I used to smoke a lot of pot for a number of years. I had mixed results with it but continued to do it anyway, doing my best to overcome or alleviate my anxiety, but at some point I decided it wasn't worth it anymore. I had a lot of awful experiences I would never like to revisit, and now I'm very paranoid about completely avoiding it.
The problem is that now, literally about 75% of the time I go out to do something, I encounter pot smoke, often very close by if not right next to me. That's not an exaggeration. People here just smoke it walking down the street, at bus stops, in parks. It doesn't make a difference if it's right downtown or in a quiet neighborhood. It's not legal here, but nobody really cares.
I know that in theory
, they say you can't really get a contact high unless maybe you're in a small room filled with smoke for an hour. But I have such a low tolerance to everything (even when I was a very heavy smoker, it was still lower then my friends), it takes only the tiniest amount for me to feel it. Like, the tiniest little piece of weed in a pipe I can feel (if I hadn't been smoking), and that I know is not a placebo effect. So if it's burning openly, especially when it's right next to me and the smoke is right there...I don't see how it's not possible to get a contact high, and I'm absolutely certain in a number instances, I have. I monitored myself to see if it was just anxiety/placebo but I'm certain that it was a buzz.
The thing is that yeah, in *most* instances it's not like I would get that high off of residual pot smoke, unless it's blown right in my face (it's happened in a park before) or if I'm stuck in a spot where it's been actively smoked right next to me (this also happens sometimes), and even then it's not like inhaling bong hits or something, but it's still enough to make me a bit high and I still hate it.
In a perfect world, I would not have to experience ANY of the effects of pot - I want to avoid it entirely, unless I subjected myself to it. But because of my overall/general anxiety, these are situations that I feel anxious about to BEGIN with, then being hypervigilant about avoiding pot smoke on top of that only to encounter it anyway because it's unavoidable just makes it a billion times worse. I know it seems like an over reaction but I'm very high anxiety, it's a phobia and I honestly feel a little violated that I'm subjected to this everywhere I go. Why can't people just keep it in their house or in a discreet place with no foot traffic close by, ugh.
So basically, I've had to accept that if I go somewhere, there's a good chance I'll encounter pot smoke, and that I may have to deal with a buzz or even just the anxiety resulting from the phobia itself. With pot smoke specifically, it's a special kind of anxiety, it fills me with such dread and hopelessness. Like, panic attack and wanting to die at the same time. It's an especially dark and scary place I don't want to describe.
As a result, I've become much more agoraphobic and I avoid a lot
of important situations because of this. Every time I think about going out, it's something I take into consideration and it plays a big role in staying home. I've even considered taking up smoking pot again as much as I don't want to, so I could experience the anxiety at home and then not be as bothered by it when I go out, but the thought of having to smoke weed for the rest of my life is abhorrent.
So basically, what do I do?
All I can think of is to get used to any buzz that might accompany going out to do anything
, but the thing is that even when I did smoke weed, I was always trying to push myself/ignore/overcome any anxiety associated with it and yet I still struggled immensely even though I had my moments with it too, so even though we're talking about it in waaaaayy smaller quantities if any, I don't want to deal with it on a daily basis or any time I leave my house. I just want to get away from it entirely. It sounds over dramatic, but I feel sort of this anger towards the world that it's something I can't get away from. Like I said, it just feels violating.
By the way, if I'm near my house and I encounter it and I'm not on my way out somewhere, it's a little easier for me to digest because I know I could go home if I was feeling uncomfortable. But there's so many situations I feel very uncomfortable in to begin with, it makes it feel that much harder. I do not want to deal with a buzz while encountering my many other phobias, and not being in a safe space where I can be alone and center myself.
As a side note, I also have a phobia about being drugged in my food. It's happened to me before. So I have some food anxiety, but it's not quite as debilitating.