You got a problem with paba?

The Depression Monster is kicking my ass.  I’m doing surprisingly well, despite.  Well, in that I’m too numb for it to touch my spirit.  The buffer has always existed, but it’s only recently occurred why.  I’m delighted by this new insight.  I’ve decided to accept it without analyzing it (to death.)  My understanding is enough.  How rare.  But I don’t dare linger here.  The brain zaps from Prozac withdrawal are happening every few moments, now.  It feels a lot like being excessively high on cannabis.  It’s almost out of me forever.  Yay.

I’m glad I went on the marijuana tour last year, or this would probably freak me out.  (Okay, definitely.)  I was awed by the amount of weed I was able to consume without consequences during the tour.  I watched the younger tourists consume far more simultaneously, also without repercussion.  It had the intended effect of eliminating rote fears.  Something about cannabis works the same way Prozac does on my brain.  Does this mean I’m going to replace Prozac with pot?  Nope.   😂  Fuck drugs.

While I had no compunction with legally consuming in the past, I’ve grown since.  People who were off my radar then are now present in my world, and their influence is intense.  I could legally smoke a joint in front of both Michelle Obama and Lisa Bloom (my imaginary personal life coaches) without feeling like I was hovering over a pit of doom.  I couldn’t do it in front of  Stevie Nicks, though.  I can’t even do it knowing Stevie Nicks exists.  So here we are.  Post pot life.  I’m glad I experimented, but fuck feeling like I’m hovering over a pit of doom just to get high.

It’s not even ironic.  Stevie Nicks specifically said to avoid cocaine, bourbon, and weed because she used the hell out of them, and it almost killed her.  She added Klonopin to the list of never do’s, too, stating it was the worst of them.  Through watching her documentary DVD’s and the interviews on YouTube, I learned of this dark chapter of her story.  It made me grieve for what she endured.  (That’s the only part that didn’t surprise me.  😂)   Do as I learned, not as I did before learning.  That’s fucking powerful.  I’m amazed by this turn of events, but not upset.

I’m pretty confident I was born high enough.  I don’t need mood altering substances to tease reality.  I can just read a Stephen King novel.  Or Clive Barker, who is rapidly gaining my loyalty as a reader.  I abandoned Tess of d’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy quickly, and read Duma Key by Stephen King, instead.  If you’re an artist, read Duma Key.  You’re welcome.  (It’s an excellent story, regardless.)  I’m done reading fiction that centers on women as victims.  I’m basically abstaining from the Lifetime Channel variety of novels forever.  ‘Cuz holy shit.  It’s like forced empathy training for sociopaths, (as if that would work.)

What?  Your novel is about a woman who got raped?  (Visualize me running away, screaming “Fuck!”)  I don’t even watch TV anymore.  I have four TV’s, two of which are newer 4k LG’s with HDR.  I’m going to give away the other two.  The new ones are still useful for movies and video games.  And to watch Will and Grace when it starts, of course.  My other show, Better Things, I buy to stream via Amazon.  I’m going to give away my Fire TV, too, since I just realized I haven’t used it since I set it up a year ago.  Oops.  Roku made it redundant.  I haven’t even looked at the Apple 4k whatever.  I’m good.

I need to give away my excess computers, too.  My house AI can stay once I adjust her, but all the single card computers can go.  I don’t need to know the humidity level of my bedroom while I’m  sleeping, for starters.  I regret I’ve crossed the line between smart home and smart ass home.  Sigh.  I thought I would love it, but it turns out I find it incredibly annoying between the hours of 2 and 4 AM.  Even Wanda Sykes couldn’t make me laugh during that time…  On second thought, she probably could.  😂  But until she shows up to try, I’ll be sleeping during those hours.  I’m off to debug de-feature.

You promised a kid in the hospital that I would hit two home runs?

I’m back in Denver.  S. went on the weed tour and has been stoned since.  She’s been looking at her hand for a while now.  I’m just giggling every time I look up at her.  I remember when I went on the tour.  I saw a former Googler who kept staring at me, (but it only creeped me out in hindsight.)  I remember being floored that it was legal for us to ride around in a bus while getting high.  I studied the people and noticed patterns.  The younger people smoked about three times as much as us middle agers.  They smoked pretty much nonstop the whole time and started before we even began moving.

The tour guides identified which of us were using weed for the first time, and I was relieved not to be the only inexperienced person.  I noticed we sat by age, too.  The younger in the back, inexperienced and older up front.  I sat next to a couple from Alabama.  I love the accent so it was deliberate.  They were cool.  Adjacent was the Creepy Starer and a couple from Chicago.  The Chicagoans showed me how to use a bong, (it was huge.)  It made me choke so hard I thought I was going to cry.  But then a wave of warmth and weight crept over me like a whisper, and I settled back and grinned.

It felt like being under my weighted blanket, but the positive effects were magnified.  I felt like I was standing on the border of my inner world while still able to observe and interact with the outer world.  I think it’s what it must feel like to be neurotypical.  I felt like my body was my violin.  My ability to control it required no thought.  I still felt unshielded, but I didn’t obsess internally about things I have no control over.  I didn’t feel anxious and realized I was previously unaware of how it felt to be free of…  Free of the exhausting compulsion to be neurotypical.  Oofda.  I’ll have to think about that some more.

I need to focus on rehydrating.  I can feel a headache threatening to take over soon.  I still haven’t started my vector art project.  I thought about it more and changed my mind about the photo of Stevie Nicks I’m going to use.  I’m using one from 2016 instead.  The Stevie Nicks that exists today is the Stevie Nicks I’m learning so much from.  After I got over feeling sorry for myself for not knowing about her until recently, (and it took a while,😂) I figured there’s a reason it’s now.  This is when I was ready.  I think I had to grow and experience some things first.

I’m realizing Stevie Nicks’ generation is presently guiding me in many aspects of my life.  Through music, The Resistance, and I’m reading novels by authors who are taking me back to the 60’s and 70’s and showing me how things were then, and how it’s affected them.  It’s not a conscious decision, but it’s the generation I’m hearing and heeding.  It’s fascinating and surprisingly comforting.  I finished Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King earlier (and for me, that’s fast reading.)  I couldn’t stop.  I lay down to sleep and then got right back up and read some more.  (Being an adult rocks sometimes.)  I don’t have any criticism for Stephen King’s writing.  I’m baffled any exists, to be honest.

I guess humans generally don’t get art in general.  The inclination to criticize art is something that should be discussed with a psychologist or religious leader, in my humble opinion.  I think art is my second favorite thing about being alive.  People are my first favorite.  I’m just not certain they aren’t the same thing.  I’m off to find a new book.



Today was a really good day.  I’m proud of myself for following through with my plans, even though I started getting pretty anxious a few hours before it was time to go.  I used an app on my phone to hire an Uber to deliver me to the restaurant where we all met up for the tour.  I arrived early, but the majority of the group did as well.  I wasn’t hungry for lunch, so I got a chocolate Rice Krispie treat that was the size of a coconut, and a lemonade.  It was less than $4 for both.  We had to get nametags and show our ID before we could board the buses.  There were 2 full buses of us for this tour.  I sat down with a couple from Indiana until it was time to board at 12:30-ish.

First, we went to a grow warehouse.  It was large, but not more so than I had imagined.  It was a very tight ship in ways that surprised me.  I had no idea so much went into the process of growing multiple strains.  Even the air quality and pressure are micro managed.  We saw plants in various stages of growth as we looped through.  Afterward, we visited the same dispensary I went to yesterday after arriving.  I even had the same person help me, and she remembered me.  I got cartridges of a specific strain and a rechargeable vape stick.  No odor, no smoke, no taste.  I tried it yesterday, and learned that it doesn’t take much.  But today was a whole other level.

Before we even left the restaurant, 2 people in my bus lit up some pre-rolls and started the puff, puff, pass.  Then they turned on the music and light effects.  Unlike school buses, the seating was all along the perimeter, and walkway in the middle.  There were drink holders behind our seat in front of the windows.  They gave us bottled water and pop for those who wanted that instead.  I tuned out halfway through the safety speech just from the second hand effects.  The music was old stoner classics, including reggae.  I recognized bits of songs here and there, and enjoyed listening.  Normally, the loud music would have had me so tense I would have gotten a migraine.  But for some reason, this music strongly urged me to play percussion on my seat.  I do like playing drums, but I’ve never felt such a strong urge to play along with the music before.  So I did that while watching out the window for most of the ride.

The first people I talked to were the couple from Indiana in the restaurant.  After them, I sat next to a couple from Arkansas.  I think I might have seated myself too closely to them, but they didn’t seem to mind, and by the time we were all aboard, there wasn’t much space left.  It’s something I’m working on in OT.  The extra effort to be present in the moment when I’m moving.  It’s a lot harder than it sounds.  But the benefits of mastering it will be far less bruises, scrapes, and bumps.  And less instances where I sit or stand too closely to someone else, because I miscalculated the distance due to not paying attention closely enough.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least 2 bruises.  So it’ll probably be worth the effort.

Across from me was a couple from Atlanta and a couple from Chicago.  We talked about politics, weed laws in our states, and startups.  The younger couples sat in the back of the bus.  I sat in the front with the Gen-X’ers.  The ones in back got things started, and kept them going the entire time.  At no point from the time we pulled out to the time we returned, was there not at least 2 joints making the rounds.  They passed out joints to whoever wanted them, and went over the itinerary.  After the first stop, they brought out the bong.  I had never used one, so one of the tour guides showed me how.  It was easy, and then I coughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.  A short time after that, it hit me.  It was noticeable, but in a gentle way.  It was similar to the feeling you get when you step out of a loud, chaotic environment, and into a new space that is utterly silent.  You marvel for a second, and then smile.

I’ve been back for a while now, but I still feel quite stoned.  I don’t know if it’s because I had so much, or what, but I’m not complaining.  More like apologizing for any typos or misspellings due to my present state.  I don’t know what strains we were given on the tour, but it was probably a hybrid.  I didn’t feel like I melted into a sofa, but I felt very relaxed both mentally and physically.  When we arrived at our next stop, we got more educational information, and another dispensary visit.  The last tour was glass blowing, but I stayed on the bus for that.  I have a high sensitivity to bright light.  While I waited, one of the tour guides took my phone in with her and photographed the process for me.  She did a good job.  At least some of my pics won’t have mostly my fingers in them.  I’ll go through them when I get home and run them through Photoshop if they’re as bad as I suspect.

I’m very surprised by how much I had, and breathed, but still feel fine.  They did warn us about dehydration, and being mindful of the elevation.  Apparently, alcohol has an increased potency effect at this elevation.  That explains Coors.  Fortunately, nobody in my group had been drinking, or at the most had very little before the trip.  Nobody pulled out early.  Nobody got overwhelmed or anything.  Everyone was kind, and the atmosphere was joyful the entire time.  There were probably about 20 of us on each bus.  I didn’t count, which is amazing.  I usually count as many things as possible.  I didn’t count anything today.  This is a good thing because sometimes it feels more like a compulsion than a desire.  I don’t like it when I waste a lot of time on automatic pilot.

There was one guy on the tour whom I’ve met before at a conference.  He’s also a former googler.  We spent the first half of the tour taking turns staring at eachother, trying to place where we crossed paths before.  It was a nice mix of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian.  About half Millennials, and half Gen-X.  It was an amazing amount of information, too.  That was awesome.  I didn’t expect them to go into such detail, but I’m so glad they did.  That’s one thing I like about Denver.  There is an undertone of excitement among the people here.  It’s contagious, and everyone I pass has a smile or a head nod.  This kind of blows my mind, as it’s so much larger than Sioux Falls.  I never realized this before, but there’s a different type of relationship between big city dwellers, and small towners.  But it’s not less, or more.  Just different.

I expected a big city to have a lot of distrust and disconnect between strangers.  I don’t see that here.  People are calmer.  This is a big deal to me.  It’s so much easier to be around calm people than chaotic.  It’s like the difference between cashmere, and a hair shirt to me.  It helped a lot today.  I had such a good time.  My face hurts from smiling and laughing so much.  I was fine up until the final 30 minutes.  I needed to pee badly, but didn’t want to use one of the public facilities during the tour.  I made it in time, but it was a close call.  I tried to picture in my head what would happen if I lost the battle.  I didn’t manage to do so, which is probably a good thing.  I’m proud of myself for managing this challenge.

“Nothing’s finer than being in your diner”?

Today has been good.  I’m catching everything the Depression Monster slings at me, and slaying it.  At this time next week, I’ll be in Denver.  I’m excited to go this time.  It’s odd, because I have a lot scheduled for a weekend trip.  Normally, I would feel anxious about having so much to do, but not this time.  I’m going on a Cannabis Tour that includes a visit to a grow warehouse, and lunch at a restaurant that specializes in curing the munchies.  Rice Krispie treats are an option for dessert, which is genius.  I haven’t gotten the munchies before, but I’ve also never turned down a Rice Krispie treat.  It’s a 4 hour tour, so there’s other stuff too.  There will be strangers, so it’ll be a good test to see if cannabis helps an Autistic person socialize more easily.

I’m going to base my results on whether or not I interact with anyone else on the tour, as well as how well I’m able to be among strangers for 4 hours.  Right now, it seems about 3 hours and 45 minutes too long.  Not terribly scientific, but it’ll at least determine if I should bother designing a more scientific test in the future.  If I remain with the group for the entire tour, I’ll call it a success.  If I remain for over 2 hours, it’ll merit a more scientific study in the future.  I know that right now, cannabis free, I would last about 20 minutes, and then get an Uber back to my hotel.  I would do this because it would shorten the length of time it will take for me to recover afterward.  If I succeed, it’ll take time to recover.  This is just how life with Autism is.  Social interactions with strangers are exhausting.

When I recover, I isolate as much as possible.  Then I hyperfocus on an activity until my cat or body object.  Rinse and repeat for however long it takes to feel recovered.  I don’t have data on how long it takes to recover because I refuse to measure the negatives.  I didn’t sleep last night.  I lay in bed and sang quietly while under my weighted blanket for a while.  I started to fall asleep, but Amelia Bedelia was batting her ball with a bell in it up and down the hallway at top speed.  It’s so cute how she really gets into it.  Her little butt wiggling just before she takes off is hilarious.  After hearing her do this a few times, I got up to play with her.  I’m powerless over her adorability.  Here she is on her “throne”.

It’s a pile of all my beginner quilts. They all have mistakes I made as I was learning.  I’m still learning, and still a beginner, but I’ve managed to overcome some of my past errors.  I got some new material through MassDrop for my next quilt.  I haven’t researched paper piecing yet.  I’ve been practicing my crocheting a bit.  I still suck at it.  It’s easier for me than knitting, though.  I’ve given up on knitting for now.  I don’t have enough hands, or something.