Prague Twin

Saturday, November 25, 2006

On a Personal Note

Last weekend I decided to quit smoking pot. I don't know yet if that means for ever or for a week, but it just seemed like the time to make a change. So what is different? Not much really. Ironically, the things most people associate with pot smoking are now creaping into my life whereas before they were not a problem. Let's have a look.

I'm finding it a bit harder to concentrate and stay on task. I haven't been blogging much since I quit for two reasons. Firstly, the one I just stated, and secondly, I just don't seem to have any good ideas. I don't know if this has anything to do with quitting, but I do know that most of my ideas for stories have come to me under the influence. I liked to smoke, let an idea hit me and then roll with it. I found it easy to stay focused for a long period of time on one idea and give it the thought and work it deserved. Now, not only do I seem to lack any good ideas or angles, even when I do get one, my mind wanders away from it before I feel inspired to write anything about it.

I'm a bit more moody. I've always been fairly arrogant and rude and I found that pot helped me temper those qualities to a great extent. It tends to humble me and make me see the error of my ways. This week, however, I feel quite righteous even though in my heart I know that is not the case. I haven't blown up at anyone or anything like that, but the hypocricy that surrounds me (and the rest of us) seems much harder to bear.

I'm bored out of my mind. Pot tended to give me the sense that what I was doing was engaging and fun even if it was rather pedestrian. This week everything seems quite tedious and boring, unless I've had a few drinks.

So why did I quit? Well, I am quite familiar with addiction. I kicked a pretty serious speed habit in my mid teens and I also kicked a very serious cocaine habbit in my early twenties. With the speed, I felt like I couldn't function without it, and I didn't want to be a slave, so I quit. With cocaine, I finally succumbed to paranoia (which I had always thought was a sign of weak-mindedness in others) and I was convinced I was going to die of a heart attack. I never went to meetings or counceling for these addictions. People say it is rare that someone kicks these habbits without counceling or hospitalization or both and thus I have a lot of will power. To that I say, if I had so much will power, how did I let myself get addicted in the first place? Life is all about choices. If you get addicted to something you have no one to blame but yourself. If you want to quit, you have no one to turn to but yourself. It is all about choices.

So with the pot, although it wasn't messing up my life like the other two drugs had, I felt like I had become dependent on it. Addiction is much too strong a word as anyone who has actually been addicted to something can tell you. I don't believe it is possible to become addicted to marijuana, but it can become a crutch and a habbit. It can become something you turn to for satisfaction instead of the things in life that healthy people turn to (like friends and family for example). When I realized that I couldn't simply cut down, I knew it was time to quit.

Now I am curious to see if there will be any benefit. Will I be able to think more clearly? Will I perform better at my job? Will my interpersonal relationships improve? Honestly, I doubt it. The other time in my life when I smoked a lot was in college and I managed to get strait A's for the most part. There were even times I remeber (yes pot heads do remember things) trying in vain all night to put together a wealth of information into some comprehensible form and while sober I was unable to get the ideas to click. Then I would smoke and about a half an hour later everything would fall into place and I would go to sleep feeling confident. Then I would wake up in the morning, go to school and ace the test.

The point I'm trying to make is that smoking pot has never prevented me from learning or thinking: quite the opposite. What it has prevented me from doing is acting like an arrogant prick and a cynical, depressed, attention-span challenged alcoholic which seems to run in my family. I've always said I could quit whenever I wanted to and so as I tend to challenge most people to do, I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

I'll let you all know how things progress.


  • PT

    Good luck with your quest. I hope you find what you are looking for. I remember quitting smoking (cigarettes). Like you, I went out cold turkey. It was hard but not insurmountable. Again, like you say; it seems to be more of a habit than the actual addiction that the fear mongers would have us believe.

    Watch your food intake. I'm put on an immediate 30lbs that I can’t shake. (Great! I won’t get lung cancer but I'll die from some cardiovascular BS!)

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:35 PM  

  • Wow, what a revelation. You seem to have a more addictive personality than I do (I never did cocaine or speed) but you also seem to be able to kick things with effort. Good luck. I quit smoking pot many years ago mainly because it quit working. I just wasn't getting high like I used to. I now look on it as a robber of my energy and ambition and think all the ideas I had while high were specious at best. Good luck with it. I recognize the "everything seems bland" problem but unfortunately I have nothing to offer on how you get over that. Sorry.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 3:58 PM  

  • Thanks for your support guys. I really appreciate it.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:22 PM  

  • Like Roger I got to where it did nothing and the price kept going up.
    Good luck, I hope you make it.

    God Bless America, God Save The Republic

    By Blogger David Schantz, at 8:28 PM  

  • I KNEW IT! I know an addict personality when I see one...the denial, the self-righteousness--

    "Treatment is for the weak"--you're going to live to regret making that comment on my blog!

    Withdrawal's a bummer, but you'll get over it. Yes, people do get addicted to pot. What you're going to have more problems with are the underlying psychological problems that you keep trying to "deal with" through your addictive behavior. That, my friend, you're going to need treatment for.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 10:39 PM  

  • Interesting post. I don’t smoke pot any more (honest!) but I smoked like a chimney all through the ‘70s and ‘80s. Currently I just drink. Not necessarily a change for the better; it just sort of evolved (or devolved) that way.

    Since pot isn’t causing you any problems and actually seems to be helping you with your day-to-day life, why do you want to quit? I can see not wanting to feel addicted to it, but there must be a middle ground. Maybe just not smoking for a day or two, something like that. Back in my pot days, I used to “dry out” every so often for several days or maybe a week. But it wasn’t will power. Every now and then I’d start feeling like I was getting a tolerance to pot, or just not enjoying it as much. (“Smoking more now but enjoying it less” as the cigarette ads used to say.) So I’d dry out for a few days and then start smoking again with a vengeance. Worked for me.

    I don’t want to derail your determination if you really want to quit. But pot certainly doesn’t seem to be getting in your way or hindering you. Good luck.

    By Anonymous Tom Harper, at 5:40 AM  

  • I quit cigarettes seven years ago and pot about three. I smoked a pack a day and got high every night for several years. After a while you forget about it, at least I did.

    good luck

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 11:02 AM  

  • Wow! Did everyone smoke pot in the past? Looks like I'm in good company.

    Again, thanks to everyone for the revelations and support.

    I don't feel like I'm going through withdrawl as I know what that is like. I'm just bored and uninspired. Things seem kind of bland, but emotionally and physically I don't see any difference. I'm interested to see what it will be like in the weeks and months ahead.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:51 PM  

  • Great post. I've had my share of addictions and I've always felt that there's something awful, at some existential level, about being addicted to anything. And I've always had a hard time believing that the benefits of any substance don't come with a cost. So good luck.

    By Blogger Karlo, at 12:58 AM  

  • You will be glad you did. Just watch out with the internet addiction wanting to insert it's self in the void.

    By Blogger Frederick, at 2:55 PM  

  • Congratulations to you! Suggest you also give up the alcohol, too, at least for say, 6 months or so. Taking substances interferes with maturation (hence the feeling crabby, not being nice, etc.) so give your behavior and reaction skills a chance to catch up for a while. No cheating with pharmaceuticals, though! Give yourself a chance, and I think you will be richly rewarded. If you are having a tough time of it, try an AA meeting. They can give you support and help you be the person you want to be.

    By Blogger Publia, at 5:05 PM  

  • what a honest guy. drugs can be stopped pretty fast if you have no means to get them, we are not all celebs that go to rehabs but keep it a secret. could you email me mate notmbar@aol i know my stuff and been there just get relapsed a bit

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