- July 9, 2011
- 2:35 pm
- 77 notes
My Big, Long, Drug Story:
Those of you who may follow my twitter or my tumblr by now are aware that I am more than vocal about my use of marijuana. I’m not writing this post to convince anyone, try to sway anyone’s opinions, or force my views on anybody. The reason I am writing this is because I know that, in some aspects, I have people, YOUNG people especially, that look up to me. In relation to that I want to explain myself and my use of marijuana(and other drugs), not to make excuses or defend myself, but because I want to be very honest and clear with people who take what I say seriously. I joke around a lot and I feel that I am very open about my views on matters(albeit, I may put more humor into it than needed), I DO want to make people re-think their views on the world and challenge what they’re told. If you’re not questioning things then your following blindly and that, in my opinion, is one of the most dangerous things a person can do. Anyway, enough of the introduction, here we go.
I had my first encounter with marijuana in high school. I was raised in a Christian home with parents who gave a shit about my well-being and, therefore, were pretty strict. During high school I skated, played guitar and had a great time with great friends. I didn’t even drink until my senior year, not because I didn’t want to, but I just didn’t care. I had friends who eventually started smoking pot and, again, I didn’t really care. That was their thing, it didn’t bother me and they weren’t hurting anybody. What DID turn me off to weed was the friends of my friends who got them into it. They were the typical stoner kids who didn’t give a shit about school and, on the occasion that they actually went, they were always stoned anyway. To me, they just gave off a very “stupid” impression of what a marijuana smoker was. I didn’t care that they were doing it, but they had such a sluggish attitude toward life and it really turned me off to any opportunity I had to smoke.
During Christmas break of my senior year, a day before Christmas Eve, I finally made a commitment to my friends that I would get drunk with them. I figured “Hey, I’ve waited this long to do it, I’m with people I love - why not?”. We spent half and hour in my friends back yard doing beer bongs in the snow until I finally discovered what it felt like to be inebriated… and IT WAS AWESOME. Pretty much every weekend after that I was at my friends house getting drunk, we weren’t driving anywhere, just playing Nintendo 64 and laughing our asses off. It was a whole new world, it was fun and it definitely opened my mind up to the possibility of one day trying weed.
Fast forward to April of that year: we were seniors and the famous “Senior Skip Day” arrived. I had never skipped school so I said “Fuck it!” and my friends and I pulled into the school parking lot, u-turned, and drove right out again. We headed to the usual spot; my friends house, and it was there that smoking weed was brought up. My one friend, being the pot-head, thought it was the perfect time to finally try it and my other friend and I(being weed virgins) agreed. “Skipping school and smoking pot, wow, really!?” is definitely a thought that passed through my head a few times as my friend constructed a bong out of a two-liter of Mountain Dew.
Several soda-bottle hits later and WE. WERE. THERE. Everything was brighter, funnier, more vivid. Thoughts raced through my head at lighting fast speeds; it was a roller-coaster ride. I remember running around the house in circles chasing my friend and every single time we went through the dining room, I would hit my head on the chandelier, forget about it, then hit it again on the next pass. We had a blast that day and it was a positive experience that I will never forget. I was around good people in a safe place and had nothing to worry or be paranoid about.
I didn’t try weed again for at least another year. No reason, the opportunity didn’t arise and I just didn’t care. I moved out of my house and into a place with my old band, where we partied constantly and drank a WHOLE lot. Every once in awhile someone would have weed and, most of the time, I was REALLY drunk when I did it. Naturally, the spins would occur right after and, after a bit, I had no interest in weed.
Over time my old band broke up and I ended up joining Hit The Lights. We toured our asses off, got signed and were on the road constantly. We had a great time and DEFINITELY took advantage of the party aspect of touring. We never got into anything crazy, just got really drunk and had fun doing it. During one of our first “official” tours, I received a call at 4 in the morning from my sister crying. She informed me that my best friends mother had passed away. This woman was family. I was absolutely devastated and on the complete other side of the country. I had no money to get home and my band was counting on me to be there to play these shows. It was one of the most painful experiences I have ever dealt with on the road. All I could do was call my friends on the phone, cry and punch walls. On top of that, the tour we were on was terrible and all I wanted to do was get home and be with my friends and family. I coped by drinking and, looking to escape from everything, I started smoking weed.
I learned how to drink and smoke weed and rarely ever did them apart. I partied hard, usually until I was black-out drunk and I never really saw a problem with it. I would wake up the next morning, people would tell me all the stupid shit I did and I would laugh and write it off. I was an “angry bro” when I was drunk, always down to fight or fuck shit up and I figured that was what everyone did. I would wake up, try to remember all the things that I regretted doing, then do it all over again.
Later that year we went on the road with New Found Glory. It was an amazing tour and I got wasted every night and sang on the side of the stage to one of my all time favorite bands. We had the privilege of doing our first over-seas tour in the UK opening for NFG and on that tour my drinking came to a hedge.
One night, after an amazing show in Birmingham, we went out with all the bands to bars and drank VERY heavily. I drank everything that was thrown at me and the last thing I remember, we had jumped in a cab to go to another pub.
When I came to, I was walking, ALONE, down a random street in Birmingham. I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t have a phone to call anyone and I didn’t even know what time it was. I had completely blacked out and somehow wandered off. None of my friends were anywhere to be found and I was lost in big, foreign city. I tried to hail cabs and ask them to take me to the venue we played, but no cab drivers knew where it was(in retrospect, I was probably so wasted that I could barely pronounce “Carling Academy”). As I walked further I eventually saw a group of about 5 guys. As they passed I asked them if they could tell me how to get to the Carling Academy. The next thing I know, a fist hit me across the face and knocked me down. As I stood up again, I remember vividly saying “Oh man, THAT’S not cool!”(which is actually pretty funny). Then, I got hit again. I can’t exactly describe it, but I remember feeling the adrenaline rush into my blood stream. Everything became crystal clear again- REAL FAST, and I realized what was happening. I was going to either get mugged, fucked up, or both. Without thinking I just swung my fist and I remember hitting one of the guys in the bridge of his nose. I connected with my pinky knuckle, I remember the feeling of something(either my knuckle or his nose) giving way and then my brain just delivering the message “FUCKING RUN, MOTHERFUCKER!”.
I took off as fast as my legs could carry me. I know I have adrenaline to thank, because up until that point, I could barely walk from being so wasted- let alone run away at full speed(the human body is fucking incredible). As I ran, I was for sure that they were right behind me. I swear I could hear them, and all I was thinking was how much worse they were going to beat me for fighting back. I don’t remember how long I ran, but you can bet that I did it for as long as I possibly could. As I finally reached my breaking point, I began slowing down and realized that I wasn’t being followed. I couldn’t believe it. As I turned the next corner I ran smack-dab into a police station. Once again, I couldn’t believe it. I buzzed the door and explained to the policeman inside my situation. They took me in and, thanks to our amazing friend Ollie(who put out an APB for a missing drunk American after I didn’t show up for bus call), my band found me and picked me up. I walked on the bus and fell asleep.
I woke up that morning still drunk, with a swollen pinky and covered in scrapes and bruises, only to learn that I had drunk sleep-walked to the front of the bus and peed down the window of our double decker bus. Fortunately, our bus driver Steve was an amazingly understanding fellow and for some reason, just cleaned it up and laughed it off(Personally, I would have kicked my ass). I felt like such a fucking asshole. I felt bad for what I put my band through, not just for this experience, but for every bit of bullshit that “Drunk Nick” ever did. I never wanted to drink again.
I swore off drinking for the remainder of that tour, but one thing we DID have was weed. I sat in the front of the double decker bus the next night just watching the road and for one of the first times, I smoked weed without alcohol. That’s when things started changing for me and I had my first epiphany. Without the cloudy effects of alcohol, I was thinking clearly but so much DIFFERENTLY. I found myself high and psycho-analyzing myself, asking myself question like why I acted in certain ways. Basically; calling myself out on ALL of my bullshit. It wasn’t about blaming or excuses, it was just me against myself, being my harshest critic. It was the removal of my ego, something that alcohol seemed to feed off of. It was a major turning point in my life, one that I will never forget.
After the UK experience, I wanted to change. It wasn’t just about me anymore, it was about learning and improving myself for the people I loved. I realized what a childish asshole I was, especially when I was drunk. Is the weed my saving grace in this whole thing? No - it was me who made the changes, but it WAS marijuana that did something to my brain. It’s like it flipped these switches and made me think so much differently than I had before. It made me take a step back and look at situations through other people’s eyes, it made me more open minded. It made me realize that I had an anger problem, and it paved the way for me to not be satisfied with who I am and to always strive to be better.
As time passed I had many, many other epiphanies while smoking weed. Instead of getting drunk and starting fights I wanted to read articles and watch science documentaries. In judging myself I was able to learn new things about who I was and who I could be. I know that weed does this for many, many other people as well because I have met them and smoked with them. I’m proof that it can be helpful. Now am I saying that alcohol is bad and weed is awesome? Absolutely not. It’s about knowing yourself and knowing YOUR limits. Who YOU want be and realizing how certain drugs affect you. I can drink alcohol now and not have to worry about waking up in the morning regretting things because I KNOW MY LIMITS. I’m conscious of them now, and that only comes with being completely honest with myself. Something that I may not have realized, had I not had time to myself and had weed to remove the ego and look at my actions subjectively.
Is weed for everyone? Probably not. Can weed help a lot of people? Yes. Studies have shown the medical benefits for YEARS. I’ll be honest and say that I smoke weed for fun. I can have deep, intimate moments with myself on weed, or I can laugh like a jack-ass watching tv with my friends. It can go either way. I know that I never wake up from smoking weed with piss all over my pants thinking “Oh, God, did I REALLY do that last night?”, and that’s a big plus for me.
For those of you who are younger, your parents and elders around you are going to give you LOTS of advice. For the most part you aren’t going to give a shit and I get that because I was the same way, but take it from me: the only reason they are saying things is because THEY’VE USUALLY ALREADY BEEN THROUGH IT. Me, being someone who’s been through some things, can tell you that most things are ok - IN MODERATION. Using rationality and logic when dealing with drugs is the most important thing you can do. If you’re drinking alcohol and people are telling you you’re an asshole, you’re probably an asshole. You’re going to have plenty of opportunities to try all TYPES of things, but what it really comes down to is being smart about it. You’re going to do it anyway, and it’s a learning experience, but doing drugs just to get fucked up isn’t the way to be a better person. You’re going to turn out a selfish asshole and you’re probably going to hurt the people who are closest to you. That’s something that I had to learn and, though I’m better for it, I didn’t have to learn it from experience.
In conclusion; yes, I smoke weed. I support the rights of those who do. I (and many, many others) know that the day is coming when it will be legal again and the lies, propaganda and misinformation about weed(at least) will be brought to light. Until then, I know that I have to deal with the fact that marijuana IS illegal in most states, and that I risk the penalty of jail time when I posses it. You should too, because it’s a very real risk. As well, we should also do everything we can to support legalization as citizens and voters.
The war on drugs has failed and it is up to a rational, logical society to deal with these problems in a rational, logical way. Until the public is well educated on the REAL facts of drugs and drug abuse, that won’t happen and I feel that it’s robbing too many people of the REAL benefits that can come with marijuana(among other drugs). Enough with the scare tactics, let’s stop hiding from issues, issues that will never go away until they’re confronted head-on in an open, honest forum.
I’ve shared a little of my experiences, and I hope it helps some of you. I hope that it deters some from making the same mistakes I did. For now, from my end, all I want to convey is to be safe, know/understand your limits, learn from your mistakes, use your fucking head and ALWAYS strive to be a better person. It makes a better world for everyone.
Oh, and stop watching “Jersey Shore”. I don’t get how that shit is legal.