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Thread: A Quitter's Diary

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Default A Quitter's Diary

    It's Wednesday morning* and I've just sat down having got back from the Gym to write this diary. After a weekend of heavy smoking, I've chosen to quit pot. I've decided to write down some thoughts because I read about some other people's experiences on a rehab group and it was quite enlightening. This'll likely read as a stream of consciousness. I'm doing this for others who may feel encouraged when they know others are going through the same thing.

    I've decided to quit smoking pot for a few reasons. Firstly, my life seems to have sort of ground to a halt. I don't look forward to anything, I have only vague goals which I'm not committed to and I'm not acheiving anything substantial, just going through one indistinguishable week to the next. Is this Mary Jane's fault? I don't know, to be frank I don't think so, but I am certain it isn't helping in any way. If anything, it's made me a bit lazy, somewhat beholden to the pot-smoking routine and there is a correlation between the more productive periods in my life and my habit, mainly that those constructive, and frankly more exciting times, didn't involve me smoking pot. Also, I've just done it enough. I know the experience, it's not really 'fun' any more, the enjoyment of the effect of being stoned has given way to a desire to carry out the actual act of smoking.

    About the pot-smoking routine; it was pretty, well, routine: Spend the day at work or just playing computer games, going to the gym or whatever, then when evening came, have at least one strong joint. I may have had a few, maybe starting at six in the evening, or perhaps just one to help me sleep and make the evening a bit more 'fun'. I'd look forward to getting home and skinning up and it really was as casual as 'having a cup of tea'. The non-smoking part of any day increasingly felt like I was 'treading water' until I could smoke because that was always fun and inevitable. More often than not, weekends would just be smoking sessions punctuated by whatever necessary mundanities were necessitated during the course of everyday life.

    Over the last year or so, I became aware of strongly desiring weed each day. I don't know if it was an addiction; I COULD take one or maybe two days off, but then I would want to smoke and those days off felt a bit wierd. I would not feel an irresistible need, but a very strong desire and permissive thoughts would well up that could be summed up as: "Ah, go on, you know you'll quit some other time, at least you're not a heroine junkie, your friends smoke and no-one else would even guess you do it anyway. It'll help you sleep and it's fun". All of which was hard to resist because although it was a rationalisation, it was true.

    There has been an increasing counter-point over the last few months; I knew it was a sort of 'dirty little secret', I knew it wasn't beneficial even if I could successfully debate away how harmful it was, and I knew I wasn't entirely in control. When I'd go to bed and the paranoia kicked in, that was THE key worry and I'd find myself saying in my mind "Another night when you could have quit. Another night when you didn't." And knowing that I'd given in would make it harder to resist the following night.

    To re-iterate, this was not some raging, all-consuming addiction. In fact, that it was benign compared to, say alcoholism, made it more insidious.

    So how to break it? Firstly, I bring to mind the facts. I've always been aware of some tangible benefits to not smoking pot, but keeping them in mind didn't make me keen to stop. I'd assume the persistant habit of pot-smoking works on either a broadly emotional or even sub-conscious level, but I'll start with the logical stuff when you're having trouble thinking straight, I find it best to start by grabbing the 'low-hanging fruit' first.

    First to my mind is money-saving. Am I financially driven person? Nope. Would I rather have some extra cash than not? Yep. The habit racks up at between £40-60 a week for me, and I had nothing to show for it.

    The second fact is that my health will improve. I'd describe myself as being in very good shape; when smoking, I clung on to the fact that i never broke my routine of regularly hitting the gym as a sort of 'counter-balance' to the harm I may have got from smoking, and to be fair, in terms of fitness, I'd not really noticed my habit affecting my sportiness. But it ain't gonna help.

    Moving on to the more esoteric reasons to quit, let's go mental (strange turn-of-phrase intended). Even through the obfuscating haze and rationalisations, my mental state became a concern. My memory was affected when I was on pot and I was well aware of it. My motivation and general joi-de-vivre has steadily decreased over the few years I got back to smoking pot, with the last year being objectively and emotionally unfulfilling. My ability to enjoy my usual habits has significantly eroded and I'm pretty close to developing the symptoms of depression, even entertaining suicidal thoughts briefly.
    And the paranoia? Well, it's abated by the time morning rolls around, but I know your brain forms neural pathways, like a path being worn in the grass, based on what and how you think, so it must have been making it easier for my thought process to 'divert' to negativity. Weed was the solution and the cause; a tricky position. I became more certain that I do not want to experience either acute or long-term side-effects, regardless of how frequently the possibility of them is debated and challenged by others. The only way to avoid the potential effects of long-term pot-smoking is to quit outright.

    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)

    How does it feel? Firstly, there's something a little deflating. As I'd lay in bed, stoned, slightly paranoid, I'd often berate myself for not being strong enough to stop. So I thought that when I did stop, no matter if it got rough or anything, I'd be able to take pride in knowing I was back in control, I'd be able to say 'No matter what, I am no longer a smoker!' That self-energising mantra I was expecting to be able to recite doesn't really come up. In fact, I feel a bit more depressed in general. Apparently, this is normal. I think it may have as much to do with cutting out nicotine as it does not being pacated with weed. It's not a strong, pervasive sense of upset and it's hard to describe, but knowing I won't be smoking tonight just feels a bit sad in a way. For it's faults, it provided some structure to a day.

    I have to be very consciously aware that my brain chemistry is a bit off whack. I have to be conscious of negative thoughts and try to emphasise the positives, but it's like balancing a tea-tray of water; it CAN be done, but the act alone requires concentration and effort which gives a net effect of it being tiring.

    A key hurdle to overcoming the strong desire to smoking pot is the fact it was a crutch in some ways; it was this issue in my life that I could identify with and know I could deal with 'at some point' when I wanted to turn my life around and now I've quit, not much else has changed and I've run out of excuses. I have to be aware that I've only quit for a few days so far, there's more turmoil to come, and no matter what, this IS a good and productive decision.

    Here's an interesting positive: Last night, I dreampt! This hasn't happened for years. I've either been forgetting or simply not having proper dreams and now they are flooding back with surprising vividity. This is apparently very common. I dreampt I was being chased through Greendale Community College by ED-209. It wasn't particulartly scary, it was kind of like I was watching someone else dream (in fact, a few times I was witnessing 'me' over my shoulder). This was very interesting and I expect it to to continue and it's a genuine positive result of quitting.

    I'll call it a day for now. If this is helpful to anyone, then I am truly glad.

    I will write more. This has been unexpectedly cathartic.

    *Written 20/05
    /15, posted 22/05/15

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Bristol, UK

    Default Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Hello Tom and well done on your decision to quit.

    I just want to say I can completely relate to everything you have said. Reading your post is as if it was something a more literate me had written. Years of smoking has dulled my mind and I'm just not as sharp as I once was. You have managed to put into words many of the thoughts and feelings I have had about smoking, and since quitting which I have been unable to do so as I just feel so confused. You have brought me to tears with relief. Thank you for joining and taking the time to write that post.

    One thing that really struck me was that you described your habit as "insidious". I have struggled with this myself, by all means I can manage in life, I get up and do things and it made me question if it really is such a problem. I don't smoke that much so my habit also seemed quite benign, but I just had a feeling inside that it holds me back in more ways than I can actually put a finger on. I have goals, and want to achieve them but I never seem to be able to just put one foot in front of the other and go for it.

    "I'll do it tomorrow, I'll just have a day off today and get high". I'd tell myself that every single day. Tomorrow has finally come, and I have put down the weed, but just as you say, it is actually deflating. I also thought that as soon as I quit I could get my life back on track and everything would be wonderful. I would have a massive sense of pride and would be the man I want to be. But this just isn't the case. I've not had a smoke for two weeks now and in some ways life is harder. I no longer have that cosy bubble of illusion that I feel fine, and I'm doing okay. I now realise what a mess I'm in and how steep the hill I need to climb is. I have already missed so many amazing opportunities because I was just okay with not going the extra mile and just skinning up.

    I guess were just at the start of a new journey and it will take time. Whatever the case I do honestly believe this path is better than a life in the haze. It is just tiring.

    How are you feeling now? Have you managed to stay away from smoking? Enjoying your once supressed dreams?

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