Using Drugs to Cope with Stress
And other Deals with the Devil
As a young teenager, I used to think my dad was weak for having sleep issues. Then I inherited them my senior year of high school. Since then, my entire adult life has been a battle to get decent sleep.
Many nights in college, I would lie awake in bed worried. Worried that I wouldn’t get enough sleep to make it through a grueling training session the next day. Worried I would irreconcilably embarrass myself on the baseball field in front of thousands of spectators. And the crazy thing was, I would never have worried about these things if they hadn’t happened in some form or fashion in the past.
I never worried about getting enough sleep to physically perform - until it happened and I couldn’t explain why. I never worried about embarrassing myself on the baseball field - until it happened and I couldn’t explain why. And habitually visualizing events whose origin I could not logically explain was like a constant cortisol levee breaking at 3am, multiple nights per week.
I gutted my way through training sessions built for SEC athletes on one hour of sleep. My equilibrium was challenged competing against the University of Georgia, when I was tasked to play third base on the road on four hours of restless sleep.
To give the Devil his due, these stressors were the origin of all the cheat codes I came to observe in fitness and corporate navigation. I NEEDED to reduce stress. I NEEDED to be highly conscientious of all the corners I could cut and all the points of leverage that could be used against me. Had I not experienced this extreme stress in my early adult years, I would not have been motivated to achieve the freedom that I eventually achieved.
But my early corporate career was an extension of my baseball career. After work, I just wanted to turn my brain off and relax. I had zero energy to escape my corporate servitude, in spite of all the corners I was certain could be cut.
Then living in San Francisco in my late 20s, I found a drug that changed my life forever: Medicinal marijuana.