How lockdown helped me kick my cannabis habit - beauty influencer opens up about dependency
PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 October 2020 | UPDATED: 20:55 24 October 2020
Georgie Aldous recounts his story of marijuana dependency with wide-eyed disbelief from behind a sparkly gem-encrusted face mask.
On the outside his painted smile hid a secret he hoped his 40,000 Instagram fans - many of them young teenage girls - would never discover.
In the end he had to tell them - the drug had consumed his every waking thought, plunged him thousands of pounds into debt, and made him eat like a horse fuelling his body dysmorphia.
Aside from the obvious criminality - it is an illegal class B drug - smoking was blighting his life.
The turning point came when he realised he was the only one that wanted to carry on - when everyone else was ready for bed, he was always up for one more.
He had gone too far, spent too much, and was no longer in control of his cravings.
Giving up has meant leaving his friendship group and rediscovering the simple pleasures of staying home with family and watching TV - and luckily there was little else to do during lockdown.
Instead he channelled his energy into creating a new beauty palette and it launches on Monday (October 26) - a rainbow of shades that reflects his new life and the journey getting there.
He has been clean for three months and 15 days.
His bank balance looks healthier, and so does he.
And instead of being ashamed of his dependency (he resists the word “addiction”) he wants to warn others about what happens when the buzz fades.
“It had been fun, but I had to give it up to focus on a better life,” he said.
“Other people would want to stop and I would want to carry on. The more I had the more I needed it.
“The dependency comes in when you are thinking about it 24/7.
“As soon as I came home from work I would change and go out. I did not spend any time with my parents.
“It started with the odd one at 14, and picked up a bit at 16.”
In the end he could spend up to £200 in a week. Now the smoke-free app that has helped him quit says he is racking up an annual saving of £3,650.
He also moved on to smoking cigarettes alongside cannabis.
“I don’t judge what other people do but people do not understand how it can actually affect you. It became a vicious circle of smoking and eating.”
Another trigger was going to the gym and being shocked at his lack of fitness and stamina.
“I just thought I was ruining myself inside at the age of 22. I was coughing up all this brown stuff and could not go on the treadmill.
“I have been hiding it for so many years from my followers. I want them to know if they are going through the same thing and do not want to take part they do not have to.
“Now I’m getting up earlier, am not paranoid, and am eating a lot better.
“I am thankful we had a lockdown, it forced me to stay in.
“It is a different world I never want to go back to.”
Giving up also meant splitting from friends, a tough but necessary decision.
His latest own-brand palette reflects his journey.
Called Comfort Zone it features shades with names like debt free, grounded, cha-ching, euphoric, and defeated.
It follows the success of his previous eyeshadow creation which sold out.
“I am just trying to make something of myself,” he said. “It’s not going to stop at palettes.
“My message to people is do not waste your younger years, have fun, explore, there’s a lot to see and make sure you have a good outlet if you are feeling down. Do not do something you are going to regret.”
Find him on Instagram by searching Georgie or Georgie Cosmetics. The palette will be available from Monday, priced £25, with a free gift while stocks last.
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