Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Forget the THC’s pass me the HCB’s

I used to indulge in the Weed. Starting about 20 years ago. Not incessantly or daily, perhaps weekly at most and almost never alone. Getting stoned was always a social thing for me, something to enjoy in the company of others. I gave up in 2003 barring the odd spectacular collapse every now and then. Though I often find myself in one of those situations in which it is either appropriate to indulge or inappropriate not to. And every few months I dip my toe back in the water. Yet for the last several years, as much as I may enjoy such moments I generally dislike the overall impact. Social paranoia.

I can’t tell if my behaviour is acceptable or not. Am I being uncool, aggressive, impassive, insensitive, talking too much, talking too little, do my friends like me, why don’t I have this duck with me and heaven alone knows what else. It’s far from mellow and relaxed as the advertising promises. I wondered about this and concluded that its effect is to make me unconfident.

I first assumed I was simply ‘growing’ out of it, later that my reaction to it was changing but as I looked back I remembered this social paranoia always being something of a feature in the experiences, yet there was many a time of overall enjoyment in the far past.

Feeling unconfident is just horrid. “God” built into all of us enough of a ridiculous propensity towards insecurity so why would I want to inflict this on myself further. Why was I once so willing to do this?

The answer is: back in the day I was unconfident! So smoking weed never made any difference. I lost no confidence because I had none. It’s only now that I have some that I notice this debilitating effect. This may seem an inconsequential or obvious observation. Once anything is explained and fully understood it appears obvious. I wish to share these thought through thoughts of times past as they’re an internal observation made about myself, which bears all the hallmarks of a psychonautic operation.

Psychonauts do to Inner Space what Astronauts do to Outer Space – Dedicated missions of discovery with specific goals in mind. One achieved. This was also always something of the purpose of this sort of posting.

So much for the THC’s not so the HCB’s!

You see while losing one habit I’ve acquired another. Its time-based and lightly rooted in a religion packed with mystery.

I have become addicted to having a Hot Cross Bun on Good Friday!

I know it was cheap to make up a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) for effect but hopefully it made you smile.

I spent this last Easter weekend in Piratey Cornwall with Miss Sparrow. Our journey there began in London on Good Friday at horrid o’clock with a certain-to-be-filled-with-traffic day of driving ahead. I’d failed to arrange the necessary goods in advance so faced the prospect of not having an HCB at all. I knew I’d find no foraging partner in Fraulein Spatz, she of the pathological raisin hatred. HCB’s contain these in abundance. But at a motion lotion station stop I found some – photographed here in all their glory!

Smugly I delayed gratification knowing they’d best be toasted with butter.

However we were distracted by the truly remarkable Eden Project (10/10) which was like travelling to all over the globe and by the time we arrived at Cottage Corsair in the evening my buns had become rocks. I still went for my Good Friday HCB experience. While Mademoiselle Moineau discovered all the Landlord’s booby-trapped appliances in a frenetic 5 minutes, I burned my precious buns in a rubbish toaster. The only thing these two burnt buns were better than was an accidental proverbial in the oven.

See the dismal affair they turned out to be… looks like the work of someone stoned:

I blame sleep deprivation – far more entertaining and debilitating than any drugs!

And what was worse was the little Buccaneer Bungalow in the Back of Beyond had no phone reception so I was unable to call my distant Mom and share my day, which to me is equally part of the HCB experience! Just as travel is better with a purpose so is calling a loved one. Not just dutifully checking-in, nor when needing a favour but best when armed with a silly experience or point of interest to share.

Many will jump in to say one does not need a REASON to call one’s MOM but how nice is it to chat to someone you love when you don’t want something but you have a nice reason to call and share. The HCB thing is definitely rooted in my childhood with her providing them back then. So calling my Mom to share my HCB notes of the day adds pleasure to an already pleasant proceeding. Perhaps this sounds a little like I’m manufacturing my life and working meaning into my Mom and my relationship. That’d be ok by me. After all 99% of my hardships are of my own making. So why not some of the good stuff too?

Talking of which here’s what saved Good Friday’s HCB debacle from completely harshing my mellow… a landlord supplied Cornish Cream Tea welcome gift…. Lashings of clotted cream and raspberry jam. Super double Yum! The picture represents a quarter of what I devoured.

Could sink an armada on them.

Next up, grass of an entirely different kind...


Catherine said...

By God you are more English than I tought you were!! :-)
Not sure if I agree on the theory about the loss of self confidence there but it's a line of thought for sure. I've experienced quite the same thing with the social paranoia and am now laying of the thc as well. A glass of wine or my sweet grandma calling me down for lunch as we speak all does the trick for me! :-) Love you, hope to read some more xx (oh and: www.catherininindia.blogspot.com ... similar filosofies though on different things)

Catherine said...

that should have been:
catherineinindia.blogspot.com I think :-)

bob.sherunkle said...

I think you have over analysed your situation.

Much in the same way that alcohol can turn some people into insta-arseholes so weed can have undesired effects, especially with people who have never really liked it.

From personal experience I find that any alcoholic beverage stronger than 11% can set off a belligerent side of my personality which often results in social embarrassment and/or physically aggressive actions. Curiously, it does not seem to be volume related but rather strength vs time related (i.e. 6 or 7 pints of beer is fine but 2 or 3 shots of tequila in a row and it all kicks off in my head!)

But I have never had a problem with weed and actually attribute much of my personal growth and current mellowness in life to my almost daily consumption of wacky-baccy back in my mid twenties.

In line with social convention it is somewhat frowned upon by my peers and new people I meet to partake of weed in unfamiliar company so I now smoke very rarely and almost exclusively with long time friends and fellow partakers who find themselves in almost identical boats.

Sometimes, albeit very rarely, I may run into a joint whilst at a party or some such gathering and I am always eager and up for it if it seems appropriate.

To get back to your post though you are being very unfair by linking the natural insecurities of relative youth with your recreational herbal use. You may, with 20/20 hindsight, think that your paranoia when partaking was always there but if it was I must say you hid it well under a mask of cocksuredness and bravado. You may have been relatively insecure compared to now but it is a very tiny amount compared to any kind of reasonable psychological scale.

I personally think you may be suffering from persistent drug memory the basic premise of which is that your personal development as an individual diverges in line with your habitual drug use. So you have a sober personality along with a weed personality.

With declining drug use you find your sober personality continues to age and mature with the requisite confidence gain and when you smoke weed mental age regresses to to the last time you experienced the drug.

So, for example, if the majority of your weed memory dates back to your 20's then when you smoke in your 30's you find yourself back with your same hang ups and insecurities of your stoned self in your 20's. You could handle it when you were in your 20's because that was your life then and your current persona may not enjoy the trip. Does that make sense?

But, I will say this, HCB's did, do, and always will kick ass!

bob.sherunkle said...

Oh, and an addendum, I really think you will find Die Antwoord's track Dagga Puff very amusing.

jen* said...

i didn't see that coming! love to you and miss you