How do I forgive myself for being a pothead?
February 8, 2013 7:21 AM Subscribe
I started smoking weed in my early twenties, when I moved away from my hometown to a larger city in a different country. It's enough to say that I wasn't adapted well to being on my own; that, combined with the stress of a new job, a language barrier, and a few health problems that chipped away at my self-esteem, led me to take comfort in marijuana, on and off, for ten years. How do I forgive myself for the feelings of shame I have?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've always found myself attracted to abusive partners, and I have been prone to low-mood/depression since my mid-teens. Pot gave me the escape I needed from the dead-end relationships I've been in, but unfortunately I feel like I didn't fully engage in life. When I look back, I can see that I did many things in the last decade, such as learn two new instruments, tour a few countries in bands, learn to cook, build a freelance career, and build a huge circle of loving friends who I enjoy spending time with very much. I've been "clean" for three months now (had enough one day and stopped) but I can't stop feeling like I pissed away my twenties on something I didn't enjoy. There is a string of disappointed friends mixed in there as well, and I often hear about how much more alive I seem now that I'm not smoking pot. For some reason, that stabs at me.
When I look at my bank account I think about how much more I'd have saved if I hadn't been chronic. When I hear of friends accomplishments, or their disdain for pot, I feel like I wasted so many years. When I think of the goals I sacrificed for.... what? I feel a little bereft. Has anyone grappled such feelings and moved on?
I've been seeing a therapist for a year and we touch on this from time to time. My work with her has focused more on early abuse issues from my childhood; treat the disease, not the symptoms: that's the motto we've adopted. At some point though, my dependence on that drug became part of the larger problem, not just a symptom of it.