A couple of days ago, Buzzfeed.com featured a listicle entitled 12 Ways Smoking Weed Can Improve Your Life According to Wiz Khalifa,I was left wondering if Khalifa could be in denial about being addicted to marijuana.
First, let me explain a couple of things. I am a person in recovery and therefore I no longer smoke pot. However, I believe that marijuana should be legalized for medical and sociopolitical reasons. Secondly, I also believe that it is possible to abuse marijuana. That’s because I understand addiction to be a disease that actually doesn’t have anything to do with substances. Don’t get me wrong – addiction is often associated with alcohol and other substances but, what I mean to say is that the disease of addiction can stand alone; it doesn’t only exist because drugs do. If you don’t understand what I mean, then just think about all the other ways people with substance abuse and addiction issues can act out: with food, sex, relationships, work, exercise, shopping, social media, and on and on and so forth and so forth.
Having said all that, now we can get back to the subject at hand. Like I said, after seeing the Buzzfeed music feature, I was left to wonder: is Wiz Khalifa an addict in denial?
I’ll explain. There are 12 items on the list but I’ll only mention a couple here.
Number one on the list states, “Weed may make you more in touch with your feelings.” Khalifa is then quoted as saying, “When I started smoking, it started helping me feel a little more comfortable around other people and comfortable in my feeling[s]. It helped me know that I was cool in my own little world, that I should just go towards that instead of away from it.”
To me, this sounds like what I, myself, have said as well as what I have heard many others like me – other recovering alcoholics and addicts – say. I used drugs to make me feel comfortable with myself and to be comfortable around others. I couldn’t stand being in my own skin if I was stone-cold sober. I wonder if Khalifa meant to say this.
Then number two states, “And allow you to cool down and surrender control.” Khalifa expands on this one by saying, “I’m antsy and kind of anxious. I do things really fast; my mind is always going ‘cause everything inspires me. Smoking weed helps me to slow down and stop trying to control things that I can’t.”
Again, to me this sounds very familiar to me. Like many others, I turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate. I had been diagnosed with depression and ADD as a child and I liked certain substances for the way they made me feel (and the way they made me not feel).
Number 6 states, “Weed can bring you closer with your friends.” Kind of like in Number one, Khalifa explains, “I remember being a teenager and not feeling too comfortable around my peers, because I always felt different, I always felt like the things I was into kids around me weren’t into, and it was really looked at as cool. When I started smoking and chilling with my friends, we actually started talking and communicating.”
Again, this sounds oddly like addiction, where a lot of people like me used alcohol and other drugs to feel better about ourselves and our surroundings, and as a way of fitting in.
Perhaps one of the most troubling items on the list is number 11, “Ultimately, weed may help you say yes and set goals,” which Wiz Khalifa explains “Soon as I started, I figured that I wanted to be high for the rest of my life. It’s just a personal goal. That goal might change, but it hasn’t yet.”
I remember that I thought that very same thing the first time I rolled on ecstasy. As soon as it hit, I said aloud, “I just want to feel like this all the time.” And then my very next thought was, “oh sh*t, I’m in trouble.”
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