24 years using, 4 months weed free my story

Postby cleanofgreen » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:39 pm

Sorry for the long post but as I was going through the first few months I couldn't do anything else but read these forums, so it might pass some time for ye on the beginning of your journey.

First off,I have been browsing these forums for the last 3 months and let me say that they are a god send and probably the only reason I am still clean and sane. I just want to give something back to the world for all the help I have received from reading posts from the likes of johnrlivingston, netty28661, lmcbride etc. Reading these posts and particularly the histories have brought some realizations to me that I think I would have never come to on my own. It's like all the dots joined up and I had a eureka moment. So for the history.

I started smoking when I was 20 (I'm now 44). My first joint was a hash joint, a friend of mine had gotten a few grams of hash and when I smoked it we got a taxi to town for a night out, in the taxi I started feeling bad, heart racing thinking I was going to die, got to the pub, went in and fell flat on my face passed out, woke up outside where my friend and the barman had lifted me out, I was pale white and could hardly stand, they got me a brandy and I knocked it back to try get some life back into me. After a while I was ok and went drinking for the night swearing to never touch it again. Looking back I think this was a warning to me from some higher power or spirit or the universe, whatever you want to call it, to not start this cannabis habit, a warning that like a fool I didn't heed.
Over the next few weeks my friend who was enjoying the hash kept pestering me to try it again, eventually I gave in saying I will only have one hit which became two then on and on until I was buying it as well. During the next 5 years I was smoking a few times a week and having fun out with the boys. Then my stoner friend who used to source all the hash left for the USA and I didn't really like dealing with the dealers as they were mostly scumbags so I decided to grow my own.
At first growing my own was great as I always had a supply and still only used it a few times a week. The only difference was that this stuff was seriously strong and in the beginning I didn't know what I was doing and was harvesting immature buds which is a bad thing, giving me a racing heart and the feeling that I was dying. I now know these were panic attacks. I fixed this by taking only one hit waiting half hour and then two etc. until I was smoking half joints of pure 21% THC bud (what an addict).
Anyway I move house down the country and got better at growing until I was growing perfect bud and still only using a few times a week. Then I got made redundant in my permanent easy secure job and got another job pretty quickly on six month contracts. At this point it's 2003 and I had started smoking every night in order to get a good night sleep ( didn't see the problem). Each six months I'd get another six month contract while some others would get made permanent in the job (couldn't connect the dots). I was smoking at night maybe 2 full pure bud joints thinking I was only a light smoker and didn't have a problem. I didn't even realize I was stoned during the day from the night before( but I was ok because I never smoked before evening time duh).
Anyway in 2008 they never renewed my contact ( wonder why duh) and in the height of the recession I couldn't get another as no one was taking on. So studied at home for degree in IT while minding the kids while the wife concentrated on her career. Got the degree in 2012 with honours all while stoned off my head every evening once my wife was home to take over child minding duties.
Anyway the big crunch came in 2013 when I landed my dream job in networking for a great company, only thing was that they had a 6 month on boarding process with intense training. The training was done outside the company for the first 4 months during which I happily continued to smoke every evening when I came home, reassuring myself that when the 4 months were up and we started in the real job I would be a good boy and quit to start my new life and anyway the training was easy.
And that's what I did I quit and started the next 2 months of on-boarding in the company in which everything I touched turned to sh@@. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't do simple things which were so easy a few weeks before. I became paranoid thinking my co-workers were out to get me and sabotaging my work (looking back these were really nice people trying to help me) I couldn't eat, always had a knot in my stomach, had constant headaches, I couldn't sleep at night and in the end I quit the job persuading myself that I would never be happy in a call centre ( this was not a call centre it was a high tech data networking centre and a job I had dreamed of for the last 10 years) There must be some credence to the saying that "if you want something too much when you get it you just might choke on it"
Fast forward to 4 months ago and I had enough when I couldn't afford to buy my kids something nice. I realized I had become a broke stoner dad and that was something I wasn't prepared to shrug off.

So today marks my 4 months off the weed and when I look back over the last 24 years it's like I'm looking at someone else's life. I see it all so clear now that it's like someone has lifted the vale from my eyes and I can see that the vast majority of the problems in my life were caused by my abuse of this plant. Lost friends (preferred to get wasted at home than go out to meet friends also didn't want to make new one's as it would interfere with my smoking) lost jobs ( had very bad attitude in work and couldn't communicate properly and couldn't get new jobs because in the interviews I probably looked like I was brain dead which I was), created a unhappy relationship with my beautiful loving wife who I left go to bed alone most nights toward the end so I could smoke myself into oblivion. You should begin to know your an addict when you forgo sex for a few more hits of a joint.

The last 4 months have been hell. The first 5 weeks were good just some sleep issues and headaches then at 5 weeks ( funnily around the same length of abstaining from weed that I lost it in the new job) the anxiety and depression came with a bang and thank god I found this forum this time round or I would have thought I was really going mad again. Once you know what's going on and what to expect it becomes a lot easier to handle although still hell. Today is the first day I have woken up without that sense of dread and that's why it my first post, I was just too screwed up to post.
The last 2.5 months were filed with lack of hope for the future thinking that I had fuc@ed up my life for good, that my brain would never be right again, that I would never work again, that I would never be able to cope with any stress in my life without analyzing it to death and worrying about it for days on end. Little things that would go wrong would send me in a tail spin.
The last few weeks has shown improvements as the anxiety and depression have been coming in waves with a few good days in between. I have noticed that these bad spells seem worst around the full moon ( the word lunatic comes to mind). My abuse of this plant has turned me into a lunatic.

So if there's anybody out there reading this who have been abusing it, take it from me it's not worth loosing 2 decades of your life to it. If your smoking it more than a few times a month then you're on a slippery path and once on that path and it becomes a daily thing your brain will deceive you and put a veil over your eyes so that you might not snap back out for a decade or two. Let's face it, if you started drinking every day you would know you had a problem but the attitude with weed and all the pro legalisation is that its fine to smoke everyday as long as it's after 4:20 As others have said on the forum cannabis is an insidious drug in that other drugs like alcohol and coke and heroin will bring you to rock bottom pretty quickly but with weed it can take decades for you to realize that it has robbed you of some of the best years of your life and while functional you were still only living as a shadow of the man you should have been.

My recovery does seem to have turned the corner and I am having a lot of really good days lately so I have no doubt that with a little more time I will be back to normal and probably even better than normal as I feel that as much as weed has taken from me these last few years, trying to kick it has caused me to consume so much knowledge, be it philosophical, spiritual or self development that some of it has stuck and I see the world in a much different light now.

So any long term smokers in the first 4 months of abstinence , IT REALLY DOES GET BETTER and if it can for me after 24 years of using and the last few every day then it can for everybody. I'm by no means back to normal yet but I know I will be.

For any that want to quit but can't I struggled for years but after taking up meditation I believe that it gave me the strength to do it. I stopped after 10 days of meditating on the words I AM SOBER for 20 minutes a day while listening to nice meditation music you can find on Youtube . Funny I had no intention of giving up drinking but stopped that too after that meditation. The one I used was the I am, that I am one on Youtube which is really nice music to meditate to. Give it a go
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#1

Postby Adrianred » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:41 pm

So much of your story resonates with me cleanofgreen. You did fuc*%" well doing it. all on your own and without this forum. I don't know you but I'm damn proud of you. 4 months free seems like a long long way away but a exciting prospect and a scarey one. It's my first day sober today and this morning I felt so determined and strong, I still do as I write this but I can feel it slipping. My fiancée has just said I'm already not being as open towards her, but my head is all over the place. I know I need to talk to her but it's easier coming on here and letting her read it. It's easier to talk on here to people I don't know than her as I know everyone on here is going through the same or has already been through it. I know in my week moments to come on here and be inspired by all the success storys.
Day 2 tomorrow and I know it's going to be harder than today........not looking forward to it!!!!!!! I just hope I'm not too much of a twat tomorrow with my missus.
Good luck people, i'll be back tomorrow to check up on you all. Keep strong WE can all beat this!!!!!!!!
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#2

Postby cleanofgreen » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:44 am

Thanks for the kind words Adrianred. I had the same problems with my wife, we didn't talk very much for weeks but when I did finally confide in her exactly what was happening to my mind and told her about PAWS it became so much better. I see you told her about the forum and she reads what you are writing, thats great. Maybe it might be some help if you wrote her an email or letter saying the things you can't say or put into words on the spot so it will give you time to think about what you need to say and get it on paper. But best let her know why you are doing it on paper or email before sending it.
Keep busy and active and eat well. Also get some omega 3 supplements for men with added zinc it helps.
Stay strong. I know you can do it and I DOES GET BETTER WITH TIME.
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#3

Postby slick_willy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:28 am

Hey cleanofgreen, congratulations on four months man, that is a very sizeable chunk of time and deserves to be well respected :mrgreen: It sounds like you are making BIG positive changes in your life and no doubt you will see BIG positive rewards as a result. I quit about ten months ago and it has gotten way better man, I can joke andbe myself again for the most part. My big obstacle now is caffeine, it's the only drug I use anymore and I take it very seriously after my journey with quitting weed. But that's where it's at, it sounds like in your case you are very wise and have a good outlook. Of course diet and exercise and meditation always help, and never stop chasing your goals and dreams my friend. I hope that you continue to kick donkey and it will get easier every day. Looking forward to hearing more of your story in the future.
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#4

Postby cleanofgreen » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:47 am

Hi Slick_willy, read most of your posts over the last few weeks and they resonate a lot with my story and helped me greatly when times were very bad with anxiety and depression, thanks for that you helped a lot.
I didn't go into all negative affects cannabis abuse had on my personality but re-reading your story I can say that I went through most of the problems you describe, social problems, depression (which I didn't even recognize), communication problems, social isolation, numbness to life, lack of interest in things I use to like doing, feeling awkward in social settings, self conscious all the time.
One quote from your story really got me thinking "You go through stages in your life and you must change along with them, or you will not match up well to your life's circumstances, if that makes sense." I too was trying to keep living in my 20's while everyone else was moving on to there 30's.

Stay strong and enjoy the new you
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#5

Postby Adrianred » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:55 pm

Brilliant idea about writing down my thoughts cleanofgreen, Thank you. Bought some omega 3 and zinc today hopefully they will help. Exercising is helping my moods lots, you certainly seem to know what your talking about. 4 months clean you are such a inspiration to me, keep it up mate your helping not only yourself but me and others who are starting this journey. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
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#6

Postby cleanofgreen » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:10 am

Thanks Adrianred.
Just trying to give back in some way as this forum helped me so much in the last 2 months. I found the omega 3 and zinc very good, the omega 3 helps to heal the brain and the zinc helps with depression. If your in the form for reading then you should look up the posts of some of the old posters like johnrlivingston, netty28661 and lmcbride. They're very good at putting their thoughts into words and looking at their progression and knowing that they are now back to normal will give you the strength to keep on going through the tough times.
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#7

Postby Adrianred » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:09 pm

Cleanofgreen thank you for your words. Memory is really bad today but just wanted you to know I'm fine and again a very very BIG THANK YOU.
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#8

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:39 pm

Glad to hear your fine.Hang in there, and in a few months from now you will be living your dreams, instead of having all these great ideas while stoned and never doing anything about them. I'm having a great few days in which I'm getting more done then I ever have in the last few years.

Onwards and upwards.
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#9

Postby Adrianred » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:11 pm

Does weed still enter your mind cleanofgreen?. Can't even imagine what it's like to be without the green fog clouding my thoughts, I imagine it's a good feeling though. What's so special about the last few days clean? more motivation? more inspiration? Did make me chuckle when I read that bit mate. Have you stopped associating with your old weed crowd? What are your thoughts when you smell weed as I used to love the smell.
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#10

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:37 pm

Yes It does but after what I've gone through the last few months it kind of disgusts me now. I was out in the shed the other day and found an old killner jar that was used for storage and I got a wiff off it and I still smells really nice but I now know that I can never touch it again because I'm an addict who was obsessed with it for 24 years of my life and that green bitch isn't getting any more of me. :evil:
I won't lie to you, I still think every now a then, wouldn't it be nice to be able to control it like all the normal people out there, but then I remember trying to do that for the last ten years and failing every time. My one day a week would turn into two, then three and so on until I was smoking more and more multiple times a day, you know when you get to the stage where it just isn't doing anything for you anymore, but you still go through the motions feeling like a twat.
The last few days have been better because the sense of dread I've been getting every morning has gone, I've got back hope for the future, motivation to do the things I've been putting off for years, I'm not beating my self up about the past so much and I've got a lot more energy. I know that I'm probably just having a few good days, but as long as the bad days keep getting shorter, then I will be able to get through it.

Keep it up and it will get better for you, those craving will go.
We're all in the same boat, you can do it.
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#11

Postby Adrianred » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:33 pm

Not being ignorant Clean, just really really tired this evening. I'll get back to you tomorrow mate. thanks for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!! take care PAL.
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#12

Postby cleanofgreen » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:12 am

No problem Adrianred.
Believe me, I know how you feel. I just read this forum from when I found it 6 weeks into my quit until I was four months in. The reason I never posted was because I felt so crap and couldn't. So you are doing very well in posting at all.
Take easy on yourself.
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#13

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:56 pm

Hi Guys, Just an update on the PAWS. (Day 123) I thought that I was after getting over this but I was wrong. I had a great few days from the 16Jan - 24Jan, the last two days (25th and 26th Jan) have been hell. Same old crap, losing it over small things that go wrong and wouldn't bother me on a good day. Also really bad headaches, which are probably from tension as I'm so wound up and sleeplessness, anxiety and general sense of dread for the future. I suppose I did get 8 good days in the last 2.5 months so that's a start. I will try keep this thread as a journal so I know how I'm improving. Hopefully the good day will start getting longer.
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#14

Postby cleanofgreen » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:52 am

Day 134
Had a wave of good days after my last post,Jan 27th to Feb 6th so the good days are lengthening. Last time round was a an 8 day run of good and this time it was 11 days. I still feels crap going through the bad days, but a least with this thread I can look back and see that its getting better each time.As some have said before here, it goes in cycles of good and bad with the good cycles getting longer each time.
On a plus note, on the good days I feel almost back to normal which is a far cry from the first 4 months of hell. It's easy to forget how bad I was back then in comparison to a day or two of anxiety now. So anyone starting their quit should keep a journal ( written or on-line here is good) so you can look back on your progress down the line when your having a few bad days.

Stay strong.
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