So, how does a person go from being a social pot smoker to a full blown addict with a $1,000 per week marijuana habit? The more I smoked, the better I felt, that was until it was totally out of control and I tried to stop. That’s when I knew I had a problem.
The only real relationship I had in my 16 year drug habit was that with weed. It was the only relationship that made sense. I abused alcohol too, only drinking to write myself off. It was never about having a casual drink in a social situation. Weed and alcohol made me feel numb from the pain I felt from my bullied childhood, my first love, my children, the death of my father and life.
|25 years old|
I don’t want to spend too much time discussing it here because I don’t want to waste your or my time but my first love didn’t happen until I was 25 years old. I never had a girlfriend before and the first person to show interest in me was a 17 year old girl who finished up only using me to get out of a bad relationship and supply her with drugs. We foolishly went on to have 2 children together and the whole thing has been a nightmare ever since except for the fact that I have 2 gorgeous, wonderful children. She, on the other hand, was one of the reasons I continued to want to feel numb from the pain. Numb from the fact that I couldn’t see my children when I wanted to. Numb that she emotionally, mentally and spiritually abused me. She left me when she announced she was pregnant the first time and continued to come and go from my life for about 18 months, until about the time she fell pregnant with our second child. That was 13 years ago and I am finally getting rid of this toxic person from my life and putting in place a way to see my children on a more regular basis. Something I should’ve done years ago.
Smoking weed might be seen to most people as being cool, especially amongst teenagers, young adults and most people who just want to relax. It is definitely not cool. There’s nothing cool about being addicted to something that takes you away from reality and damages your relationships with real people and real life. There’s nothing cool about hanging around with low life scum who are only out to use you or make a quick buck out of your habit. Smoking weed was a way of life for me. It was the type of life I preferred to my previous one. I was pretty much stoned all the time. On waking, on the way to work, during work breaks, on the way home from work, at night and right before bed, I was always stoned. You know when you’re an addict when you’ve just purchased an ounce and you’re already thinking about when that runs out, are you going to be able to get on. Not ‘getting on’ is when you know you’ve got a real problem. At times, when I couldn’t get on, I resorted to smoking “black death”, the black liquid that forms at the bottom of the bong, reduced over heat to a sticky black tar substance and then smoked. Nothing very cool about that!
I had my regular dealers and I reckon I spent most of my time trying to source it or waiting at phone boxes or shopping centre car parks for these idiots to show up. It consumed me. Once I was high, I was numb and felt good. The only way I was going to continue to feel good was to remain high.
Why marijuana? Why not something harder? I even got asked by some shady characters “why not get a real habit”? The first time I tried hydro weed, it was laced with PCP which scared the living daylights out of me. I finished up in hospital, hallucinating and it was from that point on I became a full on addict. I was addicted to the ‘pop’ sound each time I smoked a cone. It wasn’t unusual for me to have about 5 or 6 cones in succession with 23-odd being the most in one continuous session. Hell, I even prided myself on the fact that I could ‘outsmoke’ most other people while still being able to function well. I held down jobs, sometimes more than one job at a time. I kept a roof over my head, well, for most of the time and ate probably once a day. What more was there in life? I didn’t want any other life. This lifestyle was pain-free but it certainly cost a lot. I believe I would’ve probably spent a quarter of a million dollars in the 16 years I was a full blown addict.
Due to type of person I am and probably already showing signs of depression, anxiety and low self esteem for years, smoking marijuana only exasperated my mental condition. The more I smoked, the less depressed I felt but it was having a much greater impact on my mental health than I realised. It didn’t matter how much I smoked, the moment I started to feel ‘not stoned’, the pain came back. I tried various help lines, doctors and clinics but it seemed too difficult to face. I had to remain stoned. Getting clean wasn’t an option. It was about the time my father passed away and I was at the end of my tether when I thought the only thing to do was to end my life.
I was living in a rented shed on the Gold Coast and I had my car hooked up to the exhaust smoke. I started the engine and began inhaling. After about 15 to 20 minutes of nothing happening I went to my Mum’s and lost my shit there, without her knowing what I just did. I eventually went back to the shed and cried myself to sleep. At 6:50am the next morning, the ex phoned, asked what I was doing and I told her, in tears, about what I’d been trying to do and I was contemplating driving straight into a truck to end my life. She said to go live with her, about 3 hours north of Brisbane, “live with her” meaning sleep in a tent under the house but still supply her with weed. Things never changed with her. I remained in the area for about 6 to 9 months and then returned to the Gold Coast, homeless. I lived in my car around the Gold Coast and parked outside my Mum’s place and just smoked pot all day. I knew I had to do something about my habit and my life. I went out for a walk one night and I remember picking up a business card for the Suicideline at some point or another and stopped at a phone box and rang the number. That was when my road to recovery began. The wonderful woman I spoke to told me about a rehab centre in Brisbane. It was about 11pm at night and I drove straight there.
For the next 18 months I lived my life at the rehab, going about my business. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Facing the fear and the pain full on, even being admitted to the psych ward at the hospital on one occasion. For the first few weeks I suffered a lot of pain, both mentally and physically. The case workers at the rehab were absolutely bloody marvellous and I owe them a lot. Eventually I moved into a boarding house for men, would see my children and my Mum occasionally and managed to keep a job. That was until some guys next door to where I was living offered me a joint. “Just one wouldn’t hurt”, I told myself. The pain hadn’t gone. My pain was numbed again. I had relapsed.