Finally, the feelings of fear, insecurity and self-pity had morphed into courage, confidence, and clarity … I’d found that missing piece of the puzzle that I’d been searching for the first fifteen years of my life, or so I thought.
The tics caused by Tourette’s syndrome began to subside, and my body image issues became insignificant. Marijuana was doing for me what no medication prescribed by any doctor could do. Or so I also thought.
The town of Sharon was like a bubble, filled with wealth, huge houses, and unlimited access to drugs. With not much to do in the town and a lack of supervision from hard-working parents, it became the norm to cruise around town with friends, passing a joint after school.
For most of my friends, getting stoned was a social activity. They rolled a joint after a stressful chemistry exam, or had a few beers after the big football win. For me, it was social but also medicinal. I was using mind-altering substances to mask the negative emotions I was feeling.
I also began noticing parents of my friends getting high. One time, during my junior year of high school, we sat around a circle and passed a joint with my good friend’s father, who was an extremely successful attorney in Boston. This man was able to get high and not let it affect his life in a negative way. I wanted that.
Eventually I started finding myself wanting more, even after I got home from socializing with my friends. Every night before bed, I would crack the window to my bedroom and smoke a bowl of marijuana before bed. Every morning before my friends picked me up for school, I would take a few puffs before leaving the house.
At the time it seemed innocent. I ignored the extreme excessiveness of my behavior, because marijuana made me feel normal. And, for a time, my life did seem manageable….