One Year Journey - began 8.28.15 - all support welcome :)

Postby gsaint28 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:47 pm

Hey all,

About 3 years ago I attempted to "quit weed for good" and had used this exact forum as a place to seek support. It took all but a week or so (my guess is) before I gave in to my old ways of smoking. Shortly after I deleted that thread in self-embarrassment. Yet, here I am once again.

I am tired of feeling like sh**, tired of being paranoid, and tired of believing that smoking weed enhances my life when it actually detracts from it.

This isn't the first time I've tried "quitting." I recently went 4 months without it. Since then I've smoked about 10 times or so, sporadically in the past month. Clearly though, I was still not ready to change my life permanently.

It is not weed's fault for the person I've become today. It is mine. Whether or not I continue to smoke weed is not going to determine my ability to achieve my goals.

However, I am tired of pretending that weed is the answer to my life. I am tired of having it be a part of my identity.

During that 4 month span in which I didn't smoke, I tried identifying as a "non-smoker" rather than a smoker. All that did for me was create a tension between my old identity and my new one.

The reality is that I don't hate weed. The reality is that I love weed for the healing it provided me in my moments of need.

Who I really hate is myself. I hate that I chose to smoke weed when I knew I needed to do something else. I hate that I chose to spend money on weed instead of saving it for something else. I hate that I chose to hang out with weed rather than hang out with someone else. I hate that I choose to love weed instead of choosing to love myself or someone else. I hate who I've become on weed instead of becoming someone else.

I'm tired of using weed as a medium to relate to others. All drugs for that matter - alcohol, shrooms, etc. That is another personal transformation in itself.

My goal is this: to transform into the version of me that is self-loving and loving towards others

Where I stand now: I am the version of me that deep down hates himself and is paranoid of other people and uses drugs to bring me out of that horrible state into a fabricated one.

I HAVE to move on. I MUST. I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it 1 year and beyond.

First step: make it today.

And that's where my journey begins.
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#1

Postby Wave » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:55 pm

Welcome again. I am sorry to hear you predicament but sounds like we are in a similar boat. I have almost the last 150 days without weed but had two smokes in this period, the second was relatively recently and now my sleep is completely out of whack and so annoyed at myself (almost 1am and wide away waiting until I can sleep, meh).

I joined here in 2012 so been thinking about quitting for a very long time, and this is my 4th serious attempt at quitting. It is a very slow process to change to a non-smoker but it sounds like you are making progress. I have found stopping everything to be the best chance of success as both failures I have had I was not sober beforehand.

In regards to your perception of cannabis, I have found the most success to regard it as a powerful medication. For example, if I was diagnosed with a serious illness where cannabis has been shown to be a benefit, I would go back to it as I honestly believe for certain conditions it can be an incredible help. However, in the same way I don’t take morphine recreationally I can see that while cannabis is a power medicine, it is also addictive and habit forming, with (for me at least) some serious side effects. This way of thinking doesn’t pretend its bad but also gives an element of caution when considering it.

I also believe that you should change other areas of your life to start a new phase. For example, if you keep failing when you see a specific person, don’t see them for 3,6,9 months until you are ready to be around cannabis and know you won’t give in. I am 100% not there yet so plan to keep away from anywhere I feel I may come into contact. Also try and do things you previously didn’t when smoking, such as going to the gym as exercise high really helps and you can see yourself getting fitter/in better shape.
If you have been away from here for a while, have a read of recent threads. I would say this has been the most helpful thing in my quit and in the early days was a good was to keep myself distracted, and now I try and visit less as cravings have reduced.
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#2

Postby gsaint28 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:40 am

I appreciate the support. Its the support of people on the same journey as me, and those who have experienced what its like to go through it, that will keep me sane.

Its tough when the only people around me are people who can't understand the struggle cause they don't smoke and the other people are the ones who do smoke but still don't understand.
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#3

Postby gsaint28 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:02 pm

Day 1 Summary:

Today was easy. Probably because I had just smoked yesterday and do not feel the full effect of PAWS or anything of the like.

What I am going to establish right now is my "why" for quitting weed, or changing rather.

What past whys? haven't worked.

-so I don't have to tell my parents that I smoke
-so I could stop spending money on it
-so that my lungs will heal
-so that girls will like me more
-so that I can focus better
-so that my future child will have a present father
-so that I can stop identifying as a stoner
-so that I can stop caring about weed as a thing in my life
-so I can prove to myself that I have self-control
-etc.

None of those reasons could KEEP me from wanting to eventually do weed again.

WHY do I want to quit? WHY MUST I change? WHY must I transform?

-to rip off the mask that says I NEED weed to be a certain type of person.
-I don't need weed to be chill, to be present, to be fun and loving, to be social, to think deeply, to be creative, to laugh hard, to be witty, to be open minded, to be in the moment
-it is NOT weed I need
-it is my true self that I need

Why am I quitting weed?

Because I want to experience the beauty of life without using it.

And in those times when I have trouble seeing the beauty of life.
When I'm down, and stressed, and emotional, and angry, and running on ego...
I'll need a strategy to quickly, or rather, consistently get myself to a HIGHER place.

I need a way to REPLACE weed with something that produces similar results.

A way to forget my problems.
A way to FEEL happy.
A way to FEEL music.
A way to VIBE out with people.
A way to RELAX my body.
A way to QUIET the mind.
A way to LET GO of negative thoughts, images, and emotions.

A way to LOVE myself, LOVE my brothers and sisters, and a way to LOVE life, regardless of what perspective is causing me to feel so low.

Hm.

Learning how to deal with life without using weed to cheer me up.

Will be experimenting with strategies.

FOR NOW, I will try...

-taking 10 conscious breaths
-and in that time remembering some crucial lessons I've come across but have yet to master

1) there are no "problems" for they are projected by the mind
2) the ego is an illusion
3) I am 100% responsible for my emotional state
4) whether I am happy or sad, I am choosing
5) it is okay to be sad, stressed, and angry
6) nobody has to apologize for me to let go
7) I don't have to win an argument to let go
8) the past is over
9) I am projecting the future
10) the present moment is all that exists
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#4

Postby gsaint28 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:24 pm

Day 2!

didn't fall sleep last night until after 7am. didn't really feel this need to sleep, although I REALLLLY should since I need to move out all my sh** of my house by tomorrow lmao

started off my day by doing the little affirmation/breathing strategy I created for myself last night

going to memorize that list of 10 affirmations so I can use it anytime I need it

1) there is no problem
2) the ego is an illusion
3) I am 100% responsible for my emotional state
4) whether I am happy or sad, I am choosing
5) recognize that negative feelings come from false assumptions (changed this one)
6) nobody has to apologize for me to let go
7) I don't have to win to let go
8) the past is over
9) I am projecting the future
10) the present moment is all that exists

I'll be tinkering with these 10 affirmations as I go along, but at least for now the exercise did make me feel better
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#5

Postby gsaint28 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:05 pm

Day 2, feeling great.

Weed is not an option.
It is not something I do.

Weed is a medicine for those who need it.
I do not need it.

I am healthy and happy and love my life.

More affirmations.
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#6

Postby gsaint28 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:41 pm

day 2 was great

day 3 here we go

will report back after church :P
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#7

Postby gsaint28 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:00 pm

last night I had to decide to chill with my girlfriend over drinking/socializing with my friends on the second to last night before we move out of our house

today Ive been offered to play video games and smoke

it's awkward having to choose over my friends...but it's not that...it's choosing a different lifestyle over the lifestyle I had that includes those people.

I'm transforming to a different person...they'll respect that.
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#8

Postby gsaint28 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:55 pm

Day 3 continues!

The hardest days are ahead of me.

Because I had recently gone 4 months without weed, the first 3 days of this go about have been easy. I've had a couple opportunities to smoke, but it's an easy no thank you. I know that the toughest days are today, tomorrow, or next week. It's month from now when I'm stressed out about life and ponder about the "good ole days" when I'd just smoke and forget everything and life was high. It's 4 months from now when I'm bored and want to feel do something "fun." It's a 6 months from now when I hang out with old friends and they ask me about smoking and I hesitate to stand my ground for my new perspective on weed. It's 8 months from now when PAWS is STILL hitting me even though I hadn't smoked for months and I'm still not healed completely. It's a year from now when I try and convince myself that weed isn't that bad and that it ought to be okay for me to smoke just once.

And in those times, I'll have to remember the following:

-weed does NOT supply the happiness that I'm ultimately searching for
-it provides a temporary NUMBNESS to the deeper issues that lie within me
-it does not SOLVE anything
-it is NOT the answer
-it is simply NOT an option anymore.
-it is not weed's fault, it is mine
-and it is my responsibility to find a way to handle stress, boredom, communicating my perspectives to my friends, and having the courage to do the things that will make me feel better
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#9

Postby gsaint28 » Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:06 pm

I've spent a lot of time understanding what my relationship with weed is, how it became that way, why I always go back to it even when I don't want to, and what it will take to move on.

At my worst I was spending upwards of $150-200 a month on weed. I know that's not as much as some people, but that's a sh** ton for me. My whole life centered around smoking weed. My social circle centered around weed. My time schedule centered around being able to smoke and do things while high. My financial plan was centered around being able to afford weed. It was weed weed weed weed.

I've thrown away weed one day and later on that same day dug the weed out of the trash.

I've STOLEN weed from my friends cause I really wanted to get high.

I don't know how sacks of weed I'd thrown down the toilet as a gesture of "this is the last time ever - I promise."

Or pieces I'd thrown away as a gesture as well.

I don't know how many times I'd told the same people in my life that I was done for good, and then went back.

I let it get between the relationship with my ex girlfriend.

I can't BELIEVE the person I'd become ever since this drug entered my life. I can't believe how far I LET it go.

In a funny kind of way, I can picture the last 5 years I'd spent living my life with weed as my everything, and look back on it and be like MAN, what the hell was I thinking?

I know it was 5 whole years, but I can almost picture it as if it was just one crazy weekend that took my on ups and downs. And after it was all over I said "wow, I can't believe some of the stuff I did, and go back to how things were before the crazy weekend began"

I know it's not as simple as that.

There is a load of psychological, emotional, biological, and chemical damage to repair or transform.

Step by step.

Step by step.

Next step? Get through today.
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#10

Postby gsaint28 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:56 pm

Day 3 is over! Day 4 now :)

I officially moved out of my house last night. It is completely irrelevant to my quitting journey. It just so happened that my move out date correlated to this life decision.

Last night was somewhat of a "final chill out" session at my old house. A handful of my friends came over to kick it. There was beer and weed, but I didn't partake in it. I had a lot of fun just hanging out regardless of the fact that "I was sober" and "they were high/buzzed."

It is easy to say no to weed/alcohol when it's the option that aligns with your goals.

What's not easy is the stress, unhappiness, anxieties, and general discomfort that comes with life.

So far the affirmation/breathing exercise I've been using are helping TREMENDOUSLY.

They work for me because they help ME. I think that's the key with affirmations. Not to copy them from a book or somebody else, but to find those phrases that empower the individual specifically.

1) There is no problem.
2) The ego is an illusion.
3) I am 100% responsible for my emotional state.
4) Whether I am happy or sad, I am choosing.
5) Negative feelings and emotions are a result of projecting.
6) Being right or wrong is not necessary for me to let go of my feelings.
7) Winning and losing is a game for the ego.
8) The past is passed. It is over.
9) The future never comes. It's all in my mind.
10) The present moment is all that exists.

I do conscious inhale/exhale between every affirmation.

Whenever I'm feeling uncomfortable, anxious, nervous, mad, or sad (any negative feeling really), I go to this exercise. It is an effective way to handle my ego when it is triggered. And I know it is triggered anytime I'm not feeling at least neutral internally.

ANYWAYS, CHEERS EVERYONE :P
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#11

Postby gsaint28 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:58 am

I read through some of my old posts back in Aug 2012, and MAN, I can still feel the enthusiasm and inspiration behind my words.

It's also ironic to see those posts from 2012 and be here now in 2015 and still be battling the same battle. BUT it's SO much different than it was back then, in terms of what the battle is, and MAN do I have SO MUCH MORE tools and understandings about myself with weed than I did back then.

I don't feel guilty AT ALL for the fact that I had really appeared to want to quit for good back in 2012, and yet 3 years later have not won it yet.

There was a specific member, Typo808, that was REALLY on point with his responses to my posts. I really hope that that member finds my posts and we catch up. Probably won't remember me, but I really hope we can bump shoulders again. I know, through the ether, Typo808, you will feel my appreciation. You really helped inspire me back then.

The last 3 years, from 2012-now, I've gone through SO much growth. REGARDLESS of weed, I have grown SO MUCH. I used to think that my growth was correlated to my weed use. Oh man, not even.

Everyone's journey is different. I sincerely hope that everyone finds their happiness.

And I KNOW that people are reading my posts. The view count on this thread has broken 400, and it's only been four days.

SOMEBODY is receiving help. I know this.

TALK is one thing. So take these posts with a grain of salt.

But being able to convert the talk into ACTION is what ALL people struggle with.

We can do this people. We can.

I hope one day this thread has over 400 posts on it, and it can be used as a MAJOR inspiration to people looking for answers.

That's be so great.
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#12

Postby gsaint28 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:06 pm

Day 5!

I had a dream last night about smoking. In the dream, smoking was really fun and made me happy. When I woke up, I had a slight craving to smoke - like it's something that was REALLY fun and I'd love to do and I miss.

It's dreams and memories like this that I have to make a conscious effort to remember why I'm stopping.

I hate it when I'm high and I can't regulate my focus at will. I hate that I feel kinda blank and stupid. I don't like that my thought process isn't clear. I HATE the come down. I hate that I can't be around certain people if I'm high. I hate that I don't want to be in public. I hate that I'm embarrased to be high. I'm PARANOID. I don't like the person I become when I'm high.

phew, that helped.
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#13

Postby emphysema » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:11 pm

Kool
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#14

Postby Fabulous Furnace » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:57 pm

Hi-
sounds like you're doing well so far. I saw a lot of myself in the words you have written. Took weed from friends, spent $ i shouldn't have. My total focus was getting weed and getting high. Life be damned.
I'm now 52 and reality is hitting home. I ran away from responsibility and relationships. Now I am jobless, significant-other-less, emotionally ragged, and scared.
I like your energy and positive vibes. Keep it up.
Typo808 has bailed on this site, unfortunately. He go tired of the BS that has been permeating here. I was close with him and it sucks that he's no longer around.


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