Before and After I stopped smoking weed

Before and After I stopped smoking weed

Smoking weed, marijuana or ganja, whatever you want to call it, was normal in my family. It was just as normal as smoking cigarettes; it was around me all the time growing up, it was socially accepted and never hidden so I thought it was just what you do.

If you wake up, you smoke a doobie, after a meal, you smoke another and if it is a special occasion you light up; if you are going on road trip, you have one for the road and if you are going to watch a movie, someone better skin up and if you have friends over, you stack the bong.

This was my normal and from the age of about 14, when I smoked my first joint. I then continued to smoke until I was 30 and I smoked almost every day, with perhaps 5 days off in those 16 years. I used to think that weed was good for health. How wrong was I, but then again, that is what I was brought up with.

Smoking Marijuana side effects

Now I was one of the many who would say that weed is natural, that it is not addictive, that it would relax me – which I now see it never did. Instead of relaxing me, it completely numbed me so I wouldn’t be able to feel. Looking back, I am surprised that I managed to function, let alone drive, but function is all I did, as I was far from living life to its fullest and enjoying life with vitality and joie de vivre. Actually, it was quite the opposite. I suffered from paranoia, always on edge, worried that I would get caught… and I was angry.

Some other side effects from my copious amounts of smoking included:

  • Not being able to get to sleep unless I smoked just before I went to bed and an absolute fear about not having enough weed left for the last joint of the night, because how will I ever sleep?

  • A major anxiety about running out, therefore I had one or two stashes hidden away – but I was still worried that they would run out.

  • A constant thinking of how I would find the money and where would I buy my next ounce from and on this note, I would go anywhere, and put myself in some very dodgy situations, all to get a fix.

  • I would wake up tired and groggy each day.

  • I was so angry most of the time and tried to just cover it with the weed, get stoned, don’t feel and then everything will be okay (and you just don’t have to deal with anything).

  • I have wrinkles around my mouth from smoking so much.

  • I used to get the munchies and eat anything – and way too much of it – to satisfy my crazy food cravings.

  • I never had any money, as any money that I did have would be spent on weed. I smoked about an ounce of weed a week, which adds up and means that if weed is the priority, there isn’t any money left over for decent food or clothing. It just depends what your priorities are and my main one was to get high first and foremost.

  • On the outside, yeah you would share your weed with your friends, but really it becomes something between you and your friends because there is never enough.

  • When I was not in a relationship, I would often sleep around and not really care.

  • I would take other drugs like opium, hash, ecstasy and magic mushrooms, although at the time I would have sworn that weed use does not lead to other drug use… but now that I don’t smoke weed, I wouldn’t take any other drug unless it was essential and prescribed by my doctor.

And the list goes on… I can only imagine all of the missed opportunities that went up in smoke because I was ‘just’ smoking a natural plant, and as far as I was concerned, I was not addicted.

From smoking marijuana to stopping smoking marijuana

The transition from being a smoker to not being a smoker was a tough journey, but I was fortunate to have the support of Chakra-Puncture sessions, thanks to Universal Medicine and a great support network of friends who inspired me… and I knew it was time. I knew I didn’t want to be controlled by weed anymore. I didn’t want to work to feed my addiction. I finally became aware of its hold on me and I wanted to be free from the haze that had consumed me for years.

Whilst giving up, I wanted to give up giving up and that was because of the following side effects of marijuana addiction:

  • I cried so much.

  • I was angry.

  • I had to have regular counselling sessions.

  • Life was challenging and boring – because I had to feel everything that I had used weed to bury or numb myself from.

  • I couldn’t get to sleep and when I did, I started to dream for the first time since I was a teenager and it freaked me out.

  • I was tired.

  • I was scared that I would never be able to actually stop.

  • I didn’t know who I was – as I had always identified myself as a stoner, a big pot smoker and wasn’t sure which other label to give myself.

  • The paranoia kicked in big time and my body went through major withdrawals. I hated the giving up time because I had to actually see how deeply lost I was with it and realise all the choices I had made up until then and I didn’t like them.

There were many many times in the first year that I would dream of just having a joint and everything would be okay. Having the joint to me was like having a pacifier, and without it, it meant that I had to deal with life and that was tough after avoiding all responsibilities and feelings that I had experienced for all of my adult life up until then.

Looking back now though, do I think that marijuana use is safe? Absolutely not.

I remember how very furious and angry I would get and how great it was to finally get support, do counselling and deal with all the patterns of behaviour, the hurts that I had and work through the anger issues that I had come to know and think were just me.

After I stopped smoking marijuana

It has now been just over 8 years of being smoke free and I realise things now that I was not able to see or understand whilst I was caught in the haze of all the smoke.

The way that my life has changed is incredible and if given the chance to change anything in my life, it would be to have not started smoking weed in the first place because seriously, it is as if I have lived two very different and separate lives.

  • I no longer need counselling sessions.

  • My skin is healthier than ever before – even though the results of my past choices are written on my face, giving me a reminder of what I have chosen.

  • I wake up very early each day and I am wide awake and ready to go.

  • I go to sleep early each night and don’t have a problem getting to sleep.

  • I have more money than ever before and am not scrounging around trying to find more money to buy more weed – instead I have saved enough to get a deposit on a house.

  • I take care of myself with massage and in other ways that support me, like good healthy food and warm clothes that I could never do when the priority was to buy weed.

  • I am not paranoid! This is a big one and is so freeing. I don’t wake to every sound, or jump when something moves.

  • I am not angry and rarely get angry and all the rage that I carried and expressed is a thing of the past.

  • I have better relationships with my friends, especially as they aren’t trying to smoke my stash.

Today I see through the illusion, the propaganda, the media and lies that marijuana is good for you. I see the comments and Facebook ads and how they have legalised it here and there and I actually feel really sad that so many of my brothers and sisters around the world have given their lives away to this way of living that is not living.

Sure, you may get the giggles when you are stoned, but with that you get so much more that is not worth it and there is nothing as good as having true joy in your life and a bounce in your walk instead of a drag of your feet.

I have friends who have given up marijuana and have felt the changes that I have, some with the support of Universal Medicine like I have had, and some with my support with the Universal Medicine therapies, and others who have just decided that it was time – and you know not once have I heard someone tell a bad story about how terrible their life is since they stopped smoking weed.


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ConfidenceAddictionAnxietyBreathDrugs

  • Photography: Matt Paul