No more weed....here to join the fight

Postby noturningback » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:14 pm

Hello there

I am 27 days into my weed quit....can't believe i have actually said that out loud. Doesn't sound too bad really. But it is the hardest thing in the world.

Firstly, thank you to all of you who post so freely with your stories, your thoughts and feelings. Its inspiring, but also slightly intimidating. I can't believe how expressive you are. I have laughed, cried, and truly related to both past and present posts on this site. I check in everyday, but only now have i felt the courage to share and participate....this could be deliriousness due to a lack of sleep! I'm nervous, but I'm taking the plunge.

My career history of drug use spans 30 years. I'm 46 years old now. 1980's in London and it was hard to avoid really. I had a difficult childhood, and what started as recreational use, was definitely the beginnings of a self medication. Hashish and thai weed were my introduction. I quickly felt all my worries and troubles soften and fall away. Just writing this now, i can feel the sense of relief that cannabis gave me. My parents, and their dysfunctional relationship had stressed me out. I hadn't achieved my full potential at school, and once discovering the magic way to ease my mind, there was no stopping me. This flowed nicely into the party scene, where again i graduated with flying colours. And i wasn't alone in this. I had a great group of willing participants, and it was risky fun. I can see the pattern forming here. Avoid....avoid....avoid.

So i can't really put down all of the facts. As with everyone, its always a very long story. I did calm down by my mid twenties. I moved out of London, not far, but enough to see another side of life. I forged a good career working with kids with a range of complex needs, and really started to discover my passions. I stopped smoking for long periods, got back into my swimming, and was relatively happy. But the pattern to avoid continued.... I became a workaholic instead. I didn't want to look back and fix myself, or try to rebuild family connections. I focused on fixing others.

So inevitably my past has affected intimate relationships, and i always seemed to sabotage a good thing (actually, i romanticise....they weren't all good!). I have been reflecting / and reading a lot on this stuff recently. I definitely don't have the best of self esteem. My mum is a functioning (ish) alcoholic for this exact reason.

So about 10 years ago i started to smoke cannabis again. I was a social drinker at this time, but my drug of choice is most definitely weed. Initially it took me back to a good place. Back to when i was 16, escaping from negative feelings and gliding through stress. But that's not how it progressed. The cannabis of today, is another level all together. I know i smoked from a young age, but there is no comparison. So i became addicted, unsocial and only what i can describe as living a double life. I have been single for the last 7 years, and although i had opted to not have kids of my own, i am missing out on finding my soulmate. Weed is not my soulmate, but it had deceived me into thinking it was.

So i hit rock bottom. Depressed, anxious as hell and a shell of my former self really. I actually quit my job for the new year. I needed some timeout, to focus on myself. It will take a chunk of my savings, but this is a much bigger picture. I need to be kind to myself and unravel the good from the bad. Phew...I didn't expect to write so much here today....i think it's a good thing though. I'm 27 days in, and yes....there is no turning back (this wasn't what i was saying last night at 3am!).

Thank you for reading.

I plan to check in and engage in the fight. Its a big challenge for us all, but definitely one that can be conquered.

Andrea
noturningback
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:40 am
Likes Received: 7


#1

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Andrea my story is kind of similar I started smoking at school with my mates as it was pretty hard to say no and there wasn't really anything else to do anyway. This was mainly just a bit of puff but when I had smoked so much of that I couldn't get high anymore I moved onto weed which then over the last 10 or so years has just got stronger and stronger. I watched my cousin go through drug induced bipolar and still thought no harm would come to me then someone I know got locked up for doing some really dark stuff due to psychosis from smoking too much and I still carried on chuffing away at every opportunity I got. I am about 5 months into not smoking weed and can honestly say its the hardest thing I have ever done, I don't miss the weed but the withdrawals are ridiculously hard to deal with anxiety on a crazy level, insomnia, huge feelings of dread in the pit of my stomach. I had a slip up the other week, I felt as good as I had since last October before quitting and like an idiot thought right I'm cured i'll have a joint, I quickly learnt that my mind can no longer deal with the super strong stuff that is about anymore and had the worst evening of my life I honestly thought I was going to die for about 4 hours to the point where I nearly carted myself off to hospital. My anxiety is kind of fading now I have good days and bad days but I am definitely seeing improvements I am in the process of getting myself a proper exercise regime sorted as I am told this is the best way to help with the insomnia which is where my anxiety stems from, I obsess about sleeping every day and it scares me that the insomnia will somehow kill me. Mainly I just want to go back to being a good father to my kids or even a better father to my kids as I can surely only be better without weed. I think all the things everyone goes through when coming off weed is attributed to your brain rewiring itself having had so many years of your emotions being dulled by ganja its like they all come flooding back to slap you in the face to say hey we are still here and we are going to kick your backside for a bit. I hope you had a better night last night. Kind regards Owen
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#2

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Andrea my story is kind of similar I started smoking at school with my mates as it was pretty hard to say no and there wasn't really anything else to do anyway. This was mainly just a bit of puff but when I had smoked so much of that I couldn't get high anymore I moved onto weed which then over the last 10 or so years has just got stronger and stronger. I watched my cousin go through drug induced bipolar and still thought no harm would come to me then someone I know got locked up for doing some really dark stuff due to psychosis from smoking too much and I still carried on chuffing away at every opportunity I got. I am about 5 months into not smoking weed and can honestly say its the hardest thing I have ever done, I don't miss the weed but the withdrawals are ridiculously hard to deal with anxiety on a crazy level, insomnia, huge feelings of dread in the pit of my stomach. I had a slip up the other week, I felt as good as I had since last October before quitting and like an idiot thought right I'm cured i'll have a joint, I quickly learnt that my mind can no longer deal with the super strong stuff that is about anymore and had the worst evening of my life I honestly thought I was going to die for about 4 hours to the point where I nearly carted myself off to hospital. My anxiety is kind of fading now I have good days and bad days but I am definitely seeing improvements I am in the process of getting myself a proper exercise regime sorted as I am told this is the best way to help with the insomnia which is where my anxiety stems from, I obsess about sleeping every day and it scares me that the insomnia will somehow kill me. Mainly I just want to go back to being a good father to my kids or even a better father to my kids as I can surely only be better without weed. I think all the things everyone goes through when coming off weed is attributed to your brain rewiring itself having had so many years of your emotions being dulled by ganja its like they all come flooding back to slap you in the face to say hey we are still here and we are going to kick your backside for a bit. I hope you had a better night last night. Kind regards Owen
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#3

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Andrea my story is kind of similar I started smoking at school with my mates as it was pretty hard to say no and there wasn't really anything else to do anyway. This was mainly just a bit of puff but when I had smoked so much of that I couldn't get high anymore I moved onto weed which then over the last 10 or so years has just got stronger and stronger. I watched my cousin go through drug induced bipolar and still thought no harm would come to me then someone I know got locked up for doing some really dark stuff due to psychosis from smoking too much and I still carried on chuffing away at every opportunity I got. I am about 5 months into not smoking weed and can honestly say its the hardest thing I have ever done, I don't miss the weed but the withdrawals are ridiculously hard to deal with anxiety on a crazy level, insomnia, huge feelings of dread in the pit of my stomach. I had a slip up the other week, I felt as good as I had since last October before quitting and like an idiot thought right I'm cured i'll have a joint, I quickly learnt that my mind can no longer deal with the super strong stuff that is about anymore and had the worst evening of my life I honestly thought I was going to die for about 4 hours to the point where I nearly carted myself off to hospital. My anxiety is kind of fading now I have good days and bad days but I am definitely seeing improvements I am in the process of getting myself a proper exercise regime sorted as I am told this is the best way to help with the insomnia which is where my anxiety stems from, I obsess about sleeping every day and it scares me that the insomnia will somehow kill me. Mainly I just want to go back to being a good father to my kids or even a better father to my kids as I can surely only be better without weed. I think all the things everyone goes through when coming off weed is attributed to your brain rewiring itself having had so many years of your emotions being dulled by ganja its like they all come flooding back to slap you in the face to say hey we are still here and we are going to kick your backside for a bit. I hope you had a better night last night. Kind regards Owen
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#4

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Andrea my story is kind of similar I started smoking at school with my mates as it was pretty hard to say no and there wasn't really anything else to do anyway. This was mainly just a bit of puff but when I had smoked so much of that I couldn't get high anymore I moved onto weed which then over the last 10 or so years has just got stronger and stronger. I watched my cousin go through drug induced bipolar and still thought no harm would come to me then someone I know got locked up for doing some really dark stuff due to psychosis from smoking too much and I still carried on chuffing away at every opportunity I got. I am about 5 months into not smoking weed and can honestly say its the hardest thing I have ever done, I don't miss the weed but the withdrawals are ridiculously hard to deal with anxiety on a crazy level, insomnia, huge feelings of dread in the pit of my stomach. I had a slip up the other week, I felt as good as I had since last October before quitting and like an idiot thought right I'm cured i'll have a joint, I quickly learnt that my mind can no longer deal with the super strong stuff that is about anymore and had the worst evening of my life I honestly thought I was going to die for about 4 hours to the point where I nearly carted myself off to hospital. My anxiety is kind of fading now I have good days and bad days but I am definitely seeing improvements I am in the process of getting myself a proper exercise regime sorted as I am told this is the best way to help with the insomnia which is where my anxiety stems from, I obsess about sleeping every day and it scares me that the insomnia will somehow kill me. Mainly I just want to go back to being a good father to my kids or even a better father to my kids as I can surely only be better without weed. I think all the things everyone goes through when coming off weed is attributed to your brain rewiring itself having had so many years of your emotions being dulled by ganja its like they all come flooding back to slap you in the face to say hey we are still here and we are going to kick your backside for a bit. I hope you had a better night last night. Kind regards Owen
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#5

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:01 am

Hi Andrea my story is kind of similar I started smoking at school with my mates as it was pretty hard to say no and there wasn't really anything else to do anyway. This was mainly just a bit of puff but when I had smoked so much of that I couldn't get high anymore I moved onto weed which then over the last 10 or so years has just got stronger and stronger. I watched my cousin go through drug induced bipolar and still thought no harm would come to me then someone I know got locked up for doing some really dark stuff due to psychosis from smoking too much and I still carried on chuffing away at every opportunity I got. I am about 5 months into not smoking weed and can honestly say its the hardest thing I have ever done, I don't miss the weed but the withdrawals are ridiculously hard to deal with anxiety on a crazy level, insomnia, huge feelings of dread in the pit of my stomach. I had a slip up the other week, I felt as good as I had since last October before quitting and like an idiot thought right I'm cured i'll have a joint, I quickly learnt that my mind can no longer deal with the super strong stuff that is about anymore and had the worst evening of my life I honestly thought I was going to die for about 4 hours to the point where I nearly carted myself off to hospital. My anxiety is kind of fading now I have good days and bad days but I am definitely seeing improvements I am in the process of getting myself a proper exercise regime sorted as I am told this is the best way to help with the insomnia which is where my anxiety stems from, I obsess about sleeping every day and it scares me that the insomnia will somehow kill me. Mainly I just want to go back to being a good father to my kids or even a better father to my kids as I can surely only be better without weed. I think all the things everyone goes through when coming off weed is attributed to your brain rewiring itself having had so many years of your emotions being dulled by ganja its like they all come flooding back to slap you in the face to say hey we are still here and we are going to kick your backside for a bit. I hope you had a better night last night. Kind regards Owen
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#6

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:03 am

sorry stupid computer went crazy and decided to post my reply 5 times
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#7

Postby noturningback » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:54 am

Hi Owen

Nice to hear from you. Firstly, congratulations on 5 months weed free. That's a great chunk of time. In your case, it sounds like the relapse wasn't necessarily a bad thing, and that it reinforced why you needed to quit. So really well done for getting straight back on the wagon. You say that your main reason for quitting was to be a better dad. How were you feeling pre quit? Did weed make you anxious?

I'm 4 weeks clean today. A lot of the initial withdrawal symptoms have died down and I'm definitely starting to feel improvements in my mental health. My main issues are insomnia, dull headaches with brain fog, some anxiety, and sore /blurry eyes. I think (hope) if anyone is studying the effects of cannabis use, this site would be a great place for them to research. There are so many common stories with regards to the impact of heavy cannabis use, and the timeline of the withdrawal process.

I can see why the insomnia would make you so anxious. What is your sleeping pattern like now? I seem to have a pattern, where no matter how exhausted i am i cannot sleep until around 3am. My brain just won't switch off and i can almost feel an electrical current buzzing in the frontal area. Its hard to explain really, but as you say definitely some rewiring going on. Its almost like the receptors are begging out loud for some THC....but they're not gonna get it!

I'm reading an interesting book at the moment. Its written by a cognitive neuroscientist and former (heavy duty) addict. Its called 'The biology of desire / Why addiction is not a disease' by Marc Lewis. He's a fascinating guy and gives great hope to anyone struggling with addiction. In a chapter i read last night he shared some research about grey matter volume and how it repairs after abstinence. Using scans they were able to show where grey matter had reduced (this was from heroin, cocaine and alcohol, but very relevant to weed I'm sure) and how it repaired. The length of time specified to repair was 6 months to a year. Not only did it return to a normal baseline level, but it surpassed it beyond that of people who have never been addicted. I can't comprehend all of the detail, but his reasons were that abstinence requires sustained and seasoned cognitive effort, which will not only repair, but form new pathways and increase mental abilities. Wow. It makes so much sense really. Quitting an addiction is such hard work. This is a positive message and i think its an important one to hold onto.

This is why i think its important not to go down the drinking route. I could easily have knocked myself out with a bottle of wine last night. But my brain is working hard and it really doesn't need another substance to hinder the progress. Also isn't this just repeating the pattern? Avoiding the work i need to do....getting out the dirt buried deep in my subconscious?

Andrea
noturningback
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:40 am
Likes Received: 7

#8

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:57 pm

Hi Andrea 4 weeks is a good milestone to get to you have made it through the craving stage and the sweats and nausea. I never really had anxiety before I gave up apart from the odd bit of paranoia when I was lean. My main thing about being a better father is when I look back on the past few years I have been pretty much constantly stoned and it has made me lazy I still did things with my kids went on holiday played in the park etc but I can't help but feel if I had been sober for all those years then I would have done more with them or somehow engaged with them better even though I have a really really good relationship with them. I see small improvements most days now with my mental state my spells of no anxiety are gradually getting longer and I can pretty much instantly change my mood in the morning just by going for a good walk with the dogs. My fear with sleeping is pretty crazy as I used to absolutely love nothing more than sleeping I am literally petrified that if i stay awake for 2 days or more I am going to die sometimes I can rationalise this however. I can also relate to the buzzing in your brain it's like nothing can switch it off or shut it up not even the tv. Have you set up an exercise routine yet? The lack of sleep can be so draining but exercise definitely makes it better. Keep on going youre doing great
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#9

Postby noturningback » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:14 pm

Hi Owen

Thanks for the encouragement.

Yes swimming is my thing. Its something i have always maintained and its really benefited my well being through the years. I had to kick myself out of the door today as feeling tired and a wee bit low. Glad i did though. I had a good swim and a hour and half in the sauna and steam room....that's my healthy addiction! I felt a lot more naturally sociable too, which is a good sign of improvement.

I don't really know much about insomnia, because like you its never really been an issue. You are right about exercise though. Are you trying any relaxation techniques? There are various spoken meditations on you tube that someone recommended to me. It might not be your cup of tea, not sure if its mine really, but anythings worth a try. I use aromatherapy oils. Lavender and Marjoram have the most sedative affects. You can use a few drops in the bath, or apply to a tissue or oil burner.

I think when we get sober there is a long reflective period and it can be overwhelming to look back at the time wasted. You sound like a really invested dad and have lots more to build on in the future years. You may have been a bit lazy when stoned, but there are parents that are this way who aren't stoned. Be kind to yourself and appreciate what you have achieved. Soon you will have half a year under your belt and that's fantastic.

I think i read once that if you can't sleep its better to get up and potter around for a bit. I tried watching curling the other night thinking it might bore me to sleep. It had the opposite affect and i really started to enjoy it....not sure if that's a good thing!

Andrea
noturningback
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:40 am
Likes Received: 7

#10

Postby asgoodasitgets » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:22 am

@ Andrea -

Welcome, welcome, welcome. As someone who was a long time lurker, I totally understand feeling anticipatory in regards to wanting to post something so vulnerable online in a public forum. It is amazing how writing something can force you to organize your thoughts and emotions. Sometimes things come out in my writing that I wasn't really expecting. Writing it down forces us to admit certain things to ourselves and it holds us accountable, at least to a degree.

Congratulations on the chunk of time you have already earned, that's great. Welcome to the forums and I wish you the best of luck in your abstinence. I look forward to reading your future posts and interacting with you more. All the best,

-Alex
User avatar
asgoodasitgets
Full Member
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:43 pm
Likes Received: 98

#11

Postby noturningback » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:33 pm

Hi All

Alex - Thank you for the warm welcome. I have been reading your journey so far, the effort you are investing in your quit is admirable. You have reached out to many here and that will mean the world.

With regards to organising and putting thoughts out on this site, and how this has a positive effect on the mind set, well the proof is in the pudding.....i had the best nights sleep last night. There were vivid dreams, but nothing that woke me up in a panic, or left me trying to unravel as the morning progressed. Tonight may be a different story, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.

Well today, here in southern UK, we have bright blue sky and wall to wall sunshine. For those of you who live in a seasonal climate, you will appreciate how good this can feel after a long period of autumn and winter. There was a warmth in the sun, and it felt heavenly. I spent the latter part of the morning doing the first spring (ish) clean in the garden. This is a task that usually a) I would put off and painfully procrastinate over and b) I would be stoned, plugged into my head phones and hoping that i wouldn't have to engage in any chit chat over the garden fence with my neighbours. Today i used it as a time to reflect in a more positive way. I feel tired now, the withdrawal fatigue is setting back in, so I'll get these thoughts down and have a rest.

The majority of us quitting weed, will have tried and failed numerous times. There may well have been periods where we have had some success, even some long periods of abstinence and have experienced the pleasures of life without all of the anxiety, torment and despair that we inevitably go through when we abuse the plant. So what's different now? In continuation of reading the book mentioned in my original post, Marc Lewis believes that there is a neural pathway that opens up and enables us to make a rational and informed choice. When it comes to our addiction, this is not usually how we operate with our drug of choice. Many times, in utter despair, i have thrown away weed, only to later (even that same day) be back at my dealers, and soon home to the couch in pursuit once again. This is the same pattern as an alcoholic tipping their vodka down the sink, then later heading to the off license to replace it and drown in their sorrows. So its not even about rock bottom. There have been many of these through my addiction. Its a switch in the brain and i have reached a point where enough is enough. I just don't want to live this life anymore, and if i don't change it....well who knows. I deserve much better for myself. I hope this doesn't come across as too morbid for some of you! This is healing for me, and i just need to get it out.

Also instead of using the term 'recovery', he prefers to use 'a period of growth'. Recovery implies that you are going backwards, and who wants to do that. It's not natural, all human beings grow and develop. Sometimes in may just help a little to switch up the language (i personally dislike the term PAWS and really try to avoid it).

Anyway......day 30 tomorrow.....a month i suppose.

Good luck everyone. Even if you are reading this under the influence, you are making a subconscious change already.

Andrea
noturningback
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:40 am
Likes Received: 7

#12

Postby owen86 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:13 am

Hi Andrea it was definitely a welcome sight to see the sun yesterday. Did sleep find you last night? My insomnia has got hold of me with a vengeance this week and I think I'm only averaging about 2-3 hours a night which isn't great. It's weird but the only thing that seems to relax me enough to sleep is driving, so I end up going for a drive round Cambridge at about 1am after this I get into bed and I'm usually asleep within about 10 minutes. I really don't want to get on the sleeping pills but I'm feeling more and more like I should get some prescribed as all the herbal shop bought ones seem to do absolutely nothing. Hows your battle going? It must be really encouraging to see some light at the end of the tunnel and I should think the weather in the coming days can only help.
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11

#13

Postby noturningback » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:09 am

Hi Owen

Not a great night at all. I had a feeling i would pay for the last one. I stayed up till 3ish in the end catching up on some winter Olympics (the Canada / America women's ice hockey was so exciting....sorry Canada!) and then had to deal with lots of intense dreams. After being so heavily sedated with cannabis, some of these dreams are definitely linked into past regret coming back to haunt me.

2-3 hours is not great Owen. Are you working full time at the moment? With a family and dogs, that can't be easy. I am not an advocate of sleeping pills, but at this stage it might be the right option. You could use them as a stop gap, for a short period, just to get some zzzz's under your belt. Have you talked to your G.P yet? I know they don't have much time for us these days, but might be worth an appointment. It's interesting that going for a drive helps. Must be the motion. I might try that myself.

The sun is still shining bright, but we are apparently set for some heavy snow next week! Typical British weather....just as you think spring is in the air.

Andrea
noturningback
New Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:40 am
Likes Received: 7

#14

Postby owen86 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:18 am

Hi yeah I work full time I have a fairly strenuous job so I don't think I necessarily feel as tired by other things as the average person does but my missus tells me I have been to sleep but I just don't realise it (oi n my head I have just been tossing and turning for hours) I feel tired but not to the extent I should on 3 hours a night average. The driving thing is very soothing probably a combination of motion and the warm air blasting in through the heaters also gives me something else to focus on other than getting frustrated or panicky about not sleeping.i don't know if you have tried it but theres a few sleep meditation audio books you can download on a Kindle to listen to while you are trying to fall asleep
owen86
Junior Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:06 am
Likes Received: 11


Next

  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Addictions