Hey, my name is Astrid, I'm 25 years old and I was a heavy smoker for about 8 years. 6 and a half months ago I woke up before going on a one month surf trip, and decided that I don't want to do this to myself anymore. I don't want to wake up all foggy, I don't want to forget things, I don't want to not feel like myself anymore, I decided I wanted a new life, my own life, a life where I don't chase after this fake feeling of happiness, a life where I feel happy even if I don't have anything to smoke, a life that I can live honestly and completely with myself, even if it hurts, even if it's scary, even if it's lonely.
The first month was hell, I was traveling trough Portugal and it's a good thing that I surf because otherwise I would completely lose my mind, and even tough I was doing exercise daily I was still having nightmares, I would wake up after 3-4 hours of sleep (If I was lucky) all covered in sweat, shaking and crying, it took nearly 2 months for me to just get a good night sleep, and that was after I started doing yoga and meditation
When I was a smoker I wasn't one of those people who could work and get their life together, I was a complete mess, I had friends that I used to hang around with just because I could smoke with them, I didn't knew it at the time but most of them I didn't even like, I don't think they liked me neither, I was just stoned out of my mind each time we met so I thought 'ok I can just hang around here and then I could go home and smoke so it'll be ok' , I lost myself. I lost a lot of my money as well, I used to care more about having something to smoke at night then having food at my house, I lost so much weight I didn't even looked like myself, it was insane. Looking back I don't know how I let myself get to that level, I look at people who just smoke to have fun, or people that don't even need it, I envy them, I don't think I could ever smoke again.
Now fasting forward 6 months ahead, I'm working hard to pay for all the damage I did with years of recklessness and I'm doing a good job at it, I'm actually working at my dream job and I don't know for how long I can do it but just working at it and living my dream is kind off amazing. I put on a few pounds and I look a lot better, I'm having some trouble getting back at shape but I'm feeling stronger every day, I have dreams, like the dreams I had before I started touching this sh*t, it's nice, it gives me hope. I talk to people, as an introvert smoking made me stay away from people and not make any new or real connection and now I have very few friends (if at all..) but it's all real, I can feel it.

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With all of that being said, I feel bored out of my mind sometimes, I blame myself a lot for living the way that I did, I see other people I knew in my childhood getting married or getting degrees and I feel like I wasted so many of my years and I get depressed over it sometimes, I just feel lonely a lot, like I had this very very good friend that was there for me whenever I needed him and now hes gone and there's a huge void that I just don't know how to fill. I feel like I'm 'stupid' sometimes like it takes longer for me to think then it does for others, although my memory is getting better by the day and I can remember so much now, it's not easy though, Has anyone had those experiences ? Is this normal to feel this way?