How Cannabis Helped Me Through A Home Disaster


It has been an exciting and nerve-wracking few weeks. My husband and I recently bought our first house, and the deal closed just two weeks ago! This is a milestone that we have been looking forward to for years, and after 7 years together living in one-bedroom apartments around Seattle, working hard, and pinching our pennies, we were finally able to make the home dream a reality. 

Time to Celebrate! Or... Not

They say that something is bound to go wrong when you buy a house. Ha! “They” are right. 

Loved the curb appeal from the beginning; too bad you can’t assess the sewer health from the outside!

Loved the curb appeal from the beginning; too bad you can’t assess the sewer health from the outside!

After spending our first night in the house last Friday (mind you, we haven’t even moved our bed into the house, we slept on the couch), we woke up to discover a disaster in the basement. We walked down the stairs, and I literally said, “it smells like poop!” Unfortunately, there was a reason for this - we found a sewage leak in the basement, and, well, a horrifyingly large pond of human excrement. All of this after just one night in our new home. 

The next few hours were a blur but after having a plumber out to inspect the leak and clear the sewer line, we learned that soon, we would need to have the home’s sewer line replaced at an estimated cost of $17,000. For a couple that had just covered all of the massive fees associated with closing costs and still had a large move ahead of us, this was most unwelcome news. 

Along with the looming price tag of the eventual repair, we also had to deal with the icky task of cleaning the sewage out of our basement. The plumber mentioned he could contract someone to come clean the mess, of course - but this would cost an estimated $750. Due to our realization that we will quickly have to come up with a substantial amount of money for the full sewer repair, this additional $750 was a sting. So, out of what was a moment of desperation and probably a bit of naivete, Ryan and I decided that we would handle the mess ourselves. 

We went to Walmart and bought a shop vac, gloves, bleach, scrub brushes, and a hose. I’m pretty sure that during the entire shopping trip, our faces were ghost white. We didn’t talk much. I think we were both pretty in our heads about the upcoming unpleasantness of having to clean up the, well, unpleasantness. We were both also very anxious about the reality of having to save enough funds to cover this unexpected home expense. 

That day, Ryan used the shop vac to clean the majority of what needed to be addressed. However, after a full day of work, the impacted space in the basement still needed to be scrubbed and sanitized. We decided to wait until Ryan had another day off to finish the cleaning and made plans to complete the job the following weekend. 

Clean Up Day + Cannabis

Today was clean up day. To be honest, when I woke up this morning, I was feeling irritable and grumpy. Over this last week, we have had some come-to-Jesus moments in terms of talking finances; the reality is that we will be “tight” for a while, at least until we have saved up enough money to cover this sewer expense. I have also put some time this week into updating my resume, as I will need to pick up a part-time job. Overall, it’s just been a tense, stressful week. So this morning, you can imagine that I didn’t feel too excited to wake up, dress in my worst workout clothes, and drive down to the new house so that we could spend the day mopping and bleaching our concrete basement floor. 

I can honestly say, however, that I was able to find some headspace, a comedic outlook, and some intimacy with my husband today despite the gross task at hand. I accomplished this by carving out the time to enjoy a cannabis smoke session before we started to scrub the basement. 

A snapshot from our smoke sesh today

A snapshot from our smoke sesh today

Prior to heading into the battle in the basement, Ryan and I sat down in our new guest room (which will double as our cannabis consumption room) to enjoy a pre-roll joint. We busted out a Waldon brand joint that we purchased this morning and lit it up after cracking the window. The strain, called “Go Time”, is a sativa and seriously lives up to his name; after consuming “Go Time”, I felt ready to conquer the shit in the basement (pun intended). 

After the long week about stressing over our home, dealing with finances, and coming to terms with the fact that neither our realtor or homeowners insurance was going to be able to help us cover the immense costs of this problem, the headspace I gained today after smoking was notable. Ryan and I were suddenly able to laugh - and even laugh about our sewer woes! I was able to take some time away from my obsession of our current issues. Also, cannabis calmed me down to the point where I was able to admire the neighbor’s garden and comment on how beautiful the sky looked in the moment. And then I felt compelled to dance to one of my favorite throwback songs, “At Night, I Think Of You”, which I did. It was a needed, clarifying moment for me.

And then we went to the basement and cleaned. And it was honestly terrible… smelly, gross, not what you want to see in your new home. And yet, in our current headspace, Ryan and I were able to laugh through the distasteful experience. 

  • We joked that we weren’t sure if the excrement was ours, or that of previous contractors or realtors… and really, would it be better either way?

  • We joked that our house was getting a spa treatment that many people pay a high premium for: a bleached asshole. 

  • We danced and sang to our favorite Spanish Latin songs; no, we don’t speak Spanish, although I realized in my enhanced perspective that I would like to learn Spanish soon to show my support of the growing Spanish-speaking community in my city

  • We discussed how lucky we are to be first-time homebuyers and aligned on the importance of counting our many blessings

I am grateful for the opportunity to consume some cannabis mindfully today, as it helped Ryan and I turn a difficult experience into one that was almost, dare I say it, fun. This is why I am so dedicated to writing about intentional cannabis use - because I know that it can help so many others turn difficult situations into more pleasant experiences.

If you find yourself in a similar experience soon, where you wake up and have to face a home disaster, I implore you - once the shock and initial issue has been dealt with, tap into your existing cannabis stache or go buy something special from the cannabis shop. Cannabis can help you to put the entire problem in perspective and even enable you to count your blessings. 

But, I’m sending out good vibes that you don’t run into a similar issue! I’m paying homage to the gods of homeownership so that you hopefully don’t need to any time soon. But just know there are ways to cope if/when it happens to you <3

Heather DagleyComment