When You Start to Cough up Black Tar, It's Probably Time to Quit Weed.
The toughest pill I ever swallowed was when I realized, abusing drugs was abusing those I loved.
This came after I coughed up black tar for the first time after my 8 am bong rip.
I knew it was self-harm. I could accept that somehow. Self-harm was something I did not feel too bad about. I was ok as long as I was not hurting anyone else.
But I had heard it before.
"The way you treat yourself is how you treat others."
Being stoned all the time meant I was not available for loving relationships. It told me I could not allow myself to heal or grow from my trauma. It meant I could not feed myself properly and masked my eating disorder. It meant I lost my self-respect, my job, and my spiritual fire.
So how did this begin?
I wanted to be perfect so bad that I could not love myself sober. I could not really love myself stoned either, but I could be distracted by the music, and things 'seemed' to make sense. It seemed like the medicine I needed. Until I could not sleep or eat without it. I could not sleep or eat with it either. It was all I thought about, all I cared about.
Eventually, everything weed initially gave me at first, was taken away.
I lost my creativity, I lost my appetite, and I lost my self-respect.
For those who say that weed is not harmful, it is.
For those who say it is good medicine for PTSD. Sometimes it is not.
Another pill I swallowed was a little sweeter and calmed my nerves. We abuse substances when we are hurt when others have harmed us.
Why did I want to be perfect so bad?
Because I thought I would not be lovable until I was. Because I grew up with the belief that I am not enough.
Because I had, excuse the stereotype, what I now call Asian white parents. They were strict, controlling, and rule-driven. They say they do it out of love, but you only behave for them out of fear of being punished. This leads me to seek relationships similar to what I grew up with at home. Unhealthy and overbearing.
Writing brought awareness to the harm of my addictions, substances, and relationships. In a conversation I had about heartbreak, my first nations friend reminded me, "Our healing in ours".
Somehow this made me realize I was not writing to help others. I was writing for myself. My anger, sadness, and guilt do not hurt anyone like my parents had me believe growing up. But hiding it behind clouds of pot smoke, starving myself and telling everyone "I'm fine" was hurting the ones that genuinely loved me. There isn't such thing as merely 'self-harm' Hurting yourself does hurt others. It is still harmful.
We should never punish ourselves or push ourselves to the point of pain, exhaustion or breakdown. Life will do that for us. Our jobs here are to make the healthiest garden to grow in. We must nourish ourselves. We must give ourselves safety. Let the storm come and challenge you. Don't set a forest fire on your life. That's the difference between personal growth and self-sabotage.
We know when we are using drugs vs. when the drugs are using us. And when the drugs are using us. They are stomping us down. Like marching all over a garden. Keeping us from growth.
If we can find boundaries with the substances and abusive people in our lives, we can give ourselves the chance to heal. Eventually, we will grow back stronger.