Do Not Smoke Pot for Inspiration
I Thought It Made Me Creative, It Made Me Scatterbrained
Marijuana isn’t for everyone, but it is for some. I’ve learned it’s not for me.
It helped me for a while, though. I was deeply depressed, which felt like being deep underwater, where the pressure is so intense it might crush your entire body. So I self-medicated. I see that now. I was having too much fun to see it before.
Strangely, it helped. The ocean above me became a dense fog around me. Eventually, the fog thinned out and blew out to sea. When I stopped using marijuana, the depression was gone, but intense anxiety replaced it. (A therapist very helpfully and simply explained to me — anxiety is felt in the head, depression is felt in the body.) I had cold sweats at night and the most restless sleep for days. People say marijuana is nonaddictive, but that’s not exactly true. It’s physiologically not addictive, but it is quite habit-forming, which is to say psychologically addictive. Like Dumbo and his feather, I started to believe I couldn’t do anything productive without it. I got to the point where I couldn’t write a sentence without first smoking pot, because I had to clear my head and open my mind.
To be honest, writing while high is just about the most fun activity I ever engaged in sitting behind a desk. I believed the weed was the way as the words fell out of my fingers faster than ever before.
This went on for close to two years.
Where did it get me?
I am now going back and rereading well over one hundred pieces of writing, scattered everywhere from piles of paper, to Google docs, to Medium drafts, to Substack accounts I forgot I opened.
Marijuana may make you feel like you’re being more creative and productive, but in reality you’re sending yourself sideways. When the haze created by the THC in your bloodstream passes, you discover you’ve actually gone backwards.
I have spent hours rereading what I wrote. I keep hoping for a diamond buried somewhere in this bizarre coalmine I created.
The search continues.
Has anyone out there ever found success using marijuana to write? Did I just have the wrong drug? Microdosing?
Or is the secret what it’s always been, for hundreds of years? Do the work. The only way to construct the cathedral in your mind is as our ancestors discovered: brick by brick.