A few days ago I check the r/leaves community and found an interesting post from Leopold, a full-time video editor/artist based in New York City. Leopold started smoking when he was 18, and what soon started as a fun activity became an endless, chasing-high habit.
In this video, we discussed his beginnings with marijuana, his career, his burnout and his sober journey.
This is a great episode for anyone working long hours and using weed as a coping tool.
This August marks two years since I quit marijuana so I had to do something special. Seeing that last few months I’m extensively finding ways to help others control their marijuana use, I went back to the first time I had an idea of quitting marijuana. I asked myself “if I had to quit again, If I had to do it all over again, what would I do?”
The result is a 6-page guide which you can download for free on my page. I pretty much summed 5 years of my journey so you don’t make the same mistakes.
Hey everyone, on today’s episode you will hear a story from Julie, who is a regular member of our community and someone I talk to regularly.
We discussed her first experience with marijuana, how an occasional smoke turned into an addiction, her relationship with her brother who smokes heavily and her endeavours last few weeks to quit.
I know this wasn’t easy for Julie to share, so I thank you again. If you want to see the video, check my YouTube channel.
00:00 Introduction 01:30 What was your first time smoking marijuana? 03:41 Was cannabis normalized back then in Georgia? 05:31 You have your first experience with marijuana at 20, what happens after? 07:00 What’s the feeling like when you know you shouldn’t do it? 10:21 At what point did you start smoking by yourself? 12:15 Wanting to be by myself 13:30 Not sharing marijuana 16:00 Weed smoking affects your relationships 21:41 When did you decide to quit 24:00 What changed? 27:51 What gets you back to smoking? 30:51 Trying to quit when your brother smokes as well 35:11 Julie’s obsession over serial killers 39:25 Julie’s career plans 43:40 What do you think about MY LAST JOINT community
Book A Free Discovery Session
If you are currently struggling with marijuana and would like some help then book a free discovery session. During the session, you will have the opportunity to share your current situation, learn more about my method and find out whether we are fit to work together. Please book only if you are serious about quitting.
When we started talking with Fred, he told me he is in his 50s, smoking more than half of his life. A musician by trade, he tried to quit few times before, his last one being a 1-year break. Fred has ADHD, something I come across very often amongst heavy users.
Fred is aware of the consequences marijuana has on him, however he still believes it helps his anxiety and boredom. He knows this lifestyle is not sustainable, but he also doesn’t want to quit for good.
On our first session, I explained Fred my method and enquired about his expectations and vision. Fred didn’t want a complete resolution (quit marijuana), but he did want someone he can talk to and confide in.
I stopped talking with Fred after two sessions. He enjoyed our work together and will consider hiring me again in the future.
Fred's review on video
Transcription of Fred's review
Okay, first off, I wanted to ask you how was the whole onboarding? I understand we spoke over Reddit before we got on the call, but just kind of quickly, how did you find the whole experience?
I thought it was helpful and you know I thought your approach was you know very, I would say that you were good the way you approached it because you were just very like okay, you know you want to try this, you want to try to talk and see what how it goes and I was fine to do it. I mean I thought it was now in terms of the conversation itself, I thought you asked some very good questions and you sort of were able to understand kind of things probably from your own experience of trying to quit and so you seem to have a very good understanding of the process and what it takes and also how difficult it can be.
Would you be able – and I appreciate not much progress can be done in two sessions – but would you be able to draw any progress or were there any changes on your side, did that help you in any way?
It did help me because it allowed me to have somebody to talk to about the thing, you know, because you know, I think a lot of times when it comes to marijuana addiction, people that you try to talk to about it, they don’t really get it. They just kind of think that it’s not addictive and that you know, it’s not such a big deal to quit and that whereas I think, you know that it could be, it could be incredibly difficult. It can be incredibly depressing because of just the, you know, you become dependent on marijuana so much for just general well being and then you quit and so it makes you feel like the days are very dark and not very fun and boring, you know, so I thought it’s just good to have somebody to just talk to about it and I think it just helps to share your feelings with somebody else that understands. I think it’s important. I think it’s something that people need. So for that, I think it was very good.
Absolutely. And yes, that is probably the number one reason why I’m doing this, because there is not much support out there and because it’s something we definitely need. And like you mentioned, coming from my own experience, I think I’m able to draw similar lines and similar experience in that matter. Last question. For anyone that is on the fence of joining, or anyone that is perhaps a little bit scared or vary of their privacy, what would you say to them?
Well I would say especially, you know, the thing is that I’ve talked to other therapists, just in this course of trying to stop and I always just felt that I was talking to somebody who didn’t understand, you know, who just didn’t have an idea of what I was going through and you know, they would sit there and listen. Maybe like the first time they would kind of give some feedback but after a while they just, I don’t think they got it that it was a very difficult thing and they just kind of regarded it as something much easier than it really is and so they just, I just got the sense that they didn’t empathize whereas I feel like you do and so that’s something that’s just important to have somebody on the other end that has gone through what you’ve gone through and so they can understand exactly what you’re feeling. Because even the greatest therapists and you know people who have like degrees in therapy and are, you know going to medical school and they just, I don’t know, it’s just sometimes I just got the sense that they didn’t relate. You know and I just find that talking to somebody that can relate is much better than talking to someone that can’t. Even if the person that you’re talking to is not like a professional the way you know some of the people that I’ve talked to have been and I’ve had to just kind of get out of therapy because dealing with this, I’ve actually, it’s lead to relapse. I’ve talked to you know, I’ve had a therapist that just didn’t really get it and I would go in there and like not have much to talk about except how depressed I was because I wasn’t smoking weed and you know what it led me to do sometimes to just like go into the therapy high and then I would have a better time, but that’s really not productive. So you know, you understand what I’m saying?
I completely understand and honestly, you are not the first person that mentioned that. So, yes, spot on. Thank you for that Fred. Adding to this, what would you say to anyone that is on the fence?
Well, I would say that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And you can try it and see how it does for you. And if it doesn’t, if you don’t feel like it has some benefit for you, then don’t continue. Like it’s not something that you, there’s no obligation. You know, try one and see how it goes for you. See if it makes you feel better and I can certainly say it certainly made me better. And I’m, you know, I’m considering using your service. It’s just that I wanted to give it a little more time and see you know how I felt, but I still I’m strongly considering it. So I think anybody else should too.
Jennifer was one of my first clients. She got in touch with me via email in the summer of 2022, after abusing marijuana for over 13 years. Suffering from cPTSD, she always struggled regulating emotions and marijuana was her answer.
We had a couple of 1-1 sessions with Jennifer in autumn, which resulted in full abstinence from marijuana. 2 months later, she had to change her apartment and go back to living with her brother, who is a heavy user. This propelled Jennifer back to the old ways, something she was conscious of.
When I was putting together a group this January, I messaged her whether she wants to participate. She took the opportunity, paid the fee and grabbed the momentum to get sober.
Since we last spoke, she’s been sober for a month. She is very active in our Facebook group (quit weed and succeed), however she does realize she will need further guidance and support on cPTSD, something she is actively looking for.
Jennifer's review on video
Transcription of Jennifer's review
So you have taken on a group coaching, which we started I think first of January. How was the whole onboarding? And what was the actual reason you decided to participate?
So, yeah, we’re coaching from the first of January. I had tried to attempt to quit before managed, you know, maybe 2.5 months. But then I had to go for homelessness and stay with my brother who smokes full time. I ended up relapsing. You know, I just kind of did the same after informing not being able to control my use, you know, buying more and more despite getting into debt again. Yeah, I just well, I don’t normally make a New Year’s resolution. I just think, I just resolved things, you know, whatever. But I thought well, it might be a good time to try again. Today, I’m on Day 25. I had thought previously that there will be absolutely no point in even attempting, you know. Well, I was staying with someone smoking full-time and I guess I proved myself wrong. It’s been good. I mean, you’ve been checking in with me every day, and that’s been helpful. And we had a little WhatsApp group with a lot of engagement. And, you know, it’s just the extra support, which was really good as well. Because, you know, on WhatsApp you can just check in any time, you know, if you feel like writing something, someone may not pick up straight away. But, you know, someone will get back to me. Oh, yeah, It was just really helpful.
How would you say that the group aspect or group accountability helped, did it change anything for you?
I think it does. Yeah. I think you know having multiple people going through the same thing that you’re going for, and you don’t want to, you don’t want to let anyone down. Even though it’s not like letting someone down, you just, you feel more accountable. You know, to keep going. And you know, we’re all supporting each other. And yes, that helped a lot, including you checking in. You know, that helped me greatly.
The last question and kind of obvious one, what would you say to anyone on the fence or anyone who is perhaps a little bit wary of being in the group, you know either for personal reasons or just social aspects?
Yeah. I mean, I’ve been there myself. I’ve been, you know, on the fence or feeling like I really wanted to quit, but at the same time feeling like maybe I wouldn’t be able to do it. I have also been in the place of them, you know, worrying about speaking to new people and actually, I think it is actually very beneficial because it takes you a little bit out of your comfort zone and, you know, being on the fence about trying to quit and all. I think just try it, just dive in and just give it a go, and, you know, personally, for me, you know, for about two months of my real actually thought, there’s just no point, you know, my mental health spiralled and you’ve been going for homelessness and a break-up. And I’ve got all these things going on. And I just thought, there’s no point, you know, has proven me wrong and very, you know, I’m very surprised. But also, you know, I’m proud of myself, you know, giving it a go, being able to get this, you know the social aspect. It is like coming out of your comfort zone. It’s a little bit scary, but it also builds confidence. You know, once you are able to and new people and you might have a thought in your mind you know what is going to be like. But everyone I’ve spoken to has been so lovely and so friendly that’s helped greatly for me. So yeah, I’d say just give it a try. And, you know, like there’s nothing you can lose from trying on, you relapse and you learn something, and then you try again. And that’s just the way it goes, I guess. But yeah, I think it’s It’s definitely worth a goal. It’s definitely helped me greatly.
When I first spoke with Fiona, she was not in the best place. She mentioned she usually smokes at night and has little, if any control over the amount she smokes. She also confined she is struggling with emotions and finding coping skills that work. Fiona booked her session and we began addressing some of her behaviour.
In our strategy session we addressed her current situation and looked at alternative ways of coping. Since our session Fiona has no longer the desire to smoke, she also told me recently she got accepted as a flight crew member!
Transcription of Fiona's feedback
What would you say to someone who is on the fence or someone who is convinced they can quit by themselves, they don’t help?
That’s it refreshing not to have to do it by yourself. And it gives you, it can give you a completely different way of looking at things and make things a lot easier.
We had our first session last week, so I just wanted to get your feedback about that and what actually changed from that first session?
I was really happy that it gave me a completely different way of looking at things. I think you kind of picked up on things that I said in passing really that were actually quite important ways of showing how I look at things. And you kind of questioned it. And then it gave me, it gave me a shove to think in a different way.
Would you say you look differently at things now?
Yeah, definitely. It made me realise that there are more avenues to take than the one I was kind of creating myself.
For anyone that is on the fence about doing this, what would you say tothem?
Just give it a try. It might not change anything, but if it does, then it’s probably worth it.
Anne came across MY LAST JOINT in August 2022 when she subscribed to my YouTube channel. In September she joined my community (now closed) but didn’t participate. When I was shutting down the community in Oct, I emailed Anne to let her know about my upcoming coaching program. We agreed on terms and began working together in November.
Anne was smoking from a young age and kept doing it until her 30s. In our sessions, Anne would report taking long walks and smoking by herself, something she never really thought of as problematic. She would also admit to driving to the dispensary after work, even though she clearly didn’t want to continue her habit.
Through 1-1 conversations we were able to address some of the false beliefs Anne held about her habit. We’ve also talked about her future and how marijuana aligns with her vision.
Anne quit marijuana mid of December, almost 5 weeks after we began our sessions. As she mentions herself this is something she’s been struggling with most of her life and she is beyond grateful for the help.
She is now busy with her coaching business and pursuing a meaningful relationship.
Anne's review on video
Transcription of Anne's review
What was the problem you had prior to joining MY LAST JOINT?
I was falling back into addictive habits with weed. It was you know I had gone a while without it and then I started using it again and I was falling into the daily usage and it was becoming really hard to stop.
Why did you choose MY LAST JOINT program over any other programs out there?
Well, you kind of came in and offered me that deal and it sounded good to me and it came at a time when I was really struggling with it. And so I took it as like a sign from God or from the universe that yes you should do this, spend your money on this. So I decided to do it because your messages came at the perfect time, right when I was struggling with it and so I took your messages like a sign and yeah, it was really really helpful.
As a result of implementing my coaching, what was the outcome and how was your life different?
Well, in the beginning, talking to you every day was really making me reflect on why I was using it and it kind of started to unravel a lot of ugly truths about myself. I started to kind of like, you know the questions you would ask me, the daily check-ins, the ways that we would talk about you know how it’s affected our relationships, how it’s affected our personal financial success. Just like all these things I started to really get down to the root of why I want to do this all the time. And you know, I think I realized, I just had some kind of epiphany moment of realization where it was painfully clear to me how other people saw me and how pot smokers are just perceived by society as a whole. Like you know, and I don’t know how much I don’t want to be associated with that label and that I don’t want to be associated with that group. I think that was very clear to me from our daily communication.
Where do you think you would be right now if you wouldn’t to MY LAST JOINT?
That’s a good question. I might, I mean I might still be smoking. I might still be a daily user. You know I would say like having that understanding of why I don’t want to be seen as a pothead like that was really powerful for me and that really kind of like definitely changed something in me and it kind of made me realize pot lost its magic a little bit and so like you know now I’m at a point where I see it as this like meaningless substance that you know, it’s like I have no feelings about it. So I feel like if we hadn’t talked if I had not done the MY LAST JOINT, who knows? I might have like never had that realization and I might still be very attached to it or it might still have some kind of a hold on me. But I do think that feeling that shame and feeling that epiphany was crucial for me to kind of see it differently and now I’m more busy. So it’s like right now I’m like way too busy to do it all the time. So I don’t really have time to think too hard about it. But who knows? You know, I don’t cause, I mean there have been times where I’ve been really, really busy in my life and I’ve still been smoking weed so I might still be using it. I don’t really know.
So if there is anyone listening to this and they are on the fence about joining MY LAST JOINT, what would you tell them?
I would say join MY LAST JOINT. It’s like why not like if you have money to spend on weed on a regular basis just invest it in something else for you. Just even try it for like a month and just put your money in a place where you can feel good about yourself for putting it. You know if you’re gonna buy weed, if you have money put on weed, if you put it on not smoking weed instead you might have a life-changing month. That month might be the thing that sets you on a completely different direction in life. And so if it’s something you’ve never tried, if you’ve never tried getting coaching for this before why not try it? You know like why not do something different as opposed to doing what you’ve been doing for years and years and years that’s getting you the same unhappy, empty feeling every day you know?