I used to smoke weed every day to relax. After taking a break for a month, I realized it was affecting my energy and creativity.

·3 min read
Kaylee Moser smoking weed
I stopped smoking weed for a month and was able to see the negative effects it had on me.Courtesy of Kaylee Moser
  • I smoked weed every day to chill, be social, and get creative.

  • Taking a break for dry January helped me realize how much energy and creativity I lost when high.

  • Now I have a stronger appreciation for being sober and only smoke occasionally.

I've been a certified stoner for over five years. What started as smoking casually with friends morphed into a daily habit. Now, I grow the legally allotted six plants the state of California allows and have all the weed I could want for almost no cost.

Since there's no financial strain from daily toking, there are very few reasons not to smoke. I used it to unwind after work, take the edge off housework, and quiet my anxiety. The last time I took a long break was years ago when I went to Europe and didn't have access to any.

This year I decided to go extra dry in January and also quit smoking weed. It made me realize how daily weed consumption was affecting my creativity and energy levels. Now, I'm an occasional smoker.

Dry January gave me a reason to give up weed for a month

I decided to participate in dry January because I think taking a break from anything for a time is healthy. While alcohol wasn't an issue for me, it started to feel like weed was, so I made my January extra dry.

I didn't think I was addicted to weed, but I noticed that many times when I smoked, it was more out of habit than as a conscious choice. I was also suspicious it was the reason I constantly felt hazy, tired, and forgetful.

To my surprise, it was fairly easy. I hid all of my paraphernalia to mitigate triggers, and anytime I felt tempted, I remembered my goal: Don't get high in January.

The worst part was that I felt bored a lot. I was like a kid on summer break, all alone because everyone else was at camp or on a family vacation. When I did find activities to occupy my time, they were often work-related and not the chill relaxation that weed brought me.

The best part was that I had so much energy. It took a week or so, but there was a noticeable uptick in the way I felt during the day. It wasn't hard to get out of bed in the morning, even in the winter. I was more productive during the day, both in chores and work. I still procrastinated sometimes but found it easier to break out of that cycle.

The biggest surprise was that I felt more creative. I'd always attributed my creativity to weed, because when I was high, my mind flooded with ideas. While sober, I realized I could still form ideas, but now had the added ability to follow through on them.

Now I'm flourishing as a moderate smoker

While I enjoyed my experiment, I didn't plan to be sober forever, so I was faced with the sobering task of determining the right amount of weed for me to consume. To do this, I thought about why I smoke and found two reasons.

The first is to help me slow down. I have a hard time being content with doing nothing. Weed helps me do that without feeling guilty or bored.

The second is to mask fear and difficult emotions. Weed can take my mind off the state of the world, anxiety about the future, or the nagging voice in my head that drives me to want more out of life.

Going forward, I want to find balance. I love marijuana for the way it helps me participate in self-care, but I no longer want to use it to hide. Doing extra-dry January helped me learn to love being sober. It isn't always easy, but neither is life.

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