I am a 29 yo woman who has been smoking daily (all day every day) since I was 15. It started as a helpful medicine, a comforting friend, a magical substance that helped me feel ok (i.e. numb from pain, which is as close to normal or happy that I know) for the first time in so many years. I have struggled with (for the most part untreated) clinical depression and anxiety, and IBS/gastrointestinal issues since childhood. I also came from a turbulent home where I decided at a young age to stuff it all down and "be ok" for the sake of the rest of my family. I didn't see hope for myself from a young age due to seeing how miserable my parents were. By young teen years I was stealing their alcohol and pot and self harming because it was just so overwhelming and that was the example set in my family. My parents loved me, I know that, but were so wrapped up in their own issues that us kids' increasing issues fell by the wayside. I had to be my own parent, and sometimes it felt like I had to be theirs, as well.

I was also a highly intellectual and creative child (gobbling up existential works and Shakespeare at 11, and beginning to write my own) and even through high school and college as a morning-noon-night bong-smoking pothead I got straight A's, so it took many years for me to realize how much I damaged myself by smoking. How much potential I limited myself. How I don't even know who the hell I am underneath the pothead. Easier to blame the sudden death of my father at 16 and the all consuming grief that followed for my lack of focus and motivation that led me into a string of unfulfilling dead end desk jobs. Really I think that I never fully processed his death, as I have never been sober since he died and haven't allowed myself to really grieve.

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The last few years I have become a non-functioning addict. My depression and anxiety have skyrocketed, brain fog, feeling unable to think, concentrate, or even put together full f'n sentences for pete's sake. I have slowly become a recluse whose (one) friend is barely hanging on because I never call or answer her calls. My anxiety and depression caused me last fall to decide I could no longer work, and I quit my job. Which I was, objectively, really good at. Which wasn't a hard job. Which paid me fairly. I went in every day feeling like I was gonna be found out, like everyone saw me as this competent put together person when really I was vomiting every morning before work out of anxiety, barely able to make it through the day before going home to collapse and smoke and just veg in front of the tv. I did start to slip on work the last few months (self sabotoge) and started to worry that I would be fired for my performance. Even though I had the full support of my supervisor who knew I had these issues and was working with me. I just couldn't cope even with that support.

So I convinced my husband that since we were moving soon for him to start a new, better paying job, it would work for me to quit my job. That I just needed a few months to get my mental health under control (all by myself of course) and then I would pursue my dreams of a hands on, creative job like baking or writing. Well it has now been 10 months of downward spiral. Smoking more and more each day just to feel normal. I was barely even getting high anymore, not even really enjoying smoking, just needing to. Having the ritual. It was (is) the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I thought about, how sad is that. Still having suicidal thoughts at the same time my husband and I are starting talk about starting a family. We are in so much credit card debt because all our cash went to using so groceries, gas, etc all went on the cards.

Over the last month it really hit me. How intensely reliant I have become upon this drug, how terribly my addiction has kept me from seeking help for my depression, anxiety, and other health issues. How the financial ruin I have been denying and justifying is only a month or two of continued use away. How I want to be a mother but not an addicted mother. I talked to my husband and we agreed to quit when we ran out of the current batch. Well, he understands we can't afford it and won't be buying it but I don't think he really wants to stop using. He is not physiologically addicted as I (believe I) am.

Here I am on Day 4 without smoking. I smoked my last real bowl midday on Sunday, and broke my bong (that felt good) on Sunday night, but didn't throw away my "chunder" jar and a bowl(I would save all my kicked bowls in a jar, when I ran out of weed I would sift out the ash and resmoke anything with a bit of substance), and I also hid half a blunt in the back of a drawer. All this while telling my husband "I need us to get rid of all the bits, all the paraphenalia, nothing left in the house ok" but then being a addict, going behind his back to keep my "just in case" stash.

Monday AM comes and just not having smoked a bunch at bedtime is enough to make me notice immediately how shitty I already feel. I was extremely nauseaous with stomach pain and no appetite, achy, chills, cold/hot flashes, sweats. Felt a lot like right before you come down with the flu. But I am extremely sensitive to having low blood sugar because of my health issues. So not being able to eat (really, couldn't choke down food if I tried) leads me to all the symptoms of hypoglycemia, so I'm not sure how much of the sweats, faintness, etc was due to that. I made it through the day okay without smoking but as soon as my husband came home from work (one of my trigger times to smoke), I felt extremely irritable with him as he didn't have any compassion for how terrible I felt. I went and smoked some of the chunder but it really just made me mad because it didn't really make me feel like smoking green does. I also was mad at myself for not throwing it out Sunday night and for using it. Oh also I am a pretty sedentary person and went for a hard, long walk Monday morning because I'd read exercise helps with the detox process. Maybe not a good idea to overexert myself when I have no internal resources to draw upon. Hindsight.

I woke on Tuesday feeling even worse than Monday. The intense stomach pain, nausea, food make me ill just thinking about it. Chills, palms and feet sweating while I'm under the blankets and feel like I can't get warm. Can't think straight, can't focus my eyes even just to veg and watch tv. Laid around feeling quite miserable. Finally got up out of bed at 3pm in disgust and threw out my chunder and the bowl. Still knowing in the back of my mind that blunt is in the drawer, I still have stuff in the house. But I feel so terrible that I am telling myself, don't restart this terrible process by smoking now, you can go 5 mins, you can go 30 mins, and before I knew it I made it through Tuesday.

I am marking Tuesday as Day 1.

I woke on Wednesday, my birthday (yes I stupidly, amazingly, chose to quit cold turkey a couple days before my bday lol), thinking about that damn blunt. I had a really shitty birthday (no dear husband, me telling you we can't afford any presents does not let you 100% off the hook from celebrating my bday, hey even a homemade card or meal would've been fine) but somehow managed still to make it through the day without getting it out and lighting up. I sure wanted to. I woke up yesterday and felt a iota better physically than I did on Wednesday. I had a nice day with my mom, she took me to the county fair to celebrate my birthday, which helped being distracted and in a different environment. I got home and went straight into the drawer, I threw away the blunt and my papers out and now have no stash.

Today is Day 4 and I have a bit of hope. There is a little ray of light shining in the darkness that I can, I CAN, do this. That I CAN live a life free of this addiction. My stomach is slightly less painful and I have been able to eat a little bit. I even have a craving for a food (pizza), I can't afford any (even ingredients) but it is hopeful to me that I crave any kind of food at all, as even the idea of food was debilitatingly nauseating just yesterday. The sweats and headache have pretty much subsided.

I have definitely had a shorter temper and less rational thoughts the last few days and I don't want to be a total cliche, hysterical woman. I am weepy and crying and FEELING SO MANY FEELINGS and this inflow of emotion may be temporary and part of my withdrawal process but it sure does clue me in to how numbed out I have stayed the last 14 years, and especially recently.

But I also want to feel. I want to be able to connect with, well, myself first and foremost, but also other people. I have been walking around feeling like a disembodied mind, a floating head, for so long. Trying desperately to DISconnect from my body and inner self because I view(ed) it as so flawed and intractable. It is uncomfortable to feel food in my stomach, to have to make myself eat and nourish my body, where before I would smoke and then have a foodies' appetite and eat and eat, if I felt discomfort from overeating I would just smoke some more. It was my answer to everything. My escape, reward, release. I don't know who I am as a sober adult. I feel like starting to use heavily so young left me emotionally stunted, like a piece of my development was halted at that age.

I'm aware that I need to seek a physician for my health concerns and a counsellor or mental health professional for my anxiety and depression. Hopefully soon I can do that. If you managed to read through this whole blithering post, thank you for your time. I hope to keep posting updates on my recovery.