Drugs, Identity and Youth Culture - Part 4
Last Updated: 11 October 2013
Detoxorcist's ChallengeIs all this really making you happy? Are you habitual cravings normal? Do you enjoy them? Is cannabis really the solution you need to make your life perfect? I want to challenge YOU. If you do firmly believe that you are smoking cannabis or taking other drugs just for fun, and that you can stop any time you want, but you choose not to because you like it so much, then accept my challenge with no fear! If you smoke once or a week, or everyday, I challenge you to stop taking any drugs for a period of a month. Completely. Make a clean break from your stoner friends. Hang out with people who do other things. Try it just for a month. Can you really do it? PROVE to me that it is a choice and not a psychological addiction.
It is also a very useful exercise to objectively notice what feelings you are regularly experiencing. When you habitually feel a certain way, it is often hard to really acknowledge that it is happening. It you did truly acknowledge it, you would be extremely motivated to do something about it. For a week or month prior to your temporary drug reprieve, why not keep a daily written record of the emotions you are experiencing, both positive and negative, and for how times a day and roughly how many hours a day you were experiencing each one; and also record how you feel physically, e.g. how energised or tired you feel, and for how much of the day. You could perhaps get technical and produce a spreadsheet, with all the different emotions you experience on the vertical axis and the day number on the horizontal axis. This makes visual comparison simple. Then during your drug free month, do the same and keep a daily log of your emotions. Even if you don't decide to quit for a month (and let me down!), it would indeed be an interesting exercise to log your emotions anyway. After all, knowing more about yourself and being honest with yourself can never be bad, right?
If you experience negative feelings of frustration, sadness, loneliness, depression, shame, embarrassment, awkwardness, anger, indecision, cravings for either tobacco or cannabis, etc., write them down in the diary, and record how many times a day you felt like this, and how long for. Be honest. Conversely, write down every positive feeling you had. If you are getting stoned, you may want to record your level of enjoyment of this experience and any positive and negative feelings or emotions during this period. This will help to give you an objective picture of actually how fun it really is. When thinking about how much you like to be stoned, you must also consider 'opportunity cost' or rather, what you are missing out on doing or experiencing by doing this. Try to figure out why you felt the way you did, and jot down any thoughts on the subject. If your mind is in no way affected by your habit, then it should read fairly positive or neutral for the vast majority of the day. This may allow you to be at least partially objective about yourself. The mind does funny things, but rarely are we aware of how often we do things psychologically. The reason why I suggest being 'straight' for a month is because the mind is often in a state of confusion for the first few days, and many psychologically addicted wasters can go without dope for a week or two if they really try, but a month is more challenging and allows a person to really get a taste for their new (i.e. original) states of mind. Show this list/diary to a friend of yours, someone who does not take any drugs and has never done, and ask him for his opinion, whether it seems balanced or healthy. If you pass this challenge with flying colours, then good for you! If you don't, then you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you are a slave to a plant, and that you need to do something about it. Get motivated and act!
At the end of the day, it comes down to one's whole approach to life. You can choose life, health, feeling good and energised all the time, experience situations and relationships to the full, have the maximal bodily, spatial and spiritual awareness, feel honest and consistent, strengthen your positive and empowering beliefs, feel like you can be, do and achieve anything and actually do it, and not fool oneself. Or you can choose death, ill health, self-abuse, nulling one's senses, yo yo rollercoaster ride, fooling yourself, denying reality, perverting your perception of reality, restricting your potential and your dreams, feeling tired and worn out and embrace negative beliefs and world views that feel righteous but that ultimately cause you misery. The choice is yours!
Proceed and read the sections on this web site about focus and belief, and motivation. Get motivated!
Rooting out your negative core beliefs and replacing them with positive empowering beliefs may be difficult for some dope smokers, and creating enough leverage. The psychological techniques described on this site may well help in this regard. If we are to look at a celebrity example, Amanda Donohoe used to smoke dope every day when she was younger, and really wanted to quit but kept failing. Eventually she saw a psychiatrist, and after many sessions, created a solid base for quitting and beginning a more positive, creative life. I had similar problems quitting himself, in hindsight, I could put it down to still keeping the same friends who inevitably tried to tempt him back into the game again. Eventually I converted to Christianity and the values shift meant that quitting was quite effortless. I am not really a Christian now but have learned to build up some self-respect and have associatd such pain with drug taking, I would never be tempted ever again to do it - even though I do it in my dreams still on occasion - these are more assertiveness/shadow dreams where I don't really want to be doing it but feel pressured into it. I am not suggesting that everyone needs to take up a faith in order to quit drugs, but it can certainly be a powerful and easy method to changing one's core values and beliefs on a deep level. Not that it is something you would do for rational reasons in any case or plan!
If you do decide that enough is enough and you are going to quit for good (this time), then you need to be aware that you can't just keep the same beliefs, do the same things, have the same doper friends, but just without smoking dope. Smoking dope is often a forfeit for more positive activities, and you can't just cut out one of the few things that made you feel better (temporarily) without actually adding anything positive or creative into your lifestyle. Try taking up a martial art, working out more, going for walks in the countryside, anything. Try reading more, writing, painting or a new hobby. Maybe take up an extreme sport, or 'normal' sport. Find some new friends, who aren't wasters, and who won't try to drag you down. If you continue to hang out with your waster friends, their collective core beliefs about why being alive is boring without dope will rub off on you, and they will likely try to get you back into dope as they miss your company when stoned or because it makes them feel less insecure and threatened. Wasters don't like to be outside their comfort zone when it comes to admitting things about themselves, by seeing others breaking free. True friends may be hard to come by, but are worth their weight in gold.
If you need motivation, then go back and re-read how much pain you are actually causing yourself physically and psychologically. Imagine how many wasted evenings you have spent smoking by yourself or with depressing company, how much money you have spent, your health etc. Imagine how your life will end up if you continue until you die. Imagine your sense of alienation, depression, frustration, disappointment. Really exaggerate it for effect (not that you need to!) Make this unbearable pain that you have no inclination to get back to ever again! Thinking of a spliff needs to repulse you to the bone. If it doesn't, then you aren't motivated enough. You have not associated enough pain to it. Good luck!