Talking candidly about a non linear journey to sobriety including peer pressure and caving to it
All from the perspective of starting my journey again, but worth warning readers who are sensitive or not ready to see that
Sorry in advance for length.
I’ve been an addict of many things since I was 10. My social circles have generally reflected my lifestyle - healthy friends have kept a safe distance but kept in touch which I respect a lot now that I’m older.
Stopped using hard drugs a few years ago. Around the end of March I ceremoniously smashed my bong and committed to quitting weed too as I had enrolled in college and wanted to really give education a good try. April was difficult but I successfully detoxed from weed and early May I started my first week at college as well as my first shifts at a new job. Not long after this I reconnected with somebody from my past and found myself pursuing an extremely unhealthy relationship. I deferred my study and a few weeks later, quit my job. This was definitely my own self sabotage, I was scared of committing to something that could bring so much failure.
I tried to insist to my bf that I didn’t want to start to smoke again but after pretty regular pressure I caved. Soon after I was drinking heavily (that was my own folly, he didn’t encourage alcohol). Had my last drink in September after too many drunken fights but still couldn’t shake weed. It was my only coping mechanism. Toward the end of October I found out I was pregnant, but my bf and I were fighting constantly and it wasn’t a good environment for me or a baby. I had to leave, and I did.
Going back home to the mess that I had made of my plans for my future, painful memories of my recent relationship and a new life growing inside me was extremely overwhelming. I started to smoke lots of very strong weed. I got my old job back but was still very depressed, I was worried about the effect smoking would have on my baby.
Around 48 hours after my last bowl, I would find myself vomiting uncontrollably. The first few times I was able to work with it, chugging water followed by a round of throwing up bought me a few hours, enough to get through a shift. But, that changed pretty quickly and I started to struggle to keep anything down. I left my job again because I was simply unable to make it in and I started to lose weight. Weed being the cause of this hadn’t clicked for me yet, I thought it was hyperemesis graviderum and started anti-nausea medication from my doctor but each time I didn’t smoke by day 3 of withdrawals there was nothing that would stop the sickness except more. I started to vomit blood and on one night I almost called an ambulance because I hadn’t been able to keep down any fluids for 2 days and was delirious.
When I learned about cannabinoid hyperemesis and its role in withdrawals I told my friend who was also my contact, I was glad to get to the bottom of my health issues and keen to solve them. They were happy for me to have an answer. I stocked up on doxylamine which is a sleep medication prescribed for morning sickness and started my detox. It was difficult but with preparation I actually made it through. Then my friend started to offer it to me again, this time for free. They use a hard drug themselves, it affects their memory and I knew offering wasn’t a conscious attempt at sabotage. It held me back all the same though. I repeated my intentions to quit and reminded them of my health struggles and concerns for baby but after a few days, the offer would be back. Often, they would tell me that I must be hanging, which was really triggering wording that I never could overcome. At some point I muted their messages and archived the conversation so I wouldn’t have to be constantly distracted and it worked. Early December I was looking and feeling really healthy.
Because I was doing well I wanted my friend back in my life, so I dropped by their house. Self sabotage again. They said I looked healthy and they were happy for me, but added that it was good to see me not looking as “junkified”. This stung me, I take responsibility for what I accept but I had asked to not be offered and they hadn’t listened at the time so calling me that when I had been asking for help hurt. Then they gave me weed. And, I took it. Only took me a few days to get through it, I was really disappointed in myself. I sent my friend a long message, saying that I take full responsibility for my addiction but that I was struggling with saying no and didn’t want to lose them as a friend or not see them but still needed help. They responded that they hadn’t read the message completely yet but think they get the idea and generally agree.
After this I knew it was really up to me how my sober journey would play out and I archived the conversation again, not opening it back up till Christmas eve when I broke and messaged Merry Christmas followed by asking to have one small smoke as a one off for the holidays. I shouldn’t have done this, I knew better but still opened that door back up. I invited them over at 7:30 pm, they showed up at 2:30 am with a full bag as well as a chopped sesh and a double strength bourbon as a gift. Immediately I started to tell them that I wasn’t wanting to have bud to keep, nor to drink any alcohol but they interrupted me each time, even telling me that if I say no again they’re just going to hide buds around my house for me to find later. Last straw for me. I showed them my most recent scan of my son, with a potential anomaly that I am booked to investigate further. They were taken aback but finally let me explain everything, from start to finish, and for the first time I could see them process that sobriety was extremely important to me.
I love that friend, they’ve been a rock for me through the years, but this whole arc made me feel extremely isolated and I don’t think I can continue with the friendship in the same way, even though they do understand now.
This journey to sobriety is gonna be lonely until I can trust myself, but I’m ready to try again.