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A Pipe Called Peace

by Dré Pontbriand 10 months ago in humanity · updated 9 months ago
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Healing anxiety and addiction with the medicine of Mary-Jane

Sweet clouds billow from my lips and for the first time in over a decade, I don’t judge myself for their creation. I inhale support, exhale that feeling like the whole world is sitting on my chest. My nervous system softens into equilibrium and I hear myself say the words “thank god” out loud. A beloved plant, an old friend invites me to breathe, laugh, surrender.

I’ve been here countless times but never like this. Until now, I’ve only known how to be at war with this side of myself--shaming her existence, resisting her at every turn, invalidating how far she's come. As if consuming the medicine that my ancestors put in a pipe called peace renders me some sort of degenerate.

.

I hear the old familiar voices:

-“You’re such an addict.”

-“How dare you say you’re three years sober when you still smoke weed?”

-“You shouldn’t need substances to regulate you.”

.

This time though, I start to recognise them as an erroneous amalgamation of the narratives I’ve internalised throughout my life.

I remember all those “don’t do drugs, kids” campaigns directly followed by fast food ads. My first long-term boyfriend giving me the silent treatment for two days for smoking a joint with his friends. “It’s super unattractive and unladylike”, he said, as he polished off his third bottle of Jack that week. The sideway stares of those who were taught to fear plants but drown in poisons. The arrogance of vilifying the sacred healing elixirs of the original guardians of the land but celebrating the numbing agents of the colonisers.

I reflect on the fact that the war on drugs has been one of the most destructive forces on the planet because wars on anything never work. Especially when they’re orchestrated to oppress marginalised groups and hinder the elevation of human consciousness. *I highly recommend reading Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari for a powerful perspective on this topic.

From the time in grade 11 when I wore a homemade tank top that read “Don’t panic, it’s organic” and won a legalisation of marijuana debate, I saw through the corruption of making plants illegal. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean I didn’t subconsciously internalise societal judgment and project it onto myself. That’s over now. In the same way that I would never judge anyone who takes medication for anxiety or depression, I no longer judge myself for the medicine that’s gotten me here.

Weed has been a loyal companion during some of my darkest times. She has steered me away from the nefarious substances that would have eventually killed me. She has warded off countless panic attacks. She has invited in laughter where worry would have swallowed me whole. She has expanded my mind, sparked my creativity, elevated my frequency. She has helped me ground and reconnect with source. She has softened me and brought me back into love with the world and those around me.

Sometimes, I smoke for a month at a time and sometimes, I go for months without it. For a former OCD/shopaholic/bulimic who used to dust a bottle of Havana Club a night, if a plant is the worst of my "vices", that's pretty damn impressive.

I shake off disempowering labels like “alcoholic” and “addict” because they do not define me and nobody, not even myself, gets to put me in boxes like: “once an addict, always an addict”. I fill in the spaces where these nuance-less blanket statements used to exist with deep compassion for a being who’s learning to heal trauma and regulate her nervous system. So, I thank my beloved for her support and take another rip because today, that’s where I’m at and I love myself, even on the days when I need a little extra help.

humanity

About the author

Dré Pontbriand

Writer. Alchemist. Freedom Enthusiast.⁂

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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