Where I am today

Postby wakinglife » Mon Apr 09, 2007 4:49 pm

Greetings!

I am starting this thread for personal reasons. I have attempted to help others through previous threads: "Compiling a list of benefits of being off weed", "How to Quit Smoking Cannabis", and "Free Quitting Cannabis Resources". If you are attempting to conquer cannabis addiction, I suggest you start with one of those, or one of the many other helpful threads in the addictions forum. This thread is going to be more free-form, with thoughts on life after addiction.

I have now been free of cannabis addiction for over 8 months. (My quit date was July 22nd, 2006.) There were definite struggles along the way, but I am entering a new stage: maintaining a drug free lifestyle. There are days when everything falls into place, and days when I still hear the old voices calling me back into the weed cocoon. Part of the reason I am still writing is to better understand those parts of myself that try to prevent me from growing.

There are many people who leave the forum as soon as they have successfully quit. I truly wish them the best, and hope that they stick to whatever promises they have made for themselves. Maybe I'm a slow learner, but I don't quite feel ready to leave yet.

If you are interested in what one person's life looks like after drugs, check this thread.

I am a work in progress!

8)
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#1

Postby wakinglife » Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:03 pm

This weekend (4 day long Easter weekend here in Canada) I felt the urge to get messed up. I moved last week, and with spring in the air, I have been craving an altered state. On Saturday night I told my girlfriend that I wanted to get drunk. She looked at me like I was crazy (she doesn't drink or use any drugs whatsoever).

This made me think: Why do I want to get f***ed up?

My brain started rationalizing. "You deserve it." "You work so hard. Why not treat yourself?" "What's the harm?"

This kind of freaked me out, because I am seriously committed to maintaining sobriety (with the odd beer or two).

Is it a human instinct to get 'altered'? Are we all hard-wired to want to distort our perceptions? Does this give us the feeling that we are in control of our own mental states? (Are we in control of our own mental states?)

That night I invited a couple of buddies over to hang out and watch "Pulp Fiction" (which I hadn't watched in years). Even seeing the drug use in that film was getting to me.

Both friends were driving, so they stopped after 2 beers each. I had one regular sized bottle, plus two 500 ml micro-brewed beers. Becoming an alcoholic is not a viable option for someone recovering from pot addiction!

After the guys left, I sat, alone, buzzed off the beer, watching Saturday Night Live and other random late night TV. It felt weird to be out of it. It wasn't actually what I had been craving. I had been craving the feeling of kinship that comes with 'partying'. The way you all get on the same wavelength, like you are your own microcosm, complete in your circle.

The point of this all is that it really didn't cure anything to get drunk. I just felt a wee bit pathetic, and had a slight headache the next morning.

Note to self: If you are craving getting out of it, get there without abusing substances.

:wink:
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#2

Postby wakinglife » Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:57 pm

Hey,

I just finished my work week and I am feeling excited about the weekend. This week I put on a birthday party for my son. Now that he is six years old I am extremely glad to be drug free (OK, still using caffeine and booze in moderation). I was thinking about how much better things are since I stopped smoking pot. Sure, when stoned I would get down and play 'hot wheels' cars with him, but I wasn't fully there. I can remember the look on his face when I would be spaced out, missing a question or comment from him. He always sensed when I was high, but my denial wouldn't let me see that. There are also the times when I would have to sneak off at random times. What does a kid think when his dad strolls out the door for no apparent reason? Does he feel slightly rejected or abandoned?

There was one time we had gone camping together when I had to pull over on the drive back. I could not smoke in the car with him (obviously!) so I got out and had a few quick puffs while crouched behind the car. He asked me why I had pulled over. I said that it was to check the tires. As I started to drive he said, "Dad, it really stinks like smoke around here, doesn't it?" I weakly replied that someone must be burning some leaves or something.

It truly seems surreal to me now. Why would I feel the need to get high while on a relaxing drive home from camping with my wonderful little boy in the back seat? Yes, I was so chronic that I was able to drive well while under the influence, but so what? It goes beyond the issues of safety and ethics. This delves into common decency: There should be no need to smoke drugs to feel happy.

I won't say that I'm blissing everyday (now there's a pipe dream), but I am consistently even-keeled. I have peaks of earth-shattering joy and the blahs and lows of day to day life. I am no longer swept away by the incessant chatter of my mind. The overall stress level in my life has dropped drastically. Today I am ready for whatever life dishes up, and I savor each bite with my full attention.

8)
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#3

Postby jurplesman » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:15 am

wakinglife wrote:It truly seems surreal to me now. Why would I feel the need to get high while on a relaxing drive home from camping with my wonderful little boy in the back seat?


The reason may be be because you may believe that it is due to weakness of will, rather than seeing this as a symptom of a physical disorder.

Please read:

Drug Addiction is a Nutritional Disorder
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#4

Postby wakinglife » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:40 am

Jurplesman,

I clicked on the link you put in your post above. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but in the third paragraph I found a grammatical error:

"We become addicted to substances because the body fails to produce the right amount of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that can make us feel happy an content."

I will assume that you mean "happy AND content." If you do not take the time to carefully edit your written work, how am I supposed to take you seriously as an expert?

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you are merely trying to help others. However, I already told you in a separate thread that I have no interest in debating your "assumptions." As with anyone else who has spent any time on this forum, I could easily gain access to the information you incessantly display in every post you make.

If you had taken my comment (which you quoted in your post) in context, you would realize that I said it seems surreal to me NOW. As in, I am now in a place where that kind of behavior seems surreal. I did not pursue any drastic change in diet to reach this new place. I would appreciate some contemplation and consideration of my actual words if you are going to intrude on a thread in which I am not even seeking help, but expressing my self-reflections as part of the healing process.

In closing, I would like to simply say, "Thanks, but no thanks!"

Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of the cure for all addictions via nutrition,

Waking Life

8)
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#5

Postby jurplesman » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:23 am

wakinglife wrote:"We become addicted to substances because the body fails to produce the right amount of serotonin and other neurotransmitters that can make us feel happy an content."

I will assume that you mean "happy AND content." If you do not take the time to carefully edit your written work, how am I supposed to take you seriously as an expert?

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you are merely trying to help others. However, I already told you in a separate thread that I have no interest in debating your "assumptions." As with anyone else who has spent any time on this forum, I could easily gain access to the information you incessantly display in every post you make.


Thanks for letting me know about the typographical error. I have corrected it already.

I don't expect everybody to be interested in the psychonutritional approach.
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#6

Postby Mezz Mezzrow » Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:29 am

Wakinglife

Thanks for sharing the stories about your son, it must be hard for you. Let me tell you, they're just what I need to hear right now. My eldest just turned three and is like an antenna.
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#7

Postby susieqnj » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:39 pm

Hi Waking Life,

I agree with you on all accounts! I know exactly how you feel about those times when you felt you had to smoke, with your son around. I think its so brave and unselfish of you to share. Most of all, people out there NEED to hear it. I am sure there are many people who are not aware of what they are doing to thier children, in the very selfish process of satisfying thier own drug addiction. When I wrote my inventory, it included me stepping away from my beloved daughter, sitting her in front of the TV, and disappearing myself. Gosh, I hated that!!!!! The guilt was overwhelming. Plus, like you said, (and she is only 2), I was deathly afraid she could see the changes in me. How unfair. Our kids are innocent, and deserve the very best we can give of ourselves. At least, thats how I feel personally. It CANNOT be done from drug addicted parents, and thats an undisputed fact.
I love reading your threads, you give so much truth and encouragement to all of us. And, damn good advice!

Thank you and congratulations on being such a fine example.

Susieq (day 51)
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#8

Postby susieqnj » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:40 pm

I'm sorry, I must have entered twice and needed to edit out. (Sometimes this system doesn't like me.)

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#9

Postby wakinglife » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:13 pm

Hey,

Thanks for the positive feedback, Susie and Mezz! As fellow parents, I am sure you can relate to what I'm talking about.

I will also say thank you, Jurplesman for getting the clear message that I am not requiring any further info about your diet.

I'm allowing my son his weekly dose of Saturday morning cartoons, and then we're off for some outdoor time. It is sunny and Spring-y outside. I am pumped to get out there for some rays and fresh air.

I did all of my homework (remember, I am a teacher) for the weekend after work yesterday, so I am reaping the rewards of my mainly procrastination-free lifestyle. It is hugely beneficial to have the willpower to do things when I need to, rather than stressing over them and trying to forget about them. It really is much easier to just suck it up and do what needs to be done. Then you can really be present for whatever you choose to do next.

A brief thought on day counting. I was driving to pick up my son from after-school care yesterday and I realized that I truly had no idea as to what day I was 'on'. The thought process went something like, "Um, 160? No, you're over 200. Oh yeah, 260 is more like it." No, I'm not bragging about having a mental lapse, but it seems to be the dawning of a new phase. I was so motivated by my days count early on, and now it is not as important.

In a way, I think that after a certain number of days, you need to start forgetting in order to focus on more important things. Yes, freedom from drugs is huge, but there is so much more to life. Overcoming addiction is like opening a door into a new world. You then need to step out there and start exploring.

Just some thoughts.

I send out my positive vibe for anyone to catch. I am feeling freakin' grand!

My infinite gratitude to all my fellow travelers on this beautiful blue orb!

8) :) :D :lol:
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#10

Postby wakinglife » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:25 am

Hey,

I see new people arrive on this forum every few days. Today it seems like a handful of newcomers are requiring help. I could read their stories and try to dish out advice. . .

I am not going to say that I am getting jaded, but I am learning a thing or two from my time here. It seems as though it is much like any rehab program. Approximately 90% of people go back to using. I do feel that it is possible for everyone to free themselves from addiction, but there is no quick fix. It is the idea of a 'quick fix' that led us to become addicts in the first place.

My theory is that life takes work. There are many glorious and beautiful events that may seem to happen of their own accord, but to stay consistently happy takes work. No, that may not be what anyone wants to hear. I'm only speaking what is true for me.

When I was chronically smoking pot, I wasn't actually happy. I would be blissed for a few minutes (OK, maybe an hour or two) when high, but then I would crash. The feelings after coming down would range from anywhere between 'passive lethargy' to 'irritable and strung-out'. The worst had to be at the end of a weekend of heavy smoking, when I would have to get my sh*t together for Monday (laundry, groceries, lunches, etc.). I would be so burnt, that everything would take 5 times as long as it should have. I was basically a walking zombie every Sunday PM.

My Monday would be a fuzzy blur. Followed by the other weekdays until I would get to 'relax' by getting stoned all weekend. I repeated this pattern for so long that I was bored of it. At any given time in the cycle I had no lasting joy, no prolonged sense of peace.

I now actively pursue things that make me happy. When it is time to work, I work hard. I am clear-headed, focused, and I get things done. When there is breathing room to chill, I chill! Fully immersing myself in the moment, knowing that I have earned it, without any nagging obligations taking up space in my brain.

To stay fit (physically and mentally) I force myself to stick to my 3 times per week workouts. No, I'm not always in the mood, but I never regret going once I am finished! I also dedicate time each day for meditation and reading books of wisdom (some self-help, some eastern mysticism, some inspired poetry, . . . ). I have committed myself to attending drum circles at least once per week as well. Even these are a chore at times (going out after dinner after a hard day's work), but they always give me something. If I am really stressed, I go for a walk in nature. Yes, it takes some motivation, but the dividends are clear lungs and a peaceful stillness in my heart.

I am just hear to say that although not everyone is successful in quitting, YOU can be. It only requires that you make a sacred promise to yourself, then follow up by filling your days with things that bring you true tranquility and joy.

It takes work, but it IS worth it!

8)
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#11

Postby chocobunny » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:24 pm

Waking life, i completely agree with your comments about it being hard work to make yourself happy.

For the past few years i have been doing everything that will make me unhappy, but thinking it will make me happy, INSANITY.

But it is hard work to motivate yourself to do the truly happy things.
I've stopped smoking weed and cigs for 8 days now, and the past 2 days have been very hard. However, i know if i give in and have either of those things my soul will not be happy.

Today i have had my daily battle of 'i will smoke, i won't smoke' and i've won. I've made myself go to the gym and study tonight.
Tonight i will sleep with no regrets about the day and with a warm feeling inside.

Simple stuff but really takes some banging your head against the wall to realise it!!
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#12

Postby wakinglife » Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:24 pm

chocobunny wrote:Tonight i will sleep with no regrets about the day and with a warm feeling inside.


I like the way you put that!

:)
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#13

Postby wakinglife » Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:22 am

Hey,

The kids at school today were talking about how it's "420 Day" (4th month, 20th day) and that many were skipping to go smoke dope. I am not sure if it's mainly a North American phenomenon (the 420 thing associated with weed) but it felt great knowing that I was choosing to not get high after work.

There is a real sense of accomplishment once you feel the compulsive patterns of addiction losing their grasp. As I was out weeding in the garden after work, some local teenagers were talking about preparing for a massive session. They were getting uptight about whether the blunt would be ready by 4:20 or not. I felt a minor twinge of being left out of a counter-culture movement, but that was followed by the relief that I would not be a comatose vegetable later on tonight from smoking too much weed.

There are nights when I stay up late, reading, writing and listening to online radio (BBC Asian Network is a fave). I enjoy that time to myself, but when I wake up the next morning with less than 6 hours of sleep (sometimes only 4 or 5) I actually feel the same as when I used to smoke pot in the evenings. It really shows you how much the stuff slows you down. I love feeling rested and energized when I get up in the mornings. It has to be one of the biggest perks of being off the stuff!

I went for lunch the other day with two co-workers. They are peers who I can trust, and I told them that I stopped smoking weed last summer. They don't smoke (but had in the past). One of them said that she is ready to break up with her boyfriend due to his weed addiction. I told her that unless he wants to do it for himself, no amount of pressure from her will change him.

We really have to come to this place on our own. I am done with telling anyone else what to do. If you find the benefits of smoking outweigh the negatives, who am I to tell you to quit? It is only when we NEED to quit, for ourselves, that we are successful in our attempts. I guess I must have hit rock bottom somewhere along the line, because this time it feels right.

I send my heartfelt thanks to all who have shared their stories here. By being honest and open we connect with the truest parts of ourselves.

Namaste

8)
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#14

Postby jage » Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:24 am

Your post says it all. I was noting how today's date would've had me in a cloud of smoke with hubby, but I skipped it all and don't feel the least left out. Actually I ran 5.5 miles today and I did it without stopping at 10min/mile. Yes, this time it feels right!

Namaste back to ya!
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