Expand Your Mind

switching teamsI am going out on a limb with this one. There are events that happen in my life I often think would make for a great read, but the subject matter may be controversial in nature. This is one of those instances and in the spirit of being fearless I am going to go for it. As a courtesy to me, I gently remind and encourage all to keep in mind the judge not, lest ye be judged philosophy as you read on.

Before I begin, I must convey a few important facts about the standard operating procedures in place within our home. The first relates to the existence of a certain subset of topics that are fall under the “what happens at the Waters Ranch stays at the Waters Ranch” rule. Yes, we refer to our home as the ranch. We have created a safe space not only for us, but for anyone who spends time here. That’s how we roll.

These topics include any embarrassing tales about things our boys have done as well as any private intimate activity that happens between my wife and I. It also includes sharing personal information about our friends that is shared in confidence within our four walls. That being said, the following story does not involve anyone other than my wife and I and is rated PG. No names were changed to protect the stupid and ill-informed players in the story.

For a better understanding of our state of mind and decision making process on this particular night it is necessary to provide some very personal, and not often advertised information about my health. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a few years ago and often struggle just to get through a day physically. It is a frustrating thing to deal with and I am in a continual search for ways to alleviate and manage the pain I experience on a daily basis.

The long list of suggestions include adjusting my diet, exercising more, and getting proper rest, all of which I have done. Some days are better than others, but my good days do not look or feel anything like before I was diagnosed.

In addition to the aforementioned suggestions was the use of marijuana for pain. I considered this option to be last on the list for me. Not interested. The last experience with this particular substance was many decades ago and I was not convinced that this would help or be worth the trouble. Plus, I had absolutely no clue where to begin to look for it.

Months ago, I mentioned to a friend that I was getting to the point where I was willing to try it and they generously gifted me a small amount. It sat in my closet in an old perfume box until a couple of weeks ago. Here is where the story really gets interesting.

My kids were with their father when we randomly decided that 10:30 at night would be as good a time as any to test the waters. Important to note is that my wife was a pot virgin. She had never touched the stuff before that night. If you are drinking any kind of beverage you may want to put it down until after you finish reading. You will thank me later when your electronic device is not water damaged.

My wife expected to feel chilled out and to sit and eat chips all night. I hoped that my pain would disappear. What follows is the timeline of what happened, as best we can remember it, of our decision to split an entire joint. Yes, a whole joint. The first thirty minutes were uneventful. Then the fun began. My heart was racing at around 200 beats per minute, but I was calm. I know what my heart rate was because I got my phone and took my pulse for at least an hour while I stared at the television watching the end of the movie Dodgeball and then a few episodes of the Golden Girls.

It felt like a full blown panic attack, without panicking. I sat unable to move from the couch for hours. I kept looking at my phone to see the time and minutes seemed like days for the first two hours. After what I thought was ten minutes had passed, I suddenly realized that four hours had gone by. While I was in my own private hell, my wife was experiencing her own nightmare trip. Every few minutes she would ask me what time it was and how much longer it would last. I have no clue how I answered. She was not enjoying the spinning or the cotton mouth, and least of all, the puking. She sat staring at me intently. Like she was waiting for me to say something. She was waiting for my answer to the questions she was asking in her own head only, but thought were out loud.

Yes, it was that bad. I do remember her telling me that she saw the bark of the dog at one point. In our haze, we were able to discuss our disbelief that people could go about their lives feeling this way and whether or not we could see Santa flying by if we went outside for a walk. In between her trips to the bathroom we laughed at ourselves. We were both out of our minds stoned, and it was completely accidental. I did not feel right for at least three days after.

Only after telling our story to our more experienced friends, and seeing their reaction to the amount, did we realize how stupid we were. We now refer to this night as dumb and dumber, the middle aged lesbian special edition. What begin as an attempt to relieve pain and quell a curiosity about how it felt to get high, ended up simultaneously being one of the worst and most hilarious nights of our lives.

The takeaway from this experience centers around the importance of research and consulting professionals before engaging in unfamiliar activities or undertaking new things. This is solid advice no matter the task. The good news is I do not remember feeling much of anything, let alone pain while under the influence. So there was that. Going forward, we are both perfectly content with our decision to never do that again and grateful for the ability laugh at and embrace our authentic selves, even when we are being foolish.