Journey Journal

Postby Recovery1395 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:36 am

Day 5

Here's the first entry in my "Journey Journal." It will document my journey into freedom from addiction.
Its been 5 days since I used.
I've attempted to quit over and over and over again in my life. I start with the burning desire to quit and over time the conviction fades and I lapse back into use.
Mark Twain once said (in reference to quitting smoking tobacco), "Quitting is easy, I've done it thousands of times." I can identify with this quote, though my addiction is to smoking marijuana.
I'm like a broken record. I use, feel guilty about it. Next day: anxiety through the roof, effecting my performance in life. "I will never use again." A few days/weeks/months pass... "Wouldn't it be nice to feel high again?"... Repeat.

So frustrating.

I started a new job a couple months ago. It's a call center job. Inbound. Some irate people. Anxiety-provoking. Perhaps the stress doesn't help.

Things that I've been doing lately:

1. Praying. I get down on my knees morning and night and have a conversation with my maker. Thank Him for the good things. Ask for guidance. The Lord's Prayer. The Serenity Prayer.

2. Meditating

Things I need to do more of that may help:

1. Exercising

2. Attending 12 step meetings.

3. Posting in this forum. Because writing is therapy for me.

Almost lapsed today. Drove to a stoner's house, but kept on driving by... had a moment of clarity.

The longest I've gone is 154 days since I've taken up the habit about 17 years ago.

You have to really want to quit. I'm not sure it can be done alone.

:?
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#1

Postby Recovery1395 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:04 pm

Yesterday was actually day 4, so this is...

Day 5

I have the weekend off and so far today I have bought a birthday gift for my nephew as well as a vinyl LP at my local record store. (A Thelonius Monk jazz album).

I'm also reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield.

I usually have no trouble getting through a week without using... However, it gets tougher as the days of abstinence increase. I must remember to live 24 hours at a time and totally in the present. I have the tendency to live in the past and future, ruminating on what has already happened and anticipating what is to come.

Pot is a tricky drug because it doesn't kill you like the harder drugs do. It kills you slowly, mentally, over a long period of time. Meditation has taught me to label passing thoughts as just that, thoughts. If you have a craving it is another thought. Not something you have to act on or that is real. They are illusory, passing entities. The only real thing is life at this very moment, absent of any thought or ego.

Weed has been absolutely detrimental to my life in the past. It stripped away my sanity and altered my personality to something phony and delusional. I forget this fact, and resort to using on an occasional basis, ignoring the deleterious effect it is having on my life.

Last time I smoked, the next day I was feeling very anxious and stressed out. It effected my job performance and personality. It makes me weaker, less aware, and less present. The more I get this down in writing, I'm hoping the more it will ingrain it my memory and subconscious.

Will post again soon, thanks if you read this.
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#2

Postby EdiBee » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Hello,

How's your journey? Seems you forgot to write your journal :wink:

All what you said there is true. Weed is a very tricky drug indeed. It destroys your life slowly but surely,
no doubt about it!

And a lot of people smoke it, so it's seems "normal", even funny, like Ginsberg said.

I've been 2 1/2 months clean, and despite the fact that I still have sleeping problems, I've never felt better in my adult life.

I'm 37, and smoked on and off since age 28, but the last two years I smoked a lot, more than a gram per day, almost always drinking beer with my party buddies, and even taking speed or coke. I felt "crazy", bad boy, all this stupid stuff. Did some crazy things too. So I decided to stop all this altogether. Two weeks ago, I stopped drinking alcohol too, because it awoke some drug cravings in me. So it was all or nothing. I prefer sanity by far: being sober it's amazing. I used to see it as boring but no, on the contrary, being stone is stupid.

I hope I'll be strong enough to never take drugs again. It's not easy. I had to stop seeing old friends, but even if they're not bad people, they still smoke weed, and they remind me my old life. I want change, a new life, discover new things and meet new people. I want to meet a girl and have a clean story with her. We'll see. Thanks for reading.
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#3

Postby Recovery1395 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:59 am

Hi EdiBee,

Thanks for replying all these many months after the original post. I identify with a lot of what you wrote.

Yes, I did not continue with this journal. I have struggled still to this day. In fact I just lapsed and am back on day 1. Maybe your reply is a sign to turn my life around for good.

I have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. One of the symptoms is “ambivalence,” the inability to make up your mind and stick to a decision. This may be just an excuse, but perhaps it’s why I can’t go long term without smoking weed. I can go short term very easily - 10 days, 30 days, sometimes longer, but I can never give it up for good.

I need support. I can’t do this alone. I need to start attending 12 step support groups. Unfortunately there are no Marijuana Anonymous groups in my area. I’ve attended NA and AA, but I never feel like I completely fit in, though they’ve been helpful.

I have identity issues without marijuana. When I’m smoking weed, I’m a musician. I play guitar and can get so into it. I know, I know - it’s not a real view of how good you are at guitar, but it seems like I can hear SO MUCH MORE. I have absolutely very little interest in guitar and can’t get “into” it as much when I’m not high. Thus, the identity issues I’ve always had. I’ve posted extensively on this issue here in the past and have received kind words about “never giving up” my passion of playing music, but I think I might have to, at least in the early stages of recovery. I have other interests and hobbies not connected to pot that I can healthily pursue anyway.

I may not even be an addict. I can go 7 days without even considering smoking, but after that time I start to lose my conviction and the inner battle starts again. I can stop smoking, but I always ALWAYS ALWAYS go back to it.

Thanks for reading.

Any support is welcome and sorely needed.
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#4

Postby asgoodasitgets » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:15 am

@ Recovery1395

You can absolutely turn things around. You should resurrect your journal and get back on it, there is an amazing community of people here who are willing and able to help out of the goodness of their own hearts. No money or incentive involved here, just the power of understanding and unity in strength and numbers. There is a ton of collective wisdom here that will empower you to change your life and stay the course, I only wished I had become an "active" member sooner.

I believe my own indecision, or "ambivalence," has greatly decreased since I decided to quit weed again about 16 nights ago. In the past, I have had a very difficult time making decisions, always feeling that I saw both the pros and cons of any given scenario. Since I re-quit smoking herb, I've had a peace of mind and closure for the majority of decisions I have been making. I feel like I am becoming the old me again...the guy who know what he wanted and how to get it.

I also understand what you mentioned in terms of identity. This is probably the hardest thing about removing marijuana from my life. My entire existence and identity had become intertwined with cannabis. My friends, life, where I live, jobs I've taken, EVERYTHING has been about weed. I moved to my current location because of liberal marijuana laws and views. I have driven to places I could have easily flown to so that I could take weed with me. I have avoided "good" jobs because I felt I could not cope with life without weed. Weed gave me an identity, a group of "friends," and a false sense of security for the better part of the last 15 years. Without it, who am I....this is how I was thinking weeks ago. I also make music...I was scared I'd never do it and even contemplated selling my equipment because I just didn't feel "connected" to the vibes anymore.

I can tell you all those lies fade. If you made good music in the past, it was you not the weed. If you feel like you can't play guitar while you are quitting, because it triggers you somehow, than I support you to put it away until you feel better. Just remember, that music and playing is probably something that brought you joy before you started smoking and it will/can bring you joy again in the future. I promise you this, I am sitting here in my music-making area with my MIDI keyboard, guitar, DAW, and studio monitors. All of these, I wanted to sell just weeks ago. Today, I am 16 days clean and I'm not 100% reconnected to my process, but I can definitely say I am very much so still interested in producing music. I am thankful I did not get rid of my equipment, because I know I have to replace the hours and hours of energy I wasted on getting stoned with a healthy, productive habit. I have tried each day to play with sounds....but haven't made anything good since I quit....that said, it feels SO good to know I am still interested. I know I will feel the passion, love, and excitement for melody and bass again without having to be stoned. In fact, I imagine my music will get better and better in clarity as I am able to retain new information and learn new techniques that I actually remember. Plus, all of the money, time, and energy I had will be channeled into my hobby which undoubtedly will grow in skill.

I apologize for the long rant, but in reaching out to you I am able to hone in on some of my own emotions. I did quit in the past for 3 years and came back to weed. If I had known what I know now I would have stayed quit, a life of clarity, despite all the pain and hardship, is so much more rewarding.
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#5

Postby EdiBee » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:53 pm

Hello Recovery,

I am sure you can stop weed. Everyone can. You have to put aside the excuses. You can be free of all that, and give yourself the weapons to stop using it.

I am convinced also that once you stop weed --when you have been a regular smoker--, you cannot even try it ONCE again. It's over for ever. One smoke and you'll relapse sooner than later.

I think you should stop too because of you mental issue. Pot it's not good at all for the illness that you have, it might have worsen it, or even started it.

About music. I know what you mean, I am kind of an artist myself. I used to think that weed gave me inspiration. But trust me my friend, it's all an illusion created by your own mind, to keep smoking and smoking. I am truly convinced that with a clear mind, you will find your true artistic voice.

Keep on going man. Be convinced that sobriety is far better than being stone. It might be hard at the beginning, but as a lot people has said in this forum, it gets amazingly good as the time goes by. Each day of sobriety brings you a gift.

Ed
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#6

Postby Recovery1395 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:05 am

Asgoodasitgets and Ed,

Thanks for your replies and encouragement. It’s what I need and it helps so much to hear your stories and advice.

Day 3

Struggling with the aftereffects of smoking 3 days ago: total sloth and lethargy. I came home from class in the morning and slept for an additional 3.5 hours. This is the effects of smoking for me. It wreaks havoc on my equilibrium and motivation. In fact, I feel no motivation to pursue my original life goals and dreams today, no ambition. I know this will wear off after about a week of abstinence and it gives me extra incentive to stay away from weed.

My associations with weed are all negative. The people I hang around with to get high are all losers who I have nothing in common with except the weed. I have read that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” For this reason, I need to get better associations and friends. I have some in my life so I have been improving that in the past few years, but I need to eliminate some others.

Staying clean is usually pretty easy for me the first week. It is after about 10 days that I start losing my conviction and the ambivalence to stay clean sets in. Hopefully with the support on here I’ll be able to get clean permanently. I know I must focus on each block of 24 hours and not consider long term. This can be overwhelming and seeing each day, hour, minute as a gift will help me stay clean. Gratitude is a powerful thing.

Thanks for reading.
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#7

Postby ReynoldsJam » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:13 am

a lot of feelings there my friend, the feelings of breaking away from something your used to, me too i share these ferlings with you (all) I'm on day 3 or 4 say I smoked a one skinner 4 days ago. I really feel a sense of "pheew" when I think of picking a abit of smoke from a friend it also brings this horrible feeling, like ive fell back into this trap. Even worse if you want some and try to get it but can't get it. Its like everything I ever said to myself and prople pointless, many people on here are so kind in looking out for you.. I joined here yesterday after reading for a few days. To see people like myself with similar struggles, god bless everyone who are troubling or paining rite now. We can do it , we can become a more magnificent conscious, I'm enjoying this new me.
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#8

Postby EdiBee » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:29 pm

Indeed, the friends, the party buddies. You've said it, you have nothing in common with them except for weed. That is telling.

Quitting this destroying habit it's not an easy task, but as others have said very wisely in this forum, don't see it as loosing something, rather as winning a lot of things. We're often afraid of change but we have to get and keep this courage of bringing this enormous change, this rebirth to our lives.

I am exactly in the same situation. I zeroed in what was not working in my life. I had to be honest with myself and have this courage to get away of my comfort zone. So there were these friends I had been seeing an awful lot the last six or seven years -almost all my 30's, precious age. What did we do? "Party all the time". Drink beers, smoke weed, sometimes take speed or coke, have "fun". But it gets redundant very fast. I had a girlfriend last year which I lost in part due to my smoking and partying. I did not understand why it annoyed her so much. Now I know. But I had to change my perspective on that.

So now here I am, alone and reconstructing. When I moved in this place from her apartment, where we've been living together for 3 years, I still used to smoke, and I was happy because now I would finally be free to smoke and do all the drugs I wanted. But something happened -the famous switch of conscience- and I understood how stupid all of this was. I've been wasting too much time smoking, drinking, and dreaming awake, doing nothing, complaining about life, how things I wanted to happen didn't happen.

So now I had to get away of these friends. Good guys, but too much smoking, and not interested in putting aside the vice. It was somehow hard because we've been very close for all these years but these things are necessary. This change has been wonderful: now I am more time alone but happier, healthier in my body and mind. It feels so great, this is life. I know some more magic rewards are coming, like new friends with whom I will connect for other reasons than weed, and a new girlfriend with whom I'll can construct a sane relationship.

I stopped drinking too 3 weeks ago and as it might seem a radical, even bold change, because alcohol is such a socially admitted drug, it's another awesome gift I gave to myself. When I drank, I wanted to smoke again. Alcohol, as it's known, free your impulsiveness, among other not so bright things. I'm tired of acting stupid, be dumb. I know I have more value than that.

So now my life it's pretty sane. I work, I go to university, I come back at home and sip herbal tea, read books, pet my cat, go to bed early and I am finally starting to have good sleep, after 3 months of exhaustion due to withdrawal symptoms. I go out for long walks or jogs, eat healthy, a lot of vegetables, no red meat. This is my new life and in someway, I have to be thankful that I wasted all these years partying because without that "lost" time, I would not have lived this peace I'm living now. And it's only starting.

I wish the best to you Recovery and all you who are reading this forum and feeling the moment of your true life has finally arrived.

Ed
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#9

Postby Recovery1395 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:05 am

Reynolds and Ed,

Thanks so much for your replies. I can see how much we all have in common and this makes me feel less alone.

Day 6

For the last two days, I have gone to gym and did an hour on the elliptical and arc trainer. This I need and this helps so much. Not only do I sweat out the lingering toxins, but my endorphin and neurochemical rush makes me feel alive and content. I want to continue doing this every day. You need to find replacements habits. I have started journaling in the middle of last year too and that has helped as well. I’ve also started a regular meditation habit at the beginning of last year.

The thing is, I have crossed a point in my weed use where I HAVE TO count the days since my last use. Perhaps this is like a prison sentence in my mind, but it is something I need to do to keep track of my progress. I know I’ve lapsed and relapsed over and over and OVER again, but I need to count the days, I find.

In the next couple days or weeks, a switch will go off in my mind where I’ll no longer find it easy to go without weed (the first couple weeks), and I’ll have to hold myself in check constantly. Hopefully, the gym visitations will help in this regard as well as my other good habits.

I’m on a break from school this week. School is my most important thing in life. I lost a lot of years because of my mental illness, but I’ve lately (last few years) become a wonderful student and my dream is to further my education even more, because I love being a student. You have to have dreams and goals in life, I figure.

I love you all. Thanks for reading. :)
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#10

Postby Recovery1395 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:00 am

Day 2

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks in terms of abstinence.
I’m at the end of my rope, feeling like I’m powerless over my addiction.
My mind is split in two (my “schizophrenia diagnosis” may play a role in this): one that desperately wants to end my nearly 18 year affair with weed; the other wanting to continue using on occasion and that stlll really enjoys the high.
I want solutions, but our culture tends to minimize the danger of pot.
I once tried attending open AA meetings, but I’m not an alcoholic and felt out of place and silly there.
I tried NA meetings, but I was surrounded by criminals, ex-cons, and those addicted to the really hard stuff. Again, I felt out of place.
Unfortunately, there are no MA groups in my area.
Here in Canada, they’re supposed to legalize weed for recreational use this year sometime. This, I feel, will make it even more difficult for me to stay clean.
The only thing I have is willpower and discipline and determination. I need to delve into the depths of my being and muster the courage and fortitude to stay clean.
Still early in my quit, but I’m TRYING AGAIN.
One day I will make it. Must remember to live every day, hour, minute, and second as it comes. BE PRESENT.
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#11

Postby Recovery1395 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:47 am

Day 5

Things are going well; better than before anyway. Over the past couple days I’ve been feeling uneasy, an underlying discomfort and anxiety about life in general. Today, however, after working a long shift at work, it has lifted a bit and I feel more hope in my recovery. The key, for me, is working and keeping occupied. Time to ponder myself and struggles never helps and I feel a sense of accomplishment and progress after working for a long shift at work or at school or something I’m passionate about.

I have been reading a book by Jocko Willink called Discipline Equals Freedom over and over. It talks about the need for discipline and doing what’s right for you instead of falling back into your comfort zone and negative habits. It is very motivational and has helped me a lot. I also have been reading Russell Brand’s book on recovery from addictions. It’s a 12-step approach, something I’ve become disillusioned about, but it contain nuggets of wisdom that have been helpful. Bibliotherapy is the way to go.

Some days will be easy, others difficult. It’s so easy to slip. It’s one mis-disicion away. I can decide to be less egocentric, clear and mindful. Or I can be delusional, ill, and narcissistic. I know what’s best for me, but it’s so easy to fall astray.

:D
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#12

Postby Freedomhfx » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:59 am

Yup. I agree that the near slips seem to be so close all the time. It’s in my face every day. Quitting this stuff is so much more that just saying no thanks. You need to change up the way you’ve lived your life on so many levels - from friends, to favourite hangouts. It ain’t easy, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. Keep steady!!
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#13

Postby Recovery1395 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:58 am

Thanks for the reply, Freedomhfx.

I’m currently on Day 12. I’ve found a trick to keep my recovery easy-going and smooth: Omega 3-6-9 and Lecithin. I started taking Omega (2 1200 mg capsules 3 times a day) and find that it has made a real difference in my level of cravings and has almost ceased the desire to get high. Also lecithin. I’m going to post a separate thing on this supplement. I’m taking them both at the same time and I’m not sure which is working more, but I seriously believe they are making a difference. I’ve never had such an easy time in my quit time. I know I’m still early in recovery, but I think I can go far with these supplements. I highly recommend them.

I’m no longer in contact with any pot-friends and I’m trying to enrich my life with positive stuff like self-help books and meditation.

All the best.
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#14

Postby Recovery1395 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:42 pm

Day 30

Made it to 30 days for the first time in a long time. I feel free. I’m convinced that taking Omega 3-6-9 and Lecithin are making a difference. They have made the process so smooth and easy so far. I had one day where I almost slipped a couple weeks ago, but other than that I’ve been doing really well.

I realize that there may be some difficult days ahead and I don’t take my recovery time for granted. I’ve found that striving for success and achievement helps in the process too. I recently delivered a speech at a public speaking group for which I was awarded “best speaker.” This elevates my confidence and self-worth. I attribute it to my new level of clarity in thinking. I’ve also completed a course at my local university for which I have attained an A+.

Things are going great. I have to issue a disclaimer that I have not been a heavy user of weed in the last few years, but have had trouble quitting permanently. I realize that someone with a heavy habit would have a much more difficult time than me.

Take care,

:)
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