Wednesday, September 17, 2014

whatever, man

One reason weed helps me feel better seems to be that it elicits a feeling of being ok with who I am.  As anyone versed in any sort of mental health reality can tell you, that's kind of a big deal, but all the more so, when we're talking about anxiety/depression issues.

How it works this way, I'm not sure.  Neither the mechanism by which it works, nor even if this is a direct reaction, or more the consequence of something else - e.g. If I'm more forgetful, does this include forgetting what I'm supposed to be so down on myself about?  Or does it have something to do with THC stimulating cortisol levels?

There are also nuances to it that still elude me, such as how it can make a world of difference to some moods, but be completely useless for others.  That is, certainly not a psychological cure-all, and possibly explaining why some people like it more than others - maybe depending on what sort of chemical balance they're naturally prone to.. but I'm not even sure what it does cure, exactly.  Only that when I'm stoned, my superego feels a bit more on my side.

This isn't entirely a good thing.  Painkillers can be invaluable, but pain does serve a purpose, too.  It's nature's system for warning against circumstances which have proven to be detrimental for survival.  It is our way of getting the message that we might be doing something wrong.  That we should be trying to change.

This is a major element of the human condition.  That we should always be trying to change.  To improve our situation, to make ever more of what nature gives us, from mud huts to skyscrapers.  We seem to take it a step beyond every other animal, that just relaxes, when they're not actually feeling the physical pangs of hunger, exposure, or fear of some other imminent danger.   As humans, we think bigger, we know there are always potentially imminent dangers, even when on any given day, our lives have been pretty safe and uneventful.

We seem to have a deeply rooted aversion to being content.  We have a whole lot of other words for pretty much the same thing, with much more negative connotations.  Statistically speaking, reality is a pretty dangerous place, and this has a lot to do with why we've improved on that dramatically over the past few millennia.  I'm not exactly attempting to pose an argument against any of that.

I'm just saying, it has it's pros and cons.  Sometimes it's important to work for something, to achieve what we can.  A certain amount of work ethic is definitely a good thing, but sometimes it's also important to recognize our limitations and the reality of our situation, and learn to be ok with it.  I believe there's a cliche that goes something to that effect, but I don't think people generally apply it inward, to the circumstances of who we are.  We'd rather think we can be anyone we want, yet still make the, honestly questionable, decision to be ourselves.

Mental health can do a real number on that illusion, though.  It can force us to be more realistic about aspects of ourselves that we'd normally prefer not to face.  "Being yourself" becomes unacceptable.  As if there's a real difference between the chemical imbalance differentiating an illness from the myriad of chemical balances defining all of us.

 We should all strive to make the most of what we can, but not to the point of thinking that improvement absolutely must happen.  It's important to strive for the future, but not so emphatically as to hate the present.  Not only does that suck in itself, but it's self-defeating.  It sabotages the mental state often necessary to make any healthy progress.

So maybe for some, cannabis can lead to lazy apathy, but for me, I think it helps achieve a more acquiescive balance, where I don't hate my life so much as to think I'd be better off without it.  I'm pretty sure that's a good thing, and believe me, it's been very far from the first thing I've tried.

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