Benefits of being off weed

#165

Postby rise_above » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:10 am

This may sound rather obvious, but the fact that I can actually remember what the hell I do is allowing me to build off my yesterdays. I can make a mistake and actually learn from it. I don't feel "frozen in time" no more. It feels like my life has been taken off pause. I've had some negative things happen the past month, but I've been able to learn from them and grow mentally (instead of packing a bowl and trying to smoke the problem away.) We (in my opinion) should embrace the bad things/problems life throws at us. They are there to shape you and to build your character. Like I said, I felt "frozen in time" because I would typically smoke when things got a little difficult. (Well, I actually smoked 24/7, but you get the point.) I wasn't able to really grasp any of life's lessons. And then when the high wore off, there I was having to deal with the same problem again and again. Getting high to forget, and coming down to remember.


This may not be the same for everyone, but I just wanted to let ya'll know how I'm progressing.

Blessings.
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#166

Postby tokugawa » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:54 pm

Really amazing to have found this little thread here. Can't remember the exact keywords I put into Google, but I consider it a little miracle that I happened upon this place, because at no other time have I seen people taking the words right out of my mouth concerning marijuana addiction (especially the beginning post by Wakinglife which persuaded me to keep reading the thread).

I had quit smoking the day before I found this thread. I can't remember how many days ago that was (5 or so) but it's unimportant as I don't plan on smoking ever again. I was also a light cigarette smoker (would just bum them a few times a day).

My reasons for quitting are multifarious. I'm just going to start typing stream of consciousness style.

Like many, I would like to have a happy life. As someone said earlier in the thread, pot had become sort of a benchmark for their happiness. I would always find myself thinking "if only I were high, then I could really enjoy this" or "this is entertaining but I can't wait to get home so I can be by myself, load a bowl, and browse the internet or whatever".

Okay, so now my happiness is dependent on, as someone else said, dried up plant pieces in a bag.

I can't even count the times I've wished my girlfriend or good friend would just Go Home so I could be alone to smoke a bowl by myself.

Sometimes when out doing something, I would get a surge of joy upon remembering that I have a sack at home and I'm going to smoke as soon as this activity is over. Nothing else seemed to give me a surge of joy aside from having alone time and a sack.

My ideal day consisted of getting home from work and knowing that NO ONE (girlfriend, friends, unexpected guests) would ring that doorbell. And having a sack.

I remember clearly the anger I would feel if someone rang that doorbell. "Why do people bother eachother all the time, god I hate doorbells".

The fear that would shoot through my body upon that awful bell sound. Or my cell phone ringing.

The way I just couldn't quite feel comfortable at my girlfriend's parents house. The subtle shame in my eyes. "Do you realize who you're allowing your girlfriend to date? Yes, me, a guy who's only joy is the realization that he's got a sack at home and some alone time."

I love many things: music, art, reading, learning, film, food... When smoking the only one of these that seemed to get my attention was the food. I've had some excellent ideas on pot, but haha, I can't really remember them. I would always return home from work thinking "tonight I'm going to smoke but also do something productive" but the night always had a way of duplicating the night before; playing computer games, surfing the same websites repeatedly, munching on food, and fearing that the phone would ring or doorbell would sound. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Unbelievable. If only someone had delivered a well edited montage of a week in my life to my door I would've quit sooner. Sometimes you just need to sit down and do an honest assessment of your routine.

Never met any new people, either. Stock responses, expectations. Not fluid or alive in the magic of the present moment.

Slowly more and more out of shape. Pot sometimes has a way of weening you away from the gym. The gym eats up valuable smoking time.

Everything revolves around me and my alone time with marijuana. More self-centered than ever. Lots of paranoid thoughts, or at least paranoia seemed to be the starting place of any thinking.

Money... I wish I had all that money back. Maybe I would be able to afford a car.

That's it for now. I will be thinking about this and will try to post more later tonight.

I really appreciate you guys for sharing your honest feelings about this. It's so hard to look at it for what it is, especially when a lot of your friends smoke too, and it is an intrinsic part of their routine. We can justify anything.
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#167

Postby WeedFree » Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:12 pm

tokugawa -

Welcome to the weed free life! Excellent post. I consider this thread a bit of a miracle as well. I also don't remember how I even found it either, but glad I did. Thanks again for getting it started, wakinglife!

Everyone's posts are valuable, thanks all. Rise_above, your last post has been rolling around in my head since I read it. I totally relate to the feeling of your life being taken off of pause and no longer being frozen in time. One thing I've noticed already is that my memory is much improved, especially with something like watching a movie. Anytime I would watch a movie while being high, I would enjoy it, but couldn't tell you the details of what is was about the next day. I found myself personally embarrassed on many occasions when the topic of a movie would come up that someone has seen (co-worker, family member, etc) and I'd be like "yeah, I saw that" but then when talking about it, it was as though I didn't see it cuz I couldn't remember crap about it.

Today is Day 9 - I've seen a few movies without being high, and I could actually tell you what happened!
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#168

Postby rise_above » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:35 pm

Ok, this is actually one of the most interesting things I've experienced since I quit. (30 days ago). Every once in a while, I'll get a glimpse of a memory that I thought was lost forever. Or that I had forgotten about. Sometimes, they are times I got high, things people said, sober times, old thoughts I've had, a happy moment, you name it. I mean, I get these old conjured up memories more and more frequent. Anybody else experienced this??? I find it very exciting. It's like my mind is coming back full circle. Even though some of these memories aren't necessarily "good", it still feels good to remember the old times.

Like you said WeedFree, your short term memory has improved. I've definately noticed that as well. I actually started keeping a journal of what I do, and how I feel throughout the day. But now (probably over the past week) I've noticed some of my long-term memory coming back. The resin must finally be getting cleared out of my brain. Haha. Seriously.
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#169

Postby wakinglife » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:19 am

rise_above wrote:I've noticed some of my long-term memory coming back.


Strange coincidence that I just so happened to be having the same thought today as I was on a hike. People usually talk about the short-term memory loss associated with weed smoking, but I think it must affect all memories. They say that experiences must first be in short-term to be moved into the long-term compartments of the brain. It sure feels great to have access to more regions of the brain now that our synapses are flowing once again.

This also relates to WeedFree's post regarding remembering movies. The first time I realized that I was thinking clearly again was when I actually "got" this bizarre French mystery film called "Cache".

I'm wondering now why I thought it was so fun to be stunned so often.

Were we mildly retarding ourselves?

:shock:
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#170

Postby 3/4 Horse » Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:43 pm

I definately felt mildly retarded. I'd forget words and present weak, muzzy arguments.

I am on Day 4. I smoked all day, every day, for six years. I feel so happy, relieved, and free now that I've made the decision to quit. It feels so good not to feel guilty that I could almost cry.
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#171

Postby WeedFree » Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:55 pm

Mildly retarded... yeah, I have to say it feels like my IQ has raised like 40 points since I quit. Today begins Day 10. I know it's a short time relatively, but a long time when you're used to being baked 24/7. Somehow I thought I was so intelligent when stoned, but in retrospect I know that was just the delusion talking.
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#172

Postby rise_above » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:38 pm

I think "mildly" retarding ourselves is probably the right thing to say. Even as I type this post, I know I'm typing much faster than I was a month ago. Whether that's because my mind couldn't think of words fast enough, my brain couldn't get the impulse to my fingers as fast, or a little of both, I'm not sure. I went and read some of my old posts before I relapsed in August (I went 6 weeks clean), and I mentioned the same thing about my long-term memories returning. Why did I ever go back to smoking? :x

It's interesting to look back and read some of the things I posted before I relapsed. I can actually look back and see how the 6 weeks I went sober in July/Aug have helped me grow. I didn't forget the things I learned during that time. Even though I went back to daily smoking from the middle of August to end of November, I still feel I have benefited from the prior clean time. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is: "IF" you relapse, you cannot ignore the progress you have made. Get back up and do it again. I feel much stronger than I did at six weeks at this time (31 days today). I give a good portion of the credit to this forum. I also owe alot of the credit to my uncle. (He was a stoner for 8 years). He told me not sit at home counting the days in seclusion. He actually told me to face the problem head on. Put myself in situations where the weed is and refuse it. Two of my friends smoked a couple bowls on the way to a restuarant last week. I asked them politely to blow the smoke out the window 'cause I didn't want to inhale a big cloud of exhaled smoke. They had no problem with it, but later complained having the windows down made the weed burn away faster. Hahaha. I guess they'll always find something to complain about.

Take care everyone.
Last edited by rise_above on Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#173

Postby WeedFree » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:49 pm

I was just thinking about how for the past 13 years my clock has been stuck at 4:20 But now I finally got a new battery and the clock has moved ahead to 4:21

I always lived for the 420 moments, but 421 feels too good to go back in time.
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#174

Postby wakinglife » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:41 pm

There are phases of addiction, and there are phases of recovery. I have passed through different valleys, plateaus and peaks during these 167 days that I have been free of cannabis. The list of benefits is getting longer, as it should.

I wanted to let people know which benefits stay with you in the long term. This morning I was contemplating those things that make me who I am. A new awareness of reality is seeping into my consciousness. I feel like I am no longer the slave to my moods, or my fickle mind. Of course I have days where I am critical of myself, or I feel depressed. This is part of being human. The parts of me that are getting stronger have to do with my commitment to myself. I am gaining the perseverance required to walk this road of self-discovery. I may not be perfect, but I am perfectly human. I am no longer flying around daydreaming about castles in the sky. I am rooted, feet on the ground, changing the things about my life that I need to change.

I am not sure when this new sharpening of focus occurred, but now that it has I will not be going back to the dull daze of yesterday.
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#175

Postby rise_above » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:14 pm

All this time I thought your screen name was "walking" life. Haha, sorry for the misconception. I guess my mind has cleared up enough to see things a little better.

I think it's great that you have turned a page in the recovery book. Your success inspires me. I'm glad you didn't decide to disappear like alot of the other guys who have racked up 100+ days. I think it's good for people to hear that the benefits keep coming even after 5 months of recovery.

Thank you.
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#176

Postby wakinglife » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:08 pm

Thanks to all who have read and contributed to this massive list. Today is a day off work, so I have spent some time copying and pasting the benefits that people have shared. Yes, there is definitely overlap, as different people say the same thing in different ways.

I have broken the benefits down into sections of about 20 per post, so they can be more easily 'digested'. This list was made by the people who post on this thread, and it goes out to everyone. It is a reminder of why some of us have chosen to give up our addiction to cannabis.

Enjoy!

:)
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#177

Postby wakinglife » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:09 pm

1. Clear thinking;
2. Breathe better;
3. Smoother mood transitions;
4. Sharper mental dexterity;
5. More articulate;
6. Better memory;
7. Working through stress more effectively;
8. Increased energy levels;
9. Reduced depression (after the first few weeks off);
10. Deeper interactions with others;
11. No "bottomless pit" munching out;
12. Boosted confidence;
13. No social anxiety;
14. Better focus on task at hand;
15. Enjoying simple pleasures more deeply;
16. Clear lungs;
17. No concern about hiding something from my son;
18. Less stress; increased faith in my ability to control myself;
19. No risk of arrest or legal troubles;
20. Increased joy;
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#178

Postby wakinglife » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:10 pm

21. Renewed self-respect;
22. More free time;
23. Need to sleep less;
24. More free cash;
25. Confidence to try new things;
26. Increased humility:
27. Asking others for help;
28. Better partnership with my girlfriend;
29. Better ability to learn and remember new songs;
30. Can travel without paranoia of border checks;
31. Safer driving;
32. No hassles of finding good weed;
33. No need to associate with shady dealers;
34. Not supporting organized crime;
35. True bonds with friends rather than co-dependent drug abuse ties;
36. Better fitness level;
37. Reduced consumption of resources (ex. hydro power to grow the weed, chemical sprays and fertilizers, lighters/matches, rolling papers);
38. New doors opening to spirit world (somewhere I only used to get to via cannabis);
39. Increased self-confidence to be "alternative" in ways other than drug use;
40. Confidence to take on any task I set my mind to;
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#179

Postby wakinglife » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:11 pm

41. Ability to strike up conversation with anyone I choose without fear or insecurity;
42.no paranoia;
43 increased motivation for self-improvement;
44. Feeling of wholeness that is not reliant on an external source
45. Not being enslaved by the need for weed,
46. No more feeling guilty
47. The most amazing dreams which I never have when I toke
48. Saving time
49. Communicating more
50. I’ve got another half of me that had been missing
51. I look a lot better rested
52. If I'm in a good mood, there is no predetermined "time limit"
53. Improved sense of smell
54. I have so much more energy than before
55. Deeper philosophical thinking (some of which still makes sense when explained to someone else!)
56. I have way more patience
57. I actually have the brainpower and mental endurance to answer my son’s seemingly endless questions without scorn or irritability.
58. I have the focus to finish one job before starting the next one.
59. Waking up in the morning feeling rested.
60. The return of wit
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