Create Strength Group
Helping you stop
I am a man who thought I knew everything and could deal with anything or anyone. I remember clearly the first time I was introduced to weed. It was my 15th birthday and my dad had recently died. My older brother called me into the front room and said I've “come of age, so it's time to be a man”. He pulled out this 8-inch cigarette and said “smoke”. I remembered ending up in a chair whilst my brothers stood over laughing. Little did I know then that I wouldn’t stop smoking for another 38 years. In that time, it would put me in prison (twice) and put me in danger repeatedly, over and over again. Unknowing to me at the time I would suffer many mental disorders running in conjunction with my existing conditions of dyslexia and ADHD. I’ve worked on weed. I’ve played on it, suffered on it, laughed, cried and almost died on it. I went through university using and never thought there was anything wrong until I realised I couldn't recall many important parts of my long life. In 2011 I broke my back and even the specialist told me I shouldn't stop using weed as it would help with my pain. It never did!! No one ever believes the stuff you can forget or problems you just put to the side and say “I will deal with it later” which we never do until the problem hit us right between the eyes. Thankfully to the Cannabis, Spice and Legal Highs Group, I was introduced to being around people who were able to support each other with advice. Through sharing experiences of using, I found that when I had smoked weed, it became difficult to draw on my short-term memory because of my struggle with dyslexia. Now for over the last 2 years I've been abstinent. My concentration and my ability to remember is now returning and I am going from strength to strength. By regularly attending meetings and contributing, I find I can give advice to people who find it hard at the beginning to stop. I have never been happier with myself and I am not controlled by anything but myself. I still have thoughts of using but I use my strength of mind and tips learned from the group to turn negativity into the right thought pattern, then the feeling goes. One day at a time is the best way to go. Never do it alone, because no one has to. Thanks to peer support and of course the group.
I have been addicted to many psychoactive substances in my life starting with Petrol Huffing when I was in my teens, alcohol became a big problem in my 20’s and early 30’s which I managed to attend another group to gain some sobriety. I have always had problems with self-confidence and have always been seeking some substance to deal with social anxiety. And following alcohol I turned to cannabis and other “legal” variants that were around at the time which culminated in a major relapse on alcohol in 2017 which very nearly killed me. Throughout the last three years I have struggled with my cannabis addiction and also an addiction to prescription medication for depression among other less well-known substances such as phennibut. Someone suggested I should try this group in October 2020 and with a great deal of trepidation I logged in to a zoom meeting, (if it had been face-to-face, I doubt I would have had the courage to attend) and was immediately made to feel very welcome, despite my severe social anxiety. Over the last four months I have managed to completely give up cannabis, quit the prescription meds and finally for the first time be free of any mind-altering substances, with the fantastic support of other members of my little family. Because unlike my other self-help group, CSLHG is facilitated I have found the ability to speak out more about my problems rather than just sit quiet building up resentments about my lack of confidence. It’s still early days yet, and often I feel like a crab without its shell but slowly with the support of the group I am starting to feel better about myself, though I still find it difficult to speak up and offer advice to others unless I am prompted.