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Old 01-29-2018, 12:27 PM
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FlyingDutchMan reporting for duty!

Hello fellow combatants of marijuana addiction!

I started reading this forum a couple of weeks ago and it was the last push I needed to take the plunge. After 22 years of pretty much daily use I decided to call it quits three weeks ago. I quit smoking cigarettes too at the same time. This is my day 22.

Because reading the stories of other people gave a feeling of not being alone in this experience (smoking but not wanting to, making appointments with myself and constantly breaking them, quitting and getting lured back in by the moderation-thought, etc) I feel somewhat obliged to share my experiences. It's also a testimony to myself. And I hope it will be fun to read back on this a few months or years on and read about the process I went through. In my mind I am very focussed on quitting. No way I am going back to the old lifestyle. Not for my kids, not for my girlfriend and not for myself!

A little background information and a quick sorry for all the text. I'm feeling kinda energetic.

I am a 39 year old male from The Netherlands. I first tried marijuana when I was about 16 years old and I started smoking pretty much daily when I turned 18. By that age they allow you in a coffeeshop (the place where they sell marijuana legally) so supplies were no longer a problem. When I eventually moved out and got my own place it became a lifestyle.

I'm a guy with a lot of energy and a very busy mind so initially the marijuana was a big big success. I gave me a relaxed mind I don't have naturally. I felt completely stress-less. It took a long time before I started noticing that I might have a problem with it. And that I couldn't quit it, even if I wanted to. It started out as a social thing with friends but over the years I secluded myself more and more. Marijuana always came first. And then the rest, maybe, if I felt like it.

But it wasn't all bad. I was able to combine it with pretty much everything I did. Finished my education, got a good job and a greater job after that. I have a fantastic girlfriend and two beautiful children and I ride my race bike a lot. Not your typical problem-smoker, but then again...who is?

I wasn't content with my "habit" anymore when my girlfriend became pregnant and I started to smoke outside. No more three puffs from a joint and putting it in an ashtray but planning and scheming. "When will I go outside, how much will I smoke? The movie we're about to watch is long, I'd better take a few puffs extra to make it to the end of the movie comfortably!" The last few years I started to drink with it as well. Not extreme amounts but say 2-3 bottles of beer in the evening. Just to get the buzz going. And every evening. Weekdays and weekends.

These last years I became more aware of the bad influences it has on my character. I enables me -to an extreme level- to let things be. Nothing really bothered me. My girlfriend was running the household pretty much by herself and I hated myself for it. I made a mess everywhere in the house, I would hardly contribute to cleaning, when I was done wrenching on my race bike the tools would lie around in the kitchen for four weeks afterwards. Those kinds of things. You probably know what I am talking about.

I tried to quit so many times before, some attempts were more successfull than others. I tried to moderate so many times before and I every single time I would start up a discussion with myself and question my own decisions until I caved.

So how am I doing today? I don't have cravings and I haven't been tempted to pick up the old lifestyle. But boy, I now am extremely unable to put things aside in my mind. All these impressions. I see the mess I made in full scale and sometimes I just don't know where to start to clean it up. Today at work was terrible. I felt like crying a few times and that is nothing like me. I just couldn't calm down my thoughts and it drowned me. So many things to take care of, so many open ends I left. I just cannot simply imagine how I was able to ignore all this for so long.

I guess this is what I have to go through after not dealing with so many things on so many levels for so long. I sure hope it is transitory though!

Thanks for reading, I'll let you know how things progress from here. Until that time: stay strong! If I can, you can!
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:21 PM
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Hi and welcome FlyingDutchMan

I think recovery is a process and, while 22 days is awesome,you;re still pretty much at the start of things.

My emotions were volatile for a while too - up and down - and I also had guilt regret and shame about the things I'd done, especially to people I loved.

The more I stayed clean, the better I got at dealing with emotions again,, and the more days I 'lived right' the less the past weighed on me.

I hope you'll find the same

Regular support really helps too - It's good to have you join us.

D
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Old 01-30-2018, 01:45 AM
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Thank you for your kind words Dee! I am aware that I am not over the hump yet. I've just started the ascent. To be honest, it wouldn't surprise me if the hard times are ahead of me. I need to keep reminding myself why I chose this path instead of continuing my old life style. Previous attempts to quit always failed because after a couple of months I kinda forgot what kind of problems smoking gave me. And I fooled myself by thinking that I'd learnt from my previous experencies and I would never start smoking daily again. Reading this forum I've learned that this is a pretty universal thought amongst us.

This whole morning I felt pretty anxious again, but I haven't felt the need to do what I always did and I feel pretty upbeat about that. But I could sure do without this stressy, nervous feeling.

The sun is shining here in The Netherlands, I'm going for a bike ride this afternoon. That will clear my mind. Helps with sleeping too!

Have a great day everyone!
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Old 01-30-2018, 02:04 AM
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You too FlyingDutchMan

D
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:25 AM
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Welcome flyingdutchman!! You are in the right place, and you've made the right choice by deciding to quit. Pot completely ruled my life for years. The worst part was knowing what it was doing to me, but continuing to abuse it because I did not know any other way to cope with feelings and life in general.
For me, personally, I have found my solution in the rooms or Narcotics Anonymous. Thats just me, though. You'll find members on these boards who have successfully quit smoking using a variety of methods. One common theme, however, is the overwhelmingly positive results of finally quitting this nasty habit.
There are a number of threads on these boards I recommend. I'm on my phone so I can't look them up easily at the moment, but my story is on here (between 2 threads) and I recommend reading lynnmarie123s thread as well as Dees.

Again, welcome.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for the warm welcome mm1741. Same goes for the rest of you btw.

I'm quite positive I read your thread as well as Dee's and Lynnmarie's. I read all I could get my hands on really.

It was a good month ago I discovered this place and it was the last push I needed. Moderation is not an option is the main thing I took out from all the reading. Addiction is a weird thing. More than once I would be amazed by my own actions. Smoking a joint and knowing oh so sure that you don't want to do this anymore. With this in mind making appointments with yourself only to break them the next day. The circle was endless.

I did go for that bike ride this afternoon. Took me a good 90 minutes to get past the endless thinking and pondering I now seem to do most of the day. The last 45 minutes were great and I got home feeling very well and at ease.

(My apologies for all the long posts. English is not my native language and I find it quite hard to be on point and being able to say what I want to say in just a few sentences)

Speak to you soon!
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:30 AM
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Having a not-so-wonderful day today. I find it hard that there is no "reward" at the end of the day anymore. Something to look forward to. I was always an evening-smoker. But I also know that I quit because pretty much always the reward wasn't as good as I expected it to be. The "longing for" was always better that the "indulging in".

Now it feels like I plow through the day, doing all the things I am expected to do (work, chores, taking care of the kids) and going to bed early because I'm tired and I can't really enjoy doing something.

I do blame myself for not emphasizing more on the benefits of my choice. I go to bed the same time as my girlfriend every evening now, which was never the case before. I always needed an hour and a half for myself. The last few years it would annoy me when my girlfriend would stay up later than normal. I hated myself for that, but I needed the space and I needed to be alone.

I could go on and on about the good things. That's why I find it so stupid that I am feeling a little down. There's so much to feel happy about.

Thanks for lending an ear!
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:52 AM
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Hi FDM. Welcome to the forum!
What you said about isolation really resonated with me. My hubby couldn't go to bed early enough for me. In my mind I'd be say, "go to bed, go to bed, go to bed"
So sad. But that addiction.
Give yourself some time for emotions to straighten out. You are still going through detox and withdrawal. It took me a full 3 months before I was right again.
Anyway, glad you are here!
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:30 AM
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Thanks lynnmarie123!

Fortunately my afternoon was a lot better than my morning. My mind settled down and I felt content. I like to check in here often! It's kinda warming to meet all these people who know what I am talking about, who have gone through the same and succeeded. Reading older threads also helps. I always thought I was unique in my experience but the stories are universal. Up to a certain point we all stuggle (or have struggled) with the same issues.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:13 PM
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Just checking in to give you an update. I felt like a punching bag Thursday and today. Nothing was working out. My girlfriend crashed our car, my youngest has been waking up at 5:30 AM every morning for over a week and isn't in the best mood. Had two terrible mornings in court (my job) and every time I'd get on a bicycle -I do pretty much everything by bike- it would rain instantly. Nothing too dramatic now that I read back on it, but it felt dramatic.

So I felt a bit sorry for myself, I felt joyless. I even thought: well, maybe I can never be truly happy again if I cannot ever smoke a joint again. It didn't make me want to smoke, but it sure made me feel flat and a bit sad.

Then I visit this place and read racingthoughts' thread front to back. It's all detox, withdrawl. Again with the universal experience. All the good things will hopefully return, I just need to be patient and think long-term and not short-term.

I needed that!

Have a good weekend everybody.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:42 PM
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Sorry you had such a bad day, FDM. Unfortunately, it's called 'Life".
I think that is an interesting statement about thinking short term and long term. I feel it's what addicts have in common; thinking short term.
We need to put aside the quick fix, which really doesn't fix us at all. In the long run, it just makes things worse.
The good news is that your automatic go to response (smoke pot) becomes a thing of the past as you learn or relearn other coping skills.
Glad you stuck it out!
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:49 PM
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Thanks Lynnmarie.

I made a big point about the long-term thinking when I became committed to quitting. I also found it very valuable that I wanted to quit everytime I had smoked.

So I said to myself: when you are stoned you obviously want to quit. Apparently this is not what you want, this is not what you are looking for anymore. Sometimes when things get a little rough in my head, that's what I focus on.

The little guy slept till seven this morning btw!
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:13 AM
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Glad things are looking up FDM - have a great weekend

D
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingDutchMan View Post
Thanks Lynnmarie.

I made a big point about the long-term thinking when I became committed to quitting. I also found it very valuable that I wanted to quit everytime I had smoked.

So I said to myself: when you are stoned you obviously want to quit. Apparently this is not what you want, this is not what you are looking for anymore. Sometimes when things get a little rough in my head, that's what I focus on.

The little guy slept till seven this morning btw!
Wow! I felt the exact same way every time I smoked. So why was I doing it? Made no sense at all!
I found it very helpful to make a list of all the negative thoughts and feelings regarding getting high. When I was tempted to pick up again, I would read the reasons why I quit. I haven't needed to read my list in a while.
The longer I stay away from weed, the easier it gets, thankfully!
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Old 02-04-2018, 04:37 AM
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I agree with the 'wanting to quit when stoned' thing. Living like that is really just a total nightmare. When you're getting high and KNOW you shouldn't be getting high, whatever pleasure that was left in smoking is sucked out. There's no going back after that line is crossed.
In my case, I didn't know any other way to live. All I knew was getting high. Talk about misery. Fortunately, there are ways out.
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:58 AM
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I read somewhere once: at a certain point, you only smoke to keep back the withdrawl symptoms. And it's really like that. It yields no fun anymore, yet you're unable to change the pattern. Addiction in its purest form I guess.
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:23 AM
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Damn, the second Monday that was dominated by nerves, just like the last one. I envisioned my one month celebration to be a bit more cheerful. I was stressed out the whole day and very tired at the same time. It seems like everything I've kept at bay for so long by smoking comes back at me at a times-ten-force. I've been dodging my problems for too long I guess. Everyday I am amazed how I've lived detached from life for so many years. Being attached again doesn't make me a happier person. I worry about pretty much everything and that needs to end.

I only check into the office twice a week and today was one of those days. It was very hectic and I couldn't really cope. Then I made a phonecall to my mortgage guy and it was really depressing. We have no acute financial problems or anything but we bought our house just before the big crisis so we pay way to much for what we live in and moving to another place is out of the question. That added a big load of stress as well. I need to not stress about things I cannot change and that aren't a problem that requires immediate action. The advantage of not smoking is that I finally called the mortgage guy. The disadvantage is that I worry about the outcome of that conversation.

Don't worry about me too much though. Writing it down calms me down. I've been looking forward all day to visit the forum.

Again, thanks for lending an ear. Tomorrow will surely be better!
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:28 AM
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I just wanted to add that I feel blessed that all this stress and those racing thoughts have not once led me to think I should start smoking again. So no crisis in that aspect!
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:47 AM
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It is great that you don't want to start smoking again, despite everything you described.

Keep moving forward, it will get better and better, but! Only not smoking it's not enough, you need a plan. You need to substitute it with something good.

Try new things, sport, hobbies, etc, dancing, I dunno

Have you thought about visiting a therapist ? It could help with those racing thoughts you mentioned ?

We're here for you!
Keep on the great progress!
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:52 AM
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Thanks buddy, we'll pull each other through!

I've been playing this a lot, maybe you can find something in it too?

https://youtu.be/MQqlDEdHcE8
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