This is the story of a helpful friend, sleep-deprivation that became a little desperate, and my huge mistake in judgment. I can laugh about it now, a little. But it sure wasn’t funny at the time.
I’m not sharing this so I can be judged. Nor do I want my friend judged. We meant well! The mistake is entirely on me. But it’s a cautionary tale.
Perhaps I’ve mentioned a time or two that I have trouble sleeping. (Understatement!) This has been going on since my radio career, just now with a different set of circumstances. I recently revealed that I’m trying to get used to a CPAP machine. (Thank you for all the tips!) If I walk, don’t walk, eat well, eat crap, stay calm or get agitated, it’s the same. Sleep doesn’t want to visit me until finally it has no choice.
With that established, I was talking to a friend I’ll call Steve. So, Steve grows his own personal marijuana, as one is allowed by law to do. He takes some of it to a guy who makes chocolates, and he creates a few batches. Steve likes to enjoy his pot this way sometimes, to help him sleep. The guy makes edibles in many shapes for many people.
Steve knows I’ve tried all sorts of ways to get to sleep and he offered to let me try his chocolate. There’s no way I’d smoke it. An edible seemed doable. We talked about it for a long time, how it’s not CBD, and that he has a greater tolerance for it than I have. I haven’t even had a beer since the late 1990s when I got sober. He reminded me several times to be cautious with it. Start with 1/4 and see how it goes.
How it Went
So I did. One quarter of the chocolate relaxed me and put me to sleep. But I was awake again in a few hours. So, I thought with my addict’s brain, if 1/4 was okay, 1/2 must be much better!
It didn’t occur to me that I might get stoned. Can you believe I grew up in the 60s and 70s? I mean, come on. But I was only thinking of it as a means to get me a good sleep. That’s not what I got.
It took a while for me to remember that I’d eaten the half chocolate so when the pot started to take effect, I got scared. Why are my legs wobbling? Why does everything look so far away? Am I starring in a remake of Honey I Shrunk the Kids? At first, I thought I was having a stroke. So I put my arms over my head – no, not a stroke. Heart attack? My heart was definitely racing. But then I remembered the chocolate and realized I was stoned.
I did not lay back and enjoy the ride. I freaked out. Immediately, I called Derek in Indianapolis, waking him up, and then kept forgetting he was on the phone. I texted my brother, and couldn’t figure out why the phone wasn’t texting him back. I wanted to call 911 or go knock on a neighbour’s door so I wouldn’t be alone. On a scale of one to ten, I was a thirty-seven.
It wasn’t fun. It was terrifying. I just wanted it to be over. But there’s no way to hurry it up. It takes time. Back in the day, I wasn’t a pot user by any stretch. Once in a while, if everybody else was doing it. But I never liked it. Now, here I was, blitzed by half of a little chocolate shaped like a maple leaf. And very unhappy about it.
I had a terrible time falling asleep because my legs were jumpy. The next day, I still felt weird. No, pot is not for me. I’d tried CBD (marijuana with THC removed) in the past and it helped briefly. But there are so many strains and strengths and options – it’s confusing.
There are several lessons here. One is, DUH. Eating enough pot will make you stoned. Two is that whether it’s a supplement or a bit of pot, no two people are the same. What works for one might not work for another. Steve was careful to remind me that he had a built-up tolerance. But the addict inside never really goes away. There’s a saying in AA that while you’re staying sober, your addiction is out in the parking lot doing push-ups. (I’m not an AA member but I know a bit about it!) It was faulty thinking on my part.
On the one hand, I probably annoyed those who enjoy pot by wasting the experience. There was just no way. That altered state, the lack of realism, the thought that 40 minutes had gone by but it was really only three minutes… it’s not for me. I used to say that I preferred beer because if you had too much, your body would eject it. Not so with pot. And that elusive good night’s sleep? I’ve decided to put it under the stoicism lens. My sleep sucks. Deal with it!