More threads by LostSoul


Concern: Physical/Mental Health & Addictions

Serious problems:
- Poor general physical health
- Consumption
- Depression
- Insomnia -> Migraines -> Fatigue
- Agoraphobia -> Hyper-thinking -> Slight convulsions -> Anxiety -> Nail biting
- Mild Schizophrenia -> Fear of open spaces -> Flashbacks, often not my own memories
- Mentally and personally altered at different times of the day/night

- Alcohol Addiction -> Marijuana Addiction -> Tobacco Addiction -> (cycle)
- Bad Food
- Video Games
- Wasting Time
- Not commiting to responsibilities

I cannot explain it better than I have above. These conditions may seem vague and generic but I assure you, I am attempting to cope with all that I have experienced and then later researched myself. I would love for someone to give me a miracle cure but I know it is not possible. I must deal with these burdens on my own or so I would like to have it. Lately, the combination of problems I am dealing with has really overwhelmed me. Friends stop me and ask if everything is ok but I say: "Yes. I'm fine." not knowing exactly what is wrong with me. What worries me is that I have called in sick from work for the past 2 days with all kinds of lame excuses. I don't want to tell them that I am mentally unwell. I don't want anyone to think I'm crazy but how do you explain that to someone? I am getting closer to a point where I will have to tell someone the truth and it might cost me my job. That thought in itself is enough to cause even more anxiety/depression than I could even deal with right now. I have always tried to portray myself as a confident person who is mentally stable and possesses strong values. But how long can one pretend? Sometimes I feel like the whole world is going to cave in on me. I want to shut myself out and take refuge from the world. I don't talk to anyone or have any contact with the outside world. I am just me in my box full of junk. That's funny because other times I love life more than anyone else. I love being outside and feeling the sun on my skin. To be with nature and reunite with the planet and your surroundings, it's magnificent but unfortunately short-lived...

The biggest problem in my situation is that the issues entwine themselves. Everything that is wrong with me is attributed to and from something else. For example, my problem with anxiety often comes from smoking marijuana yet I need to the marijuana to get to sleep and eat as normal. Another underlying problem exists in the consumption aspect. If I am smoking marijuana to help me but my health is suffering, is it worth it? I also drink regularly. When I am drinking, I crave marijuana and tobacco. When I am socializing, I drink therefore I am usually smoking when socializing. When not socializing, I am drinking and smoking anyway. There is no limit on any of my consumption. I eat as much as I can when I am hungry and in the end if I a have a craving, the item is plentifully supplied. In my consumption, I am worsening my odds of avoiding a mental illness from these mild shchizophrenic sensations I have been feeling lately. I cause a loss of control but it is blissful at the same time. When I am consuming, I experience heaven and hell because I never know what it is I am doing until it is done. But consumption is only one linking segment in my chain of addictions and conditions.

I would like to change and become the person inside me that I think I really am. I feel I don't have the opportunity to change right now because I have to work full time and be productive like a regular person. Because of everything that I am going through, I can't take care of myself. I don't do groceries very often, all my money goes to bills and I don't have the energy or the will to clean up after myself. Something is wrong because just a few months ago, I was the example of cleanliness and respectability. There is a definite roller-coaster effect on my emotions and I feel for sure that something is not right. How difficult it is to explain something that you do not fully understand...
At first when you said consumption, I thought you meant tuberculosis! Anyhow, back on topic. It seems a lot of your problems may be linked to the substance abuse issue. You say that you have anxiety that is caused by the marijuana, yet you need it to eat and sleep. Also, when you drink, you crave marijuana and tobacco. However, you will consume all three when you are on your own. You also describe issues of depression and psychosis, which are often linked with drug and alcohol abuse.

Perhaps the best advice I can give you is to get help regarding the substance abuse. You can get an assessment on your drug/alcohol use at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre (I believe that is what it is) in order to determine clinically how bad your substance abuse is and they can recommend a course of action. You can also look up a local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous in order to help you get the support you need in a transition to a drug free life.

I know this is often the last thing a person in your situation wants to hear, but this really is the key to a better life. Your physical health will improve, you will likely experience a lessening of psychological symptoms (after an initial period of adjustment). With the proper support, you can live a healthier lifestyle.

Once you have taken the drugs out of the picture, you will have an easier time coming to terms with whatever psychological issues remain. The problem is drugs tend to distort one's thinking patterns and makes self improvement very difficult.


Dear LostSoul,

First my compliments to you that you have explained so clearly the situation you are in. I feel a bit astonished about it. You really know a lot about your own situation.

I think that all the problems you described are a result of the fact that you have troubles with taking yourself seriously. Now I give you a wink, since I don't want to come across as a school teacher.

If you would have read this story posted by somebody else, how would your reaction been? I think you would say: you have to take this serious, poster!

Somehow that does not apply to your situation. So all the problems pile up.

Acknowledging to yourself ánd to others that you don't feel well is a major step for someone who is not used to it. I am not great at doing that either, so join the club.

But you have no other choice since you already fear what is coming when you don't.

You know, a crisis is horrible, but if you look at it in a different point of view it can be a major chance to change your life in a good way. Without a crisis one should never have dared that.

My advice to you is: grant yourself the relief of telling a person you trust that things are not going good. Perhaps your friends feel it already and ask themselves why they are not told about it. People might also feel left out when you don't tell what is (obviously!) bothering you so much.

Look at it that way if you are scared to do so.

Then slowly pay attention to YOUR needs. What do you want for yourself? What do you need? What do you think is healthy for you in the near future?

Try to work your way back into other peoples lives, they will be happy that you are back. Be honest as much as you can, take it slow.

Take yourself seriously dear, dear LostSoul, you deserve it so much.

Keep posting (I hope) to find your way back on your road to slowly, slowly becoming your real self. If I can add to that I am happy.




Thanks for your guidance...

So caring people do exist in the world? Obviously it is not such a dying breed afterall. It amazes me that you two would take time to write back to me and my seemingly insignificant problems... and what great response time! I'm impressed...

I agree with both of you, it is time for a change. I have since discussed my situation with a few friends, most of which expressed concern and wanted to help out any way they could. My roomate has taken possession of my weed stash and has agreed to coach me through this since this seems to be one of the big issues. We've worked out a schedule to slowly ease me off the grass. He's very meticulous about all of this but I've known him forever and trust him more than anyone I know. So we've decided to say wednesday, thursday, friday are smoking days, the other days are not. After 2 weeks, we go from there. Check out the progress and take the next step. Ultimately, I'd like to be completely smoke-free for my 25th birthday which comes up in late July. I'm pretty sure I can do it but it's staying off it that concerns me. I don't want to rebound like I've done in the past.

Do you think I am making the right choice in easing myself off the drugs or is this the type of situation to go cold turkey?

Once I have gone off the pot for a few days, how do I more effectively control the cravings? I have heard debates of whether or not marijuana is physically addictive. From personal experience, I find it to be very much a physical, psychological and even social addiction. But these are not the same withdrawals I experience when not smoking tobacco. I cannot sleep or eat and I become extremely depressed. I always hear: Go take a walk, drink a glass of water, use an elastic band, these suggestions are lame and do not work. Know of anything to really fight the withdrawals associated with dope addictions?


Dear LostSoul,

Again you amaze me. Not only did you recognize that something has to be done, you also took action already. You have a tremendous strength and as you already said before: a love for life!!

You seem to have a great friend who is more than willing to help. Great friends have great friends so you must be one too. You deserve this friend.

You wrote you are trying to smoke less marijuana. That is very, very courageous but as you also wrote: difficult, very difficult.

I don't know a lot about drugs. I never used them though since I don't trust it, I never have. Somehow it does things to your mind that covers or does something to your soul and feelings, that is how I see it. But the thing is: you don't know what exactly.

You wrote that you cannot sleep and eat anymore when you try to get off the drugs and that you feel extremely depressed. That situation you are in, was/is being covered/oppressed by the drugs, might that be true...?

I think it is good to ease it off. That is already a huge step (!!) and you can prepare yourself for meeting the side of your soul that is depressed. That is not easy to experience because that requires a whole new view on things and a new approach.

Because of the problems that then occur (sleeping troubles, eating problems) perhaps it is a good idea to go and see a doctor. Perhaps you need medication to cope with it. Judge it yourself, you are a good judge.
There are no weed doctors, but medication doctors, yes!

I can only give you acknowledgement since you seem to know so well already by yourself what is good for you to do. Again: what a strength you have...!

If the drugs really made things foggy in your soul and your mind, be prepared that when the fog slowly goes away, things won't be easy. It is the right way though, the only right way, just be prepared. There will be new things then that will help you to go on on your road.


Think it is good that you are cutting back on your consumption, in order to mentally prepare yourself for quitting. However, when you are ready, I'd suggest making a clean break and giving it up altogether. Since you already stated that you have a hard time fighting the cravings, you will find it very difficult to maintain a reduced drug use schedule over the long run.

Once you have quit, I would suggest you seek out a support group and rely on the wisdom of others who have overcome addiction until you are ready to go on by yourself.

It takes utmost self discipline to overcome a habit that may have been years in the making. Remember to expect a spike in discomfort before you achieve any noticeable improvement.


I just realized I probably should have posted in the addictions forum however at the time of my first posting, I wasn't sure what was going on with me. I agree that the substance abuse is likely causing or at least worsening my situation. I am in no shape to judge my own problems without a clear head. I have noticed significant positive differences in my sober self as compared to days or even the days after I have got stoned or drunk. But as you pointed out Stevel, I am also experiencing that spike of uncomfort.

So I made it through another week... My roomate gave me back my stash at the begining of my weekend and of course I finished it off before it was over. I am currently without weed and plan to stay that way for as long as possible. I figure my cutting down will basically consist of not buying any. Practically all my friends (not counting my roomies, tG!) smoke weed so I've left it to myself to make a moment's decision. I am anticipating the day where I will have enough will power to say "No thanks" as the joint passes around the circle my way. Until then, I am happy with the progress I am making. Alcohol consumption has come back down to being a more social occasion while the weed smoking is not an option, so long as I refrain from buying any. If I happen to smoke a bit while out with friends, I think that's ok. But ultimately, I want to be free from this proverbial addiction. I don't want to be seen as "the pothead" anymore. But that's to everyone else who doesn't smoke...

Why am I constantly defending and offending myself? I find myself shifting from one extreme to another. I am rationalizing addiction but also making excuses for it. Is this normal when overcoming an addiction?


Hi LostSoul,

That sounds very good. You work real hard.

It is not easy to do this while you are surrounded by people who keep using it.

I think it is a good idea that you post in the Addictions Forum, there will be a lot of knowledge there.

Keep up the good spirit!




I managed to avoid smoking for 5 days!!! For me, that is a great accomplishment considering I have been a chronic smoker for over 10 years. While socializing last night, I made the conscious decision to have a puff. It wasn't everything I thought it would be. I ended up going to bed an hour after smoking. Suffice it to say it wasn't too exciting but I pinpointed why I had been relapsing in the past. Maybe others have experienced this and can back me up on it.

Anytime I drink beer, I crave smoking, whether it be a cigarette or a joint. The more I drink, the easier it gets to break down and give in to my urges. When I drink, my willpower drops to near zero and I seem to forget what I'm striving for. It's as though nothing really matters in the heat of the moment. I now know that if I am to succeed in quitting or at least cutting back drastically, I will need to control my alcohol consumption. Once I feel comfortable with my accomplishments, perhaps I could drink a bit more but now it's too risky.

On another topic, I have found that when I am not smoking weed, I have very little tolerance (less than usual) for ignorant or careless people. I found myself snapping on complete strangers for things that they probably weren't aware they were doing. For example, while waiting in line to get on the bus yesterday, some chick cut in front of me. Whether she gets on first or not would not affect me in any way, I'm still going to get where I'm going but I ended up freaking out and calling her a f****** b****. On another occasion, I ran into a younger girl because she wouldn't move out of my way. Her and little friend were occupying the entire sidewalk and at the moment, I found this unacceptable. Now why I deemed myself the one to "teach her a lesson" so to speak, I have no idea. It seems to be revolving around my emotions in general that have skyrocketed out of control. It's a weird feeling being sober because I'm not used to it. The ups and downs are almost more than I can handle but I have to keep in mind that this is the way it's supposed to be. I can't keep living in my world of complacency any longer.

Anyway, that's where I'm at. I will keep updating this thread in hopes that this might help someone else who is going through something similar. It has definately been helping me cope with it.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
LostSoul said:
Anytime I drink beer, I crave smoking, whether it be a cigarette or a joint. The more I drink, the easier it gets to break down and give in to my urges. When I drink, my willpower drops to near zero and I seem to forget what I'm striving for. It's as though nothing really matters in the heat of the moment. I now know that if I am to succeed in quitting or at least cutting back drastically, I will need to control my alcohol consumption. Once I feel comfortable with my accomplishments, perhaps I could drink a bit more but now it's too risky.
That may well be true. For some people, not going to pubs or clubs or bars may be enough (i.e., having a beer at home may not have the same effect of loss of willpower). For others, it may mean simply not drinking at all for a while.

LostSoul said:
On another topic, I have found that when I am not smoking weed, I have very little tolerance (less than usual) for ignorant or careless people. I found myself snapping on complete strangers for things that they probably weren't aware they were doing.
That is probably a combination of (1) withdrawal effects -- heightened irritability and/or anxiety is a common symptom of quitting marijuana after an extended period of regular to heavy use; and (2) for some people, quitting marijuana use allows previously masked issues (like anxiety, depression, etc.) to surface. In your case, this would be exacerbated because of nicotine withdrawal...
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