Tag Archives: Pot Grower

Time Takes Time


Day 254

If I were to relapse, I think it’d be from pure nostalgia; a feeling that blindsides me from time to time.  It fills my head with happy recollections of the past that make me painfully resentful of the present.

I can’t justify banishing these bittersweet memories.  I lose myself musing in the life I’ll never recapture…. even though I know that the memories I relish in jeopardize my sobriety.

I rationalize indulging in nostalgia because it doesn’t make me behave irrationally the way other emotions do–like say, anger.

When I’m enraged in sobriety I have many outlets and opportunities to express my frustrations.  Typically I blame pedestrians who have the right of way by laying on the horn and yelling “cocksuckers,” at them, while waving my middle finger out the window.  Such maniac behavior is unreasonable, irrational, and generally pretty embarrassing.

But nostalgia doesn’t make me react on the outside; it breaks my insides.

A song came on a Pandora station today and transported me straight back to the pot farm, to the point that I could almost feel the weight of a condensation covered PBR, and smell stickiness from a harvest.

The Avett Brother’s ballad took me through 3 minutes of self-inflicted torture; I could have turned the song off the second it came on, but the emotional levy broke and I did nothing for it to be blocked.

It was like a slide projector of moments in time.  I saw the bonfires in the middle of our illegal Redwood’s playground, I saw the green Jeep Wrangler with no doors, me learning how to drive stick shift with a beer in the cup holder and a huge smile on my face.

I saw the orange sunset over the mountains and felt the feeling of freedom.  I felt bumpy trips down the rocky mountain in the grey pickup, and never worrying about the mud smeared on our legs or our boots covered resin.  I could smell the pour of gasoline into a generator and the sound of it coming to life.  I saw my friends and me sitting on the tailgates of trucks, nowhere in particular, just to drink because no one was telling us not to and no one ever would.

The track switched and I was jolted back to reality, as I always am when nostalgia strikes and ends.  I force myself to remember the shell of a human being I became, that a relationship I kept holding onto almost robbed me of all dignity, and remind my heart and mind that the fire red sunsets turned into grey coked out mornings; that the Wrangler was destroyed, and real laughs died out well before the end.

Still, sometimes I try to convince myself that the old life is obtainable some 3,000 miles away on a mountain full of freedom. Maybe it was for that time.  These notions are what could take me out.  I’ve heard that “time takes time,” and illustrations of the past do eventually fade; I’m just not entirely sure I want them to.

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You Got Goals?

What have I gotten myself into

What have I gotten myself into

Hindsight is 20/20.  Hindsight in sobriety feels like 20/10; reality and memories infiltrate with no buffers, up close and personal. I feel like Tommy Boy being whacked in the face by a 2×4 a lot of the time.  Today, after writing “A Losing Battle,” I realized that chasing a high doesn’t have to be repeatedly returning to a substance, it can be a place.  For me, it was the pot farm.

The first year on The Ranch was my high, and it’s what kept me going back.  Glorifying my past is a stupid thing to do because it very quickly becomes a resurrected reality within reach. That said some of the best memories of my life were on The Ranch.  There were undeniably sublime times…in the beginning.

Midafternoon on August 23, 2010, I arrived half way up a mountain at the mouth of a dirt road.  Trees covered in lichen towered over as my driver began driving the bumpy one lane route.  The first gate we got to, I got out of the car and was given a combination for entry.  The second heavily padlocked gate we got to, I was told which rock to find a key under, and by the third gate a half hour later I was beginning to wonder what I had gotten myself into.

A giant house that appeared to be made mostly of copper and glass sat on top of a clearing on the side of the mountain, and beyond the clearing there were rolling Redwoods as far as the eye could see.  My qualifier for the farm had me sit down on a beautiful patio facing what looked like all of Northern California, and we waited for the owner of the property to come out.   He was a small man, and older than I expected, but fit.   Grey hair, grey shirt, black jeans, dark sunglasses.  Sitting down next to me, he lit up a joint the size of a gorilla finger.  Without speaking he offered it to me,

“No thanks, I don’t smoke anymore.”  I could see his eyebrows rise just above the Darth Vader glasses.  After a long inhale and exhale he asked me,

“Do you have goals?”

“Um, yeah, I want to be a writer.”

“Good.  It’s good to have goals.  You start today.”

**I’ll have to consider this the intro…To be continued!***

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No Sex in the AA Rooms

Ohhhh that's why


Day 225

The last healthy relationship I had was in 7th grade.  We’ll call my middle school “man” John Smith Anonymous.  Smith Anonymous and I hit it off after my best friend dared me to wear sneakers on my hands, run past his house, and scream, “I’M A PENGUIN.”  I waddled my awkward little 12-year old legs and everything.  Guys must’ve been into that back then because he asked me out the next day.

There was a lot of handholding and note passing reassuring one another that we were still in love; he bought me earrings from Claire’s one time and put them on a beanie baby; in case you don’t speak Generation Y, FYI, that was a BIG deal.

Albeit, our relationship met an untimely death in 8th grade and I don’t remember why.  Maybe he saw me flirting with another boy on the blacktop, or maybe I dropped his super chicken sandwich on the cafeteria floor and it was game over, OR it could have been that he joined the other boys in the “rattie-tattie-you’re-a-flattie” chant, and I threw a binder at his face as I ran off to the girls room crying.  At least I’d like to think there was some binder throwing.  I’d also like to think were no tears, but that’s just not true.  Kids are fucking assholes.  Hash-tag resentment.

Fast-forward 14 years.  I’m skipping over the trauma I live with from college comparable to PTSD, I’m ignoring the years in high school when I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror to count my flaws and cringe (how could I ever let a boy look at the same face?), (ok I still do that, but not as often), and skipping the most recent mentally abusive relationship I was stuck in and let myself stay in;  by relationship I’m referring to the text book definition: “the way in which two or more people behave with each other.” Over the course of  nearly 2 and 1/2 years I lost almost lost every shred of dignity.  The “behavior” made me hate myself on a level I have only just recognized, now that my mind is becoming a healthier habitat and I know what respect looks like. I have had to make daily, conscious efforts to restore self-respect and self-worth.

By the time I left California I wanted out from everything.  With fear as my passport and anger as my driving force I decided to buy a one-way-ticket to Central America.  I went to AA instead.

Since then, I have been in recovery from drugs, alcohol, messed up thinking for 26 years.  So granted, I am not in any hurry to get anywhere near a relationship again, but I do understand why AA strongly “suggests” not to date in the first year of sobriety.  For me, anyway, I know it’d be as destructive as drinking.

Comfort in my own skin is a long way off, but the steps are bringing me closer. No one should influence my new, gradual yet groundbreaking changes.  The goal is to look in the mirror and see a self-sufficient woman of dignity and grace, and that sinew has to come from within, without a guy to give or take my strength away.  I don’t even think it’s possible for me to be in a healthy relationship right now.  Unless it’s comprised of handholding, note passing, and double dares.

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The Party Must Go On

Day 223

I wasn’t a daily drinker or drug user.  Don’t get me wrong, there were binges.  The intensity of a binge was dependent upon what my time-frame and where my mind-frame was.

There were the standard rights-of-passage binges that all upper-middle class white girls get to stumble through; spring break, Christmas break, made-up breaks, any and all holidays, the entirety of summer, etc etc etc.  These passages, of course, being high school into college.

I guess if marijuana is considered a drug then I was a daily abuser from 16-20 years old.  When I started skipping class it honestly was a relief from myself.  This is who I am, see?!  Failing tests and taking bong rips on the way to school was my security blanket for those tormented teen years.

When my group of friends and I made the transition from middle school to high school most of them started hanging out with the older kids; since I simply didn’t have the confidence, I fell behind.  The pot heads picked me up.

Sitting in the back of class stoned out of my gourde, being told that I was fucking up (not in those words) was exactly what I wanted.  Finally my insides could match my outside, as though I was saying, “I’m a mess, dammit, and I’m going to show it.”  The good news was that my bad behavior on the outside was laughable.  Haha, silly me, my GPA is 0.4.  Seriously, that was my GPA at one point, and I laughed all the way to graduation.  Then again, a lot was laughable in those days.

My girlfriends and I would cram six or more of us in a car, roll two blunts, then drive around town with all the windows up, to get as high as possible and see who pussied out first by gasping for air.  How could I take anything seriously with such a ridiculous regimen?

Life went on like that for a while.  Party party party.  Invincible.  The pothead crew and the old crew had combined and it was beautiful display of debauchery; wake up late, go to bed late, bomb around shit-faced from house to house and wonder the next morning how we got home.

At a certain point I started to notice my friends growing up.  They put thoughts and efforts into internships, and into their futures.  As a 26-year old I am just now coming to believe that I might “go” somewhere,  but back then I hated myself to death and the hope for betterment was extinguished by an extreme lack of faith.

I can see now that my mentality was simple.  My mind-frame was: If I wasn’t going to amount to anything, (this was a fact), then there was but one option:  the party must go on.

So it did.

Ultimately, the parties stopped working. The periods between binges got shorter, everything in life became unbearably unmanageable. My blackouts were getting darker, my mistakes were getting bigger, and the thirst for cocaine was something I absolutely could not quench.

For the first time, I truly felt that life was spinning out of control.  Eventually, inevitably, it brought me to my knees.

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Moving on….

My wallet is empty and my head is full of doubt.  When these two forces combine, my mind runs straight back to the past and tries to take my body with it.  It’d be effortless to fall back into the life I still glorify; working on a pot farm, bombarding down dirt roads in the mountains of Northern California, drinking whiskey and literally howling at the moon.

It was a lawless, illegal, isolated, yet completely known way of life, and cash came in hand over fist.  Arriving on the farm one August day at the age of 23 felt just like that; I had arrived.  My life-long identity crisis had come to an end!  I was a pot grower.

That’s  not who I am anymore and it’s a hard pill to swallow.  My lifestyle defined who I was and now that’s been stripped away.  Now I am a girl with 3 jobs, no money, and a total fish out of water.  Today the past was calling and my feet geared up to follow, when a sign smacked me in the face.  Without struggle there is no progress.  Change does not happen overnight.  Going back  would be the end, and this is my beginning.

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