I am a marijuana addict. Sometimes it seems like an MA meeting is the only place where people are not amused by that statement. Many people see marijuana as a harmless drug, with no serious side effects. They should have seen me in my first year of sobriety. When I stopped smoking pot, I started feeling again—emotionally and physically. I felt like an abscessed tooth with cold water being poured on it. Withdrawal was painful, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. I found the reality of hitting bottom after I stopped smoking weed. What started out as harmless, recreational pot smoking literally turned into a refuge from pain and reality—the pain in my life and the reality of everyday living.
When I began smoking pot, it was part of a larger experience occurring at the time: Civil Rights, the Vietnam War, hippies and flower power, free sex, turn on, tune in, and drop out. Smoking pot was the politically correct thing to do. It seemed so right at the time. Smoking pot was a way of declaring my independence and establishing an identity. While many of my friends stopped smoking marijuana and went on with their lives, marijuana became the focal point of my life. As a practicing addict, the word “stoned” echoed and reverberated through my head for two decades. It took me twenty years to figure out marijuana did not ease my pain; it just stuffed it deep down inside me. Sobriety opened a Pandora’s Box of emotions.