True Story: I Smoked Pot For 20 Years. Then I Stopped.

An interview with a woman who smoked pot for 20 years and how she finally quit smoking.

Sarah, thanks for speaking with me about this. I guess I feel like we need to talk more openly about pot. We don’t, you know, because it’s not scary and urgent. It’s more slow motion. It didn’t make me careen out of control. But one day I woke up and I’d been smoking dope for 20 years and I hadn’t even noticed.

Tell us a bit about yourself! 
I’m Erica. I’m a writer and I work with young writers. I teach creative writing. My goal is to teach in places I can bike too, but I teach all over the Bay Area now.
I have a terrific stepdaughter and wonderful girlfriend and two dogs, and we all fit into a tiny house in Berkeley with no storage. So, a lot of my time is spent taking the dogs to the dog park and impromptu dance parties in the kitchen. It’s pretty great.
Growing up, how did you feel about drug use? 
I don’t remember a DARE program. All the messages about drugs I remember were on TV. After school specials and the like. My friends and I used to act out that TV commercial, “this is your brain on drugs…”
When did you first start smoking?
It would have been around 14. It was the mid-eighties and I was hanging out in downtown Portland with the goths and the punks, which meant I was around drugs; pot and LSD and mushrooms, mostly. There were other drugs, but I was pretty naive about it.
Especially in those early years, 14 and 15 years old, pot felt romantic. It filled my time with a kind of dreamy, bohemian reverie. It went along with the Anais Nin and Henry Miller and Tom Robbins I was reading.
All I wanted to do was be a writer and smoking felt so poetic. I made friends with other girls who were misunderstood young artists and we would smoke together and dream about our future.
In the event that someone reading this has never smoked weed, how does being high feel?
I expect it feels different for everyone. And I think you must build up a tolerance, because it’s really quite strong. I think for me, I felt dreamy and content for a little while and then sleepy. I also felt tongue tied and awkward.
You smoked for 20 years. How often did you smoke? 
I quickly started smoking every day. I smoked nearly every day from about 15 to 35. I bought it from people I knew.
The funny thing is, if you knew me then, you would have had no idea. I only smoked in the evenings, after work, and on weekends. I excelled professionally, was widely respected in my field, managed large teams and large budgets.
Pot was how I unwound outside of work. I rarely had a cocktail and I didn’t do other drugs.
Did it affect your life/health at all? Did anyone in your life have Feelings or Opinions about your smoking?
The effects were insidious: it arrested me emotionally and creatively and socially; it kept me from reaching for a life that was more vivid, a life where I took risks; and it kept me from having deeper connections with people. It kept me from trying new things. Worst, it kept me from knowing myself.
I understand that sounds a little abstract, but I can be more concrete: it kept me from writing.
How do you feel about the claim that marijuana isn’t really a drug? 
I think for some us, marijuana is addictive. It’s a habit. This article says it so much better than I can.
I know plenty of people who smoke occasionally and others who use it to treat very specific medical conditions. But I was not one of those people.
How do you feel about the claim that it’s a gateway drug? 
Gateway is a blunt word, but definitely using any drug puts you in contact with people who are doing other drugs. And drugs have a way of smoothing out the rough edges.
So if you’re struggling, in any way, but especially with depression, drugs can feel like a shortcut to feeling better.
Do you think you were addicted to it? 
Sure, yes.
What made you decide to stop smoking? 
I wanted to write again and began to see a therapist. He suggested I quit and it was a revelation. It had never occurred to me to quit, it was so mixed up with my identity.
I didn’t replace pot with anything else, but I did suddenly have huge swaths of unfilled time. Time that I used to spend smoking. Having that time back changed my life. I read voraciously. I wrote. I went back to graduate school. I started volunteering with young writers.
Do you think you’ll ever smoke again?
No.
What advice would you give to anyone who’s trying to quit something?
Something? I don’t know. But pot, it’s this: I wish I had asked myself earlier, what if I didn’t smoke pot? What would I do instead? Where would I go? Who would I go with?
Because I knew what I wanted, even then—I wanted to write hard and love hard and be brave—and I wish I’d asked myself if pot was helping me do any of that. Because the answer was always no.

Thanks so much for sharing, Erica!  Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you smoke on a regular basis? If you do, do you think it affects other areas of your life?

P.S. I do a lot of teaching around habit change – if you have a bad habit you want to break (pot-related or otherwise), this free Masterclass might help!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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71 Comments

  1. Akirah

    I'm curious to know how Erica quit. Did you quit cold turkey or attend NA or MA? Was it difficult to quit?

    Reply
    • Sunel

      Same time as you wish can be done…. I need a place where I can be a good friend….

      Reply
    • Jenna

      I finally stopped smoking after 20 years, it’s only been a week but I am sick. I was a super heavy smoker every 4 hours and the weed had to be mixed with a concentrate for me to feel it. It’s been 6 days I’ve had cramps so painful in my toes and hands but that passed last night, Thank God. Had I known I’d feel like this I’d never keep smoking. I worked in the cannabis industry in Vegas and it made my habit far worse. I get chills, hot flashes, it is hard to concentrate but I know in another week it will ease. I too got tired of something holding me back, and I want to know who I am without feeling numb. Power on peeps!!!♥️♥️♥️♥️

      Reply
  2. Vanessa @ Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts

    As someone who struggled with a deep depression and anxiety in HS, I found that pot made me feel so normal. I was able to relax and just be me. The problem is it made me way too relaxed and I stopped doing homework (I was a junior at this point) and just stopped doing anything. If/when I have kids, I think I'm going to tell them this: it feels great but it really makes you lazy. And you won't know it's happened until it's 'too late'.

    For me, 'too late' meant I was kicked out of the honors program. When it came time to apply for colleges, a lot of schools passed on me because of my low grades. And that was after I had stopped smoking and hanging out with the stoners. Sadly, a lot of them got mixed up in harder drugs and have passed away. Or they're still working at the same retail jobs they had in HS and don't really have an ambition to travel or study or better their art. A lot of them have given up making art in general.

    Reply
  3. erica lorraine scheidt

    Akirah and Vanessa, thanks.

    Akirah, I used hypnosis. I'm not sure if it it was a matter of will, or the properties of marijuana, but it was much easier than quitting cigarettes.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Hi Erica.. Was glad to read your story. Im a 20year addict looking to change. Before asking my question I just wanted to make sure you were still there.

      Reply
      • erica

        you can ask, i’m still around.

        Reply
      • Anonymous

        Thanks for your story I quit myself after smoking since i was 18 i have not smoked for at least a year .I quit cold turkey without rehab.

        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I think it's great that Erica was willing to speak openly about this. I've known at least three people who were severely addicted to pot, but yet the ongoing message is that it's not habit-forming and not a dangerous drug. Two of the men I knew became extremely violent the minute they stopped smoking it–it's like they never learned to control their temper while sober, and the third was what one would call a "pothead"–his brain was fried. I'm not sure if you can recover from that. It was really scary!

    Reply
  5. Chandelle

    I live in a major pot production area. Most of the people I know are in "the industry" in some way. So I've seen the full spectrum of cannabis use. It's worth mentioning that dependency, habituation, and addiction are different things. I've never known anyone with a full-blown physiological addiction, though an entrenched habit can be hard to break.

    As for me, I've never found it to be particularly habit-forming. I smoke primarily for back pain, and for me it's a vast improvement over the dependency, tolerance, and side effects that come with opiates. I'm not much of a recreational smoker; I, too, tend to be tongue-tied, and I also can't write for shit when I'm smoking. (This comment is sounding rather disjointed, for example.) I also can't write when I'm in pain, though.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Alison Chino

    LOVE the idea of asking "What would I do instead?" in place of "What's wrong with smoking pot?" Dreaming better dreams instead of just censuring behavior. Thanks so much for telling your story.

    Reply
  7. Mo

    I’m really trying to quite it’s been 20 years for me as well I just think it’s scary to be to be addicted to anything. I never knew pot had bad side effects. I recently went on a trip and could not score any pot. I had nausea couldn’t sleep it kinda made me depressed not having any. It really made me think that I Pot can be addictive.

    Reply
    • Andi B

      I am in that exact same place right now. I’m trying to quit but it is affecting every aspect of my life. Sleeping, eating, my mood Etc. I started smoking at 15 and I am 31. I am just over 24 hours with no pot which sounds very small. But after 16 years it’s a huge deal to me.

      Reply
      • Emma

        Andi B I am where you were just over a year ago. 24 hours into my first weed free day in 15 years which feels like a huge deal to me. Your short post resonated. I hope you’ve done well without weed for the past year!

        Reply
        • Cw

          Omgosh, someone who I can connect with. I have smoked since the age 14 and am now 35, almost 36. It has always been my stress reliever, anti-anxiety, etc., especially in my adult life. I honestly believe it is what’s kept me from needing psych meds. Fast forward to now, I am almost done with nurisng school and I was prepared for an initial per test and expected a random if I were to mess up at work or be suspicious. But now I found out that because of 2 sm. possession charges and DWIs, spanning over up to 15 yrs ago on my record, that I may face probation on my brand new nursing license for up to 5 years. I’m honestly devestated and cannot imagine not smoking for 5 years, I will HAVE TO take xanax or something. I’m having an extremely difficult time coming to terms with this and would not have got into the program had I known I would have to pee in a cup for 5 years.

          Reply
  8. Jen

    I have been smoking pot for 17 years that is roughly half my life. I have quit a few time for various reasons like after my car accident and when I was pregnant and breast feeding. I found once I had gotten out of the habit of having a few puffs through out the day I was fine and It is just breaking that dam habit. Also changing company helps too. When I have a solid reason I can do it. Things have been stressful lately but not that bad and I think it is time to quit for good and get on with my life. After all I have a lot of responsibility, and starting to realize that a “pothead” should not be in charge of my life. Thanks for helping me make my decision:)

    Reply
    • Jamie

      Hi to all, i have been smoking joints and cigarettes since i was about 12, i quit cigarettes about 4 years ago and the best thing i have ever done, i hate them with passion!! But joints is another question, i quit smoking joints 3 months ago and i i think about it every day, i have the temptation every day to go buy some, i miss it lots every day

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Just keep it up it gets better! Every time you say to yourself you want some. Tell yourself you don’t need it. You can do whatever you want without it. Don’t believe that you have to have it to be better happy or complete.

        Reply
      • Anonymous

        Just thoughts. They pass. Stay focused

        Reply
  9. James E.

    Hi Erica,

    I have been smoking for roughly 20 years, I am only 25 years old now. I started at a very very young age. It sent me down the wrong path, meth, alcohol, ecstasy, xanax, addaroll, Ice and various other drugs. I was glad to read your story. I am currently on the path to recovery, 2 months clean from everything. Except the occasional glass of wine. I have to say I have never been happier in my life, friends and future employment opportunities. I used to work offshore for a major oil company as a dispatcher for several years, managed multi-million dollar accounts, platforms and barges, until I failed a drug test. It cost me everything, I didn’t realize that I was on a downward spiral until this past new year and I new I had to change myself, my habits, my friends and even certain family members to grow up and out of the life I created for myself. It has been a very hard road, from the crying for no reason, to the breakdowns that rattled my existence for days. I just wanted to post this in hope that someone else might read this and be inspired to do the same thing as I have. It is going to be a long road, one I am afraid that I will never deter from again. In my own search for faith, love and happiness. From one former addict to the next. Be yourself, you don’t need any drug, drink or pill to be the best version of yourself. Fall in love with yourself again, I have and it has been the best relationship of my life.

    Thanks for reading only an 8th of my story,
    James E.

    Reply
    • k

      Hi James I’m there now been smoking for 15 years straight I’m a mum and hav a husband that smokes aswell its only an evening thing but its just been such a normal way of life , I woke up exactly a week 2day n decided I dnt wanna be this person any more so 7 days hav gone by I’m being strong its hard I cant sleep I’m sweaty been very anxious, but also feeling possitive that this is what I need I struggle with depression I just really hope I become a better me for this , its so hard because my husband does not want to quit , I want him to but understand he has to want to I just hope it doesn’t break us (13yrs together 2kids) , how r u now ? Thanks

      Reply
      • Claire

        K
        I’m in the exact same position as you, if your still here could you get in touch in interested to see how you have got on and how you managed to do it xx

        Reply
    • melanie panlilio

      hi James
      your post was so uplifting for me. i have decided to quit smoking this medicine too, as it makes me unconnected, cloudy thinking and it does not nelp my back pain like it used too. i have been off for 3 days and am starti g to feel terrific! i am now doing yoga for back pain, and it works! good luck to us both dear James, and everyone coming here for help 🙂 love and peace to you all <3

      Reply
  10. Anonymous

    I want to quit smoking pot and pursue my dreams but am afraid I cannot quit. I have so many unfulfilled dreams and poorer relationships because of smoking weed. I am so smart and driven and I smoke it all away every day. It makes the fight to better my life so much harder–and it has always been hard. How do I stop?

    Reply
    • Torontonian

      I have been smoking weed for the past 20 years straight. It’s intertwined with everything I do. I’d love to stop, I know I should stop, but I don’t think I can do it alone. I always say that tomorrow will be the day I stop, but my anxiety gets worse when I get down to my last spliff.
      I need help.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Man.. I feel the exact same way .. I quit smoking cigarettes about 6 yrs ago. And I was fine with it .. But I can not seem to stop smoking herb.. I get mad/sad/anxiety .. That I look forward to getting home and smoking.. And it’s been 20 yrs.. I want to stop so bad

        Reply
      • Dawb

        I know exactly how u feel hun

        Reply
      • Acestar786

        Feeling just like u bro ?

        Reply
  11. Crass

    how well does the body recover from the damage smoking weed causes to your respiratory system and overall health?

    Reply
  12. Dan

    Hi,

    I think that i must have a fairly unique relationship with cannabis.

    An 18 year smoker, i am one of very few of my friends who still consume it. I dont drink and i take no other drugs.

    I became conscious of the very symbiotic relationship I enjoyed with the drug at an early stage. I didn’t start until 20 years old and i was aware if the folky of overuse. I have one joint a day now, no more no less, and i fibd that the joint lasts 4 to 6 hours. I out it out in sand and just have a puff every hour or so.

    I am a successful entrepreneur, and i have never found pot to make me lazy. In fact i am the kind of person who finds it hard to stop and sit down!

    Pot has helped me write, learn several instruments, assimilate a variety of skilled hobbies and sleep well.

    I think that temperance is the cornerstone of this relationship. I dont like being anything more than a little high, and i have always enjoyed the high so much i was keen not to befoul it with rampnt excess.

    Legaisation will engender education and promote moderate use. I think that cannabis can be of huge benefit to some.

    My use is a secret, as my professional peers would see it as eccentric and childish. It is ironic that these folks drink heavilly and are physically unfit, often hungover, and mostly overweight as a result of their drug choices (alcohol and sugar).

    I am 37 and, I am told, in exceptional shape. Maybe moderation and a genuine insught into one’s self is important?

    If cannabis made me nervous, depressed, lazy or distant, i would cease its use. I travel widely and therefore am often weeks without it. I sleep less (6 rather than 8 hours) and i eat a little less. I like 8 hours sleep however, and my partner is often suggesting i do less and relax even when smoking!

    Best wishes to all

    Dr D J E. Uk

    Reply
  13. The stupid guy who can't get my shit together

    Man I wish I could quit this shit i have been smoking everyday since I was 13 I am now 26 with two kids ( they are never in any way exposed to it) I also went through a 4-5 year period of taking cocain in my late teens everyday which is a habit that keeps resurfacing every now and again but is under control to a certain extent, best part is no one really or has ever known the full extent of my drug usage I also used to rave and take e during my late teens and early 20s but very rarely that happens now and was never that extensive, I wish I had the power to cut this shit out but the truth is I enjoy doing it which sucks a lot, I guess I just needed to share my story as there is no one in my life I could share this with without major complications also I have experimented with mushrooms in Amsterdam a place I visit at least 6 times a year

    Reply
  14. Ken

    I have been smoking pot for 42 years. I started smoking in 1974. I quit in 2014 because I had COPD and then open heart surgery. I started smoking again in 2015 mostly because my wife smokes and it really makes it hard to quit. I quit again August 1st this year. The first thing I noticed was I started to have dreams again at night. I think I will remain cannabis free. Thanks for listening!

    Reply
    • Diane

      Ken, kinda like me. I’ve smoked since I was 15 and am now 60 (I have no children so was never confronted with this issue). I was up to smoking everyday since at least 20 years – and before that in my 30s I would just buy a 15-20$ pack of pot and then when it was smoked, in 3-4 days max., then I would not smoke (but sometimes I would go to see a friend that I knew would have pot so that i could smoke). I stopped a few times for a few months but would start back again. But then 15 years ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and a week or so after I stopped, just like this. And I basically had no desire for pot. And I felt so happy about it (I had energy and did things). And then oops, after five years of not smoking I tried it again, and then slowly in about less than six months I was smoking again everyday. I liked to be “stoned” but at the same time it was for a number of years now kinda depressing me. And then about two months ago, I had smoked my evening joint, and then my partner and I were listening to music and dancing and I was thinking of suicide/really thinking of suicide. And then the next day, I knew its pot or life. There was no choice. And even though my partner smokes everyday, I now don’t have a desire for it (except a little desire sometimes but not often). So its been kinda easy once it’s done (but to get to do it was not easy). My dream is to stop for at least 4-5 years, and then to be able to smoke a joint once a year (I dream of it but i think its not really a good idea – cause I would just start to smoke more and more…).
      Speaking of dream, and to get back to Ken, yeah since I stopped smoking I also started to have dreams/conscious that I dream.

      Reply
  15. Rich

    Hey all.. I am a 40 yr old male and i have been smoking for over 20 years… A few years ago i got super sick and couldnt smoke for a week and it created serious anxiety in me. The pot may have covered up my anxiety for years im not really sure. I went without for over a year after that, but i never felt right always afraid of everything and nothing constantly unsure of myself and my loved ones. I eventually went back to smoking and was fine for a couple years. Lately the anxiety has returned and smoking pot now seems to highten my anxiety instead of helping it… The anxiety is quite crippling and really Im very confused about what to do.. I really dont have a specific question but i was wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this. I have tried talking to doctors about it but they seem to have no advise other than to quit and ride it out. Thanks to anyone who knows my pain

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      So weed has become so high in thc. Try getting some hemp flower when that happens

      Reply
    • ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΣ ΔΟΥΚΑΚΗΣ

      hi there all.. i am 43 and i smoked weed for 22 years. i quit a week ago. it is hard to cope with reality after all those years but i came to say to myself life or death? so i decided life is the choice. weed is something temporary and makes u feel high for a while, but the damage to your health is big, especially in the lungs.
      I struggle with anxiety disorders and psychosis. I take prescription medicines to ease down my disorders.
      After a week of quitting weed i feel cleaner and more focused to life. So i decided to live my life without any toxic habits, because life never comes back. Stay focused, stay strong, stay alive!!

      Reply
    • Lou

      Really inspiring post. I have been struggling also, I am 38 a mother of 4. I hold down a job.. I am also a smoker. Tried to stop several times over the last year. Pot definitely stops us from going on and doing stuff. It keeps us stuck and content.. I dont want to be an old lady who has done nothing she really wanted to do because i couldn’t stop smoking. I plan to stop smoking for good this weekend. I look forward to discovering myself. And living a healthy lifestyle

      Reply
  16. Nick

    I started smoking pot regularly at age 26. I tried it a handful of times earlier in life but never really enjoyed it or I did but thought it was drug use and didn’t continue. Now I’m 47 and have been smoking every single night for just over 20 years. I was never a heavy user. Hit the pipe after work daily and maybe twice a day on weekends but never at work or when with other people. With the exception of my wife and now three young kids. The reason I think was that my wife knew me and I felt ok being stoned around her. My kids to young to notice. So for me it was a retreat from the rest of the world. It made just planning a garage cleaning fun. Or painting a room which normally would be so boring. I quit a few times for days and weeks but never a month straight.
    I quit again now and it’s been about three months. It was pretty easy actually because I moved to a new area and lost all contact with my dealer. I had a few weeks of sleepless nights and some bed sweating but now I’m fine. I will probably smoke again when the opportunity arises but I am done with having it in my house. I have never been able to have it on hand and not smoke it. Even when I was sick as a dog!
    I quit because I felt that one day I would need to and it would be easier now than when I was smoking 40 years! Also my kids are getting older and more aware. How would I explain my vise to them. I would say that it also made me lazy but I am really a very active person so just lazier than normal. I’d do all kinds of hard work outs or renovation project while stoned to all hell.

    Reply
  17. Michelle

    I too smoked pot everyday for twenty three years, I became a successfully educated professional during that time and maried a pot smoker going the whole nine yards. The half dozen friends, our only friends, we bought from would occasionally but certainly not always throw in something a little stronger (different drug, cocain, shrooms whatever) now and again. I quit because one day i remembered telling myself and my future husband i did not want to be 30 something pot smoker and low and behold I was 30 something. So I quit, he did not and we split. Fast forward many years, and quiting tobacco was much harder for me, remember i did not suffer withdraw like my ex husband. Past tense, the pot i think did help with sinus headaches, i would get little tingles but i may not have had allergies prior, who knows, but mostly during those years I was closed off to everyone including myself, I longed for better relationships with real friends and family, it kept me calm but un motivated and frankly lethargic. My ex husband would get angry and aggressivly aggitated but not violent when we were out and would take unecessary and sometimes scary risks. I wish he would have stopped with me. Now that it is everywhere and no one seems to care anymore I say WRONG CHOICE and offer concern for our general perception and concern for the children. Thank you for listening

    Reply
  18. Coral Bergmann

    I have successfully quit! I have been smoking pot for 42 years. Yes, I started at 13 years old and I will be 55 this year. I have tried everything under the sun to quit, I even went to Betty Ford 2 times! Therapy, trying to only smoke at night..you all know what I mean. I smoked from the time I woke-up to the time I went to bed, all day everyday. I would vape and drink and use pain pills if I was out….I am a very successful business woman and a single mom but I felt that my life was passing me by and I was numb. But I still couldn’t quit. I would give my pot to my friends so it wasn’t in my home and then I would spend all day driving back and forth to their homes! I did some crazy stuff to get weed when I was out. I was given a audio book by a success coach and after listening to it once I never had the urge to use again. No mental withdrawals or cravings – Body is adjusting by sweating it out at night. I have prayed for this for decades and this book is so simple I am still a little blown away. Weird huh? Living from the In-side out. Michael Neil. Good luck, we are all worth the effort.

    Reply
  19. Marie

    I’ve been smoking for 26 years. Have always loved it. But what I don’t love is the obsession. It’s all I want to do. All I think about. I take risks to get it, spend too much money. Fight with my spouse over it. There’s so much I don’t do because I look too high to go out in public. Then I get paranoid. But I feel like I have to have it. When I don’t have it I feel like I can’t function. I don’t want to be a slave to anything and that’s what I have become, but I’m scared to quit and I don’t want to, but I DO want to, if that makes sense at all.

    Reply
  20. melissa

    I have been smoking for the better part of 22 years, I am 37, female.
    I come from parent pot smokers and all of my 3 siblings also smoke.
    My best friend smokes as does my long term boyfriend.
    I have been thinking about quitting for quite sometime now. I don’t want to spend money on it anymore, I want to be more social and I am sick of smelling like weed. Even if I cover it up, I still smell it.
    The allure of what it once was is gone to me. I have a successful business, I compete in bodybuilding, I read, travel, take classes, have 3 dogs and 4 cats by all means a full life.
    But it is tarnished by this weed habit.
    And the man I am in love with does not smoke, never pressured to me quite but seeing how he looks and acts without weed is inspiring to me. He is very successful and gave up his habit after college.
    Thats my story. Good luck everyone in your quest to quit.

    Reply
  21. Loyal

    I smoked pot for 42 years. I wish I would have stopped a lot earlier. Thousands of hours wasted being wasted, lots of bad descicions. A manic attack/episode after vapping finally got me to quit. It’s been 18 months – still miss the feeling but not all the other things. Like having to worry if I smell/act/look high. A pre-employment drug testing 🙂

    Reply
    • Chris

      I am a 20 year heavy pot user. I basically smoke all day and everyday. I am a 37 years old with two young children and an awesome wife. I grew up with parents who smoked daily and it was quite acceptable. All of my friends I grew up with still smoke and it’s always around. My wife doesn’t smoke and has been asking me for years to slow down with my amounts. I am at the point where I am ready to quit and move forward with a more productive and healthy lifestyle. I’ve always used pot as my chill coping agent but have a more growing concern for my long term health. I lost my mother to lung cancer a few years ago. She never smoked a cigarette a day in her life but was an habitual pot smoker. Lost her to young at 65 and feel I will have the same fate if I don’t change my ways. My 2 gram a day habit has been over the top for a while and I just hope that I can save my long term well being by quiting now. I need to man up and be strong for my family. Thank you all for your stories

      Reply
      • Dave

        I can’t definitely relate. We have very similar circumstances and demos but the one thing that I appreciated most from your post was that we just need to man up and stop. I’ve been wanting to stop but than I never stick to it. Than I recently got sick diagnosed with bronchitis and due to the medicine I was taking I told myself to man up and get better. It’s been 1 week and the withdrawal symptoms are definitely real but I told myself that if I can man up and quit cigarettes (going on a year), I can definitely quit green…easier said than done…but now that I’ve gone a week I’m going to try to do 2 more…it takes 3 weeks to break a habit and 3 days to get it back …. so let’s break this habit is what I say I’m already 1/3 of the way there. Keep strong Chris!

        Reply
  22. Raoul

    Hi everyone, I know this is a late comment, but I would like to share my experience, and also thanks to all for their window of honesty, it is inspiring!
    I’m 40 this year, and started smoking weed at age 16. Had very casual use for a few years at 28. Then been really enjoying it for the last 5 years… Almost every evening… And as much as possible on weekends. Often neglecting to spend time with friends that do not smoke… I would hide it from them that I smoke a lot… And that inside I was not happy with myself for being so dependant, but always felt like it was easy to just stop… Yeah right!
    This past year I have stopped a few times due to work and relationship energy demands! (And being tired of not doing with my life life what I really want) But struggled with withdrawl symptoms. Slowing and decreasing the use has allowed me to sleep fine without it! Though the head space has been heavy and regrets about how it has used up so much of my time and energy in my life have been tough to deal with. Anxiety and depression create havoc… Issues swept under the weed rug have met me face to face… It is also invigorating to deal with them and make amends with oneself, though not easy.
    I finally quit my job after 7 years of dealing with a real narcissistic boss, though the job was great, I just couldn’t give more, weed had helped me deal with being there longer than I should have.
    What I have found to be really helpful during the weed slow down and withdrawl process is taking cbd oil, and I drink turmeric tea at same time to help increase its absorption along with its own benefits. It really balances my head space and allows me to be in a place where I can allow myself to heal and capture the feeling of being me before I was such a heavy user. Connecting to my true self gives me the feeling that I can be that person again, I believe in myself again! I’m much more responsive to things around me, spontaneous, creative and motivated! Regular exercise and healthy food are your allies in quitting the habit too!
    I do think micro doses of weed can work with an everyday life for some people, though one must be careful… (use it don’t abuse it) I found it a good way to prepare for longer periods of no weed use comfortably and alleviate anxiety. Life is a journey, use this time wisely, and enjoy getting to know what you can do! I’m following my dreams now, making them a reality… Instead of just keeping it a dream. Every small achievement leads to greater success, is what I am learning.

    Reply
  23. Lael Davis Jr

    I’m 22 years old and have been wanting to run into people like you like me who needs or needed help i salute all of you for owning up to the addiction or the obstacles you been through with marijuana I started when I was 14 turned 22 21st or 03 all you people ours blessings coming together to help one another I’m grateful this my 2nd day sober I will endure being sober I need my groove back iron sharpen iron not make u dull wish all of us the best

    Reply
  24. Aimee

    I wonder the long term effects or health consequences of smoking for so long. Will they do studies when kids that started smoking in their early teens reach their 40s-50s? Wonder if this will be the same as tobacco? They want to post marijuana as the “miracle drug” and even say “it cures cancer.” What a joke. We shall see….

    Reply
  25. The Quitter

    Three days sober after 20 years smoking Mary (1-oz a month) morning, after work, and evening daily. Drank bier nightly and always smoked a cigarette after burning. Started at 15, will be 36 soon. Got my Bachelor, Master in Accounting, and my CPA in the mean time (every class, study session, and test I attended/took while high). Held a job the entire time and built an impressive career. Used weed as a motivational substance and accomplished what I never thought possible, however, the motivation ceased to come around these past couple years. Isolated myself from friends and family so I could get high. Tried to quite at least a dozen times… relapsed every time. My Life was revolved around weed… Decided to take a break from the three substances mentioned above for 30 days with intent of picking Mary back up after, however, I am starting to think that I never want to touch Mary again… Yesterday (day two) I was strong. Today (day three) has been very hard. Sweating, stomach cramps, lack of appetite, irritability, and insomnia are main symptoms. I looove the vivid dreams, it has been so long since I have had dreams. Something is different this time around and I know I will conquer this task. The roller coaster of feelings is quite challenging, I broke out crying today when I saw some of my Mother’s (RIP) favorite flowers (she passed a few years ago and I haven’t cried for her in two years). I hold nothing against Mary, she just does not fit in the plans of what I have dubbed “The Third Phase” of my Life (pre-weed days were the first phase, pothead days being the second phase). I will be strong. I will be strong. I must be strong… Thank you all for your testimonies. Thank you platform for allowing me to type/post this grouping of words. Thank you God for the strength. The clouds and turbulence will pass… And I will get through this, as far as I am concerned I will get through this. Thanks again.

    Reply
    • kogari

      Stay away from pot.It ruins your life in the long run.I started at age 22, now I’m 43.
      I was on and off randomly for months even a year, but when I used , it was a daily routine.
      I used for anxiety ,depression,epilepsy, sleeping issues.It made its job till now , but at this
      point I had to quit .It is almost the second sober months , you can not imagine, how terrible the withdrawal effects are. Started with sleeping problems ,I could only sleep few hours with xanax over 2 weeks .I had to sleep because of epilepsy ,that’s why I used xanax ,you can have seizures without proper amount of sleep. Uncontrollable anger ,that was the hardest part.I hit my neighborhood ,I wanted to kill my father,I almost destroyed my room…so it is literally an insane.All underlying issues come up in week , all of your problems punches in to your face immediately. Emotion roller-caster is so true ,you’ll have panic attacks , 2 hours later you cry as hell, next one is anxiety .I was diagnoised lately with affective organic disorder. All over the years I can say the withdrawal effects are getting worse.I remember my first attempt ,after few years use ,I had nightmares, sweats for 3 days.Second attempt ,I could not sleep for a week while I was doing my job, unmanageable anger, so I relapsed. Timespan of the withdrawal effects are getting longer, and harder.You are getting isolated from your friends first, then your family ,and the worts part then yourself , even God if you are religious.So it does not worth.Now I rather take pills temporary .Modern medicines have no right answers for this mental issues, effectiveness of the medicines are also questionable. Xanax works like any addiction, withdrawal symptoms are pretty much the same ,no differencies, except diying. Who is more lunatic me , or the “doctor” who can prescribe these “medicines” ? It seems I’m trapped.Weed doesn’t work anymore , and pills don’t promise better future, as I read some forum it is worst.I’m afraid we all have to solve our problems by ourselves or by faith , no more excuse ,no more lies to ourselves.I know this is painful…or is it really painful ? Am I really know it ? I have never tried it .You know what ..this is the hardest time in my life.Facing problems can not be as hard as I’m going through.Strength me God.Strength all of us.

      Reply
  26. Anonymous

    Hello everyone,

    I have been smoking for about 4 to 5 years now. I am 25 years old and I am to the point where I want a new number because my dealer seems to text and call all the time and its hard to say no. I want to forget about my past life.

    It seems very hard to tell the people that I love most what I am going through especially my better half. I feel such shame and embarrassment and don’t know what they will think or if they will understand. I don’t know how to come out and tell them.

    I’m not giving it my all at work and I am slacking off. I use to succeed to the highest level in the workplace. I don’t know how to take control of my life again. It is taking over me. I feel insecure and overly emotional at times. I am not who I use to be and I know as life goes on, I will change and adapt to every situation but my morals and the way I use to laugh. The struggle is so real. I feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward.

    Reply
  27. JR

    Im stoping today after 20 years im 31 im so sad about it but its the right thing to do its really messing with my head ive quit before for three years but started up again do to pain

    Reply
  28. Anonymous

    Greetings to all!

    So I need some major support. Ive been a heavy pot smoker for about 6 years now and I am about to turn 25. I was always in denial about how pot isn’t bad since it doesn’t kill you, but instead, I realized that it kills your spirit which is way worse. Always made the lame excuse of “well at least I’m not addicted to heroin.” which of course is more hard core but in all actuality, addiction is addiction no matter what drug or activity you partake in.

    I am a college graduate and about to go to nursing school for addiction and mental health (go figure). I was a drug prevention teacher (before the company I worked for just went out of business), for teens and adults struggling with the disease of addiction and talked about the consequences of heavy drug use, whether its pot, or anything hard core like meth, heroin, pills etc,. I went to the juvenile jail, county jail and inpatient rehab centers for presentations. At the same time while teaching these addicts the consequences of those behaviors, I, myself was not practicing what I preached. How could I genuinely teach a curriculum about drugs when I am an addict myself? I felt like a hypocrite although I was very good at my job and looking at me, you would NEVERRRR EVER ever know that I smoked. I always passed my drug tests because I was doing those detox drinks to mask the THC temporarily. But this wasn’t necessarily a great thing because it never held me accountable. Fast forward to my decision to be a nurse and the thought of me not being able to fulfill my dreams and absolute full potential because of pot.

    I decided to hold myself accountable because as a healthcare professional, there’s nothing worse than a guilty conscious while helping others when you can’t even help yourself. I am one day clean. first day I have ever gone in 6 years without pot. I am anticipating the withdrawal to get really bad here in the next couple days but for right now, I am confident in my decision and know that I can and WILL get my life together for the greater good. Im ready to feel good about myself again and repair my relationship with my mom, whom I’ve always been close with and pot, of course has gotten in the way. Any advice or similar testimonies are appreciated. Thank you for listening to my venting session (lol) Wish me luck y’all! xoxo

    Reply
  29. Johanna.v

    How did you stop the habit?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I just literally had an epiphany and decided that it was time to get my life together if I want to reach my full potential. And the guilty conscious of being a health care professional.. I can’t be smoking pot. The withdrawals have not fully set in yet but expecting them to by tomorrow or the next day. As for the insomnia issue which I have since quitting, I just take Zquil or Melatonin

      Reply
  30. Never aagain

    Was hooked on weed for 20 years and was trying to quit for about 15 years but every time I tried stop within days I would be back smoking
    like a chimney. One day I went to a 10 day Vipassana meditation ratreat (free of charge) where I started to understand better the vicious game my mind was playing on me. I had to go to 5 of these retreats till I finally quit cold turkey, till today I’ve been sober for 3 years 5 months without a single relapse, without one hit, I don’t wish to smoke ever again, I want to stay drug free till I die.

    PS. Also my alcohol consumption went down to 1-2 times a year, quit sugar too, coffee is my only habit left, of course habits are hard to conquer but the rewards are immense.

    Reply
  31. Mcsmart

    Hello

    Iam 25 and have been smoking everyday since I was about 14 years old, I have tried quitting but the withdrawal symptoms keep coming back. I recently got sick with the flu and it has been playing with my mind since I haven’t smoked. I wanna quit right now and not go back but the withdrawal is what’s holding me back. I use to smoke blunts everyday until about 2 years ago when I got hit with anxiety and depression, I stopped for about 2 months cold Turkey but never did I feel normal when I didnt smoke, the first day that I smoked again it was like the best feeling ever but recently I haven’t been feeling the same i just feel like a lowlife even tho i work and soon will be getting a government job, i really want to stop but i dont want to get anxiety and depression again if i stop. I have recently asked my doctor for help he said i was going to get a referral to see a specialist not to sure what kind of specialist. Someone please help and give me some advice, thanks in advance<3

    Reply
  32. John Mckee

    Great to see people sharing their stories here. Weed addiction is the real deal, and quitting can cause its own rebound issues like anxiety and insomnia. I founded quitmarijuana.org to help. Thanks for sharing the truth that I hear from so many people.

    Reply
  33. Anonymous

    Wow.. well done to all those that have succeeded in quitting their habits .. I started smoking weed at 14 and turned 40 at the beginning of the year. I said I would stop at 40 as my mum (although only smoked cigarettes) died 5 years ago from copd.. yet I am sitting here 6 months after my 40th, 4 days into going cold turkey from both cigarettes and about a 3 and a half gram a day habit.. reading your stories for advice and inspiration at 4am whilst scratching my legs until they bleed.. I don’t really have bad things to say about weed.. in the early days it gave me the usual symptoms paranoia, the munchies etc but I kind of passed that stage and it just became a part of me.. in a way it became a crux, something that I could always turn to no matter what.. Im not proud but I smoked during both my pregnancies (it did not harm my kids in any way), I’ve never really not been stoned and I even had 6 joints before meeting the vicar to arrange my mums funeral. I brought up my own two children by myself and then went through the social services process to seek guardianship of my younger orphaned brother. He is now in university and my eldest has a job she enjoys, whilst my youngest is still in school he is a confident, open minded and happy child. Admittedly I’ve had my lazy days and days I felt too stoned to leave the house but then I would just clean or decorate as these did not seem so chore like, stoned.. I have also recently completed a theology and religious BA degree which I believe without weed my mind would not have been open enough to complete the course as I was never the brightest spark. I believe weed has played a part in making me who I am, it’s opened my mind and helped make me tolerable and understanding in areas I may otherwise not have been so.. thus it is with a heavy heart I am giving up however, my lungs are beginning to suffer which I believe is caused mainly by the cigarettes not the weed but I’ve tried and found it impossible to do one without the other.. as I mentioned my mum died from copd at 53, her grandfather at 46 ( it was called farmers lung back then) and both my brother and sister have been diagnosed with it in their 30s and as a type 1 diabetic feel I’m on borrowed time so here goes I guess.. letting go of the one thing that’s stayed with me since my teenage years.. most of my friends smoke so I have had to socially quarantine myself and in a way it feels as if I’m divorcing a husband that I still love.. however, it’s inspiring to read others relationships with weed especially that there’s life after giving it up, so thanks! Also I can’t seem to find the quitmarajuana.org website so if there are any others that can be recommended it would be greatly appreciated ✌?

    Reply
    • Mh

      This was very hard to read, but all very necessary. I read every comment and we all seem to be feeling the same general things. I’m 20 years old and I’ve been smoking since I was about 15, marijuana and nicotine. I’ve been pretty driven and well off up until now… I’ve come to a point of utter despair honestly. I’ll spend days in bed, extremely lethargic. I want my life back, but I’ve been doing it for so long I don’t know what that life even looks like. And that’s terrifying. All the anxiety and fear, etc… I’m feeling it too. It’s awful. It keeps you from being at Peace and that’s the only truly important thing in this world.. idk what it did to my brain… but from reading all of these stories I’m afraid that I’ve seriously hurt myself. I depend on it so much to get through the day and just simply be okay. To even wake up, I use it. It’s awful… it’s absolutely awful and I need help but idk where to go and how to do this. If anyone can offer help, I am open. Although it seems all I want to do is ask for help and have the problem solved for me. It’s such a hard thing to take the reigns back from… god help me please.

      Reply
  34. EQ

    Wow, every single account on here is both relatable and inspirational, truthfully I haven’t even tackled my issue head on in the right way, it’s only weed (only he says,lol) that I have been consuming since I was 13 but I’m 14 now, I come from a broken home and I’m making zero excuses here but I always wanted to live with my ‘cool dad’ my parents split up when I was about 9 but from as early as I can remember I can recall my dad being a smoker, into his drinks (heavily when I was young) and just generally always seeming like the life and soul of the party. Things escalated as a teen when I broke my moms heart and moved into my dads, started to flunk school, smoked weed religiously and just created this mixed up identity about myself that persisted all the way through those years. I had my teachers pull nearly all my 5 years worth of high school work up as plagiarism and pretty much had about 2 months to decide what subjects I was going to give my all too to try and salvage an education, I chose art and business, passed both and head off for the college the next year to gain my English maths and art and design, I achieved those and later went for the higher year passing that too. Which all sounds gravy right? But then I abandoned my aspirations for a career in construction making decent money every week and pretty much followed suite from about 18 to now. I’m one week sober and feeling it like hell, I have been with my partner from around 16 and now we have 2 kids and are getting married next year, I have this confusing conflicting life where because of everything I had against me (plenty through my teen years, but didn’t we all) my mom and other family members are kind of proud of me for being where I am, doing decent etc but ultimately I am really just a master change artist, I achieved it all while smoking like a trooper and downplaying it to just about anyone who would listen, I’m not going to lie, I’m doing okay, but the cost of smoking all these years has definitely shook my core, im constantly concerned about my health and every week a couple months ago I was gearing up to stop and simply buying more on the date I said I would, Ive had this yo-yo behaviour happening for quite a while now and in truth for the last at least 6 months, I’m saying I didn’t even like smoking I just couldn’t seem to stop. I’m one of those people where when a good song comes on I just think it’s better while smoking a joint or just being high in general, good food is held to the same degree. Like many others I appeared to create this reward system where I was treating myself to weed like all of the time, and it got crazy, I live in the uk by the way I’m not sure how many others of you do but I was getting about 3 que’s a week which is £150 and I just don’t earn enough to justify that, not when the rest of my wages go to all my bills etc , my partner earns too don’t get me wrong but you could see how that £600 a month could of easily propelled me into a better life by now, I’m not trying to make light of all of this and I apologise if I seem that way, I never thought I would even be doing this but your stories have really resonated with me and I kind of wanted to feel what all of you do, Im excercising like hell and trying to sweat as much as possible to get the thc out of my fat cells, but I’m just glad I’m not the only one finding it difficult, I know I’ll make it. I just couldn’t continue that lifestyle and I really want my kids to get the best out of me, I want us to be able to travel more and see the world, and I’m afraid all of my aspirations will fall flat with continued weed use, I am cold turkey too btw as I feel that reducing like people sometimes suggest is just a door opener to the idea of just using consistently again. Anyway I really hope all of you that have posted here are doing okay and I Thankyou all again for sharing your stories, as a stubborn guy myself, I can reason with anyone who found it difficult to do so

    Reply
    • EQ-again!

      Omg I meant 24, I’m not a 14 year old father!

      Reply
      • Freddy

        I just turned 30 and i have smoked weed continuously for the past 2 years. I do an average of 3 joints a day, mostly through smoking, though i occasionally vape. For me weed has been good so far. I don’t have plans of quitting, but maybe when the time comes, i will. On several occasions, like when i visit my mom, i have to stay away from weed completely. The only problem during such situations is insomnia. I can sleep for just 4 hours and am up.

        I am a productive person, gainfully employed holding a 9-4 job and i don’t smoke when am at work. I smoke one joint after i get home from work, and then later smoke one joint before going to bed. Weed for me enhances my life. Watching while stoned is the best feeling, listening to music, dancing, sex and all become and feel better. Nowadays, i chill and spend time indoors when am not at work. I no longer bar hope wasting money.

        However, weed also has affected me negatively in some way. If i dont smoke, I might as well remain awake till morning. And also, at times, i lack motivation to do stuff, though eventually they get done.

        Reply
  35. Anonymous

    I had to quit weed after 30 years now because I started have debilitating panic attacks and unstoppable stress, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder. It was all fun and games, but now when I smoke it’s instant paranoia. This drug is not ok to use long term. I’ve been sober for a few months and it’s like a huge weight is being lifted off my shoulders. Nobody should depend on this drug for daily use. It does catch up to you eventually. Even if it takes decades.

    Reply
  36. Anonymous

    Hey guys, I’m in the process of giving up smoking weed after 20 years. I’m am 30 I started at 18 and I’ve decided to just go cold turkey. After a few days I noticed alot of night sweats and anxiety I’m on day 6 and the night sweats have eased but not gone. My dreams are crazy and my temper is short. I don’t believe I will relapse as I’m not craving the weed anymore but I have had a few cheeky pills on a cigarette to calm my nerves every now and the. I feel very tired aswell I think this is a common side effect and I cried from frustration as smoking was my vice. Fingers crossed I’ll get through it and I wish u all the best of luck x

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      * 38 and I started at 18

      Reply
  37. ZzzzzQuil

    I started smoking weed when I was 19 and I’m about to be 37 years old. Ive been a heavy smoked for 18 years. I love marijuana, I will always love marijuana, it makes the most mundane activities in life fantastic, but it always dictates my decisions. This is why I have finally decided to stop. My brain has been battling me over this decision for too long.

    I’m not really sure when it became habitual. It has never interfered with my ability to learn. I’ve been an analytical chemist for over 10 years so I am definitely functioning. What if I never started smoking though? What achievements did I forfeit for my weed habit? What experiences did I miss out on? I’m not really sure because I have had great success in life. Maybe this is what has rationalized my pot habit for so long. Over the last few years I have noticed my interest in my hobbies declining. I used to love to get high and do things, but now I need to get high to do things. I feel like I don’t even remember what my personality used to be like. These are the reasons I have stopped smoking cannabis. Besides I don’t want my wife to be married to a fucking zombie anymore. Don’t get my wrong I will not pass up smoking weed on special occasions, I just can’t have it in my life regularly anymore. I am almost sad that this day has finally come. I probably wouldn’t be where I am in life if I never smoked pot, but I’m ready to see what life will be like without it.

    Reply
  38. Legin

    Hi guys, I have been looking for an article like this for ages. I’m 36, and have been smoking pot since 17.

    Thank you Erica for sharing your story, and many thanks to the people commenting bad sharing their stories. It makes me feel I’m not alone.

    For me, I have been a slave to pot. I certainly think I have been severely affected by heavy pot use. In my early 20’s it was easy to use pot and have a vibrant lifestyle. After university, came more responsibilities and I found myself smoking even more anytime I wasn’t at work.

    I was already an oddball character, but strangely enough quit popular and likeable.

    I had lots of ideas, ambition and potential, but I found myself trading all those characteristics to smoke weed.

    I considered myself to be an interesting person, sociable, active, and full of life.

    But as the years passed I know the heavy use of marijuana has me in a self imposed cocoon, that will never hatch into a butterfly unless I quit this addiction.

    I lost my most valuable assets – social skills, enthusiasm, self esteem, physical appearance, motivation.

    I am believer in God and he works in mysterious ways – as tomorrow – June 23 2020, I put smoking to rest.

    I have set up a couple of therapy sessions with a councillor to help me on my journey as I’m just ready to go cold turkey. I have tried 1 or 2 other methods in the past but haven’t worked.

    The decision to go cold turkey is because my biggest fear is fear of the unknown, and anxiously “looking forward” to the withdrawal symptoms. Funny thing is, I was never anxious before I started smoking, so for me, I know it’s mind games.

    I’m looking forward to going back to my old self.
    I mean, I have a job, a partner and we pay bills – but that’s it – I could do so much better than the job I’m doing now, fix the broken relationship with my partner and I due to marijuana – the effects it’s had on growing as an individual and a couple for me is something I have been trying to repair for years. But was never quite ready.

    Recently, during this terrible pandemic, having been able to take the time off work ( I have been still smoking), I found myself having adequate time to do ‘other things’ when I say other things, I mean all the things I used to do before I smoked heavily – being active, being creative with my partner, reading, joining Facebook and socialising with hundreds of friends and acquaintances from the past, who probably thing I’m living an abundant life from the way the knew me growing up.

    However I have continued to smoke (and probably more during the lockdown) and despite the recent jump start of regaining my life back, it has felt like 3 steps forward and 2 back.

    I think for me, the biggest difference in my genuine belief that I will quit and quit for good is the window of opportunity I got to see how I can really be a great person again – and not drain my pockets or my mind.

    I’m not afraid of my “master” anymore. I see the withdrawal symptoms as a consequence of my actions – it’s time to plant new seeds and harvest new fruitful results, like apples, not a 6ft tree full of bud lol (that was supposed to be funny).

    I know people have been self isolating due to the coronavirus – I for one have been distancing myself from everyone for about 12 – 15 years out of the 19 yrs I have been smoking pot. So I figured, since I found this article, and I’m quitting tomorrow, maybe it’s my turn to share with people.

    Once again thanks Erica for your honest experience with pot use.

    I wish everyone a great success in life. All the best. Take care.

    Reply
    • Legin

      I may have some typos in my comment sorry.

      Reply
  39. Sleepless in Seattle

    Lot of great stories here, and I’m inspired by every one of them. I’m 49 years old and been smoking pot since I was 13. I’ve been wanting to quit since high school – still have the notebook with notes to myself to stop. I’ve tried to quit more than a thousand times (not exaggerating) in my 36 year smoking pot career and have succeeded few times and went without a puff for 6 months at the longest. I always comeback to it for one reason or another – my will power always folded like a cheap lawn chair. The psychological grip pot had on me was stronger than my desire to stop.

    Pot made me relax, made the food taste spectacular, the music vibrant and made all the mundane daily activities tolerable. I was a highly (no pun) functional pot head. I had a great career, own two houses and lived the life of middle class bliss. But, the continual heavy smoking eventually took it’s toll for the worse. I smoked because the pros outweigh the cons and that’s how I justified smoking. But, in the last 3 years the cons leaped frogged the pros. I became an indifferent and apathetic towards everything that was important in my life – job, family, friends, health etc…not to mention lazy, unmotivated, anxious, angry and impatient. The scariest side effect was poor short term memory and utter inability to focus for more than 15 seconds.

    Then COVID19 happened. I worked in the aerospace industry in Seattle and was let go from my six figure salary job. I’m sure I was on the short list of people to layoff as my job performance suffered tremendously the last 3 years. I can’t remember the last time I was working and was not high. I’m sure my colleagues and superiors knew I was stoned everyday, but tolerated it because I did my job…barely. Staying home and figuring out what to do next was very humbling experience. I knew this was the wake up call I needed…a kick in the ass from reality. I stopped smoking cold turkey and fighting everyday to stay sober. I think this time it will be different as my safety net (high paying job) is gone. Luckily I’ve saved enough money to last me for awhile but shit just got real and it’s do or die now.

    I feel good and feel alive for first time in awhile. I can actually sit and read an article past the first sentence without getting distracted. Hopefully, things will get back to some semblance of normal in the world soon. But, I’m not in a rush to get back to the job market. I am taking this time off to improve myself and will be back stronger than ever. God bless everyone!

    Reply
  40. The dudes apprentice

    Hello,

    I started smoking Cannabis in my mid twenties.
    During my teenage years I had been a passenger in a fatal collision
    and it changed how I felt greatly. I became anxious, aggressive and impulsive.
    I began drinking to mask the pain and socially lubricate.
    Prior to the accident I was a star AAA level athlete with a bright future.
    After the accident riding in a vehicle caused such distress it impaired my athletic performance. My professional athletic aspirations were gone, and I felt a real need to fill that void. I like helping others. And I started to think about my future.
    I became a Paramedic, and I appreciated the altruism of the profession. Thing is it has a very dark side, that when combined with my past personal experience
    of a fatal vehicle collision caused me to develop PTSD. At first I had no idea what was going on or how I was feeling. All I know is that it was awful scary. A friend of mine gave me a joint and told me it would take the edge off; it sure did. This was a decade and a half ago. I started to smoke when I was off and had time to my self, but daily. I also continued to drink till I hit rock bottom and ended up in trouble.
    So I quit drinking 8 years ago and Cannabis helped me through the process.
    The symptoms from my PTSD have been disturbing at even the best of times.
    So I started to use a lot of Cannabis. My breathing started to become affected
    and laboured especially during allergy season so I started to gradually stated to cut back on my Cannabis intake, as I was consuming 300mg + daily.
    I switched to oil a couple of years ago and decreased my daily intake to around 10mg thc/10mg cbd 2 hours before bed.
    The sublingual micro dose of the oil allows me to breath easy and
    still sleep nightmare free.
    So for me alcohol and cannabis abuse had harmful effects.
    But Cannabis now has a therapeutic effect.
    Anything can be addictive.. Food is an example
    We all need to eat…but we need to eat the right food and the right amount.
    Let’s not demonize cannabis and realize our addiction I’d probably rooted in
    some form of unresolved trauma.
    Here in Canada Cannabis has been legalized for recreational consumption and that is a good thing. Marginalized communities are now less impacted by petty drug charges.
    Because you don’t know, that you don’t know, what you don’t know.

    Reply

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