CONTENT WARNING: SUBSTANCE ABUSE
I've had a hard time imagining the longevity of my life since youth. There was no one else like me—or so I thought—others who might like the same gender, others whose gender breached what I knew to be possible. When I started to use in high school, the company of friends I kept all turned out to be queer, perhaps by coincidence, though, more likely due to circumstance.
Using took time and brought it to a standstill; my only concern was to keep the high lasting, and the sentiment was shared. My queerness and being stoned were tangled as I navigated the world as openly trans at 17, quietly using marijuana to cope with navigating the unknown.
The sober time I have now has taught me more about myself in a few short months than all my years combined. I faced my stoner identity and called it by its name: addiction. There was no choice really—I could not keep living and using, I was burned to the end of my wick.
The magic of sobriety is that I am now capable of turning to myself with love. I am capable of being of service to the world. I look to those with decades under their belt and strive towards that time, searching not for the number, but for the confidence to reach my fullest potential.
Samson Harman is a 23 year old multi-media artist living in Portland, Oregon. They self-describe as a 'sensitive plant' and love being outdoors.