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      Sober Nation

      Putting Recovery On The Map

      08-10-11 | By

      Quitting Marijuana

      Marijuana was a subtle friend, turned foe.

      In my experience, I believe marijuana is one of the world’s most underestimated drugs in terms of the destruction it can cause to one’s life. I’m speaking from personal experience. I was a pothead for 14 years.

      I’ve been marijuana free for 3 years in September and it is only in the last 6 months that I’ve been able to feel clearheaded for the first time since my addiction began. My memories of the years in which I used are at best sketchy. I feel as if I lost the prime of my life in a puff of smoke.

      Smoking pot began as a social thing at school for me. A joint was going around. I smoked some and it felt good. I actually felt great. I remember the first time so clearly because I thought I had glimpsed heaven. I didn’t know it then, but what I had actually glimpsed was hell.

      It wasn’t until I was 20 that marijuana took a firm hold of my life. I started smoking regularly to ease the pressure of my university studies and soft depression. It began with a bag every couple of weeks. It quickly progressed to a bag every week and then every few days. At the height of my smoking career I was going through an ounce a week, spending the money I needed for food, gas and household bills on poisoning my mind and lungs. I always blamed the bad things that had happened in my life for the way I felt. It was never the pot. That was my only saving grace. It’s only now that I can see that pot was the root of all my troubles.

      I lost a multitude of things from smoking pot. Some of which were:

      • Money
      • Friends
      • The ability to focus
      • Mental function
      • Stability

      In the end, I lost my mind. I became paranoid and delusional, all the while in complete denial about what was happening. At my peak I hiding in my house and smoking around 7 joints a night. I wouldn’t answer the door if anyone came knocking. I avoided social and family contact because I preferred to get stoned and couldn’t hold down a conversation. I took a lot of sick days off work and would have preferred to quit and just smoke all day, however, I needed the cash to support my addiction. I was heavily depressed and constantly had conspiracy theories raging in my head about who didn’t like me and why, or who was jealous of me and why, or who didn’t support me and why. I constantly replayed the bad things that had happened to me in my life. My head had become a very damaged record which played the same terrible song over and over.

      Marijuana is a scary drug because it is so much more socially acceptable than other heavy drugs, like heroin, speed and cocaine. In today’s world, pot is relatively easy to obtain. The effects of heroin are fast and obvious. The effects of pot are slower and subtler, but to my mind, just as deadly. Marijuana nearly killed my mind, body and spirit.

      I tried quitting countless times in the last year of my smoking when I knew I was going down a point of no return. However, each time I got stressed it was the first thing I turned to. Then the best thing that could have happened did. I got sick, really sick. I developed a cough that lasted for weeks and in the end was bedridden. I tried to smoke through it, but my lungs literally wouldn’t allow it. This was the catalyst I needed to catapult me into freedom from Marijuana.

      My Mirror

      I was on my way to the doctor, walking through the hallway when a man who I had previously smoked with approached me. He was without exaggeration the maddest person I knew. Although I hadn’t known him as a young person, people told me that he had been an intelligent student and promising sportsman with a bright future. The person I had met couldn’t have been further away from that. He was regularly in and out of the mental ward at the local hospital and I had not had a lucid conversation with him since we met…until that day. He walked up to me and said hello. I knew straight away that something was very different about him. He told me that he had not smoked for 2 weeks and was going to AA (we don’t have NA in the small town where I live). He spoke clearly and concisely and told me he had never felt better in his life. He was smiling and seemed really sane. Without realizing what I was even saying, the words came tumbling out, “I’m as bad as you, I just hide it better.” In that moment I saw for the first time what pot had done to me. He was my mirror. I thought, ‘Here is the maddest person I know and I’m just like him. If he can give it up, I can too’. I asked him when and where the next AA meeting was and three days later I was sitting at my first meeting, feeling like I was where I was meant to be for the first time in a very long time.

      I have never looked back and my life has gotten better and better with the passing days, weeks, months and now years. I have a social life. I have reconnected with my family. I can remember what I do and say from one day to the next. I no longer feel depressed all the time. Instead I have good days and bad days, which are proportionate with the events that occur in my life. When things don’t run as smoothly as I would like, I am so much better equipped to deal with it. I realise that I am not the bad things that happen in my life. Instead I am the person who can choose how to react to them and choose to leave them behind.

      Because I am out and about and living my life, rather than smoking it away, I met a wonderful man a couple of years ago. Nine months ago I gave birth to our son, Jago. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am a good mother and I treasure every clean living day I have with him. I know he would never have come into my life if I was still smoking and thank goodness for that, because I would have been a terrible mother if I was.

      I am one of the lucky ones. I still see some of the people I used to smoke with at the supermarket or down the mall. The man I was just telling you about went back to smoking a couple of weeks after I quit. He is still smoking today and continues to go in and out of the mental ward. I see him around with that same mad look in his eyes that was missing the day I ran into him on my way to the doctor. I feel so sad and so blessed as he is again my mirror, but on the flip side.

      Quitting is hard, but not quitting is harder. Don’t kid yourself that pot is an okay drug. You will only know how bad it is when you can experience life without it again. I love my life and I now realize how much I want to do with it and how very little time we really have, even if we make it to our old age. I don’t want to waste another day. This is something I never would have said if I was still smoking pot. This website list all the legal drugs sold in your city


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