Luckily, for me - peer pressure has never been an issue, but that's because I make my own stupid decisions so I have no one else to blame. And as proud as I am about it - sometimes that trick just doesn't work in my favour. I like living on my terms - which just means I'll either follow the crowd or I'll rebel. Two sides of the same coin.
When I joined college, I realized that people can be a delight instead of just a social small talk pain. It was a girls college so everyone was about supporting and loving each other - so there was very little drama and close to no peer pressure. Quite surprising, after all the movies and TV shows I had watched.
I thought I would be pressured into smoking, doing drugs, drinking - you know? The normal college scene. But nothing of the sort happened, so by the time, it was the second year I took it upon myself to do all the peer pressuring for me. My cousin and her friends had come over to stay the night - drinking was a standard party routine for me - being Goan and all that, but not once had I annoyed my lungs back then.
But that night, I gave in to my desires and decided that since 4 other people were doing it, so would I - and I smoked up. I lived by myself, in a two-bedroom apartment and there were easily 8 or more people around that day, so we squished ourselves into one tiny bedroom so we could "hotbox" - a word I wasn't familiar with then.
And so it began - one friend - we'll call him Siddharth or weed supplier - set it all up for us. He cleaned and then rolled the joints, switched off the fan, got a bowl with some water and then hyped us all up. There were only two people in that room who had smoked up before - Siddharth and Abhishek.
So the rest of us looked up at them as mentors and off we went. Puff, puff, pass. Siddharth takes his share and passes it on to me - I take one drag and out it comes before it even reaches my lungs - I take another, this time with guidance, and I fare better. I pass it on to Ritika and she aces it in the first go.
This goes on till we're two joints down and my lungs are asking me questions like "why would you do this to us?" - but what's worse? There is zero effect. None at all, I'm sober as I've ever been and it doesn't look like it's going to hit anytime soon. Turns out, the first time you do it - you usually don't get high. What a waste.
I feel like my tongue is going numb, which isn't really supposed to happen - but then everything is normal again. And for a year after that, I don't try any other drug - unless nicotine counts, because that, I had gotten used to.
But my curiosity and willpower to get stoned don't die. A year later, I try it again at my friends' place. Sanjana and a few of her friends are the kinds that smoke up all day long, so I oblige - puff, puff, pass. And this time, I get it right. Things are spinning, eyes are closing, tongue is numb - my stomach is rumbling? Is that normal? Maybe. Maybe not.
Next thing I know, I'm in a strangers washroom puking out two days worth of food. I wake up the next morning, in my friends' bed - very late to college, and very lost about yesterdays events. "You had a BT, didn't you?" she said. I guess I did, huh?
It's only 2 months since that event and I smoke up again - this time, it's my birthday party - at my house. It's just 3 of us, so maybe not a "birthday party" - but you get the idea. This time I'm way more confident and ready - so we share a joint and then it happens again - puff, puff, pass - Things are spinning, eyes are closing, tongue is numb - my stomach is rumbling? Puke.
And this time, it's messy. And gross. So gross. But my friends handle me - put me to bed - get me to shower after an hour or two and I'm fine again.
Why is it that every time I smoke up it just ends in puke? Where's my happy high? Or my sad high? Or just my high at all? All I see is puke, all I feel is pukey. Am I allergic to this stuff? That's not a thing, right? But it is.
It's not like I can walk into a clinic and ask if I am allergic to weed, so I did the next best thing - googled it. Turns out, being allergic to weed is common. Very common. And a swollen or numb tongue and excessive vomiting are both symptoms. Now, it's not like I would give up at this self-diagnosis, so I had to try it one more time.
So I did, yesterday. I scored some - surprisingly, I'm great at cleaning and rolling - so I did that and then smoked up with my boyfriend. For the first half an hour, I giggled away the time - for the rest of it, I dealt with a numb tongue and vomit. And then I fell asleep. Woke up, took a shower and then felt just fine.
So here's my conclusion from all these experiences - I'm definitely allergic to weed. It's not like vomiting is uncommon, but I don't just puke - I puke till I'm dry on the insides. My tongue is numb, I'm heavily uncomfortable at all times and I don't feel good at all. Basically, trying out all that weed was just a waste, and on that note, I probably shouldn't try it again.