Today marks the 10th anniversary of Diana’s death, but I remember this day for an entirely different reason… it was the last time I smoked marijuana.
The first time I smoked it was early in the morning on January 1st, after a New Year’s party. Everyone had left but two friends, and one of them convinced me to try it, explaining that I’d feel nothing at first and then I’d feel really good.
From that point on, anytime I had the opportunity, I’d smoke with them. It was very recreational – maybe once a week or less, but I enjoyed the feeling I got from it. It gave me a means of escape and a sense of euphoria during a time when my life was becoming increasingly complicated. Everything came to a screeching halt the evening Diana died.
After going out for a burger and fries, I went to the home of some friends to relax and watch SNL. A few minutes into the show, an anchor broke in with the news of Diana’s car crash. At first I thought it was some kind of sick joke that SNL was playing on its viewers, and it took several minutes before I realized that the news was real. By the time they announced that Diana was dead, I was riveted to the screen.
Afterwards, still stunned, my friends and I began smoking pot through a water bong and I was intent on getting as high as possible. When one of the guys said he’d had enough, I jokingly called him an “amateur”. That’s when things took a turn for the worse.
I remember sitting in my chair and laughing hysterically for no reason as reality slipped away. I suddenly snapped to as I realized that I was seeing items repeat into infinity, just like in the movies when they try to visualize someone’s drug trip. I felt sheer terror force the adrenalin into my fingertips and I felt completely out of control of my mind and body. I tried to remain calm, but started to panic, thinking that something was terribly wrong. My friends soon realized that I was losing it and tried to help, but didn’t really know what to do other than reassure me that everything would be fine. I decided that a cold shower might snap me out of it and somehow managed to make it to the bathroom, where I stripped and stood under the freezing water. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
By this time I was probably smack dab in the middle of a full-fledged panic attack – not something that goes well with being high. I was hysterical – crying, praying, pacing the floor. Nausea began to set in and I went outside and vomited on the lawn. Then I began to worry that the burger I’d eaten for dinner might be causing me to be sick and I started begging them to take me to the hospital. They informed me that we’d all be arrested if they did, so that wasn’t an option.
Finally, I decided to lay down and sleep it off. That was the longest night of my life. I’d look at the clock and close my eyes, opening them after what seemed like an eternity to see that only a minute or two had passed. My mind began to torment me with thoughts that I had died and that this was some form of hell, where time had stopped and I would be completely miserable forever. That’s when I promised God that if He’d help me and get me through it, I’d never partake of marijuana again. I’ve kept that promise to this very day.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with other people using marijuana recreationally. I would much rather be around a person smoking weed than one who is intoxicated on alcohol and I think it’s hypocritical of our government to keep one legal and the other illegal. I simply decided that I was going to honor the vow that I made to God and I don’t need drugs to enjoy life anyway.