My struggle with addiction

As some of you have noticed, I haven’t made a post about my 9th month of sobriety. I never reached it, I relapsed a few weeks ago. I’m now sober again but it’s a real struggle.

Sad girl rain on window

All it took was me being alone. My parents in the hospital all day, for 15 days, a bottle of wine and getting in touch with people I should stay away from. This is why one of the rules of the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is no drinking. You lose your inhibitions and make decisions you regret later.

I was feeling so miserable. My boyfriend works all day, my friends came here but I was mostly alone.

Relapsing is a part of recovery but also is making a plan for your life and changing your habits. I’ve stayed the same, still unable to work for personal reasons. That’s going to change in the end of December, when I buy my PC. Until then I’ll struggle with it.

“An empty mind is the devil’s workshop”. I need to be busier. Working would be great for me, even I did it from home. Work will be great for me is more accurate because it will be a part of my future. I need money and to start saving money. A good future is all I ask.

When you’re an addict, your values change, you lose sight of the future. You just live for today. Unless you are somewhat conscient and probably more affluent so you can manage it in an easier way. It’s a constant struggle.

The drug world is a strange and dangerous place. You meet incredible people but also really, really bad people. People you would never associate with in a normal setting. You just kick your morals and beliefs.

In my years of smoking hash, I’ve met the lowest of the low. People that are now in jail, dead or not in a good place. It was traumatic for me. I definitely made bad choices. That’s life, now I have to deal with it.

When you smoke weed, you never remember your dreams. It’s like they’re blocked. I don’t think that’s good. When you stop smoking you have these wild, vivid dreams. Real thrillers or horror movies. I think dreams have meanings. They are pointers to things you should address.

Always dreaming about weed takes a toll and is always on the back of my mind. It really is a mental health condition. I am sick and probably will never be cured, even if I don’t smoke.

Cigarette

I want to quit smoking cigarettes. That in itself is a terrible addiction, much worse than weed to quit. That is going to be a big challenge but I want to accomplish it in the next two years.

In conclusion, I tried what I shouldn’t have tried and developed two habits. It wasn’t worth it, I just had great and horrible times. It’s impossible to turn back in time and, even if it was possible, I wouldn’t do it. But if I were to do it, with the mindset I have now, things would’ve been very different.

What I wish for myself or others is that we stay true to ourselves and our values. Self-destructive behavior takes us nowhere. It is up to us to change our habits. It’s possible. It will help us grow and become more healthy, physically and mentally.

I wish you all a great day.

Images are a courtesy of Pixabay.

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Some nocturnal thoughts and a motivational part for people dealing with substance abuse

I put some tobacco on a rolling paper. Roll it carefully and skillfully. The result is a perfectly rolled cigarette, that is slim and short. “What should I write about?”. I feel like writing. Words usually just magically appear in my head, like I’m just an avatar and my “master” is dictating them.

I choose a song, a binaural beats track that is soothing and that supposedly is creativity inducing.

Garbage men yell outside. I think they are telling the driver of the garbage truck that it’s time to go. It makes me think about how wonderful the human mind can be. We can adapt to the most difficult professions and situations. I just wish they could have had the job of their dreams because being a garbage man was probably not it. It all comes down to money and how well you do in school. One can control how hard he works in school but not money. I wonder how many wonderful and gifted people have had to settle for less because of money and bad choices. Like a fighting fantasy book, wrong choices can lead disastrous consequences. Not necessarily “eaten by a dragon” disastrous but very tragic. Our monsters have a different appearance. Sometimes, they wear a suit and a tie. We call them bosses and they make us miserable. Sometimes they wear a uniform of some sort, a dress or just plain clothes. It doesn’t matter how they look. They could be beautiful or ugly. Beautiful monsters become ugly, that’s how we start to see them. Ugly people that are good can become pretty. We start noticing how their eyes shine when they are happy, their warm and tender smile. They become pleasant to look at, while beautiful monsters are hard to look at. We know what’s behind that face and inside that heart.

I’m drinking a mocha cappuccino. It’s already cold but it’s still tasty. There’s a bottle of water in front of me, empty cups of coffee, tobacco, filters, rolling papers, colored pencils and a wide array of knicknacks that I just can’t get rid of. It would be better if I did because a clutter free environment is good for the mind. No that I’ve seriously thought about this issue and I have some extra storage space, it’s possible to move the things out of my view. I know, I know: these objects should be thrown away but I can’t, yet. This trait must be genetic, as my father has it, too. He’s always going through papers and trying to organize his study. It’s an ongoing battle with a sea of books, brochures, envelopes, papers. You name it, he’s got it. I wonder if it’s only genetic or if there’s some underlying psychological phenomenon that I can’t quite put my finger on. Research will be needed but not now. It’s time to write a bit more, before I go to bed.

I pass by my balcony and hear birds chirping outside. The birds must be confused, it’s only 3 am. Maybe someone left a glass of beer near their tree, they drank from it and are now a bit tipsy. Everyone knows that inebriated people like to sing and I know some animals like to get drunk with fermented fruit or high with plants and mushrooms. So I’m not judging the birds, nor would I judge someone. Life can be boring and it’s good to spice things up, once in a while. We just need to mindful of it. Understand that, when we’re dealing with alcohol and other substances, we’re not supposed to get on the carrousel. It never stops, so it’s hard to get off. There’s always alcohol and other substances available and, if you are addicted, it can seriously impact your life. You might need treatment, medication, therapy, etc. Your personality changes and not in a good way. People can become monsters and not even notice it. The substance becomes the focus of our lives, everything else comes after it. That is no way to live, it’s just a way to die and it’s not a very good way to go. Cirrhosis, overdoses, whatever it is. If we die in this fashion, people will be sorry for us. Nobody likes to be pitied, so keep that in mind. If nothing stops you, let your pride help you stop. Think about the good things you can have and do in life, if you’re not focused on whatever you are addicted to. How productive and active you could be. How stable and happy you could feel. When I get cravings, I brew coffee, fill a cup of it and smoke a cigarette. Then, I think to myself: “Isn’t this nice? Aren’t you okay like this?”. I can assure you it works. It’s a way to ground yourself and solidify your commitment to being sober. Because sobriety is like a relationship, there has to be commitment and love towards it, yourself and your life. It doesn’t work when it’s half-assed. It’s an ongoing effort to contradict your inner monologue. To avoid things that have become habits and not fall into temptation. It’s also like meditation, the most important moment is the next one. Did you relapse? It’s okay because it’s part of recovery but try not to turn a one day event into a full-blown relapse of weeks, months or years. When you stop your use again, you will strengthen your commitment to sobriety because you will understand how hard it is to stop. Also, how much time and money you wasted in something so temporary and destructive.

Think about it. Think long and hard about it. Write about it. Your mindset will slowly change. If it doesn’t, it’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to suffer in silence and alone. There is a way out. Never forget that. Keep in mind that most things in life are temporary and this can be a bad phase.

I believe in you and know that you can overcome this. It’s doable. You just need to want it. Inform yourself of the physical and mental issues that can arise. Talk to people that have stopped using and ask them for tips and tricks. Join narcotics anonymous or find a good therapist and psychiatrist. You can do it. The world is yours.

Image by Bru-nO, courtesy of Pixabay.

Night thoughts

Hello everyone. I hope you are well. I reached 2 milestones today: 30 days of meditation and 3 months, and one week of sobriety. It feels great to make plans and to stick to them.

Meditation has helped me a lot with recovery. I deal with triggers like I deal with thoughts when I meditate, I just let them go. I never entertain the thoughts for more than a few seconds. I just to think about something else. I have probably said this many times but I feel that it’s important to take triggers as the illusions that they are and return to reality instead. Or go to a healthier day dream or thought. Relapse always starts with an idea, you start putting down barriers that you build to defend yourself from addiction. It’s easy to go from idea to action. You just have to think long enough for it to start making sense and be alluring. So don’t entertain the thought, let it go. Remind yourself immediately of how bad it is to use, of how much you would lose if you went back to using. If you’re in recovery, things seem to be relatively in control but once you go back, you can lose control and go back to square one. Think of how much you have gained and how far you’ve gone. How lucky and fortunate you are for taking control of your life. For not succumbing to addiction. That is real freedom. You don’t have to buy or hide yourself to use. You don’t have to lie or waste money on substances. You can use your time in much more constructive ways. I’ve been re-learning physics and math. I started a computer science course. There are so many healthy things I want to do. The possibilities be are endless. There’s so much to learn and experience.

I couldn’t learn anything when I was smoking weed. My memory was just so affected by it. Motivation was also a problem and procrastination was the norm. My head was a nightmare, so much paranoia and irrational thoughts. Now, I feel peaceful. There’s no guilt over using. That was a major problem. I felt so guilty about it, so much remorse in my heart. I am free from that.

In a society that wants us addicted to numerous things, being sober and less attached is a rebellious act. It’s definitely subversive to not be controlled by substances. Though I am still being controlled by coffee and cigarettes, I feel that I will let go of those addictions, too. It’s only a matter of time. I think my biggest battle will be with nicotine. It’s such a nasty and expensive addiction. And so hard to quit. Though I feel I can do it. At least reduce my habit to a few cigarettes a day. I don’t know if I can do it cold turkey. Maybe reducing the amount of cigarettes I smoke is more reasonable.

These are just my plans, I will not take any action in the near future, as it is not advisable to do so when your recovery is recent.

What about you? Are you struggling with addiction? Are you in recovery? What unhealthy habits do you wish to eliminate from your life?

I love you all. 🙂

Image by PublicCo, courtesy of Pixabay.

Poem: Triggers

Do you know

Those wicked thoughts?

That jump into your head

The triggers

They never stop

I see them everywhere

Most of the time

It’s okay

Like I’m immune to the temptation

When it’s not

I stay away

I don’t put myself in that situation

I don’t let myself think too much

About that which I run from

I pull together

I pray

To a secular God to save me

I tell myself how bad it is

How foolish I would be to go back

After a few seconds

It’s okay

I come back from the illusion

I rest in peace

I am sane

Until the next trigger

Tries to take me

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

How to improve your self-control

As I was doing that post about sleep procrastination, I realized that self-control was one of my biggest problems. I am impulsive, with self destructive tendencies. That is keeping me from evolving as a person, building a career and having more healthy habits. So I did a little research and discovered that self/control is something you can acquire with practice and being mindful of your actions. I also found that it is a finite resource, so we must be very aware of our choices. It is a genetic trait but as it is a skill, it can be perfected.
As I quit weed, I am now facing two self-control challenges: coffee and cigarettes. I have been smoking more and drinking more coffee. Both are bad for me and contribute to my alertness during the night. They mess up my sleep schedule even more. Luckily, I found this guide to build up self-control and delay gratification. A good thing to keep in mind is that, if you do things in moderation, you will be healthier and those actions will be more rewarding. Abusing things makes the action meaningless to you and harmful.

So we know it is possible to change your self/control, where should we start? The first thing to do is to define the goals. They must be specific and well defined. Writing these goals down, in the more specific way possible is helpful. Put a sticker on your workplace with said goals, so you remember them.

Now that you have defined your goals, do not force yourself to do things aggressively. That will deplete your self>control and, as it is a finite resource so it will affect other habits you have. That is why, when you are recovering from drug addiction and you smoke cigarettes, you should resist the temptation of quitting everything cold turkey. That will probably lead you to relapse and we all know how damaging that can be.

“To illustrate, in a now-classic 1998 study, participants sat at a table with two plates: one filled with freshly baked cookies, the other with radishes. Some were directed to eat the cookies, while others were asked to eat the radishes. Then they were given a puzzle that was, secretly, impossible to solve.

The folks who had eaten the radishes and resisted the cookies gave up on the puzzle in about 8 minutes. But those who ate the cookies–and therefore had self-control to spare–toiled away on the puzzle for almost 19 minutes, more than twice as long as the radish group.”

Changing your perception of the task can go a long way. As this guide states

“(The) 1972 “marshmallow study,” in which researchers sat preschoolers in front of a marshmallow. Each kid could have the marshmallow when she wanted, or, if she could exercise self-control and wait, she could have it and another treat in a few minutes.

Followups to the study found that kids who were able to delay gratification did better in emotional situations, were more competent overall, and even got higher scores on their SATs. This made the researchers wonder if self-control strategies could be taught.

So what worked? First, making the temptation abstract was helpful. Kids who were cued to pretend the marshmallow was just a picture, by imagining a frame around it, waited twice as long as kids who were asked to focus on a real marshmallow.

Second, encouraging kids to think about abstract, descriptive, “cool” features of the marshmallow, such as “how the marshmallows look like white puffy clouds,” were able to wait twice as long as kids who were encouraged to focus on the temptation–or the “hot” features, like “think about how sweet and chewy the marshmallows taste.”

Mindfulness can be very helpful with this. Thinking about it in an abstract way can help you distance yourself from it. Think about it as something that will be always available to you, so there is no need to rush into doing it. I have found this to be a powerful tip, that I have used countless times and it really helps.

When dealing with tasks, it is important to make them more appealing to you.

“A cross-cultural study found that American students often frame homework as a dreaded chore, whereas many Chinese students frame it as useful practice. If that’s a bit of a stretch for your task, you could instead think about how good you’ll feel when you’re done, that it will finally be off your to-do list, or that you can skip feeling guilty.

Or you could simply make your task more fun. A 2014 study found that when people listen to really good audiobooks only at the gym, they go to the gym 51% more often. You could do the same for housecleaning or yardwork.”

So, again, changing your mindset and adapting is very important. Think of the advantages of completing the task or delaying gratification. Focusing on the rational side of it will curb your emotional side. Ultimately, the outcome will change.

Another important thing to be mindful of is that your environment matters. I am not talking about feng shui, so it is not very complicated to do. It has to do with distractions and temptations.

” a 2006 study found that secretaries ate more candy when the bowl on their desk was clear versus opaque, and when it was on their desk versus 6 feet away. In the same vein, you could consider installing an anti-social media app on your computer, putting your smartphone in a drawer, or storing the Pirate’s Booty in an opaque container.

And environment modification doesn’t just work for M&Ms–it can apply to more high-stakes self-control situations, as well. For example, in several studies, environmental cues have been found to be the most important determinant of staying clean for individuals in recovery from substance dependence. Hanging around the old crowd or visiting one’s neighborhood bar is a Siren in a bottle or syringe for those trying to stay clean or sober–so much so that many recovery programs encourage moving to a new neighborhood.”

I do not browse Facebook on my computer for this reason. I want to be focused on my blog or other productive activities. When dealing with substance abuse, and you probably already know this very well, being with your addicted friends or going to places where you might find them, can be detrimental to your recovery. I have a friend who had very serious addiction issues. He went to rehab and relocated to that area for good. The town where you used to use is full of triggers so it is a good idea to move. Sometimes, it is not essential to move if you can avoid certain places and certain people. Avoid speaking to addicts, pretend you do not see them, do what you can to protect your recovery.

Self-talk is also crucial. Tell yourself why the temptation is negative, rationalize it.

“Talking out loud helps “facilitate metacognitive representations”–or in other words, helps you think about your own thinking.

So many of the rewards of resisting temptation are abstract, like better health, a strong work ethic, or a job well done. So hearing yourself talk about your goals can make them more real, and better able to compete with the concrete temptation of that jar of cookie butter.”

This has helped me a lot with addiction. Every time I think about using, I tell myself all the things I would lose by going back to my old habit. After that, I feel discouraged to use, as I remember all the negative consequences. This keeps me grounded. Thinking about the positive aspects of resisting temptation is also very helpful but I have found that thinking about the negative aspects is more helpful to me. It is up to you to find out which tactic is more helpful.

It is fundamental to keep in mind that we are only human and that failing is a part of the process.

Strong emotion, like anger or anxiety–or another task that takes willpower, like being on a diet or staying with demanding relatives–will strain your self-control. So forgive yourself a self-control fail (or five) when your competing needs are depleting your limited resources.

When dealing with substance abuse, relapses can happen. Relapse is a part of recovery but what you do after you relapse is very important. Try not to have the mindset of “yeah, well, now that I have done it, I might as well keep doing it”. Yes, you have caved into your temptation but you do not need to have a long relapse. Again, rationalize it, write about it, do what you can to pick yourself up and return to the road of recovery. You will be remorseful and filled with negative feelings but you can choose to stay in that path or return to safety.

In the end, if we follow these instructions, we will have a lot to gain. Keep that in mind and good luck!

Image by quangle, courtesy of Pixabay.

Sobriety is the best thing

Hey everyone. It has been a week since I used. It’sincredible how I almost don’t think about and, when I do, it’s just a quick thought that I simply let go. I dismiss it by saying to myself that I don’t need it and it would be stupid if I relapsed. My mind shifted after these months of fighting against addiction. I didn’t thought it would be possible but it is.
I want to be cautious and don’t be too optimistic. It may become a challenge in the future so I need to protect myself. I have been asking my mother to keep my money so I am not tempted to buy. When I go out at night, I spend enough money not to have a lot of spare change.
Most of my close friends don’t smoke and the ones that do have been extremely cool and respectful. They don’t smoke in my presence.
Even triggers have been easy for me to deal. I think about it for a second and then my mind drifts away. I am so surprised with this. It is like a dream come true to, though I am proceeding with caution. I know it can become harder with time, its still a very new change. But it has been radically different from last time. If you have been following my blog, you know the hard time I had keeping sober. Constant cravings, fixated on it. My brain was constantly making plans to buy weed. It was like torture but now its easier.
I went to a bar last night. I spent 10 hours away from home and the bar was far from my house. I fel comfortable and had a lot of fun. I am seeing improvements in my life and I am happy about them. I desperately needed change in my life. I am no longer feeling hopeless or stuck. I feel things slowly happening and that gives me peace.
I hope you are all okay!

Image by esiul, courtesy of Pixabay.

I have great news

Hey guys. I have been away for a few days, as you may or may not have noticed.
I finally quit smoking weed. This is my fourth day sober. I feel incredibly relieved.
The first days were surprisingly easy. The triggers did not bother me one bit. I think I know why.
Actions are composed of our rational and emotional side. The part that is stronger will prevail. For example, if I smoke cigarettes, I know it is bad for me but the emotional side will prevail if I do not do any mental prep. As you know, I have been battling and rationalizing my addiction for months. The rational part became stronger and more powerful. Now, if I think about smoking, I immediately shut it down with facts. I keep in mind one of the quotes I learned on Narcotics Anonymous. One hit is too many and 1000 are not enough. It is a good thing to keep in mind.
I overcame my fears and I have to say that I am proud of myself. I am proud of not going with the flow and stopping this self-destructive habit. Maybe it is not self-destructive for you but it is for me. I do not judge people who smoke. Everyone has his own path, I am no one to judge or criticize. I just criticize how some people preach that cannabis is good for everyone. It is not. I was hospitalized many times with drug-induced psychosis and that is no joke. I just wanted to numb the pain and stop feeling so much.
Now that I am more stable and that I have an excellent family life, a wonderful boyfriend, and amazing friends, I want to feel. I don’t want to be numb. I don’t want to be that typical lazy, too laid back stoner. I am more lively and my mind is more active. I used to feel dumb sometimes like I couldn’t respond to seemingly easy things. Nothing would come to mind. It’s obvious that if you take a considerable amount of medication and you smoke weed, you will be less responsive and mentally active. Realistically, the only way I can reduce the amount of medication that I take is by quitting to smoke. I know all the pills are life-saving but also bad for your health. And I know that I can be even sharper when the medication is reduced. I need to be in the best mental shape if I want to join the workforce.
That’s something I have been thinking about a lot. Working and the implications of it. I am a free spirit so I the idea of having the obligation of showing up for work every day is suffocating to me. Which is probably just fear, so I should fight it. If I find a job I enjoy and it does not have to be creative, I am used to customer service and I like it. Though it has to be by phone, email or fax. I prefer by email or fax, you can listen to music while you work and it is not as hardcore as taking dozens of calls in a day. I have worked in call centers before and I have to say that it is challenging. Having people scream at you, call you names and arguing with you is exhausting. It is not out of the question but that will be one of my last resorts. Cut my life into pieces, the call center is my last resort haha. I know, I know, bad joke but I couldn’t help it. Most of my generation grew up with nu metal. Those were fun days. Going to rock clubs, the school radio banging Soulfly in recess. Wearing streetwear, super baggy clothes, hairpins and Eastpak backpacks very low on our backs. I just want to have that spark again, that motivation. To be as independent as I used to be. I just know I’ll get there. I have to get there to chase my dreams again.

Image by nickgesell, courtesy of Pixabay.

Addiction recovery and the benefits of therapy

I found this article about addiction. It talks about fear and freedom. I definitely want the freedom that comes with being sober. The freedom of having more money and better mental health.

Can’t we experience freedom with a drug of choice? On the contrary, that’s not freedom but numbing out, escaping, abdicating responsibility and surrendering to cravings and urges. When you’re free, you operate from a place of knowledge and choice. You choose what to do and what not to do. No one else does that for you.

I learned that cravings lessen with time and will disappear after a while. I have to know my triggers in order to avoid them. I will keep snacks for when the cravings come. I will try to be firm and reason with myself. I have to be happy to be over with this phase. I can be free of this. I am better than this. This is not stronger than me and it never will. I am in control of my life. I have to be. I don’t want to make the same bad choices every day. I want to write and go out more. Be with people that don’t use drugs.

I also found this article about addiction recovery:

The human brain is constantly changing. Our gray matter is responsive to music, mayhem, and medicine, adapting with exposure to these and other stimuli, including psychotherapy. Science has shown that many forms of psychotherapy, whether used in conjunction with medications or without, can actually cause physiological changes in the brain that result in better treatment outcomes for people with trauma, addiction, and other mental health disorders.

Through functional neuroimaging scans, researchers involved in more than 20 scientific studies have provided evidence of structural and functional changes in the brains of patients receiving psychotherapy for conditions such as depression and anxiety. These studies show physical changes in the brain that correlate to noticeable improvements in the patient.

Additional research studies have revealed that medications and substances of abuse also cause changes within the brain, altering the wiring within its reward center, thereby impacting levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that are sent along the nerve pathways in the body. Studies also reveal that after cessation of medication or substance use, and with sustained abstinence supported by therapy, a person’s brain structures can eventually return to a normal state. When a client who has given up drugs in treatment starts to feel less anxious or sleeps better, it is the brain healing.

This article gives me hope. It goes on to say

While it may be hard to believe that psychotherapy is capable of producing physical brain changes that can be as effective as taking medication, the proof is in the gray matter. Scientists have demonstrated that brain changes resulting from psychotherapy are enduring, and crucial for long-term recovery from mental illness.

These findings challenge a longstanding “brain bias” that exists in the field of psychiatry — the view that the brain’s physical structure is unchanging and should be the primary focus of treatment, while psychological factors are secondary. Based on this bias, some will argue that medications provide the best results. But the latest scientific revelations indicate that, for those willing to invest time in therapy, the coping strategies and behavioral tools they learn will help manage life’s slings and arrows in the short term, while the brain’s circuitry works to catch up and affect lasting change in the long term.

The take-away message? Even if you are already taking medication that helps manage your symptoms, you can complement the medicine’s therapeutic benefits with psychotherapy. Find the psychotherapy that works for you and stick with it — your brain will adapt in ways that will enhance your healing, making you feel even better over time.

I really agree with this and it is a great thing. I think everyone should see a therapist from time to time. That would be very beneficial for humanity. We all need to reflect upon our actions, our past, and our future. With the help of a professional, we can heal from various things.

The brain is like the universe, always changing and evolving. We can rewire our brains which is great. I definitely think my talks with my psychologist really help. I can tell her anything. I cannot do that with anyone else. Some people know some things about me, others no other things but I do not disclose it all to anyone. The people that know me better are my parents, my boyfriend, and my best friend. It is important to have privacy in your life. To have secrets. You don’t owe transparency to the world. This very opaque and cloudy world.

I have to keep in mind that the last time that I stopped smoking for a day, I felt great and was overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings. I hope the same happens now. It was easy to go through the day without smoking. I will have to keep myself busy. I will be writing my heart out. Trying to overcome the difficult time ahead. Difficult yet somewhat peaceful. Since there is no need to get it or do it. I will try to exercise and to meditate every day. Exercise when I have a craving and then eat something to help.

I thought this infographic was interesting. Things to keep in mind.

I should also go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. That would help me. There is one on Monday. I hope I find the courage to go. Even though I do not like it that much. It has helped me in the past.
This quote is also important:

I agree with this quote, without a change in your life, it’s impossible to recover. I need to make changes.

My therapist asked me if I knew someone who had kicked a drug habit and I said yes. She told me to ask that person how they did it. And I did. The answer was simple, it was work. Worked helped him overcome the cravings and ultimately he kicked the habit. More and more companies right now make candidates take drug tests. I am afraid of that. So I have to quit first, for a month and then start to look for work. Work or a course. I do not know which one yet. Something where I get paid and work or study. Whatever is best for me.

My cat is anxiously waiting for me to go to bed. It is already 5 am and she wants to sleep. I think I should call it a night, too.

Image by Westfrisco, courtesy of Pixabay.

Stream of consciousness and Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee

I must remember that quitting is a commitment you make. A decision you do not take light-heartedly. That I will not lose something but gain several things. My freedom, more money, better mental health. There is no rational reason for me to continue doing this. And I am so scared, as I have said numerous times, of going to rehab. That is part of my motivation. It is hard but if I do this alone, I will solve my biggest problems. Agoraphobia will gradually go away. I will have more energy. Delusions will be less frequent *I hope*.Things can change dramatically if I keep committed to the need to stop smoking. I cannot stress this enough. I will document my change of habits. Human beings can adapt relatively easily. I have to remember how it was before I started this madness.Good ways to spend my time. Writing is a great way to spend the time. In writing, an interesting thing to do when you do not have a subject or idea to write is to listen to a binaural beats track for creativity. I once wrote a poem, inspired by one of these tracks. I just write what comes to mind.
I am tired, I was up all night. I really enjoyed myself and I am still enjoying myself. It is raining copiously. The day is grey. It is a great day to be inside. And a great day for people who love the rain. Fortunately, we are all so different and so alike. The universe is always evolving, it is dynamic and so should we. Some people are dynamic. They go to the gym, run at 6 am, wake up at 6 30 am and go to bed at midnight. I do not know how they do it. As they do not know how I can stay still for so long. Should I believe it is possible for me to believe in change, in the discipline
One thing is for sure, I am a slacker because of my addiction. So taking that from my life will help me immensely. It is a brave thing to do and I should hope to be proud of myself. Not giving on the first try. Try harder than last time. ALWAYS try harder than last time.
I know I have told you similar things in different moments. The wind takes the words but actions stay. So I have to act in order to prove I mean business. I would love you to comment, like and support me in any way you can. I will need it.
I will be reading your blogs, how you deal with life and sobriety. That will certainly help me. Writing will be the center of my life these days. I will tell you how I am feeling, how I am coping and whatever comes to mind. This is a very old habit that needs to stop. The sooner, the better. I know I have it in me to stop.
I hope I do not repeat myself too much, my memory is very bad and I do not remember most of what I wrote before. That is what trauma does to the memory, as may you be aware. I remember 10 % of what happened to me, probably and that is a good thing. I am still able to retain information and learn with ease so I would say it does not affect me much.
It is also very windy today, which I do not like. I do not like the sound of the wind, especially through window cracks. It scares me. Maybe not scare me but it leaves me uneasy. Like it is the sound of a ghost or a specter.
Yes, my imagination runs wild. Certain things trigger a response in me, a creative response. I immediately have to write what comes to mind. There is poetry everywhere if you pay a closer look. Even sadness can be poetic and it is. Poetry would be incomplete without sadness. Sylvia Plath, Florbela Espanca, Edgar Allan Poe and others wrote from the soul and, boy, was that soul dark and sad. It made some incredibly wonderful poetry. Who can forget Annabel Lee? I have that poem written on my wall. I do not know if you have ever read it. It goes like this

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes! – that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

I hope you liked this poem, it is one of my favorites. I will be posting more poetry I like so you can enjoy it, too. After all, sharing is caring.

Image by Alexas_Fotos, courtesy of Pixabay.

These days

I have mixed feelings about Christmas and the end of the year.I like all the food, presents and holiday spirit (at least, the one in my house). My Mother gets very happy and excited for Christmas, I love to see her like that. My Father also gets into the holiday spirit but he is still his judgemental self. I’m getting used to it, he won’t change now or ever. It’s in his nature and I respect that, though it still hurts me a lot. I understand his side and the generational gap doesn’t help. He was always very respectful to his parents, like most people in his generation. He was appalled by my disrespect, he started to think there was something wrong with me. He never realized that he was very critical and invalidating. Right at the time when I needed him the most. I can’t blame him, he didn’t know better. Understanding what we couldn’t understand is a part of growing up. Accepting and tolerating, too. We now have a civilized relationship, though we exchange harsh words a few times a week. It never escalates. I don’t allow it. We have many similarities when it comes to personality and that is why clash. Maybe one day, we’ll get along better. Or not. Who knows?

When it comes to the end of the year, I’m having a deja-vu. I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. I immediately started to criticize myself and hate myself. Sometimes it’s necessary, you can’t be too complacent with yourself. There must be some accountability. But I was overwhelmed. I relived how I felt this whole year. Like a failure, worthless and hopeless. I have 300 days to make a change. This year has to be different. I know it’s going to be different because I have started to take steps in the right direction, I have plans and ideas. I want to continue working on my blog, consistently. I want to continue to create art. I want to get a job. I want to start exercising.

The first decision, the one that will enable me to do all of this and more, is quitting weed. It takes away all of my will and energy. Addiction is so complicated. As Wikipedia states, “Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences”. So, I’m basically, in auto-destruction mode, if I don’t do anything about it. It’s extra-hard to do it on your own but I know I can do it.

I’ve been using a four-week plan hypnosis and positive affirmations to help me with this task and it’s helping.

An affirmation is really anything you say or think. A lot of what we normally say and think is quite negative and doesn’t create good experiences for us. We have to retrain our thinking and speaking into positive patterns if we want to change our lives.”- Louise Hay

This article is very enlightening and it shows how anyone can benefit from positive affirmations. A way to transform our reality is changing our perception of it. Words can really change the way we think and react.

Tell me what you think about this in the comment section, I would love to hear our thoughts on what I talked about.

Happy holidays and thank you for reading this.

Image by congerdesign, courtesy of Pixabay.