What do you think about the most during your last couple of hours at work each day? Going to the gym? Playing with your kids? Getting ready for dinner? Getting frisky with your significant other?
Those are all perfectly good and healthy thoughts to have as you transition from work to life.
For me, at one time in my life, my prevailing thought as I watched those last couple of hours tick away was where I was going to take my first few puffs of weed after work: At home? In the car? At my friends’ apartment?
Not so healthy, not so good, considering it was my pattern every day.
But my excuse was I needed to decompress. My job wound me up so tightly that I thought springs would pop out of my ears by the time I burst out the door.
My coworkers wanted me to be their therapist, my customers wanted me to their super hero, and my boss wanted me to break the world record for multitasking.
The only way I could possibly go back the next day and do it all over again was to spend the waning hours of my day gradually sucking down the wonderful stress relieving properties of a firmly packed bowl of ganja.
How about you? Does your job make you smoke weed?
Erroneous Assignment of Cause
So you see what I was doing. I was blaming my job for my weed habit.
It’s like those times when my Mom would yell at us saying “You kids are going to drive me to drink!”
Now my Mother didn’t drink alcohol (or smoke weed for that matter) but if I ever walked into the kitchen and saw her guzzling the cooking sherry, I would know that we kids were definitely the cause of it.
Another way to look at it is through the old anecdote of the bad steps:
Child trips and falls on the steps. Angry and in tears, she turns around, points at the steps and says, “BAD STEPS!”
Never mind that those same steps had been there for 20 years in the same condition and had never hurt anyone. Apparently they had a personal vendetta against this particular kid that day.
Handing over Your Power to Things and People
When you blame someone or something for that which you do to yourself, you give those persons or objects tremendous power over you. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to do this because it’s the easiest thing to do in the short run but like all short cuts it leads to worsening personal conditions in the long run.
Back to my example of work making me smoke weed:
- Work stresses me out
- I smoke weed to relieve the stress
- Work stresses me out even more the next day because my habit over time has made me less stress tolerant
- Therefore, I smoke more weed and continue this self destructive cycle
The only way to break a cycle like this is to reclaim your personal power. Just be aware that reclaiming your personal power has the opposite effect of blaming external circumstances.
When you hand over your power by blaming others, you make yourself feel better in the short run by absolving yourself of responsibility but you gradually make your life worse in the long run by never addressing the root of the problem.
Addressing the real root of the problem can be very painful at first but reaps tremendous rewards in the long run.
What was the real root of the problem? ME, not my job.
Retaking Control of the Work Situation
When I finally reached the epiphany that I had to change myself to stop feeling so stressed out from work, I took back my personal power. I took control, rather than allowing the situation to control me.
I took control by admitting responsibility for everything I did to myself, including my unregulated weed habit. This was very painful in the beginning, but once I quit weed, things began to change, not immediately, but in a couple of weeks, once I had metabolized all the THC out of my bloodstream.
A couple of weeks after my last inhalation of marijuana smoke, I began to notice a few things:
- My coworkers didn’t seem to be so needy any more (maybe I had been the needy one all along)
- My customers were giving me more positive feedback (perhaps because I was meeting their needs with ease and confidence)
- My boss was less demanding (probably because I had started staying one step ahead of her).
So, if you ever feel like your job is making you smoke weed, I feel you, but that’s when it’s time to take a deep breath (of fresh air, not pot smoke) and consider what may be the real source of your angst, stress, and confusion.
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