A year without weed

I started smoking weed regularly not long after my dad died when I was 23. It wasn’t a coincidence. I needed an escape. 

For years, it felt like a necessary, if not healthy, part of my life. But eventually it soured. I became dependent and I often found myself swirling in paranoid, anxious thoughts.

For years, I knew I wanted to make a change, but couldn’t get there. I kept coming back in times of sadness or overwhelm. I couldn’t let go.

This week marks a full year of not smoking weed. This is a real accomplishment for me, but also – I’m realizing – a real loss. My self ten years ago would barely even recognize me now. In many ways, that guy no longer exists. I miss him.

It’s a reminder that change at any level is a process of welcoming the new and grieving what inevitability is left behind.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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