I’m sharing the story of one of our members ‘RushFan83’. Weed addiction is becoming more common as weed increases in potency and availability. One the the take-aways from this story is that synthetic substitutes like Spice, K2, etc are more dangerous and likely to cause psychosis than the natural stuff. Stay Tuned for more users stories in the coming weeks.
How I Started Smoking Weed
I started smoking marijuana when I was thirteen. It was a way to prove that I was different and cool. We did it mostly during weekends and school holidays, I remember getting high in car parks and storm drains, behind train stations and by the river. I was proud of being a stoner at school, but I didn’t smoke every day and I got pretty good marks. Although I’d probably never have turned down a session if it was happening, it wasn’t until I was twenty that I developed a full-time habit.
The next year, after about nine months of smoking every day, my friend asked me to help him move house. Sitting in his new place having smoked a joint I started thinking about all the ways to die; electricity sockets, off the stair case, etc. All this pessimism came over me, that everything was pointless and that I had no future. I got home and went to bed.
Smoking Weed and Psychosis
It was horrible because I was still addicted to pot and I’d feel like shit when I wasn’t on, but then smoking gave me psychosis. So began a constant cycle of off-again-on-again use that lasted just about all through my twenties. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, but it was mostly that I was depressed while I was detoxing for a few months, then I’d feel ‘better’ and smoke weed again, putting me in a manic state where I did crazy things and lost sight of my limits until I started getting psychosis again, so I’d stop and the whole thing would repeat. I think the worst thing about marijuana is that it turned me into thoughtless asshole, I was so rapped up in how great my mental plans and schemes were that I didn’t care that I was destroying all my friendships and hurting my family in the process.
Back in 2008, after I’d had another psychotic episode and been in a psych ward for the first time, I decided I needed to stop so I went to Narcotics Anonymous. I got fairly well indoctrinated into all of the recovery talk and was trying to work the steps going to meetings every day, which seemed to be going well. But then I decided that I had recovered from my addiction which meant, in my crazy thinking, that I could start smoking again! Which I did, for the next nine months straight, until I ended up in a psych ward. After that I was off cannabis for about fifteen months, during which I trained as an actor and during the summer of 2011 I worked on some films and had stress-induced psychosis where I thought I needed to smoke weed so I could calm down. When I finally did hit the bong, it drove me full on insane, hearing voices and thinking I was on some crazy vision quest. I ended up smashing up a motel room and passing out, waking up a day later in hospital and put in psych ward again.
Stay Away From Synthetics
But I kept smoking and started using synthetic cannabis instead, which at the time I thought was a great legal alternative but which drove me just as crazy and led, again, to the psych ward, three more times, especially during 2012 where, combined with the whole ‘end of the world’ hype, it caused some pretty amazing thought processes. Then 2013 came around and it was pretty clear that the world wasn’t going to end which made me depressed and the manic high dissipated. By the middle of the year I’d been smoking the synthetics pretty much a month on a month off, and I got sick of sitting on the toilet sucking down thirty or forty cones a day, so I told my dad to get rid of my stash and he threw it in the fire and I haven’t touched the stuff since.
Probably the hardest thing about stopping were all the drug dreams. A couple of months after I’d stopped I was dreaming about smoking every night, I thought that it would go on like that forever. But nowadays, over eighteen months since I stopped, I only have those dreams very occasionally, and they don’t bother me so much. Unlike the other times, when I was pretty much forced to quit smoking because of mental unwellness, this time I made a conscious decision to stop and I’m always mindful of the inevitable results of starting up again (addiction, insanity) which outweigh any short term positives of getting back on the pipe. Another hard part of quitting has been dealing with all the regret of wasting so many years and all the friendships I’ve lost.
Life after Marijuana Addiction
Since stopping I can’t say my life is perfect. I sleep too much, I don’t have many friends, I have some anxiety and depression, I’m a lot more introverted than I used to be. But also, I’m more clear headed, I have better relationships with my family, I have money in my savings account and some plans for the future. Most importantly, I’m not addicted or insane, which is nice.
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