I started smoking pot late in life; at the age of forty. Like most people it started as a fun recreational thing but soon became a daily habit. I have never smoked during the day but I smoke every evening and have been doing so now for almost eleven years. I suffer from depression and take anti-depressants but they no longer seem to have any effect and I am certain that it is the pot that is affecting me.
I was always an ambitious, ebullient, social kind of person but prone to OCD and melancholia. Smoking pot eased the OCD but now I am completely demotivated, indolent, solitary and very depressed. I do as little work as possible and only force myself when money becomes tight. I love nothing more than to see an empty week ahead of me and yet I feel bored to tears most of the time. I stay in bed as late as possible but it is guilt that gets me up before noon. I go back to bed before 11.00 pm when I've had three or four hits from the bong. I then lie in bed and allow my mind to wander, kidding myself that I am opening up my psyche to the Greater Universe. My thoughts nearly always turn 'dark' and I start to dwell on death: the death of friends and family and my own death. What is the point of human existence if we just die in the end? Why do any of us bother to make any kind of effort in this life when it all comes to nothing more than dust-to-dust? I have no spiritual belief and so death, to me, is a fathomless hole. I am terrified of it.
I am the classic textbook example of a marijuana addict even though I don't want to face up to that fact. I kid myself that I smoke pot to help with my depression but the truth is I am increasingly depressed because I smoke pot. I lie to my psychiatrist, telling him that I am only an occasional user, because I know he will advise me to stop so that my medications can work. I lie to everyone except my one stoner friend and he doesn't really understand because he has been a user all his life but can stop whenever he needs to. He does not have an addictive personality. In the past I have been addicted to sex, prescription meds and even relationships but fortunately never to alcohol or other recreational drugs.
I went to England earlier this year, for a month, and I didn't smoke once while I was away. I told myself I had finally cracked it and could return home and be free of weed. Within a few days of returning home I was smoking every evening and recently I have even started lighting up in the afternoon to ease the tense feeling of boredom, listlessness and claustrophobia. I am now smoking to alleviate the symptoms caused by smoking!!
My career has crumbled. My finances are down to the wire. My relationship only continues because my partner is so lenient with me. I refuse all social invitations whenever possible and when I DO go out I can't wait to get back home so I can put on my PJ's and smoke a couple of bowls. Bed is my only refuge. I have lost all ambition and cannot remember the last time I was happy or even contented. My psychiatrist is currently increasing my dose of Prozac and has added Xanax (which I haven't taken because I was once addicted to an anti-anxiety drug) but these meds stand no chance of success if I am dulling them with marijuana every day. Psychotherapy has proved useless to me over the years.
So: unless we sell our house and move to another state I have to break the 'habit' of smoking every evening. Just being at home triggers all my desires to smoke. The problem is that I really don't want to give up what has become my ONLY pleasure. It scares me. What do I have left when the pot is gone?
I'm too old to be acting like a teenager and too short-sighted to stop f*****g up my life. When I venture into the Real World I act quite normally and I doubt that anyone would believe that, in secret, I am tormented by this addiction. But pretending to be someone I am not...that can be exhausting.
Can I ever quit? Will I ever be able to get out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm for the day ahead? Will I start to answer the telephone, accept invitations, plan vacations etc and will my sex drive come back? I have not had sex for over five years and the thought, quite frankly, revolts me. How did that happen?
On the outside I am not the cliched picture of a Pot Head, but when I'm alone watching endless DVD's or simply staring into space I am the kind of 'loser' I have always despised and I hate myself.