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addictions
July 12, 2000
6:06 am
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carolynI
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What is it like for a person to have an addition? I have a friend that is an alcoholic and a marijuana smoker has for
about 25 years of his life. I feel he
took these habits up because of his childhood
he father was an alcoholic which displayed physcial abuse to his mother. And his mother was a controlling, domineering person. SO could someone explain to me about addictions
and the effects it has on their lives?

July 12, 2000
6:57 am
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hazza
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Carolyn,
I have never been an excessive drinker - apart from short periods of drinking too much for maybe a few weeks at a time as a student.
I was however a serious pot smoker for many years, although I havent smoked now for a few years (can't remember when I quit exactly!)

All I can remember of the reasons why I smoked pot for so long is that at first I got into it in a social setting - smoking maybe a couple of times a week, and at that point with other things in my life it wasn't really a problem.
But gradually, other things in my life changed and I didn't replace them with anything other that pot related activities. ie hanging out only with smokers doing nothing much but smoking.

The only way I can explain it is like if you have something important to do, but you are feeling quite lazy so you say to yourself "okay, I just want to relax today - I will do it tommorrow"
The thing that you are putting off until "tommorrow" is your life and facing the things you are not happy with and want to change, and tommorrow never seems to come so you waste years just escaping into the pot because you know deep down there is pain there but you just don't want to face it. So on the surface you may be totally unaware that there is work to do.
It makes time creep up on you and before you know it others in your life have moved on naturally while you are stuck in the same place for too long.

It is a muffled gradual escapism - not so self destructive in appearance as alcohol or other drugs but a slow insidious, meek-faced escapism that is almost so benign in appearance that you rarley see how it is preventing you grow in the natural way that you should.

After about 10 yrs of seeign the same people I can tell you that all those that continued to smoke to this day are without exception in exactly the same place as they were all those years ago. the ones who have done different things with their life and moved on are all those who quit smoking. Just my experience of course, but I personnaly do not know anyone who after long term smoking has reached what they would call the best of their potential. All the ones who still smoke are still telling me "if only..." or "one day I will...." all those who have quit have gone and done the things they want to, or at least trying!

In regards to your friend, any problems he has he must see for himself, there is nothing you can do to make him see that he may be avoiding issues - that is for him to see for himself. All youc an do is be there to support him should he genuinely request it.

Hope that has helped to give you an insight at least into my experience of pot.
peace
Hazza

July 12, 2000
10:23 am
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Cici
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Hmmm. This is a pretty hard question to ask. Eack individual has their own reasons for escaping.

I started drinking before I did other drugs. You know how Ecstasy is in the news all the time now? I've taken E at least 100 times, sometimes double, triple and quadruple dosing. That's when I started smoking pot a lot, to calm the anxiety I got all the time. Other drugs followed.

Why do drug addicts want to escape? Some had traumatic childhoods, some never developed adequate coping skills to deal with reality. Some are just rebellious.

Everyone has a crutch. For some, it's religion. For others, it's a therapist or work. Some people smoke cigarettes and drink coffee, some people are addicted to manipulating others or having sex. Some people are relationship-addicted, or co-dependent.

Show me someone without a crutch. I'd like to follow them.

July 12, 2000
6:28 pm
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heartfelt
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Carolynl.addiction is prison, pain, a lost sense of reality and who we are. A living hell, affecting not only the additeds life but all they touch. Addiction is blocking the pain, providing nothing less than our heart to sink deeper and deeper into a pit of misery. How to get out ?..Reach out grab hold, get help and work hard, then and only then will the light return, little by little.

July 12, 2000
8:59 pm
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Spirit
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For some longterm pot smokers, it has just become their way of life. Nothing more, nothing less. If he is a child of the 60's and 70's he learned how at a young age and it has become a part of who he is. Sometimes we just have to accept that and go on. As has been stated, it is his choice to change, if that is what he wants for himself. He is very blessed to have a friend in you. Hope this helps to bring peace to your life...

July 13, 2000
9:11 am
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carolynI
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Thankyou all, for your replies these have helped me understand as i havent been addicted to alcohol or smoking of any kind i dont know what its like to be dependant on a substance. I do know they can ruin your life in the end and its up to ones self to change.

July 13, 2000
10:15 pm
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Spirit
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Still, you carry in your heart the caring... Just let your friend know how much you care and of your concern. This may open up his eyes.

July 26, 2000
9:43 pm
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Lostsoul
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I've been drinking and smoking pot for the last 22 years.Ever since my father died.I drink as often as i can, and always seem to have booze and drugs offered to me.Why i started i'm not excactly sure.I would have to say it was to forget the pain and hurt i've had in my life.It does work for me, but i cant stay drunk all the time, but i can stay stoned!
The alcohol makes me a happy person, and the pot makes me forget or not worry about life's little problems.I also use pot at work alot, it does affect my job in a positive way, as i am more articulate and do a nicer job.Alcohol and pot affect each of us in a different way, i've just been lucky that it has affected me in a positive way.What i dont understand about pot is, why do people hate it so much?, i hear others complain about pot smokers, but they dont say nothing about those who have legal drugs crammed in their bathroom that it looks like a pharmacy.Is it ok to take 500 different pills cause a doctor perscribed them, but its not okay to smoke a joint?...Yes i am addicted to both, pot and booze!, but by choice not cause i cant quit.

July 27, 2000
10:49 am
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Cici
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It does affect people differently. I know one guy who smokes pot every day, and not just regs but dank crippie like the Miami kind. ( I know, stupid terminology...I didn't make it up).

He's in his 50s and owns about five different apartment complexes and manages about 15 others. He has three very successful children, one of which smokes and the oterh two don't.

He has a productive life, a sweet wife who doesn't smoke herself, and is a contributing member to society.

Who knows. I asked my Dad what was morally wrong with marijuana and he couldn't answer me. I was thinking about talking to him about it because he's terminally ill and in a lot of pain. I hate to see him bed-ridden because he hurts so much, just gritting his teeth in agony. To live with that kind of pain every day....it must be torture. I just want his final years to be calm and not so stressful for him, but is it wrong for me to ask him if he wants to smoke pot? He takes up to 8 percosets a day adn they don't really work on him. The next tep is morphine. I don't want my father doped up. I'm confused.

Ever since I quit taking drugs everyone has told me that drugs are all bad, unequivicably. I admit thatI still smoke pot, especially when I have insomnia or I'm so tense I could burst. I don't know waht to do.

July 27, 2000
7:30 pm
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carolynI
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I guess if your addiction doesnt hurt anyone else then thats your business
But how does your girlfriend/wife
feel lostsoul or does she do the same?
And are you happy in your life with these substances they are mind altering no depression,I suppose if your totally happy in your life then
thats up to you. My partner did the same for 22 years he took his own life at 44 he tried to stop the marijuana i dont know if that was part of his reason i will never know
but alcohol does destroy different parts of the body I dont know enough about marijuana he would of used it for the same reasons you did
And Cici i am so sorry to hear your dad is suffering i know also thats hard on you and you would love for him to be well again. I dont think its wrong for you to suggest for him to try marijuana it is for medical reason just like any other prescribed drug and if he agress it may help him
wont know unless he tries
Thanks for your comments

July 28, 2000
5:41 pm
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Lostsoul
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Well, i'm sinlge now, but when i wasnt, my g/f never had a problem with it.I can control it totally.When i drink i know when the next drink is too much and i stop drinking.With pot, i can actually smoke soo much that i smoke myself straight again.I'm not anywhere near being happy in my life, and find the booze and drugs make me a happier person.I'm thankful i can control them, it took lots of practice.I gained control after i was told what i was like the night before when i was drunk.Mind over matter now i would think.Or just alot of self control and not wanting to make a fool out of oneself.

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