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Thread: NowRNever My Quit Journal

  1. #1
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    Default NowRNever My Quit Journal

    First of all, I want to express my sincere gratitude for having been led to this site and finding such a valuable resource for helping me stay accountable and feel connected to those who understand this difficult journey. I have already found such strength and peace in reading many of your stories and believe this is going to make the difference in my quitting weed for REAL this time. So I'm beginning this Quit journal, to stay connected/accountable but mostly to MYSELF. Not sure I've ever told MYSELF the true story. So here goes...

    Today is DAY 3 of quitting (again) for probably the 20th attempt over the course of the last 20 years of my life. 3 days ago, my life blew up (again) when my boyfriend of 13 years and father of our 2 daughters caught me smoking after i just gave birth 1 month ago to our 2nd daughter, and having promised I'd been clean for over a year. This too, is a scenario I've replayed several times over the course of our relationship. As you can guess, this is a "deal-breaker" for him. He is a non-smoker, never has, and is adamantly against my use and the future possible affects on our family. SIGH. I ****ed up. More on the saga of our relationship later, which plays a significant role in my story.

    I started smoking weed when I was a junior (11th grade) in high school. I grew up the "golden child"--good,sweet, helpful little Nicole. A very good student, I excelled easily at most things. I was involved in sports (Track & Volleyball) and sang in two different school choirs (i'm a very good singer - and am the lead singer in a band today in addition to my "real" job). I went to school football games/pep rallies and had innocent sleepover get togethers with my girlfriends--scoring the occasional beer/wine coolers and stealing a cigarette from my mom to "get crazy" on some weekends. In my junior year, I met a guy. He was part of the "party crowd" and was a year older--and he took an interest in ME! Wow, how cool did I feel as he flirted and made me feel special in our Geometry class everyday. He told me about the "kegger" party that was going down my the river after the football game that weekend and that I should come. It was all down hill from there. I began partying with this crowd every weekend. I became his "girlfriend" (not really, because he had 5 or 6 "girlfriends") and I lost my virginity to this "cool guy." And I began smoking pot every weekend.

    I was only smoking "OPP" (other people's pot, lol) for many months, never purchasing any myself but was fully included in this "cool crowd" and it was always available. I began skipping school during lunch times to get high, and smoking everyday after school. Meanwhile, I had quit everything I loved--sports and choir (a regret I hold to this day). I quickly found an identity as the "badass, always down, one of the guys, could smoke anyone under the table" girl. I had also begun buying $20 sacks regularly. I was always able to manage my life (skated through and graduated high school - though could I have been WAY more successful? 4.0 student? Talented in my extracurriculars? YES. I have always held a job. Worked in the food/beverage industry --as a hostess in high school, then a server/bartender later throughout college --and I often smoked before (and sometimes during) work. SEE! I can totally manage this and do it all. Can't have your cake and eat it too? BULLSHIT, I would say.

    I smoked throughout all 6 years of college (yep, this girl has a Master's degree) and told myself again --YEP, I got this! During those years, i was in a relationship with my high school boyfriend (not the same cheating loser who took me down this path and pretended to be my "boyfriend." --okay, not his fault --take responsibility Nicole.) But anyway, I had a long-term 6 year relationship with a great guy who ultimately should have been just a bestie/brother type and we finally broke up when I was 22. He smoked too, but never nearly as much as me, and it did begin to be an issue as I would hide and lie about the extent of my use (like leaving out that I took 2 bong rips before school every morning, 2 more at lunch break, 2 more after school, 2 more before my serving/bartending shift in the evening, and 4 more each night before bed....and sometimes 1 in the middle of the night when I couldn't stay asleep). Yeah, he didn't support that level of use.

    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)



    I met J (the love of my life and father of my girls), in my 3rd year of college - September 2004. We were both bartenders at the same Pub. He was hilarious (a quality I've been characterized by) and we shared the same sense of humor. He was hard-working and personable--all of the regulars loved him--the best bartender in town. He was kind and helpful. Oh, and devastatingly charming and HOT ...he also had a girlfriend already. But that didn't stop me (us)--our chemistry was undeniable. So yes, our relationship began with infidelity. Those college years were the glory days, such good times. HOWEVER, it also began the era of secrecy, of my "double life." He was not a pot smoker, and as our relationship evolved it became clear that my use was tolerated by him, but not accepted at all. So I began the lying and hiding. After a big blow-out fight that ended in a break-up - I promised (1st of many broken promises) to quit--and I DID for 6 months We have continued a pattern of break-up/get back together, me living a secret life holding on my "right" to smoke, while he had his own double life of dishonesty (a story for another day).

    Fast-forwarding to current times--the last two years our life together has taken HUGE steps in the right direction- healing old hurts, getting to a place of truth, making solid plans for our future, as in love as ever before, buying a home together, and having our 2nd child together. My years of anxiety around the uncertainty of our relationship were no longer able to be used as a reason for smoking--I have everything I ever wanted.
    ANNNNNNNNNND.... I ****ed it up. Because apparently I like to sabotage my happiness. Because apparently I am weak and selfish. Because apparently I have been unable to fully step into being an adult and living a family life. Because... I AM ADDICTED TO WEED.

    He is beyond disappointed. The trust is lost once again. I have risked losing everything. But he's not leaving this time & he does still love me (WHEW.) We have built too much. So this is my last straw. He wants me to do home drug tests. I have gone back to seeing my counselor who has been along this journey on and off with me for the last 6 years.

    As I write this, and as you surely can hear in my testimony--J, our life, our kids are HUGE motivators for my quit. Yet, my past attempts have shown me that I really need more than that. It has to be MY CHOICE and not just because I might "get in trouble" if he finds out. I have also fooled myself in the past into thinking that I can moderate my use (I can't--one impulsive "just this one time" hit always leads me back to daily-all day-use). I have been selfish and deceptive convincing myself its not wrong until I'm caught, that I'll be smarter next time and hide it better. WOW. The truth has ALWAYS caught up with me.

    In addition to J & kids, there are many other reasons that I HAVE TO QUIT. For god's sake, I've been stoned for the past 20 years. I also deal with anxiety/depression handed down as a lovely gift that runs in the family (Dad is Bipolar, Mom is Borderline Personality Disorder + Depressive disorder). I have kidded myself into believing weed helps me...I know that it has only exacerbated my depression and anxiety and that my brain needs some serious rewiring.

    SIGH. I'm scared. I'm afraid I'll never be able to truly leave my more than half of my life-long friend Mary Jane.
    So here I am. Asking for support. Looking for connections to those who get it. Creating accountability, mostly to myself.

    If you made it to the end of my novel... THANK YOU...for reading my story. There is SO much more. But this is my start. I have to start being real about my weed addiction.

    To be continued...

    Signed,

    NowRNever

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  2. #2
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    Hi NowRNever,

    So nice to meet you! Your story is really interesting and I think that you have a lot of good insight into your use and abuse of cannabis. Don't be too hard on yourself. It IS addictive. And addiction is such a strong force in bringing you back time and time again. The good news is that once you get through the initial discomfort of withdrawal, rebuild your neural network and get accustomed to your life without weed in it, there really is no need, chemical or psychological to go back to it. At least that is my experience of this situation.

    You said that you can't have 'just one', and that if you do, you gradually get back into your old routine with smoking. I learnt that too. I think everyone needs to learn that at some point. We need to leave all that behind, but the good news is that life can be just as good, if not better without cannabis. I haven't smoked for over 18 months, and I feel absolutely no real desire to go back. I am enjoying moving forward, my balanced emotions and my improved cognition, thanks very much!

    I also think that you make a good point that you can't do this for anyone else. Your partner with his big stick or the threat of being caught is not helping you to quit. You can't even do it for your children. You have to do this for yourself. That is why I am so glad that you are starting up again with a counsellor. I think that they will be able to help you to build your relationship with yourself, so that you feel motivated to quit - just because you want a better life for yourself (or your personal reasons for quitting).

    On that note, I think that starting a journal is a great idea. I found this invaluable when I was giving up both cigarettes and cannabis. The encouragement that you get from others, but also reading other people's stories and writing your own story, helps you to get in a positive mindset. This is half the battle with cannabis addiction. The willingness to do it. The knowledge that you can. The withdrawals may be uncomfortable for a while, but if you are in a positive mindset, I really believe that you can weather any kind of withdrawal storm.

    It is a process, and each time you take a step forward, you learn a bit more about yourself and what works or doesn't work. That kind of learning is absolutely invaluable. I stumbled quite a lot of times on my journey to quitting, but once I found a formula that worked, I gave up everything that I didn't want in my life, step by step, one by one.

    You have a lot to give the world. I can't wait to read about your next steps on your journey. Good luck!

    Alice

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your reply support Alice. I have spent a lot of time on this Forum over the last week leading up to my own post and I have found it amazing how you take the time to reply to so many people and assist them in their Journey with your valuable insight. I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. Yes, intellectually I think I have a good grasp on my addiction and the areas I need to explore to deal with this once and for all. Ironically I am actually a counselor... great at helping others.. But shit at self-care and making behavioral changes for myself. So unfortunately it doesn't matter what I know... past has shown that my education and skills mean nothing because I've yet to be able to walk the talk. What I do know is that I'm so sick of hiding this other side of myself, leading a double life, and never fully engaging in the wonderful one that I have right in front of me. What I know, is that I've yet to be dishonest about the nature of my pot use...minimizing and never admitting that it truly is an addiction. I pray this time will be different.

    Hopefully,
    NowRNever

  4. #4
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    No worries NowRNever. I enjoy doing it and it is nice to think that it might be helpful some of the time. It is interesting that you are a counsellor yourself. I actually found my love of supporting others through my experiences with a great therapist. My psychologist has given me so much. I think it is only natural to want to pass it on.

    I guess it must be quite normal to be very good at supporting others, but not necessarily great at self care. I think you are right that there is definitely a gap between intellectually knowing that you want to make a change and the willingness to engage in the ACTION of making that change too. It is kind of different. Maybe that is why you are good at counselling but can't quite apply it to yourself?!

    I know the feeling. I spent ages dreaming about quitting (particularly cigarettes). It was all in my head. And until it got into the stage of taking action, that is exactly where it stayed.

    I am not sure if this is helpful or not, but have you ever heard of ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? It is the therapy that my psychologist used with me and there is a lot of evidence to say that it is really very effective. You can read more about it here: https://www.actmindfully.com.au/acce...itment_therapy
    Or buy the book that outlines the theory here: https://www.actmindfully.com.au/book...d=855&catid=61

    It might be interesting to you professionally, too, but maybe you need something that is just yours to begin with?!

    I am sorry I can't be more help, but I feel like you are on a journey and the more you write and the more you learn actions that work for you, the closer you will get to that wonderful life you speak of that is in front of you.

    I hope you are having a good day / night.

    Kindly,
    Alice

  5. #5
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    Default Day 5

    @ Alice - I have followed your posts and saw the recommendations for ACT and how it has been helpful to you. I did some exploring and found myself researching for quite awhile. YES. I find this approach to be very helpful (and can see how I might use it in my work as well). I'm plan to buy one of the books...I wonder if there is a workbook that could be useful...

    Day 5- The 1st TOUGH day where I am recognizing some symptoms of withdrawal- physically, mentally, & emotionally. In addition to getting limited sleep because of my newborn baby - I also recognize that using night was the way I shut my brain off. I can be physically exhausted, but I have great difficulty stopping the racing thoughts I tend to have at night- symptom of my anxiety/depression. (*I have just started back on my antidepressants after being off them during pregnancy and waiting for those to regulate my thoughts).

    I have also reflected on the fact that I tended to light up to avoid uncomfortable feelings of any sort - particularly those triggered by insecurity around my relationship. My bf has an ex-wife (story for another day) and two children with her which requires him to split his time between households and yesterday he and our daughter went trick or treating with the ex-wife and the other kids (with my permission - because im trying to be the bigger person and assure my daughter can have a relationship with her half brother & sister). Usually I can do this much more successfully with a fat bong rip that allows me to numb these feelings. But i didn't do that this time ... and it caused me anxiety that I didn't fully express...just shoved it down.

    This morning I woke up with the awareness that I only have 2 weeks left of my maternity leave. MORE anxiety as I thought about the stress of my job and how difficult it will be to juggle work while adjusting to new life with 2 children now. Then I thought of all the other "To-do's" that are on my plate - big and small. From cleaning house, laundry, calling the internet company because our service is sucking, finishing my loan consolidation application for my student loan debt, calling my HR department about my insurance plan that is changing (and adding my 2nd daughter), buying a baby book and doing something with all these sweet pictures /memories made this month with my new little one (then remembering that i didn't fully finish my 1st daughter's book --GUILT), .............
    And I recognize that I used to smoke a bowl to ease the anxiety of my To-Do's (sometimes convincing myself that I work better with a little bong rip--sometimes true...most times just puts me further behind on my to-do's and causes more guilt and anxiety.

    So today after picking up my daughter from pre-school, I had a fire lit under me and began cleaning the house feverishly. Two bathrooms, kitchen (including sweeping and mopping hardwood floors), organizing the pantry, laundry (even putting most of it away!). YAY! Felt good and productive.

    BUT.. .GUILT that I didn't spend enough time with my 4 year old and she sat in front of the TV most the afternoon. So we went on a walk, and played in the back yard, and hung up a bird feeder she made in school. And practiced writing her letters.

    And then I talked to my bf, who has a hundred things on his own plate and is stressed to the max pulled in 12 directions. He says tonight's a visit with the kids night. Then he has to go back to work to catch up. And I know that's all true...but my insecurity is in full drive. Especially since I'm still in the doghouse and haven't gotten much affection/love lately (did I mention this is another addiction of mine? Needing constant validation, touch, love, sex ... to the point of panic about my self-worth when things are off between us).

    SIGH. So I'm taking a moment to post--because otherwise, I'm going to lose it. I don't want to be so irritable/emotional with my daughter (who I just now yelled at for interrupting me for the 12th time "PLEASE CAN I GET 10 minutes to work!" and got a crushed face in response. SIGH.

    It's so hard to balance life. I have always had difficulty "adulting," hence the constant need to check out with getting high. I need new ways to cope with my anxiety ... and just life. And I need to address some of the emotions and unfinished business in my relationship.

    Insanity: Doing what you've always done and expecting different results. --I can't do that anymore.

    SIGH. "I can do this." I think I can, I think I can....

    NowRNever

  6. #6
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    Hi NowRNever,

    Congrats on 5 days. It must be more like 6 now. How are you feeling today? It is understandable that the withdrawal effects are starting to be stronger. I understand why you are stressed about going back to work, but I think it is a good opportunity before you go back to get through the worst of the withdrawal effects.

    Although you are noticing some changes in the way that you respond to stressful situations without cannabis, I want you to know that this is a stage that we go through in withdrawal. I am still amazed at how much more resilient I am now, having been quit for some time. My emotions are more balanced and I don't react as I would if I were smoking cannabis. I know that it is hard to imagine now, and there is a period where it is more difficult, but this is probably because your brain is rewiring itself. I hope that you will give yourself some space to go through this bumpy bit.

    I know what you mean about lighting up for uncomfortable feelings. I did this too, but it was funny how the more steps I took on this journey, the less were my uncomfortable feelings and the need to hide from distressing situations.

    You asked about worksheets or handouts for ACT. Here are three pages that might help you:

    Free resources and handouts: https://www.actmindfully.com.au/free..._book_chapters

    ACT training for counselling or psychology professionals: https://imlearningact.com/

    The Happiness Trap training, if you prefer this over the book: https://thehappinesstrap.com/8-week-program/

    When I was reading your post, it struck me that I think venting and working through your thoughts and feelings may be a good outlet for you. I found so many times that writing down my thoughts helped me to get to the other side and to process them. I hope the same thing happens for you

    Hope you are having a nice day / evening.

    Cheers,
    Alice

  7. #7
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    Default Day 8

    Doing okay. Noticed I wake up feeling clearer as opposed to the fog/lethargic feeling I'm used to that is usually "remedied" by taking a morning hit as soon as I can to lift my mood. Really, over the past several years, there was a rare occasion that I actually felt "high" anymore--but rather I smoked to feel "normal" and elevate my depressed mood.

    Over the past few days, I've done all I can do to stay busy. In my last days of maternity leave, it's a daily goal to feel accomplished on the domestic front, as a mother - trying to savor the last days of a stay at home mom and spend quality time with my girls, and trying to manage the anxiety that is creeping in about returning to work where it will be the usual hit the ground running busy days. I recognize that previous boredom increased the likelihood of daytime use; in addition to avoiding to-do's by smoking a bowl which numbed the stress and had me forgetting my responsibilities for the moment...until the next day when the guilt/anxiety crept back in... and thus continues the cycle.

    I'm really very nervous about starting up work again. I know that I can get overwhelmed easily with To-do's and the consequent feelings of "not good enough" when I'm not always able to easily solve the problems that present themselves in my job. I tend to take on a "god complex" feeling like its all on me to fix everything/one and if I can't --my self-worth suffers. Then I avoid, check-out, numb with pot, and at the extreme - I call in sick to work for 1-2 days telling myself I just need a "mental health day" which equates to getting high and sleeping all day.

    I am more and more able to reflect on this depressing cycle that my marijuana addiction has had me in and I feel very motivated to continue my abstinence. I'm just feeling weak and worried that I don't have the coping skills to deal with anxiety/depression and the normal stresses of adulting. I feel like I should probably create a "game-plan" of strategies for those moments of how I will deal when the inevitable overwhelmed feelings take over. And also create some affirmations and meditations to help me regain strength and motivation.

    Anyway, I continue to draw so much willpower by reading the stories on this forum. I've never been able to feel like I could connect with others who have a love affair with Mary Jane and understand the lifestyle...and who also recognize (and admit) the toll it has taken on our lives... and who are trying to quit. Unfortunately, while I love my family and I know they support me - in theory - they are all heavy users and I can't really rely on them to help me quit. SO..THANK YOU.

    Worried but Hopeful,

    NowRNever

  8. #8
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    Hey NowRNever,

    Good to hear that your mind is a bit clearer in the mornings. The benefits begin!

    With your stress regarding going back to work, I am wondering if thinking about it and worrying about it, is actually doing you any good? My psychologist always said to me that there is no point worrying about something in the future, because there is nothing you can do about it. Your task, I think is to engage fully in the moment, and then when you get back to work, worry about it then. It seems like you are rather hooked up on this worry and that it is consuming you. It is not going to make work any easier. It is just going to make you more and more stressed. What do you think about this?

    I am so glad that you are getting some benefit from reading people's stories on the forum. I think it can be a good distraction.

    I hope you have a good day / night.

    Cheers,
    Alice

  9. #9
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    Goodluck bro! Hope everything goes well! Im working on doing the same!

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