In my book, Higher Connections, I talk about the benefits of cannabis for both myself and my family over the past several years. The benefits are generally around my understanding of others and how they think and feel in the moment. While I attribute most of this to cannabis, there are other things in my life that did help such as cutting out alcohol and focusing as much as possible on my reactions and anger issues.
While I am not suggesting that cannabis is a cure-all for all issues in every relationship, I do believe in helped mine. Being that I am an accountant and love charts, I decided to put together a basic chart of my relationship with Alexandra since the beginning of our relationship until now.
A brief history of our relationship
- We met at work in 2003 when I was 23 and Alexandra was 20 (although she thinks she was 19 for some reason). We were friends for a bit before we started dating in 2005. We had kid #1 in 2009, kid #2 in 2012 and kid # in 2018.
- I drank alcohol for a number of years, starting in college and continuing until around my 40th birthday. Generally I drank alcohol to deal with stress and family life as many people around the world do. My drink of choice was generally beer in my younger days but gradually evolved to tequila, then whiskey and bourbon as well as a love for red wine from around the world.
- As it related to myself, drinking would initially make me feel happy; however, similar to many other people, it would soon devolve into depression, sadness and anger about myself and my life. It would also cause physical issues like stomach aches, nausea and bad headaches the next morning.
- For those around me, my drinking caused several issues, primarily around my poor decision making, depression and anger that resulted from the drinking and the related after-effects.
- The drinking caused several questionable decisions on my part, primarily involving infidelity. I am not proud of this, but it happened and we both had to deal with the consequences of those actions, which eventually led to a separation.
- After being apart for some time, we attempted to reconcile our relationship by going to therapy to understand the root of our issues, why I ended up cheating and why we were where we were in our relationship. We ended up trying the relationship out again and Alexandra ended up getting pregnant with our third child.
- Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began, I had decided to reduce my alcohol consumption significantly, primarily for my mental well being but also for my physical well being. I wanted to lose some weight and get into a better mental state overall.
- When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I had started using cannabis on a periodic basis. As the pandemic dragged on, I started using it weekly to deal with the stresses of everyday life. This is when several of the interesting experiences and connections that I write about in the book started. I felt like cannabis helped me understand Alexandra better in terms of how she thought in everyday situations.
- However, there were still lingering issues that were held over from our prior issues. We still had trouble communicating at times, I felt like she didn’t trust me when I would travel for work and other issues that permeated our everyday life.
- Alexandra and I were close to separating at several points during the COVID-19 pandemic. This wasn’t necessarily all due to alcohol – anyone that lived through COVID-19 can attest to the stresses on everyday life, especially when you have three young kids trapped in a confined space for an extended period of time. There was also uncertainty about our jobs and careers in general. Needless to say, this all added up to a hard time on everyone, including myself.
- As a result, our relationship suffered. We were cold, angry, distant and generally unhappy.
- As I used cannabis a bit more and started writing my book, my understanding of why she thinks and feels the way she does improved and it resulted in me being more patient with her. I am not saying that I still don’t want to strangle her at times, but this understanding that cannabis seems to allow me to have of her (and my family) has overall helped with me staying calm and working through our issues as much as possible.
Our relationship chart
So the chart that I created shows the relationship history for Alexandra and I. This is a fairly simple chart with the vertical axis being the relationship score (in this case 0-60). The horizontal axis is the relationship timeline. You can create something simple like this with anyone in your inner circle of friends and family.
A few notes on the chart below:
- The chart below summarizes my view of our relationship. Her view would likely differ in some aspects because of different things going in our life.
- The red circle in late 2019 summarizes when I started using cannabis on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.
- The green circle in 2021 summarizes when I started writing the book and documenting the positive experiences I had where I could seemingly understand how she was feeling and thinking.
- You will note that there have been several down times in our relationship for a variety of issues that I will not focus on. The trendline that I show for the entirety of our relationship is a downward trend, primarily due to these larger negative times in 2009, 2014 and, to an extent, 2020.
- I don’t think many relationships are currently where they are in the beginning – the beginning is generally caused the “honeymoon” phase for a reason – you are giddy, you are happy, you have little cares in the world. Then life gets in the way and throws knives and wrenches into the happiness of the relationship. However, right now, we are at a pretty good place and really the happiest since we started having kids in 2009. Will that last? Who knows but we can’t worry about that at the moment!!
What I want to focus on is the period since 2020 when I started using cannabis and writing the book in 2021 which is noted in the chart below.
As you will note in the chart, the trendline has been upward since 2020. There are always going to be bumps in the road during certain months where we still want to kill each other, but overall, I believe we have been happier and in a better place since I started using cannabis. This does NOT mean that cannabis is the only reason for this upward trend but I do believe it has a been a significant contributor (and Alexandra would generally agree with this).
Again, I want to reiterate that I don’t believe cannabis is a cure-all for every relationship or that every relationship needs to be cured. However, for those that are hesitant to try, I hope this is something that they can use as a guide for how cannabis may have positively impacted their relationship.
For the record, Alexandra did a similar chart for our relationship, and while it looked a little different, the overall theme was the same, which essentially means I am not going crazy!
Thank you for reading and please leave any comments with your thoughts and connect with us on Facebook(Higher Connections or Eric Right), Twitter @higherconnecti3) and Instagram (Higher Connections)