Not addicted, but daily marijuana

QUESTION: Masters, since years, I have been working hard on myself and my fears. It has led me to big changes, life (or I) seems to demand from me that I let go of everything I know and love. I try to take responsibility for my actions, thoughts and happiness. I don’t see myself as a very addicted person but since years I am calming the little lost child in me with marihuana on a daily basis and I judge myself for it. I seem to hold on to it like it would bring me the security I need, although I know I don’t actually need the stuff. I am puzzled with it. I feel I’m in the right place in the right time, but feel very tired and lonely. ~Tanja, Austria

ANSWER: Who are you trying to kid? Anything that you do daily is a habit, and when it is cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs—something that alters your body chemistry or affects your psychological mood—you are addicted. What have you been working on? Justifying to yourself that you are a good person and accepting responsibility for hiding from your life in a puff of smoke? Things look very benign and non-threatening when you get high. As of now you do need the stuff, because you fear being without it and facing reality.

You can always calm yourself, quiet your inner child or turmoil, and deal with your fears by choosing to have only positive thoughts and experiences. When you numb yourself, you are incapable of sensing what you are feeling or what the result of your actions is on your life and body. You have to be aware of the activity around you to react in such a way as to learn your lessons. “Providing security,” as you claim the marijuana does, gives you a false sense of safety. It is not real because you are not participating in the “real” world.

There are no demands being made on you at all. You have freedom of choice to decide how you wish to lead your life. You can continue on your current path or choose to wake up and deal with the discomfort that will answer your questions about where to go and what you can and need to learn.

It is time to get to know yourself as you really are, not with dulled senses and being cut off from everyday activity. You say your journey wants you to give up everything you know and love: in a sense that is true. In order to grow in awareness of new things, you have to let go of the old. You could not go into middle school, then high school, and then university until you let go of each of the old places that had become comfortable to you. You do not lose the memories of those old times, but you grow up into a more sophisticated person with each more mature action you allow yourself. But the choice is completely yours.