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Thread: Lack of motivation after quitting cannabis

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hey Mxfy,
    apologies for the late reply, I was not in a great place myself last night, so I couldn't support you, but I am here now. Are you willing to do some work?!
    you are right about the 'dopamine science' - that is exactly what is going on with the anhedonia. The most practical way through it is to stimulate your dopamine reward system in other ways. It can be hard when 'nothing feels good' to actually consider other small things that could make you feel good, but here are some suggestions:
    -a few songs that you absolutely love,
    -a warm shower,
    -burning incense,
    -a cup of lush fragrant tea,
    -a jog around the park,
    -patting a dog or going to a dog rescue shelter and patting a dog,
    -watching cute cat or dog videos on the internet,
    -watching a stand up comedy skit from your favourite comedian,
    -the very act of 'smiling' (if you actually turn your mouth into a smile and hold it there for a few seconds, it will actually send a message to your brain that you are happy),
    -a swim in the ocean or the pool,
    -turning the cold water on in the shower for a cold blast, etc.

    It is not an exhaustive list, but the number of times that your dopamine (reward system) gets stimulated the easier it will get to find joy and motivation in everyday things and activities.

    It is great to hear you are doing yoga and meditation. I think that is really positive and will help you a lot.
    I know exactly what you mean about 'getting started' too. I find that sometimes with work, even now. Sometimes I can change up the perspective a little, but doing the 'easiest' thing first. If you have a task that needs to be done, I find it can be helpful to break this down into tasks and then work backwards from the easiest task to the hardest. Also, if you can change your perception by looking at a piece of art, reading a blog article or doing something to distract yourself from the fact that you 'don't want to start' you might find it easier to then take that first step. From what I have found though, the best course of action is simply to 'force myself' to do the task. I used to find this with washing my dishes or cleaning my house. Often, I really don't 'want' to do this and as you say 'starting is the hardest part', but I find that once I am absorbed in the activity it is not nearly so bad, and so I have learnt to just suck it up and do the thing that I don't want to do, because it will get easier.

    I wish you all the very best with your recovery. Keep going!! It is so worth it to be free :-) I will never go back. I am 100 % sure of that. Life is sooooo much better without cannabis. It just takes time and you need to rewire your brain. Good luck!
    Alice :-)

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  2. #22
    Untested Cannabis Rehab Guest

    Default Masters application in a week, and I'm slapped by cravings

    Its been 2+ weeks since I flushed my weed and through all paraphernalia away, but I went to a house party 3 days ago and relapsed quite quickly. I had been struggling so much but I vowed not to buy weed for myself anymore, however I kept dreaming that someone would offer to smoke me up and they did. I regretted it almost immediately I felt the high and booked an uber to get me home because I was riddled with guilt. But the cravings are still so strong and I'm really tempted to just call up my dealer and stop this journey all together. Even got his number again after I deleted it.
    I dont want to be dependent on any substance to feel like myself, definitely not weed. And I stopped because I want a better connection with my family and dont want to have my life cut short or made unbearable in the future by some health issue with my lungs (had a few lung problems as a kid) but **** this is exhausting. I feel like most of my energy in a day goes to trying not to smoke. I have so many things I want to do but dont feel motivation to anymore because I quit. I get that it's the lack of dopamine and i have to wait for normal levels to return, but i literally haven't done anything on my to do list since i quit. I used to be able to smoke then draw but even that is gone right now. I'm supposed to be sending out applications for my masters this week but I haven't even started my portfolio and I'm already so ****ing late. I hate that I ever started smoking and I wish I didn't. But now I hate that I stopped and I wish I didn't.
    Nights are the worst. I just lay on the bed playing games even when I know that my future is dependent on getting off my ass and getting shit done. I just can't find the motivation anymore. I work 2 jobs and I think I'm just now feeling the fatigue of working 2 jobs, I never used to and just powered through.
    I have a week to finish my portfolio and send it out or I may not get accepted into any school. And I am desperately trying not to do what I'm used to by getting high and smashing the work out. But it is proving damn near impossible and I really wish I had help. I want to tell my family, but they'd rather just believe that I quit and never looked back. Which is not even slightly true.
    Not sure how to slap myself out of this funk, but i know i need a slap. Problem is i got so used to smoking my slaps, and now i feel very lost. I dont want to **** up my future, but right now my brain is saying not smoking might do that too.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2019


    Hey Untested,

    Looks like we are in the same Time span, I gave up 18 days ago! Don't feel to bad for accepting a toke, I'm surprised I have lasted this long without caving in, and I agree nights are the worst, although I'm not sure which is worse, not being able to sleep or having the 'vivid dreams' when I do eventually fall asleep. I'm sure the pressure of finding a place for your masters isn't helping, as my only outlet for stress was getting stoned!! I've put my life on hold for the summer, and am trying not to think or make plans about my future, I'm single, no kids and recently left my job at a grow shop, so no career plan either. Financially I'm ok for a couple of years, so having no real pressure on my shoulders has helped me no end, as I found thinking about what I will do in the future to much to bear. Maybe this isn't possible for you, but maybe taking a year out before your masters could be possible? It would take the weight of your shoulders and give you time to break this addiction and get a handle on it, 1 year when your young really does seem like an eternity, but maybe being a year older and wiser might not be the worst thing to achieve great grades, I wish someone had held me back before I attended university as I wasn't mentally ready for it!
    If there is one thing I have learnt a good exercise regime can REALLY help sort out the 'spaghetti" in your head I find a good hour swim can help me sort out issues I have without actually thinking about them! Go swim, walk,jog, surf, cycle, play a sport/game anything really that takes your mind of of these problems for 30 mins +, and gets you focused and sweaty, Yoga and meditation are excellent too, A few years ago, I would never have believed I would become a yogi but now I won't miss a week.
    Not smoking weed would in no way F*** up your future and I think most of us on here would agree that becoming free of your addictions actually provides you with a future, although I can see what your saying, if your were stoned maybe you would have smashed out your applications and portfolios and you wouldn't be in this predicament, here and now. I'm no councillor and am new to all of this myself, everyday is a whirlwind of new and old emotions and somedays all I wanna do is get high, but I won't as it has had a hold on me for too long (25 years). Motivation is the hardest thing to find when you have none, But I have found support from this group, so maybe some one else has some ideas. The pressure of this modern life is crazy, to achieve, and live up to expectations, its no wonder some of us find solace in substances that take that pressure away. I wish I could help more. But I found someone actually reading and replying to my posts is all the help I needed......

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi, Untested,
    Congratulations on your quit. I have no doubt that quitting cannabis will definitely improve your connection with your family (and friends), as well as improve the health of your lungs dramatically. I have definitely noticed an improvement in the way I connect with people since I quit, and my health is a million times better.

    In terms of the timing of your quit with regard to your Masters application, it is tricky, but could you give us some more information about what needs to go into your portfolio for submission? Do you have to create a body of work within a week? Because that seems like a tough call whether you are smoking or not.

    It is true that part of the process with quitting cannabis can be a period of anhedonia, or lack of motivation, where you don't feel like doing anything. In terms of the timing of going through this, is there ever going to be a perfect time? If you start studying a Masters, you probably aren't going to have time to dedicate time to withdrawing from cannabis. That is one reason to push forward with your quit now so that you can start your Masters in a better position.

    When I quit, I was studying at uni too. I did notice that although the first bit was hard, after about six weeks I was performing so much better at my classes than I had before. It might be worth sticking this out now so that you can gain the benefit in your Masters.

    I do think you need to acknowledge that the next few weeks might be challenging creatively speaking. The reason this is happening is that your dopamine receptors are used to being flooded with dopamine and now they need to learn to live with a natural (and healthy) level of dopamine instead. You can hurry this process along by doing the exact opposite of 'slapping yourself' and rewarding yourself with something sensory every day. The more you give yourself small sensory rewards that feel good and stimulate your dopamine system the more quickly you will get through this period of low motivation.

    Saying that I think that quitting cannabis is a journey. I tried (with varying degrees of commitment) for years before I moved to the city and met some nice friends. The social connection gave me the capacity to finally let it go. Every quit helps you to get to the point when you can finally say goodbye. Although, it can take months, sometimes years to get the right mindset again to quit. Is that something you want to wait for?

    Keep in touch! It might be one of the things that stimulate a little bit of dopamine - to write and receive replies here, and it can keep you in the right mindset, so I think it is a good thing!

    Good luck!
    Alice :-)

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2018


    Hi Untested,

    For assistance with finding a reputable and accredited Marijuana Rehab Service Provider in the USA you can call the US Government’s FREE SAMHSA’s National Helpline on:

    1-800-662-HELP (4357)

    ALL of what Steve and Alice said! Such good advice.

    I would echo what Steve says about possibly putting the Masters program off for a year. Quitting weed can be a tough process. There is really nothing more important than your health and well being. You are doing something extremely important for yourself and deserve not to have added stressors. Why not put the Masters program on hold and work your two jobs for another year and focus on creating a cannabis-free life for yourself? A year from now, cannais-free, you will be a totally different person for the better!

    I smoked for about 20 years, pretty much daily between the ages of 32 & 52. Before that I did it off and on since the age of 14 but not regularly at all. I would go months without using it. I even stopped for a year and a half around age 47, without much of a problem. Had I known then what I was going to go through 4 years later, I would have never started again. From all the information I have read through over the past year and a half, my sense is that withdrawal symptoms can be much harder the older you are. I had pretty serious sleep issues for the better part of a year as well as various other symptoms.

    Anyway, something that really helped me out (in addition to this site!) was Marijuana Anonymous. There happens to be a meeting in my tiny town of 10,000 people. Even though I was not struggling at all with trying not to smoke--I had zero cravings, which was good for me--they helped me tremendously with support of the awful symptoms I was experiencing. I encourage you to check out their website. It is very informative and I think you can do online meetings if there is not an in-person one near you. Excercise was another thing that helped me a lot!

    I am soooo happy to be cannabis free. I really feel much better overall. I do occasionally miss that dopamine rush of being high, but in sort of a nostalgic way. It is something that is just no longer part of my life. I am certain you can be where I am within the next year. And I reckon you will be in a much better place to tackle that Masters program!
    By the way, what is the program?

    Keep us posted on your journey.

    All the best to you!

  6. #26
    CannaQueen Cannabis Rehab Guest

    Arrow Why hasn't anyone suggested other ways to motivate?

    Hi all!

    I've smoked on and off for about 20 something years... first it was recreational and 10 years ago I guess it became more of a daily habit with breaks in between. A month ago, I also decided to quit and I was also one of those highly motivated smokers. I have noticed that I am much quicker with things but there is still this "lack of motivation" that everyone is speaking of. I came to this post hoping to find some alternatives or wisdom to help me build motivation during this time but the only thing I've read is "it will pass".

    Is that really the only advice? So I have to stay unmotivated until one day I wake up feeling motivated? That doesn't really work for me.
    What else ya got?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    Possibly both a different question and answer or even set of answers for everyone and IMO probably has to come from within for all of us, it's a little bit what's it all about? What's the meaning of life type thing? And probably different for us all and perhaps something only we can decide for ourselves. IMHO we have to decide upon and create our own meaning and the same goes for motivation, what drives one person won't necassarily be the same as another, we all have to stand in front of our own reflections in this respect and spend some time contemplating this most introspective of questions.

    What motivates you CannaQueen? What are your reasons for quitting and what makes going through all this worth it for you? What do you still want to achieve? Once you have established this my advice is to write it down, the key points at least, print it out, stick it on your wall, make it your PC desktop wallpaper, fold a copy up keep it in your pocket, read it until you know them all off by heart, add to them when needed, post them here if you like, etc. It's all our own breakthrough to make, we all must do the work in order to reap the rewards if that makes sense? But that's just my take on it.

    All the best,
    Cannabis Rehab Admin

    If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

    My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 13 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!

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