Creating Memories And Meaning Without Weed
When someone quits using weed, everything instantly becomes less meaningful and fun than it was before. Sex, conversations, music, being in nature, cleaning the kitty litter box—they are all missing that je ne sais quoi, or is it joie de vivre? Nothing’s very significant when you’re sober. (Don’t worry, this changes.) Before you throw a pity party to mourn the fun you think you’ll never be able to have again now that you’re not smoking weed, learn to meditate to focus on quitting weed. Anyway, the workaround isn’t optional. You must do at least one meditative activity per day if you want to quit weed. Meditation is doing lots of good things for you, but wait there’s more! It’s also creating a weed-free memory!
Your Brain Needs Time to Acclimate
Keep in mind at all times that the Debbie Downer state you’re in is biologically-based and temporary. Your brain just needs time to accept the fact that THC is gone and that it isn’t ever coming back. When that realization eventually happens, your brain will start handling its business. It just got used to not handling it because weed. It’s like the guy whose place turns into a pigsty the day after his live-in girlfriend leaves him. It’ll get worse before it gets better, but after a while the guy realizes the kitty litter box isn’t going to clean itself.
The First Few Days Are the Hardest
The beginning is the absolute worst. Many people have to deal with both physical and psychological symptoms. The physical symptoms aren’t fun, but having a moratorium on feeling pleasure majorly trump having a decreased appetite and insomnia. Having that layer of meaning and fun that weed blankets all our experiences with snatched away is harsh. That layer is one of the main reasons people enjoy weed, and it’s one of the main reasons quitting is a bear.
I suspect that many people, and I include myself in that group, are drawn to weed because of the super-meaningfulness factor. And if I’m honest, I probably started out with a deficit in my ability to extract meaning and fun out of activities, due perhaps to events in my past. In any event, weed really helped me out in those areas. Actually, it was a little too helpful, and I became accustomed to hyper-meaningfulness.
Dealing with the Drudgery of Quitting Weed
So how should someone who’s newly sober deal with the big bucket of meaninglessness that gets dumped on his (or her) head? First, be aware that this is going to happen and that it’s only temporary. Your brain has been on vacation for a while, so it’ll take some time for it to get back into the swing of things. The good news is that your brain is a dutiful little worker and wants desperately to achieve homeostasis. Therefore, it will happily resume its duties unless you tell it not to by flooding your brain with THC.
Doing one Meditative Activity Per Day Helps in about Half a Dozen Different Ways
Plan, at minimum, one meditative activity per day. This will help you to relax, develop your one-pointedness and mindfulness skills, and add meaning to your day. It’s also going to help you create memories that aren’t grounded in weed. Michael W. Clune, in conversation with Tao Lin on the website The Believer discusses the novels they have both recently released that deal with drug addiction. Clune says that when you’re addicted to a drug “the kinds of impulses and memories you have access to at any given moment are pretty limited, consisting mainly, for example, of memories of the awesomeness of dope and impulses to do it.”
Phasing Out the “Weed Is Awesome” Mindset
Doing one meditative activity per day gives you brand new fabulous memories that have zippo to do with being high. When you start filling your memory bank with stuff that isn’t related to getting high, you start letting go of the “awesomeness of dope” frame of mind without even trying. Your body leads, and your mind follows. That’s what everything from ancient Chinese philosophy to New Age theory to recent research on mind/body theory tells us. A.A. puts it more bluntly: suit up and show up, which means get yourself to a meeting whether or not you feel like it–especially if you don’t feel like it. It’s the same deal with meditative activities. Do at least one every day, whether or not you feel like it. Force your body to meditate, and your mind will go with the flow. Next: Creating Good Habits