Breaking Expectations is staff writer Danielle Allsop’s  firsthand experience living with mental illness.

I’ve always been asked if I smoke pot to ease my anxiety.

“I bet it would help you,” they say.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve smoked it a few times, for curiosity purposes, as a way to eliminate peer pressure and to see if it really would make me less anxious.

However, pot did nothing to eliminate my anxiety. In fact, I felt more anxious after smoking it. Every time.

After those experiences, I’m still unsure of where I stand on the issue of legalizing marijuana.

Though it did nothing to ease my anxiety, I’ve seen and heard of pot easing the stressors of life and allowing some to be more productive.

If it eases your anxiety, great. Be safe and conscious of your actions, but know that it is still illegal.

Many compare my use of anti-anxiety medication, like Xanax, to pot, saying its effects are very much the same: calmness, relaxed muscles and an altered state that varies from person to person.

That may be true, but there is one giant difference: one is legal, one isn’t.

Know that your state of consciousness is altered, that you are not yourself. Much like alcohol, it can change your demeanor, going from friendly to frightening foe in a few short minutes.

Like the way some people shouldn’t drink because they aren’t fun drunks, some people shouldn’t smoke marijuana because they aren’t pleasant or productive when they’re high.

If you’re going to try it and I am in no way advocating that you should, make sure you’re in a safe environment with people you trust. Don’t feel obligated to smoke it if you’re uncomfortable, like I was. It’s okay to say no.

In some ways, I am glad smoking pot didn’t work for me, because I am one of the cautious people on the planet, making sure I follow every rule. I would be a wreck just having pot on me that I’d have to smoke it just to ease that anxiety.

Plus, it’s an expensive habit.