The Spiritual Metamorphosis of a Weed-Head!
The Spiritual Metamorphosis of a Weed-Head!
© 2005 El Veasey Publishing
VC L Veasey
I was seventeen when I first started drinking. I had an older friend, Richard, who wanted to "show me the ropes" of how to be a man including knowing how to "hold your liquor". It was summer and almost every day he'd take me and my best friend, Anthony, down to our favorite water front park for lessons in "how to drink like a man!"
He would usually bring a fifth of whiskey and we'd sit around drinking, laughing, talking and watching the ships sail by until we killed the fifth!
I wasn't used to drinking so of course, I didn't have much of a tolerance for alcohol and I'd get intoxicated very quickly but pretended that I didn't, so I wouldn't be made fun of by Richard. But he could always seem to tell when I was faking it anyway!
I was a budding guitarist and I started playing in bars at that time. I was a terribly shy teen and had intense stage fright, so I drank to help ease my stage fright and shyness about mingling with people and talking to girls.
I did a stint in the army when I was 19. The army was another place where excessive drinking was enjoyed as part of being a man. Whenever I went out with my army buddies, I always did my share of heavy drinking like a real macho man should. I felt I had to prove that I could drink anyone of them "under the table" at anytime.
After getting out of the army at around age 21, I started playing in bands again. I got some gigs backing up some of the hot Motown acts of that era like Edwin Starr and the Spinners, and others. Some musician friends introduced me to marijuana, under the guise of an experiment, pretending that they had never used it before when, actually, they had. Some older guys in the band (they were only 28) asked me if I wanted to "try a joint".
Marijuana was "dope" and dope had a bad name. So they didn't tell me it was marijuana. They told me to try it and see what I thought of it. I didn't want to seem like a "square" so after asking a few questions about it I said; "OK I'll try it." And I did.
With sly smiles on their faces, they'd periodically ask me how I was feeling.
I'd say, "I don't feel anything. I don't know what the big deal is! "
But, when we went on stage starting performing, after about 10 minutes...all of a sudden the sound from my amp sounded like it was bouncing of the walls!
Sometimes it sounded like it was coming from the dance floor where people were frantically dancing! My head would whip around to whatever direction the sound was ricocheting from next!
It was a surreal...like I was in a time warp...like I was in some other dimension!
I started shouting to the guys in the band, trying to be heard above the music, "Did you hear that? Did you hear that?"
Each one of them would look at me in turn and say, "Hear what?"
I'd say, "That sound!"
Then with a delayed reaction, they almost simultaneously realized I was high and just burst-out laughing so hard that they almost couldn't continue to play!
I was the butt of "did you hear that!" jokes for weeks!
After that, I got used to smoking marijuana, weed or gauge, as we called it.
I had so much fun when I was high! Everything seemed funny!
My friends and I would just laugh and have a great time! I thought weed was the greatest thing I'd ever come across!
Now I was drinking and smoking! I mainly smoked weed, but when we played bars, I'd drink heavily also.
Then I started getting into psychedelics (mescaline, LSD) and cocaine.
Sometimes when I was playing I would be high on weed, alcohol, mescaline and coke at the same time! I did this in some form or another for about 15 years straight.
During that time there was probably only about 5 to 6 hours out of a day when I wasn't high and that's when I was asleep! And I was probably high even then!
When I woke-up in the mornings I would light up a joint. I'd eat breakfast and hit a joint.
If I went to the store I'd fire-up a joint. During just about any activity I'd light up a joint.
The attitude toward drugs then was "say yes to drugs!"
If you didn't get high we thought something was wrong with you.
The prevailing attitude was "reality is for those who can't do drugs!"
After 15 years of drugging and drinking almost, continuously, I tapered of a little and stopped doing psychedelics. I still did coke sporadically and mainly drank at night when I played bars. I didn't smoke weed as much as I used to but I still smoked it every day.
Then I became severely depressed for about 2 years.
All I wanted to do was stay high on weed, lie on my living room floor, listen to psychedelic music and wallow in self-pity all day.
I ate, used the bathroom and occasionally went to the store to buy munchies! Other than that, I stayed in the house with the shades down and the lights dimmed.
I could do this for 2 years because my girlfriend, whom I was living with at the time, who had 4 kids (not mine), and was on public assistance, supported me the whole time.
I had no money. I had stopped doing gigs. I was totally financially dependent on her most of the time. During my depressed states of mind when I was high, I was totally in another world.
All I wanted to do was listen to Music, be high and be out of it!
I was in this state most of the time I when I was awake. I would go through all kinds of hellish mental experiences and fantastic mental adventures.
During one of these experiences, I descended to the bottom of some deep, dimly lit pit.
I was down there just floating, doing nothing, wallowing in my self-pity and feeling kind of good about it! (Sometimes it feels good to feel bad! Some of you know what I'm talking about!)
I was thinking about how bad my life had been up until that point and how disappointed I was! How let down I was! When all of a sudden! I saw a soft light glowing in the distant darkness and heard a voice saying to me, "You have three choices.
“You can go insane, you can die, or you can go back and try to get your act together!"
I seriously thought about these options for a while, not knowing what I really wanted to do.
The idea of death had a kind of a soothing appeal about it, so did insanity.
But as I was contemplating this scenario beam of light struck me from the darkness like a thunder-bolt! Something inside me said, "Go back and try to make a new start!" And that's what I slowly did, very slowly!
My Dreams Were Shattered!
My depression had come about because my band had gotten a record deal with a major record label (a dream come true for me at time, 1969). The label recorded us and made all these plans to make us a "Super Group". I was so happy! I was so hyped up I was jumping for joy! I just knew I was going to be a big recording star! Rich and famous! I was telling all my friends, all my relatives about it!----When----Out of the blue!---Like a lightning-bolt! The president the president of the Record company sold the company and moved to England to head the Rolling Stones record company!
I couldn't believe it! Just like that! All my dreams were shattered!
The new owners, GRT, didn't follow through on Chess' plans for us and did almost nothing for us. This was the precipitating event that was mainly responsible for my 2-year bout with depression!
I had an aunt (Bertha) who was an alcoholic wine-head! She got to the point where she would drink and not eat! She died in her late thirties from internal hemorrhaging!
My uncle, Percy, was an avid gin drinker. He drank so much and for so many years he started having kidney problems. He would pee blood! But he wouldn't go near a doctor or quit drinking.
One day he took his girlfriend to see her doctor. While she was in the examining room, she heard over the intercom that someone had collapsed in the waiting room. It was my uncle! He died from a heart attack right there on the waiting room floor! He was in his mid-fifties.
I had a younger brother who graduated from years of being crossed addicted to heroin, marijuana, and alcohol to just being an alcoholic.
He started drinking more and eating less! The last six months of his life was spent with him being rushed back and forth to the emergency room because he was hemorrhaging internally. The doctors told him to stop drinking. He wouldn't. His last visit to the emergency room was his last time alive. He was in his early thirties.
My mother and another brother died from alcohol related health problems also. She was in her early fifties. He was in his forties. By all accounts the deck was severely stacked against my being able to recover from my addictive behavior. (End of background note.)
Because of feelings of low self-worth (caused by childhood emotional traumas) I began to read hundreds of books on psychology, religion, philosophy, new thought, spirituality, self-help, etc, (you name it) to try to find a way of overcoming my emotional problems.
I also read books on health, nutrition, and herbal therapy. I became a vegetarian for 4 years. I was a budding spiritual person, and started thinking more and more about if smoking weed and drinking were really healthy or spiritual or not.
I thought that I was in control of my drug use. I smoked weed because I wanted to. It wasn't addicting. I could stop anytime I wanted to. So I one day I decided to test myself to see if this was true (having no doubts that it was true).
The Worst Situation!
I was in the worst situation I could've been in to start testing myself. I was playing in a band, in bars, four to five nights a week; with band members who were also weed heads and heavy drinkers.
We'd take three or four breaks a night and usually went outside to share a joint or two. During one of these breaks I decided not to smoke. The comments I got were, "You're not smoking! Yeah right! Come on hit it! You know you really want to!"
Each night, on each break, I was pressured to smoke weed against my will, And although I'd decided not to smoke weed for a week to test myself. I'd find myself with a joint in my hand, raising it up to my lips, before I'd suddenly realize what I was doing! I'd pass the joint back and say, "I don't want this!" The responses were, "Just checking!" "Just trying to see if you're really serious or not!"
I had many relapses tying to quit smoking weed. Whenever I'd relapsed, I'd feel guilty and disappointed, because I thought I had control of my weed use and found that I didn't!
The more guilt I felt the more I'd smoke! The more I'd smoke the more guilt I felt!
And round and round I'd go, Until finally I decided that, if I relapsed. I wasn't going to feel guilty. I would just say, “Ok! You slipped-up! Now get back on track!"
That helped me to stop feeling guilty about relapsing and having to get high to stop feeling guilty about getting high!
I found that the more emotionally healthy I became, the more of a negative effect getting high had on me. It made me paranoid, more depressed and less motivated to do things that I usually felt like doing. I didn't like that. The more emotionally healthy I became, the less getting high appealed to me! So with much struggle and determination, I gradually started getting high less and less everyday until one day I finally quit.
I followed this same process when I decided to stop drinking. Just insert getting intoxicated where I say getting high in the text.
Essentially, what happened was that I had outgrown the need to medicate my emotional and spiritual problems by getting high or intoxicated. The more I experienced real fulfillment of my needs, the less I sought substitute fulfillment of those needs through weed and alcohol abuse.
I gradually became more emotionally and spiritually mature, more emotionally and spiritually an adult. I developed beyond the needs that fueled my addictive behavior and gradually beyond relapsing.
It took me a year or so of struggle, determination, and emotional and spiritual growth to finally slay this dragon, but I did it!
Understanding My Real Needs!
Understanding what my real needs were and how to fulfill them, was the key to recovering from my addictive behavior for me.
This understanding and fulfillment came to me by opening up to a part of me that was outside of my personal, sense of self. You can call it my potential self, my ideal self, my God self, or whatever.
I call it the self that didn't go through the meat grinder of my personal traumas. This self seemed to predate my personal history. It transcended and contained my personal history. It was wiser, more confident, more loving and more fulfilled than I was as I was then.
It was an innate experience that had only been partially allowed into my experience up until then but, never to its optimum capacity (Like some vast mostly untapped reservoir of energy). It was something I'd never experienced before and if I had I hadn't been aware of it!
My goal was to reduce the gap between my normal sense of self and my potential sense of self until they intermingled like the Taoist Yin/Yang symbol. The more I approximated this state, the wiser and more perfect my choices have become and all things in my life seems to fall more and more into place without me forcing them; (Like hitting the bull's eye without trying to!)
I'm feeling pretty good! Those traumas and dark days seem like distant memories.
That person I was then seems like someone else now. Like someone I had a dream about a long time ago!
Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! What's your story?
Maybe you can do what I did, maybe you can't. But, no one knows what you can do until you do it, not even you!
May the light never cease to lighten your mind!
© 2018 VC L Veasey