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Substances

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BamBam, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    I have some questions regarding substances. I haven't drank in almost 15 months and I haven't smoked a cigarette in 4 months. I do however smoke marijuana morning till night and have for the the majority of the last 15 years. I'm a classic stoner. I never had a problem with booze, but in my line of work free drugs and alcohol are everywhere. As I've gotten older and the hangovers started lasting longer, combined with being on the road over half of the year, I just got tired of it. So I quit. I figured pot is my favorite and the least deadly so I was happy making that my only substance. But, as I'm looking at dealing with repressed emotions, I can't help but be aware how pot can be used as a represent. I've read that food can used as an emotional represent too. So my question is what substances are ok and which aren't? Although I don't mind being sober, I also don't want to never have any fun either, especially considering my line of work. Does treating TMS mean I can never drink or get high again?
     
  2. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    I think anything that becomes a way to escape reality is something you have to look hard at; smoking pot, excessive drinking, etc. [I would also say that about anything you would use to distract yourself from being in the here and now]. In the end the only way to face your true self and your life in a proper way is to do so without crutches.... To find real happiness you have to face your demons and free yourself. This is a hard and difficult journey to take, but it will be worth it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2015
  3. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    But by that logic, anything could be a crutch. Obviously I can't quit eating if food becomes a crutch. I mean does that make music a crutch? Pretty much every musician throughout history has used music as an escape. I'm willing to take an honest look at how I use various substances but I'm not a huge fan of the "you have to quit everything forever" approach.
     
  4. Simplicity

    Simplicity Guest

    Sure, anything can become a crutch in that sense; obsessive thoughts and worrying for example. Food is nourishment, so I don't view it the same way as alcohol or pot. I think you have to differentiate between getting lost in music to relax and getting high, which in my view is destructive. It is the destructive patterns we need to change. What purpose does it serve? To me music, literature and art is a way to get a deeper sense of life, not to escape it.
     
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  5. Markus

    Markus Guest

    This is interesting because I just read of a major rock star who went to Betty Ford for cocaine addiction, and then checked into rehab to detox from tranquilizers and admitted they still used "a little" pot to write songs as its helps with their creative process! So, I think it's up to the individual. But I'm not a believer in once an addict always an addict! As long as your focus remains clear than. ......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2015
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  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with Simplicity. I think there is also an element of doing things in moderation involved. The occasional intentional distraction from reality is probably OK, as long it is used in moderation and doesn't become a crutch.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2015
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  7. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    I've always viewed pot the same way, a way to get a deeper sense of life and self. But even with that, I'm still willing to put it down for awhile to explore my emotions without it, but I'm also looking for something I can do socially when I'm at shows that doesn't repress my emotions. Obviously booze, pot and cocaine are all mindaltering and that's why so many AA people turn to cigarettes, coffee and Jesus. There has to be a comprise.
     
  8. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    I look at only smoking pot as "moderation" considering the industry I work in. I'm constantly around people who really are trying to escape reality. I get offered free booze and cocaine on a daily basis. I'm not conciously trying to escape reality, I just like the way pot makes me feel.
     
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    My brother was an alcoholic since he was a teenager. It was a real heartbreaker for me and after 30+ years I had given up hope. We were very close as kids. 8 years ago after too many to count episodes of bottoming out and almost dying, he just finally quit one day. It was amazing. It took me years to believe and trust that it was really happening. What is even more incredible is that since he quit drinking, he invented a technology to generate a way to get green energy from the earth and has spent the last 6-7 years navigating the incredibly complex maze of patents. Its a long story but he has had scientists, geologists, patent agents, physicists, and many others confirm that his invention is completely revolutionary and truly possibly could save the planet(if money interests and politics don't intervene). The reason I bring this up, is that my brother still smokes pot every day. But I have my brother back! He is coherent, reliable, intelligent, has a great attitude... a true inspiration to me. Who am I to judge? It is NOTHING like it was when he was drinking alcohol. He was an embarrassment to me then. I always thought the pot was as much to blame as the alcohol. Clearly, that is not the case. This is not an advertisement for getting high. I get panic attacks when I smoke pot and haven't touched it since college(30 years ago). So, I just think you need to go deep and trust your instinct. How much are you smoking and how much do you feel it is holding you back from feeling your emotions. If you really pay attention, you will know the answer.
     
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  10. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    That is a great story! I live in Oregon and I'm a full time musician, so what's "normal" to me might sound ridiculous to outsiders. That being said, I probably average a quarter ounce (7 grams) per week. I know if I quit completely there would definitely be some serious anger and aggitation, but I think that comes with quiting any full time substance (try giving up coffee for a week and tell me you don't feel like punching someone). I was cranky for the first week or so after I quit cigarettes but that disappeared shortly after (although that I did notice my TMS symptoms started showing up in my shoulders around that time after being in other parts of my body for so long). But if I'm being honest with myself I would have to admit that weed does help me mellow out (be less angry) and for that reason it's worth exploring in my opinion. The reason I posted this is I was thinking about giving up weed for awhile but giving myself permission to smoke cigarettes to help ease the blow. Or maybe just smoking pot at gigs?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  11. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ha Ha that's funny. Well, I am not giving you permission to start smoking cigarettes again! I quit 18 years ago! I think it is worth exploring. Perhaps just cut back a bit. Sounds like you are on the right track. Seems like you are committed and open to figuring this out. The most important thing is the knowledge that the pain is just there as a distraction. Get past that and focus on how you are feeling and what makes you happy. Maybe the pot is hindering you from going after what you really want in some way. I have no idea. That is for you to explore but sounds like you already are.
     
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  12. beachgirl

    beachgirl Peer Supporter

    The support of 12 step programs can help,you sort all of this out. I might say that social drinkers or social pot smokers don't use nonstop, count days or months they've stopped etc. that is a red flag there could be a problem. Faced alone it can be overwhelming, like thoughts of OMG I have to quit forever. Step into an NA or AA meeting, they suggest try 6 different meetings to see if it is for you. It will answer many of these questions and if you do find you have to stop there is a program that will help you do so in a sane and manageable way. yiu dint have to admit you have a problem to go either. If you think you might have a problem but aren't really sure you are most welcomed to go. It can help you heal so much. Great stuff.
     
  13. beachgirl

    beachgirl Peer Supporter

    Bam bam, there is nothing "normal" about smoking pot everyday. That's just the disease in another form trying to trick you into unhealthy thinking and living . No pressure, just sayin. Just don't fall for the lies our mind tells us. There r healthier ways to mellow out that r nicer to yourself. You're doing great asking all these questions and thinking all these things through. Sounds like deep down inside you already know the answers.keep up the good work. Love your shares. Can identify lots.
     
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  14. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    I'm
    I'm sorry but I think that is a broad generalization. I keep track of all sorts of things in the same way because I'm an analytical person. And I've had GF's parents, bandmates and friends in AA and I've gone to a handful of Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings because my step dad was an alcoholic. I think the program has a lot of great info but I also disagree with a lot of it too. It's like religion, people feel like because it worked for them, they have to push it on everyone else. It's not always cut or dry for everyone. Pot is a spiritual drug to me, something that alcohol, coke and cigarettes are not. I was never anywhere near being an alcoholic. Quitting was easy for me and I did it because I wanted to, not because I had a problem. I keep track because it's a challenge to know how long I can go. And like I said above, what's "normal" for musicians isn't necessarily normal for regular people. Louis Armstrong smoked weed every day till he died. He seemed to do just fine. Same with Willie Nelson. If these people are "addicts", then I'm fine with being an addict. Now, this doesn't mean that I don't think quitting for awhile or cutting back might not be beneficial, because I'm honest enough with myself to see that it probably would be right now. I just really dislike blanket generalizations like "only addicts do so and so" or if you do this "you must be an addict".
     
    Anne Walker likes this.
  15. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    This seems like your inner guidance telling you something... Any of the "substances" take you away from yourself, your own "uncut" reality. If you are using Dr. Sarno's approach, and you want to go deep into your own inner reality, smoking pot every day probably only clouds perception. Nor do I believe you have to be purist ---unless you discover that it is easier to just quit, than to always be thinking about your next high.

    Your approach BamBam, in your questions for the Forum, to me show a great deal of sincerity, and longing for clarity. Good luck in this. Your aims for your life will likely unfold!

    Andy B.
     
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  16. beachgirl

    beachgirl Peer Supporter

    No worries there Bam Bam. You're doing great work. Didn't mean to come off general. It's not the person, it's the drugs that can be so tricky and powerful. For some people the thought of quitting cold turkey is overwhelming to them and 12 step programs have made that process a whole lots easier as well as provided much needed support and answers as to why the need to medicate. For some folks quitting cold turkey can prove a huge challenge without addressing the underlying causes as to why they used in the first place and that's where getting help can be very beneficial, 12 step or therapy or any other good type of program. No one can brand anyone else an addict or alcholic. No offense meant. Try quitting for 30 days and see what comes up for you and know there is lots of support out there whatever path you chose. Sometimes just getting through the days is enough. Keep up the good work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
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  17. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a fascinating exchange of postings. I never tried marijuana but have read that it helps some people with anxiety or pain. I would rather you work on TMS, repressed emotions, than smoke pot or cigarettes. I like Beachgirl's suggestion to drop in on a 12 step program and see if it helps you.

    Your work as a band drummer is bound to expose you to pot, alcohol, etc. It takes a strong will not to be tempted. I think music is a great outlet for relaxation, whether playing an instrument or just listening.

    I am 85 and really don;'t know how I've been able to stay very moderate on alcohol and avoided pot (etc.). My father, brother, stepfather and others in the family were heavy drinkers and at least borderline alcoholics. No druggies. I think I just wanted to avoid it all. I relax with a cup of hot milk. I find it's more relaxing than a glass of wine or can of beer.
     
  18. Laughalot

    Laughalot Peer Supporter

    I've smoked weed recreationally since starting college, but never made a habit of it. Lately, I become very anxious and stuck in a negative train of thought whenever I smoke. It's supposed to be a cure for anxiety and insomnia, not make it worse, right?? I don't know what's going on, but even a single hit can send me into hours of spiraling negativity. Anyone else experience this on some kind of drug?

    I keep trying weed because most of my friends with a high level of personal integrity are daily users. I respect them for how calmly they approach difficult situations. For them, like Bambam, an effect of smoking is to somehow keep life in perspective (??)
     
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  19. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I don't think marijuana is a cure for anxiety, insomnia etc, if anything it heightens ones senses. So if you are feeling negative or anxious and take it, the come down could be far worse. Similarly, if you are very calm and use it, it will make you more relaxed. Substances effect different people in different ways.

    I have also known a few people who were very intelligent, but as a result of long term use they became very reclusive, withdrawn and paranoid. I've also read that some have developed schizophrenia from long term use.
     
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  20. BamBam

    BamBam New Member

    I do notice that with certain strains of weed, my inner monologue will bust into double time. If I'm by myself and not in a good head space, this can quickly spiral into a "bad trip". Having experimented with heavier psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD, I have seen how reality is really all in our minds. If you start thinking bad thoughts, you're going to have a bad experience. Think good thoughts, you'll feel good feelings and have a good experience. It's all relative to our perspective. Lately I have been not enjoying the hyperactive inner monologue that some strains bring and have been opting for "CBD" weed, which are stains high in CBD (the compound responsible for killing pain) but low in THC (the compound that gets you high). Since I live in Oregon, I can go to a dispensary and see the chemical breakdown of what I'm buying. This is the opposite of alcohol which seems to induce less thinking, which can sometimes be a good thing too in my opinion. But getting lost in your mind is never fun. I also find that weed can make being present difficult sometimes. It's easy for your mind to wander off into the future or past too much. Ultimately I think substances can teach us a lot if used correctly but they often become escapes. I also think that some people like artists are more sensitive than others and sometimes need the veil of substance to help them live in this plane of reality. We are so sensitive to the energy around us and we are given this task of going into the Cosmic consciousness and bringing back glimpses of ultimate truth to this world. It's a lot to handle and that's why there is a fine line between creative genius and insanity. God knows the American songbook would be nothing if it weren't for drugs, alcohol and addiction. That doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, but I do think it's an observable fact. I would also say as far as sleeping, again it depends on the strain. Indica strains make you sleepy, Sativas strains make you hyper. So smoking a Sativas before bed would not be a good idea. Again, this is one of the beauties of legalization. Before you were just at the mercy of your dealer and whatever strain they happen to have that week. Now you can go into a state liscensed store and pick exactly what kind of high you are looking for. I have friends who smoke Sativa CDB weed in the morning and throughout the day and then switch to heavier indicas at night to help them sleep. But again, unless you live in a state with medical or full legalization, it can be hard to know the true chemical breakdown if whatever strain your buying.
     

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