what happened when I quit smoking weed

I can’t believe I’m writing this post right now, because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to actually quit weed for good.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor nor have I studied the affects of marijuana on others. I am writing from my own personal experience.

My relationship with marijuana has been a rocky one. There have been lots of highs (literally) but sadly, even more lows. I don’t even remember when I first started getting high — I must have been fifteen or sixteen years old. Fast forward ten years, and I can finally say I’m breaking up with weed.

Is this what it means to grow up?

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doctor’s orders

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Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore weed, and this has been one of the hardest break-ups of my life. Weed has allowed me to become more open-minded, loving, and self-aware. I’d roll a doobie before bed, smoke up, listen to music, and write in my journal and get into my feelings. I used weed as a way to touch base with my emotions and check in with myself.

Until I didn’t.

For me, smoking weed became a problem when I didn’t use it in a positive way anymore, or to access the more creative side of myself. I would smoke just to get high, then I’d sit on my phone and scroll my timelines, falling deeper and deeper into a worsened mental state. I’d overthink everything and create situations in my head that would never happen and stress myself out. Then I’d roll another joint, get high again, and refresh my apps. It was a never-ending cycle, and I was using weed as a way to numb my emotions instead of reflect on them. I did this almost every single day for a year.

But it wasn’t the weed’s fault, God no. I didn’t have an addiction to getting high, no way. There was just nothing better to do in my hometown, or at least that’s what I would tell myself. There was no possible way I would quit weed. Every day I would race home after work just so I could smoke and crawl into bed, completely drained of talking to anyone or putting up with anyone’s bullshit.

I just had to put up with my own, because… I was totally lying to myself.

You see, I wasn’t exactly in the right head space to be getting high at all if I was being honest with myself. I moved back to my hometown in the spring of 2019, and I always felt like I didn’t fit in there, like my dreams were too big for the people within the small city. The people are often quite conservative, whereas I am a free-spirited liberal, and I definitely don’t share the same beliefs or values as my family, with whom I was living with again. It was impossible not to feel stuck — I was twenty-six years old and living in my mother’s basement, working the same job I had when I was a teenager, serving the same people I had served for years. Everything felt repetitive, and I couldn’t find a job in my field after graduating for the life of me.

So I turned to weed to relieve the stress and I didn’t turn back.

I knew deep down that it was time to kick the habit when I didn’t have the energy to hang out with my best friends. I’d hit snooze eight or nine times in the morning, and I had trouble falling asleep at night because the wheels in my mind were constantly spinning. I was unmotivated to write. I ate everything in sight and couldn’t get myself to the gym. Constantly irritable and bitchy, I’d hide out in my room and not talk to my family. I watched The Office for the ninth time in avoidance of responsibilities and goals. Most importantly, I broke the promises I made to myself. “I’ll quit smoking weed tomorrow,” I would say, yet I somehow always found myself at a dispensary buying another eighth, which would last me two, maybe three days.

Fortunately for me, I picked up some weed that made everything worse. I say fortunately because it finally made me take action. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. As I felt my mental health slipping, I became increasingly upset by who I was becoming. My friends always say they’re proud of me for achieving my goals and working so hard, but they didn’t know I hadn’t written a single word in over two months. My relationship with my family was becoming more and more strained. I barely had enough energy to get through a day at work, only to spend my money on more weed.

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two hands to count my blessings

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Sitting on my bedroom floor, I rolled another joint. Why was I so sad? Why was I so damn moody? My emotions felt way out of line, as if they weren’t my own. The weed was messing with me emotionally, but smoking made me suppress any negative feelings.

Now, I’m smart enough to know that if you don’t address your feelings, things can go wrong and they might manifest later in life as an illness, or you can end up carrying that weight in your heart for a lifetime. I’ve always been incredibly honest with myself about my emotions and allow myself to truly feel them to get them out of my system. The heaviness I felt surrounding my life was bringing me down.

That’s when it hit me…

My relationship with marijuana was changing who I was at my core, and that realization shocked me into changing my lifestyle for good.

I looked at the joint I had just rolled in my hand and contemplated what I was about to do. I lit it up and quietly thanked weed for everything it had taught me over the years. Then I flushed the rest down the toilet.

Kicking my bad habit to the curb was way easier to do than I thought it would be. In fact, I barely thought about it at all during the first week. As it turns out, I was simply overthinking the impossibility of living a completely sober life.

I felt amazing. I began feeling motivated again, and I only ate when I was hungry so I wasn’t feeling so sluggish all the time. Feeling clear-headed became addicting and I had more energy than I had in years.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all easy. I hated sleeping because my dreams were horrible. I woke up drenched in sweat every night from the nightmares I was having. Whenever I got stoned before bed, I never remembered my dreams in the morning, so suddenly having these super-intense, vivid dreams made for a lot of restless nights.

But they eventually passed, and I began having the best sleeps of my life.

I finally felt like I was on the right track once I quit weed.

Once I quit my bad habit, good things started happening to me every day. I landed my dream summer job and was finally able to move away from my hometown. My relationships began to flourish. I started reading every night before bed rather than zoning out in front of the television, and I was learning new things every day. Also worth mentioning — the acne I constantly dealt with around my jawline began to clear up. I read once that that area of your face can become acne-prone if your lungs are unhealthy.

It felt good to breathe again.

It was like the Universe was aware I was beginning to reach my potential and decided to reward me. (The Universe does this to everyone, by the way, I swear by it. But I’ll save that for another post.)

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to quit weed completely. I’d rather smoke weed than drink alcohol nine times out of ten. There’s nothing wrong in occasionally getting high with my girlfriends, like when we watch The Bachelor and order pizza, but my days of smoking weed alone at home every day are over.

Weed has taught me a lot about myself. I credit the good times to my overall happiness and positive outlook toward life. Weed taught me how to be unproblematic, chill out, and not stress over the small stuff. The fact I can quit weed has taught me that I am stronger than my bad habits. It’s always possible to let go of the things you allow to have control over your life.

I’ve spent far too much time over the last ten years abusing substances. Sober Jess is just as cool as stoned Jess, and I’m excited to spend more time with her.