dialogue. My guess is that I do it pretty well, but again, I don’t trust my perceptions about much of anything that has to do with other people... Right now, I wish I could chill-out because I am still feeling way too intense (imagine having the caffeine from twenty cups of coffee injected into your vein while at the same time you’re shooting skyward in an incredibly fast elevator). I can barely type because I’m trembling so.

Okay okay, I admit it. I knew what could happen when I ate that pot, and I did it anyway. Pot can make me feel positively insane, and that’s one reason I like it. It’s also why I’m especially prone to do it in a social situation that—given how insecure I am—makes me feel insane anyway. Why yes, this does make me sound like I enjoy bashing my head against a wall. On one level, it’s stupid, but then so are ultra-marathons and base-jumping. Hundreds of things seem stupid to people who don’t understand them. Of course, with pot, the risk isn’t to my body but to my sanity—at least it feels that way sometimes because, after last weekend especially, it’s as if pot has burned a conduit from my brain straight down to hell. Maybe you’re understanding me, or maybe you’re appalled. Peggy is appalled. She’s 100% for medical marijuana as long as it’s for a medical purpose, but I’m often tempted to use it at other times too—like before going to a social gathering at which everyone else is apt to be straight. It’s as if I looked at what might prove to be the worst thing I could do, and I did it. Can you relate to what I’m saying?


kylie said...

ha! snow, you're one funny dude!
even tho i know you're probably not intending to be funny....
i have a friend who tells me i'm a danger to myself, thats the same thing, isnt it?

i dont know what to say. i dont and have never smoked dope so i cant relate on the dope thing but i'm not appalled

and i think you will appreciate the funny side if i tell you i would like to meet you but shyness was most likely the thing that stopped me :)

Teresa Evangeline said...

Well, I can't stand groups of any nature. I just don't do well with leaders and followers. I'm even glad Blogger changed it to joining, rather than following, although I'm not too crazy about joining anything either. I think people do best when they listen to their own guidance on pretty much everything.

I'm also familiar with the concept of being my own worst enemy. So, yes, I can relate.

Take much smaller doses. It's supposed to be fun.

The Elephant's Child said...

Oh Snow: Where to start. I guess with the fact that I love the picture of you on the hilltop, gazing triumphant into the distance. Or maybe I am extrapolating here - because I would be feeling triumphant.

And I don't do groups well, and wimp out of most social occasions. And if I did dope better I would certainly take it before any of the group meetings I do attend.

When you mentioned you had mixed it with wine I was expecting it to be another post with prominent puking. Glad you escaped. I wonder whether the half teaspoon hit you so hard because you still had some in your system? I know it is cumulative, though a week seems a long time.

And I at least would love to meet you because you are honest and real and share the things that many of us feel and hide. And I forgot to add intelligent to the list of positive virtues.

Linda said...

I've done the same Snow, but have no idea why. Well I do actually. For me, I get crazy to push people away because as much as I want people in my life, I simultaneously don't want them around, and I think that is because I have such a terrible time relating to most of them. I enjoy people more one at a time. I don't even like three's--the dynamics change. People act differently in groups.

The pot is simply a means to an end. Sometimes I like to get crazy simply to leave this reality. It's like getting drunk once a month or whenever. I just need to shake up the things inside my head, and honestly, after the hangover, I usually can handle things again.

I'm glad you talked about this because although we very well may be doing different things, it seems people are afraid to talk about it.

Snowbrush said...

Hi, All,

No, Child, I didn't puke, and I knew going into it that I wouldn't simply because I didn't have THAT much pot or drink THAT much wine. With both, I was very surprised that I got as wasted as I did, but I still wasn't anywhere near the puking stage, it being far more predictable than the psychological outcome.

Kylie said: you're one funny dude!

Why, thank you, Kylie. I didn't imagine that anyone would look at this post that way, but I'm happy you did, and as I look back over it, I can see that, yes, it was funny.

Teresa said: Take much smaller doses. It's supposed to be fun.

There are too many variables. I mean, 1/2 tsp didn't even affect me last week, and this week, it kicked my butt. It's the variables that get me time and again. For example, what time of day is it; am I taking the drug on an empty stomach; what kind of activity am I engaged in, etc.

Linda said: Sometimes I like to get crazy simply to leave this reality.

Me too. I know that some readers will wonder if we hate our lives so much that we prefer even a bad mental place to the one we're in, but that's not it. With me, it's more a desire to bring back lessons from another reality. The scary part of this is that I'm tempted to keep pushing further afield. If I just wanted to feel better through drugs, I would stick to drugs that make me happy. Dilaudid makes me happy. Oxycodone makes me happy, and I have a pretty good stash of each, but they'll get too old to use before I ever get around to them.

Linda said...

I'm glad you said that, "I know that some readers will wonder if we hate our lives so much that we prefer even a bad mental place to the one we're in, but that's not it."

Nope, it's not that at all. I actually like my life nowadays fairly well. There is just something to be said for pushing the envelope in order to live life to the fullest. For me.

Stafford Ray said...

I am very uncomfortable in crowds, don't do drugs but am on the side of legalising drugs, so addicts can get out of the legal nightmare and be treated if they want.
However, this "It’s as if I looked at what might prove to be the worst thing I could do, and I did it. Can you relate to what I’m saying?"
Yes, I do relate to that strongly because my 'prodigal' son who could have been both famous and wealthy chose instead to take inappropriate drugs at the worst possible times, like a 'boy with the golden arm' and made himself unemployable.
One thing I cannot understand about you is that despite your description of your state you are exceptionally lucid, literate and to me make perfect sense.
By the way, I suspect many Atheists are exceptionally crowd averse. Makes sense to me, goes with not following the crowd! Cheers mate.

Snowbrush said...

Linda said: I'm glad you said that, "I know that some readers will wonder if we hate our lives so much that we prefer even a bad mental place to the one we're in, but that's not it."

We might with the same logic ask if they enjoy being alone from time to time because they hate their friends and families. People who would challenge us about our drug use are saying more about their disapproval of drugs than about our reasons for using them. As I see it, drug and alcohol use is a personal choice unless they come to dominate our lives in which case they are almost surely hurting other people. I don't know where I'll go in regard to marijuana. I would guess that I'll be infatuated for a while, get tired of it, and cut way back--just like I do with most things. When that day comes, I'll probably eat a little pot at bedtime and maybe take a hit or two during the night to help me sleep, and that will be the most of it. Well, maybe I'll also smoke a little when I'm cleaning house because it sure does make that boring job go better.

Stafford said: "One thing I cannot understand about you is that despite your description of your state you are exceptionally lucid, literate and to me make perfect sense."

If I write while stoned--as I did for my last two posts--and read it later, it seems to me that I presented my thoughts rationally and coherently. If I wrote while I was drunk instead of stoned, I doubt that I could do as well. You might assume from this that I couldn't really have been all that stoned to which I would say that my main challenge in regard to writing while I'm stoned isn't with making my brain work but with making my fingers work. Either they simply won't obey me, or the high is so intense that I'm trembling too much to work the keyboard. I've never been the kind of pot user who sits and stares at the wall with a glazed-over look in his eyes. Your son appears to have done a lot of drugs for a long time (many of them far more destructive than pot, I would assume). If I were in the same situation, my faculties might very well be too altered for me to write as well as I do. I'll also mention that I write better than I talk (I'm not a quick thinker plus I was crippled for much of my early life by severe speech problems), and this means that my ability to speak disintegrates more rapidly than my ability to write. I would even imagine that if I should become senile that my ability to write will stay with me longer than my ability to talk.

Roger said...

My dad overdosed on lemonade. His rectum got torn and we needed to drain all the water out of the pool.

Marion said...

You are so much like my husband it scares me. His thinking used to be, "If one pill is good, then FIVE pills are BETTER!" I hope you find your optimum dose to ease your pain and to prevent future bad trips.

But hey, were I stuck in a group of atheists, I'd probably feel like tripping, too. LMAO! I've become such a hermit, I often pick the Hermit card from my Tarot deck. I detest groups of any kind. (A side effect of growing up Baptist.) I love your new photo. It reminds me of the 3 of Wands Tarot card:

The Tusk said...

I have reawakened, I was lost for a time getting used to wearing glasses which I have never done before and failing at several jobs for years because I couldn't read the rundown given to me in small print.

Then my kids introduced me to facebook requiring me to push pictures to them through that means.

As my friend count grew, I realized there were stepping plateaus in a business community called Branch out where I could reach 10,000 and I was two friends short and 90 contacts away from this level which I surpassed this weekend. Now happily its growing on its own.

Now about you, in my ability to monitor your inner network, you are still the same socrates, that you always were. The hemlock you are feeding yourself is you talking to yourself about you, Marijuana introverts, your fear is the fear others see you the way you see you, which you are insecure about because you are scanning your responses to other stimuli instead of responding to the stimuli in the present. Introversion is living in the immediate past, that being that which just occured, not yesterday or last week or that girl you boinked in the office coffee break after hours.

If your Blog had been titled "I looked at what might prove to be the worst thing I could do, and I did it", and the blog ended with, "The most personal is the most universal,” but maybe that’s not true if you’re insane.

...then it seems every mans suffering and every mans pain is a universal suffrage and for today my universal sin will be one I've committed before, one that I know is wrong one that is original to me.

This my friend Snow is lying to yourself, Socrates I don't know ever made the same mistake twice, maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but to repeat a mistake is to fear that something new might enlighten you in no ways similar to the way you found enlightenment in the past.

We all knew that paranoia in all its shapes and forms prevents us from speaking out or even breathing steadily. Can we breathe underwater when we are under the sky only and not in water. The next time you slur a word from drunkeness or a petty high, try changeing the topic and immediately state to your captive listener that when you were younger you suffered terribly from a speech impediment, and isn't it blissfully amazing how it can creeps up on you at the most inopportune time, watch the magic happens when all mans suffering becomes one and in among itself shared in return, not insane at all.

I guarantee your paranoia will turn to the realization that another individuals love for you has overwhelmed you, then we just have to deal with your shame on misreading the situation.

That will be another blog, oh socrates why did you drink the hemlock, not either your friend Pericles nor his mistress your true educator Aspasia could save you. You feared your accusers were right you have misled your youth.

Are you misleading your group, is this your fear, or is your fear you are misleading yourself.

This was Socrates Dilemma, it became universal for many, but it is not an original sin, it is an egregious self reflectance and selfish observance of any leader.

I miss not hearing the details of the beauty that surrounded you on your picnic, wooded, not wooded, windy not windy, cause you know I'm all about the wind.

The Tusk

Beau's Mom said...

I was invited to a small party of 8 or so. I was left with weeks of pre-anguish and anger, wondering why the hell do people do these things. And wondering: do they really ENJOY them while I'm so miserable? I'm never as alone as I am with more than one person present.

Then I get angry at the person who invited me, as if they were doing me a favor.

I cannot understand why I become the instant outcast before I open my mouth - and by being distant, I'm viewed as snobbish.

I'm friendly as all hell, but I cannot tolerate the pecking order where three or more are gathered.

There should be a club for people like us with a permanent sign on the door: CLOSED.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Snow, There are folks who cannot get through any gathering without several shots of alcohol.

The worst part is, I'm convinced everyone is lonely and disconnected and we could all step outside our own fears to realize everyone else is as insecure, then I think we could really connect.

Kerry said...

I had something intelligent to say, then I read Roger's comment, and there's nothing I can really add to that.

Oh, next time, just 1/8 tsp, on an english muffin.

Snowbrush said...

When I get behind on responding to comments, I get really frustrated. I read them, and think about them, but I can't always take the time to respond. It's the curse of being cared about by so many friends. Jeez, I don't know what else to say. I'm sorry if anyone feels short-changed.

Long ago, someone said that my readers leave especially interesting comments, and I still find that to be true. Of course, it's partly because of the things I write about, but I like to think that my readers are just more interesting than other people's readers. Call me vain, I guess.

Phoenix said...

I have felt this way - though I've never resorted to marijuana to get me through it - in times where I found myself in a position of responsibility that I did not want to have. Perhaps that was your reasoning? Perhaps your leadership role, the fact that people obviously find your opinions to be important and even crushing (as in the one time when the woman thought you didn't want her there and that upset you) is a little too much weight for you right now to carry, and instead of having the tools to put down the weight of responsibility (it looks like you even feel responsible for responding to each comment on this blog) and pass it along to someone else, you find that using drugs can get you off the hook from being in that type of position.

Just a guess... from another person who feels responsible for quite a lot that she is not, in fact, responsible for. :)

Strayer said...

You're going to end up in jail. With your doctor.

Maybe you were the life of the party at the meeting. Sounds like it from your perspective. I wonder what the meeting would sound like from someone else who was there.

You couldn't resist that pot butter, like some people can't resist Oreo cookies. If it's there, you will eat it.

Strayer said...

It sounds like you're having a shitload of fun now and then. So, what's the big break up story with the atheists? Spill it. Maybe you already did and I missed it. I love a good break up story.

Ranch Chimp said...

I dont know a thing about atheist group's, but sure they have them for socializing as far as not believing in spiritualism, etc ... or the BS brought on my mainstream churches. I am an active member of the Church of Satan and been for over 3 decade's now I reckon, cant recall what year I was accepted(?) It's not a "devil worship" outfit like many would think, beside's the "devil" is a christian concept to begin with, as far as a set belief ... I reckon just believing that common sense is a major rule, natural law, etc ... but I dont speak for other satanist's of course, I let them individual's grotto's, order's, etc speak for themselves. I formed an order in 1989 called "Order of Contemporary Universal Duality" that also had an inner order ... disbanded it in 1998, and worked with some other satanic group's, that I also was a member and/ or worked with their project's, worked with several musician's/ band's, etc I rarely ever talk about this actually, just because of the misunderstanding of what satanism is by folk's and as far as my personal belief's, practices or whatever ... I never discuss out of my circle.

Sonia ;) said...

I can totally relate Snow....fully