Why Not Smoke Some Pot?

A deep-seated conviction of being defective and broken breeds shame and so…we keep the real reason for our outsider position a secret. We compensate by acting cool, aggressive, or seductive. We try to fix on substances, people, and things in search for something to hold on to. The more we do it, the more we got to do it – and without admitting it, we become dependent. Focused perennially on the outside, we become more manipulative, secretive, and dysfunctional as time goes by, and we wonder why we can’t shake a vague sense of inner emptiness. Meanwhile, the solution of stuffing discomfort with substances, food, or sex, while briefly masking the issue, removes us from dealing with life successfully – which, of course adds more shameful unhappiness. A vicious cycle. We escape and isolate, and so we forget friendships and lose track of ourselves, too.

When you’re in early recovery, smoking pot may seem like a good idea, but that’s like using an analgesic for a dangerous injury - while providing some short-term pain relief, the wound remains untreated. High on weed we never deal with our issues and while we nurture fantasies and lose reality, things get more vague. Meanwhile, we binge on sugary foods and the soul starves from neglect. Thoughts, ideas, and fantasies appear profound, but when the weed is gone, we notice with embarrassment that they were just ephemeral figments of imagination.

In Alcoholics Anonymous the lack of a solid sense of self, which would deliver personal power and self-reliance is addressed as the “God-shaped hole inside.” Twelve-step recovery is about working through resentments, releasing pain and fear, and surrendering to the “Divine Powers” of fate. We develop mindfulness and mental clarity on the spiritual path. We begin to show up for one another, we share and listen, and so we develop relationships with ourselves and with others. We become solid. Little by little (and ever so slowly) we relinquish our need to flee from the truth. By looking at reality and engaging in life we become unstuck, acquire a solution-oriented attitude, and gradually we heal and grow into mature and confident human beings. As a result life ceases to be a baffling struggle and becomes more joyful. Smoking pot interferes with the process and precludes this transformation.