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Sober.... Not sober(?)



So life has been going pretty well for me. I am on the right combo of meds and taking them as directed. I am taking steps to become more socially engaged in life. My job is very high stress but I do love the work, plus working inside is nice. I'm grateful to even have a job in the first place in this economy. I have some first world problems, most notably addiction. I haven't drank in over four months now, but two months ago I started smoking weed because: a - I qualify for a medical card, meaning I can do it legally under state law if I follow the rules, and b -  I don't have a "problem" with weed. I don't increase the dose until I pass out the way I do with alcohol.

I still feel like it's an addiction, though. I have yet to list out the pros and cons, but on the surface it bothers me that I haven't gone one day without it in over two months. I try to just skip it, but when night time comes around and I can't sleep, that bong is just too convenient to leave alone. Even just thinking about it now I am having a hard time imagining going without it, but I don't want that to be the only outlet I have for relaxing and getting to sleep. I'm also dead scared this thing is going to spiral out of control the way my drinking did. I guess I'm a little gunshy. I know weed isn't necessarily addictive and I think there are folks who use it for spiritual purposes and don't have any bad effect from it. I am starting to doubt that I am that type of person - it's more likely that I am just using it to escape and that is a path to addiction.

I wish I could just be present with myself. This shit would be so much simpler that way.


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Hey Ralph, good job on dropping the booze, holding down a job, and the other positive things you got going on. 

I have not had a drink since last Thanksgiving and it has paid big dividends. Just feel so much better.  

I cannot function at all when I smoke pot, zero, nothing but I have friends that can and still do so I guess it effects people differently.  Do you have clarity of mind when you are stoned?  It made me so incredibly introverted and lethargic. That said it was fun at times. 

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Thanks, and good job on 5 months off the sauce! I definitely do not have clarity of mind when stoned. That's what I like about it. I can still function in terms of walking talking, doing dishes, what have you, but I wouldn't want to be high at work. The reason I like it is I feel my mind goes way too fast at times, like an engine revving that is not in gear. So depressant drugs like alcohol or weed work to slow that down so I can get a rest. I don't like using drugs to do that though. I feel like I should be able to calm down through meditation or other techniques that don't mess with my brain chemistry quite so much.

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Is there any nature where you are, Ralph? I find this really helps to quiet and calm my mind. Meditation and breathing are also helpful to me. What has helped you in the past?

Regarding pot being addictive...I would recommend trusting your instincts. You know yourself best.

It's great that things are otherwise going well for you.

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It's hard for me to get out in nature because I don't have anyone to go with, but I made a new friend recently so maybe that will change this summer. There is a park nearby that has a duck pond. I find that to be quite soothing. I sometimes feel self conscious out in public alone, though. I worry that I look like some kind of creep being at a park without a family in tow. I could dispute that thought, though. Why should I think that anyone is even noticing me in the first place, and if they are, then who cares what they think about me? That is the attitude I would like to go out with.

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I found myself a lot more comfortable going out in nature when I could have a camera in front of my face.  :-)

Though for me, it was more that the camera made me focus (!) on what's out there, instead of having any attention left over to be self-conscious.  In a way, it gave me permission to ignore those other people, or to get mad at them, if necessary, for a "normal" reason, like "you're scaring stuff away" instead of "I'm afraid you're looking at me."

And, finally, it gave me "something to think about" that didn't induce anxiety, so my mind was busy still, but with innocuous things like "did I get the lighting right?"

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