Hi everyone,

I wanted to post today because i wanted to get a few things off my mind.

I have recently relapsed. I have been clean again coming onto to 80 days now but I feel like the damage i've done to my body, mind and spirit is going to take twice as long as last time to heal.
I have been with my wife 13 years and married for 4. Through this period of time, I have had an addiction that had gotten progressively worse from only smoking in social situations with friends and my brothers to smoking alone, hiding it from my brothers (who eventually quit, and i continued for another 4 years) and hiding it from my wife and ultimately destroying my life.

I made a firm decision to quit last year and sought out counselling support,i did 8 very expensive but very very worthwhile sessions, it marked a strong resolution to never go back there again and to also begin consciously walking a more clean way of living (mainly through doing yoga and running toward my fears). I had made in this period of abstinence incredibly major breakthroughs in my career when the oddest thing triggered me to start using again. After having a conversation with my brother about completing on the purchase of my first house i'd been saving for and how my job was going and how the company i had been working at had been acquired which were causing issues, he said these words "I know you've been thinking about smoking now that you're moving out and works going hard, you better not do it", which to me was crushing and now that i think of it an unwarranted response. I hadn't even thought of weed for over 6 months and here i was being painted as a person that was scheming to get their next high. I felt hurt by the fact that i was still being viewed in this way by my him and thought "if i'm always going to be viewed as an addict I might as well live up to it then" which sounds silly but over the coming days/weeks the idea of how I was always going to be an addict in other peoples minds is what go me back into using and for the next 5 months of my life i was back to using weed, firstly a few joints a day and then heavily smoking 5-6 joints a day (even during work breaks), getting fat, having all the health i'd built up in the gym and through yoga completely wiped out and set back even worse than when i had quit smoking initially at the beginning of last year.

I stopped using again after getting some seriously alarming sensations in my body that i'd never gotten when using before and again began my journey to recovery in January this year. I also stopped using because i was getting to the point of feeling trapped by my drug use in a never ending cycle of decline in every area of my life that i'd worked so hard to build back up in the previous year. After the initial 2 weeks I told my wife I had been smoking again (of which she knew instinctually when I was but didn't want to believe i could do it to our lives again) and this time it bought my marriage to it's end. She's the only woman i've been with, the only one i've ever loved and the same is true with her. After several conversations where i basically openly said that I don't think she should be with me because if i truly loved her I should let her go and be happy so she could live the rest of her life with someone who won't do this or have these problems (and i know this may sound dramatic but it was born out of a sober mind, a mind that saw the extent of my damage). She ended up spending the next few weeks thinking about and mulling over what she wanted to do with her life and during this time we spoke loads and have broken down my addiction to the facts and the emotions and looked at everything constructively and it basically boils down to this.

1. I have never wanted to be drug addicted, I do not want drug addiction in my life! There has been this misconception that I was continuing to smoke because I was weak willed or because i consciously chose to, which after having identified it myself know that I am addicted beyond my own better judgement, there is no middle ground or mild use for me, if I smoke once, i'll be smoking chronically in a few days. 2. I realised that the high feeling which seems to be so comforting and safe is in reality totally unsafe, uncomfortable and destructive, it is a way of escaping my problems, it consumes my money I should be spending on us, our new home, my loving wife, our future and it is destroying my body and altering my mind and 3. I quit for the longest period of time i ever had and I made some serious progress in my career, myself and our marriage, which shows that i am committed. Within these 3 facts and a leap of faith she decided to stay and continue walking this life's path with me. I am truly blessed to have her in my life, she is my angel that has rescued me from the depths of hell.

Now that i've given you my story I have a few questions about problems i've been experiencing.

1. My confidence is shot! Even during the 9 months i was sober, i found it so hard to be myself. These days I feel constantly paranoid about what others think about me and feel the only way people will like me is if I please them. Will this get better? How can I help myself get better? I used to be the one always making the first move when building friendships, it was so easy for me. These days i'm a nervous wreck and constantly unsure about myself.

2. My brain is slow, i used to be such a quick thinker and witty. Now I sometimes forget mid sentence what point i'm making or what word I want to use. Does this get better? Will i ever get myself back to where i was?

3. Is there any truth to the "you use because you are weak willed or weak minded?" argument? Is there something more to drug addiction than just being able to stay away?

Thank you to you all for your stories and bravery because it has given me strength countless times.

Much love

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)