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Marijuana, Amphetamine, Money, Women, and Eating,

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The image I’ve included is a painting I made while studying for my Bachelors Degree in FIne Arts.

by Art Student “Hal”

I’ve been crying a lot lately.

I’ve been crying everyday for 3 weeks.

People think that Marijuana is not addictive.

All I want to be is that completely realized person that we all aspire to become. I don’t know if this desire comes from inside myself (my own ambition) or if it is an extension of what my family, friends and society expect from me. I want to stop living a dangerous lifestyle, and I want to focus on my health and education.

I know that I am slipping farther and farther from my hopes and goals in this life.

I am 31 years old and have been smoking marijuana since I was 14.

I was 25 years old and my life took one of several turns that would define the coming years for me. I left a career in construction (ending a string of odd jobs that began shortly after high school), started what would become a long term relationship, and began working at a telephone company. Everything was great: I was making money, sharing my life with someone, and living a fast paced life of drugs, drinking, and spending money hand over fist to perpetuate what I thought was a sexy exciting life for me and my partner.

Years later and the cracks that were in the weak foundation that we had built our relationship on started crumbling around us.

Because of the problems I was developing with drugs, my relationship and compulsive spending of money I began visiting a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed in 2007 as having personality disorder, specifically Bipolar Manic Depressive and the stigma of this left me completely unable to function in social situations. My partner began using opiates and quickly lost control of her habit. My 3 year career at the phone company was all but over, having spent months on leave, unable to perform the simplest tasks associated with my employment, and what had begun as recreational drug use in my teens turned into smoking marijuana and taking pharmaceutical medicines everyday. I was at the lowest point I had ever been, and I knew I had to fight to get my life back. Unfortunately the only answer was different medications, and for the first time in my life I faced a terrifying side affect of drug use: The medications that I was put on made me extremely suicidal, and I decided to abandon the treatment. But those feelings of suicidal ideation never left me They have been a constant struggle for me ever since.

I began seeing a behavioral psychologist shortly before leaving my psychiatrist, and despite continuing to smoke marijuana and struggling with my eating and financial situation (and suffering the life altering negative consequences of this action) I began to heal my heart and life to the point that I felt I could move on and leave my old decadent lifestyle behind. I filed bankruptcy to address my financial problems, but this didn’t help me to make smarter money choices in the future, as I continued to spend money on drugs, alcohol for my friends, and trying to maintain an extreme lifestyle.

In 2010 I finally left my employment and to pursue my dreams of higher eduction.

I moved out of the city that offered so many negative temptations and triggers for me, and was excited for the new future and opportunities that college offered me. My excitement for my new life carried me through several highly productive years of great grades, amazing scholarship opportunities, and awards that reinforced how important it was to continue pursuing my education.

Unfortunately, despite all of the growth and learning I had done I found myself regressing into drug use and mental health problems to deal with the stressful life of deadlines, tests, and the expectation placed on me. I wanted to be the best student I could, but I routinely was stunted by my difficult mental issues, marijuana usage, and problems with money and eating. This caused such a deep depression for me that I felt I need something more to help me regain the healthy success I had attained. I still hadn’t broken my dependence on all of these crutches I used to support myself, and I
soon found out I could sink even lower in my desperate actions.

I began using amphetamines to counteract the depression I was struggling with due to the marijuana usage.

Another doctor suggested I try something to stop smoking cigarettes. The prescription was for Wellbutrin, which for me had powerful stimulating effects. Finally the fog of my depression from countless years of smoking marijuana lifted ever so slightly. I could go to class and abuse marijuana and amphetamines and still maintain high grades and fulfill my scholarship obligations. This led to abusing other stimulants, including Adderall and Ritalin, and before I knew it I had finished my time at that school with a degree, and little else.

Ive been on this path for so long, but all that I am left with this the lost opportunities, broken relationships, and few places to turn for help. This opportunity for treatment is so exciting and if its my time to be blessed by the universe with an amazing gift of treatment I would grateful to participate in your program. I want to honor the people who have meant so much to me by getting my life back, and continuing to learn and grow as a person. I want to end this cycle of dependency, and for the first time I want to stop trying to do this on my own. I need help, because I never want to hurt myself or anyone else I care about again.

I am 31 years old, have been smoking marijuana since I was 14, and am addicted to marijuana, amphetamines, eating, shopping, and sex/ codependency. I have been using amphetamines to counter depression for three years, and I routinely binge eat and binge shop to make myself feel better. I have personality disorder, and have been diagnosed with depression and manic depressive behavior. I am a full time student and I fear that my problematic behavior is going to ruin my educational career.

This story about addiction was submitted as part of the Breaking Addiction Scholarship Program on healthshire.com.

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