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Anxiety battles and Weed addiction

The sigh of relief when you reach your destination and all irrational fears go out of the window. Every journey I make fills me with Dred, the buildup to leaving the house that at times feels like a ton of bricks on my chest. Just smile and wave I tell myself, it won’t be that bad today. That is me trying to build myself with inner confidence to attack the day as a ‘normal’ person.  

The issue with an anxiety disorder is that it is invisible, no one can see that your suffering or that you may find it difficult to complete specific tasks. No two experiences are the same and everyone has their own different triggers. I felt that I had a good grip on my anxiety and that was certainly the case for a while. I had completed a course of CBT therapy and the tools I had learnt allowed me to start expanding my comfort zones and managing my reactions when placed in challenging circumstances. Then I messed up! I decided to start smoking weed again, which initially started as a recreational habit. I would have a little here and there, then it became a little every day, then I would start to buy my own and within the space of 3-4 months I was fully back into my addiction. It took me a while before I even realised that I had relapsed and that this habit had now taken its toll on my life. I started to decline social events more often as I was too high to be bothered to go. I became content with being by myself getting high and just chilling out. Now this may seem like a dream to some however, the problem with smoking was that it was affecting my social confidence, I began to feel uncomfortable standing alone in a queue in the supermarket, the general anxiety had begun to creep back in. On top of that I was eating a lot of sugary foods which was wreaking havoc on my digestion which in turn, also had an impact on my IBS which was linked to my anxiety.  

After recognising the negative impact it was having on my life, I decided to go cold turkey and quit. I had been sober for 3 years so I knew I had it in me to stop and I haven’t regretted it since. My experience smoking weed has been an interesting one and it has made me realise that for some people weed can be a dangerous substance to consume. Especially when you are a young teenager. I sometimes wonder to myself, would I have developed an anxiety disorder if I did not smoke weed. I understand that not everyone goes through this same experience however, in my particular case when you mix childhood trauma with poverty and intense weed consumption, you can get a really bad outcome.  I came to understand that it is not just about smoking weed, it is about self medicating in any format. It becomes a process of brushing your symptoms under the carpet to be dealt with another day. But this coping mechanism can become very unhealthy and will only contribute to toxic behaviour patterns in the long run. Addiction is a form of self harm and it doesn’t have to be a substance that you are addicted to.

I see so many young men who are suffering with a form of undiagnosed mental health issue and suffering alone in silence believing that the problems they are experiencing is just part and parcel of life. Suffering with a mental health disorder can be very isolating at times and it is always best to try and reach out to others to discuss how you are feeling. Personally, it has helped me to rationalise my thoughts and to understand that I am not going crazy, this is a part of me that I have to accept and learn to live with and manage. It can be very draining at times which is why I tend to write about my experiences as I know that someone out there can relate. If you feel the same way or have been through similar experiences, drop a comment below to share your story. Or if you would like to see any similar posts about different aspects of mental health… let me know. 

And we must plod along lol xx 

By Millennial Madness

Discussing topics related to the madness we Millennials go through

4 replies on “Anxiety battles and Weed addiction”

Totally understand this. I’ve been smoking weed everyday for 10 years now. I never thought I’d be saying that but here I am. I’m at the point now where I want to give up but I find it hard to do so. I often get depressed over my failed attempts to stop so it can be a very vicious cycle. What techniques did you use to get yourself to quit? I’m getting better at not wanting it but somedays I struggle and then I feel like I’ve let myself down.

Definitely do not be too hard on yourself for finding it hard to give up. It’s highly addictive and is quite hard to stop. In my situation, my anxiety would often be heighten while I was high. So over time I became uncomfortable with being high especially when my heart would beat fast etc. I know that I have an addictive personality so quitting gradually was never a good option. I decided a date and built myself up mentally to stop from that date (an occasion often helps) then from that date I threw away all of my tools and just took it one day at a time. Everyday you don’t smoke is a personal achievement and it’s about overcoming the withdrawal too. Have faith in yourself you definitely are capable of achieving that goal x

Thanks for your response. It’s very useful to know that there are people out there who can relate to what I’m going through and approach the situation with no judgement. So, thank you for that.

It’s interesting to hear how weed affected you and I notice some similarities in my story, which again is reassuring, given that you are shouting this advice to me from the light at the end of the tunnel. I am also a, sometimes not so proud, owner of an addictive personality. I know you should love yourself, including all of your imperfections, but this trait can have a lot more of a negative impact on life than good usually. Nonetheless, like you said, I’ll have to take this into consideration when devising a plan to give up. I am moving house soon so perhaps I’ll use this as an opportunity.

I really like the idea of throwing everything away. During previous attempts to stop I have kept all paraphernalia which, upon reflection had only hampered my chances of becoming free. Going forward, I think I’ll implement this strategy.

Thanks once again for your honest, relatable and inspiring words. I’ll certainly take heed of what you’ve shared and hopefully I’ll be able to get there too.

Firstly I wanna thank you for opening up this chat, I feel honoured to read this and it reminded me of Tuesday just gone, I spoke about this with my therapist; we’re currently exploring the same thing – addiction, depression and anxiety and negative self soothing antics

Xxx

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