Though it almost feels like the norm now, I have to remember that only 9 months ago it felt like a whole new world.
Even though I have accepted my new identity as an ex-pothead, I also accept that I have the incurable disease of addiction.
If I let my ego get the better of me and lose sight of my humility, it is very likely that Marijuana will sneak back into my life.
I have to remain vigilant, and pro-active to keep my addiction at bay. I meet regularly with my sponsor and work on my steps.
I seek guidance from my Higher Power when I need help. I see my counselor twice a month.
As normal as my weed free lifestyle seems the majority of the time, I still have my moments of temptation.
Last night was one of those moments. I just quit smoking cigarettes on the first. I am also battling my most obstinate addiction, as I have exhaustedly done since middle school.
Food addiction is what still plagues me. It is the addiction that robs me of a normal life. It has always been my first drug of choice.
Now that weed and nicotine are out of my life for good, my only cross addiction left has supercharged it’s power. I feel defeated by it.
I realize it is time to surrender fully to my last, most dogged addiction…
I admit that I am powerless over food, and that my life has become unmanageable
Just being honest with myself is a release and a huge weight off of my shoulders. Now it is time to start working Step one.
If I can celebrate 9 months of sobriety from a substance I abused for 21 years, I can surely do the same with any addiction.
The power is in us, we just have to figure out how to tap into that power. For myself, practicing spirituality and having support from others who have been through the same things is what ignites that power inside of me.
What do you do to tap into your power?
What helps you overcome difficulties in your lives? What inspires change for you? Post what helps you out during the obstacles of life in the comments below.
I pray that I am not sitting here instead, writing this very same blog post praying for these very same things.
I pray that this year I don’t let myself down, that I don’t have to once again taste the familiar bitterness of defeat and regret.
I pray to instead experience the sweet taste of success and pride. The mouth watering spice of adventure and accomplishment.
I pray that at the end of this year I am manifesting new dreams, because the old ones have become my reality.
I pray that in my toughest moments I do not lose sight of what those moments are trying to teach me.
I pray I don’t forget that every struggle I endure is just another stepping stone in the direction of the life I am meant to live.
I pray I don’t expect it to be easy.
I pray I don’t give up when it feels like too much to bare.
I pray for acceptance. Of myself just as I am. Of others just as they are. And of life just as it is, and just as it isn’t.
I pray for more security, less anxiety. More forgiveness, less resentment. More love, less fear.
I pray for less ego, more humility. Less anger, more peace. Less frustration, more patience.
I pray for the courage to ask my Higher Power for help when I don’t know how to help myself.
I pray that I am able to wait in silence so I can hear the answer.
I pray that I have trust in my Higher Power when I am plagued by self doubt.
I pray that this time I don’t let my demons win.
I pray that I fight like I’ve never fought before.
I pray that no matter how sharp the pain is or how deep the wounds flow, I don’t give in to the temptation to run from it all.
I pray that I don’t resort to using my addictions to numb myself when life gets too overwhelming.
I pray that this is my year to shine. My year to stand up to my fears and live beyond the walls of my comfort zone.
I pray that this year (2017) is the year that I finally conquer my kryptonite for good, achieving the freedom I’ve dreamed of for a very long time.
And as I sit here I pray that through all of the struggle, fear, and pain I never forget to pray to remember all the reasons I fight.
From the very start of my sobriety from weed I have had people questioning why I would quit something so seemingly benign. My answer has always been that for me personally it wasn’t benign. For me it had become more of a hindrance than a help.
I am 100% behind the legalization of marijuana. I am 100% behind its use for medicinal purposes. And I am 100% ok with minding my own damn business when it comes to others who, like I formerly did, use it strictly for recreational purposes.
It seems that when somebody decides to stop using a substance, many others still using that substance take it personally as though they are the ones being left behind. They feel as though they have to defend their current lifestyle to those who no longer live it. Or as in the case of weed, they question why anyone would choose to walk away from it in the first place.
Just because I chose to give up marijuana does not mean I am all of a sudden against it, or those who still use it. Quitting marijuana was strictly a personal decision. A decision that I felt was in my best interest. A decision that for me has led to many good things.
Just in these past 6 months I have awakened to several insights into my own psyche that I had not realized in the 21 years of my limited cognitive functions due to the effects of marijuana. Mental clarity was one of the first recognizable rewards after quitting.
Along with my newfound clarity, came better judgment. I don’t care how benign you think marijuana is, it absolutely clouds your judgment. Like any other substance, it lowers your inhibitions allowing you to easily act on impulses rather than thinking things through at a rational level.
I’m not talking about necessarily taking on more responsibility, rather finally owning up to the ones I’d been denying for years! As an addict I found it much easier to look outward and find blame than I did to look inward for answers. Not to mention the fact that I acted out irresponsibly every time I smoked before or during driving. Every time I put weed before being a Mom. Every time I got high before going to work. Every time getting high was more important than anything else.
More money for more important things
There is no denying that marijuana is an expensive addiction. I had a medical card so I went to a dispensary. I was also given it from time to time. I never personally grew it because A) I have children living in my home, and B) I can’t even keep house plants alive! Of course when you’re an addict, you can’t not have your drug of choice available at all times. For me that meant spending between $50 and $100 bucks most months! So now I have that money for other things that are more beneficial to my life and my family’s life as well.
Because of my improved judgment and taking responsibility for my actions, I have learned to better communicate with the people in my life. I am more direct, yet less confrontational. I am also less passive aggressive. It doesn’t matter whether your addiction is marijuana or heroin. They are used for the same reason. To escape. To avoid. To numb. To feel good. When you are an addict your life revolves around your addiction. Getting that next high is all that matters. This leaves little room to nurture your relationships with others. Addiction ruins relationships. Sobriety brings them back to life!
I have always suffered from a lot of anxiety. When I suffered from an anxiety attack nothing brought me down quicker than a few hits of weed. But when out in public nothing amplified my social anxiety like being high did. Now breathing exercises and meditation help ease my anxiety attacks. And though I still live with social anxiety, being sober in social situations eliminates the paranoia that people are judging me for being high. I am 100% myself, and don’t feel like I have to hide out all the time because of my addiction.
Motivation has never been one of my strongpoints, and it’s no secret that marijuana isn’t much help in that department. While quitting weed didn’t magically give me the drive of an Olympic athlete, it certainly helps by no longer depleting the motivation I do have.
No longer worrying about passing pre-employment drug tests
I have been self employed for a while now. Before that I worked for many companies and corporations that required drug testing prior to being hired. Somehow I always managed to squeak by whether it be because I did a detox kit, they didn’t test for marijuana, or as in my last job as a caregiver they accepted a medical marijuana license. Now when I peruse the help wanted ads, it is very freeing having the awareness that I can apply for any job listed without worry of potentially testing positive for marijuana.
No more munchies
Living with an eating disorder makes my choices around food extremely difficult. As with many addicts, I have cross addictions. One of them being food. Junk food to be exact. The food that isn’t really food, but a mix of highly addictive chemicals and poisons that tastes good while causing us a slow death riddled with chronic diseases. Man-made processed garbage is also what makes up the majority of the munchies consumed by pot heads. By not smoking pot anymore, I have less food binges due to the munchies. Every little bit helps.
Building solid friendships
I go to MA meetings most weeks. I work the steps, and I have an amazing sponsor! My sponsor is not just my sponsor but one of my best friends as well! She is somebody that knows exactly what I am going through because she too has gone through it herself. She has opened her heart to me to be there as my guide, and to offer unconditional love when I need it the most. She encourages me, cheers me on, and holds me accountable for my actions. I couldn’t have come this far without the support of the MA fellowship, or my awesome sponsor guiding me through the steps of sobriety.
As you can see, I have experienced some amazing life changing benefits from quitting marijuana. The benefits I discussed above far outweigh the benefits of continuing to smoke it. At least for me they do. I can’t speak for, or judge anyone else’s choices. I still get cravings and miss it from time to time. That is when I remind myself of how far I’ve come and where I want to be. As long as I continue to stay humble, work the steps, go to meetings and meet with my sponsor I have zero doubt that I will stay sober and continue to experience all the good things from a life free of marijuana!