Finally giving up the habit

Postby quittingar42 » Sun May 27, 2018 12:08 am

Well the time has finally come that I am saying goodbye to this addiction.

Summary of how I got here.

I did not get involved with marijuana until I was in my early 20's. It started off like a lot of others, every now and then at parties maybe every month or so. I noticed that at first it helped with social anxiety problems that I had. So I figued hey this is great I can have alittle of this and be more loose and have fun in those kinds of environments. And it was great, I will admit that, I was more relaxed and laid back than Iever had been in my life. I could better carry on conversations with people and just have a good time where I had been more of a wallflower before that.

So I had the grand idea that I would get a little of my own and just have some every now and then and wipe my anxiety problems away. And that is how it started, but for sure not how it ended.

Every now and then turned into weekend only, that turned into every few days, that turned into every day, which then led to every day and pretty much all day on weekends. This pattern evolved that way over about 4 years.

During this I was able to live a normal life, I got married, we raised 3 kids, bought a house, worked and still have a wonderful job in the IT industry and programming. The kids have all graduated and moved on to do their own thing so everything was great. But it wasn't.

As time went on I generlly kept the same pace, not an all day user but at least once per day. The anxiety that it used to help started to come back times 10. But instead of admitting my using was the problem I blamed it on everything else around me, work stress, family stress, paying the bills stress, pretty much everthing except what it was. I went to many doctors, spent some time on benzos to get around the anxiety that I refused to admit was my own doing. I ended up going cold turkey off the benzos after an argument with my doctor. But I didn't stop using.

Through all of this time I started many projects, many home businessess, many programming projects, they all failed because I lacked the motivation to finish what I had started. It still didn't click, I came up with so many excuses other than what the true problem was, using was killing me internally. I still refused to admit that I had a problem.

I bought into all of the weed is not bad for you talk. And for some people maybe that is true but for me it was not true. I am not trying to bash anyone that still feels its ok for them, that is totally your perogative, it is just not ok for me.

So fast forward to mid last year. An awesome job opprotunity opened up doing what I love to do most and believe it or not I landed the job. The pay was twice as much as my previous position, work from home, nice signing bonus and all the cool perks. The first thing that came to my mind? "Cool now I can afford to buy the really good stuff."

But there were problems as the days ticked by. First of all, this was my dream job, I should have been happier than I ever had been in my life but I felt unfulfilled, totally sapped of happiness. Though I had done similar work for many years I was having a lot of trouble shifting gears into this new position. I got behind schedule one day and start to severly panic. I had been doing this kind of work for 20 years and been in many screwed up situations I had to fix but this was just not clicking. I couldn't grasp it though I had worked with the same systems for so many years. What the hell is wrong with me was all that came to mind, but still it could not be the fact I was still using, never could it be that.

So my first answer is, get more potent stuff. And while that was not the best answer it is what opened my eyes to the years I have wasted away using while I could have been doing so may other things. What happened was this new more super potent medical grade stuff put me into a severe panic attack. It felt like a fuse blew in my brain and for a minute I was outside of myself looking on what I had become. I just looked at my wife and said "something is not right, Im loosing my mind and I don't know if its coming back." My first answer was, well when I was on benzos I didnt feel this way, it must be the anxiety again, so find me a doctor.

No doctor had appoints available for a while. Tha panic attack faded and I moved on still using. Around one week later it happened again, not quite as severe but I was panicing about things that didnt matter. This pattern continued until I woke up two days ago.

I normally get up about 5am, I watch and read news or whatever else is intersting until about 6:30am then I make coffee and wake up my wife. When Iwent to wake her up and we were having our normal good morning conversation something in my mind popped again at which point I started crying and said "Why am I never happy? I have what should be a good life. We raised three wonderful children, I have my dream job, we have no worries." Then I started getting angry, at myself I guess and quite loudly said "Why am I never happy, I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want, Iam in debt to no one and I have not been happy in 15 years. Sometimes I go to sleep at night and hope I dont wake up tomorrow, what the hell is wrong with me." She freaked out and we started talking about finding a doctor again, I stayed in the bedroom while she went to find a doctor.

As I sat in the bedroom alone going through the meditative breathing techniques that I had practiced long before I started using; eyes closed, breathing in and out slowly paying attention to my breath and nothing else. The the most dead calm fell over my body than I have ever felt, all problems and worries faded away and I heard one thing "You know what the problem is and only you can fix it."

I went back out to the living room and told my wife to stop trying to find a doctor, I know how to fix this and really only I can do it.

That brings us to today. This is day 2 without using and no matter what happens or what I go through I am NEVER going back into that hole. Once I made that decision I spent all day and some of today going over all of the things I had missed, not enjoyed or failed to do over all of the years of using. I feel stupid that I am now 42 years old and smoked away so many opprotunities and good ideas. I still have notebooks with all of the failed ideas.

None of this is made up or emblished, this is all true the way it happened with boring details left out. So many years lost, maybe I have enough time to recover and move on with what life should have been all of these years.
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#1

Postby reckoning » Sun May 27, 2018 1:03 am

Welcome quittingar42,

Good on you for realising where you are at and what you can do about it. Having to hear those voices within can take time to actually hear them. You have 20 years on me. I am 62 and have tried to give up many times but at last I too can say I am never going back.

It has been 21 weeks now and the beginning bit was a bit hideous, but I can already see the amazing benefits that are revealing themselves to me.

I too have had a very funtiocnal life, filled with anxiety and a raft of ptsd responses from a very unusual and emotionally abusive childhood with a mentally ill mother . I too have had ideas about creative projects, done projects which never quite could hold me from one completed thing to the next. I too have felt as if I could never be happy with out assistance. Now I know I am getting closer to relying on what lies within my self for this happiness.

What has made a difference this time for me? I've made a number of changes in my life and especialy in regard to the central place that weed had in my life. My partner of 14 years was a daily smoker and in many respects my supplier too. Not that it was pushed on me. I spent many quits pushing back , trying to be a non smoker from time to time but it was really hard work to define myself as that while living with someone who really did not even see that weed was a drug. Plus smoking weed, I came to see, actually contributed to relationship difficulties . I left this relationship and have moved out of our home and believe you me pressing the reset button on my life is not easy at 62 but it's never too late. So keep going, you will be in an amazing place in 20 years when you catch up in age to me.

I too have had many creative plans for my time and I really believe that if you can stay on this path and this tough journey you will be able to appreciate life and ultimately find that elusive 'joy' we are all looking for.

I've been taking a low dose of anti anxiety tablet for over twenty years and guess what, now with weed gone out of my life, I am coming off this too. Major brain reworking going on. Weed kept me believing on my reliance on these tablets rather than doing the work of really having to change some fundamental beliefs which I held that fuelled my anxieties and consequently my addiction. I am learning not to be afraid of a whole raft of emotions.

I have found that reading these stories on this site and journeying with the folks on here, has kept me accountable and felt as if I am part of an amazing community of people. I started posting last Feb when I was feeling really stretched. I've never felt that I've had my back so well covered in trying to give up previously. I know that people here really want me to succeed for my own reasons. It's not about dissing on pot smokers.

Look I don't know how you will go with the big physical challenges that can accompany a quit. It works differently for us all but I can say it is worth getting through the first few months in particular. Use us here for encouragement and to reinforce your willingness to feel the discomfort that will come. Discomfort I have come to realise is an indicator of growth.

I have grown and I keep growing in these in these twenty one weeks since giving up. Try not to focus on the wasted years, they are filled with good information about you and how you handle stress and life in general. You will have rich material to work with.

Welcome and may you journey well with us all. Cheers liz
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#2

Postby Foggy Noggin » Sun May 27, 2018 4:33 am

I am between you both in regards to age (48) and length of quit (13 weeks). Sounds like all three of us were fairly heavy users, at least I know I was, not for the entire 30 years of use, but definitely for the last 5 or so.

I too have a lifetime of unfinished projects and a current backlog of things that need done piling up around me. While using, procrastinating and not getting things done didn't affect me too much, every few months I would get depressed about my inability to get stuff done, but between times I would feel fine, and was fairly high functioning.

My kids are 16 and 18 now and I think about all the years spent stoned. I was mostly there for them, but the memories are not there for me now. Sure, I have pictures and mementos, but when you don't have an actual memory tied to an emotion, it's like it never happened.

I'm glad I've quit smoking pot, but Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome is making it hard to begin putting things back together again. Here's to a brighter and more engaged future. I wish you both a steady and even recovery.
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#3

Postby Bagobones » Sun May 27, 2018 9:19 am

quittingar42 wrote:None of this is made up or emblished, this is all true the way it happened with boring details left out. So many years lost, maybe I have enough time to recover and move on with what life should have been all of these years.


One day at a time, one step at a time my friend, and you will eventually find out that those years was far from lost. May I suggest you start looking into the reasons behind your social anxiety you where always self medicating for..
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#4

Postby quittingar42 » Sun May 27, 2018 10:40 am

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm done regardless of what I have to deal with through this journey. I actually remember pieces at a dream from last night.. I really can't remember the last time I had a dream before this one.

I will update frequently, you may get tired of hearing from me.
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#5

Postby walterfung » Sun May 27, 2018 4:15 pm

A very encouring story. Thanks for your sharing!
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#6

Postby quittingar42 » Sun May 27, 2018 4:37 pm

Well though it is only day 4 for me there are some minor changes that I have noticed, most good one bad.

I have a headache today. I rarely get headaches, seriously maybe like one per year if that. So yeah that is a little annoying. But beyond that my lungs already feel a little bit better but I have this annoying cought that I am attibuting to my lungs trying to expel 20 years of abuse.

I did not wake up and instantly start worrying about things this morning. I feel like I have this static energy building up and I need to find something to do with it.

I actually sat through a whole movie last night, at home, not out, not quite ready for that yet but it was nice to be able to watch it and not feel bored and aggitated every 15 minuites.

The severe anxieties that have plagued me for the last couple months are still there but I can push them away where I have not been able to do that for a while.

I am actually thinking slightly more clear today.

I know this is only day 4 for me and there could be a long way to go but this was not just a decision to quit using for me. This was a decision to change my life no matter what it takes. My outlook is different, my mindset is different and like it.

I ended up telling some "friends" yesterday that I was done. Not suprisingly they questioned the decision and started with the same old "its not the weed" banter. I just said what I said above, if that works for you fine, but im done.

Well I have to go find something to do with this energy, so see ya'll later. Everyone have a fine day working towards your goals. You will get there, I will get there, we will get there in time. Every day without using is an accomplishment that you should be proud of. Relax, watch a sunset and realize you can enjoy it so much better with a clear mind.

Peace and Happiness

p.s. Please ignore mistakes. I so do not want to be around a computer right now this all comes from a tablet. :)
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#7

Postby Anxious_mary_420 » Sun May 27, 2018 9:22 pm

Quittingar42...sounds like your doing really well....keep at it. Some people (like my husband) give up and have no issues whatsoever others like myself have a hard time. I'm on 8 weeks 1 day and feel much better than the first weeks which were bloody awful. Depression , anxiety sleep problems, headaches etc...still have some anxiety in the mornings but getting easier slowly every day. Keep pushing through and keep posting , this site has some amazingly supportive people on it. Xx
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#8

Postby quittingar42 » Wed May 30, 2018 10:34 am

I didn't update yesterday because for the most part it was emotional hell.
I think through the day I cycled through every bad emotion possible at least once per hour.

I was mentally exhausted by late afternoon and was happily able to sleep for a few hours. I woke up about 8pm and was still just mentally spent but not really tired. I stayed up for a few hours and headed back to bed about midnight.

That was another adventure. I was freezing to the point of shivering at times for no apparent reason. After I wrapped up in 2 covers it still took about 1/2 hour to get to sleep. Then the dreams started. Nothing I would call a bad dream but they were all very vivid and seemed to center around people or things that I always had problems dealing with when I was still using. A lot of me telling people they were wrong and to leave me alone.

That only lasted for a few hours and Iwas awake again around 3am. I was sort of nauseaus so I got up and moved to a recliner in the living room.
I never turned on the television or looked at any of my devices and ended up falling asleep there.

That bring us to this morning. My emotions have calmed down and that is great. I feel hungry but do not have any want to eat anything. It seems my whole body is hyper sensitive, the slightest breeze feels like I am standing in front of an industrial fan. Every now and then I will get this sensation that feels like.... well the only way Ican explain it is static energy in my body waiting for me to do something with it. My mind is a little cloudy but not really bad I can focus on things so thats good.

I am going to try to go for a walk this morning to expend some of this energy.

More Updates Later
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#9

Postby quittingar42 » Thu May 31, 2018 1:45 am

Very tired tonight. Hopefully a full night sleep. Has been years since I accomplished that.

Good night all
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#10

Postby Wave » Thu May 31, 2018 6:45 am

Hope you got that good night sleep!!

In the early stages, sleep was a massive issue for me. I found that I was able to function when at working on sometimes the 2-3 hours I was getting and went with the mindset that being so tired would set me up for a much better night sleep the following evening.

Avoid too much TV / computer / smartphone and try and read in bed, always made me really tired.

The dreams at first are weird but my favourite thing about not smoking now is being able to dream, not only really interesting but makes me feel so much more rested than when I used to smoke.

Well done so far, sounds like good progress.
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#11

Postby quittingar42 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:41 am

Well I think i am on day 7 or 8 now, too mentally exhausted to figure it up. Yesterday was a wild ride, this morning a little better.

When I woke up yesterday I felt pretty good, almost too relaxed a little brain fog but good none the less. That lasted until early afternoon.

While working though this bull@#$% I am still working a very stressful job. The one happy part is that I do work from home and can take breaks whenever needed.

I ended up having to deal with a hard to handle customer and while I made it through that interaction the anxiety waves started and ended up cycling on and off the rest of the day. By the end of my shift I was mentally exhausted but could not go to sleep right away.

The anxiety continued even when I did finally decide to go to bed about 10pm. Around 3am I woke up in a full anxiety attack nearing panic attack. In years past I have had 2 full blown panic attacks that put me in the emergency room so I know what it feels like.

I remembered something I had read in the past about how to help calm an anxiety attack so I moved to a recliner in the living room and packed pillows all around me so I felt like I was securely packed in the chair and ended up falling asleep for a few more hours, I am still in that chair now but still very anxious.

When I had my meltdown a few days ago Idid end up being able to get in for a screening to get an appointment with a mental helth professional based on my previous anxiety problems. The problem is I live in such a rural area I dont have an actual appt. until the end of this month.

The problem with that is I have to leave this Sunday to fly across the country for work training. I will be gone for 5 days and I do not have a choice I have to go. Yesterday I paid a lot of money to upgrade my flight to first class so maybe I will be a little more comfortable. I will survive, I have to.

The good point I guess is that the throught of using again makes me ill so that will not be an out for me. Ithought about that for aminute yester day "Would smoking a little calm this." My mind responded with, no it will just make it worse and probably put you in a full panic attack.

Anyway time to try to rough it through this day and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
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#12

Postby Cali-Detroit » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:11 pm

Welcome Q42!

Great story and sorry to hear it's going rough, but as anyone here knows, that's perfectly normal. The good news is you have some security and stability and have for quite some time, according to your post. My father was a high achieving daily smoker as well, but it eventually dropped him like Tyson in his prime. He's 64 and still struggling with it. Good move on you for making the decision.

It's going to be brutal for a while, accept that as fact. 2 months in and I still contemplate a hit or 3 to ease the discomfort. I was a grower and taught others as well, so the accessibility is still right there. I walked through a friends garden last week to advise on some pest problems and started salivating likes Pavlov's pooch. But I remain steadfast.

It's a great group of people here all moving towards the same goal. Very few people believe that you can have an addiction issue with weed, so it makes it very hard to find support. In the US here, it's gaining so much traction as far as legality, it's poised to be omnipresent at some point, like tobacco and booze. I grew up in California, so it's been a culture and lifestyle that was easily adopted. Less than an O and you were on your merry way, if you happened across a cop who even cared in the first place.

Hope your doing better... peace
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