getting of the merry-go-ground of multiply quits

#30

Postby Wave » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:08 pm

Great news! Sounds like your head is in the game and making great progress. It is such an achievement to be making better choices in life. Each day you dont smoke is a huge achievement.
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#31

Postby reckoning » Sat May 05, 2018 10:13 pm

Hey everyone,

Checking-in with you all.

18 weeks now . Wow the discomforts have been high. The rewards have been high.

The big physical challenges are behind me. PAWS - my companion dog, is there to keep me on the right path and always shows me some new learning that I must take on to keep improving the quality of my life.

The single biggest thing that keeps me on track for my longed for maintenance has been leaving my 14 year relationship with my partner who held smoking as a central non harmful part of life. Also moving out of the house where I had 14 years of long associations as the place for smoking.

Those two actions have been the hardest decisions I've had to make but without them I would be struggling. And endless struggle always leads me back to weed. It has been a big revelation that I do not have to try and get through this life with endless struggle.

I have no regrets as I could not be where I am today without those two actions. Maintenance of a quit is not for the faint -hearted. I've quit many times before but this time I am never going back and it is the ongoing maintenance and embracing this life of no weed that matters the most right now. Why? - because it has truly empowered me.

I'm still carving out a new life for myself but let me tell you that without weed I am really able to get to places within myself that have been disempowered for some time. This psychological empowerment of knowing that I have changed the centrality of drugs ( and alcohol too) as part of my daily existence really has enabled me to move on and get invovled with my own life in a deeper way.

You know while my anxiety has increased a lot, especially in the early stages , I am now coming off my anti depressants that I have been taking for 20 years. I sleep better without them. Because I am not smoking and not driving my emotions underground with weed I am actually starting to learn how to tolerate these anxieties and even go with them a bit more and rather than try and get rid of figure out what they are about.

I'm doing a lot of work on defusing a whole set of thoughts that I hold about anxiety which make me more anxious. Such as; anxiety is bad, it makes me feel sh**, if I had a good life I shouldn't feel anxious , no one feels as anxious as me. I wouldn't be challenging these thoughts if I was still using weed as my go to management tool for anxiety. . With weed I would be fuelling my fixed thoughts about anxiety and the need to get rid of them.

For anyone thinking about giving up you won't be disappointed. I wanted growth and I am getting it . Yes it's hard, especially in the beginning, but you have all the amazing folk on here. to get you through. There are many people here who have really helped me. Everyone does. I regularly still use this site to get the real life inspiration that you all offer through your struggles and celebrations.

I would encourage anyone who is lurking out there reading stuff on here to take the leap and start posting. After leaving my relationship and moving out of the my house, posting on here and keeping my self accountable to a community has been and remains integral to my maintenance. Thank -you everyone for being here.

Keep reading, keep posting- and you can press that rest button on your life- together we can make it.
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#32

Postby reckoning » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:30 am

Hey everyone/anyone

I'm really interested in hearing how folk have decided if they need to go on anti- depressants or not?

My basic question to you out there is how do you know when you are suffering unnecessarily? How do you know when it doesn't have to be like this- this daily misery dispite doing everything.

I came off my anit D's about two months ago ( which I have been more on than off for the past 20 years) which was four months into my quit I'm not sure if I need to go back on. I came off them as I always suspected they had a bad effect on my sleep and indeed my sleep did improve when I stopped.

I was a very long term/time smoker ( over twenty years wth very heavy bouts) and have always been prone to some depressive times. I have tried many times to come of the anti depressants and always ended up back there because of the sadness and weepyness and feeling of unworthiness. I've had a lot of anxiety too, but I always do.

It's just now at this six month mark it seems even worse than a couple of months back in this quit.

I know no one has an answer. I'm just interested in the thinking that everyone puts in about these things.

How do YOU decide when you have suffered enough and when your suffering is more than quitting pot? Any thouhgs most welcome.
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#33

Postby RealEyesEm » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:07 pm

Hi Reckoning,

I hope this message finds you well.

I have read your whole 3 pages of posts over the last couple of days. I am so grateful that you have had the commitment and strength to take the time to write so eloquently about your experiences. Thank you for sharing. I believe that you said at one point that it is through sharing that you will be able to maintain your own way.

I have struggled throughout my life with sharing. Not the material things, but the things in my heart, my emotions, my true self. I find it so hard to reach out, to be authentic, to be vulnerable.

I hope to share with you and I hope you will continue to share. I don't want to subdue the emotions that I feel anymore. They are guiding me to care for others and allow myself to be cared for.

I'm sorry to see that you are struggling with depression. I have found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and yoga have been helping me, I wonder if you have tried either of these? I use a free app called Woebot to track my mood and thinking and it teaches me a bit of CBT. There's loads online anyway, I find it helps me to recognise when my thinking might not be accurate and how I can adopt a growth mindset instead.

I hope to read an update from you soon!

Love Em
X
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#34

Postby reckoning » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:52 pm

Hi Em,

Thanks for your lovely reaching out to me. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my journey. I really appreciate you letting me know that.

Yes I've always struggled with depression. I've had a lot of losses and I've used all kinds of tactics and addictions to manage the fall out of that. But now I am on a different path and am living without weed being the go to stress pacifier.

I have gone back onto my anti-depressants since my last post and things have balanced out more. I just thought I could give up the weed and also the anti depressants too but one thing at a time. I've decided a few more months of my quit and then I might give it another go in coming of the anti-depressants again. Its a very mild dose.

I've noticed that if I have a drink , even just a couple of glasses of wine I am not so good, so I will stay of that for a while now to.

yes I am into yoga. I was going three times a week, until very recently, and then my whole life and schedule was disrupted and so I don't have that at routine at the moment but will try the app you suggest and try and get it back into my daily functioning until I can go to classes again. Yoga and meditation are really stabilising factors for me.

I agree that CBT is great. I do a fair bit of reading and practicing with it too. I've also been doing some really interesting reading on managing intense emotions. A recent really helpful resource I've just finished reading is the 'Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction'- A guide to coping with grief, stress and anger. by Rebecca Williams and Julie Kraft. Really helpful stuff here.

It has helped me so much not smoking weed to really becoming authentic and feeling vulnerable is such a learning experience, making me so less judgemental too.

Keep going Em, I can assure you it is really worth it. Keep posting too I'm interested in following any of your updates. cheers Liz
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#35

Postby reckoning » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:02 pm

reckoning wrote:Hey everyone/anyone

My basic question to you out there is how do you know when you are suffering unnecessarily? How do you know when it doesn't have to be like this- this daily misery dispite doing everything.

I came off my anit D's about two months ago ( which I have been more on than off for the past 20 years) which was four months into my quit I'm not sure if I need to go back on. I came off them as I always suspected they had a bad effect on my sleep and indeed my sleep did improve when I stopped.

How do YOU decide when you have suffered enough and when your suffering is more than quitting pot? Any thoughts most welcome.


Well I ended up answering this for myself. The wretchedness had gotten to a point where it made all the efforts of the quit unbearable. Going back on the anti D's has made a positive difference. I'm including this for the record because it seems that there are many of us who have that tricky assessment to make, about how much suffering is to be endured in the name of a quit. How much is the quit and how much is what will or is unable to ever change in terms of seritonin levels.

When not struggling with the 'wretchedness that has descended' I am able to be less self focused and more able to go with the flow of what is going on around me. That is such a relief.

It's a tough one to decide on but for now I will remain on it and then give it another go coming off after I have another six to twelve months of my quit under my belt.

Keep going everyone and , keep posting. Your strength is my strength too. Thanks for always being here.
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#36

Postby reckoning » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:19 am

Hi everyone,

Quick update.

I am at just over eight months in.

It has been a challenging time filled with physical withdrawals and considerable effort to change my negative mindset.

Pleased to say if you keep going the changes do start growing and before you know it things have really changed.

I am much more relaxed in my life- who would have believed it, that life seems more laid back now without weed!

I still go on this site and draw a lot of connection with the struggle and the celebrations of everyone coming to terms with where weed is in your life.

I did go back on anti D's . I thought could do the whole quit thing without the anti D's too even though they have been part of my life for 30 years. I wish I could get through without them but that looks unlikely. I do feel a bit of pressure around that when I hear a lot of talk in various threads here about taking anit D's is perhaps not being the 'pure' recovery we are all looking for. For me I accept the value of my efforts to rewire my brain without weed even though I need to take anti D's.

I am more able to get through all the different range of emotions now without spiralling down. I am doing work I would never have said YES to before and coping surprising well. I am stepping outside my comfort zone more. I am less judgemental too. I can see more good than I can see bad and I am so grateful to on a path which looks like I am moving into my potential. These are all things I did not feel when struggling with my 20 year addiction.

Keep going , and if you are thinking about giving up- I say do it and push through, you will be so surprised what is on the other side. This single act alone, of quitting weed, is the biggest contributor to what I can my FREEDOM PASS. At last I am free to be me, and I really value the hard time it has taken me to get here and I think about that every day. It's my insurance policy for never going back. Keep going everyone and or start going on this amazing path.
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#37

Postby Bagobones » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:08 am

reckoning wrote: I do feel a bit of pressure around that when I hear a lot of talk in various threads here about taking anit D's is perhaps not being the 'pure' recovery we are all looking for.


Hi and very good job! I am really happy for you that you have so much success in your quitting.

I have one suggestion for you. Put those feelings of preassure in the garbage bin and forget about it, pat yourself on your back and say good job me!! Dont worry about it. Dont worry about "others". You do you, and let others do them. Only you know whats best for you. Only you know the best road for you. And your road is not the perfect road for others. That does not mean your road is not the right and best road for you.

And peoples opinions changes all the time. I am one of the people that has "warned" against AD, the SSRi Lexapro (escitalopram). My doctor did a mistake, and left me in a state close to psychosis, with suicidal thoughts. I started with a low dosage. When I went back to my doctor and told her this did not feel right, she increased the dosage. Then all hell broke lose for me. All of it is on the warning labels for Lexapro. I learned that suicidal thoughts can be chemically created in humans that have never had them. I have a very weak memory from last winter. I can hardly remember last december. My doctor gave them to me and the road foreward was a shrink (specialist) was going to take over from her. The shrinks answer to my problems with Lexapro was more pills, a coctail of them. Stronger AD, with anti psychosis pills on the side. Then I got angry and asked him to f*ck off, and told him he did not know what the hell he was doing, and he was playing roulette with human lives. One of the problems with doctors is some of them are narcasistic with an entitelment problem. Some of them dont care about their patients, only their own reflextion in the mirror they are so inlove with, and think they are never EVER wrong. But I changed him out, and the next one, and the next one, and now I have a very good one that has helped me so much. He has been VERY valueble to me.

After this I was VERY against AD, and wrote very negative about it here. But my opinions on them have softened up, and I also read about people with success with them. I think its accurate to say that this is an experimental field. Some have no reactions at all to AD, a lot of people have good resaults from them, and a few, like me and this poor woman , the resault was catastrophic. But again, its all written on the warning labels on the pills. All my symtoms is CLEARLY written on the package.

At the end of the day, its a road of feeling better. And if that includes AD for you, I have no right to critisize you for that. Its not a "less pure" road your on than I am on. Looking back at my own journey, its full of misstakes and things I would have done very differently if I was going to do it again.. Neighter one of us are perfect, and if your journey needs AD, then do AD! You know whats best for you.

Good luck and keep posting. Your journey is very valueble to a lot of people.. And its an interesting read!

Until next time.. God, I really have to learn to write shorter messages.. haha
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#38

Postby reckoning » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:26 pm

At the end of the day, its a road of feeling better. And if that includes AD for you, I have no right to critisize you for that. Its not a "less pure" road your on than I am on. Looking back at my own journey, its full of misstakes and things I would have done very differently if I was going to do it again.. Neighter one of us are perfect, and if your journey needs AD, then do AD! You know whats best for you.


Hey Bagabones,

You are really wise person and very generous with your thinking and sharing.

Thanks for sharing your experience with AD's, just awful, and I deeply understand your position on AD's after that . It was not an easy road for me to find the one that worked for me, it took a lot of time.

You are so right when you say it is a road of feeling better, the quit. And it is also a road to taking responsibility for ones self too and to make sure that road to feeling better is well paved and not full of pot holes ( excuse the pun) because without the AD's that is where I go, into a really big hole and life is miserable and very wretched , well beyond the really hard physical and mental rewiring that accompanies a long term addiction.

Feelings of pressure are binned ! Good call.

For anyone reading this post, just to be clear it is not the AD's that actually make me feel better. It is not smoking weed that has enhanced my life and gives me everyday the taste of riches. I am like a person who had lost all my sense of taste and now everyday there is a small part of it returns , life is filled with new sensations of taste and flavour and how nourishing it is to really get my teeth into my own life. I no longer am going through the motions. What the AD's do is keep me tasting every new thing that comes my way but alone they could not have given me my taste buds back , speaking metaphorically that is.

Please keep your posts as long as your thoughts and sharing allow Bagabones. They are full of great stuff. cheers Liz
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#39

Postby reckoning » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:09 pm

Hey everyone,

It's my one year anniversary on 1st January. I set out on this trek with you all , wanting so much to really nail the many times I've tried to reach the heart of my addiction and give it up for good. I had some tough reckonings to make with myself to get off the merry-go-round of my multiply quits.

The journey of living without weed is many things to many people with our own motivations of 'nailing' it this time. Nailing it with the help of this community has been key to getting me this far. Every post I read has helped me to stay strong. There have been many great teachers and levellers that have travelled with me. People like Wave, Bagofbones, exstonerinhell, TonytheCat, Wakinglife and many others. Some were here for a while then I lost sight of them. Remember that dude 'asgoodasitgets' he wrote long and often? I myself wrote more often in the beginning.

I'm grateful for all the unique information from this site. I was given a sense of what to expect. Then shown how others did it. Participating in this site gave me the equipment I needed to take the trek as far as I have and continue planning for staying on this path. It's like going to the gear shop before a hike. This 12 months feels like being on the Camino and that I have finally reached Santiago and all I want to do is keep walking and going. I've done one section now and I want to go all the way and walk everybit of this weed free path.

As with all treks it was the hardest thing I did to stay trekking, and to keep going in the beginning. But I knew from all of you that my mindset was by compass and would lead me to every sign post I needed. Getting the message , over and over and in different ways that one had to go through hell to get out of hell got me through hellish days. Plus seeing that you could do it, then this gave me the courage to think I could 'nail it' too.

Here’s a brief recap on my days:

DAYS 1-40
This was the wilderness as I’ve never known it. I was out there in a desert hell, with a body that had extreme reactivity to the fasting from weed that I was making it endure. No weed , it was like withholding water. It felt like the biggest endurance test of my life these first days. There is nothing I can say other than keep going at this point, you will not die even though you may want to.

Days 40-60
Well I made it out of the desert without temptations and I knew I never wanted to touch the stuff again. But I had to learn how to actually ‘live’ without it. Friends this next period was challenging, scary and often unpleasant. I kept moving physically and mentally. I did a lot of stuff that helped my mindset. Exercise, yoga, meditation, planned for things that took me out of my comfort zone. Around this time I started to change my language around quitting. ‘Quit’ to me was loaded with taking it up again. Over the years I knew two states- I was either quit or I was no longer quit . So many times. So around these 40-60 days I started using the idea that what I was doing was pursuing my Freedom Pass. I so badly wanted that ‘ticket to freedom’. Language matters and this helped me a lot. The conversations we have with ourselves are really some of the most important ones you can have. I knew I had to start having good, better and best conversations with myself. I needed to start having tough conversations with myself and ones filled with compassion too. I had to deal with all the shame of my being addicted for so long in my life ( remember I am 62). Something else started happening around this period. At times I could feel feelings, and these were no longer my defensive range of feelings which I had developed through all the years of smoking. Maybe there were some core feelings underneath all this and I needed to learn a new language of emotions too!

Days 70-80.
It was around this time I started to ‘get’ the cycle of PAWS. The ups and down persisted. Some days I hated been on my trek , other days I was so grateful for everything I had been through, knowing I never wanted to go through that again. Started getting really connected with the success stories on this site. I took strength from statements such as “Im never going back”.

90 days
At this stage I’d reached a plateau of physical withdrawals . At long last every time I took the next leg of my journey my feet were no longer crippled with blisters and my body no longer ached as much. Rather I yearned at times to get up and get started on the big hike of another day without weed. I knew at this stage that I had the physical stamina to do it. I still had a lot of mental rewiring to do. My mindset was changing a bit, and I started dropping urgent expectations that life needed to go my way, or to be a particular way or I had to be at a particular point in this trek at a particular time. But my mindset work was not yet done. PAWS would bound into my life and knock me over and I knew I had more work to do.

100 days
By this stage I knew that shitty days were inevitable. I started see PAWS as my companion dog , who came bounding into my life when I needed to learn some new way of being or learn some new behaviour or unlearn some really addicted kind of behaviour. Now instead of trying to keep PAWS locked outside I would welcome sound of her pitter patting approach, pat her on the head and say ‘there, there PAWS, you can come inside for a bit and how about I feed you. We got on much better when I did this.

125 days
By this stage I’m carving out a new life and so many things have changed. I’ve resigned my old job and taken up a challenge of teaching . I'm planning a new and different future.

I’ve been on antidepressants for over 30 years- just a mild dose and I tried coming off these. Things were going so well in my life and I was managing many new things and learning new behaviours. I wanted to do the really ‘pure’ rewiring of my chemical makeup and give up the anti D’s. This did not work and before long I was in a wretched and miserable place. I had to bin my expectations around this purity and I’m so glad I was able to do this. For me I need them, and so as hard as it was I went back on them.

250 days
I am more relaxed about my life now. Way more relaxed indeed than when I was smoking weed. The irony of that! At this stage I am starting to really integrate my emotions, when I can locate them, to the way I am thinking and vice versa. I am less and less in conflict with myself. This is such a relief . I can say for sure that my ticket to freedom has got me through the gates and I can see that freedom train sitting there at the station and I know there is a seat on there for me.

363 days
Wow two days to go and I will have reached my own Santiago – 1 year weed free. This is what this trek and all of you have taught me:

The trek has many ups and downs. There are hills to climb, stony paths to cross, hurdles to jump, all with a dog called PAWS at your heels. I’ve reached my first pinnacle and the view is amazing. I know that with more climbing and more trekking it will get better too. And this moment of sharing this view brings me satisfaction. I like what I am doing and I can stand on this mountain top and share it with you. I no longer have to be ashamed.

I know that everything does not go according to plan and now I can deal with that in ways not familiar to me, even surprises my family. Last week when my newly purchased van- about to be converted to a camper van got hail damage. All my adult kids thought ‘wow mum will go ballistic about this’. Ha I did not. I accepted it, and started the process for getting the damage fixed and coming up with another plan in the meantime. I went outside and patted my companion dog PAWS and had a great conversation with myself and booked the next leg of my trip on my freedom train.

Giving up weed is so much about living life’s valuable lessons in action.

I’ve learned so much and I am so grateful for you all being my companion of the journey of my life!

Take your own personal Camino trip today and take us all along with you . I look forward to hearing about your journey too.
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