1st Week Update

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So my last post was about giving up smoking 8 days ago. It’s been a mixed week if I’m honest and a bit of an uphill struggle. I’m still smoking cigarettes and I’ve had spliff on 2 days. The first occasion was 3 days in. We had some friends over for dinner in the garden, something we’ve put off because of lockdown for ages. He’s a big smoker and A is my old drinking buddy. We’ve shared many a drunken adventure in the 35 years we’ve been friends as well as a lot of other stuff too. Our dogs are sisters and our daughters best friends. I’ve struggled the most with her out of all my friends since I stopped drinking and have been quite avoidant. Sunday was the nicest time we’ve had together in the past 17 months. We lit a fire and sat in the garden watching C’s waterfall chatting. I felt at peace and realised it’s not been her it’s been me. I’m no longer envious of others drinking but I couldn’t quite be fully sober – fear of missing out or fear of making them uncomfortable? Probably both.

I went back to work after 2 weeks off and into the office for the first time since March. I found it really hard to switch my head off from the anxiety of a risky patient on Tuesday evening – I didn’t fully appreciate spliff helped me do this – (I know! Dumb or what!) Thursday evening I saw my elder daughters tin she had left here and found half a joint in it. I was Gollum with his precious ring and almost hid it from C to have all to myself. We shared it and I had the best nights sleep I’ve had all week, but Friday evening was tough as a result. My emotions were all over the place and I ended up fighting with C and in the depression hole. Shades of Friday nights when I kicked the booze for sure. I tried to make sourdough but the starter wouldn’t get ready, I’d not done yoga and I let the addiction voice have centre stage. He was down too – he is very tolerant but withdraws to protect himself which I find intolerable. Multiple separations in early childhood from my mum have left me with serious abandonment issues that kick in after 10 seconds of being ignored – Yes I am that hard to live with! C deserves a medal! Today I am tired but less emotional. Been jumping with my daughter – early start, big competition, didn’t go well but we didn’t argue and I was able to be supportive and allow her upset without getting upset myself.

Anyone who thinks cannabis isn’t addictive clearly hasn’t been a heavy user. I’ve had significant withdrawal symptoms; poor sleep, vivid dreams, night sweats and a headache as well as a flat mood. I’m glad I’ve left the cigarettes for a later date as I may not have coped at all otherwise. I also think my family may have had enough of me. I will wait a couple of weeks then tackle that one.

I am not writing this week off as a failure though. In the past if I’d cracked I’d have resumed at my previous level immediately until I got sick of it enough to try again. I didn’t ask my friend to leave any for us and that was a big step. I got up earlier every day and did yoga or meditated in the morning before work – one of my main goals. I had a great day Monday show jumping the pony myself and I got a rosette! On a normal Saturday after an early start and a show I’d be stoned instead of writing this now. Unlike alcohol I’ve not really ever tried to stop before even when I’ve stopped cigs so it may take a few goes. I’m also writing here about it. I didn’t want to be the person who wrote about failing at stopping when I started this blog which actually helped me not drink. As in life I like to fuck up in private then present a reflective ‘what I’ve learnt’ sanitised version to the world. Sharing the messiness on here more openly tells me I’m learning to have more self compassion and acceptance. It’s not been perfect but I’m trying and I am going to keep trying. How’s your week been?

Join the Conversation


  1. this was a truly wonderful post. It’s palpable that you’re working through a ton, and finding new ways to “cope” . I absolutely love the transparent honesty and the effort to not write off the week as a failure but rather underline all the new behaviors that it contained. I’m excited to see how week 2 goes ! xxx ❤ Anne

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  2. You totally shouldn’t write the week off ! Any progress, big, small, hard or easy, deserves to be celebrated 😊 congrats on the show jumping too!


  3. I really think this is a true and honest account of what it is like to give up something we are addicted to or heavily rely on. Crutches have supported us for so long, taking them away is scary and makes us feel vulnerable. I think this is a good week, yes tough but still positive. Keep going, get that yoga routine fixed and stay focused on what you are achieving. I too absolutely can’t stand being ignored.. or what I perceive as being ignored … I really don’t know where it comes from but it has created a lot of drama for me, particularly when I was drinking. We are strange folk us humans!! Stay strong 💪💕❤️

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  4. Sounds like week 1 was hard, but positive! Great post and I love how relatable you are! I do find positive mornings make for a good staple to start the day with. It’s hard though! I’ve gone long periods without alcohol, but caved. Pattern of mine it seems. Awhile ago I couldn’t even fathom long periods without alcohol! I say week 1 was a win!

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  5. I agree with all of the above and love your raw open honesty. I read somewhere (I think in Jason’s book) that when you stop using one addictive substance as a crutch it can transfer over into another. Mine was sugar when giving up alcohol and I’ve now got a stone to lose on top of the baby weight🤦‍♀️. So maybe that’s what’s happened with weed.
    I think you’re doing awesome though, you’ve got such good self awareness, I wish I had some more. Also amazing on the show jumping, i used to ride years ago but have lost my nerve in recent years 😊 xxx

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  6. Yeh- its’s messy and that’s life (he says stating the bleeding obvious) but as i”ve said in previous posts, I prefer messy to how some writers portray giving things up. It’s messy, complicated, emotional and packed with multiple associations. It seems like most of us that gave up booze are struggling with something else, in my case excess food intake! Also stopping a powerful sedative drug like alcohol forces us to face a lot of uncomfortable aspects of ourselves and our lives. In my case I’m looking at the repeated pattern of failed relationships and my use of alcohol to avoid intimacy. Nasty mirror that sobriety. Good luck to you though. Love the honesty and the occasional mess. Jim X

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  7. I can really relate to the wanting to present a sanitized version later. My stopping drinking story has been messy and full of stops and starts, and sometimes, I don’t want to post until I’ve been sober again for a while. I’m so glad you are feeling comfortable with posting all of your ups and downs with smoking. I think it helps you, but also others, too. It isn’t all just finished and done sometimes. Also, I was one of those who didn’t think pot was addictive, but my partner is physically addicted to it and has what clearly seem to be withdrawal symptoms when he doesn’t have it. None of this is easy! But, it does seem to be worth it. Great job with the trying and trying again!

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