In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m 54 years old. My more serious foray into cannabis started earlier this year, exploring its benefits and uses as an alternative to big pharma – particularly for anxiety and depression. Before that, and excluding the one time I tried it in high-school (one hit), I started partaking in recreational cannabis in 2015, occasionally (once or twice a year) shared a joint with friends.
Cannabis consumption felt good. It made me happy. I laughed… a lot… great, big cathartic laughs! It was fun and it helped me temporarily escape the stresses in my life. Because it was illegal in Canada, and because of the overall stigma cannabis has suffered in the past, I obviously shied away. Oddly (or is it), I had no problem whatsoever drinking alcohol to help me get through a rough day/week/month. I wouldn’t say I became an alcoholic, but my wine consumption rose to about 3-4 bottles a week! For me, that was a lot! No wonder I now have fatty-liver disease (a story for another day).
As you can imagine, it was just a matter of time before the everyday alcohol consumption collided with the occasional cannabis consumption and I experienced my first (and last) serious alcohol/cannabis crossfade (a term my son-in-law taught me).
It was New Year’s Eve 2015 and a few family and friends came over to ring in 2016. We were drinking and someone suggested we have some cannabis. I was all in! Things at work were more and more hectic and I was more than delighted by the prospect of losing myself in the occasion.
I had far too much cannabis far too fast. On top of the alcohol I had already consumed, I quickly (not quick enough) understood that I was in for a bumpy ride… a.k.a. the crossfade from hell!
I was couch-locked (couldn’t move) and barely aware of my surroundings… except for the lights and colours on the TV (Fergie was singing her heart out on Dick Clark). After being offered and accepting something to eat, I closed my eyes and tried to stop myself and the room from spinning. It was working – until I opened one eye just a sliver to see if I was any better.
Let’s just say that eating macaroni and cheese had been a very poor choice given the state I was in. I was still couch-locked, despite the mess I’d made on myself, on the floor, and on the chair (thank god for leather furniture). My adult-aged daughter (yes, my daughter – the guilt was unbearable the next morning) jumped into action, running for a bucket, paper towels and rags. She took care of me; cleaned me up and put me to bed. There I was, a 50-year-old very responsible mom, crossfading after making several bad decisions. This wasn’t funny at all. This wasn’t cathartic. It was tragic. And ever so embarrassing – to this day.
I was unbelievably lucky and so grateful to have been in the safety of my own home, with people who loved me, who helped me without judgement. Imagine something like this happening at a friend’s house, at a restaurant or at a bar? Imagine if I had been driving! The impact – the literal impact – that driving in this condition could have had!
I’m sharing this story in the hopes that people might benefit from my experience. You’re gonna drink? Okay. You’re gonna do cannabis? Okay. Do NOT do both together! And, most importantly – never, EVER, get behind the wheel of a car! There is absolutely no way to predict what will happen to your judgement and/or your abilities while under the influence.
I know I’m like the pot (no pun intended) calling the kettle black but please… consume responsibly!