If you are in recovery in MAD2 and want to submit your story, please email your recovery story (approximately 1 page) to firstname.lastname@example.org
The following stories have been submitted by Marijuana Anonymous District 2 members. All stories are anonymous, as follows our 12 Traditions, & we ask you to respect our members' anonymity as well. We are posting these stories to encourage other marijuana addicts that recovery from marijuana addiction is possible, honoring MA's Primary Purpose: To help the marijuana addict who still suffers.
Table of Contents
Clean and Sober since December 3, 1998- L.
A World Traveler Before and After Weed- A.
Clean and Sober since December 3, 1998 - L.
I can trace my problems back to the beginning, in early childhood. I am an abuse survivor. I grew up terrorized. I felt I was responsible for bad things. I felt like I could never be good enough, like nobody wanted me, nobody loved me.
I grew up in a neglectful family. My mother was very angry and would take out her anger on us. I am afraid of anger. I don’t want anyone to be angry with me for fear of rejection. I became very timid and shy; I barely spoke above a whisper. My father was away from home much of the time due to his work. I grew up feeling rejected, unworthy and unloved. I was sad most of the time. I thought it was the normal way to be.
I started smoking pot after I graduated from college and continued to smoke throughout most of my adult life. It was a way to be accepted, be part of the group, and be “cool”, at least that’s what I thought at first. I had always felt like an outsider and this was a way that I could be included. Soon it became a way of escape from all the demons in my mind. I felt nothing but blackness; there was no joy in life. It worsened my depression to a point where I became suicidal. When I became suicidal, I was admitted to the hospital for detox and then I attended an intensive outpatient program. Also, I began seeing a psychiatrist and I have continued to see him every week for my depression.
I started attended MA meetings in my city every week. At first I was afraid that I would be rejected because I thought the people would all be “fully recovered potheads” and perfect. When I attended my first meeting, I saw that everyone was just like me and everyone was so nice! At first, when I listened to the promises, when they said “we will love you until you love yourself," I thought, "yeah, right, no one is going to love me; I am so unlovable, so unworthy.” Imagine my surprise when I found out that they did love me! I was welcomed with open arms.
I met my sponsor within 3 months of attending MA. We worked through the Steps, which was so helpful to me. I was able to realize that a lot of the concepts that I had accepted as facts were based upon my misinterpretation of childhood beliefs. My fears from childhood had stayed with me and I hadn’t been able to discard them. I came to understand a lot about myself and what behaviors I had that led to addiction.
Now when I have a problem that baffles me, I go through the Steps to find a solution. I make a gratitude list every day; this helps me focus on the positive things in my life. I have participated in MA by doing service; service helps me reach out to others.
One of the first things I learned about in recovery was a Higher Power. When I was growing up, I was taught that God was loving, forgiving, and accepting. I liked the idea of a Higher Power because it was a spiritual concept instead of a religious concept. I learned to turn my problems over to my HP and I learned to accept my HP into my life. By having a HP, I have experienced love, acceptance, and serenity. I have learned to live each day to its fullest.
Recovery has changed my life; I never knew I could be so happy, free and joyful. Life is good; dreams come true!
A World Traveler Before and After Weed - A.
I bottomed out on pot and booze in Los Angeles when I was 26 years old. I'd been having troubles with pot and alcohol since I was 16, but at 26 I realized I was on a collision course with something I didn't want to experience: either jail, a mental institution, or worse.
Pot became an obstacle to my growth as a person, but it didn't start that way. When I was thirteen years old, pot was an exciting diversion. Weed helped me have fun, forgetting (for a short time) my parents' ugly divorce and their ongoing hatred of each other. My Dad's daily pot-smoking had been an obstacle between us from my early childhood (he'd gotten me stoned as a baby), but I'd hoped that when I turned 18 he and I could share an amazing 'pot bond'. My smoking frequency increased from day one, so that by the time I was a freshman in college I smoked all day every day. At 26, I bottomed out when my financial problems united with stress, paranoia and fear. I mismanaged my money so badly that I couldn't pay my rent. I couldn't face my pile of bills, so I smoked pot and drank until I forgot about the bills.
I wound up at a Marijuana Anonymous meeting, which conveniently was just down the street from my house. I couldn't imagine being off pot for more than a month. Just by walking in the doors and attending weekly meetings, I got sober for a month. I didn't do any Steps; I just sat with people and shared. I went to MA again and again; stayed clean for 1 month and then I relapsed again. My third attempt was different. I didn't want to go back to the pot or alcohol this time, but I didn't know if I could stay clean. I knew that my way wasn't working. This time, I got a sponsor and took meeting commitments, and we worked on the first three Steps. I admitted my lack of control of pot and surrendered to the care of a Higher Power; that's how everything in my life shifted.
My life hasn't become easy since I got sober, but it hasn't been dull either. Sober life is unpredictable, and full of opportunities to explore my goals and dreams at each step. In my first year clean, I went to many raves, concerts, and parties where people used -- and I would take my sober friends. At four years sober, I quit my job and went around the world for 18 months, living in Melbourne Australia for one year and going to Art School. I got married and had a child with a wonderful woman last year, at 16 years sober.
Today I have sponsees, a sponsor, and a home meeting. Life is busy, life is full, and I have a complete life. Of course there are many ups and downs in my life -- and I have a program that I can use to stay clean through all of it, if I want to. I remember when I heard, "Recovery isn't for people who need it, it's for people who want it." And I want it. I'm so grateful to have recovered myself -- my personality, self-esteem, and personal integrity -- and I no longer live a life enslaved by marijuana.
I smoked pot 5x a day every day for years. If I can get clean, so can you. It's one day at a time, and HOW does it work? -- with honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. Integrity (integrating ideals and actions) is my goal today. And 'progress not perfection' is the motto in which I believe.
The Sunday meeting is holding a potless potluck on Sunday, August 31 at Mosswood Park, corner of MacArthur and Broadway in Oakland. Bring chairs.
Support MA while you clean out your closet! Join the MA Yard Sale on Saturday, September 6 from 10-4. Donate your items; proceeds benefit MA. Full details on the events page.
Martinez Recovery Walk: September 20 at Waterfront Park. MA will have a booth. Contact Kathy L or Tom M. for details.
MA has discount tickets for the Oakland A's game September 3 vs. Seattle Mariners. Call Chris M (510) 705-2516 for tickets.
Wednesday Night Meeting: New Location! The Wednesday night First Berkeley group MA meeting is now located at the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church at 1823 9th Street in the Sisson Salon Room. Click here for a map.
Wednesday Night Monthly 'Potless' Potluck - last Wednesday of the month, after 6:15 meeting until 9pm. Bring a dish and enjoy the food & fellowship.
Support MA meetings: Monday MA meeting needs support from people with clean time.