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    I have a psychological addiction to escaping sobriety 
    #1
    Greenlighter
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    Hey guys. I need some encouragement, or advice, or a kick in the rear. I don?t know.
    I hope this is the right place to put this?I?m sorta new here.

    Here?s the deal: currently a sophomore in college. I was a heavy cannabis user (recreationally, not medicinally) for the spring semester of senior year of high-school through my freshman year of college. I love(d) the stuff. Too much. Smoked every day I could, taking breaks only when I?d go on vacations or spend time with my family?but even then, still smoked if I could manage. Often multiple times a day. Occasionally going to class high. Unfortunately, however, I developed Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (look it up: it?s real, it?s not anti-weed propaganda). Very rare, with only 0.5% of chronic smokers developing it, most of whom have smoked 7+ years. I?m the unlucky one I guess, developed it very fast compared to most, and it is pure hell. I?d choose a bad flu over it any day. Last time it hit, I couldn?t keep down any substantial amount of food from Sunday to Thursday. Lost 10 pounds. Pure hell. Truly and without exaggeration the sickest I?ve ever been.

    So I had to quit smoking weed. In its stead, I started using Kratom, which is pretty nice, but I developed a tolerance after using it 2-4 times a day in varying dosages for approximately 1.5 months. Ran out and went through a very mild but certainly noticeable withdrawals for about 3-4 days. Wasn?t debilitating, just annoying.

    So I started fucking around with harder opiates. Mostly oxy, and I made sure to space it out such that I don?t develop a dependence because REAL addiction scares the hell out of me. I try to be responsible w my drug use.

    Also benzos. I don?t get much out of them and feel like, perhaps, I have a naturally high tolerance to them. Idk, they?re nice and all but better with weed or booze. Just relaxing.


    Here?s my issue: while I used weed I developed not a physical addiction, but a psychological addiction to it. After having quit the stuff, the psychological addiction remains. I don?t feel right, or happy, or calm at the end of the day if I don?t have at least a buzz off something. I?m not currently addicted to anything?well, nicotine (I have a juul, quit cigarettes), maybe caffeine?but I find myself addicted to escaping sobriety. I?ve always thought the concept of escapism was just fascinating, as it seems to be such a crucial part to so many peoples lives (in the form of drugs or alcohol, but also TV, masturbation or sex, you name it) since highschool, and now I?ve found myself addicted to escaping the sober world. I?m a happy person, I don?t struggle with anxiety or depression anymore (I got on Lexapro 5mg and it?s been really life changing), I have great friends and a wonderful girlfriend: frankly, I don?t have much to escape from. Even still, I feel addicted not to a certain substance, but to the feeling of leaving sobriety to unwind at the end of the day. It?s not like i want to get fucked up, just obliterated and senseless; but a day that doesn?t end with some kind of buzz doesn?t feel right. I have a hard time sleeping sober, even if I just take Benadryl or Clonidine.


    TL;DR I?m not addicted to any hard substances in particular but feel like I have a psychological addiction to escaping sobriety. Need some advice/encouragement/shared experience on how to deal with this.
    Last edited by Kelterne; 31-10-2018 at 03:09. Reason: Edit: not sure what?s with all the question marks... just ignore those. I made almost an identical post on reddit.com/r/drugs but got little response, so I wanted to hear you guy?s thoughts. I?m guess
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    #2
    I have the same problem, its called polysubstance addiction, I alternate from several substances for examples one day I might do weed, then alcohol, then 2 days sober, then LSD, then oxycodone, etc etc... sometimes I do take breaks as long as a month and im really health conscious so for example if I do an hepatotoxic substance like alcohol I will avoid doing another liver toxic drug for several days, or I avoid using opiates several days in a row due to addiction, etc etc... I pretty much avoid all stimulants since I dont like them except the very rare MDMA. Basically I drink maybe once or twice a month, psychedelics 2 times a month maybe, opiates 3 times a month, benzos maybe 2 times a month, weed 2 times a month, MDMA once every 4 months, but I constantly have a craving for substances to escape reality, I find sobriety boring and I have been thinking about the same thing these days since its not the healthiest mindset.
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    #3
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    How do you plan on getting better? Do you feel like you should?
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    #4
    Right now I am trying to get sober... 2 days clean today, I dont really want to stop using drugs, I feel that I do need to cut back since im doing it way to frequently, I would tell you to think if you really want to stop using drugs, for me, they are not negatively impacting my physical health, but my mental health suffers to be honest alternating so frequently being high and being sober, I just know that I need to cut back, and ill be golden. If you think its affecting your physical or mental health try to cut back, one step at a time, its normal to want to escape reality with substances, especially during stressful times, we all as humans escape reality with different things, be it exercise, food, drugs, work, etc... something that works for me to get sober some months is trying to focus on another escape that isnt drugs.
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    #5
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    Honestly, with this sort of stuff- you are sort of talking pre-physical addiction and I urge you to keep it right there; stepping over from wanting to NEEDING a drug is a difficult thing to undo. You will be surprised at how intense and all consuming a physical and psychological drug dependancy can get. You've had a taste with kratom; imagine that feeling but on serveral orders of magnitude more intense. The distress of addiction is WAY more intense than the stress of sobriety.

    I think you should try to avoid drugs as much as possiblee, especially ones which have the addictive side effect and speak to a therapist about your feelings. Objectively, outside of medical circumstances, nobody NEEDS to get high- its sort of a delusion of the mind to think this. Nothing bad will happen if you are sober; you might be bored, but that's just part of being human. Its worth examining what you think the consequences of being sober are; for some people, it involves a lot of anxiety and depression, but I've yet to see anyone really self-medicate effectively and in a way that doesn't make their problems worse.

    Ultimately, you've gotten into the state of thinking in a sort of maladaptive manner and cognitive-behavioural therapy might help you to reassess the validity of your thoughts.

    In terms of 'curing' oneself of cravings and the like. In most cases, time away from the substance is the key. The brain habitually thinks and feels certain things, knowing that the conscious self will respond in predictable ways. So, you may need to firmly deny yourself drugs initially, and this may be very very difficult. But, the longer you avoid giving into cravings, the less intense the cravings get- this gets easier over time.

    Anyway, I'm going to shift this over to The Dark Side, which is our principal recovery forum. You will get more replies there

    All the best
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    #6
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    I'd disagree about cannabis addiction being purely psychological. There are definitely observable physiological changes that occur from cannasbis sessation/withdrawal. Although they are relatively mild in comparison to "harder" drugs like coke or opioids- they are there. Same with even more benign drugs like nicotine and caffeine. It all alters your body's chemistry and in reaction your body increases/decreases natural chemicals in attempts to compensate.

    Anywayss… I think what you are describing is pretty relateable for a lot of us. I don't exactly crave the drug or the high most the time anymore, it's usually the craving to escape or change my current feelings and/or thoughts. For me, I believe it is a matter of focusing what it is I am afraid of and avoiding and running from. While on a walk through a rough part of town the thoughts kept going thought me head "Make the fear the familiar, Make the fear the Familiar." It's like ecposure therapy.. what was once frightening or scary to me because my obstacle to over come and to overcome my own fears.
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    #7
    ESCAPING SOBRIETY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? I don't like the implication.
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    #8
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    swallow has the wisest words ....the way you both speak of escapism takes me back to my days of early drug use....which began as the odd dabble here and there to 'anything for a high'....many years and recurrent addictions later and i feel completely incapable of feeling joy or even remote pleasure at anything.....i feel like i'm dead but still breathing.....this is no way to live

    i'm not going to lecture or say STOP NOW!! just be careful.....if you're going to take substances use them recreationally and not habitually.....try and keep an awareness of who you are.....know your identity and do not allow yourselves to lose your identity to drugs or substances....alchohol included......by this i mean.....you have to question your usage of a substance if you find yourself thinking you need it to 'improve' yourself..........as odds on the opposite will be the case

    enjoy yourselves, try and use a little common sense.....

    hey and see you around!!
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    #9
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    #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaredborgetti View Post
    I have the same problem, its called polysubstance addiction, I alternate from several substances for examples one day I might do weed, then alcohol, then 2 days sober, then LSD, then oxycodone, etc etc... sometimes I do take breaks as long as a month and im really health conscious so for example if I do an hepatotoxic substance like alcohol I will avoid doing another liver toxic drug for several days, or I avoid using opiates several days in a row due to addiction, etc etc... I pretty much avoid all stimulants since I dont like them except the very rare MDMA. Basically I drink maybe once or twice a month, psychedelics 2 times a month maybe, opiates 3 times a month, benzos maybe 2 times a month, weed 2 times a month, MDMA once every 4 months, but I constantly have a craving for substances to escape reality, I find sobriety boring and I have been thinking about the same thing these days since its not the healthiest mindset.
    LSD never gave me a hand escaping reality.

    Gave me a damn slap to the core of my being and cleaned the shit out of my ways.

    I guess we all experience compounds differently.
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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanpauldash View Post
    The doors of perception
    Jean you ARE AWESOME.
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    #12
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    Why are you escaping sobriety? There must be something else you are running to drugs from. I mean we can't say drugs are the problem because they never are. Even though they can literally kill you so I mean they can be a real dangerous issue but one needs to look at why they need to feel different.

    For me I do still need to feel different but I do it through fitness and reading books and music and riding my bike for a copious amount of miles which is basically fitness too.
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    #13
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    [QUOTE=swilow;14439049]Honestly, with this sort of stuff- you are sort of talking pre-physical addiction and I urge you to keep it right there; stepping over from wanting to NEEDING a drug is a difficult thing to undo. You will be surprised at how intense and all consuming a physical and psychological drug dependancy can get. You've had a taste with kratom; imagine that feeling but on serveral orders of magnitude more intense. The distress of addiction is WAY more intense than the stress of sobriety.

    I think you should try to avoid drugs as much as possiblee, especially ones which have the addictive side effect and speak to a therapist about your feelings. Objectively, outside of medical circumstances, nobody NEEDS to get high- its sort of a delusion of the mind to think this. Nothing bad will happen if you are sober; you might be bored, but that's just part of being human. Its worth examining what you think the consequences of being sober are; for some people, it involves a lot of anxiety and depression, but I've yet to see anyone really self-medicate effectively and in a way that doesn't make their problems worse.

    Ultimately, you've gotten into the state of thinking in a sort of maladaptive manner and cognitive-behavioural therapy might help you to reassess the validity of your thoughts.

    In terms of 'curing' oneself of cravings and the like. In most cases, time away from the substance is the key. The brain habitually thinks and feels certain things, knowing that the conscious self will respond in predictable ways. So, you may need to firmly deny yourself drugs initially, and this may be very very difficult. But, the longer you avoid giving into cravings, the less intense the cravings get- this gets easier over time.

    Anyway, I'm going to shift this over to The Dark Side, which is our principal recovery forum. You will get more replies there

    All the best[QUOTE]

    EDIT: Dammit my reply was deleted when I posted. This engine is wonked.

    Ok I was saying you are so right willow (swilow, lol!, not altering that typo) about the importance of time away from the harmful behavior/substances.

    One reason it is important is so your brain can have a chance to rewire and become resensitized after being savagely desensitized. Not being able to find enjoyment in daily life without an external cue you were finding in drugs would lessen the longer you go clean until you can be content without drugs. So time will heal your brain for sure and daily life will become more enjoyable without needing to alter it. I said something different the first time lol. Just one reason here. There are more.
    Last edited by Save; 18-11-2018 at 03:17.
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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by swilow View Post
    stepping over from wanting to NEEDING a drug is a difficult thing to undo. You will be surprised at how intense and all consuming a physical and psychological drug dependancy can get.
    truer words, man. i think alot of addicts and even casual users can relate to this thread, personally i cant remember the last time i went a day without taking at least one mind altering substance. kinda sad really, but again being dependent on a drug, let alone multiple drugs, is a fulltime job. in my case its heroin most days just to stay well and when im off that its onto the comfort meds to combat withdrawal...suboxone, gabapentin, benzos, dxm, you name it. and most of that shit isnt even to get high, its to get through the day without feeling like absolute shit. when im not using dope i sometimes go on meth runs, just a few days at a time but still a bad idea, and any other day it might be a bunch of benzos and weed, or alcohol, or psychedelics, or any combination of pretty much anything you can think of, plus the stuff i took just to stay out of withdrawal. it used to be fun to "party" all the time but as the years go on it becomes more of a chore, and now im wondering how much more abuse my brain can take. im not totally fried yet but im definitely getting burnt out, oh well maybe we'll learn what we need to someday
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    #15
    I'm the same, but I've been off the drugs (except caffeine) for about a month. I'm only 18 and have dealt with an intense addiction to diethyl ether which destroyed me in about two weeks. I began using it around a year ago and I'm still recovering. After that experience, I relapsed several times on the ether.
    I am waiting for when my doctor says it is OK to drink lightly or vape weed again, which I believe I can handle.
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    #16
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    This is me in a nutshell. I've had specific drug addictions too (most notably opiates which almost destroyed me), but ever since I started using drugs, I have a strong urge to alter myself every day. I don't always, now... but I usually do. Usually it's just weed, and I feel alright about daily weed. But yeah the struggle is real. For me, it's not even an attempt to cover anything up... I'm just fascinated by drugs and consciousness alteration. When I'm having a great day, it makes me want to get high. This has caused me problems throughout my life although it's also caused me to have a lot of great experiences. I think desire to alter consciousness is a trait that many humans have and have always had. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with it, but it can become problematic for people. Not for all people though. My girlfriend uses drugs every so often and it is no struggle at all for her not to. I admire that and am also somewhat envious of it.

    I'll echo what someone else said in this thread... avoid getting physically addicted to anything like the plague. Physical addiction changes the game in a really bad way.
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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowmeister View Post
    This is me in a nutshell. I've had specific drug addictions too (most notably opiates which almost destroyed me), but ever since I started using drugs, I have a strong urge to alter myself every day. I don't always, now... but I usually do. Usually it's just weed, and I feel alright about daily weed. But yeah the struggle is real. For me, it's not even an attempt to cover anything up... I'm just fascinated by drugs and consciousness alteration. When I'm having a great day, it makes me want to get high. This has caused me problems throughout my life although it's also caused me to have a lot of great experiences. I think desire to alter consciousness is a trait that many humans have and have always had. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with it, but it can become problematic for people. Not for all people though. My girlfriend uses drugs every so often and it is no struggle at all for her not to. I admire that and am also somewhat envious of it.

    I'll echo what someone else said in this thread... avoid getting physically addicted to anything like the plague. Physical addiction changes the game in a really bad way.
    Do you deal with depression at all? I grew up pretty depressed and being happy always made me uncomfortable in a weird way. It still does, and I wonder if it's not a way of dealing with the unfamiliar feelings happiness brings. I like to get high when I'm happy and celebrate.. Maybe it's just that I know I can chemically alter the way I feel to have a good time, or maybe it's a combination of that and not knowing I can have a better time naturally.
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    #18
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    I've been very depressed before but it was situational. Fortunately I've had a happy life by and large and when something isn't actively making me sad, I don't feel depressed.
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    #19
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    Do you feel it is more about rewarding yourself maybe? or celebrating in the "best" way possible? I know that is part of it for me. Used to be as soon as I completed a work day or something challenging then everything was a greenlight.
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    #20
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    Hmm, sometimes a reward, yes, but also sometimes just a thought that "this day is great, you know what would make it even BETTER?"
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    Thank god someone else said it 
    #21
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    The Honeybadger that sometimes sleeps in my garbage has been feeling like this for years, and had never been able to figure out what it?s about. Her inexperienced 1 year out from graduation therapist thinks it?s her trying to get away from anxiety (when you?ve killed as many people as she has, you?d understand) but she knows there?s more to it, but was never able to find anyone else talking about it until now.

    She drank for years heavily, then got into opiates, then poppy seeds (don?t laugh or disregard it until you?ve tried it). Every other ?sober? period was filled with Kratom and/or Gabapentin to just having something to look forward to during the day. Any ex addict could tell you (funny as I transcribe this she?s never used the word addict before when describing herself) there?s nothing like quitting to make your days boring and uneventful when you don?t have a daily dose to wake up to in the morning/early afternoon.

    Gotta go, she?s run off and has a tendency to destroy squirrel nests when having any personal realization. Steve?s always her first target so I better intervene.

    - Honeybadger don?t care
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