This is an account of my experience utilizing marijuana as a gadget to help my stress and anxiety, why Im thankful I had it, and why I no longer need it.
This story isnt an advocation for or versus smoking cigarettes pot. Its a story to shed some insight into how and why it assisted particular disorders and my journey to enduring change without it.
“When resolving problems, dig at the root rather of simply hacking at the leaves.” ~ Anthony J. DAngelo
How Smoking Pot Helped My Anxiety
For the majority of my life I was a closet anxiety sufferer.
It made doing tasks less laborious.
When I felt nervous, upset, unfortunate, or upset, it dulled the negative feelings down and helped take the edge off, which in some cases sufficed to provide me the area to get some viewpoint.
Then I saw it assisted me drop off to sleep.
However just in the minute.
In my twenties I dated a guy who smoked pot, so I provided it a try to see if it would assist my stomach. And it assisted.
It helped my social stress and anxiety by loosening my worry and fear over other individualss judgments.
When I was coding (nerd alert!), it helped with my ADD by letting me focus on my work or doing something imaginative.
It gave me something to do on uninteresting days.
I informed myself that this was completely acceptable. It was my medicine. I required it. It was a way of life. That it wasnt like I was smoking cigarettes, so it was totally great.
Thats mainly due to the fact that I didnt have a label for how I felt up until I was thirty.
I went from sometimes smoking to smoking night, twelve noon, and morning (and in the middle of the night when I couldnt get back to sleep).
My stress and anxiety brought sleeping disorders, tension headaches, stomach problems, and social anxiety in addition to the swirl of bees that lived in my chest.
It reduced my tension headaches.
I came to count on it. I would begin to get distressed if we were running low. If I went out, I would have stress and anxiety attacks. I seemed like I required it to get through the day.
Why Smoking Pot Didnt Really Help My Anxiety
Stress and anxiety made me worried around other individuals. Pot soothed.
It became such a routine that the concept of not having this crutch at my instant disposal caused me stress.
I didnt like how any negative feelings felt in my body, so I jumped to numb the feeling in the quickest and simplest method I knew how. Smoking pot.
That indicated I needed to get to the bottom of it.
That is, up until I decided I wished to stroll on my own. I reached the awareness that I wanted to fix this issue, not handle it.
What pot didnt provide for me was repair my anxiety. It didnt make it go away; it simply alleviated it a bit briefly. It wasnt assisting me get to the root of my issue, whichs why I required to keep going back to it.
It was helping the symptoms of anxiety, not the cause.
Day after day, year after year, the anxiety was still there. I kept needing my crutch.
Anxiety triggered stomach problems and stress headaches. Pot assisted with that.
Stress and anxiety made my mind jump all over the location when I attempted to focus or sleep. Pot helped slow the irregular rise of thoughts.
Why Did I Have Anxiety in the First Place?
What I did see were people being made enjoyable of for being emotionally susceptible. I thought it was weak to reveal people that you are harming.
My social stress and anxiety and worry of being learnt as a scams at work (aka imposter syndrome) stemmed from a long-held belief of not sufficing.
I grew up in a “suck it up” type of household, so we didnt talk about our feelings. I never truly saw my parents showing me a healthy method to share sensations, so I didnt have something to design after.
I didnt know I had stress and anxiety for the majority of my life. It was just how I felt. I figured some individuals were either lucky that they were happy and carefree, or they were faking it.
Years of stress and anxiety will plague the body. Constantly setting off ones stress response wreaks havoc on the body immune system, digestive system, your heart, mind and whole body.
It just didnt seem like it was in the cards for me. I seemed like this was just how I was born.
That described all my symptoms.
Anger is a defense reaction. Its set off when you feel threatened in some method. And I always felt threatened.
This limiting belief came out as fear. Worry of disappointing others. Worry of failure. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making an incorrect choice.
Doing some reflection on my past, the “suck it up” environment I grew up in led to being teased a lot as the youngest kid. I internalized this and turned it into a belief that I held onto for decades.
Smoking pot helped the signs. It didnt help me conquer my long-held belief that I wasnt sufficient.
However through a lot of inner work, I had the ability to start breaking down what was causing my stress and anxiety.
The stress action– aka the battle or flight action– has two sides. Flight = fear. And I held onto it for a long time whether it was being cut off in traffic, or when my mother left when I was fourteen.
This accounted for a great deal of my anxieties.
How I Overcame Anxiety Once and for All
When I first came throughout this principle, I didnt get it. “If Im not my ideas, then what am I?” I pertained to find out that ideas are just ideas, simply sentences floating through the brain like clouds in the sky. They come. They go. They alter shape.
I learned I was far more capable of dealing with hardship than I had actually ever given myself credit for.
Once this idea began to prove out, thats when change started. I needed to dive into why when I was afraid of what other people thought of me.
What I actually needed was to alter my relationship with my thoughts. To do that, I initially needed to discover the crucial lesson that you are not your thoughts.
Rather of allowing these fearful thoughts to run through my head on autopilot, believing the important things they said to be real, I was able to stop, step back, and challenge them.
Instead of catastrophizing every scenario, I could take the time to ask and honestly respond to questions like “Whats the worst that could happen?” And to that, I could follow up with “How will I deal with that worst-case circumstance if it really happened?”
This is a core concept in meditation, which is one of the greatest tools that helped me relate differently to my thoughts.
I, me, myself– that is who gets to select which ideas to hold onto, which ones to believe. There is a me beyond the thoughts.
Stopping Wasnt Easy
Battling against truth triggers unnecessary suffering. Like trying to pull your fingers out of a Chinese finger trap– you get stuck even more. I found that in harmony acknowledging the discomfort, saying hi, permitting it to go through was all much more efficient than taking a hit off my bowl.
Years of anxiety indicated that I d developed a great deal of unconscious triggers to feeling anxious. That implied in some cases the symptoms of stress and anxiety would come up without me knowing precisely why.
I stumbled for a hot minute, then got up on my own 2 feet. I now recall at my life in stages– the “old” me and the “new” me.
The “old” me would have been an anxious wreck to confess any of this story to the world. She would have composed it while high. She would have gone nuts when she ran out of her stash.
Anytime I felt a little queasy, and even too complete. Seeing smoke or even hearing the word. Getting house from work. Feeling any quantity of stress or afflictive feelings. Monotony. Going to any celebration. Events.
Part of my work to get rid of stress and anxiety was paradoxically to permit myself to feel it without fighting it.
Cannabis may not be chemically addictive like lots of drugs. It can be extremely psychologically and constantly addictive.
When I acknowledged that my stress and anxiety wasnt enhancing, that I needed to put in some work to take my life to the next level, thats when I understood it was time to take the leap into the unidentified without my crutch.
Whenever I was set off physically– like feeling my heart racing or tightness in my chest– I would freak out and leap to ease the pain as rapidly as possible.
Much like the Buddhist story of the 2 arrows. Getting struck with an arrow hurts, obviously. In life, things occur and sometimes hurt.
For complete transparency and sincerity, I still mess around periodically from time to time. Not due to the fact that I need it and not since Im anxious and running away from my feelings, rather, its like taking pleasure in a great glass of red wine.
The “brand-new” me composes this with the self-confidence that I know my message will land with some individuals, while others may not like it or even care to read this far, but I do not fret about what people think any longer. Ive tackled my “not great enough” inner bully. She still makes a peep here or there, however I now understand how to listen without judgement and after that go about my day.
And gradually, these sensations of anxiety from unknown sources ended up being less and less, and surviving them became simpler and much easier.
Im pleased I had pot as a device to assist with my anxiety for the time that I had it. It provided me relief.
Regreting it, stating how this ought to never have actually happened, wallowing in how much I dislike that this taken place and how much I desire it to end– thats like getting hit with a second arrow.
About Sandy Woznicki
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If I ran out, I would have stress and anxiety attacks. What pot didnt do for me was fix my stress and anxiety. I didnt understand I had stress and anxiety for most of my life. Im thankful I had pot as a device to assist with my stress and anxiety for the time that I had it. Sandy is a tension and stress and anxiety coach and mindfulness meditation teacher assisting women who deep down dont feel excellent enough and are overrun by tension or worry.
Sandy is a tension and anxiety coach and mindfulness meditation instructor helping women who deep down dont feel great enough and are overrun by tension or fear. Her training and complimentary resources like the Stress Detox Course help females to live more fully and easily. Shes gladly wed to her silly hubby and loves getting in touch with nature in gorgeous Maine.