I was a bad student. I didn't really learn how to read until I was 8 and was defensive that I was stupid. I was hyper, had crazy add and didn't act right It continued pretty much until high school I was drinking and did not give a fuck.

When I first cupple of times tried weed I didn't get high. I didn't know how to smoke it. One day I was smoking in a group and one of the guys noticed I was a noob and taught me the propper way. He was very nice about it. When I got high my brain felt like it was slowing down but not in a feeling dumb type of way but more like a relief. Even when I got paranoid it felt good too because it was in a get your shit together type of way. I was on my way to not even graduate HS. It felt mad embarrassing.

When I was finally getting my shit together I found a teacher who found out that I was dyslexic. It made sense and she told me alot of people have it and still were successful. I was getting high consistently because it slowed down the world for me. I graduated HS on time with my peers even tho it was a bit of a struggle. I even saw a girl on youtube who was abusing herself until she started using weed medically. Its crazy that a drug so helpful to people that people still demonize.

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Comment by Gwen on March 9, 2017 at 9:04am
My mom is an alcoholic and I blacked out a cupple of times. It's super scary. I think I'm more prone to abuse alcohol so I stay away with it for the most part. My mom was super verbally abusing when she got drunk and was unpredictable, unlike when she was sober when she was quite. I'd rather be around a pothead over a drunk any time of the year.

Like any drug you have to be responsible with it. I've had some good and bad experiences.
Comment by Joan Denoo on March 6, 2017 at 12:00pm

@Gwen & @BenGee: I did not try alcohol or weed because I needed to have access to my cognitive processes in order to keep from being physically and mentally abused by my culture, my childhood family, and my husband. I had to be clever and inventive and watchful for clues that abuse could be predicted. 

I didn't find out that I was capable of managing my decisions until I left my husband, with three small children in tow, and left my parents behind. Ultimately I had to leave my religious beliefs behind but that was harder to do, in many ways. 

Out on my own, raising my children, buying an old house, getting a paid job, financially supporting myself, I learned that I could make good decisions, that my children flourished, and I was happier. 

As a mother of small children, I learned healthier ways to raise my children. As a teacher, I taught others life-skills that work and give healthier outcomes. 

Now, when I go about my business, especially now that my business is getting through these senior years with grace and dignity, I have the tools to make a graceful exit from this life. I am happier than I have ever been and look forward to going into the ground with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I have lived a great life, done interesting things, made intelligent friends, and am a happy hard-atheist. 

My brain is my best friend and I like how it works. 

Comment by BenGee on March 6, 2017 at 10:32am
Prescribed drugs*
Comment by BenGee on March 6, 2017 at 10:31am
Alcohol is bad. My dad is an alcove when he drinks he goes from being a bully and a jerk to bring a monster. Everyone I know that smokes weed is pretty chill. I just don't do it cause I don't like the idea of anything that alerts how my mind functions. I guess you could say I'm a bit fearful of losing my identity. Even small changes alter my identity. I want to be the one to make those changes. Not perception drugs, alcohol, sugar or anything else. It's a bit of an extreme position. I have no problems with weed, it's not bad. I just have my own unique view on who I want to be as a person which dictates my choice.
Comment by Gwen on March 6, 2017 at 6:09am
Hey Joan, thanks for your story. Its good to see someone with an open mind to see the pros and cons. Lots of times with people they just turn a blind eye and assume that it's bad.
Weed never made me feel smarter tbh. My mind wandered and it was a good way to slow things down for me and look at my problems in perspective especially the first time I got high. I never felt I could read or write better.
I taught myself about strains because some of them cause a different type of high. Like if I smoke a sativa strain it was more of a creative or active high, while indica is good for watching TV or video games a lazier high. I love exercising while high. I try to be more responsible with weed.
As for my teacher she showed me about shortcuts in reading which helped me because it gets exausting and my memory which is kinda shit she taught me how to write everything down. I still try to find shortcuts, like if I get over welmed with a paragraph I sometimes copy and paste it on google translate and put the voice on since I understand better when people talk to me. Or with big words I break them down like tomorrow I think of tom or row.
Comment by Joan Denoo on March 4, 2017 at 7:12pm

Thank you, Gwen, for sharing your story with us. I'm a retired teacher, a really old one, and we didn't even have a name for dyslexia. I faced it every year and I taught at the college level, mostly. Every teacher should read your story; it helps me to understand from your perspective. 

I have experience with elementary and high school students who juvenile judges sent to boys' ranches where I taught. We discovered the boys who used weed had difficulty learning to read, write, and to do arithmetic as measured by performance charts. My daughter, who was in high school at the time, came every afternoon to the boys' ranch and ran flash cards for the three Rs. She timed each boy, recorded the time it took to go through a stack of cards, and we could see poor performance. I also worked with the families of the boys teaching them effective parenting skills. Working with the parents and the boys who were failing in school, we worked out a contract system so the boys could earn privileges as their performance improved.

The boys were motivated to get the privileges and they self-directed their behaviors. The slow students were able to pass through each grade.

There were several parts to this plan. One was to build in discovering what each boy wanted as a reward. With one boy, he earned a bicycle one part at a time over the course of the school semester. He not only received his bike, but he taught himself how to read, write, and do arithmetic. The other boys encouraged him and worked as a team to help him. 

Another part of the plan was to provide activities that the boys enjoyed. Swimming, boating, horses, dogs, farm animals, skiing in the winter, and frequent field trips. We included everything we could think of that the boys liked to do. 

Another aspect of the plan was to catch each boy doing something correctly, whether it was good citizenship, helping others, taking responsibility for a project, and we all had a weekly fun night celebrating their successes. 

An important part of the plan was to listen to each boy, giving each one opportunity to talk quietly with me or a child-care worker. Our best listener was our short, 300 pound cook who had a chair saved for a boy who wanted to talk to someone. She gave them cookies and milk, an extra treat that seemed to be highly motivating. 

I also taught at an adult prison preparing inmates who had ben incarcerated for long periods of time to reenter life of freedom. They often didn't know how to maintain a budget, find living quarters, search for paid employment, and to take care of the basic things one needs to thrive in society. 

My question, as a teacher, was what will help the individual be able to do the basic skills needed in life? Skill-sets can be individualized, depending on the learning style of the student. It was my job to discover how each could learn life-skills. 

I am glad you found a teacher who understood your challenges and found ways to help you learn. I am also glad that marijuana has been legalized. Some individuals find weed helps them "slow down". It seemed to me, observing their behaviors, that some became calm and settled into projects they could not do without the chemicals in weed. Some people functioned in an incapacitated way. There is no one answer to the question of weed-use for everyone. The individual needs to be self-aware, and parents and teachers need to understand the reasons for using weed and when it becomes a hindrance. 

I have seen paranoia with weed use and it is ugly, to say the least. I hope no one uses it if that is the consequence for the individual.

How are you doing now? Are you healthy? Are you able to work at something that pleases you? Are you content with your life's journey? 

My best wishes for you and a productive, healthy, happy, and peaceful life. 

Comment by Thomas Murray on March 4, 2017 at 6:31pm

...the FBI and CIA are still looking for me...so no comment....

Comment by Compelledunbeliever on February 27, 2017 at 8:28pm

Weed is like anything else. When it is needed use it. When it is not don't abuse it. Moderation. My mother taught me to smoke at 7 to calm me down. It would have been much better if she would have just been a real mother.
I used it medically for pain...Sometimes it took a little more than necessary but I stopped when the pain manageable. Moderation.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on February 25, 2017 at 2:08pm

I read an interesting book about dope and how it came to be criminalized.  It so fucking arbitrary and lacking in rational justification. 

What is interesting to me is how long it has taken the public to come around to legalization and acceptance. It does not matter how stupid and indefensible a position is. It is not easy to make people change their thinking.  It aint just gods that people defend like a jackass who refuses to budge.

Smoke em if ya got em.

Comment by BenGee on February 23, 2017 at 2:09pm

Yup, legal in California. I'm quite glad I got out and voted for that. Than you for your story Gwen, I was also a terrible student through most of my younger years. By HS I had started to turn it around, and I was rather successful in college (at least all the college I was able to afford! Damn student loans). I don't think its right to assumes someone's future or intellect simply based off some anecdotal evidence from their past. We all grow we all learn, at our own pace and in our own way, there's nothing wrong with that. I hope your life is one that fulfills you, both your intellect and your emotional well-being. We're all cheering for you.

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