As mentioned yesterday, I recently discovered all these high journal entries I’d recorded back in September, 2012. As I read through them for the first time in years, I was shocked to see how directly certain themes from my Facing Addiction story would have tied to thoughts I’d forgotten even having.
It was encouraging to see how far I might have come along the same lines.
Just know that, since I didn’t know I’d be sharing these when I wrote them, they’re pretty raw.
Anyway, here are my lost journal entries from September, 2012 (written while really, really high at work):
September 2, 2012
“I find myself unable to focus on the podcasts I’m listening to. My brain will flash with something said every now and then, and I recognize it as being the kind of idea I should probably write down, but then I drift into a fog.
“The bottom line is I’m not making the best use of my time or the resources I have.
“But the cool part is I’m not about to delve into some haphazard schedule like I would have in the past.
“All the ideas I’ve written down in this big document seem to be merging quite naturally, which makes me hopeful.
“What is it about the frustration of wasted time that makes me want to jump right away into some new, half-assed plan or schedule?
“How can I help others allow their intentions to link together naturally (instead of forcing an unnatural plan) so they too can achieve their goals?
“Why do I still feel stuck in that fog?”
September 4, 2012
“I’m completely overstimulated. Everything I try to enjoy feels rushed or poorly timed.
“I need to relax. I can’t pay attention. I’m always high.”
September 5, 2012
“I think the idea of total sobriety scares me.
“I need to acknowledge my own cries for help, though. I’m always hinting to others that I do indeed have a drug problem.
“The idea of not getting high for long periods of time just feels depressing and sad. Then again, the idea of always being high and neglecting my own passions, self, and loved ones also strikes me as immensely dismal.
“Using weed after exercising seemed to motivate me to stick with my exercise routine this summer.
“I also get ideas when I’m high.
“I keep telling myself how terrible what I’m doing is, and that everyone around me probably thinks I’m falling apart, losing it, or depressed.
“But others can only believe what I show them, right? They can’t really see my thoughts.
“If I’m able to show them a balanced, satisfied person…
“It feels like I can tie fitness to overcoming addiction by using weed as a reward for working out. How about creativity?
“It’s really all about time. Weed takes my time, and it robs me of the mental capacity I’d need to develop even the ideas it helps me find.
“I’d feel more confident and have more self-esteem if I were able to keep my weed use under control and make better use of my time.
“It all seems so simple—how all these different areas of life relate to overcoming addiction.
“Maybe expecting too much of myself too soon gives me an excuse to give up right away.
“But it feels like I can’t handle even a fraction of the total sobriety mindset.
“Again, this summer I stuck to working out (without having to try that hard) by rewarding myself with weed during, like, the second half of the workouts. That happened to work for me as I saw myself doing it. It wasn’t a plan. It wasn’t me demanding anything of myself.
“It seems more like the right actions somehow piece themselves together as soon as I can see how they all fit with each other. They just sort of happen, and hopefully I can pick up on them.
“I guess writing it all out like this helps.
“I don’t know how yet, but I do believe everything will work out—all the things I want, feel, and have written down.
“Just writing that makes me feel excited and confident.”
September 6, 2012
“I get the same weird, woozy headache every day when I drink energy drinks to balance myself out at work after getting high on all my breaks. It feels like an instant rush and crash that spangles out through my brain like air into a balloon, swelling my consciousness in a completely artificial way.
“But I also feel surprisingly upbeat right now. I have a smile on my face.
“People at work are saying things I’d usually take the wrong way, but today I’m not.
“Seeing things differently can be the solution to so many problems—an outward moving circle of thoughts and purpose that incorporates increasing degrees of honest recorded experience into its sequence (to help make that bigger picture known, more and more, as it expands)—rather than the opposite.
“That’s how the ideas in the big document I’m sorting through seem to be coming together.
September 7, 2012
“I guess everything we enjoy could potentially overtake us if we do or partake too much.
“Right now, I seem to be at that getting-high-on-lunch-breaks-in-my-car stage of pot-headedness.
“The pleasure is at the beginning, when I’m waiting for it, and then in those first few puffs—the feeling of a fresh buzz beginning to take hold. It’s the excitement of watching my mind start to dance with the chemicals in whatever ways it does.
“Is weed bad?
“Is it only bad if it’s destructive?
“I haven’t lost my job or anything, so I’m really not sure how destructive it’s been so far.
“Some would set ‘destructive’ at ‘ever’ or ‘any’ instead of ‘clear signs of destruction,’ but that always seems to lead to shame.
“One thing I believe I know for sure: I don’t want to be bad. I want to be a good person.
“I suppose the question is really whether I can trust myself to be honest about seeing those ‘signs of destruction’ in the first place.
“I could obviously be a lot worse. I could be constantly strung out. I could have quit my job, or just not care what my family or anyone else thinks.
“I think I’m swaying somewhere a little above the middle when it comes to self-destruction, since I still care about myself, my family, my dreams, my future…
“So the answer seems easy: Don’t feel ashamed, but let those things I care about motivate me to control how much I use.
“I really am getting tired of thinking all the time, of the constant stimulation, and of even all the ideas I feel compelled to write down when I’m high . . . knowing I’ll just have to add them to all the rest.
“I’m now effectively giving my future self more work to do each time I use weed.
“I want to relax. I need quiet time.”
September 10, 2012
“Addictions feel perpetual, and too much weed seems to lead…
“…to criticizing myself and feeling guilty for not moving forward.
“…to a lack of closeness with those I love.
“…to isolating myself.
“…to blaming myself.
“…to being truly sad.
“…to being concerned about my health.
“…to not enjoying fun.
“…to being a million miles away.
“…to not getting things done.
“It’s not getting high that makes me feel that way, but lack of control over how much I use.
“I hate how ashamed and dysfunctional I feel whenever I see myself dominated by addiction.”
September 11, 2012
“I feel this flush like stiffening boards or tent pegs expanding to create a larger skull inside my head. My eyes feel numb.
“This is certainly a far cry from the silliness and magic weed can conjure when I’m not addicted to it.
“What if I could get so far beyond where I’ve been that even the memory of this time of imbalance serves only to heighten my resolve to conquer whatever I’m facing then?
“How much more would I enjoy everything if not swallowed up into anything?
“It’s funny how bad I seem to do with any of the schedules or plans I try to force myself to stick to.
“But how can I change without forcing myself at all?”
As mentioned yesterday, 2012 culminated in an epic plan to only get high ten times the next year. It was supposed to be the megaplan—all my plans in one.
The fact that I was relying on the mother of all forced plans is evidence I truly wasn’t ready.
Sometimes you have to relearn the same lessons many times before all the pieces of what you know click together enough to empower you to change.
Tomorrow: how illumination from the outside can confirm your path to destiny.
P.S. Have you ever come across an old diary entry, social media post, or email you sent, and been surprised by how your past words connect so perfectly to your current state?
Hopefully you see how far you’ve come.