Ask Amy: Former stoner struggles with sobriety – The Denver Post
Dear Amy: I am a 27-year-old guy.
For the better part of 10 years, I have smoked weed several times a day — every day. I don’t get goofy when I smoke, I actually become focused and am calm and mellow.
I can brush off little things, and for the larger issues I would smoke to remain calm and reassess.
I recently stopped smoking to pursue better employment opportunities.
I had some withdrawal symptoms the first few days, but they passed within the first week, except for the mood swings.
I am very irritable and aggravated. I am not violent, but I start almost ranting over small things.
I meditate several times a week and have tried using CBD, but it doesn’t seem to help.
I don’t have the extra money for a counselor, but I can hear myself being a total jerk, and I don’t like it.
I don’t like feeling like this and I know my friends are tired of me snapping over nothing.
– Stoner – Trying to do Better
Dear Stoner: You would benefit from connecting with an addiction specialist, and also with other people who have chosen sobriety.
If you have been using pot to successfully modulate your mood swings, it is logical that these underlying challenges have resurfaced, after being suppressed for a decade.
Your instincts for how to treat your current challenges are obviously great – withdrawal from habitual use requires building up new habits to replace the old ones. With meditation, you are trying to get over the hump, and also trying to work on your underlying triggers.
You can read about addiction and connect with others in support meetings.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (Samhsa.gov) includes a support group locator. Their help line is (800) 662-4357.
An app on your phone could also help you to stay on track throughout the day. Check out the free “I am Sober” app.
Also, talk about it! Ask your friends for their insight regarding your changing behavior.
Dear Amy: We have been friends with a couple for many years, but lately we are having trouble relating to them.
In the past few years, we have heard them make comments that align them with white supremacists.
When this happens, we get up and leave the room without saying anything, in order to avoid an argument.
We were appalled by the insurrection at the Capitol. We are anti-Trump and our friends are pro-Trump.
We do not discuss politics with each other, but lately we have seen posts or “likes” on Facebook from them that are anti-Biden and supportive of the past president and the insurrection.
How can we maintain a friendship with these people? Should we?
After all these years, it would be a shame to just walk away, but it almost seems that these people are part of the larger problem in this country.
– Upset Friends
Dear Upset: Political alignment (“pro-this” or “anti-that”) is one thing.
But if your friends are white supremacists – or make statements where they align with white supremacy (which is NOT a political point of view but a statement of values) – then why are YOU the ones leaving the room?
Maybe they should be asked to leave.
My overall point is that you are so conflict-avoidant that your friends might not even realize that you disagree with them and are offended by their views.
Let me fall back on the oft-quoted statement written by Edmund Burke:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Here’s another quote from that same document: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
The same thinking applies to social media. Either make your own views known, or – if you are so afraid of these people that you would let them silence you – disconnect from them on Facebook, while you decide whether to disconnect from them in real life.
Dear Amy: “Brokenhearted Old Friend” was hurt because her friend withdrew from contact toward the end of the friend’s life.
I’d like to share 40 years of nursing with your readers.
Every single patient that I cared for — at the end — appeared to withdraw.
It is how I knew that they accepted their path.
It is not personal and is not meant to hurt or reject others.
Perhaps it IS a way of leaving this life behind.
Dear Nurse: Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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