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Posted: July 17, 2016, 3:23 AM
I wanted to share my story here. I don't know why or how but it feels safe and having read other posts, this audience is rather supportive then judgemental.
As I am writing this I am smoking my last bag of weed. This is supposed to be the last day I am smoking. To be honest I have days like those, more then I can count on my fingers and this is this year alone.
I am living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, known for it's liberal law on weed. My house is located in the centre and within a distance of no more than 100 yards there are 3 coffeeshops with a menu full of different kind of weed.
I grew up in Amsterdam and have been smoking since 18 yrs old, nearly for 20 years, since I am nearly 37. All of my friends smoke, every party you attent there is being smoked. In my 20 ties I enjoyed smoking, connected it to my creativity. At a young age, I become a stand in for a famous actor DiCaprio. People thought I looked like him (I never shared the thought) and I made quit some good cash flying around the world attending silly parties when 20,21, 22. After that career I created my own travelshow on (my countries) MTV, this made me travel to more than 80 countries. These young successes were always celebrated with smoking a joint. I guess I felt on top of the world being a double of a very famous actor and traveling the world with my own travelshow at the age of 24. I partied my a** of. Nothing could go wrong, my future seemed set.
Another dream of mine was becoming a pilot, a aviator. Also I felt that I had been smoking a bit to much and joining a world with no tolerence of drugs would keep me away from it. I also felt complete in the world of television and show bizz and wanted to fullfill of combine my other dreams aswell, so I past all tests and joined the Flight Academy. I needed to quit my habit so I did. On 1st jan I stopped and my first pilot class was on januari 2nd. The first week went ok, but the second week I became really emotional and anxious, I wanted to cry but couldnt so watched emotional movies to get the tears going and that worlked and felt great. But I also felt enormous stress and anxiety. In that same month I had to sign a huge load of nearly 200k $ to finance my aviators path. Signing these papers would mean that failing the education wouldnt be an option. I stayed off the weed telling myself I now had choosen a path full of responsibility. But something had changed. Where before flight academy I had known myself as a fairly confident, especially on entrepeneurial area with the feeling to be able to accomplish everything in the world, I now felt fragile, very very fragile. Fear of failure started playing a bigger and bigger part. I needed help. So my doc and he got me on lexapro (anti depressant) and therapy. I helped a bit but I didn't feel as stong as before. I approached each exam with huxe anxiety. This made it necessary to study harder and practise more to be way better than the minimum leven, knowing that stress and anxiety will trim me down so i will barely pass, sometimes having to redo an exam. Self doubt if this carreer was for me played a part aswell but my dream was flying and I was determined to continue. I stopt with the Lexapro after a year but continued feeling different than before. I passed the academy and got my commercial license with my first job by flying the air ambulance, delivering a heart or kidney for those in need throughout the European skies.I loved it, every time cause it made me feel like I could make a difference, I was suddenly a link in saving a life. Unfortunately I lost my job due to financial reforms and the air company loosing its permit to operate.
I didnt smoke for nearly 3 years when I felt great and felt happy about my life. Now I was 28, had a brief but bizar carreer as DiCaprio's double, then my own travelshow on MTV and then I compleded my dream of becoming a pilot and compliting a higher education. It felt like everything I would start would become a succes.
It was queensday in Amsterdam and my best friend offered me a joint on a party, and I thought whant the heck, I am good now. I kind of promised to myself to not smoke at all during flight school. Since I completed flight school smoking now was possible I told myself and puffed away. Before I knew it I was doing it in the weekends, then everyday. Since I couldnt get a job in flying as the pilotmarket was overcrowded due to the recession in the EU, suddenly life started turning against me successwise.
The bank wanted me to pay over 2000$ a month for my pilotloans which is fine when you fly a Boeing for an airline, but hard to do on a normal salary and puts a lot of stress on. Also my license, that costed me so much became non current and the costs to make it recurrent were becoming higher and higher as there was no airline backing me up. My dreams started fading away and I started smoking more and more. To pay my living I started a filmcompany where I was doing camerawork and editing for corporate movies. This payed the bills, but not the loan.
I managed to get a girlfriend that was beyond my dreams, a really beautiful girl. But smoking remaind my other love, resulting in a more apathic way of communication. Also I was often stoned when with her. Often she would smoke with me but not that often. That relation aslo came down to an end not so long ago.
Last months I have been smoking so much, it will shock you. Sometimes 3-4 grams a day, every day. My addiction costs me nearly 800€ a month and I actually can't afforded it no more as I am depleating all my reserves, rock bottom is only months away and creates fear, resulting in more smoking.
I feel like I have been on the wrong highway to death for the last few years and all the exits are passing me. I feel that this is my last exit to life.
This is how my life could look like if I manage to kick it. I still have a year and a half to renew my pilot license, after that my whole education becomes invalid and expired and I will be as much of a pilot as most people. Will have to do all my hours and training again. The next 5 years it will cost me no more than 5k euro.
I need and will stop after this bag of weed. The things that stops me is the fear of feelings that will rise up when I quit. Won't I feel incredibly stupid by realising to have smoked away approx 10k a year for the last 3 years. A total of 30k euro that would have made it possible to specialize my a** on a Boeing on an Airbus, buy some hours at a company and bet attractive for Airlines that pay over 10k a month.
I recently met up with my classbuddy, who graduated a year after me, 4 years ago we was driving a cab, now he is piloting the biggest A380 for Etihad. It was a reality check and extra sign for that needed exit.
All I need to do to get there is quit smoking weed. This way I will become sharp, will save over 800€ a month, which is a small 10.000€ a year. This money I could spend on flying lessons and the recurrency exams. and in a year I could have all my papers valid again. The money I would spend the next 3 years on smoking, If also spent on a ryperating Boeing or Airbus would actually make it possible to be on a track where my classbuddy is.
But the pain will be enormous for having wasted so much already, that pain and realisation often makes me fall back. I hate how the mind works sometimes.
I would love to change my environment. I noticed that when abroad I don't have the cravings and become the person I really am. Last year I worked frequently in Dubai, being there for weeks every time. First few days were crap, but after I became rich of ideas, worked them out happy etc..... so happy that I wanted to celebrate that feeling when getting back to Amsterdam, and did that by smoking up, with intentions that it was only today, but it always became everyday.
Anyway, tomorrow attempt 983 day1 and I hope i will succeed cause i really want to. Overcoming the first 3 months has always been the hardest part for me.
I hope to find myself back and become as strong as i was before becoming a pilot.
Support will be much appreciated.
Posted: August 3, 2019, 12:43 PM
Hey there, came across your post here wondering if ure still battling addiction
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