Saturday, April 30, 2016

What am I apologizing for exactly? Alternative title: Dating in a 420 World

So,  I was more or less a girl in my 20s who partied and had fun. My motto was "you can sleep when you die". I lived for the moment. I smoked pot in college. Sure did. I drank when it was free (all the time in my frat party years). I then went on to enjoy some similar freedoms in my 20s.  I went out probably 3-5 times a week after an evening of retail work. We would stay out late, get back home and repeat..many nights. I slowed down as I went to nursing school. I knew things had to slow down as I was pursuing a professional degree. I continued to go out and have fun and muddled through graduate school. Fun.  But less and less so as the years went on.

Advance a few years, circa 1997-2000: I got a real grown up job. I became a RN. I gladly gave up the lifestyle of constant partying. I certainly gave up any drugs that were illegal at the time. Honestly,  I never looked back. I don't care for the smell of marijuana. It makes me feel nauseated. As it is a non-issue now, I could care less. I love good beer and cocktails, but after a bit of self-reflection, I felt maybe I partied too much; maybe my bad decisions were related to alcohol use. How would or could I know either way?  So I entered  Alcoholics Anonymous,  reluctantly at first. Then I admitted (falsely but unknowingly so) that I was an alcoholic. It was certainly not the truth as it turned out. I had NO issues with alcohol itself or any drugs (I have never used a drug other than marijuana, tobacco cigarettes or alcohol). I managed to work on some life style decisions/choices and changed my life around in those 9 + years of sobriety. Why did I stay in AA that long?  Totally a different post, or maybe a post series could be devoted to my AA years. I emerged from these years changed and knowing I was never ever an alcoholic.  I resumed mild/social alcohol use of alcohol, going out way less than I ever have in my life. I was a good 5-10 years into my nursing profession. I was doing well. I even quit smoking cigarettes in August 2012.

Advance to January, 2016: I started a major lifestyle overhaul. I changed my diet completely and with that came a prescribed stop to regular alcohol consumption. You know what, it was a bit different at first, but no big deal. It is now the end of April and I drink maybe 3-4 alcoholic beverages at the VERY most in a month. At the most. I haven't delved into the world of the "420 experience" in more than 20 years.  I am  happy. Except I am dating in a drinking/420 loving Colorado.

I am not kidding. There has got to be some responsible non-marijuana users and/or non-excessive alcohol consumers in the dating pool?  The past few have told me literally I am closed minded when it comes to marijuana. I had asked about his lifestyle, if it was 420 friendly or complete with heavy alcohol use as I can not have that in my life, professionally and personally. He felt he couldn't hang with such closed minded individuals who don't want that in their life or can't. Either way. I explained that perhaps he does not know me. Perhaps he may need to know I am not judging him or his lifestyle; I just know me and its not something I want to surround myself with. I said "perhaps you could stop being judgmental of those who don't partake in those activities as we  non users are not judging you". He did not like that at all.  Most of all, I felt like I needed to explain why I did not use marijuana or want to be around people who use chronically. I felt like I needed to apologize, but you see, I have this profession. And this healthy lifestyle I am trying to maintain.  That's on me....the whole apologizing for my lifestyle choices.  I get that. And as another alcohol related conversation occurred within about a week ago, I started to see this apology thing was a trend...something for me to think about for myself.

So, this past week after ending the conversation permanently with Mr. 420 (he was definitely not the first person  who was 420 friendly), I came across Mr. Heavy Drinker. At first he was Mr. French Speaker. I liked that guy a lot more. He and I texted in French/English depending on how I was able to express myself. A few days in, he texted that he was out having a drink or more. Specifically, he said something to the effect of "I am in Evergreen, drinking heavily :)".....I am thinking ":-)"?? So I texted back asking if he did this often. He stated "as often as I can" went downhill from there, as you could imagine. I told him we would probably not be a match as I don't drink much. He texted back that if I drank more I could broaden my horizons and lower stress. I said that I didn't think that would be necessary, then delved in to explain WHY I don't drink often or heavily. My brief party girl life and marriage to an alcoholic. My lifestyle overhaul in January.  He said that I would probably label him an alcoholic in my eyes. I explained I do not label anyone else. Even my ex was a self-proclaimed alcoholic.  More explaining of my justification for not drinking often or heavily.

So the take home message became clearly obvious  in my post right now: why am I feeling like I  have to justify NOT using any marijuana or NOT wanting that element in my life?  Why am I bothering to explain why I don't wish to drink often or heavily, for ANY reason?  Why do I have to explain my choices of why I don't choose to have heavy drinkers or 420 partakers in my personal life? Why did I feel I needed a prologue in this very post to explain why I don't wish to drink much or smoke/use marijuana in anyway?

We don't need to explain our life style to others. Period. We have every right to ask about what we allow to enter into our lives. We don't  need to judge it, but we have a right to know without having to justify/explain our choices. And you know what? I would guess that the majority of people don't care anyway.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

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