Inside the Mind of a Marijuana User: The Woes and Brilliance of Marijuana
Marijuana users have different reasons for using the substance. Some use marijuana exclusively for recreational purposes while others use it for its potential medical benefits. The legalization of the substance made it even more popular, increasing its use for both recreation and medicine. As for myself, I began using marijuana after learning about my mental condition. Using the substance occasionally helped improve my quality of life, however, I try to not rely on it to avoid the negative effects of high doses.
High-Functioning Anxiety Diagnosis
High-functioning anxiety is a mental disorder that can be difficult to diagnose. I spent my whole life not knowing that I had an illness and always thought that I was as healthy as one can be. I have been a high achiever since grade school, rarely calling in sick. I carried this mindset until I started working for a reputable company. Being a high achiever, I quickly became an important member of the institution. I was not in a high managerial position, but my role was essential for the company. I helped with major presentations and securing deals with high-profile clients.
One day, the weight of my work just came tumbling down leaving me shocked and frozen. I was thinking too much, I wanted a perfect presentation since failing to do it could mean losing millions for the company. I began thinking of the negative things that might happen; coworkers whispering and judging me behind closed doors; managers assessing if they should cut me loose; people laughing at me as I lose my credibility. All these culminated into one enormous feeling until the day came when it was too heavy for me to bear.
Suddenly, I was unable to eat and sleep. I could not force myself to even finish one spoonful. Despite my efforts to feed myself, I just could not find the strength to feed myself. Sleeping was the same–I keep imagining the negative things that might happen and no matter how hard I try, I cannot fall into a deep slumber to set my mind at ease. I was struggling from the inside and I did not know what to do. I had to file a sick leave, which I have never done. Everyone at work was shocked; the guy with perfect attendance decided to take the day off. Following this, my parents heard of my condition and decided to take me to a psychiatrist. I was hesitant for the first couple of sessions but I then realized that I needed help.
Introduction to Marijuana
While receiving therapy, one of my friends introduced me to marijuana. I told her about my condition and the therapy that I was in. I have heard about the medical properties of marijuana and how it could potentially improve mental health. However, I was also aware of the scientific studies that argue the contrary. I thought about it for at least a week before I decided to attempt using the substance. I also told my psychiatrist that I will be using marijuana in hopes that it would improve my condition.
Slowed-Down Thinking Pattern
Since I started using marijuana, I noticed that my thinking pattern has slowed down remarkably. Instead of going off on every possible tangent all at the same time, I have developed a linear pattern. I do not think of too many things at once anymore and I could focus on a single objective. This was a struggle I had before where I was always in a hurry trying to accomplish multiple things at once. Marijuana helped me to avoid thinking of the negative things that might happen or feeling that I lost an opportunity after choosing an alternative course.
At work, I learned to step back and look at everything. I take time to pause and assess the situation before taking any steps forward. Through this, problems became easy to fix. Sometimes, I even realize that there are no problems at all. I used to fixate on things–just the tiniest error could make me feel uneasy and irritated. I cannot keep it away from my mind unless I act to fix it. Marijuana helped me gain a new perspective where I am a little more carefree and accepting of tiny mistakes.
Using marijuana allowed me to finally slow down. This was something that I rarely do since I was always in a hurry, trying to accomplish multiple things at once. I was always in a rush–power walking when I should walk or running when I should power walk. By slowing down, I discovered a little grocery store that has always existed near my flat. I always bought food from one place, on my way to work, so I never paid attention to the buildings around me. Slowing down also meant that I could cook, drink coffee, and enjoy life instead of rushing around and panicking. Marijuana gave me the time that I always had but was too distracted to notice.
Importance of Rest
I also learned the value of taking vacations and sick leaves. I had the habit of focusing too much at work and never considered taking days off. I felt that stopping to take a vacation was too unproductive and could set me back from my goal. Even during days when I had headaches or back pain, I would power through them instead of taking a sick day. This was me during my academic life and it remained after I started working. Since marijuana allowed me to look from a different perspective, I understood that work should not only be my focus. I have an entire life to live, relationships to build, and goals outside of work. Marijuana showed me that rest is important and I should not feel shame or guilt when taking a day off.
Potential Negative Effects
While marijuana provided me with benefits for my mental health , I noticed that high doses are detrimental to my anxiety. When taking high doses, I revert to my old self. I would zoom in and out, think about everything, and rush around without even stopping to take a breath. There is also the fact that I can become dependent on marijuana. Whenever I felt that I was reverting to my old self, I would get the urge to take the substance. To address this, I restricted my intake and focused more on therapy and exercise. High doses of marijuana, or any substance, can never be good. Relying on it too much can become counterproductive for my recovery.
Marijuana use has been beneficial for me and my mental health. It has helped me manage my high-functioning anxiety by slowing down my mind and allowing me to appreciate a slower pace. However, marijuana also poses dangers to those who would abuse it. Using it without the approval of any doctor can be risky, especially if you have an underlying or undiagnosed illness. For those who will use it, they should use it wisely and remember that too much of anything can never be a good thing.
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