The other day at work I overheard a conversation between two of my co-workers that almost made my head explode.
Let me preface this by telling you that I absolutely adore the team I work with – they’re smart and funny and snarky and liberal as hell. We see eye-to-eye on practically everything.
They all drink (and one is a recreational pot-smoker) and ordinarily that doesn’t affect me at all. Sometimes, I find myself feeling “other than” when they discuss the latest IPA they tried or a new brand of wine that’s reasonable.
I did find myself feeling like a disapproving, prissy schoolmarm when they regaled me with stories of their drunken nonsense at the annual holiday party. One doesn’t remember much of the evening and spent most of the rest of the weekend hungover.
Whatever. I’m grateful that I don’t waste my weekends that way.
So. Here’s the conversation in question: Two of them were discussing a young woman they both know. She’s a freshman in college and her transition to the dorms and living away from home was very difficult. The young woman in question is EXTREMELY high-strung and suffers from anxiety and depression.
One friend was relating to the other that, at this particular college, sophomore dorms are more or less “themed,” based on the students’ interests. This young woman was talking to her Mom about the options. The first is known as a hard-drinking dorm. Mom counsels daughter, “You don’t like to drink. That one’s not for you.” Good advice, right? Right. The second choice has more of a loosey-goosey, tree-hugging, pot-smoking population. BINGO! That’s the one for our girl! Mom advises, “Honey, you NEED to lighten up and start smoking pot. You HAVE to figure out a way to relax!”
My two friends are both in complete agreement – they think this is a PERFECT fit for an anxious, uptight 18-year-old.
I’m sitting there, in my little cubby around the corner. Listening to this bullshit. Thinking, “What. The. Actual. Fuck.”
Here you have a young woman who struggles mightily with anxiety and depression – who is, statistically speaking, FAR more likely to end up having an issue with drugs and alcohol, and HER OWN MOTHER thinks it’s a great idea for her daughter to use a drug to self-soothe.
I’m thinking – SCREAMING silently – what about Yoga? Meditation? Exercise? Long, hot showers? Therapy?
I don’t know where I’m going with this…. I just knew I needed to bring it here and dump it.
You guys understand.
Thanks for listening.
(P.S. – Yesterday was 3 1/2 years of sobriety!!! Yay me!)