I’m so excited to share this episode with you as our guest was so much of energy I’m charged now as well :)). I started talking with this person over Reddit and we ended up recording an episode and I’m so glad we did! We covered her beginning with weed, how it ended up being her vice, with the pandemic and no job, the ultimate enemy. This is an amazing recording for anyone wanting to quit marijuana, full of energy and motivation it will give you lots of practical information, but most importantly inspire you to start straight away and keep going.
A huge thank you to our guest, you know who you are – you are amazing!!
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00:00 Podcast intro
01:42 Guest introduction
3:19 Was weed a social drug in the beginning and then you started smoking by yourself?
06:06 Chasing the high
08:30 Did you attend any group meetings, NA or MA?
9:34 What role did r/leaves play in your sobriety?
12:41 Did journaling help you?
14:13 What was your approach to quitting?
16:53 Three things that are different now and you being high?
18:37 Is there enough information out there regarding weed and the side effects of addiction?
20:13 When your doctor doesn’t know marijuana withdrawals
23:40 What’s the plan for the future?
28:04 Three most important aspects one should know when quitting weed?
35:08 Podcast outro
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Thanks for listening, see you in the next one
The transcription of the episode is attached below.
Q: Hello everyone it's Friday the 21st of January and I've got a brand new episode for you. Now this one is a banger, is that a word? I think that's the word I think that's a British word right for something really good so um in all honesty I think I've recorded this back in probably it was June and it was late it was with the lady over from the States and once I've finished the recording I had to hear it again because it's so full of energy I don't know if she's always like that but the conversation that we had it was just like you could just feel you know this energy from the conversation from the interview and it was amazing so um I would highly recommend you that you listen until the end um but basically she was pretty much explaining how it all started and how she managed to you know to quit and then how she stayed sober as well which is something we don't really mention that much but hey we did today so yeah I think you really really enjoyed this episode um any feedback you have any questions any ideas anything like that my mailbox is open and it's email@example.com again it's info at mylastjoint.com you can also check our website which I think you should know by now but that's mylastjoint.com and yeah thank you again for listening and we'll see you Q: Well let’s go straight into in, when is the first time you sort of started smoking or using weed? I: Well I was using it recreationally in college and then still recreationally and just like every once in a while for like 10 or 12 years until I started working in a call center and a friend of mine had access to it, and he was like come over to my house, we will smoke and it will be fun, and I had never smoked as much as I did when I was like hey, I would hit and I would loved the feeling that I get, because it was so new and exciting at the time, so after that, then I started to buy my own, then for the last 2 years or so, I have been smoking, I had been smoking pretty much all day, every day, and then with the pandemic it was even worse, because I was like I have nothing to do, so then I was just smoking, it was like, I packed a bowl every two or three hours or so, it was really out of a hand. Q: Can I ask you, is it, I mean, I noticed this quite often, it was actually the same thing with me, was it sort of a social drug in the beginning and then it progressed to you smoking it by yourself? I: Oh yeah, for sure, instead of drinking with the friends, I would go smoke with my friends and all the people that I work with, they would constantly be smoking, so anytime I would be hanging out with them, you just know there would be weed there. Instead of drinking, I got into smoking weed for sure. Q: When would you say that you noticed weed is affecting you? When did you make this decision that okay, it’s enough now? I: I have been kinda on the fence about it, at the beginning of this year of 2021, because I got a job, so after the pandemic kinda slowed down and work was available again, I got a job. And I kept telling myself, oh you can’t go to work high, you can’t do that, but I still would, and it would make me super paranoid and anxious, that like everybody knew that I was high. So I started to kinda like try and smoke less, but I was having a really hard time doing that. Because I was going to work and all I could think of was smoking weed. And so, at that point I was like, okay, I think I need to slow down and try to moderate it. But even that, I couldn’t do. I would convince myself, like no it’s fine, you can smoke as much as you want, no one will know, and you are perfectly capable. So I started to fight with myself and I started to get really anxious about where I’m gonna get my weed, like what if my connect stops selling, like that kind of a thing. That kinda led to me wanting to stop smoking, but still not really being able to do it. So I struggled with that for several months, until I had really bad panic attack on weed. And that almost sent me to the hospital, I was so scared, I had no idea what was going on. And like that afternoon, I decided I have to stop, this can’t be my life, I can’t be worried all the time about being high, and then when I’m not high, I’m worried that I’m not high. It was becoming more of a problem than it was fixing any problems at all. Q: Orighty, I see. It was more of a, you noticed there is just this cycle where it is going from pain to pain, there is no really pleasure there anymore, is that right? I: Yeah, I was smoking so much that I would have to smoke twice as much to get the same high that I enjoyed when I was like casually smoking with my friends, because when I was smoking with my friends it would be just like I would hit it once or twice and I would be good, but the point when I quit, it was like, I would smoke a bong and then I would walk for like 15 minutes and I would be like, yeah I’m not high enough, and it was like I was constantly chasing high. And obviously with anything you spend more and more money on it and get the same effect. Q: You mentioned that you have tried to sort of taper down and that didn’t work. What was your approach? Did you just decide okay today I’m going to buy less, or today I’m going to only have 2 joints? I: Yeah, it kinda started out, because what I had been doing, I would wake up, smoke a bowl, do some work around the house, chill out on the couch or whatever and then it would just be the cycle of every 2h. So I kept telling myself, okay you can wait a little bit longer. So I would wake up, smoke and then probably I wouldn’t smoke until the early afternoon, but then instead of staying on that schedule, like waiting a couple more hours, I would be like, okay we made it half a day, so you can just smoke the rest of the day, so I would it be like, I would make up for all the weed that I missed in the morning. Q: Do you know what, I mean, speaking with other people, I don’t really hear that many people mentioning the taper down approach, but it was exactly the same with me, I would for example stop during the weekdays and then I would say, okay we are just going to smoke on the weekend, but then on the weekends I would get so high you know that it would be just, I think it’s crazy how you compensate then. It’s like, yeah. I: And I was like telling myself all kind of things. You can convince yourself of anything. And like, I was convincing myself so hard that I needed this. This is helping my anxiety, this is helping my depression, like it’s making the pandemic better, yeah it was crazy. Q: Can I ask you, did you every attempt any group meetings, like marijuana anonymous, like narcotic anonymous? I: No, because I didn’t know any of that even existed. I mean, I knew about narcotics anonymous, but that’s for people that do cocaine or heroine, or whatever, you know people don’t need groups for weed, I was convinced that I didn’t need that, and I could just stop and my life would go back to normal. So I didn’t even consider that as possibility, I was just like, I’m just going to quit and that would be it and I would be like, yeah, tomorrow will be fine. Q: Okay, so you never tried any of those, that’s okay. Can I ask you what about for example r/leaves. Obviously I have seen your post and that’s when I decided to message you, what sort of role did r/leaves play in this whole sobriety? I: Well, it’s kinda interesting thing. Because I was sober for about, I think it was 15 or 20 days when I found r/leaves. I was struggling, I mean I was dealing with all these withdrawal symptoms, it was rough, I thought I was going crazy, and I just decided to search the internet, do other people experience this, is this normal for marijuana, like what’s going on. And when I searched Google, like r/leaves was one of the first thing that popped up, and as soon as I opened it, it was just these post of people who are having anxiety, having no appetite, got the shakes, and I was like oh my god, this is legit, this is for real. Sorry, my dog is peeking here. So yeah, I found it completely by accident. And it was just really nice to see other people, I mean it’s not nice to see other people, I mean it wasn’t nice to see it, but obviously I felt really bad for those people, but it was just something that I wasn’t alone. So immediately just like gloomed on to r/leaves reddit and then I discovered that they had daily discord so I would go into those and those were so helpful, it was like one place I could go where people were like understanding of what I was going through and they weren’t like judging me or being like oh that’s really weird, or ohh it’s not, there no such thing as marijuana withdrawal. Q: Hold on a second, I’m really sorry. I don’t know, we are having problems with the boilers, boiler lately and it’s happening again. Anyways, we are fine, orighty sorry, you were talking about the r/leaves? I: Yeah, it was validating to know that the things I was going through it’s not just me, this is real, and the more I heard about it, the more I was like, okay it does get better, you know I’m not broken or that kind a thing. And then for me it almost became like a daily journal, because I would post, like day 22, day 23, everyday I would post on there, about what I was feeling or what felt better, or some accomplishments I had, or if I was feeling really good, I would be just like y’all are doing really great, keep going, it’s gonna be fine, so it was like a one place of support that I could go and be very certain that everybody is going to be kind to me and supportive. Q: Would you say that journaling that helped you a lot? I: Yeah, absolutely. Because for me, and I’m sure a lot of other people, it’s so easy to forget the good things that happen to you, when you are having such a horrible time, when you are like, you feel like you are losing control, because you have all this crazy withdrawal symptoms, but you still have to go through your life so when you journal about stuff, you can talk about the bad stuff, but for me it was like, but this good thing happen or I went to the grocery story or I got to talk to my friend on the phone, you know anything like that and it put things into really nice perspective. And I could go also back and look at all the post I have made you know like on a day 20, when I’m on a day 40, and I could see, oh wow, I have made a lot of progress, it doesn’t suck as bad as it did. Q: Can I ask you, what was your approach to quitting? I hear a lot of people for example they threw out all the paraphernalia, the bongs and you know the whole lot, then some people tell their friends their family, some people just disappeared from their friends, ghost their friends, what was sort of your approach? I: My biggest approach was, well I live with my aunt. We live in apartments like on top of each other, so we kinda share a house. And she didn’t know that all these were going on, she knew that I smoke weed, but the first thing and like the most important thing for me to do was to come clean and be honest. I can’t go through this alone, I have to tell her. And so I just came out and told her about everything and what was going through, and that was my biggest support with her, and being able to admit all those things and saying how I’m feeling, and ask for help and things like that, and I still do, I rely heavily on her to keep me away from all that stuff. So I felt like I’m gonna use, if I’m gonna smoke, she was like no you are not, you are gonna watch a movie with me. And after a while I felt comfortable enough to throw everything away. At first I was like, well maybe I can go back to it, and I don’t have to throw it all out, maybe I can moderate it later on. Eventually I was just like, don’t even go there, like you have been there before, why do it again. So I just took everything, threw it in the trash and didn’t look back. Q: Can I ask you, how long has it been now? I think I messaged when it was 46, not sure when I messaged you though? I: I think it’s day 40, I kinda honestly stopped counting, which is weird, I never thought I would stop counting. So it’s been one month Q: I think it should be around 50, 51, right? It’s 4 days ago, so should be 50. I: Today is 50, I think today is 50, yeah 49 or 50. I stopped counting when it’s 45 or 46, it doesn’t, I have already decided I’m not gonna smoke weed ever again, so it’s like I don’t need to count, I’m just sober now and I was really happy for me, because it didn’t matter what day it was, it was like this is my new life and I don’t have to count days anymore. Q: What would you say it’s different, I mean, just hearing you now, I can hear your excitement and you are full of energy, but what would you say, if you could sort of give us three things that are different from you being now and you being high and struggling? I: Definitely clear mind is the first thing, I don’t struggle to remember things, I don’t have to write everything down, I can like remember things that people tell me, instead of they just tell me whoosh, it’s gone, I just don’t remember it all, so that’s just been the most exciting thing for me, because when people tell me stuff and then ask me to recall it later, oh I remember that, I totally remember that. And then not having to like eat all the time, because when I’m high, I would just eat all the time, because I was hungry. And now, I’m like, I eat three meals a day and I’m good, and I don’t think about food as much as used to do. So that’s probably number two. And number three is my relationships with people have changed. I now wanna go hang out with people and make more friends, and do things with my aunt that I used to be, instead of just sitting on the couch, like I feel super motivated to be social now, as before the only thing that mattered was going home and smoking, like when can I go home and smoke. So those are probably the biggest three things for me, I mean there is so many other, but those are big ones. Q: Can I ask you, I think you mentioned you are over, is it America, right? We are not gonna no into the state, we don’t need that. Do you think there is enough information about weed and side effects of weed and addiction? I: Definitely not, definitely not. Especially here, I think a lot of people assume it’s harmless, and they are like, and it is for the most part, if you are just casually smoking it, then yeah you are not going to have crazy withdrawal symptoms, but nobody talks about like chronic smokers and what happens when you quit. There is just no studies on that stuff, there is tons of personal experience, if you know where to look. But like for me, when I was just starting out, I was so scared and so uninformed, and I had nowhere to go. Even my doctor didn’t even know anything about it. You can withdraw from weed, that’s weird. So yeah, people talk about it as a really positive thing, which it can be, I’m sure it helps a lot of people, but if it’s, but people assume you can’t abuse it, but that’s just not true. So yeah there is definitely not enough, nobody talks about the negatives of marijuana, they just talk about positives, unfortunately it’s a one way street. Q: Can I ask you more about this, I mean you don’t need to go into details, so was this a general doctor, or was sort of specialized? I: Yeah, she is my general practitioner, so she is the person I see yearly for my check-ups or whenever I’m sick, yeah, when I told her about it, well that’s really interesting, I can put you on this medication, and you know she would offer me like an anti-anxiety, because at that point when I went to talk to her, I was having a lot of anxiety, and I was like oh wow, so I’m just anxious now, is that what you are saying, she didn’t really had an answer, she was just like I can treat your symptoms, but I don’t understand anything about marijuana withdrawals. Like I could help you if you were withdrawing from heroin, like the hard drugs, but she is like I don’t know what to for you, yeah it was a little weird. I just assumed that if you were a doctor you should know something. Q: I mean, that’t just crazy. Hearing that, just yeah, that’s wow. I: Yeah, it’s frustrating, what do you do, if you can’t, everybody is like talk to your doctor if you don’t feel good or if you are concerned about something, and then you do and it’s like I don’t know what to do for you, then it feels like you are absolutely alone and there is nobody out there who can help me, who has the power to help. So their answer is basically well I guess we will just have to wait and see if it gets better. Like, oh my god. Q: Can I ask you, did you ever sort of go into therapy, or look for addiction sort of therapy specialist? I: Yeah, I have a therapist now. That’s also really hard to get here in America, mental health is crazy awful to get. I was on a waiting list, so I just recently got a therapist, and he was a little bit more knowledge on a subject, he is an addiction counselor, so he kinda knew what was going on, so he has been able to help me a lot with that. Getting a mental health therapist was kinda really what actually solidified my sobriety, it was like okay, I’m in the right direction, this person what he is talking about, we are good. Yeah, that definitely helped a lot. Q: Yeah, that was sort of my question, because I heard people before saying, well I went to see a therapist but he wasn’t really a specialist in addiction studies, so I sort of stopped doing that. But it’s really good to hear that yours was sort of an addiction counselor, specialist for that sort of thing, yeah amazing. I: Yeah, I was lucky, I was really lucky. I mean, they are out there, but they are not many, that’s for sure. Q: Orighty, I mean, as far my questions here, I think that’s pretty much it. I mean, obviously you said, weed is out, hopefully this whole Corona any everything stops, do you have any plans or anything like that? I: Yeah, I’m a dog trainer, that’s my profession. So I’m actually planning to open my own facility to do my own kind of dog training, and do that, and work with some behavioural issues with dogs and learn more about that, and so I have hooked up with a couple of people in the profession to learn from. So I’m going to kinda hang out with them where they work and just volunteer and learn more about that and expand my knowledge on what I already know. So that’s my big picture plan. And obviously enjoy life more, and go outside and find some new and exciting hobbies, like bike riding, didn’t know I like that, so yeah, just learning about what I have been missing by sitting on my couch and smoking weed. Q: Yeah, I hear that a lot. I think I was 6 months in, when I started reading books again and was thinking, wow, I actually do enjoy reading books. It’s kind of crazy isn’t, because you know, you give away all this life smoking, and then you stop smoking and you realize, I do enjoy these things, and I enjoy them sober. I: Yeah, it took me a really long time, to not be afraid to do things. You know, I would think, oh, I used to do thing when I was high, I don’t want to do it now when I’m sober, because I will probably won’t like it as much. But I think, if I had to give anybody advice ever, like do it anyways, even if it doesn’t feel good, sit down and like read a book, or draw something, or go for a walk, whatever it is, pretty soon you gonna figure it out, like oh yeah, these things do feel good and you don’t need to be high to enjoy them, that has been like, mind blowing. Q: I think what you just said it’s very important, because, I think, I mean the teamline normally varies, but I think after 2 or 3 weeks you sort of get this period of being bored and just sort of stagnating, and I think that’s when it’s the most important time to slowly start doing these things, because I think that’s the part of the recovery. I: Yeah absolutely and it’s a part of not relapsing. And I mean, obviously, relapses happen for people and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but be nice to yourself, and understand that’s a process, if all you do in one day is a read one chapter of a book, and then tomorrow read 2 chapters. Or whatever, just start small and be nice to yourself. And pretty soon you will realize there are things that you will get joy out and eventually you will feel the joy again. That’s a really hard part of it, it’s feeling bored and feeling like nothing makes you happy. But I can tell you that passes, I now feel joy for things. It does get better, and we don’t know what the timelines are, it’s different for everyone, but joy does come back, it does. Q: Can I ask you sort of a last question, I mean, summing up what you know now, going through this whole journey, what would you say are the three most important aspects one should know starting? You know if someone would ask you today, hey listen, I’m having troubles with weed, I want to quit, what should I do? What sort of these three things, these three things you have to make sure you do it? I: Well definitely the first one would be to get rid of your weed, don’t even have it in the house. If you have in the house or in the place where you can get to it, you are just setting yourself up for a trouble later on. And it’s just like a weight on your mind that you don’t need. So if you can just get rid of it, if that’s something you can do, then definitely do it. Because it frees up that space in your mind, okay it’s gone, now what do I do. Now we have to look forward. So I think that’s probably, for me, at least that would be the number one thing I would suggest. Number two, be nice to yourself. There is a book that I have been reading, and it’s called self-compassion, and it’s by Christian Neff, and it’s literally all about reframing how you talk to yourself, and instead of beating yourself up for your mistakes, or relapse, or having a drink when you shouldn’t, or doing something that you know you shouldn’t do, just forgive yourself and be nice, and try to say everything is gonna be fine. You know like, we talk to ourselves in such a terrible way sometimes and beat ourselves up for things, but if we can practice being kinder, I think that helpes a lot in recovery. And the third thing is exercise, if there is one thing that works the most going through the recovery, find something that you like to do. Like for me, it was bike riding. I just discovered that I like that, but some people might be going for hikes or running or maybe doing 80 pushups I don’t know, just find some physical to move your body and I find that that really helps a lot. Q: Actually, yeah I’m surprised we forgot to mention this one earlier, but yeah, exercise is huge. Just for the fact, I mean even in the first few days, just for the fact sweating it sort of helps you get all the toxins out, but going forward, it gives you this habit, it gives you this something to do when you are in sort of this bored phase. I: Yeah, definitely, it helped me mostly in week 2, three and four. I mean, I was on the bike all the time, because I was like I don’t know what to do. And I feel like I can go ride my bike, that’s something I know I can do, and if you do it three or four times a day, who cares, you doing something and it’s something you can do, and it makes you feel a little less powerless. Q: Exactly. Well listen, this was amazing, we actually went through more questions that I had planned and I really wanted to thank you. What I wanted to say, I mean this is going to be a little bit off-pitch, my sort of vision, is getting this online platform, but then down the road also hopefully getting a rehab house somewhere on this planet earth, I actually enjoy working with dogs, I have never been a trainer of dogs, but I enjoy working with dog, it might be, I mean this might be completely random, but my idea was to get dogs involved. I: Yeah absolutely, there is nothing better than therapy with the dog. I mean, I volunteered at the shelter, walking dogs, just for fun, like that’s my fun. It makes me feel so good. I mean dogs are so amazing, animals in general, cats, dogs, you name it. I mean, yeah, that would be so great. I mean you would have so much success, I really think so. Q: Do you think there is any like sort of specific type, because I’m going to be, I don’t know if racist is the right word, but I’m really focused on golden retrievers and labradors, but do you think that any type of the dog could work with therapy? I: Well those kinds of the dogs are definitely, number one, because they have such even kind temperaments, they are not super excitable dogs, they are just even peal, so any kind of medium sized dogs, labs, retrievers, even mumps, I found that a lot of mixed bread dogs, they are really great, especially if you would get, trying to think of a name of a dog, like a shepherd mixed dogs are really nice because they are very smart, so all those lab kind of dogs and shepard they are super smart and they are easy to train. So those would be really really good! Yeah, so exciting! Q: I mean, listen, it’s a vision, and obviously we are far away from that at the moment, I’m in this stage where I interview people and I want to learn more, I mean to be honest, I was just smoking weed 2,5 years ago and I managed to be clean for about 2 years, and now I sort of started this thing, and pretty much that’s the only thing I’m doing for the last week. I: That’s amazing, that’s so amazing, is such a great thing. And like I said earlier, there’s like hardly any information out there and it’s so general so hearing other’s people stories and hearing their experiences and all that, I think that will help a lot of people. So keep doing what you doing, I love it. Q: Yeah, I mean, it’s like you said, I was exactly the same, you know, I thought I’m on my own. To be honest, I didn’t even have the balls to see my doctor, I was like, I’m not going to say this to my doctor, are you crazy. You know I just went on the internet and I discovered this r/leaves, so yeah that’s sort of the main reason and yeah, here we are. Orighty listen, I really really appreciate, this was amazing. I: Thank you for the opportunity, I appreciate it. Q: Nah, listen, you know, you helped us more than you think. Thanks a lot again, and hopefully you have a good day, did you say you gotta go to work? I: Yeah I have to go train some dogs now. Q: Ah, that doesn’t sound so bad hey! I: No I love my job, I’m so excited every day, I’m excited for life, how nerdy is that, but it’s true. Q: That’s it, orighty, thanks so much again, speak soon. Bye bye. I: Thank you, bye bye. Q: Okay folks that complete today's episodes um again let me know what you think you can either use mailbox which is firstname.lastname@example.org on you can check our socials and you can leave a comment there I would really appreciate as well if you can hit like or follow a subscribe it helps me rank this podcast higher search result I don't know where exactly are you listening I think it's it's pretty much on all the apps now and all the directories now but if you hit like or follow the subscribes it will help me a lot um again thank you for listening don't forget to check our website and we'll see you in the next episode.