- I Blazed… Too Much
- It Stood In The Way Of What I Really Wanted
- How I Quit
- How Hard Was It?
- Benefits Of Quitting
- Don’t Be That Person
From I was 18 until I was 25, I have smoked marijuana.
At first it was to belong to a peergroup, after that I told myself that it was for socialization, relaxation and creativity.
All four of those reasons are based on dishonesty, and I’ll tell you why.
If you smoke weed to belong to a certain peergroup, it’s not a positive-productive enough peergroup that it will give you long-term fulfillness. Mostly they center around escapism, trying to get away from the every day troubles instead of handling them head-on like adults.
You don’t want to be in peergroups like that. They can lead you to a life that’s filled with darkness. You actually become anti-social when you smoke, distancing your mind from the mind you are trying to connect to. I remember having weed at a party and just lounging and sitting in a chair instead of trying to talk with my friends. After the party, I felt unfulfilled because of the lack of intimacy and smoked more weed to cope with it.
I also smoked Mary Jane for ‘relaxation’. The counterargument against smoking for relaxation has close ties to the first argument. Because you are in a drug-induced state, you are not worrying. This feels good on the surface. But real satisfaction comes from handling your problems like the boss you are and improving your life satisfaction the honest way.
Smoking marijuana has nothing to do with increased creativity. A friend of mine claims that he writes the best song lyrics when he’s stoned, but I’ve read them and they’re utter shit. I tried painting on weed and hasj a lot of times, but it’s certainly not my best work. Trying to be creative while stoned is like coming home drunk: you try to find the key that fits your door, but they all just won’t fit, making you have to sleep in the garage (which happened to me).
That’s why those four reasons, belonging to a peergroup, socialization, relaxation and creativity, are lies. Now that I’m off the green stuff I feel a lot better and am more creative, productive, social and clear-minded. I am never going back to that life and I will be letting you know how so that you can learn from it.
In this post I am going to tell you some things I know about the negative effects of smoking doobies.
2. I Blazed… Too Much
In highschool the smoking was incidental. In college it got out of hand. I shared a house with people who also smoked weed, so every day we found a reason to smoke. I also had friends in the house who didn’t smoke or stopped, and they low-key condemned us. Now I’m on their side.
I upgraded my paraphenilia, from smoking joints to smoking shisha with weed in it to smoking bongs.
But I found this perfectly normal. I took a gram of weed with me everywhere I went, just in case. At the most absurd occasions I would light one up. With people I wouldn’t trust when sober. I combined this with alcohol some nights, giving me a drunken-stoned rush; in Dutch you call it stronken (stoned + dronken / stoned + drunk). I am not a neurologist but I can imagine this did some damage to my brain.
My studies came into jeopardy. Multiple times I failed multiple studies. I told myself that I failed because it wasn’t my life path, that I was therefore not motivated enough. This was true, I wasn’t motivated enough. But it wasn’t because I didn’t like the studies I did. It was because my eyes were closed and my mind was fixed on getting hits.
One time it was so bad that even when I had to hand in a paper that would decide my future (I had to score high on this paper and hand it in the next day), I hung out of the window, smoking a fat one. My neighbor friend smelled this and shook his head. He still tells this story now. That’s how much of an impression throwing one’s future away leaves behind.
3. It Stood In The Way Of What I Really Wanted
As I’ve already told you, I failed multiple studies because being stoned was a priority. I’ve quit art school twice, something that I was really good at and liked to do a lot, I’ve quit becoming a primary school teacher at universitary level because I didn’t have balance in my life. All in all, I’ve wasted about four years of my life. In different terms, I was pretty much a loser. I am still creating art, but on the side now, studying to become an English teacher. It is a life I didn’t imagine for myself when I was 18, when I dreamt of becoming a full-time artist.
I distanced myself from people who were important to me, urging them to also smoke and try to connect with me emotionally through drug use. I really wanted to learn to open up better and create lasting impressions on people, but instead of choosing the healthy route I chose the short-term route. Subconsciously I tried to be cooler than I was. Misery loves company, as I’ve told you in the Bartender’s Guide to Quitting Alcohol. Long story short, that doesn’t work. Luckily (or not luckily, it takes effort, desire and persistence) I am now sober and able to communicate my deepest feelings and wishes to people who are close to me. This makes me happier than being in a distant mindstate often.
When I was working in a bar in Utrecht, I was able to save up some money. That always provides a fresh outlook on life, new goals to be attained, new possibilities to explore. But still I smoked weed in the backalley of the bar with my colleagues, not performing optimally at my job and spending my hard-earned cash on short-term ‘medicine’.
Ironically, I was at the same time heavily into discipline blogs which told me to stop smoking. I was planting the seed to grow a better life.
4. How I Quit
But I had to sink a bit deeper before I could climb my way up. After that I got an appartment of my own and moved out of the dormitory, I was smoking weed daily and at a certain point, had only 30 cents in my name. I couldn’t pay my rent and was living on meal shakes. I painted my worst, most angsty works. Life revolved around going to the coffeeshop and sitting at home, painting alone. This phase of my life opened my eyes up to reality later, when I accepted counseling. At a certain point, I was so paranoid that I wouldn’t leave the house and just slept or painted, tried to ease the mind-benders. I really thought I was going to die in that appartment, on a matress on the floor.
My mom then came over for dinner. She saw me in the mess I created and persuaded me to come home. I accepted, because I realized that this couldn’t go on much longer. I had worked at the homeless shelter as a volunteer, so I knew the realities of being homeless in a big city. Staying at the appartment would only mean a way down, and I was searching for a way up.
So I moved back to Gouda and accepted counseling with a great counsellor. Of course, we had a talk about my drug use. I was living on goverment assistance and staying at home, painting and still smoking weed. Sometimes I smoked in the house, which my mother vehemently was against. It just shows the amount of fucks that you don’t give when you’re deep into the weed game.
There is a gap in this story which I’m saving for later. It’s about being deepest into the schizophrenic-psychotic episode that weed got me in.
After my darkest times I was reading a lot. Reading about discipline, making something of myself. I relaunched my website, started writing and painted more often. Even though I didn’t have my cashflow under control (I was ordering takeout and drinking coffee by the kilos) I started to climb back up out of that hellhole.
I drank less often, smoked less often. I was taking walks throught the park. Recovering slowly. Being in nature really has a way of taking your head out of the clouds and getting your bare feet on the ground.
5. How Hard Was It?
Quitting blazing is not hard. It’s easier to not smoke weed than to smoke weed. The hard part is getting yourself so far that you internally want to quit. Once you think to yourself “Maybe I should quit” then you’re ready to quit. Your instinct is then calling out to you.
I also tell you that it’s not hard because you have to change your perspective from “I could never quit because I need it so badly” to “Quitting is beneficial to my mind and body and easy to do”. You have to change your thoughts.
Counseling helps, but it’s not the definitive answer. First of all, you have to be open and honest to your counsellor (and I certainly know I tried to bullshit my way through the talks with lies at the beginning) which will take time. You have to build up a foundation of trust and, unironically, love. Second of all, you should take counselling for a long period of time. I have a friend who accepted counselling for his weed use, did well in that he was not smoking for a long time and felt better, but now that the counselling is over he is slowly relapsing. It’s hard to see. I have been in counselling for over a year and sometimes I still think to myself whether I should smoke. Good for me that I’m able to change that thought to “No, I don’t want to go back”. You train yourself, mentally.
What doesn’t help is that weed use is becoming normalized, by the state and by young people. In more and more countries, marijuana is now legally for sale. I think it’s another way of keeping people inactive so that they don’t organize and take action against the people who are exploiting them. It’s comparable to the cocaine world (someone showed me a documentary on how cocaine is made): The drug dealers give relatively good money to the coca farmers, so that they will stay docile.
6. Benefits of Quitting
Now that I have been off weed for half a year, I already notice some positive differences, mainly in relation to openness, lack of depression, activity levels, decrease in paranoia, and honesty, in speech and action. However, I’ve read somewhere that it can take years before your brain is fully restored. I am now on that road.
7. Don’t Be That Person
When you find things to do in your life other than work and smoking weed, you will become a happier person. It’s about pride, my dear reader. You can either sit around and ‘chill’ with a joint, accomplishing nothing, or you can leave a legacy that your children will be proud of. This is the choice you must make. I know what I want, do you?
Don’t be that guy who accomplishes nothing, and looks back on his life with regret. Be that guy who has seen the world and can tell his children about it. I have a friend whose parents are weed addicts, she is the victim of neglection. It took her more years to become strong, but she got strong on her own. She’s a good person, but I can’t help but wonder how she would have turned out if she didn’t have that experience.
This is part of my story.
Until next time.