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  • Day 17

    day 17: escape

    “Any time someone gives you drugs, the purpose is to subdue. Always. Whether it is from a dealer, a friend, your mother…or your government.”
    –Northern Adams

I’ll never forget this particular conversation that I had with a student. She talked about why she loved being high: it allowed her to escape into the dream version of her life, which her real life was so far from. As a child of immigrants who sacrificed so much, she felt an obligation to fulfill their dreams for her life. Getting high was her escape from their life path that she felt stuck on.

I could see the pressure of her situation and had no problem understanding why she would want cannabis’ escape. Then she shared her conflict: she was beginning to realize that cannabis’ temporary relief made her current path just bearable enough, which caused her to avoid the harder path towards her actual dreams.

Being high allows some people to live in their own private world. Some of this is OK. But too much, too often, it feeds disconnection. There is a difference between relief and self-medication: it’s the timing.

If life has made someone walk across hot coals, let’s not judge them for using medication afterwards to tend to their wounded feet. But if someone is still standing on the hot coals, the misuse of medication will decrease their ability to find a way off.

I’m not suggesting that your life- or your feet- are on fire, but for some people, this is real. No judgement from this end, but consider the degree to which cannabis (or any drug or behavior) is aiding you in the pursuit of your dreams, or subduing you with false escape.