Addiction, it can get the best of us.

kalifornia (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago

Well, here i am on my 5th shot of whiskey on a Sunday night. I have school tomorrow – a few tests and a lot of homework that i’ve been working on all day. By no means am i a dumb guy, i’m a junior in highschool with a 4.0 GPA and i’m taking all honors classes and AP classes. Since freshman year i smoked weed every day. It was part of me. 5 months ago stopped smoking after realizing i could not control myself. Now, here i am, crumbling again. The stress hits hard. The depression creeps in. A shot of whiskey, or maybe two? three, four, five. I can never gen enough. I can go a few weeks without any drugs, but if i slip up just once, it comes back hard, I start doing drugs like i never stopped.

Anyhow, i’m trying to understand the WHY’s and the HOW’s. Why do i have an addictive personality? Why don’t my friends? Why can they drink and smoke on occasion and i can’t? Why do i crave being high or drunk? Why..?

How is it that i am an addict? It it genetic? Was i raised under some subconscious ideals that now manifest themselves into an addiction.

How can such a smart guy become an addict? Who am i consciously aware of this problem, consciously trying to fix it… yet can’t do it?

I have willpower – such is why i am able to sit for 6 hours straight studying chemistry and math. I went 5 months without doing any drugs at all – yet being around weed ever day and refusing it. I have the willpower. And yet, when i smoke just once i spiral back down into this hell.

Ahh, i’ve been exploring addiction in myself for a while – and i just can’t make any sense of it. Any input on how addiction works, why i am prone to it, or how to deal with it are much appreciated. Thank you all!

February 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm
Ramistotle (76) (@mcr513) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, I have no personal experiences of extreme addiction, but I know you are not alone. I am no professional on psychological addiction, but I get the impression everyone has varying cases of it in some way.

I notice some people may steer clear of things they were addicted to, and then just do it once, enter ‘relapse,’ and spiral down a dark path. It’s like they crave it and are able to deny it, but once they get a slight taste of it again, it’s back to stage one.

I’m sorry I can’t give you advice that a professional could on this matter, but I just want to express as another human being that I hope you find a way to overcome it. You are very young and the decisions you make in the near future will influence the outcome of your life more than you could imagine.

Don’t cave in, seek help in any way you need, and do what you think will make you healthy and happy

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@mcr513, Do you know if therapists deal with problems like addiction? I don’t specifically want a therapist – i don’t trust them, but maybe it would do me some good. I honestly feel as if i’m trapped. I just want to be able to wake up and walk through my day with no though of drugs.

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Jamin Slack (6) (@jaminslack) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, I went through therapy for depression about six months ago and while I can’t tell you that they can help you with addiction, simply because I don’t know, but I can say from personal experience that talking to someone who is unbiased and doesn’t really know you about your problems makes things much easier to handle. Its like allowing someone to carry your backpack for you for a little while. It makes the stress and pain of depression so much easier to fight. Your depression may not be a symptom of addiction, it may be the cause of it. If that is the case, I hope you are able to get help. Having therapy does not mean you are crazy, it doesn’t mean that you are weak. If anything it is the exact opposite because you had the clarity to realize you weren’t feeling okay, that you needed someone to share yourself with. I understand your feelings of discomfort and mistrust for a therapist, I experienced this as well. Those thoughts will subside once you begin to talk to them. Thank you for sharing this. Best of luck to you, and remember, you are NEVER alone. :)

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Nickole (67) (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, I’m sorry you feel this way, but you’re not alone in this. You seem very stressed out with school and that might be causing the problem. A combination of therapy and anxiety medication wouldn’t be a bad idea to try.

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sigh-hi (12) (@radiator) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Well, sounds like you know that you have a problem. I wish there was something that could just make everything o.k. for you. I do know that you are so young and being smart has nothing to do with addiction. Some of the most intelligent people I know are addicts, or recovering alcoholics. I started young too. I just wanted to feel good and have fun. I didn’t really care or even think of my future. I couldn’t talk to anyone because I didn’t want my friends thinking I was weak or in to deep. I don’t even think half the people in my life knew me sober. I’m going to be 50 soon. Hell, I don’t think I really know myself. I have cirrhosis now and have since quit.. I feel so different. I wish I had done it along time ago. My reasons were to numb the pain I was going through. Everyone has their problems just that everyone has a different was of coping. It’s not the first hit or drink that makes you an addict it the not being able to stop after the first one. Atleast in my case. Do you like yourself? You sound like a nice person with so much ahead to look forward to. Sweetheart, your just starting to live. You have proms, college, your first place away from home. I don’t know your circumstances at home and I’m not trying to sound like an expert but I missed out on so much. Hang in there and don’t drink alone. … You can’t hide from yourself and whatever you feel that you don’t want to feel will still be there. Try and face it without the pain killer.. It’s easier said than done, I know. I’ll shut up now… I wish you all the luck and don’t worry about things sooner than you need to. Hang in there…..

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Kristian Jaded (75) (@mentalkink) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Heey, I guess I’m coming from another side, but I still want to give my input.

I’ve never really had an addictive personality. I’ve been around people and drugs, and I do admit to having had a drinking problem. I am an intellectual, I’ve taken many psych classes because human development fascinates me, But It was the same thing for me, lots of stress, school, friends, I also developed a bad case of of insomnia, so I started to drink before bed. Couple shots, than it changed to when I woke up as well, and during the day. Most people had no idea. Some people did, and they thought I was just the coolest. It sickened me that I was doing it. I didn’t know if I was doing from, the stress, the ego factor due to the (hardly any) social popularity or because I just couldn’t stop.
I was never ‘caught’ and it wasn’t like I was plastered all the time.

And looking back, I know I wasn’t doing it for anyone else, or to make myself feel better socially. For me I guess it was a coping strategy, we all need a way to stay on top – if we feel were too low.

Whats making you unhappy in your life? Stressed in your life? Making you need to ‘cope’? Is it out of your hands? Why? What is your strategy if you ever needed to cope?

When it comes to addiction,personally I don’t believe it is ever genetic, its habitual. There is an ulterior reason why your addicted. Its an escape. Just try and look into yourself, look outside the box, look inside your addiction.

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Auston (18) (@baptiste) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

About 9 months ago, I broke my leg from a rugby game (I play for a college team). They had to perform surgery and I have titanium supporting my fibula. They gave me over the legal dose of Percocet for 2 weeks I was in so much pain. I didn’t sleep until 68 hours after I woke from surgery. After I was in the legal limit, I had those pills popped on clock work. I took so much I knew what time it was because my body just told me with my leg in pain every 4 hours.

About a month later I was about to take another 2000mg of one of the strongest pain killers on the market, when I realized something: my leg didn’t hurt. And yet, as I stared at my pills, I wanted it. No, I needed it. I needed those pills so bad. I felt like the whole world was going to collapse if i did not take those pills. Right. Fucking. Now. Its the most intense feeling feeling when you realize you have an addiction, am I right? You stare at it. You know you shouldn’t touch it, but it isn’t a choice anymore. It’s a necessity. You need it, more than you need air to breath.

I set them down on the table. Didn’t put them away though, not back in the bottle. What if my leg started to hurt again? I was on the couch, and I stared at those pills for an hour. I tried to watch tv, take my mind off of it. No use. I kept staring at those pills, and how badly my leg would keep hurting if I didn’t take them. But my leg wasn’t hurting. I was sweating, didn’t know what to do. The world was scary, confusing. I was terrified. I took the pills. Everything was clear again almost instantly. They hadn’t even kicked in and i was feeling better. I knew I had an addiction. But I knew I didn’t want to be addicted. My dad’s alcohol addiction nearly destroyed my family, and what would happen to it if while he was in rehab it came out that I had a problem too?

Here’s the simple truth: the drugs are a cop out. Alcohol too. Its a security blanket that, as you know, makes you feel good. Makes you confident. But this behavior will only lead to destruction. I have seen it first hand. You have to find a reason not to give in, a reason why you want to be a better person. Don’t do it for people (like a girlfriend/sister/mom etc), they will only disappoint you, you will argue, and you will feel that your new security blanket left so you must return to your old. And you hit it harder. Listen I cannot tell you the amount of hours I spent, hopping around my room flipping furniture over with my broken fucking leg on the off chance that a pill slipped by or dropped on the ground when I knew for a fact it hadnt. Some nights I couldn’t sleep. A week and I didnt leave the apartment. Addiction is a real thing, and even though its been almost 9 months since I stopped myself, I still get the cravings like it is day 1 again. Dont get me wrong i still use Ibuprofen, Ni-Quil, tylonal pm, etc. and I just want to take them all. Just to feel good again. But I don’t. I respect the limits. I take only what is prescribed and safe, and only when I actually need it. Here is how I fixed my problem

1)Identify the behavior and demand that I changed my behavior.
I had 3 prescriptions pre-written for when I ran out of my drugs at the time I realized I was addicted. I filled one, as a “in case of emergency” when i fell on my leg. The others I kept. I didn’t want to throw it away, because I subconsciously wanted them. Knowing I had a choice helped. I wasn’t forced to stop, I chose too. I knew, even when I was at my worst, that the day would end, and eventually I will get over this urge.

2)Don’t curse it.
You are young, you are going to drink some times. If you stop all drinking, you might break and come crashing down. You have to teach yourself moderation. When I was on my last bottle, I only took one in the afternoon and one to help me sleep. When I got to my last 7 I only took them when my leg hurt bad. I learn to deal with the soreness. Those last 7 lasted me 3 weeks. All or nothing is not discipline, it is giving in or hiding from the problem.

3)It’s on you.
Sure there is therapy or what ever you want to do. And it will help, a bit. Family and friend support will help. I gave my roommate the pills when I learned I was first addicted and told him only to give me two before i went to bed. Worse day of my life. It helped, but the next day he gave me the bottle back and I realized I am the only one who can stop my addiction. They can help, but they cannot do it for you. There will always be away to get another drink, another blunt, another pill. You have to stop it. You have to make yourself the better person.

Good luck my friend, I wish you all the strength you can muster.

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Marie (2,051) (@ARCANUS) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Don’t replace drugs with medication. Medication is not dealing with the issue, but numbing it, which only makes it worse. Deal with the underlying issues, look inside for answers. Maybe it would be good to go somewhere where you had to deal without yourself when you’re not on drugs & alcohol, and have someone to talk to in the process. It could be friends or a therapist. For me, I’ve been addicted to sugar. And this problem started within the family, so for me it wouldn’t help talking to for instance my mother, cause she is even more addicted than me. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression too (have not been medicated, and did not seek professional help as my mother wouldn’t help me with it, I was quite young when I first tried to reach out, so it wasn’t taken seriously, whilst me mother and father are both on anti-depressants and have seen therapists), and it took a while before I was able to build myself up. Talking to someone who has had the same problems, or even talking to your best friend might help you. Just don’t shut your mouth, let the troubles flow through you, don’t repress it. Best of luck. Love yourself. It gets better.

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@baptiste, This is very good advice – i’ll definitely work with it. I really do believe in moderation over “all or nothing” – something that my girlfriend doesn’t believe in. She wants me to stop completely. And, yet, i don’t really know if i can handle moderation. I would love to be able to moderate myself, but it can be hard. When i smoke once, there are SOO many factors that push me to smoke again. Every one of my friends (who i see every day), smoke weed on a regular basis. When i commit to completely stopping, i can resist that joint they pass around. But, right when i decide to smoke once, it spirals into a every day thing.

@jaminslack, Overall, i never really had depression or anxiety. It wasn’t until i started smoking weed on a daily basis that i started feeling depressed – it wasn’t till i took acid for the 5th time that i started getting anxiety. I know for a fact, that weed and other drugs put me in a bad mood. They make me stressed, grumpy, anxious, sad… they instill negative feelings. So when i go a few months without smoking, i feel great. i have a good peace of mind and things are right. Alas, eventually i decide to smoke some good old weed. The next day i’m sad and stressed. So i smoke more weed. And this continues on. It’s only after about 4 days of sobriety that i feel fine – but its easy to cave again.

@mentalkink, I have recently had a lot of stress in the form of heavy schoolwork, and a girlfriend who i dearly ove – but shes living far away and we don’t talk much. This puts the pressure on. Yet, i can deal. I do believe in the genetics of addiction. my mom and dad are the only ones in my family who have, by a stroke of luck, escaped addiction. My uncles and aunts are alcoholics – one of them is near death. And i mean… weed, of all drugs, is not very addictive. I feel like there should be some genetic aspect in getting addicted to weed to the point at which i could not stop for the life of me. ironically, LSD inspired me to stop smoking and broke me free from the cycle.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Do you meditate? If not, take it up and learn how to do it properly, because if you are not doing it right then you will dismiss it as something that doesn’t work. I wish I knew to take up meditation when I was in study because I ended up dropping out and becoming an addict. Now I don’t need meditation or drugs, I am free to do what I have passion for, but when I was locked into regiment it was far to stressful and I developed those addictive tendancies.
There are many threads on this site that can give you advice on meditation. Also you should work-out, this combined with meditation can totally flush out all this excess stress and give you balance.

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@trek79, Actually, i do meditate. Although i find it EXTREMELY helpful, i am yet to see its potential in addiction.

I’ve been meditating fro about 20-40 minutes every day. It helps with simple mindfulness and keeping content. It’s also made me a nicer person, i can be more compassionate and empathetic. With all that though, it had not eliminated craving or helped me fight off the horrible *need* to get high. The compulsive, thoughtless need.

With that being said, it has done a lot – and i’ve only been doing daily meditations for about a moths or two. I see huge potential in it, and hopefully it will in the future work to eliminate craving.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, As I said, hit the gym also, physical discipline (gym) combined with mental discipline (meditation) is what martial arts is based on, though they also add the philosophical aspect. With study you are already pushing yourself mentally, but pushing yourself physically builds will also, meditation is down time for both mental and physical.

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Auston (18) (@baptiste) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

So that’s it. You just need to stop. I only used moderation to ween off it. You have at least identified the problem, a huge step right there. So stop. When I say don’t curse it and moderation, I was talking more about the alcohol. Its not like I still take Percocet. I stopped that completely. The alcohol is something you can control more, weed smoking is harder to moderate. I mean you can like a cigar (Only fill your mouth) and only take a hit and chill out. For the drinking, no more shots. Mixed drinks are better, and sip on those. And I always have a cup of water between drinks. It doesn’t kill my buzz but it helps me control it.

It’s not like this is going to change over night. It will take a long time. Years even. The important thing is to keep identifying problem behaviors and try to stop it, or just slow it down, before it becomes a problem.

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Auston (18) (@baptiste) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Especially since smoking is such a trigger, you should just swear off of it for probably a few years. And I mean at least 3. Give yourself opportunity to grow and self analyze. Trust me when I say the you that is today will be the guide for the you of tomorrow. So guide yourself today where you want to be later.

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kalifornia (10) (@kaliholiday) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@trek79, Haha, i actually have a job at a gym, so i get a solid workout 3 times a week. In the end i’m hitting all 3 aspects of school, physical activity, and meditation. Do you think running would help? I used to run very heavily, doing 5 miles plus a day at 6 minute miles. But its time consuming and i stopped. Should i try cardio again?

@baptiste, I see what you mean. It’s very hard to swear off of that green love of mine, but maybe it’s just what needs to be done. And your right, i don’t have as much of a problem with alcohol. I use it in times when i get really tempted to smoke weed (which is really not the right approach, but its worked thus far).

I always wonder, and i think it’s my addicted brain looking for excuses – but will it ever be possible for me to casually drink and smoke, without thinking about doing it again later? That would be a dream come true haha.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, The idea is balance, your stress is coming from you mental work load, you have a satisfactory work-out and meditation routine, I would not suggest running, although it is an idea, what I would suggest is a creative outlet, what do you have going in that department? I know you have time constraints but a 15-20 minute creative exercise, an ongoing project.

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Anonymous (24) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@kaliholiday, Hey man. I’ve been there. Exactly the same.
What I’ve come to realize is that I only do drugs and stuff to fill a void in me, or whatever. I’ve been depressed alot. Gone through some shit in my life etc. I’ve always put these feelings aside because in my rational mind I have no reason, what so ever, to not be happy today. All the troubles are in the past. This repression of my depression ended up with me not being able to carry the weight of these locked-up emotions anymore and finally it all surfaced. So to ease the pain I drank more and I smoked more jay. After some time that didn’t work either. The more I kept trying to forget the more Mary Jane made me look at myself. So everytime I smoked I became extremely introverted and selfcritical.

Anyways, I quit the weed and had to figure this shit out. Still am, actually. But what I’ve come to realize is that I only crave things when I’m down. I’ve become very selfconciouss about my moods and what not, so the addictions, which I’ve come to realize, is only my brain telling my mind and body to ease the pain. Whenever I’m “normal”, happy that is, I can actually go a whole day without a cigarate. If I’m down I smoke a pack a day without even thinking about it, and I always have this underlying feeling that I want more of something. Something stronger, maybe.

What I’ve come to conclude is that I need to dig deep withing myself. I need to find the root cause/s to my depression. That realization has really helped my outlook on my addictions. I think I’m more grounded now, i.e. whenever I get these urges I can recognize them, look at them objectivley and realize that maybe that’s not what I really want. Maybe these urges are urges for something entirely different; selflove, for instance.

So turns out my addictive personality really wasn’t that much of an addictive personality after all. Turns out I just got problems. This may seem a little cheesy, and this was something I “knew” before, it’s kind of obvious after all, but I’ve never really understood it. Until recently. When I learned to just let go and open myself up fully.

Maybe this can help, or maybe not. Food for thought anyways. ☮

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Q (94) (@Qualohuasca) 7 years, 12 months ago ago

@arcanus, how long did it take for you to get off of the sugar addiction? It’s day two for me and it feels like quitting smoking all over again. There’s no timeline-type information available on the internet, from what I’ve seen…
Never thought I’d be this bitchy about not getting a candy bag or ice cream :D goddammit.

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Marie (2,051) (@ARCANUS) 7 years, 12 months ago ago

@qualohuasca, I think it might be a subjective matter. But for me, after a couple of days – one, two or three days – I started to notice a change in my brain and behaviour. I realized that I was in charge of the sugar I put into my body, rather than the other way around. I’d say it took me less than two days for the sugar rush to wear off and for me to stop feeling powerless without it. ;)

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 7 years, 12 months ago ago

having an addictive personality is not a bad thing when it is aimed into a relevant free fire zone. yes, it can get the best of us, but more importantly, yes, it can bring out the best in us.

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Q (94) (@Qualohuasca) 7 years, 12 months ago ago

@arcanus, heh, day five and it still feels like quitting smoking. :D I obsess. Oh well, it can’t take forever.


@josephm
, thanks to your post, I went out and googled a few blogs about turning an addictive personality into an asset. Found some really awesome and inspiring points along the way. Thank you!
As I figured, it’s all about choosing the addictions that benefit you.

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