Hi, having been a cannabis smoker since the age of 15, I...

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Hi, having been a cannabis smoker since the age of 15, I feel compelled to write my comments here and hope someone learns a little if not alot! I am now 31 and stopped smoking cannabis 7 weeks ago - I have been an habitual smoker for 16 years. I always thought (in my ignorance) that the drug helped to 'calm' me that it gave me a more 'peaceful' life when in actual fact it stopped me from relating to others, helped me to disconnect and run away from myself. As a teenager (late teens) even my parents used to say that it stopped me from being so 'firey'! But as the years have rolled on and the cannabis became a bigger part of my life it became the one thing for me to rely on, my friend and it would never fail to be there for me. From the age of 17 I was smoking it everyday and would struggle to have a day without it. In the mornings I would always still be 'stoned' from the night before and was rolling a 'joint' for breakfast which would turn into to up to 10 or so 'joints' per day. As I reached my early 20's (looking back now I understand - I didnt at the time) cannabis was the biggest part of my life and was ruining every part of me. Being a successful human being was not part of my agenda, getting 'stoned' was the most important thing. At the age of 18 i started going to 'raves' and started taking ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamines and various others, but never heroin....that frightened me! Drugs were a bigger part of my life than anything else, I have always managed to hold down a job and had good jobs, often managerial positions and I worked hard. Life went on like this until I hit 26 and felt that life had finally caught up with me - I felt suicidal and very depressed (obviously wasn't blaming the drugs!) life was all too much for me and I didnt know whcih way to turn. My relationship with my parents had deteriorated so badly and they didn't understand, so I went to the doctors to ask for help. I was prescribed the anti depressants that she had been trying to prescribe to me for the past 2 years and I didnt want to take them, but felt that I had no option. I guess they did help to numb me and to stop the deep depressive states, but now I was on prescribed drugs and still smoking enormous amounts of 'pot'. Six months later I was not in any better space and my fathers comment of 'you need professional help' got me thinking maybe he was right. I found a private psychotherapist that advertised in my doctors surgery and have now been in therapy for nearly five years and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself. She has helped me to understand the 'why's' that I never could have found for myself - I have just finished a two year college course and will be starting another one in September - I am a 'drug addict' and always will be.....after 7 weeks of not smoking 'pot' I have clarity in my life again. I don't feel paranoid, edgy, vacant, detached or different.....it has been hard and yes, I have smoked through my college course and I feel sure that it would have come easier to me had I not smoked. I also now understand that I smoked it to escape unhappy memories of my childhood - therapy has helped me to discuss, deal with and understand that unhappy little girl that turned to drugs because she was lost and sad - I have spent nearly £10,000 pounds (which has been hard money to find, but I have done it on my own) on my therapy and finally I can see a light at the end of the tunnel - I feel good about myself, I have great relationships with my friends and in the last 7 weeks life is not so scary and I don't feel the need to get 'stoned' to be able to cope. I am sure I still have a journey to travel and some days I have felt a little low and had the urge to get 'stoned' but know that there is so much to embrace about life that I don't wasnt to keep squashing myself - I no longer want to be insignificant, I have so much to give to the world! I guess that sounds a little 'cheesy' but I am embracing life with both hands and trying hard to hold on - its hard but very empowering. In my opinion cannabis use is so very harmful....its so misunderstood and I believe it is as harmful as alcohol....I do mean taken on a daily basis to excess. I am currently watching one of my closest friends go through a 'hell' of a time - she too has been smoking since we were in school and she smokes 'weed/grass' only. She suffers with serious paranoia, recently lost her job and is generally detached from the world - she sadly will not go into therapy and also takes a high dosage of anti depressants, I cannot help her, she can only help herself and she is well aware that the cannabis holds her back, clouds her life, stops her relating and generally makes her life a misery - I love her and can do nothing to help her she has to want to help herself. I am fortunate for being able to embrace my deepest and innermost fears, anxieties and what made me turn to drugs for escapism. When I look around me, anyone I know that smokes cannabis doesn't have a great life, they don't live life to their fullest potential, they don't relate to friends, family and society in general as others that do not smoke do. This is a powerful drug and believe me when I say it is addictive, because I struggle (a little less every day) daily...... I now want a drug free life, that is so important to me, for all the years I have held myself back I now want to soar - I'm scared of being successful which is why I smoked 'pot' but I will go back to college in september and I will pass my next course and I will become successful in my chosen career and cannabis will not be a part of that.

Thankyou for reading this, I hope you learn something

Lisa x

[i:be5e963d8b]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:be5e963d8b]

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  • Posted

    Thanks for that, I feel I am virtually in the same situation as you where! 32 next month, been smoking every day since 16, then progressed to speed/ecstasy/coke but haven't used those since my mid twenties, at that point I decided that alcohol would replace those, for a while that was great as it virtually wiped out my paranoia & I found that I was a lot more sociable when drinking so the smoking seemed like no big deal. BIG MISTAKE I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis a year ago so the drinking has had to stop (I wish - ongoing battle but that’s for another web site!) Anyways now I have found that the paranoia & anxiety are back with a vengeance, so much so that its affecting my work. I had a four day course up the City last week & could not build up the confidence to go until downing half a bottle of wine, you can imagine how that turned out, everyone else thought I was an alcoholic (which would have been a fair point a couple of years ago). Today I had yet another course & just bottled it all together, I didn’t have a smoke yesterday though (In preparation for today, not enough time obviously) & haven't had one today, I have a good job that pays well, I am not going to progress further if I carry on like this, to be honest if I carry on like I did today I may well not have a job. So here I am trawling the internet for help, my Doctor has already put me in touch with a drink/drugs psychotherapist who I am definitely now going to see. Anyways sorry about my personal rant but its nice to see I am not the only one. Thanks for that (BTW. I was really surprised to see you where a girl - no offence just didn't see it coming!)

    [i:3f8c68a2c4]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:3f8c68a2c4]

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  • Posted

    the other drugs have messed you up

    [i:b7582012a0]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:b7582012a0]

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  • Posted

    "The other drugs have messed you up". You're in denial.

    To the woman who posted at the top of this post, I really hope you've managed to turn your life around. There's huge denial about cannabis usage today. It's seen as a soft drug when intact, it's often the opposite.

    Good luck to you and I'm glad you managed to find help through psychotherapy.

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  • Posted

    Hi my name is sal.. I have a big problem with alcohol addiction… I tried to stop, I go for months without drinking but once I have a small taste u go back to my old way for the day of course just drink till I can’t remember how I got home.. now I find myself in the mercy of marijuana to the point I need it every 5 hours  .. I’m freaking out can u please give me some advise.. p.s I too had a rough childhood that I want to completely dispose those haunting memories that  when remembering the anger, shame, embarrassment feels as if we're happening all over again.. should I try the sleeping pills or just therapy?

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