I was 16 when I started smoking weed. I was the last one of my “group” to do so. My buddy’s used to get high on the way to high school in the morning, listening to Frank Zappa, and for a whole year, I didn’t partake. But I felt like to be a part of the group it was a requirement. It really wasn’t, it was just in my head. It was at this point that almost everyone I hung out with (away from parents) drank alcohol or got stoned. There were some older guys too that were kind of bullys, maybe intimidating would be a better word, and although I was not “bullied” to get stoned, others were. (this memory has only recently come to the surface, I had buried it for years.)

After high school, I went to a Junior college (2 years), it was still the 70’s, and the situation grew out of hand. Instead of going to class we were getting stoned all day and night, and when we did go to class, my eyes were just about closed shut. I did ok, graduated, didn’t get in trouble, but it was nothing short of a miracle. On to a larger college, and the situation grew more out of hand, by this I mean other drugs were introduced.
I quickly was not interested in college and told my parents I wanted to stop going and go to work, which I did. Still hanging out with people that used on a weekly basis as did myself. It was about now that I first recognized a problem. I wanted to kill myself. I talked to my Mom about it and was put in “hypno-therapy”, here it’s important to acknowledge I only admitted there was a problem with weed, and it was really more than just weed by now. Hypno-therapy didn’t last but maybe 30 days before I quit, telling my Mom I was “OK”.
Work continued and so did I, still no trouble with the law, although that would soon change. I was in and out of some kind of therapy on at least two other occasions, each time, convincing someone that I was OK. Finally some of the people that I was hanging out with got in trouble and things moved down the chain. I was very lucky, and fortunate to not go to a Federal Penitentiary at this time. As some of my friends did. I tried to change then, you would think that would be enough but no….
I changed careers, found a wonderful woman and got married, thinking that it would fix everything. Wrong again, I continued just as I had in the past 20 years, pretending like everything was fine, still hanging with some of the same people from my college days that didn’t get in trouble. Finally one day I got randomly tested on my job with a company that had a “zero tolerance” policy. No more job, that was not a pleasant conversation with my wife…or my parents! My wife wanted me to go to treatment then, my parents didn’t think it was the right thing to do. So…no treatment, I started Celebrate Recovery, that was 10 years ago. I continued through CR for 12 months and was still smoking weed, still telling myself it was OK to drink, and hang with the same people!!
I finally checked myself into treatment 2 years ago. I am blessed that I never really did have any trouble with the law.
For the last two years I have successfully abstained from alcohol and other substances, except for weed. I told myself it was “medication” for my depression. Well my “medication” is now the cause of most of the problems I still have. It has taken me over 40 years to realize this! The resources available today were not available when I started, does that make it easier?
No. This process, this journey through recovery is what it is. It is worth it. I expected things to happen quickly, and the fact is that this process is about learning what works for you, acceptance of self and others, perseverance, tenacity, Honesty, and not giving up. There is nothing “quick” about it. If something doesn’t work keep looking until you find something that does. I think that’s what John has done here.
Your thought process is key to your success, “Know Your Why”, believe that it can be accomplished, use the tools provided and look for more, they are there, what works for you is there, you just have to find it.
I’m still going through the process myself, I’m still learning, but I’m getting better.
Just because they are legalizing the stuff in different states doesn’t mean it’s “GOOD” for you! I know there are medical uses for cannabis, and I pray that if you are in pain or any other mental anguish that you get what works for you!

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