New Year, New Beginning: My Quit Journal

Postby HungryGhost99 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:51 pm

January 1st, 2017

Today is the first day of 2017. It is also the first day of my new life as a completely marijuana-free individual. I had a lapse yesterday (New Year's Eve) after an 18 day stint of sobriety. Now, for the new year, it is my intent to end this habit that has been nothing but trouble for me for the past nearly 20 years.

It has been enjoyable at times however. I still get a lot of pleasure from each high. But the high is temporary and after I come down, I'm regretful and utterly alone with myself. It seems that whenever I'm alone for an extended period of time I find an excuse to use. Is it because I'm lonely? I'm not sure. It might just be that an easy opportunity arises. I have to make myself stronger in these situations. I can't give in.

I have been reading and re-reading specific chapters from Gabor Mate's phenomenal book on addiction, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. There are tools I can use from this resource. It has strengthened my resolve to be in sobriety for good.

I make excuses with myself when the urge arises. I say things like "it will give me an alternate perspective on my life" or "its just every once and a while." My resolve to stay sober wanes after a certain amount of days. This has been my main struggle in the past few years: going long periods; the short term is easy for me.

Its time to begin anew.
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:25 pm

Great. Keep me posted on your progress.
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#2

Postby SuzieO » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:28 am

Good luck will send you lots of supportive vibes for you to stay on your chosen road. :)
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#3

Postby HungryGhost99 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:38 pm

January 2nd, 2017

Thanks for you supportive words, Richard and Suzie.

Day 2

Had a good day yesterday. It was beautiful outside (though cold) and went for a long walk with the dog.
Also watched the new Oasis documentary Supersonic in the evening and enjoyed it.

The first few days and weeks are usually pretty easy for me as far as abstinence is concerned. The real test will come in the times ahead where I am alone for a long stretch and have not had weed in a long time.

I'm trying to be more mindful of everything I do. In the past few months I've lost more than 20 lbs. because I've been more mindful of my eating habits and going for long walks. If I can just apply the mindfulness to my desire not to use pot it would really help. I've tried meditating before... I'm not really good at it yet, my mind tends to wander frequently... but I realize from my readings that it is a gentle process and the point is in the doing not in any end result. I find it hard to maintain a meditation practice on a consistent basis, but I'm going to try.

Yesterday, I finished reading The Power by The Secret author Rhonda Byrne. Finished it in about 3 hours but it has a lot of useful concepts that might play a role in maintaining sobriety. Also just started re-reading Tony Robbins book Awaken the Giant Within... I guess I'm a self-help book addict too which is a good thing.

My last lapse really crept up on me, as they tend to always do. I thoughts I was strong but I caved in briefly. I need to learn to delay my desire to pick-up. Cravings are not permanent after-all but are fleeting mind-phantoms.

I welcome any input and thank you for any replies in advance.

:D
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#4

Postby awmm301116 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:05 pm

Hey HungryGhost,

You've made a courageous choice to quit pot. I too had a 20 year habit, and I'm on day 34 of life beyond dope.

It's great you have been reading a lot, and that you've been meditating. I use an app called Headspace, and it really helped me through the first week. It still helps today, but that first week it was incredibly supportive.

Also telling myself I had escaped a prison, and when thoughts of dope arose, I viewed them as sniffer dogs out to catch me. I told myself they can search all they want, they're not finding me. I'm still not out of the woods yet, so vigilance is key.

I also found an antidepressant called Mirtazapine helpful, as it made me get to sleep and maintain an appetite.

Oh, and is Supersonic any good? I got it for Christmas, but haven't watched it yet.
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#5

Postby S.W.L » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:50 am

Hey Hungryghost, how has your sleeping and eating been? I'm on day 3 and finding it hard to sleep and eat and my anxiety it horrific, any ideas?
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#6

Postby HungryGhost99 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:15 pm

January 3rd, 2017

awmm301116: Thank you for you support and input... Supersonic is really good and Oasis is one of my favorite bands of all time... it really gives you insight into their meteoric rise in the mid-90's... also you learn a lot that you might not have heard before...

S.W.L.: on days when I get up early to work I find it easy to get to bed that night... sometimes when I've slept in or have been using pot I find it very hard to get to sleep... I find that Gravol helps me get to sleep easier, though it might not have the same effect on everybody... my eating has been fine but I was not a heavy user recently... i've used a lot less pot over the past bunch of years so that has made a difference... I'd say give it a couple weeks if you were a heavy user. I've always been an anxious person too so its hard for me to tell whether its just my normal anxiety or pot-related... Are you an anxious person by nature?

Day 3

Went to work this morning... I'm not a morning person and have never liked getting up early but the day went smoothly.
No cravings today but there usually isn't this early in my abstinence for me... Watching Season 3 of The Fall on Netflix in the evenings and that is a nice distraction... Also started reading Yann Martel's new book last night (author of Life of Pi)... enjoying that too...

My next big test will be this Saturday when I will be alone for a big stretch of time... I know that the more I can resist the urges, the more my brain will be building new neural pathways that will make it easier in the future... as I read in Gabor Mate's book, Attention and mindfulness actually helps build your brain in new ways... This is encouraging to me because it tells me that no matter how old you are (i'm 38) your brain is always able to develop and replenish itself via neuroplasticity... Every time you mindfully turn away from an urge, you're becoming ever stronger.

Thanks for reading...
Until tomorrow...
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#7

Postby S.W.L » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:49 am

Hey Hungry Ghost.

Thanks for letting me know how you felt. I slept better last night which was a supplies as I slept through the day, I'm sweating like mad all night tho and the mad dreams have started, my eating has pick up a little too. I was a heavy user since 18 and now 32, never smoked joints only buckets bongs and pipes before I quit I was smoking around a 1/4 every 4 days.

I was never an anxious person when I was young just full of confidence and loved a good party. Now tho I never wanna go anywhere and feel like the whole world in against me, I have a beautiful fiancé who supports me 100% and does her very best even tho she doesn't quite understand, she really has been my rock.

I will power on through this hard time and be the boucncing bublley man I used to be.

Cheers
Will keep posted
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#8

Postby awmm301116 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:57 am

Hi HungryGhost,

I'm delighted to have an input. We all need support, especially with such a life changing episode.

Supersonic sounds brilliiant! . A real trip down memory lane. I'll certainly be watching it, and hopefully Liam sorts himself out so we have a new Oasis chapter.

You're doing really well! Don't worry too much about Saturday. One day at a time. One moment at a time. You've got Netflix and books to help you cross that bridge when it comes. This forum as well.

It is great you've got a job to keep you busy, and not isolated. What is it you do for a living?
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#9

Postby HungryGhost99 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:22 pm

January 4th, 2017

S.W.L: Thanks for your reply... from what I've learned, the longer you can stay in sobriety, the more your brain will have the chance to rewire itself and the old you will return, I'm sure. The brain has a remarkable ability to rebuild, even in older age... Good luck with your current quit... A book I read said that you're not training for a hundred yard dash but a marathon.. so it takes progress in spurts and little growth periods even if you happen to relapse.

awmm301116: Thanks again for your support and reply... I work in the warehouse of a Food Bank... its just for the holiday season, so my stint will end soon... looking forward to taking a course at University and working part time at something else, if I can find it... Interestingly, Supersonic talks a lot about Oasis's drug use... at one point they thought they were getting cocaine and didn't know they got crystal meth.. it had horrible repercussions on their performance at the time... I'm glad they were all able to get over their major drug habits and survived. What's your favorite Oasis song?

Day 4

Another day of work... Almost finished my work at the current place (Warehouse of a Food Bank)... was there for the holiday season and was able to save up a lot of money... Had a brief craving on my way home from work... Had thoughts like "wouldn't it feel cool to get high tonight?" but it was a fleeting thought... This is encouraging because it tells me that I'm able to reflect on my own thought streams and stand outside myself, looking inward... this, I feel, is the key and is the concept to mindful awareness...

Looking forward to returning to school on Monday to take one course at my local university... I have a Pass degree in Film Studies but I am trying to upgrade to an Honour's degree so I can maybe go on to a Master's... that's one of my goals and I know that having goals is very important in life...

I'm constantly reading books of Inspiring quotations... I find that this has really helped me get a positive outlook and I read them over and over to ingrain them in my subconscious...

My niece and nephew were over for dinner (their just babies) and I always enjoy seeing them... they grow so fast.

Thanks for reading...
Will check in tomorrow! :)
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#10

Postby Hopefulforchange » Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:07 am

Thanks for sharing your experiences! Good luck to you HungryGhost. Reading these posts are so helpful.
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#11

Postby S.W.L » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:38 am

Hey Hungry Ghost.

You right on what your saying there it's not just gonna happen over night when I've been living in a bubble most my adult life.

its the hardest thing I've ever has to do in my life, I feel so worthless to everyone and everythig around me.

Thanks for support guys.
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#12

Postby awmm301116 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:06 pm

Hello there HungryGhost,

My favorite Oasis song? That is quite a question! I'd have to say Live Forever. They were at the top of their game, and it's such a great song. It's also a good maxim for choosing life, instead of drugs. I really do wanna live. I don't wanna die. I'm so glad you asked that question! What's your favorite Oasis song?

It's a shame your job will end soon, although it is great that you're intending to go to Uni. You've still got your whole life ahead of you, and persuing an Honour's/Master's degree is fantastic. What is it you dream of doing once you obtain it?
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#13

Postby HungryGhost99 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:28 pm

January 5th, 2017

Hopefulforchange: Thanks for the reply... That really means a lot!

S.W.L.: Have you tried taking a supplement called Lecithin? or St. John's Wort? Both of these may help you with your anxiety and recovery... I read in another post of yours that you're taking 5-HTP... I've also taken this and have read that it can help too... give it a couple weeks to get into your system...

awmm301116: there's too many great one's to choose one... I love Acquiesce and Listen Up.. two B-sides... Back in the day I collected their UK singles and was familiar with all their great B-sides... they had many... as far as my dream after obtaining a Master's, I'd say I'd even like to go onto a PhD and eventually teach as a professor.. I'm really passionate about film and film studies and love to learn and think about it!

Day 5

another day of work... found out today that my work stint has been extended to the beginning of February... so, happy about that... will be able to work part time so I can attend school two days a week.. no cravings today (yet)... hardly crossed my mind.... the key is to keep busy... one thing Tony Robbins taught me is that you've got to take massive action towards your goals... and that it is in our moments of decision that our destinies are shaped... I haven't been too good at these things in the past... but I'm learning.

One thing I've learned and read is that you've really got to focus on the disaster an addiction has been in your life to motivate you to stay sober... well, marijuana has been a huge detriment to my life because it actually exacerbated schizophrenia in my early 20's... I'm completely recovered now and have no symptoms but I was really side-tracked for a lot of my young adulthood because of my excessive use of pot... now I'm really back on track and pursuing my dreams.. i'm so grateful for my sobriety and the support of my family...

I know its also important to focus on Gratitude... in the future I'm going to do an entry on it in more detail... what you focus on grows afterall...

This is a new account on Uncommon Forum but I actually had previous account under the name "Recovery1395".. i posted quite a bit but wanted to start fresh with my new mindset and the New Year and beginning.

Thanks for the replies and support...
Until tomorrow... :D
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#14

Postby S.W.L » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:36 pm

Hey HungryGhost.

I haven't tried either of those but I'm gonna have a look into them, I've only been taking 5HTP for a short time so hopefully that will kick in.

Thanks a lot will keep you posted.
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