A life without weed can be overwhelming when your life revolved around smoking pot. You’re coping with recovery and you still want to smoke marijuana badly. It’s a struggle to avoid relapsing and after quitting weed cold turkey or by tapering off. The marijuana withdrawal symptoms are now mainly behind you, you’re mending your relationships, and going to work or school. It’s a lot to do, and you’re bound to make mistakes. So you could have a weed relapse every few months, or every few years and a relapse feels like a failure. Then you have to go through cannabis withdrawal all over again. It’s frustrating and off-putting picking yourself up off the ground again and again. But, as I soon discovered, mistakes are useful if you acknowledge them, and learn from them. Only then will you start fully reaping the benefits of quitting smoking weed. Here are 5 mistakes you might be making and suggestions on how to fix them. When you learn from your mistakes, you’re better able to focus on how to quit smoking marijuana. If you’re still going through withdrawals our article on natural marijuana detox will help.

1. You Set Too High a Standard

You’re like an excessive dieter. You want to see improvement today. Perhaps family members are pressuring you for results. Or fellow abstainers are fueling your desperation when you talk to them. We all know the type. They offer quick and easy solutions to something that’s so difficult and complex. However, you know their claims about how they quit weed are dubious. But you use them as a blueprint for your efforts.

When you do relapse, you’re down in the dumps. Soon you’re smoking again. But as I tell many young people, recovery is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. You plod on day by day. You may see some improvement today but it could be several weeks before you see any more. But don’t get discouraged. In my experience, you change if you’re patient AND you want it badly. When you spot a mistake, reflect on it, then adjust and move forward, but at your own pace. Try not to judge yourself when you see a mistake, it’s human. That’s how to go from being a regular marijuana user to someone who can live life without marijuana. Don’t be rushed by others’ claims. You’re unique, so your progress will be unique. When you focus on your needs, you start to see the benefits of quitting weed because your daily focus is lighter and your head is clearer without weed clouding it up. For more detailed tips on quitting weed, see our complete guide.

2. You Don’t Have a Plan For Your New Life

You continue as you did before, minus the marijuana. But where your habit was time consuming, you now have too much time to spare. Soon you are bored and depressed. When you need to do something, you procrastinate. Many young people I’ve talked to, can’t relate to the present. They wallow in the misery of the past and they fear the future. So they’re unable to appreciate just what the benefits of quitting smoking weed will be. My advice to you is to make a workable plan. This way you get out of your comfort zone and focus on the present.

Work out your short and long-term goals. Map out a daily routine. Include exercise, sleep, a healthy eating plan, relaxation, your job or school time, and meetings with your support system. I suggest you also keep a journal. It helps you see what’s going well, or not so well. You can then make adjustments. It’s particularly useful to note how you feel. If you spot a negative emotion, address it before it leads to a relapse. So having a plan is important for your strategy on how to quit smoking weed. Our complete guide to quitting weed can help you quit and stay off of marijuana.

3. You Shun Help From Others

Family members may make you feel depressed, suspicious, nervy and paranoid – all the feelings that made you resort to weed in the first place, so you isolate yourself from them.  But as a teen or young adult, you can’t learn how to stop smoking weed and stay off of it on your own. There are too many challenges. If left to yourself you’ll probably choose something as unchallenging as possible and that ultimately won’t keep you clean. Family members help keep you accountable. They can offer guidance, direction and encouragement, and tell you frankly when something is off kilter or when you need an outside intervention from a professional. Family members can also enforce consequences when you fail to stay on track. So build bridges with your family. They can benefit from your recovery, too.

But don’t hook up with your weed buddies after you’ve quit. You’re moving forward in your personal development, but their growth is stunted by weed. Surround yourself with beneficial people instead. You can meet them if you join a class, or a support group, or if you do work for your community or church.

4. You Start Dating Too Soon

Now that you’ve cut weed out of your life, you want to fill the emptiness you feel. So you start a new relationship. Bad idea. Early recovery is about healing yourself. You’re readjusting your life, so you don’t revert to weed. You’re also dealing with powerful emotions linked to recovery. So you’re in no position to deal with the added emotions and stress that come with a new romantic involvement. Focus on your new life, your life without that drug. Once your recovery is on a solid footing, you can start dating. You’ll know when the time is right. Fill your life with friends to avoid loneliness during this time.

5. You Think You’re Healed

I know of people who think if they’re clean for a year or two their addiction is gone. So they stop eating and sleeping properly, and they return to the old places and people linked to their using days. They even think they can self-moderate. But they can’t. Their use spirals out of control again and they’re back to square one. All the benefits of quitting weed are gone each time, but they keep repeating the process.

I know from experience that no matter how long you’ve been clean, even 10 or 30 years, you still can’t take weed safely. The fact that you became addicted the first time, means you are prone to become addicted again. You can’t be permanently cured. You are in recovery mode the rest of your life, but the longing for a hit will become less and less and then only in some trigger circumstances. Once you’ve been a marijuana user in a major way, that risk may always be there.