470 day timeline

Postby Nelson80 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:41 pm

Smoked daily (aside from a few failed attempts at stopping) from the ages of 15/16 to 40. Had resigned to and accepted the fact that I'd just be a daily stoner for the rest of my life. Weed caused me a lot of negativity and eventually that got the better of me and at some point I realized that smoking weed, or not, was in my control so I decided to do something about it. This community was not an insignificant part of that.

One thing that helped me A LOT was having expectations on what my quitting timeline would look like. Getting that information from people who were in a situation similar to mine helped me set my own realistic expectations. In the past I'd quit for a week or 3 and then throw in the towel thinking "if this is how life is without weed, then I don't want it". What I didn't understand was it would take time to have some meaningful recovery from weed. It helped me to remain patient and to not think things would move along faster than they really would.

Here is what my timeline looked like in terms of recovery:

Week 1 to 2:

This was the worst of the entire processes in terms of intensity. I was craving a lot and thought about weed often. I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat and my mood was all over the place. I took a lot of hot baths and didn't put too much pressure on myself to perform at my usual capacity in all terms (career, relationships, father, house maintenance, etc)

Week 2 to week 8:

The intensity calmed down. Cravings were not as severe. I still thought about weed a lot and there would have been temptations had I not had such a strong resolve to stop. I had headaches and was tired a lot. Still took a lot of hot baths (not sure what it was about that but I found it quite therapeutic and not something I would normally do that often). I'd take naps almost daily as I was exhausted. My mood was fairly low but at the same time I felt kind of peaceful and like life had slowed down (in a good way). I was able to put more effort towards life again, even if it didn't feel all that rewarding. If I had to put a number on it I was probably functioning at 60% capacity. Sleep still wasn't great but once in a while I'd get a straight 6 hours or so.

Week 8 to 4 months:

Lots of emotional turmoil going on during this phase. I didn't feel very motivated for life. Smoking some weed here to get back to my old baseline would have been appealing if I was not so determined to quit. Knowing that there would be eventual light at the end of this dark tunnel helped me a lot. My mood did get more stable during this time and there would be the occasional good mood where I felt positive sprinkled in that helped me out. I did my best to stay engaged and put effort into my life, career, hobbies, relationships, etc. Sleep was slowing getting a little better but still not great. Naps still common place - I got sleep where I could. Headaches started to wane.

Month 4 to 6:

This is where the tide started to change. As these months progressed there were more and more glimmers of hope. More positive thoughts, more energy and thoughts of weed now were few and far between (still daily but much less than compared to before). Headaches were now gone and sleep was acceptable, not for long periods like my former stoner sleep but the quality was much improved. Hot baths no longer required all the time and my mood was more tolerable. I was starting to get into the groove of life. If I had to put a number on it I was probably about 75%.

Month 6 and beyond:

I wasn't fully recovered at 6 months and I'm not fully recovered today either (~16 months). Recovery, I've discovered, has many prongs. I barley think of weed anymore (relative to before). I don't have "cravings" - there are thoughts but never of actually using it that I have to resist. My mood is much more stable and mostly I'm just engaged in life and don't think a whole lot about recovery (at least not like I did before). My thoughts about recovery now are more productive. One of the main prongs of recovery for me has been self improvement. Once I identify character flaws or problems with myself that I would like to address then I come up with a plan and some realistic goals. Another prong of recovery is to break all the old habits that being a stoner caused. A lot of unhealthy habits were developed along with weed due to the not giving a sh** about much factor while stoned. I'm still working on them (unhealthy diet for example). Life is a lot better now. There is a lot more peace in life now and it doesn't feel like I'm on the side lines just watching time pass by while my stoned self just fumbles about from day to day.

How long recovery will last, I don't know, somewhere it will transition from recovering from weed to just making normal self improvements in the course of normal life. Recovering from both booze (~4 years) and weed have been the best choices I have made in my life. I keep my guard up because I know that one hit or one drink for me is the beginning of a path leading back to where I started. Sure, a lot of good times were had with drinking and smoking but they are far outweighed by the negatives that went along with it. I'm not prepared to give up what I've achieved for some temporary bliss that comes with an unmeasurably heavy price tag. A sober life is a more predictable one and one where I can set realistic goals and then set out to achieve them.
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