Please Note: This question was originally posted on the /r/leaves subreddit but was deleted for some reason. I have anonymized it and restored it here, alongside my answer, for prosperity.
Hi. I went cold turkey for a month at the start of this year, and tried to slowly reintroduce recreational smoking into my life, which is ultimately my end goal. However, it soon escalated back to daily use starting in the mornings until I go to sleep.
I’m 21, newly graduated, and working part time in a shop, bored and directionless. I want to go back to studying one day but after a long break and some saving up, so I feel stagnant right now.
I’ve smoked since I was 14, heavily since I was around 17. I think about the damage I’ve done to my internal reward system over the years and how exercise, food, sleep, sex etc. can never reward me biochemically the way that weed does.
I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, and currently I feel as though I’m not interested in anything I “enjoy” (whether it be learning, gaming, reading, baking etc etc) without smoking. The truth is, I don’t really know who I am without weed and that scares me.
What will I do with my free time? How will I find my appetite in the mornings? When do I call it a day and go to bed? What will I do after work? How will I calm down if something bad happens?
Did you struggle with this kind of internal conflict? I want to be able to use cannabis recreationally, maybe a couple of times a week or so, but I feel so uncomfortable and lost in sobriety. It makes me beyond irritable and upset. Any way to make this easier? Would you recommend cutting down or going cold turkey?Anonymous /r/leaves user
Before I say anything further, I do believe in harm reduction, and I do think aiming for occasional use is better than accepting weed as a daily habit.
That said, there is a common AA saying: “One drink is too many, a thousand is never enough.” Now this is weed and not alcohol, but I think there is something similar in play. The idea that weed will never satisfy you the way you yearn for.
I don’t buy into it completely, I do think there are some people that can just smoke occasionally and have a good time with it, and I do think there are potentially some addicts who can become “unnaddicted”, but I would say I am (and many people reading this blog are) not one of those people:
If you smoke weed every day, why is that? Because you want the high, you want the “recreation” (i.e the pleasure the drug provides). Not because you want to be social. Because you can’t imagine happiness without weed. That’s what 7 years of daily use will do to you.
I went through this exact same conflict, I’ve written about it, but the ultimate conclusion I came to was that that feeling I was chasing – that “recreational use” or that perfect high – it doesn’t exist. It was a myth created by addiction. Think back to those first few times you got high, wasn’t it amazing? Have you ever achieved that same feeling again?