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.

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5 months sober!

It’s been 5 months since I quit smoking weed. I thought that it would be very hard and it turned out to be easy. Triggers happen but not often. Most of the time I’m calm, relaxed and focused on other things.

If I get triggered, my first instinct is to think about something else. Also, thinking about how well I feel and how I have everything I need. That is a way of grounding myself and understanding that I don’t need to be high to enjoy life.

It’s good to be able to listen to lectures from online courses and not get distracted or bored. Learning new things is a natural high. I can understand what I want and don’t want to do. Some subjects are interesting, others not so much. A clinical psychology course has caught my attention. It’s very interesting and something I’ve always wanted to learn.

Sadly, college is out of reach. Thinking about what I can do for work makes me feel depressed. Feeling hopeless and discouraged. Thinking that I will never have a decent job and will be very poor. That bothers me. Money is not the most important thing for me but it has an important role in people’s lives. It’s a source of security and stability. Those thoughts lead me nowhere. I keep thinking in circles and feel terrible.

Today is a good day. I’m going out in a few hours. Going out at night with my boyfriend would be great. We only go out by day, he needs to rest on his day off. It will happen when he is on vacation. I’m so excited. Seeing him every day of the week sounds like a dream. He’s wonderful. It’s impossible for me to shut up about it.

I need to go now. That you have a good day or night is my wish.

Picture by NeuPaddy, courtesy of Pixabay.

4 months sober!

On a lighter note, I have something to be grateful of today. It has been 4 months since I last smoked cannabis. I feel so happy about it. It was such a struggle to quit but it has been so easy to maintain. When the thought comes, I let it go. I never think about it more than a few seconds. Some minutes can lead to relapse. I keep myself occupied and I think about the positive side of not smoking. It has made my life easier, I don’t deal with remorse anymore, I don’t fear policemen or get paranoid. It’s much better life overall and I plan to stay like this for a long time. Being addicted to something is no fun, you feel trapped and helpless. You can see by my earlier posts how much I struggled with it. My agoraphobia is not as bad as it was and I have more energy. I also have more money, which is a plus. It’s also a relief not to contribute to the illegal drug market.

I am going out with my boyfriend now. We are going for a walk and we are going to have dinner at a new Chinese restaurant near my house. I wish you a wonderful day. I love you all.

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.

3 months sober

It’s been 3 months since I last smoked. My mind feels much clearer, my concentration and memory are much better. I’m able to do an online course that I’ve been really wanting to do. It’s Harvard’s CS50 (computer science). I have been meaning to learn programming in long time but I was never able to study it for long, due to my use. Maybe now I can learn it and get into it. It’s a fascinating world and I’m so lucky to live in a time when I can take a Harvard course for free. If it’s not too hard for me, I might buy the diploma, it would be a great addition to my resumé.

Being sober has opened up a world of possibilities. It shows me that changing deep-rooted habits is attainable. That, in turn, is a sign that I can do more for myself, that I can evolve. Though I’m still stuck, I feel optimistic. Going outside is just another healthy habit that I can cultivate. I really need vitamin D, it’s essential for physical and mental health.

In order to do that, I need to fix my sleep schedule first and let go of my attachment to the night. It will be hard as it’s the time when I feel more peaceful and relaxed. One thing that is positive is that I also enjoy daytime. I enjoy the sun and the fresh air. Going outside is also a good way to see people I like. I will also see people that I don’t like but so is life.

Someone said “there is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone”. It makes sense but not total sense. There can still be comfort to a degree in the growth zone and there is comfort in knowing that you are growing. It’s very uncomfortable to know that you are not going anywhere in life and that you are stagnant. Watching time go by or should I say fly by? We are in the middle of the year and I just stopped smoking. It’s an accomplishment but not enough. There is room for more change in my life. There is also a need for it. The time is now.

Writing has helped me overcome situations in the past so, hopefully, it can help me once more. It helps me change my mindset and make decisions.

I hope you are well. I love you all.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Still going strong

I’ve been recovering. Meditation has been a part of my life for a few years but I stopped meditating every day. I’ve been meditating for 12 days and it’s helping me so much. I went outside two days ago and yesterday. I will try to go out today. I feel like my perception is changing. I don’t feel as much fear or existential dread. I feel more positive, I even felt happy yesterday. It’s been a while since I felt happy.

I’m still sober and proud of it. It’s a huge victory for me. On the 10th of May, I will be weed-free for three months. I never thought I would make it this far. Cravings are decreasing, I have no desire to use. I look at my past and it seems so crazy to me that I smoked every day. Looking back, things don’t make sense to me but I have compassion for who I was. I understand that my reality tunnel was different and that made me do questionable choices. I remember last time I stopped smoking, I was so mad at my past self. I don’t feel that way now and that’s a good thing. I hope I can write soon. I love you all.

Image by sasint, courtesy of Pixabay.

An update on my situation

First and foremost, I’m still sober and doing better. I don’t think about as much and I’m still dealing with cravings in a positive way. Whenever the thought arises, I let it go and don’t let it evolve into a relapse. It has been working so far and I’m grateful for that.

Yesterday, I had a lovely evening with my boyfriend. We took a walk and sat at a café. The night wasn’t cold, it was rather pleasant. A very good night to be outside, to escape the heat of the afternoon. I could definitely use the vitamin D that the sun provides but I woke up too late.

We talked about many things and he shared me the issues he has been having with his job. Sometimes, he doesn’t tell me things that happen there because he doesn’t want to worry me. I said that it’s fine and that I am strong enough to help him deal with whatever comes up. I mean it, we’re in this (life) together. I want him to vent. Tell me about his most annoying customers. Tell me when the boss nags him, know every little detail about his daily life. He carries to many things on his shoulders and we could share the weight. It brings us together after 4 years of dating. It makes me feel a bit more useful. He is too important for me to let him suffer alone. I know how much venting works but he is so stoic. Too stoic, if you ask me but it’s, nevertheless, a good quality and I love that in him.

I have been doing the dishes every night since last week. It’s a small step for someone but a giant step for me. I want to help more at home and not be such a burden. My mother deserves it, she is such a brilliant parent. I want to make her happy. I also want to do more for myself and my life. My parents suffer with my lifestyle because it’s not good for me, in the long run. I don’t want them to suffer because of me, not one bit. They deserve more peace in their minds and I deserve a better life. I know I am capable of achieving my goals.

I started a course,a few months ago, on Coursera called Budhism and Psychology. It is helping me understand the nature of emotions. I highly recommend it for someone who is struggling. We often get caught up in our emotions but they are illusions. They had a purpose when we were hunter-gatherers and our society and world is nowhere near what it was at that period of time. For example, craving sweets served a purpose in the stone age. It meant eating fruit and provided us with much needed vitamins. We still have those cravings but many of us turn to processed sweets, which can contribute to obesity and other conditions. Budhism is very interesting. I enjoy secular Budhism, as I don’t care much for its folklore and myths. It’s the westernized form of Budhism and the science behind it that is so powerful to learn. I’m not saying I’m going to convert to this religion, as I am an agnostic-atheist. I am and probably will be always looking for answers and new points of view. That’s one of my purposes in life.

I have also begun meditating every night, which was one of my short-term goals. I’ve been using Insight Timer, an app that I have already reviewed and I’m going to start using a new app for learning how to meditate. I will review it, as soon as I’m familiar with it.

I hope you enjoyed reading my updates and I wish you a good day.

Image by sasint, courtesy of Pixabay.

2 months of sobriety

I have been away from WordPress, as you might have noticed. I’ve been struggling with motivation.

The only good news I have is that I am still sober. It has been two months since I stopped smoking. I am proud of myself and confident about recovery. I didn’t think I could do this by myself but I accomplished it.

Other than that, I am stuck in the void. I haven’t been outside in almost two weeks. Depression has hit me hard. Seeing my therapist is difficult because I have to go outside. I need to talk to my psychiatrist as soon as possible, this is hard to deal. Feeling hopeless and impaired. Feeling like a burden to everyone. Feeling like a failure. This is my mental rut. Drinking too much coffee and smoking too many cigarettes. I feel like I can get a serious illness soon. Scared, so scared. Drowning in social media. Wasting time. Unable to learn anything new that could help me feel useful and productive. Staying up until the sunrise. Trying to cope but digging a deeper hole. Feeling inconsistent and unable to keep up with normal activities for a 34 year old. I’m numb.

This is all I can say for now, as I don’t want to bore you with this silly self-pity galore. I love you all

Image by JohnsonMartin, courtesy of Pixabay.

40 days sober and more

I am very proud to say that I have reached 40 days. It has not been as hard as I thought it would be. I guess all that blogging about addiction and my struggle really helped. Marijuana has been out of my system for 10 days and I finally see some changes. I am a bit more motivated and less paranoid. I do not feel as numb as I used to. I feel more pleasure in doing things.

I am still struggling with going ouside. I have been leaving my house once a week, twice on a good week. My vitamin D levels must be dangerously low but I still prefer to stay at home. It is a self-destructive behavior, I am aware of that. It has been going on for years. I feel like the world is a complex and scary place. I do not feel like I fit in, so I just withdraw myself. I know that is not answer but that is how I have been coping. My therapist has been helpful but I still need more sessions. Maybe they should, sometimes, be twice a week. I feel like I need that. Besides my boyfriend and a few friends, no one really gets me. That makes me feel helpless, hopeless and marginalized. I have lost so many friends since I have a mental condition. It is really heartbreaking. I must move on from that but I am still a bit stuck in the past, still trying to get closure. This is where my therapist comes in. Our conversations are insightfyl and she shows me points of view that I did not have. It is important to explore new points of view, so we do not get stuck in our distorted perception. I am not saying we are not valid but our perception often betrays us. This is why therapy is so important and just taking medication will ease your symptoms but not treat the underlying causes. Therapy is hard work but it pays off. It is a great help and a great investment in our mental health.

Inside, I am so scared. Irrational fears and rational fears are overwhelming. It is like being stuck in a cage, surrounded by danger. My house is my cage and I am conflicted. On one hand, I am desperate to get out and on the other hand I am content by being safe. That is an illusion. I am not safe anywhere if I still do things compulsively. I am not happy with myself so I do this. My coping mechanisms are destroying me. I feel despair lots of times. Like an ouroboros, biting my tail, in a never ending cycle. At least I have stopped engaging in one of those habits. That is very positive. I am sure there are more positive changes to come. I will not give up on myself. I must keep trying to get better. It is part of my purpose in life, to overcome this and help others. I will do that. I can do that. You can, too. I believe in us.

Image by MPMPix, courtesy of Pixabay.