Struggling with myself and the past - 3 months weed free

Postby Weedheid » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:30 pm

Really long self-pitying rant ahead. I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks reading recovery stories that have helped me a bit so I wanted to contribute and get some feedback.

I've ruined my mind from heavy binge drinking and smoking weed since I was 13/14. I'm 25 now and have been completely weed free since April 29th. I've tried to quit many times before but this time it's different. There's not even a hint of craving to smoke again, I was completely fed up of it for years but kept it up to self-medicate anxiety and depression, all the while knowing it was harming me and being ashamed of it.

I became reckless on drink and then weed the first time I tried them when I was 13. I can just barely remember feeling a general dissatisfaction at the boredom of life and concluding that getting wasted was the solution. It started off with drinking every weekend when it was not rare for me to blackout, I was a late developer and really small and skinny for my age so it didn't take much. I tried weed (hash, or solid as we called it, for the first year) after being introduced to it by my big brother because I wanted to impress him and his friends. I didn't like it at all maybe the first 10 times, it just made me feel nauseous and sleepy but I was told that was normal and that I would eventually enjoy it. Then it became part of the weekend routine and a daily activity during the summer holidays. I'd smoke and smoke until my head spun and one more draw would make me spew.

I don't think since then I've smoked even one joint and haven't got panicky/paranoid/anxious but I kept doing it anyway because mixed with drink (nearly always combined the two) those feelings eventually subsided and I started to want to explore the weird thoughts and high of it. I'd do anything to alter my consciousness because it was different from being bored. I used to find it baffling when people say they are quitting after X amount of years because it's making them anxious and depressed - I had that from day one. I realise now I should have heeded those signs and had a bit more about me to resist the peer pressure. As well, I've been anxious and prone to periods of low mood as long as I can remember so it's always basically been a form of self-medicating. I read today about how premature babies born below 1kg are more likely to have low IQ, suffer from social and mental health issues and struggle in adulthood with careers and relationships. Well that's me too, I was born a month early with no finger nails and weighed less than a bag of sugar. I think it would be hard to pick a worse candidate to start binge drinking and smoking weed in their early teens.

After high school I did reasonably well for myself, before the serious repercussions of my wasted youth took effect, as I went to uni at 16 (smoking and drinking becoming an almost daily habit from then) and managed to graduate with a good degree while holding down a job. I wanted to quit probably from 18 onward and never managed to get past a month. My anxiety had become quite severe, even developing a tremor, and my focus was suffering. My drug use broadened as it does for most, experimenting with all sorts and having intense week long binges at musical festivals and in Amsterdam. I crammed the whole way through my studies, had a few resits and nearly dropped out a couple of times. I couldn't have done it without very supportive friends and parents.

Upon graduating at 20 I moved back to live with my parents and took a year out to do odd jobs and figure out what to do with my degree, something I should have been preparing for towards the end of uni. It was at this time I started to feel really depressed and unable to cope with the constant anxiety, of course I was still smoking all the time. It's also when, looking back, the cognitive difficulties I experience to this day became very apparent. I managed to pull myself out of that slump when I got a job related to my degree. I knew I had to take it seriously so I actually managed to limit weed to only weekends for the first 6 or so months. I found it hard to do the simple entry level jobs I was given and to socialise or work with anyone older than me but I managed to get by through hard work and the right attitude. As soon as I relaxed a little I started smoking daily again. I'd go to work the next morning fogged out and make so many silly mistakes. I knew I was slipping again so I moved out of my parents to a big city. Instead of refocusing I found a group of like minded **** ups and started up the binge lifestyle I was so attuned to.

I developed IBS around then and panicked the symptoms were indicators of a fatal disease despite doctors, friends and parents telling me otherwise, multiple times. I wouldn't listen to anyone and was unable to rationalise my situation in the slightest. I wonder how I would have reacted if I had any sort of executive function and hadn't only ever dealt with difficult emotions by shutting them out with alcohol and weed. I quickly spiralled into a six month phase of depression and anxiety that resulted in hundreds wasted on medical fees and a prescription of anti-depressants. I recovered from that episode with the ADs and accepted the diagnosis of IBS but resumed smoking and drinking while still on them (how stupid can you get?). After they ran out I crashed a little bit and upped my weed use. I distinctly remember a switch in my mindset and energy at that point. It's like I mentally checked out and stopped trying in any aspect of life. Every little thing became daunting and I was constantly fatigued. I've been like that since but it's normal now because I can't remember any part of the old me.

I gradually declined in performance at my job and became completely stagnant. My relationships also started to suffer as I became aloof and lashed out at friends as a front for how worthless and stupid I really felt. I left there at the end of March this year and quit weed a month later. I've not been able to find a new job yet. I'm not really hopeful of a recovery of my cognitive capacity. I've been too long this way and the damage is done (I've read the research for early onset drink and drug abuse, I feel it's denial at this stage to put it down to PAWS). I have an attention span of about 30 seconds, can't make connections between my memory and new experiences, always spaced out, my mind is either completely dead or filled with anxiety and self-monitoring, forget what I was doing 2 seconds ago, processing the simplest of tasks feels like swimming in molasses, have no spatial ability (actually struggled to fit the sim card in my phone the other day, it's like failing at the shapes and holes puzzle they give infants), emotionally immature and egotistical, have zero motivation, live minute to minute on impulse and compulsion, struggle to follow instructions and at reading compression, unable to learn anything new or think of complex abstract ideas, the list goes on and on. My long term memory is just a short series of out of order snapshots. I can't clearly remember anything (no conversations or specific details) from since I was 13, including my education and what I did last weekend.

The worst part is knowing I've done this to myself. I always thought I was smarter than I was, could get away with it and was making the most of my youth. My Dad would warn me of what would happen if I smoked weed and I could tell he was so disappointed. It hurts speaking to him today knowing that I've repaid his perfectly fine parenting with a stunted man child. I want to apologise and tell him I should have listened but he would think I'm even more of a dimwit for dwelling on it. I fear for what sort of future I can expect. Will I have to start a new career in a less mentally demanding profession? Will I have a proper relationship with a woman (not had girlfriend since 14)? Will I be able to learn to drive? I fantasise daily about going back in time and doing it all over again. We get one chance and it feels like I've blown it. I find it seriously difficult to come to terms with what I am now and move on.

I'm currently in counselling but it doesn't really help and I'm going to see the GP next week to ask if anything can be done about my situation in terms of medication. I'm not hopeful though, it's like asking for help for being thick. I'm trying to meditate, exercise, read and learn new skills related to my career but I'm unable to persevere with anything past a couple of days. I just want to stay in bed all day but even there I'm tormented by intense, extremely vivid anxiety dreams.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice on what I could say to my GP or if they've experienced the same sense of loss and how they came to cope with it. I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel right now.

Thanks if you've read that depressing sh***.
Weedheid
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:28 pm
Likes Received: 0


#1

Postby Soberchic » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:18 am

Nice to hear you...i have almost 11 months and i was a heavy smoker for 18 yrs.. I also had other addiction and alcohol issues but havent used those substances for over 5 yrs. I felt like things started to turn around at 8 months.. Im on prozac just to help with the crazy moods and depression but im hoping ill get off in 6 months.. The only suggestion i have is to stay abstinent and with time you will feel better..everyone is different. It took me a long time abd i didnt realize weed had paws effect that strong even after 4 months of quitting. Hang in there no matter what or how you feel..
Soberchic
Full Member
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:49 am
Likes Received: 44

#2

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:43 pm

HI Weedheid
3 months is not a long time in terms of 11 years of weed and alcohol abuse. It took me till the 8 month mark to see real results from being clean.
I fantasise daily about going back in time and doing it all over again. We get one chance and it feels like I've blown it. I find it seriously difficult to come to terms with what I am now and move on.

I did that for the first 5 months, constantly looking back and putting my self down for my past mistakes. You have to let it go, whats done is done, you can't take it back, and you can't move forward if you're constantly looking behind you.

We get one chance and it feels like I've blown it

No you get another chance each and every day you wake up, it just depends what you do with it. You can spend it wallowing in your past mistakes or you can spend it building a better future for your self, the choice is yours. Don't get me wrong I know its hard and I spent the first 5 months doing just that so I really can't judge you but my advice is get your head out of the past and plant it firmly in what you can do now to improve your future. My advice would be to give up all drugs for the the time being and that includes alcohol. Accept that it's going to take from 8 months to a year to feel better and get your brain function back, exercise, eat healthy, meditate and most of all be kind to your self during this period of recovery. Not all your days will be bad so accept the bad ones and enjoy the good ones and in 4 or 5 months you'll be amazed at how far you've come and how good you feel.
Good luck and stay strong.
cleanofgreen
Full Member
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:53 am
Likes Received: 73

#3

Postby Weedheid » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:53 pm

Well done Soberchic on those 5 years. How are you feeling apart from the mood swings? I read your 10 months post where you said you saw real changes mentally, do you have any specifics? What age did you start?

cleanofgreen, I'm trying to let it go and accept the past but it's hard when my current situation is so dire. I agree with you 100% though and I suppose I'm partly using it as an excuse to give up in the present. Still it's comforting knowing you felt sort of the same at a point, just wish I had as mature a mindset and practical way of thinking about it.

No you get another chance each and every day you wake up, it just depends what you do with it.


I will remind myself of that in the morning when the anxiety hits and when I'm moping and procrastinating. It's true and I need to start believing it. Mostly stopped drinking but there's a few times I fooled myself it would help then ended up drunk and feeling worse than before. Other than that I've been on nothing but alcohol free beer. I do feel better than I did 3 months ago in terms of my mood, it's just the cognitive stuff that seems the same. What's the point in life if I can't contribute or socialise? I feel brain dead sometimes. I worry it's irreversible as that's what research seems to suggest for people who regularly use before 17/18. Especially the verbal stuff, just can't seem to string a sentence together or remember simple words. But as you say, try to enjoy the good days and I can't deny some have been better than others.

Will keep that 8 month mark in mind and make more of an effort for now. Thanks a lot for the support and advice.
Weedheid
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:28 pm
Likes Received: 0

#4

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:15 pm

Hey Weeheid
What's the point in life if I can't contribute or socialise? I feel brain dead sometimes. I worry it's irreversible as that's what research seems to suggest for people who regularly use before 17/18. Especially the verbal stuff, just can't seem to string a sentence together or remember simple words.


Many people here have had the same symptoms and thoughts about weather their brains would ever recover me included. Below is a summary of biggiesize posts which helped me when I had doubts. I know he didn't start smoking till his 20's but I have read some threads here where people who started young have recovered but can't seem to remember there names.Someone else might chime in if they can help.

Good summary of biggiesize posts on brain recovering over 8 months
http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=80881&p=740732#p740732
cleanofgreen
Full Member
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:53 am
Likes Received: 73

#5

Postby Olsen42 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:49 pm

You have a job.

Your job is to stay sober and recover mentally. Constantly hazed mind combined with anxiety and depression makes a person unable to properly function. Depression which you have now is constantly lying to you that you are unable to do anything, everything is difficult, everything is tiring, everything is pointless and everything is scary. You will recover from that. Perhaps it is time to get back to antidepressants, even just for 6/12 months (no benzos like xanax though, cause they will addict the sh** out of you). Also, you're pretty young. You'll be 30 in 5 years, imagine what kind of person can you be at that point when you'll be 5 years clean.

I have a similar story to you. I've smoked the sh** out of myself since i was 15. At some point developed serious anxiety during smoking, which didn't want to disappear when I've quit - it got only worse. So I went on antidepressants and guess what I did. I came back to smoking. The anxiety during smoking was significantly lesser and when sober it pretty much didn't exist since I was constantly hazed. I went on hard binge smoking for years combined with taking medicine. I've tried quitting but never got past 3 months. At one point this year I've quit both weed and meds and this put in the worst anxiety and depression mindset I've ever had in my life. Started crying daily like a toddler in front of my girlfriend. Wasn't able to hold a job, meet with friends, do anything. So the doctor gave me new meds, they worked and guess what I did. You know the answer, started smoking again. Few months later I was in the same situation again - feeling crazy.

Now I'm close to 4 months clear, which is a life record for me. When you look at it from a perspective - it's really pathetic to be sober for only 4 months and it being a life record. Im on meds, clean of weed, still feel pretty shitty sometimes, still cry sometimes, but there are good moments, when im confident, sociable, with a sharp mind. Don't be scared to talk to your parents about your problem, would you want your child to feel lost and scared in this world? Cry the sh** out of yourself in front of them, admit you f***ed up a lot, that your dad was right the whole time. Maybe they will understand, maybe they won't. My parents are rather conservative and their only solution to depression is "get your sh** together". You got nothing to lose. Stay the **** clean, write a memoir to your future self about how you feel now. Because this addiction is a bitch. I've seen weed put my friends in mental hospitals, one of them jumped out from the 4th floor, most of them are getting anxiety attacks when smoking. And even knowing all this I'm still tempted to go back to weed when I have the better days. But I can't. And you can't neither.
Olsen42
New Member
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 2:32 pm
Likes Received: 3

#6

Postby cleanofgreen » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:51 am

Perhaps it is time to get back to antidepressants, even just for 6/12 months (no benzos like xanax though, cause they will addict the sh** out of you).


I think people are too quick to go down the medication route. We got into this mess because we sought instant gratification by smoking weed to hide from our own emotions. The take a magic pill for everything just doesn't work. I know that its necessary in some cases (if your suicidal with plans) or can't manage to get out of bed every day but I believe that doctors are over prescribing anti-depressants and that replacing one mind altering drug with another is just prolonging the recovery process. Intense exercise is the key to getting through this.

Good Luck and stay strong.
cleanofgreen
Full Member
 
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:53 am
Likes Received: 73

#7

Postby peabody1180@gmail.com » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:20 am

Way to go!!! Three months weed free!!!!
peabody1180@gmail.com
Junior Member
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:29 am
Likes Received: 2



  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Addictions