I Loved Getting High – Why Did I Change?

Discover the personal journey of transformation from loving getting high to a new perspective. Explore the reasons behind the change.

The Evolution of Substance Use

Exploring the history of substance use provides valuable insights into the origins and development of our relationship with drugs and alcohol. This section will delve into the early history of drug use and the impact of agriculture on substance use.

Early History of Drug Use

The use of psychoactive substances can be traced back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence reveals the presence of opium use in Europe as early as 5,700 BC, while cannabis seeds have been found in Asian archaeological digs dating back to 8,100 BC. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus even reported Scythians getting high on weed in 450 BC. Additionally, tea was brewed in China by 100 BC.

These early instances of drug use highlight the long-standing human fascination with altering consciousness and seeking experiences beyond the ordinary. Whether for religious or recreational purposes, humans have been experimenting with various substances throughout history.

Impact of Agriculture on Substance Use

The invention of agriculture marked a significant turning point in the evolution of substance use. Agriculture created a surplus of sugars and starches, which, when mashed and left to ferment, transformed into potent brews. This surplus enabled the production of alcohol, leading to its independent invention in different regions. The oldest known evidence of alcohol production dates back to 7,000 BC in China.

With the emergence of agriculture, civilizations and agricultural societies promoted substance use, including alcohol and drugs, throughout the millennia. These substances played a role in socialization, creativity, and productivity, potentially contributing to the development of civilization itself. In contrast, early hunter-gatherer societies, such as the African Bushmen, Pygmies, and the Hadzabe people, showed little evidence of drug use. Their lifestyle, centered around exercise, sunlight, nature, and close-knit communities, may have provided natural antidepressants, reducing the need for external substances.

Understanding the historical context of substance use helps shed light on its complex relationship with human society. As civilizations evolved and agricultural practices flourished, the use of psychoactive substances became more prevalent, influencing cultural perspectives and shaping our ongoing relationship with drugs and alcohol.

Cultural Perspectives on Substance Use

Exploring the cultural perspectives on substance use provides valuable insights into the historical context and societal attitudes towards psychoactive substances. In this section, we will delve into two specific cultural perspectives: American psychedelics and hunter-gatherer drug use.

American Psychedelics

Psychedelic substances have played a significant role in American culture, particularly among indigenous communities. American psychedelics encompass a variety of substances, including peyote cactus, San Pedro cactus, morning-glory, Datura, Salvia, Anadenanthera, Ayahuasca, and over 20 species of psychoactive mushrooms The Conversation.

The roots of American psychedelic culture can be traced back to ancient times. Carbon-dated peyote buttons from as early as 4,000 BC provide evidence of its historical use. Additionally, Mexican mushroom statues hint at Psilocybe use dating back to 500 BC The Conversation.

These substances were often used in spiritual and ceremonial contexts, providing individuals with profound experiences and insights. While cultural perspectives on psychedelics have evolved over time, they continue to hold significance for some communities, offering a unique connection to their cultural heritage and spiritual practices.

Hunter-Gatherer Drug Use

In contrast to American psychedelics, early hunter-gatherer societies showed little evidence of widespread drug use. Hunter-gatherer groups such as the African Bushmen, Pygmies, and the Hadzabe people engaged in a lifestyle that prioritized exercise, sunlight, nature, and strong social bonds as natural sources of well-being and happiness The Conversation.

While these early societies had access to diverse plants and fungi with potential psychoactive properties, there is limited evidence to suggest regular or widespread drug use among them. It is believed that they may have occasionally used drugs, such as for inducing trances during rituals, but their lifestyle and reliance on natural elements may have rendered powerful antidepressants unnecessary The Conversation.

The cultural perspective on drug use shifted as human societies transitioned to larger civilizations and agricultural societies. The promotion and use of substances like alcohol and drugs became more prevalent, contributing to the development and expansion of civilizations The Conversation. These substances played a role in socialization, creativity, and productivity, influencing the cultural fabric of societies throughout history.

Understanding the cultural perspectives on substance use allows us to recognize the diverse ways in which psychoactive substances have been integrated into different societies. By exploring these perspectives, we gain a deeper understanding of the historical significance and societal attitudes towards substance use.

Grief and Coping Mechanisms

When individuals experience grief, it can have a profound impact on their lives, including their behaviors and coping mechanisms. Understanding the effects of grief and the potential positive outcomes is essential in navigating the journey of healing.

Effects of Grief

Grief brings about various changes in a person's life. It can affect sleep patterns, eating habits, energy levels, concentration, and even relationships with family and friends. These changes are part of the acute and early stages of grieving, and they may leave individuals feeling isolated, anxious about the future, and fundamentally changed.

Grievers often experience a sense of loss, feeling like a part of them is missing. They may also grapple with trauma and perceive life's fairness differently. These emotions and feelings of emptiness can persist, creating a void where the loved one used to be.

Positive Outcomes of Grief

Despite the challenges grief presents, it can also lead to positive changes and personal growth. Through the grieving process, individuals may develop a deeper understanding of the struggles faced by others who are grieving. This newfound empathy can transform them into a source of support and compassion for those going through similar pain.

Grief can also bring individuals closer to others and foster the development of new friendships. It provides an opportunity to reflect on what truly matters in life and gain a greater appreciation for the present moment. The experience of loss can unveil inner strength and resilience, allowing grievers to realize their capabilities to endure and overcome challenges that once seemed insurmountable.

Through the process of rebuilding from the bottom up, grievers may discover a new sense of self. This journey of self-discovery can lead to personal transformation and growth, ultimately shaping a stronger and more resilient individual.

It's important to acknowledge that the effects and outcomes of grief vary from person to person. Each individual's grief journey is unique, and the healing process takes time. Seeking support from loved ones, therapists, or support groups can be instrumental in navigating the complex emotions associated with grief and finding ways to cope and heal.

Personal Journey with Marijuana

Personal experiences with marijuana can vary greatly from one individual to another. In this section, we will explore the personal journey of an individual who initially loved getting high but eventually underwent a shift in perspective.

Initial Perceptions vs. Reality

At the start of the author's journey with marijuana, their perceptions were shaped by societal narratives that portrayed the substance in a negative light. They were taught about its potential dangers and risks, which created a certain level of apprehension. However, as they began using marijuana and educating themselves on the subject, their initial perceptions were contradicted.

The author discovered that marijuana had a different effect on them than what they had been led to believe. Instead of negative outcomes, they found that marijuana helped them look at life and people in a new light. It fostered critical thinking and the ability to see things from different perspectives.

The Shift in Perspective

Over time, the author's relationship with marijuana went through a significant transformation. Initially, they developed an obsession with the substance, smoking almost every day for four years. However, this excessive consumption eventually led to unhappiness, irritability, and antisocial behavior.

As a result of these negative outcomes, the author began reflecting on their usage and realized the need for a change. They decided to reduce their marijuana consumption significantly and now barely smoke or consume the substance. This shift allowed them to regain control over their habits and find a healthier balance.

While the author acknowledges the potential downsides of their previous obsession with marijuana, they also recognize the positive impact it had on their creative thinking and overall outlook on life. Marijuana helped them develop critical thinking skills, challenging their preconceived notions and enabling them to see things from different angles. This newfound perspective continues to shape their personal growth and understanding of the world around them.

The personal journey with marijuana highlights the complexity and individual nature of substance use experiences. It serves as a reminder that perceptions and perspectives can evolve over time, leading to a deeper understanding of oneself and the substance being consumed.

Challenges of Substance Use

While the allure of substance use can initially be enticing, it often comes with its fair share of challenges. Whether it's marijuana or any other substance, the consequences of prolonged use can have a significant impact on an individual's life. In this section, we will explore two common challenges associated with substance use: obsession and its consequences, as well as strains on relationships.

Obsession and Consequences

For some individuals, substance use can become an obsession that consumes their daily lives. Take, for example, the author's personal journey with marijuana, as described in Medium. Initially, the author enjoyed getting high and indulged in marijuana almost every day for four years. However, over time, this obsession took a toll on their mental and emotional well-being.

The consequences of this obsession can manifest in various ways. The author experienced feelings of unhappiness, irritability, and antisocial behavior as a result of their marijuana use. The once-enjoyable habit became a burden, affecting their overall quality of life. Obsession with substance use can lead to neglecting responsibilities, declining physical and mental health, and a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable.

Strains on Relationships

Substance use can also strain relationships, particularly when one person in the relationship has differing views or concerns about the substance being used. In the case of the author mentioned in Medium, their relationship with a partner who was against cannabis became a source of difficulty.

Balancing the desire to spend time with a partner who disapproved of marijuana while continuing to indulge in its use can create tension and conflict. This strain on the relationship can arise from the differing values, concerns about the potential impact of substance use on the individual's well-being, or a lack of understanding and communication.

These strains can lead to a breakdown in trust, emotional distance, and even the eventual dissolution of the relationship. It is essential to recognize and address these challenges to maintain healthy relationships and foster open dialogue with loved ones.

Navigating the challenges of substance use requires self-reflection, support, and a willingness to make necessary changes. Recognizing the potential negative consequences of obsession and the strains it can place on relationships is an important step towards finding a balanced and fulfilling life. Seeking professional help, such as therapy or support groups, can provide valuable guidance and assistance in overcoming these challenges.

Finding Balance and Reflection

After going through a personal journey with substance use, finding balance and reflecting on the experience becomes essential. This section explores two key aspects of this process: reducing consumption and acknowledging the positive impact.

Reducing Consumption

Over time, individuals may find it necessary to reevaluate their consumption habits and make changes to achieve a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. This can involve reducing the amount or frequency of substance use, as well as setting personal boundaries and limits.

For the author mentioned in the extra context, the initial love for getting high eventually led to a shift in perspective [3]. As the author educated themselves on the subject and gained a deeper understanding of marijuana, they realized the importance of moderation. They significantly reduced their marijuana consumption and no longer smoke or consume it as frequently as before.

Reducing consumption can be a personal decision based on individual circumstances and goals. It may involve seeking support from professionals, such as therapists or counselors, to navigate the process and address any challenges that arise along the way. It is important to approach this journey with self-compassion, patience, and a commitment to personal well-being.

Acknowledging Positive Impact

While reducing substance use, it is crucial to acknowledge and reflect on the positive impact the substance had, as well. The author mentioned in the extra context noted the positive influence marijuana had on their creative thinking and overall outlook on life [3]. They experienced a shift in perspective, fostering critical thinking and the ability to see things from different angles.

Acknowledging the positive impact can help individuals recognize personal growth, newfound insights, or changes in their mindset that may have been influenced by their substance use experience. It is important to approach this reflection without judgment or guilt, but rather as an opportunity for self-awareness and personal development.

By finding balance and reflecting on their substance use journey, individuals can create a healthier relationship with substances and pave the way for personal growth. It is an ongoing process that requires self-reflection, self-care, and a commitment to overall well-being.