Basics of kicking the habit.

Discussion in 'General Addiction discussion' started by Alfa, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    What are the options when you want to kick the habit? Please post all relevant basic information here for users that want to get rid of their addiction.
     
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  2. paulywould

    paulywould Newbie

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    First step is admitting you have a problem. Then get rid of all your shit. After that, find some NA/AA meetings. Quiting alone is damn near imposible. Also, you don't have to be clean to go to an NA/AA meeting. All you have to do is WANT to be clean! No one is too dumb to get clean, but some people are too smart. You can't think you're way through it, you just have to 'not use' one day at a time.

    Paulywould
     
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  3. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    I'm one of those who think it's different for every substance.

    To kick cocaine, the best immediate help is probably to get away from sources for it. That means "fire" all your connections (a hint that you joined the city police? [​IMG]) -- if possible, move to a different city, state, province or country where you won't be able to find it for awhile.

    If that isn't possible, go on a long vacation where it isn't available... two weeks or more. When you get back, renew your decision and throw away all paraphernalia you find. If needed, start on an antidepressant and/or supplement with L-Tyrosine and Tryptophan/5-HTP. Eat well, and get some exercise. Find things in your life (other than coke) that you enjoy and that are important to you. Spend your money on things that last and that you use regularly. Find (more) friends & people you care about who don't use coke. If you want, attend some NA/CA meetings -- just be careful, coke is one of those drugs where constant reminders can make things worse. All this should help.

    Coke is a drug that some people get into a "binge" pattern with. That means over the years people use it for awhile, kick and stay quit awhile, fall back into use again, kick, use, kick, use, etc. This is a difficult problem, and I have no ready answer for it. I've seen patterns like this "burn out" eventually, and the kick becomes permanent.Edited by: Nicaine
     
  4. als5555

    als5555 Newbie

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    this is easier with heavier drugs. finding some horrible stories about the drug you are trying to quit can help. my classmates uncle wound up in a cocaine induced coma back in april. he is on his way to recovery, but he still can't remember short term things, and he still can't play sports. he used to be a personal trainer and was on 2 minor league sports teams. go out and find stories like this one, onlyaboutthe drug you want toquit.hopefully for those out there who want to quit it won't take a coma and permenant brain damage.
     
  5. deadmoap

    deadmoap Mercury Member

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    One thing I've learned while trying to quit smoking (tobacco), is when
    you get a craving to smoke, tell your brain "I'll smoke, just not right
    now, I'll smoke later". And also being with non smoker friends.



    One time me and a couple of my non smoker friends were hanging out at
    my house, staying up all night. They arrived at 4:00 PM and that's the
    last time I smoked. Well a few hours later, I started to get minor
    cravings, and I started to think "I know for a fact that I'll smoke
    before 12:00". Well we had lots of fun, time started passing, and
    throughout the night, I could have gone outside to smoke any time, but
    every time I got a craving, I kept telling myself "I'm having too much
    fun right now I'll smoke later". Then when morning came, we all got a
    couple hours of sleep, and when I woke up, I had some pretty strong
    cravings, and I absolutely knew for sure that I was going to smoke this
    morning. Keep in mind, I wasn't even trying to quit... when I smoked
    the day before, I had no idea that'd be my last cigarrette, and I had
    every intention to smoke again. But then I started thinking "Wow...
    I've made it this far... why don't I go the whole way". Eventually the
    whole day went by, and I didn't smoke... then later that night, I
    started thinking "This is the longest I've ever gone without tobacco
    since I started smoking... I can't believe I'll never have another
    cigarrette... I know I'll have another cigarrette... I know I'll just
    start again, so I might as well just start again now". This is the
    mistake I made.



    Bottom line is... when trying to quit smoking, don't start thinking
    about the past or future. Just focus on right now, today. Just don't
    smoke right now. Tell yourself, maybe I'll smoke later, but don't.



    One more thing... I believe that the reason we become addicted to
    smoking is because we smoke while doing other things, and we associate
    smoking with doing other things. For example, I like to smoke when I'm
    talking to my parents, talking on the phone, browsing the internet, and
    watching TV. I can smoke a whole pack of cigarrettes if I'm on the
    phone for five hours. One thing that might work, although I haven't
    tried it myself (it's just a theory), is before you actually quit
    smoking, try to only quit smoking when your doing the kind of things
    that make you want to smoke the most. For me, since talking on the
    phone is the biggest thing that gives me the strongest cravings, I
    would try to not smoke while I'm on the phone for a long time, or not
    smoke when I'm watching TV. When I needed to smoke, I would go
    somewhere quiet and smoke my cigarrette while doing absolutely nothing
    else.
     
  6. VincentVan

    VincentVan Platinum Member

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    This is really the one million dollars question, and I´m pretty sure that the "right way", valid for all and everyonedoes not exist; each person responds differently to different stimuli and even to different immanent situations. ( i. e. what may work today may not work next week when your psychological mind frame has changed however slightly).

    There are however some suggestions that an old user like me may be able to give. I injected, smoked, sniffed and swallowed most illegal substances for the last 25 years and since i still managed to have a decent professional career and a loving family, as you can imagine I have been forced to give up my habit more times that I care to remember.Sometimes I gave up for a few weeks, sometimes for months, once for one year and a half. Right now I have been "clean" for nearly a month, and by clean I mean no methadone ,no medicines , no bullshit, nothing stronger than lucky strikes. I must say that I do not agree with most of the things I have read in this thread.I specially object to Paulywould´s opinion that it´s impossible to give up on your own, I always did exactly that (although not always successfully), I object even more strongly to the wiew that you need to join some group or some AA like organization: the risk is being institutionalized, to start to see yourself as part of these groups and to forget your own identity.

    Itwould take up a lot of space and time to go into details, if anybody wants to kick the habit and feels that my experience could be of any help he´s welcome to contact me at my mailbox, but let me just give two important general suggestions:

    1 Get your priorities into prospective. Decide what is more important for you and what you are prepared to sacrifice to what end. Life, often, is a zero-sum game: to achieve something you must be ready to renounce to something else. So basically, what do you like most? Drugs? And what are you ready to sacrifice for it? Your family? your career? Your freedom? What ? How far are you ready to go?

    2 Methadone , if taken in the right , decreasing , doses helps a hell of a lot. Most doctors and institutions that dole out the stuff don´t know shit about it. So if you get hold of the stuff get some suggestions from people who successfully used it to get rid of their habit. In less than four weeks you can go from a 0.75/ 1 gr. a day heroin habit to being 100% drug free in an absolutely painless way. I have done it many times so you can too.

    One last thing .Since ,for various reasons,I have nobody to talk about my problem,thelast time I got rid of my vice ,I feel that I have receved an enormous help from folks in this forum. To talk about the way you feel helps. To hear how other peoplefeel about it helps. To share helps. To all those folks that last springhave been my virtual therapists and friends I feel deeply indebted. Thanks again guys.


    "Every dog has his day, and a good dog just might have two days." Thomas Pynchon. "Vineland"
     
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  7. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    Pardon me, but isn't it a bit self-important to make such general statements? Why don't you specify exactly what you disagree with instead, so it can be discussed.

    Yep I agree, being able to talk about it helps a great deal. There are other forums available for this as well. Basically (and IMHO) this is about all N.A. and such groups do for people is give the opportunity to talk about the problem and receive mutual suggestions/help. The socalled steps are a bunch of B.S. Just MHO.Edited by: Nicaine
     
  8. VincentVan

    VincentVan Platinum Member

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    Dear Nicaine

    I did specify what I did not agree about in the previous postings: first I know from my own experience that to give up on your own is not impossible , second I would never suggest to anybody to join some sort of NA/AA groups as Paulywood suggests. I also eplained the reasons why I feel that way.

    I also do not agree with you when you suggest to take antidepressants.Most of them ( prozac, efexor, etc )start to have effect after two or three weeks and with the right decreasing doses of methadone you can get drug free before that, and the sheer excitement of feeling your body reacting to the poisons has, by itself, an antidepressant effect.

    However , as i said, I talk only of my own experiences and those of people I know, and I´m specially talking about opiate and heroin addiction.I´m sure you must have your good reasons for sayng the things you say.

    Pardon my impolite curiosity: How long ago did you kick your addiction? For how long? Was it very hard?

    All my best
    VincentVan
     
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  9. Daeron

    Daeron Platinum Member & Advisor

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    hey Vincent welcome back!its been a while,im glad youre doing ok and that youre clean.


    hmm it seems to me that no one has mentioned one thing-to kick a habit you have to "want" to do so.ive realized that ive never really wanted to do so.yes i said so,and i tried to quit more times than i can remember,but ive never been honest w myself.one day it will snap,the last drop will fall,then nothing can stop you from quitting.the trick is not to ruin you life in the process.the trick is to look at your image in the mirror,and ask yourself do you really want to be that person in the mirror,honestly?


    nicaine the things that youve said about coke can be applied to meth,to a certain degree.


    as for quitting im the follower of the good ol cold turkey method.you will go through hell but in a weird way i kinda enjoyed it.it made me realize what i did and was doing to myself,like a very rough awakening(i dont know if this can be applied to H,though)


    btw IMO NA and similar crap are ....well crap.no i dont need god,nor do i need faith,i need fuckn common sense.
     
  10. VincentVan

    VincentVan Platinum Member

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    nice to see you still around here.

    As for cold turkey quitting, you just can´t compare meth Withdrawals symptoms with an heroin monkey biting at your brains. I´m not sayng it can´t be done, I´ve done it myself many, horrible, times, but always in special situations; when dope was just impossible to get by. I´ve never heard of anybody quitting cold turkey with money inhis pockets and a pusher waiting by the phone. Have you?

    Besides; the all experience of withdrawal leaves you with a strong craving and a sense of emptiness that sooner or later will drive you back to the old ways. It can be dangerous too. Many years ago I flew with a friend to a tropical beach paradise determined to fight it out the tough way. The second night, sitting on a dune , in a state too miserable to be described, my friend started to vomit incontrollably his gastric juices mixed with blood until he collapsed unconscious, hitting his face on a fallen palm tree´s trunk .Somehow I managed to revive him and the morning after I was sitting on a small hydroplane directed to to a city where I knew I could find opium. When I flew back in the afternoon , my friend was waiting for me at the landingpier looking like a corpse. We took decreasing doses of opium for about two weeks and when our supply run out I still went through a week of pure hell. But I managed to stay off the stuff more or less for 3 months with the occasional opium binge when I happened to go to the city. My friend never made it. Before our stash runned dry he moved to where he could get regular supplies. He was such a lovely person. He was not even a weak guy. Just the opposite. But this is really something you can´t talk about unless you´ve tryed it yourself. And the worst is that one day you can feel absolutely sure of your strenght and your resolve and the day after you may find yourself at the wheel of your car driving as fast as possible back to your damnation, carefully avoiding to think about the consequences.

    Horrible. What did I ask for after all? Just a chance.A chance however dim. A chance to keep on hoping..." Theodor Dreiser "Trilogy of desire"
     
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  11. Daeron

    Daeron Platinum Member & Advisor

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    ohh,how this sounds familiar...and all those excuses to do it,and dumb see through lies like just onemore time before i quit,or just avoiding to think about it
    yeah i thought it couldnt be applyed to H.I have to make a correction-cold turkey is only for those who (think they) can endure it.w H its different it is a physical addiction,not just psychological like w meth or coke.I really cant identify all the way with you Vincent,because i never did H(cos ive seen the downfall of too many exceptional H-men,no pun intended),my "problem" is more like Nicaines although i learned to controll it (i hope)....This the waythat partially worked for me.partially beacuse i still do itfrom time to time.but it cant be avoided since its all around me,constantly...so *sigh* i guess i should be proud...*sigh*
    ok lets rephrase: the first step-->taking back the control,how to?
     
  12. LordNevermore

    LordNevermore Newbie

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    I'm going to have to agree on the capabilities of quiting solo.

    While my recovery was initiated via buddy, I could easily have done
    anything that I wanted at any point of time, but if you realise that
    you have taken something to far and you can actually say...Hey man,
    look at wtf you've done to yourself (or someone else), now do something
    to make it right!...only then are you gonna quit. You don't quit for
    anyone else but yourself (as we all should already know by now). I have
    a very bad habit of analyzing just about everything I come into contact
    with. I tick on it. During my time of complete solitude I have spent a
    great ammount of time doing a complete analysis of my body, mind and
    soul. I can not tell you how much satisfaction others would recieve of
    such introspection but I will say that you will not be successful in
    stopping yourself from doing anything other then fucking something else
    up if you don't stop and check yourself.

    I used to be a cocaine addict. Actually, I was not just addicted to
    cocaine, it was just the one that I named to be my most addictive
    addiction. I've done so many different drugs that have a hard time
    listing them, selective memory, you know how it goes. lol.

    Anyway, getting rid of my coke addiction was key for me to quit my
    other habits of introducing interesting chemicals into my body.

    You can just stop what your doing, if it doesn't kill you. It almost
    killed me. I wanted to die at least and my body was convinced I was
    going to. We all suffer and withdrawl will make you suffer, it can very
    well kill you too. Just know that. You'll get scared at some point
    during the process. Just keep going. Your mind will make things real
    that do not belong. Its so real that you will react to it and make it
    reality. You can even will yourself to death if you want to. Your mind
    will provide you with everything you need to die via whatever portion
    of your body is weakest. Keep going.

    My want and needs remain. The addiction doesn't go away but I see
    through eyes that are not my own. I see through eyes that have shown me
    life past the death I suffered through to quit coke. I can only imagine
    what it was like for others.

    I have been clean of cola and various other interesting drugs for about
    7 years now. I have no problem telling myself no to anything I don't
    want. I could not have quit in any other way then as I have done it.

    Know that you have a problem.
    Know that you caused that problem.
    Know that you will suffer from that problem.

    These are just fundimental facts. Not a treatment.

    Smoke bud. Live.

    Lady Forevermore is my wife and she advocates marijuana and while bud
    isn't a cure, she has shown me how it will help ease the pains of
    withdrawl along with many many other benefitial effects it will have a
    hand in during your road to recovery.
     
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  13. MrJim

    MrJim Gold Member

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    Hey all I just thought I'd throw in my two cents,


    I have been off H (Ie not a Junkie) for 8 years. Last time I tried it was probably about 5 years ago. The years leading up to the real "kick" were difficult, to say the least. I probably quit more times than I could count up until then - sometimes for a few weeks, sometimes for a few hours. Anyways I have always gone cold turkey, and while it probably isn't the best method for some (I kid you not, once I thought I was well enough to go into the outside world only to sh*t my pants in public far from home and far too much to conceal) I did like the fact that wd's freaked me out. The pain and the mental exhaustion was so terrible and every time I got on that horse for another ride, the only thing I could be sure of is that the Withdrawals would be worse the next time than it was the last pants-shiten' time. The truth is you have to let it go at some point unless it is all you want. Because it is all you will be left with.


    My successful kick had alot of advantages working out in its favor - I had displaced myself and moved 6000km away - to an area where alcohol was a way of life and "weed" was drugs. Noone there had seen H or known a Junkie. That was movie stuff to them. So I kept my mouth shut. And I went back to school. And 5 months later I found myself back in the streets of Van, getting high on H, but only a couple of times. It felt different. So 6000 km away I went again. This went on for the following summer, the next winter break, and the next summer break after that. Go Home - Get High. Only every time I enjoyed it less and from just a few lines I would feel sick for days.


    Now when I visit the city I just drive through the old hoods - sometimes I recognize some bag of bones from a previous life but I look too good for them to recognize me. The truth about being an ex-junkie is that the only way you can keep that "ex" in front of your name is to remember everytime an Hthought passes through your mind, it isn't sustainable. You'll have to sober up again and feel the pain. If you don't want to feel the pain you need another shot. But that shot will disappear out of your body too. And so will the next one and the next one.


    Inner peace can be sustainable - that's for you and your mind to work out.


    I just know that I can't put myself through that cycle any more.It wore down my body so much when I was 18 that I had Shingles. Anyone who knows what shingles are knows that it is for old men. My doctor sure knew that.


    I'm not perfect now - I take Ativan for anxiety and smoke weed in the evenings but I can get by without. Weed can come and go, but I've known it so long that I will allow myself that. I mean I don't even smoke cigarettes anymore. So that's the truth about my cold turkey - slip ups were plenty, but now I could see a line right in front of my face and not think of it's pleasure, but of it's pain. That's the mindset people have to find. It like anything else just takes time.


    Peace all and take care,


    JimboEdited by: MrJim
     
  14. Apradavra

    Apradavra Newbie

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    VincentVan and Daeron,


    I am back, and I am backnot just to look around and see familiar names on old familiar forums. I am backbecause i slipped, I tripped, and fell, and now,,, well now, I feel broken, andmy monkey is slowly latching her teeth back into my back. A stab in my back, to myself, to my friends and family, a broken promise to everyone i told "Never again" to.


    Last spring it was VincentVan, and Daeron, and several other great people who helped me clean up from opiates. It was through the help of people who understood my addiction, people on this forum, whom I have never met face to face, who helped break that monkey off my back; and I was clean!!!


    Clean from opiates at least, my alcohol intake did increase after the bullshit of opiate addiction wore off. And thus, i found myself in trouble with the law, (Misdemeanor Assault) for my drunken stupidity. Now, my BA in Secondary Educationmay be of little use because ofthis charge. I know my BA in Writing will still be applicable (most writers are outlaws in one way or another), either way, i felt as though i went through so much, just to fuck up what i felt i was cleaning up for. Before I was ever able to become a teacher, which I always wanted, but who would want a junk addict teaching their kids anyhow?


    Then it began. One time usinghere, One time there. Now...I wake up with mild WD's. Still enough to make me long for a fix, and it will just get worse from here, just like last time. Only this time, i feel as though i have knowledge i couldnt have possessed unless i was one time possessed by opiates, and so do all my friends and family,I cannot hidethis forever.


    How can I use this knowledge and experience to stop myself from getting back to whereI was before? How come I knew what would happen and I usedanyhow? How did I let this happen? I can no longer blame ignorance, all I do is ask rhetorical questions. I am feeling sorry for myself, and probably sound pretty damn whiney, I apologize for this, I feel like I had the world at my fingers for a second time, and I just let it slip right on by. Am I just another setting sun? Anything from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all,


    Apradavra


    "I hit the city and I lost my band
    I watched the needle take another man
    Gone, gone, the damage done.

    I sing the song because I love the man
    I know that some of you don't understand
    Milk-blood to keep from running out.

    I've seen the needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkie's like a settin' sun."
     
  15. jimdandy

    jimdandy Newbie

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    Relapsing is very often part of the path for many many people trying to quit. Use what you have learned and get up and try again. What else are you going to do? The alternative is quite hopeless.


    I'm clean again myself, about 6 weeks. Irecently returned from a 10 day meditation retreat which was intense. There are always quite a few adicts there. Theprocess aims at eliminating the roots of one's addiction. In India thousands of heroin addicts attend the courses. PM me if you are interested. Here's the website: www.dhamma.org.


    Although the meditation technique is Buddhist in originthe courseitself and the people that teach it is completely non-secterian.


    Indeed the gentelman that has taken these courses to the world is a former morphine addict.


    Just sharing what has helped me...
     
  16. liquidknives

    liquidknives Newbie

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    I think addiction is less of a problem than habituation. there is a difference... habituation is doing things upon certain cues. for instance, a cigarette after ever meal, a line of coke when you go to the bathroom at a club, a few drinks to get yourself talking... relying on things to get you through certain situations, even if "getting through" just means enjoying them more. best solution i can think to that is, change your routine.


    You gotta admit you have a problem... no matter what your perspective on it is, if your on the battlefield and everyone's screaming at you to get down, get the fuck down. there are easy to recognize signs of a problem: empty pockets, health problems, and the feeling that "sober" is something abnormal.


    Usually an addiction involves only being able to think about your next fix when you're sober... best bet for that is getting a new hobby, habit, whatever. feel like cutting a line or shooting up, start doing something that takes a lot of thought and effort. not easy at first, but it starts working.


    I've never once had a problem with addiction, just with habituation. not realizing those little closure points involved in a habit leave you feeling frustrated and thrown off. thats why its best to just change your whole routine... if you are going to be thrown off, it might as well be something completely new, rather than having to struggle through your usual deal.


    And most of all, tell all your chums and dealers to shove it, get some new people around you. if they stick around, its hard to tell what is worse: them doing it and you not, or you watching them do it when you know you quit for a damn good reason.if they are going to fuck themselves up, thats their own choice... just to watch it happen as you are kicking the habit, or after you have done so entirely, is just degrading and irritating.
     
  17. RickyTarr

    RickyTarr Newbie

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    In my experience, 12-step programs can be helpful to some users, but not all. Often users will troll meetings looking for new people to get high with, so the meetings can be distractions. Also, the meetings have become overpopulated by rehab patients who are mandated to attend, thus neutralising the "voluntary" nature of the twelve-step programs.


    I have used the groups in the past to some beneficial effect. The accountability aspect of the group interaction seems to be helpful to me. Even though I continue use drugs recreationally(special occassions), I have found that the time I spent in AA and NA serves to remind me that thepotential for excess exists and should be guarded against.


    Hope that helps.
     
  18. radiometer

    radiometer bananadine addict Platinum Member & Advisor

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    It should be mentioned here that one class of commonly-abused drugs
    which should NOT be quit cold-turkey is benzodiazepines (Valium,
    Xanax, etc.). Chronic use of these should be tapered off slowly, as there
    are risks of seizure associated with sudden withdrawal. Alcohol
    withdrawal can be likewise dangerous.Edited by: radiometer
     
  19. VincentVan

    VincentVan Platinum Member

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    Hi Apra, so good to have you back.


    & hi to all the rest of you guys too of course.


    To read the postings of some of you who have been off junk for years makes me feel very jalous and a bit depressed. My one an a half month seems such a puny accomplishment now, and yet has been such a constant and exausting struggle for me. Now I´m entering a phase in wich every day, some nasty incubus ,nestled in a hidden recess of my mind, keeps repeating that one (just one) relapse into oblivion , would not be so important, so bad orso silly anymore.


    However , for the moment, i feel confident enough to say that it´s not going to happen. Not in the immediate future anyway. Day after day i notice thatI reaquire facets of my personality that had been buried under the weight of addiction. Somehow I wonder at rediscovering myself. This reminded me of the verses of one of my favoured poets:


    " To be oneself´,you say, is all-important.


    But is one´s self really worth the effort? "


    Paul Valéry.
     
  20. old hippie 56

    old hippie 56 Gold Member

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    Everything I read makes a lot of sense, and my only advice I can give is to forget all your friends that still use, and get rid of the things that make you think about dope. Music, books, movies, everything.