Prepare to read an essay of sorts. Please, it's a worthwhile read. Allow me to elaborate first on what I mean when I say "friends". I have my school friends, and I have my college friends. My school friends attend a stupid gay pointless fucking private Christian school with me, and have been influenced greatly by having grown up there. My college friends, however; they're my best friends. We've known each other since I was just a wee little boy, but they're all at least four years older than me and in collegeâ€¦hence college friends. I started smoking the summer between ninth and tenth grade, and stopped the beginning of eleventh. I am now towards the end of my eleventh grade year. I'm not really sure why I started to smoke weed. There was no influence. I was not pressured. None of my school friends did (that is, until I started; those followers). I just wanted to. One day I was at my college friend's house but he wasn't there. His friends that were there on summer vacation were complete potheads (or so was my impression of them). They asked me if I wanted to smoke with them, and I declined. Then, a few hours later, they asked again. They put no pressure on me at all, just an innocent question. By this time everyone else was asleep so no one would have known besides these two guys and me. So I joined them. I was semi-drunk at the time. And so we smoked. I finally took a step into the world of drugs, something I'd wanted to do for a while but never had the opportunity. I don't think I actually got high that night, maybe because I didn't know what I was supposed to be feeling, maybe because the alcohol overpowered it. Actually, I didn't FULLY know what it was like until I had some weed brownies a few months later, and I had smoked about five times prior to having eaten those. From then on, I fell in love. I wasn't addicted, no. But I loved the feeling. I loved the sort of insight it gave me into my life. I loved the togetherness it brought to my friends and me. It gave me a whole new way of looking at things. I remember describing it once as â€˜it's like your conscious and your subconscious switch, so that you're thinking with your subconscious.' I never told any of my school friends about my newfound activity. I didn't know how they would react and I didn't want to get kicked out of school and my parents find out. My dad's a pastor and I've been going to church at LEAST two times a week since about a week after I was born. They would FREAK out if they knew. Eventually I dropped enough subtle hints to a few of my closer school friends to tell them that I smoked. One of these kids is really dumb. Seriously. One time he asked me how to spell â€˜book'. This friend started talking about how he wanted to get high and he has these friends that do ecstasy all the time. I begged him not to start doing ecstasy and to start with weed, in the very least to know what it's like to be high, and then move on to the harder drug once he's comfortable with the feeling. This went on for a while until he finally smoked weed. That was the best and worst decision I've ever made. Meanwhile, in my college circle, we were smoking every weekend: Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Sunday. Then it started to become my brother and me smoking once in a while during the week, then a few times during the week, then every other day. My life was a haze at this point. Days flowed into one another and I never knew what was going on. Soon my college friends started to look down on me for doing it so often, and I just couldn't understand why at the time. They smoked just as much as I did, those hypocrites. But I was fifteen and they were all in their twenties, so I guess they felt like they were being bad influences on me. Which is justified, I supose. During this time a transformation began to take place within my life. Before smoking weed, I was quite ignorant to a great many things (I still am. You can never not be ignorant to SOMETHING. I am just a bit less ignorant than I was then). Nevertheless, I began to extensively research drugs. I spent hours a day learning as much as I could, watching movies, listening to drug-inspired music. I wanted to know everything I could about every drug before I ventured into their world. The dangers, the feelings they gave you, the duration, all that. As I got deeper into it, I began listening to the Beatles and other such artists, and I came across the Hippie Movement and what it was all about. I fell in love with the sixties. My entire mentality is pretty much exactly how the counterculture of that time was. I began dressing like a hippie with tie-dye clothes and peace signs, decorated my room with Hendrix and Beatles posters. I began to see how corrupt our government is and realized my anti-establishmentism. I think I was born in the wrong time period. At school, people started to find out that I smoked weed. Whether it was because my friends that knew started talking, or it was the way I started acting and talking, or whatever. It doesn't matter. Soon people began associating me with weed, and only weed. Even I began to identify myself with weed. That guy has skating, he has guitar, I have weed. It was my thing; my hobby. Now my friend that wanted to do ecstasy became a full blown pothead, smoking every single day, coming to school high, skipping classes and lunch to go get high, failing all his classes, getting in fights with his parents for no reason, running away for months. All he talked about was marijuana. All he thought about was marijuana. All he cared about was marijuana. He would call me no less than three times a day just to tell me some new anecdote about his adventures with weed. Some of the most boring and pointless conversations I've ever had. I soon began to harbor resentment towards him. I hated the person he was becoming. He used marijuana solely to get high. I did too, but I used it intellectually. I used it as a tool to really think, to give myself a new perception on life, to gain insight and knowledge that I otherwise wouldn't have seen. Eventually though, as I looked at my life, and I compared myself to my friend, I saw little difference other than previously mentioned. I was smart and he wasn't. But was that reason enough to feel such animosity towards him? I was no different than he. I stopped smoking as often. It went down to about once a week, then once every other week, then once a month. Soon I took about a two month break because I was looking for a job. But I was still very interested in drugs and everyone still saw me as a pothead. I started feeling very guilty that I was leading a double-life and being such a hypocrite about it. I had to lie about what I did on the weekends to my parents and to my very close friends, and I hate lying. I love my parents. I love them a lot. They have never wronged me. They have brought me up with pure intentions and to the best of their ability. And what did I do to pay them back for it? I smoked weed all the time. Though I saw nothing wrong with it, as I still don't, the very least I could do for them was to respect them and their beliefs (rational or not) and stop smoking. I also came across numerous studies that show that smoking weed by the age of fifteen increases your chances of developing psychological disorders later in life by 300%. I'm not one to believe propaganda, but these seemed to be legit studies. I aspire to be a psychologist and, since I started smoking at fifteen, I don't want to be suffering from the same mental disorders as the patients I am diagnosing. My highs were also seriously bugging me out. I had never felt such anxiety, paranoia, and negativity in my whole life than the last few times I got high. When I smoked with my brother, as was most often the case, he would turn into this evil, manipulative, sinister character that had these evil intentions towards me and whose main goal was to destroy my life, and he was just hiding behind this mask of which I thought of him to be. I would think about things and think the most negative thoughts about them. When thinking of my future, I would think, â€˜that's never going to happen. You're not going to amount to anything. You're a failure in life and you'll get nowhere.' When I thought about my friends I would think things like, â€˜no one likes you. They just pretend to. They all secretly make fun of you when you're not around.' These types of thoughts were driving me fucking crazy. I couldn't wait to go to sleep and wake up sober. But when I would lie in bed, these excruciating rumbling noises would be resonating within my ears. I couldn't bear it. It was as if I had a bulldozer in my head, times a hundred. It would last for thirty seconds, then gradually cease, then start up again, and repeat. I was going nuts. So I announced to the underground world (those that knew of my secret life) that I officially quit, since October 31, 2008. Now, I won't lie, I've smoked exactly three times since then, so I guess I didn't really quit. But it's an adequate enough word to describe my current relation with weed. The first time since my resignation I didn't really get high, the second was with a dose of clonazepam and was reminiscent of my first time being high (which was VERY good), and the third time (just last weekend) I flipped my shit. Now, I guess things are back to normal. It could be said that weed had a huge influence on my person. But in a negative fashion? Certainly not. I love the kind of person that I have become and am becoming. I no longer have to feel guilty about smoking behind my parents' backs. I'm cool with my ecstasy friend because he left my school and I don't really talk to him much anymore. My college friends don't look down on me for smoking so much because I quit. My brother isn't an evil villain out to get me. Everyone that knew I smoked now knows that I quit. And I don't have to worry about having terrible highs. I selfishly thank God for how my friend turned out because it gave me someone to compare myself to and therefore the ability to see my own flaws. On the other hand, though, I feel like I'm somewhat responsible for creating this monster. He's my own Frankenstein. Originally when I thought to begin writing this I had an intention, something I wanted to get across to the reader. But that has long since vanished. I think I just wanted to let the world know my life's story concerning drugs thus far. Some readers' thoughts on this part of my life would be appreciated. I also want to experiment with psychedelics, but I don't have any connections to get them and if I freak out on weed, wouldn't psychedelics be ten times stronger? I've smoked salvia twice but I didn't get the effects desired. Anyway, thanks to those of you who took the time to read this.