I grew up as a teenager in the 80s and a surfer. We watched as our parents self-medicated on a daily basis with alcohol, cigarettes and coffee, but our generation worshipped the sounds and spirituality of Bob Marley and escapism and marijuana was our medicine – we used it to escape and check out, to not truly see what was going on in our lives, and as a rebellion against a world that didn’t make sense.
It was ours exclusively as our parents didn’t understand much about it. From its innocent beginnings the so called ‘non-addictive’ drug wreaked havoc in our lives as well as those of everyone connected to us as we under-performed, buried our issues, told lies to cover up, broke many laws, endangered other people’s lives, as well as our own, and failed to commit to our lives and relationships. Continue reading “Marijuana Addiction”
by T.S, Bricklayer, Coraki, Australia
At age 28 my life was out of control. I had a job, girlfriend, home, car, etc and everything appeared to be fine (I sure thought it was) – but for me to get through the day I needed my cans of coke, chocolate, cigarettes and my pot. And that was just the days through the week – come time for the weekend and I needed all that, plus ecstasy and speed. My life was a blur, and whilst I was holding down my job as a bricklayer, I was completely thrashing myself. I took so much pride in being the fastest brickie in the gang, but not so much care in what I was building. I was always a neat worker but I just wanted to get the job done so I could get home and get out of it: I was even contemplating a career change as I had had enough. At the time I thought it was my job that I was sick of, but I look back now and it was my life that was turning me off. Continue reading “Choices, I’ve Made A Few… Shockers!”
by Michael Dixon, Lismore, Australia
When I was 15, a friend of mine offered me a cigarette. I tried smoking it, coughed a lot, got about half way through it, then threw the rest away, spending the rest of the day trying to get the horrible taste out of my mouth. At that age, smoking was cool; all my friends seemed to be doing it, even cigars on special occasions. I wanted to feel like I belonged to the club, so to speak, and by the age of 16 I was hooked. Continue reading “From Abuse to Responsibility”
by Penny Scheenhouwer
In my early 20’s, I made a decision to change my lifestyle. I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking, I cut gluten, dairy, sugar and caffeine from my diet. I also ended a relationship after realising that my partner and I were just going through the motions. He was not interested in what I thought or felt about things and most of the time we spent together revolved around going out and partying. One day, I just decided that I would rather be on my own forever than settle for being with someone who was not really interested in being with me.
Why did I make these choices? My life seemed great. I was earning a lot of money for someone my age, had loads of friends, played sport and had a great social life (which was always about drinking). I also used to have mood swings, cry a lot, get angry for no reason and hated myself. I couldn’t reconcile the fact that I seemed to have what was deemed a great life yet, I felt otherwise on the inside. I decided that things were not working and something had to change. I didn’t really ‘know’ what I was doing but just went with what I felt to do. I started to feel much better about myself, more settled within myself, I had loads more energy and of course my skin looked great and I lost weight. I also started to like myself (wouldn’t go as far as love yet!).
Continue reading “Choosing To Live My Life, My Way”
I am now a 33 year old woman. I grew up sailing around the world. I had a very different childhood. It was not always easy and I had grown up with many ways of coping and dealing with what life had offered me. As a child I was sexually molested and I hardly went to school. I smoked marijuana every day from when I was 16 years old until I was 30, and when I say every day, I mean everyday (with exception of about 4 or 6 days). Even when I was traveling internationally I would make marijuana brownies and eat them to get high.
The point is, I did not like how life was and the only way I enjoyed life was if I was stoned and numb. I would wake up and smoke, and I would smoke during the day, and then smoke a lot at night so that I would pass out. I could easily smoke an ounce a week (that is a lot). And to me, that was normal and I was “fine”. I would go out with friends, drink alcohol, go to festivals and take ecstasy, magic mushrooms and a few other drugs. I thought I was fine, because I wasn’t doing cocaine or heroin. Continue reading “My Story”
by Fiona Shuttleworth, UK
I thought my life was OK. I seemed to tick most boxes and felt happy enough compared to others I knew who were a lot more miserable than me. But I always felt like there was something missing in my life, and I knew deep down that I was holding myself back in some way. The problem was I was so unconfident within myself that I never trusted my own feelings, and always defaulted to others’ opinions, feelings and ideas, even when I didn’t really want to. My life was fuelled with alcohol, drugs of every kind, and cigarettes. The funny thing was I always knew I didn’t want to be that person, but I just never seemed to be able to break the pattern, and I had tried numerous things. Continue reading “My Life was Fuelled with Alcohol and Drugs”
by Mary-Louise Myers
At the age of 14 I was anorexic, after that I substituted that disease for another – bulimia, which continued till my late 30’s. At 16 I turned to heroin to try and drown out the terrible emptiness I felt inside, and in the ensuing years I tried any drug that was available to me, alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, morphine, mogodons, valium, even cough medicine with codeine in it (when nothing else was available). I did stints on methadone trying to get off the drugs that I knew were slowly killing me. Always to no avail, so my self-destructive ways continued. For a brief time I even resorted to prostitution to support my drug habit, sleeping with any drug dealer that was interested.
By my mid twenties I was married and had 2 children and they were being raised in this unhealthy lifestyle. Continue reading “Life beyond Addiction – One Woman’s Experience”