I quit smoking cannabis over a week ago. This wasn’t something I did on a whim and it hasn’t been easy. But I’m so tired of requiring something external to make me okay. To make me at ease. I’ve been learning how to be okay with just me. And that by far has been the most difficult adjustment I’ve had to make. Quitting drugs is easy. Learning who you are after quitting, and how to deal with yourself and everything that comes with living… That’s when the work begins.
For the first month or two, I was floating around like nothing could touch me. I actually was worried I was having a manic episode. And shitty things happened. Many times.. They always will. Life doesn’t stop when you decide to get your head out of your ass.
What I noticed was that when life threw me a curveball, or I had complicated curriculum to learn, and I didn’t use drugs to deal with it… I found, I was forced to deal with the issue, or the stressor, or whatever it is. It could be business. It could be my daughters or family. It could be money. And sometimes it’s just stubbing my toe. Whatever it is… If I don’t drown myself in alcohol or drugs as a reaction, I can actually deal with the problem and work on a solution.
All hands on deck
It’s scary. It’s hard. And I can’t do it alone. I’m building my team. It consists of anyone who wants me to be better. Anyone that’s willing to take the time to listen. To love. And it doesn’t mean I get all the answers from someone else. Sometimes, all I need is to know you’re there.
I’ve had to put things in place, so that there will be someone or something to catch my fall. So that others can see what’s going on. Things that will help self-correct my mistakes. So when I’m messing up, someone will notice and say “Hey you bastard, quit doing this or you’re going to lose it all!”
I know some people will notice if I stop writing this blog. I know some people will notice if I’m not where I usually am. I know some people will notice if I stop calling them to hang out. My yoga instructor will notice if I stop going to yoga. My friends in my yoga class will too. Some guys at the skatepark will notice I’m not there everyday anymore. My daughters will notice if I never leave my bedroom like I used to. My dad will notice if I don’t answer his calls anymore like I used to. My friends will wonder where I am on the weekends. People will notice if I stop taking care of myself. And my therapist will notice if I stop messaging her 20x a day. I need people. And I hope they need me.
She’s my therapist. She’s my friend. And she loves my family. I talk to Michelle numerous times throughout the day. Sometimes it’s just to tell her some good news. Sometimes, it’s because I don’t know if what I’m feeling is normal. Sometimes I need a kick in my ass and I need to hear it from someone else to put things in perspective. Sometimes I just need encouragement. She’ll tell me when I’m doing something wrong.. or right.. And she knows when I’m bullshitting myself. I can’t get anything past her.
She’s a child therapist. I originally started seeing her with my daughters. Being divorced, and a single dad who takes care of them myself, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, so I was looking for some guidance. I wanted my daughters to have someone to talk to when they needed (other than their father). We meet in parks near us, or near a lake by her house, or other places outdoors. And sometimes I go for a walk and she talks to the girls.. Other times we all talk. Occasionally only one of my daughters comes with. And sometimes it’s just me.
She teaches me the dangers of social media. With growing little girls, this is important. She teaches me about all the failures of modern society. She reminds me how important it is to be outside, to be with nature, with people, with life in general. She teaches me that I need my family and that they need me. That I need my dad. And my dad needs me. This wasn’t an easy pill to swallow.
She is a godsend, and I don’t think I’d be where I am today without her encouragement, care, and wisdom. She’s definitely on my team. She’s my captain.
I’ve dealt with depression (supposedly) my whole life. But what I’ve been learning (from Michelle), is that I’m going to have feelings and emotions, and it’s not always going to be rosy. That it’s actually not natural to feel all happy and giddy all the time. It’s just part of the human experience.
It’s similar to why we experience pain. It’s actually a survival feature. If we didn’t have pain, we’d all be walking around with missing limbs (at best).
But putting psychiatric medications in my body (or drugs and alcohol) to drown these feelings, has done me no good. It makes things so much worse. The anti-depressant medications they give people (kids/adolescents too) are the ones that should be Scheduled. Not psychedelics, or cannabis, or any other drug for that matter.
So yeah, I quit smoking pot. And I completely forgot about the dreams. Apparently when you quit smoking pot everyday, you start dreaming these crazy vivid dreams. They’re so real feeling, it’s spooky. Oh and I still don’t drink caffeine anymore. And my sleep has gotten better now. I also stopped eating red meat a couple weeks ago. Mainly because it doesn’t agree with me.
I feel a lot healthier in general, but I still have my ups and downs. I’m just able to work through them a little better now. I’ll occasionally wake up in a shitty mood, or just sad for no reason, but I’ll usually message Michelle and she’ll tell me it’s okay. That it’s normal. And to go for a hike, or take the dogs for a walk, or get on my skateboard. Just do some sort of physical activity to elevate your mood. Plus you get some exercise out of it too. It doesn’t always work though, and I’ll usually have to incorporate a few things.. Writing about it is one of them. Always helpful.
I hope everyone finds some thing to make things okay and more manageable. It’s not easy. I’m undoing 30 years of trauma, so it’s going to be an uphill battle for me. Luckily, I’ve been witnessing little miracles every day because of the path I’m on now. I’ve been seeing the fruits of my labor fairly quickly and that makes it easy to prove to myself that this is working. And man, do I need to see the proof.