Tuesday – When is Medicinal Marijuana Allowed ?

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When we put down alcohol, because we are alcoholics, we know that we can never pick it back up. And when we stop smoking POT we also know that we can never smoke again.

Times are changing, and the rules of engagement are also changing.

Living with AIDS for so long, in the very first few months, I was given medicinal marijuana because I was told that it would help me eat and bulk up, and not waste away and die.

So I smoked up.

When I stopped drinking – I had to stop smoking and using recreational drugs as well. Until the day my slip began, and I picked up and began using again, only that time, the using was far worse and had serious consequences when I was done.

When I finally relented and stopped drinking, I had not smoked a joint for over a year, the drink still existed, until December of 2001.

Fast Forward to 5:30 a.m. this morning.

I had gone through hubby’s backpack a couple of hours earlier, and found a zip bag, with all the accoutrements a good pot smoker would have.

As his caregiver, when his behavior changes and he becomes despondent and catatonic sitting in the same room, I needed to figure out what was going on.

He’s just been stoned …

When we met and began co-habitating, we got rid of copious amounts of empty beer bottles and all the pot rollers, papers and assorted other things.

Color me surprised when I made this find earlier this morning.

I was LIVID …

Hubby is smoking. He made an executive decision for himself, assuming that because I was clean and sober, that I would judge him and condemn his using, and toss his shit down the toilet. That was my first word in fact. Toss It …

He did not TRUST me.

Since he kept this a secret, I was absolutely angry and pissed off.

I tried to go back to bed, but only tossed and turned. He got up to pee at 5:30 and I called him into the living room and lit into him like a madman.

Words were said. Threats were made. Tears were shed.

Discussion followed.

Many years ago, in the beginning of his Bi-Polar disorder, he was drugged heavily for ten months until we found the mix that worked. During that time, the drugs emasculated him, robbed him of who he was, and left me with someone I did not know on the back end.

I had to mourn that loss, and decided to stick and stay, because I remembered who he was.

Over the last two or so years, his shrink has been trying to get him off all those pills and to give him back some of his “Self.” That has only worked so far.

Hubby found that the odd joint, now and then, made a real difference in his Bi-Polar state (read: manic depression) and his mental functionality, so he kept smoking.

He did this by himself, here at home, when I was not here.

We have a funny service in Montreal. Pot Delivery systems. You call, they deliver.

I’ve heard of this service from some of my guys before who used it themselves.

I may be clean and sober, that doesn’t mean I am a flag toting militant judgmental prick.

I think, when circumstances warrant, and choices of what we want to do for our personal health and well being, that decision IS up to US, and nobody else. Who am I to judge?

If that time came for me, I would want the same latitude and acceptance of the choices I make when the time came. I know, I am not going to mt death miserable and shitting in a diaper, nor deluded with dementia. I have already chosen my exit plan.

What was I supposed to say, after hearing his explanation of why he made that choice, and what it means to his mental functionality and his happiness ?

NO ???

Our Canadian Government is on track to legalize POT across the board in the next few month hopefully. But medicinal marijuana is available here in Montreal.

One can get a compassionate use card from Health Canada, and you can order pot online and have it sent to you through Canada Post.

There is no shame in being KIND and UNDERSTANDING.

Times are changing in many places, and we have to be accepting of those changes, knowing full well, that I cannot drink or smoke. Again.

In the end this is a Page 417 issue …

ACCEPTANCE IS THE KEY TO ALL MY PROBLEMS.

Saturday – Triggers

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It is written, in The Book, that:

At some point, the only thing that will stand between you and a “Drink/Drug” will be your Higher Power …

Because I straddle the lines between fellowships, I can speak to both arenas, with clarity.

The Saturday meeting, is usually sparse in attendance. But we sat a small group.

It seems, that even in sobriety/clean time, nobody is immune to the occasional mind fuck that takes us by surprise, when we least expect it.

When the weather gets good, and terraces are open, folks congregate on sidewalks, and they drink/drug and shoot the breeze. And I can tell you that, within 50 feet of where ever you are, in Montreal, someone is “smoking up.”

The Tams opened up a couple of weeks ago. This is an institution here in the city. At the foot of Mount Royal sits a park with a huge statue and obelisk. On Sunday afternoons, people congregate for “The Tams,” (read:Drums).

I enjoy this Sunday event. I hit the Mount Royal Metro and walk up to the park, at the foot of the mountain, I participate in the frivolity and drumming. Law enforcement usually tends to stay away, even though folks smoke up and play their drums and dance.

This came up in conversation on the way home tonight.

After a while, one tires of the drums, and so we take to the trail, and climb the mountain up to the Chalet House at the top. It is an afternoon event. When it is nice outside, one makes use of every hour of sunlight and warmth.

I went through the leftover topics from Thursday night, because the chair could not stay, so that left me to chair the meeting. A friend showed up and the topic I had picked came up in conversation before the meeting, so I went with it, which lent to the hour’s conversation that took on a life of its own.

The day I reach my geographic endpoint, I was given a choice between a joint and a beer. It wasn’t a trigger moment, It was a what do I do first moment.

When I put down the drugs finally, in my rehab house, a month into clean time, a friend offered me a joint, which I calmly declined. I never touched pot again.

When I moved back to Miami, it really wasn’t an issue. The drink was an issue still.

I lived alone, and had few friends, so triggers were almost non existent.

When I moved here, clean and sober, I was warned about certain facts.

Only twice, in early sobriety, was I hit with serious triggers, that were substantial.

One was on Jean Baptiste Day, the first summer, I was sitting on the pier at the Old Port, and folks were double fisting beer, I had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Along with quitting drugs/alcohol/AND cigarettes, I was attempting impossibility.

They say quitting smoking is as bad as quitting heroine.

A few months in, like I said, I was at the Old Port, in a celebratory, atmosphere, and watching folks drink and drug around me, I got thirsty and I wanted to smoke.

I was told that if I had a choice between a drink/drug or a cigarette, that the cigarette was the lesser of the evils.

I maintained my sobriety. But I walked off the pier and bought a pack of smokes, and that was that.

When I met hubby, the first job was to cleanse this apartment of the take out containers strewn all over the apartment, to get rid of 300 beer bottles stacked on the balcony, and to rid the apartment of his old drug paraphernalia.

Little by slowly, we returned the beer bottles, and over the next few months, I got rid of the rolling papers, the rolling machines, and left over baggies.

Over the long haul of sobriety, alcohol was something we avoided. But how can you avoid pot, when your neighbors smoke up, they deal in the hallways, and on every corner and alleyway, folks are smoking up outside ?

I don’t often think about smoking pot or drinking. But I dream about both incessantly.

I either drink or drug in my dreams, and I have conversations with the folks who were there, that I never got to speak to, in the end. And that all takes place in my head, when I am sleeping. And usually I wake up with a sick feeling and the residue of those dreams.

Sometimes, and it is often, at the end of a sleep period, I go into a dream, and I see it, smell it and feel it, I know I am dreaming, and sometimes I carry the dream out of dream state into waking up.

This drink/drug dream situation is common among folks getting clean and sober.

Which usually facilitates, a beating ones self up for even considering using, a feeling that we HAD INDEED drugged or drank, then a hurried call to someone close or to our sponsor, and then a tenth step in addition.

The other night, I was coming home, and I passed the alley way next door, and some kids were smoking up, and as I passed them to the building, the thought came …

I JUST WANT ONE HIT …

When was it ever just one hit ?

As quick as it came, the thought left, and I came home.

Some folks who are new to us, have problems with filling drinking/smoking time with something more substantial. Like calling others, or getting out of the house, or even, hitting a meeting or just doing something new.

Problems such as, “Oh, it’s Friday night, I should smoke up.” or “I am feeling down and stressed, let’s smoke up,” or “That exam is done, let’s celebrate, let’s go smoke up.”

Triggers and slipping are very prominent with many folks.

Those of us who came once, went back out, and then returned again, can attest to these things, quite clearly.

Another problem we see these past few years are old timers, going down the drain.

Old timers are one of two people. ONE, they are engaged and going to meetings, and maintaining fellowship and are IN The Work. Or, TWO, they are disconnected, they stop going to meetings and they avoid fellowship, because the young people, and those in the mid range aren’t connecting with them.

Once they disappear, the forgone conclusion is that it is highly likely that they would drink again, or use again, never return, and end up DEAD.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen it time and time again, old timers who just disconnect and end up down the drain.

It is sad, but entirely avoidable.

But I’ve heard from some old timers, how they are lacking in fellowship and are hitting meetings, filled with young people, but the young people don’t connect with them.

So it is falling to those of us in the mid range, to try and help them, by creating connection.

The One Certain Truth about those early first 100, and even Bill W, himself, the connection of one alcoholic and these days, one addict, with another is of prime importance.

The Connection between two suffering souls.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

I work to keep in contact with the old timers in my social circle, even though I call them and encourage them to return to the fold, many of them are resigned to self isolate and bemoan the fact that they are old and they believe they they are unwanted.

This is also entirely false.

These are some of the things our population is dealing with today.

It all begins with prayer and meditation. Hit those meetings. Find a Home Group, Get Connected, Find a sponsor, and sit down and get right into The Work, right away.

Because these things will save a life, even if they don’t see it now, eventually they will, because they stay clean and sober, in the long haul.

In the end everyone left a little bit stronger, after the discussion we had.

And we even had a five minute meditation, which was new for us.

It was a good evening.