How I Soothed an Edible-Induced Bad Time

Notes on eating the whole gummy, the resulting anxiety, and my surprising antidote

Katie Martin


“Check my pulse,” I turned to my partner, Alex, who was lying in bed beside me. We had eaten weed gummy bears hours earlier. He was doing fine and I… well, I was asking him to check my pulse.

“It’s really fast, isn’t it?” I asked, wrist held out in front of me. He nodded.

“Can people die if their pulse is too high for too long?” I pressed. Alex seemed to pause and consider this before shaking his head ‘no.’ He also began growing jagged teeth and his skin was turning green. Neither were good signs.

Our German shepherd came in to the room and sat below us with a ball in his mouth. He dropped the ball and looked down at it and back up at me. Tongue out. Head tilt. Puppy eyes. All the signs of a predator biding his time.

Wait, no, that’s just my dog, I thought. He plays and eats ice cubes aggressively, but he’s not going to attack me. Right?

I couldn’t wrestle reality back in its place. I was — no other way to describe it — having a bad time. And the dog and my partner were on this ride with me until I could find peace.

Is This an Acute Psychiatric Crisis? Maybe.

With my back on the mattress, I slowly moved my arms and legs through the air as if I were swimming, because in that moment, I was swimming. The air felt thick as water and I was trying to keep calm by moving through it. From the outside, it probably looked like some New Age cardio.

The dog, watching me, eventually gave up and slinked back to the living room. On his way out, he looked over his shoulder one last time before snorting in annoyance.

Alex, bless his heart, was scrolling through Instagram while I swam laps beside him. At this point, I’d outwardly calmed down, but inwardly I was still clinging to any sense of earthly familiarity. As long as I was swimming, I was leveled in my panic. A nice, steady panic.

I rode the waves of irrational thought until I hit a swell idea: breathing exercises. Mind you, using breath to calm down has never worked for me (even completely sober). My…