Today was an "ok" day. No real issues. No racing thoughts, anxiety, panic, shaking ... nothing. Does this mean that I am cured? I find myself doubting my diagnosis on days like this. I am not on any sort of mood stabilizing / anti-psychotic drugs yet, but here I am ... feeling fine.
Fine. Normal. I have no idea what "fine" or "normal" look like and therefore refuse to trust my definition of those terms. I prefer the term "stable". I have bounced between the up and down poles for decades. I have no idea how to define "normal" or "fine" as they relate to my life, so I intend to set out on a journey to "stable".
Switching gears now - I crossed something rather significant off my bucket list this week. I am almost 43 years old. I am willing to bet that most people have tried marijuana at least once in their lives, but I never did. I never smoked pot. In fact, I never engaged in any sort of illegal drug use. I never judged people who did, it just wasn't for me.
My smoking partner, who shall remain nameless, felt that I would benefit from this experience, and arranged all the details. When the moment arrived, we left the house (he grabbed a couple of bottles of water on the way out - this will be important later) and walked down the street. It was late - probably 10:00 p.m. I was exhausted and complained about the long walk, but we eventually found a secluded spot to light up.
Now - not only have I never smoked pot, but I've never smoked. Anything. Ever. Not only did I have to learn how to smoke, but I had to learn how to smoke pot. My first hit was a dismal failure. I burned the back of my throat and held the smoke in too long. Second hit - much of the same.
The third hit went horribly wrong. I heard my smoking partner say, "Oh, shit - don't swallow the smo...shit." Too late - I swallowed the smoke by mistake and spent the next 5 minutes hacking and puking my pasta all over the dirt road. Out of the darkness, at exactly the right moment, a blessed bottle of water appeared. My smoking partner is a pro - lucky for me.
I was reluctant to keep going, but was told that pot helps to alleviate nausea, so I tried again. Better, but not great. Then I realized that if I inhale the smoke into my mouth, let it cool for just a second, then inhale it into my lungs, hold, exhale -- perfection. I finally figured it out.
I was told not to expect much that first time because I was essentially opening up THC receptors. The real high will come the next time (if there is a next time). At first I felt nothing ... then all of a sudden...
Every bit of pain left my body. We were walking back to the house now and I felt 12 years old - a kid out for a walk on a summer break evening with friends. Then the laughter ... and the walking issues ... and the laughter. I laughed - really laughed - for the first time in years. It was pure, without reservation. It was glorious. I had the best sleep of my life.
This experience came at the end of "diagnosis day" - easily one of the most horrific/significant days/daze of my life. I lost my mind in the psychiatrist's waiting room, received a horrible diagnosis, went for pre-lithium testing, tried to work, cried, came home, cried, ate too much, smoked pot, puked, smoked pot, laughed ... then realized that pot will not help me. It was awesome and fun and free, but it will not work day-to-day for me. I have to live and it was a sad moment when I said goodbye to the best feeling I've had in years.
Now the funny part. The next morning I woke up to my house guest in my bedroom. He was chatting with my husband about his morning walk with his little dog. The little dog brought my house guest down that very same dirt road where I smoked pot for the first time and then puked all over the place. My house guest said, "I told the dog, "No - no - do not go there. Some addict was here and puked all over the fucking place. That puke looks like the State of Florida."
I did that, on the worst/best day of my life. Still, I'm not really sure -- do I feel fine?