Well, I didn't transition so much. I transferred to booze... Alcohol is more of a destructive drug and I liked that, being highly self-destructive at the time. With MJ one must have connections and 40 to 50 bucks to drop on a bag. Or friends to go in with. As a homeless vagrant roaming state to state booze was just so much easier. So I got worse before I got better because I pretty much turned into a raving drunk. After getting away from herb I sorta lost the urge to smoke anymore. I started kind of young maybe 14 or 15 and I've noticed that sometimes people get into it and then get out of it. I think I had a psychological addiction for awhile back in the 90's. But my life has changed in so many ways its like that wasn't my life... I saw that in a movie that I barely remember.
Today I'm a husband and a dad and I have too much to do to smoke MJ. Even if I just did it at night I'd wake up baked and it would take at least half the next day for me to think straight again. I have a hard enough time functioning as is. I can't cloud my thinking with herb... it makes me mellow and likeable and my wife likes me stoned but I become a real vegatable. I've always marveled at people who're functional users. My sister-in-law has a Stoli & coke for breakfast every day (she's not a coffe drinker -her words) and then she goes to work as the bookkeepper for her family business. I cannnot do that. So I have to stay away from drugs and stoli for breakfast just so I can function on a basic level. But I am also happy now. Unlike her, I don't feel the need to get blotto. It's not an issue for me. The thought of using never fully goes away. I'll think... Hmmn I've got a nice big bottle right in the cupboard maybe I should spike my coffee? But I never do because I also remember I've got too much going on in my life and if I start down that road I can't handle it.
There was a time seven years ago that I got super depressed and I did see a shrink to get some pharmaceuticals. They helped me to get out of my mental hole. It was short-term and like you I'm not into meds. But I have an advantage which is I seldom remember any dreams. My wife says she'll kick or shake me because I scream and wimper and cry out in my sleep. It's the only way she can get me to stop. But I've asked her lately if I still do it and she says not nearly as much as I used to back when. (Back when I was boozing and not seeking any therapy and in denial and self-destructive). I think Puffer had a dream related realization in this post.
So, it can happen for some of us. The nightmares do stop over time.
PS: You know, reading over this I'm shocked at how mature I sound. I hardly remember the days I'm talking about in this post but in many ways I still feel like that guy inside.