SECRETS TO SOBRIETY

Oh man, @dianderson, I don't think I've really been sober long enough to know all the secrets. But here's how I've made it to 112 days (and a little back story).
  1. First of all, marijuana was my drug of choice. I am a marijuana addict.
    A lot of people will argue that marijuana is non-addictive, but that is false. It may be to some people, but ANYONE can develop an unhealthy relationship with ANY substance. If your problem is with something else, and you're looking for advice, simply replace marijuana/weed/pot with whatever substance you're worried about. It's all the same.
  2. There are some questions that helped me determine that I have a problem, they are:
  3. Do you ever get high alone?
    All the goddamn time. I smoked all day, everyday. In my car. While working. Before going anywhere or interacting with anyone.
  4. Do you smoke pot to cope with your feelings?
    You bet. If I was sad (frequently, weed is a depressant) or angry (more frequently), I'd smoke until I felt better. Worried about something? SMOKE! Feeling bad about myself? SMOKE!
  5. Have you ever failed to keep promises you've made about cutting down or controlling your use of marijuana?
    All. The. Time. I would "budget" my weed, like, "Ok, this ounce should last me eight weeks". Then come week 6 or so, I'd start running low, leading me to...
  6. When your stash is nearly empty, do you feel anxious or worried about how to get more?
    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. This was the big one for me. First, I would try to stretch out what I had left, but I would be so anxious about it that I would eventually smoke more. Then trying to nail down my psycho of a dealer was super stressful, she was sooooo unreliable. I turned into a crazy person. If it ever came down to me having nothing left (which I desperately tried to avoid) I was basically a non-functioning adult. Raging around, punching walls, yelling at everything and everyone.
  7. So now we get to my solutions/secrets:
  8. At first I considered AA
    If alcohol is your problem, start here. I was worried that I would be looked down on or that my addiction was somehow "less than" so I was afraid. Like, I didn't want to be Chapelle in Half Baked and have someone yell at me that I didn't "suck dick for weed". (Though, side note: I totally dated a dealer for awhile, so I pretty much DID suck dick for weed...)
  9. Then I found MA, Marijuana Anonymous
    Actually, my fiancé found it for me and walked me into my first meeting because I was scared
  10. I found a bunch of people that I could relate to that were going through the same shit that I was going through
  11. Meetings are my biggest secret to sobriety
    Though, they're not really a secret? Like, I feel like everyone knows about meetings for addiction
  12. But anyway, here are a few tips about meetings:
  13. Share
    Talk about how you related to other people, what you're struggling with, shitty things you've done while using, anything. It helps you connect with people and relate and feel like part of the group. It will feel scary at first, but it is literally the safest place to spill all your secrets (safer even than ListApp, because your employer/mom can't ever search and find it)
  14. Talk to people after the meeting
    There's always a group hanging around after meetings chatting. They're usually outside smoking cigarettes. Go up to them and join the conversation.
  15. Ask for people's phone numbers
    If you're new, chances are that people will ask for yours. Give it to them. In a few days when you're questioning things and your addict brain is trying to convince you that you don't really have a problem, it's helpful to have people to reach out to. Pro tip: Take a picture or include a description of the person in your phone. You'll get a lot of numbers and you will forget who you are talking to.
  16. Don't blow off people that reach out to you
    It's gonna feel like a lot, and you're going to want to ignore people and you'll feel like they're intruding. You're used to being isolated and living in your own, privately defined world. Other addicts know this and they are trying to help you rejoin society. Let them help.
  17. Meet people for coffee/tea
    Coffee and tea and cigarettes are the lifeblood of any recovery group. Meet people before meetings and let them tell you their story. Share as much as you are able about your own. Sharing your story is intimidating at first because you're still trying to get a handle on it. But the best way to figure it out is to say it out loud over and over again.
  18. Write in a journal
    Now, full disclosure, I'm really bad at this one. But I do write things down while I'm in meetings. Marijuana is pretty famous for fucking with your memory, so the first few meetings I would think of things I wanted to share and then forget them as soon as I started talking. So I take notes of all the things I want to say. I also write down any sayings or things other people say that I want to remember. Recovery has a lot of sayings and there are wise people in these meetings.
  19. There are more tools in recovery such as working the steps and finding a sponsor, but I haven't done those yet.
    I had a sponsor for awhile but we were not a good fit and I had to "fire" her. I haven't found a new one yet, there are very few women in MA, it's mostly dudes.
  20. It is important to be open minded.
    You may not agree with everything everyone says. You may not believe in God (a lot of us don't). You may get a feeling that meetings are "cult-y". Try other types of meetings if you don't like one. There are meetings for young people, meetings for atheists, meetings for just men/women. There are meetings where you share, meetings where you listen to a speaker, meetings where you read the literature, meetings for meditating. Keep going to different meetings until you find "your people".
  21. If you slip up, it's ok.
    Don't beat yourself up too much. If you slip up today, try to be better tomorrow. Don't be afraid to come back to meetings if you have a slip. I guarantee, there are other people in that room who didn't do it on their first try either.
  22. Keep coming back
  23. One day at a time
    When you wake up, just try your hardest to stay sober TODAY. Worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. If you get overwhelmed by anything, just remember, all you have to do is keep making the next right decision. Baby steps.
  24. Don't be afraid to explore other options.
    There are so many books/articles about recovery out there. Feel free to read everything, but take it all with a grain of salt. There is no magic cure though, so anyone selling something easy and effortless is probably trying to scam you.
  25. I love you all
    If anyone is struggling with addiction, and wants to reach out, send me a list request with your email or phone number and I will get back to you as immediately as I can. You are not alone.