When I smoked weed for the first time, I was with my friends. They were all veteran pot smokers, and they were more than happy to show me the ropes.

A lot of people report that they don’t get high when they smoke weed for the first time. I didn’t have that problem. I definitely got high — real high. The experience was unlike anything I’d ever felt before.

We spent the evening listening to Bob Marley, eating junk food and watching American Pie. It was one of the best nights of my life.

I’d heard that weed can lead to harder drugs, so after that night, I gave myself three rules:

  • I would never buy weed for myself.
  • I would only smoke weed if it was offered to me at a party.
  • I would never smoke alone.

After smoking weed at a few more parties, I quickly broke my first two rules. Once I did that, it was only a matter of time before I broke my third and started smoking by myself. Now I was getting concerned and thinking of quitting weed.

I really enjoyed smoking alone. It enhanced my experience of movies, music and books, and it helped me to be more introspective. I came to realizations about myself that I’m not sure I would have reached without weed.

Plus, it felt so good to be high, I didn’t feel like I needed to leave the house in order to have a good time. I could enjoy myself for several days with just a few blunts and a Netflix subscription.

The more I smoked, the less I went out. I grew accustomed to being inside. In fact, I preferred it. The outside world felt like too much to handle. If I smoked weed around other people, I became withdrawn, anxious and paranoid. I didn’t want to feel that way, but I also didn’t want to stop smoking weed.

The only thing that made sense was to keep smoking weed by myself.

Of course, none of it made sense at all. I wasn’t hanging out with my friends. I hardly talked to my family. They all started bugging me, asking me where I was and why I never went out anymore. At the time, I found it really annoying, but I realize now they were all just worried about me.

I started having trouble getting to work on time, and my supervisor was not happy about it. I got written up more than once and came pretty close to getting fired.

My hygiene suffered. My apartment was a mess. I made no effort to make myself presentable, and that meant people were also making an effort to stay away.

I knew, deep down, that this wasn’t healthy. I needed to get out into the world and start living my life, but the weed was dragging me further and further down this hole. I didn’t know how to climb out.

I was surfing the internet one night, and I came across this study that showed that people who smoke marijuana from adolescence into their thirties are at risk of developing a wide range of anti-social behaviors.

This really hit home for me. I started to freak out. I was high when I read the article, so it was a pretty exceptional freak-out.

This study was my wake-up call.

I decided that the benefits of quitting weed would far outweigh any positive benefits I was getting from being a pothead. Honestly, those positive benefits didn’t seem all that positive anymore. Smoking pot no longer felt as good as it did the veryfirst time I smoked it. At this point, I was just chasing after a feeling that I would never be able to catch.

Quitting weed wasn’t easy, and I definitely relapsed more than once. I had to ask for help and support from my friends who were former pot smokers. I also found these resources to be extremely helpful.

I also had to do some damage control with my friends and family because I basically dropped off the face of the earth. It was much easier to interact with people when I stopped smoking. My mind was alert, and I didn’t feel like I was trying to talk to people through a fog of marijuana. I could communicate more clearly, and it was easier for me to understand people.

Out of all the benefits of quitting weed, regaining my ability to socialize with others has been the most valuable. What’s strange is that when I stopped smoking, I noticed that being sober almost felt like an altered state of consciousness. That shows you how much of a pothead I was. Being high was the norm; being sober became the new high.

If you’re feeling like you’re ready to quit smoking weed, then check out the Quit Weed Guide. It has a lot of information and strategies that can help you.

The most important thing is to remember that you’re not alone. A lot of people are going through what you’re going through. A lot of people have also made it through to the other side.

I believe you can too.