Tolerance Break

It’s no secret that I’m a raging stoner- always have been, probably destined to always be. 

I received an early education from my stoner mother and cemented my habits with stoner friends throughout my formative high school years. There’s this weird anomaly that most long-term pot aficionados can attest to, which is that stoners can always seek out and attract other stoners, no matter where in the world or in their life they happen to be. It’s a gift really, like a special extra sense is activated through the THC receptors or something. 

We tend to surround ourselves almost exclusively with fellow greenthumbs, because they’re usually the only ones that don’t hassle us about our bummer of a habit. They’re also the only ones who’ll sit and smoke a quarter ounce and watch two seasons of rick and morty and devour a diabetes inducing amount of sugary treats with you and not think anything of it. Basically, fellow stoners are the only ones capable of the extreme level of chill required to hang out with us. 

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to think I’ve had too much chill. Smoking weed has been my primary hobby for the past fifteen years. It’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but now that I’m in my thirties I’m wondering if I should expand my interests some. 

The problem with a chronic addiction that it leaves little time or money for anything else so it literally becomes your whole life. Attempts to introduce new habits and hobbies are usually an exercise in futility because one week you won’t have enough money to get weed and pay for whatever activity you were planning on, so a choice has to be made, and that choice will always be weed. Another week you’ll be too stoned and forget to go. After that you’re just too embarrassed or bored with the whole thing  that you simply drop it forever, and resume your glassy eyed sloth pose on the couch, watching Gilmore Girls reruns and scooping milo out of the tin.

But  then one day you emerge from your hazy-brained fog enough to remember you were once a kid who actually wanted to do shit with their life. You were bright eyed and shiny-haired and you had the world at your dainty little feet. You dreamed of being a famed author, an Olympic runner, an astronaut. You even promised your dad that one day  you’d bring him back a piece of the moon, you lying little shit. You wanted to travel to faraway places and do strange faraway things, and now you barely go outside, not even to score your precious drugs, as your dealer now does house calls. 

I’m content with my life, but can I honestly say I’m living it the best I could be? Possibly not. Probably not. 

So I’ve made a decision. Starting next week, I’m going to take a little break. I’m not calling it quitting because that’s too big of a commitment and that word is heavy. But I’m setting myself the challenge of a minimum of seven stoned-free days, a weedless week. That feels achievable, and if after I’ve completed it I feel like I can keep going without it for longer, I will. And if I can’t, a week is still a good start, and I still will have completed my goal. 

If nothing else it’ll be a good tolerance break, and I’ll enjoy a more intense high when I do resume smoking. 

I’m secretly hoping, though, that this will mark the beginning of a break in this deeply rooted, and ultimately destructive habit. I am so attached to the ritual of getting stoned that it feels bigger than me somehow, and beyond my capability to cease. I need to prove to myself that this isn’t the case; surely, deep down inside, there’s some untapped source of self-discipline, even just a little nugget of willpower that will fight its way to the surface if I just try. 

So try I will, and I have a plan to boot. Luckily my fellow-stoner boyfriend is on board- it would be near impossible to attempt this without him. Our tolerance week will commence on Feb 1st, which feels like a nice clean date, and happens to fall on a Wednesday which is payday and score day. Every night we will have a scheduled activity for the after work hours, ranging from the gym, to going to the movies, to trying out new restaurants. On the Thursday I begin a 3-week meditation course which I’m hoping will assist with clearing my thoughts of weed. I’ve recently started doing yoga and I plan to step up my classes to three times a week. We will also have wine and sleeping pills on hand in case of insomnia. 

I’m both looking forward to, and dreading it. One thing I keep reminding myself of is that if boyfriend and I can avoid buying weed for just two weeks, we’ll collectively save $500. That’s ridiculous, and when you go deeper into the economic reality of our combined habit it’s outright anxiety-inducing. I guess that’s why we largely ignore it. But if I really want to make changes, I need to wake up to these harsh realities. I can’t afford to keep burying my head in the mull butter anymore.

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress, and I’d love to hear about your experiences with anything similar in the comments. Any advice is welcome! 

Wish me luck, lovely readers, I need all the good vibes I can get. ✌🏻

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Tired, Stressed and Existentially Depressed

 The lights are out and the curtains have finally been drawn on the shit show that was 2016. The audience waits with breathless anticipation as the next act is ushered in- a new year filled with new hope, new fears and new problems to be played out on the worlds’ stage. Everyone’s hoping 2017 will provide a better, more positive performance, but personally, I didn’t find the past 12 months to be as evil and arduous as the public en masse seemed to.

There was a kind of collective condemnation of the offending year, as if 2016 was a storybook villain wreaking havoc on the innocent citizens of the world, rather than the intangible measurement of time that it actually was. 

For me, it was a period of transformation and awakening. I reached the milestone age of thirty, and surprisingly didn’t haven’t a breakdown about it. I began experimenting with altered states of consciousness and entheogens, which unexpectedly propelled me onto a path of spirituality, and discovered a lot of new things about myself, the world, and this reality which I inhabit. I found several of my long-held beliefs challenged and subsequently smashed to smithereens.

Now, its been awhile since I’ve added any updates to my DMT Diaries, and I must explain that this is not due to a shortage of things to say; rather, my silence has been the result of a recent ‘spiritual fatigue’, for lack of a better term, that has washed over me.

I spent most of the last year on a quest for deeper knowledge, embarking on fervent esoteric research and experimentation. I’ve attempted to document my experiences and findings and connect with the psychedelic community. Some would say my fascination bordered on obsession. The result of all this has been, at best, a mystical, eye-opening journey into the realms of the unknown, and at worse, a frustrating exercise in mind-fuckery. Frankly, the whole thing has been quite exhausting.

So now, I’m a just a bit over everything. I’m bored with reading about interdimensional travel and Planck time and sick of trying to raise my vibrational frequency. I’m tired of monitoring my thoughts and trying to manifest positivity. I know I have so much left to learn, I’m just lacking the passion to do so.

But it’s not like immersing myself in regular old 3D reality is overly appealing, either. I know too much now; I will never experience the bliss of ignorance again. I can’t just plonk myself down in front of a sitcom for hours and chuckle along with the laugh track anymore. I can’t just scroll through my Facebook feed and read the endless mind-numbing expositions of my friends and acquaintances or be bothered weeding out the click-bait from the genuine articles. Everything just seems to tedious and irritating to me, and I don’t know what to do about it.

So I’m stuck in this uncomfortable state of restless dissatisfaction; itching for change, but unable to see any viable opportunities for it. I want things to be different, better, more exciting, but I don’t know how to make that happen. 
I think I need a mentor. 

Someone to guide me through this period of transition, to re-motivate and inspire me, to help illuminate my path. 
I must remind myself that I’ve come pretty far on my own, and even give myself props for that. I not only ventured out of my comfort zone this year, I came tearing out of it, naked and screaming, like a bat out of hell. The past 12months have seen me shed a huge amount of negative constructs in my life: for example, I no longer rely on pharmaceutical drugs to regulate my moods and sleep, which is huge coming from a girl who has been heavily medicated since 16.

 I’ve also shed all the external artifice that for years acted as armour against my insecurities, and no longer get the costly and painful hair and eyelash extensions I’ve worn since I was 19. I barely eat fast food anymore, and I drink liters of water a day, something which might seems simple and insignificant to those who naturally embark on these basic healthy habits, but no so to myself, a soft-drink and takeaway addict. I’ve also started weekly yoga classes and regularly practice breathing and mindfulness meditation. 

However, I still smoke what is probably considered ‘too much’ weed, have the odd cigarette if I’m feeling particularly nervy, and divulge in heavier drugs occasionally. So I’m far from being a holistic temple of purity, but I still like to think I’ve come along way. 
I have a good life, all in all. I’m in the healthiest place I’ve ever been mentally, my relationship and home life is filled with love and stability, and I have a job that pays a decent wage and allows me to spend my days around music and movies, two of my favorite things. So what’s the problem? Why do I feel so empty? Why, on most mornings, am I filled with dismay upon waking? 

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a glimpse of something more, something bigger, something divine, and it’s difficult to readjust to the mundanities of everyday life. Maybe I’m experiencing a ‘dark night of the soul’, a period of tumultuous inner chaos that many report suffering while on a quest for enlightenment. If this is the case, it means I’m embroiled in a kind of tug-of-war between my spiritual self and my ego, both fighting for dominance over my consciousness. 

If anyone has experienced a similar feeling, or had overcome a ‘dark night’ of their own, please reach out to me. Any and all advice, tips, stories etc is welcome! You can comment here links to your own accounts, or email me at little.psychonaut@gmail.com. Thanks in advance, and safe travels to all of you in 2017. ✌🏻

A Most Unlikely Love 

I’m not usually one for romantic displays, neither giving or receiving. I find them mostly to be unbearably cringey and I’d just, like, rather not

I’m also terribly inarticulate when it comes to writing on matters of the heart, so I don’t normally bother, which is why I was surprised to come across a love letter to Boyfriend in a secret folder on my phone. Apparently I wrote it six months ago while in a particularly wistful mood, and promptly forgot all about it.

My usual reaction to finding something like this would be to either delete it, or put it back in its hiding place forever. But its resurfaced right on the eve of our one year anniversary, which seemed quite serendipitous, and in lieu of an actual gift I thought it would be nice for me to share it with him (and the Internet, I guess). 

Dear love, 

I’ve recently come to a realization about you, and us, and the effect you have on me. My life was always full of chaos but since we’ve been together, I’ve felt surrounded by a calmness, a sense of rightness, a profound feeling of being home.  We’ve known each other forever, although it’s only been the last six months I’ve actually started to know you. Since then I’ve written poems for you, essays about you, and opened up in a way I haven’t been able to for many years. To say you’ve influenced me positively is an understatement. 

Up until now, I took for granted that this creative resurgence was attributed to the newfound romance in my life. Now I understand that it was not just the act of falling in love, or the warmth of being loved in return, but it was the lover himself that was my muse. 

I’ve been deeply affected by love in the past, the emotions it’s stirred within me, the layers of myself that have been revealed, but the object of my affections was never really the source of inspiration- rather, my feelings and internal responses to the act of loving, and then the recovery from the emotional annihilation of heartbreak, was always the catalyst to my creativity. 

This is because until now, my lovers have all been of a certain ilk. They fit the ‘bad boy’/ alternative/ slightly damaged mold that I had cast for myself as an ideal partner; I now understand that this was largely due to my poor sense of self-worth. I didn’t see any value in myself so I instinctively picked under-achievers who wouldn’t challenge me (or themselves). I never thought i was nice enough for a ‘nice guy’. 

But through the thick ashes of failed relationships, I emerged at the end of my twenties slightly burnt, but also a little wiser, a touch more self-assured, and completely content to forge ahead into my thirties as a single lady. My newfound confidence and lust for life was pure, I wasn’t seeking to please anyone but myself, and I guess all these subtle changes over time was now resulting in me sending out vibrations on a higher level, and thus becoming attractive to a similar (aka better) quality of person. And that’s when you came back along, quietly and effortlessly slotting yourself into my life as if there was always a special spot reserved there for you. 

We’d always been on the periphery of eachothers lives, and once we became an ‘us’, it felt like I’d been wandering the cold for countless winters, frostbitten and pneumonic and searching for warmth, only to discover I had a box of matches on me the whole time. A chance reunion, a few almost-missed advances, a clumsy seduction; all the little moments leading up to that first kiss are etched in stone in my memory, because it was such an unnasuming beginning to something so life-changing. Our compatibility caught a us both off guard, but from that first kiss, from the very instant the match was struck and the sparks flew wildly, we knew we were inevevitable. 

When we first met eight years ago, I had no idea who I was or what I wanted from life. You were in university trying to figure it all out. We were both with unsuitable partners and would have saved a lot of time and heartache if we’d just ran off together then and there. But instead, you just asked to take a photo of me and I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do. 

The picture I eventually got to see was a revelation. For the first time, I was able to see beauty in myself, in the image of me you created. Instead of obsessing over blemishes or messy hair or any of my thousand perceived flaws, I was able to admire the shadows and light as it bounced off my face, enhancing certain features and pronouncing my youthful vulnerability. For once I could look at myself as something other than  repulsive. That photo now resides in a frame, above the actual antique chair pictured in it, in the home we now share together, and it’s still my favorite photo to this day.

This lovely bit of serendipity was the catalyst to my realization. Its presence makes me reflect on the notions of randomness and destiny, and reconsider my thoughts on true love. Because now I know that you haven’t only been a positive influence on me this last amazing year- you’ve actually been inspiring me since the day we met. 

It’s not always obvious, it’s not always grandiose, but every single day, my life is better because of you. I’m better because of you- more genuine, less reckless, softer. My carelessness is countered by your perfectionism, my impulsiveness by your sensibility. 

I used to think it would be the highest honor to be considered someone’s muse, to be alluring enough to inspire a work of art, but now I realize that the true gift is to have a muse of your own. To be blessed with the company of someone who motivates and inspires you, someone who makes you understand the love songs, and sing them without a trace of irony- that’s an honour. To have Someone who gives you the courage to lay yourself bare, even though you’ve been hurt in the past, even though you know you could be hurt again. Someone you can feel so connected with, you lose yourself a little bit. A person to miss when you must be apart, and make your heart swell up impossibly big when they come back. 

So I say thank you, my most unlikely love, for affecting me. For letting me in on the secret of secrets, the reasons the movies keep being made and the songs keep being sung, for knowing me and letting me know you and for giving me the most wonderful us. 
 

Farewell, shitty youth 

It’s a warm night in May, and I’m at home, unsettled, as this is not just any other night, it is in fact the last night of my twenties. Tomorrow I will be flung across the precipice into the long-dreaded decade of ‘proper adulthood’. Thirty is a milestone birthday I’ve never looked forward to, I think mostly because I’ve never wanted to be a real grownup, and by that I mean what society has led me to believe is a proper grownup. Marriage, kids, mortgages, the stock market; none of these things interest me in the slightest. I just don’t want to do all that stuff. I loathe having to get up and work every day in a pointless job just so I can (barely) afford the luxury of existing; why the fuck would I want to extend that struggle into a smaller, even more incapable version of myself?

 Why would I want to enter the most outrageously unaffordable housing market my country has ever experienced, and sell my soul to the big banks for all of eternity? Why would I want to spend upwards of $10,000 on a single day parading my love and union to someone, in an outdated and patriarchal tradition that bears no spiritual or emotional significance to me whatsoever, just because my fucking family and friends want me to? I’d much rather get high, listen to good music, have meaningful conversations with real people, make art and sleep all day. And now, in the twilight of my youth, I’m starting to realize that it’s ok to want to do those things, it’s ok to reject society’s preconceived notion of how you’re supposed to live your life, and I shouldn’t fucking feel bad about it. 

I’m a good person, and I can say that with conviction. For the past twenty-nine years I have constantly craved approval from those around me, and made it my life’s work to please others. The satisfaction I feel when I’m able to help someone, or at the very least meet their requests, is immense. But that means that if I don’t do things correctly, or piss someone off or give them cause to reprimand me, the shame and guilt I feel is crushing. This compulsive need to please doesn’t just apply to my loved ones; even people whom I don’t particularly like or opinions on anything else I wouldn’t value, have the power to destroy me. Such is the importance I place on others perception of me. But the beauty of getting older is that you become wise to the fact that most people are fuckheads and it doesn’t matter what they think. Deriving self-worth from others is stupid and damaging and I’m grateful that I’ve started figuring that out. Instead I’m turning inwards for approval more and more, and as a result I am living a much happier and honest life. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I think I’ve got it all figured out now. It’s just that I’m far enough away from misguided mess that were my teen years to see that I have grown up, I am wiser and more confident and I’m vastly better at life than I was a decade ago. I’m sure when I turn forty I’ll look back on my life now and laugh at how I thought I was even slightly knowledgeable, but for now, I’ll live in the ignorant blissfulness  of thinking I’ve got at least a few things figured out. 

So yes, I’m about to be a thirty year old who smokes weed every day, struggles to pay bills on time and often eats cookies for breakfast. I may not have a kid, a husband or a mortgage, but you know what else I don’t have? A single grey hair, wrinkle or stretch mark. I’m not trapped in a loveless marriage with someone I thought was cool 10years ago but actually turned out to be an annoying douchebag, but who I’m stuck with coz there’s still 30 years worth of mortgage payments to be made and little Johnny’s only just started school. My life doesn’t stop at 8 and 3 every day to do a school run, instead I do, I dunno, take drugs or have sex or whatever the fuck I want. Instead I have a hot boyfriend who actually loves and respects me, a house full of cool shit and two adorable kittens that satisfy my maternal needs without ruling my life. 

 I  may not look or act like a responsible adult all the time but that doesn’t mean I’m not. I’ve earned my status as a grown up because I’ve spent thirty fucking years growing up. I’ve chosen kindness and empathy over money and power, intelligence over prestige, exhiliration over stability, passion over success. My life is sometimes chaotic, often incredibly peaceful, but it’s always my own, and I realize now that I am exactly what I always wanted to be when I grew up- free. 

Anxiety, The Worst of Me

 Living with a mental illness and various panic disorders is, to me, kind of like walking around with a heavy and noisy speaker on your shoulder. Blaring your personal, and often embarrassing, playlists for the world to hear, on shuffle, with you desperately trying but unable to find the mute button. You receive a bunch of unwanted attention from eye-rolling strangers, the song and tempo is often wildly inappropriate for the situation, and people don’t understand why you can’t just silence the damn thing. Continue reading “Anxiety, The Worst of Me”

How to be an Emotional Wreck and Suck at Everything

 I’ve been blundering my way through this ‘life’ thing for nearly thirty years now, and I still haven’t quite figured out how to be good at it. I have, however, acquired a particular set of skills; namely, in fucking up and being a total failure. So for those of you out there who have successfully transitioned into adulthood,  are perhaps bored with your smooth sailing, easy-breezy lifestyle over in Made It-ville, here’s some tips on how to foray over  to the wrong side of the tracks and take up residence in FuckUp Town, all in just 10 easy steps! So put down your kale and chia juice or whatever it is that real grown-ups do these days, and prepare to be un-enlightened. You’re welcome.   Continue reading “How to be an Emotional Wreck and Suck at Everything”