My partner is into illegal drugs. I don’t want anything to do with them. He seems to have meddled with a bit of more or less everything, and considers himself expert in the ins and outs of psychadelics, and their effects. He considers me ignorant of them. Not a recipe for effective dialogue between us, given that, actually, I do know quite a bit about them through drugs websites, like Frank. I just haven’t taken them. I’ve been worrying a lot about my partner and drugs recently. News stories like this, and TV programmes like Casualty (18th September, 2010), with its portrayal of LSD intoxication, really haven’t helped.
So I arrived at my partner’s place this weekend feeling drained, and embittered towards him, very conscious of our differing attitudes. I didn’t sleep well on Friday, for worrying. “Oh God, Oh God, what am I supposed to do. He won’t change. I can’t stand his attitude. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God”. On Saturday, I don’t really want to be there, I feel so bitter. Don’t feel like interacting. I’m anxious, and tic-ing, and explaining the tics away as tiredness. Until I tic violently. And I take a deep breath. And I say, “I’m worried about the drugs.”. “Oh God, what have I done, what have I said. What do I say now? Oh, help, help me please, help me”. “What drugs?” he asks. “The psychadelics, the trips. Whatever else you’re taking”. “God, I don’t know what to say…”.
It’s only psychadelics, he says. And they’re not addictive. And I only use them occasionally. And we watch Casualty together, and he laughs, and says that’s ridiculous. It’s nothing like that. But that’s not right. Oh, God. That doesn’t make sense with what he’s said before, what now?”
“When was the last time you took cannabis?” I hear myself ask. He hesitates. “I lied to you. I take cannabis sometimes, once or twice a week. Your reaction to drugs terrifies me. That’s why I lied.”
“God. This is terrifying me. What if I say the wrong thing?”
But I don’t. He admits that he is psychologically addicted to cannabis, and wishes that he could stop, not least because he’s smoking it, which he was supposed to have given up two years ago. And we discuss why he likes it, and conclude that, to help take less, he should bake it, not smoke it (since he is convinced it has no negative effects….I’m not), and investigate other ways, like meditation, of getting to the same mental state, without the drugs. We talk about the psychadelics, too. About using them with friends, and the danger he can put himself in, if he’s not careful. And my right arm gets so tight with the tension that it hurts, but that’s OK, he says, dealing with said arm, because outwardly, I’m calm and having a ‘normal’ discussion.
So, thanks to God, I got somewhere yesterday. At the end, I felt more exhausted than I did when I started, but I’m calmer now. I can bear to be near him, not so embittered, but scared to say why. God helped me say the ‘right’ thing, reach out to my partner, to help him. We still don’t agree about psychadelics. But we can talk about them.