My husband and I had smoked weed recreationally for years. When he died suddenly, that habit quickly morphed from entertainment to a coping mechanism to a full-fledged addiction.
What I didn’t know and couldn’t see for a very long time is that addiction and poverty go hand in hand. The addiction always comes before everyone and everything else in your life. Period.
Hindsight being 20/20, here are seven things I learned the hard way about how my addiction led to my financial ruin:
1. The Longer You Use, the More You Use
When my husband and I first starting smoking, we usually only indulged on the weekend. An ounce would last us a couple of months. After he died, however, I started smoking every night, then every morning and every night and then all day long on the weekends. And the more often I smoked, the more I needed to get high.
2. The More You Use, the Less You Care
After awhile, I was living from one high to the next, and nothing else mattered anymore, not even the job I needed to continue funding my habit. Before long, I had used up all of my vacation and sick time, and my days off were costing me money.
3. The Less You Care, the More You Lose
All those days off from work eventually cost me my job. My boss actually gave me the chance to go to a company-funded rehab program; they were even going to hold my job, but I was insulted. Still thinking I didn’t have a real problem (after all I was only smoking weed, not doing real drugs), I refused the offer, packed up my desk, and left.
4. The More You Lose, the Less it Matters
I had quite a few family heirlooms, some of them had been in my family for generations, but all they looked like to me were dollar signs, a means to an end. I started by selling one of the biggest items first, a grandfather clock. And while it hurt me to part with it, as soon as I had the cash in one hand and a bag of weed in the other, it didn’t matter very much anymore.
5. The Less it Matters, the More You Part With
Pretty soon, I had sold anything of any value I owned, and I no longer had any money to put into a bank account. In fact, I had been overdrawn for months. My house went into foreclosure, and I moved into my sister’s basement with the few meager possessions I had left.
6. The More You Part With, the Less You Have to Lose
Once settled in at my sister’s, the only asset I had left was my car. I found a part-time job and all my money went to gas and weed.
7. The Less You Have to Lose, the Quicker it is Gone
Soon, I didn’t have enough money for gas, and I lost my job. I sold the only thing I had left, my car.
Fortunately, my sister didn’t give up on me. She staged an intervention, and I finally went to rehab. It took me five years to to regain my independence and financial stability.
What I learned is that anything that takes over your finances is very dangerous, and it is time to get help. While the temptation for instant gratification is great, the only way to regain your financial freedom is to focus only on your future. By asking for and/or accepting help, you will be able to do that.
The Anaheim Lighthouse is a modern and effective addiction treatment center in Southern California. To talk to us about treatment options at our affordable drug and alcohol rehab that fit your needs, call (877) 959-5909.