When did you know you had to stop drinking or smoking out? Did it help?

by wanderlustguy 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • wanderlustguy

    I haven't written one of these in a really long time. I have asked myself that question many time over the past couple of years. I started smoking pot when I moved to a state that allows it. It felt way better than being sober and became a daily ritual, over time. I'm not going into long details but will just skip to the deal-breaker in a few sentences.

    I don't think the whole exit from the witnesses created as much stress as the subsequent antisocial and reclusive attitude I developed afterwards. It's really hard for me to process an environment where there are a lot of people, I pretty much can't deal with it. I also hate being alone, so there has always been this rub. Smoking pot made it much more tolerable to be alone, which meant I became even more antisocial. Antisocial was fine since I was self employed, and could pretty much do whatever I wanted when I wanted.

    So about a year ago I got into the film industry, working in special effects. The people I'm around are all artsy and weird in their own rights, a lot like I am in the weird department, so no problem with the group setting. And, honestly, I'd say over half of the people in the industry I have met smoke pot daily or drink every night after work...not one or two drinks, but like 4-5. With the acceptance of these things it wasn't long before I was on the same "dosage" schedule. My specialty is supposed to be pyrotechnics and explosives, not too long ago I had a misfire, a charge was set off early. No one was in danger or anything like that, but it was a stupid mistake that I still can't believe I made. It caught my attention and made me evaluate myself.

    I realized that I was having trouble communicating as well as processing and retaining information. I went back and watched some old footage and saw what this guy who looked like me was doing, seemed ok on the surface, but not nearly as sharp as I remember being. Words were misplaced, short term memory was obviously tweaked, and problem solving skills were way below normal. So for the last couple of weeks I've pretty much stopped everything. Had a few drinks here and there but nothing else, but already the memory thing is getting way better and my speech and patience levels are closer to normal.

    So how long does it take to dry out, so to speak? What do you do to keep from relapsing? Don't say AA or Narc Anon because I couldn't do either if I wanted to due to traveling and time required by work, plus I don't like the religious elements.


  • Satanus

    Self medication goes back to the earliest times of man. Heck, even some animals do it. Elephants get drunk on overripe fruit.

    SOME people can control their habits, instead of letting their habits control them. These people can tell when and w what people they can imbibe. Thus, since setting explosions are up there w driving and performing surgery, being on stuff when you do those things is obviously a bad idea. As well, doing stuff the day before would be a bad idea. Maybe set some ground rules for where, when, how often and how much.


  • feenx

    I concur with Satanus. Unfortunately many times people tend to blame the substance, whether it's alcohol, pot, cigarettes, food, sugar, TV, internet, video games, etc. rather than taking responsibility personally. I too am a habitual smoker (1-2 bowls per day on average) and alcohol enthusiast (not getting plowed everynight, or even drinking every night, but probably 5 nights out of a 7 day week). I've also worried about it and asked myself if I'm over indulging. As ironic as it is considering that my JW elder father doesn't speak to me and how much we butted heads growing up, one of the things that he was ALWAYS trying to drill into my head that I resisted, yet now later in life am a big believer in is BALANCE. Everything needs balance. Why do we partake in the substances we do? Because they're fun, we enjoy them. That's the whole point. Why do we work? To enable the fun times (not just toking up, fun times in general). Both the serious and the fun need balance. And balance comes from the person, not the substance. Quitting everything completely because the substance itselt is bad, in my opinion, is not the answer. If you personally feel that more attention needs to be placed on work or having more focus, that's one thing, and it's important, but really doesn't have anything to do with the substance itself. If you still get enjoyment out of it, then perhaps a bit more balance is needed. Simple as that.

    Also I have a friend who at one point in life was drinking quite a bit and went down the AA route. She says that their definitions of an alcoholic are quite skewed and in hindsight feels that they took the act of abstaining from alcohol and other substances and turned THAT into a drug of it's own. She doesn't feel it gave her what she needed, even though she stuck with it for a while. Now that she's older she's been able to find a good balance and because she's taken the time to dig within herself and face the issues that were really causing the heavy drinking in the first place she's been able to grow and mature as a person. Yes, people can physically get addicted to something, but it's still that person who got addicted. Don't put the responsibility on the substance, WE as people need to own up to our behavior.

    SO with that, take a breath, relax, don't stress, have A puff and enjoy knowing tomorrow you'll have a clear head and can kick ass with your work :)

  • jamiebowers
    What do you do to keep from relapsing?

    By finding some other way to relax that is healthy; maybe exercise, meditation, yoga.

  • Judge Dread
    Judge Dread

    I smoked pot off and on for 5 years, and suffered from short term memory problems. I just couldn't smoke anymore because I started getting panic attacks while I was high. Eventually, my memory problems got better, but I've always felt that my memory was never quite the same. This all happened when I was in high school.

    As for the drinking, that continued for many years, and would have killed me by now, if it were not for becoming a JW. I have tappered off ALOT, and the longer the time between drinks, the better.

    That's the way it was for me.

    Judge Dread

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