Is this withdrawal?

Postby jmh335 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:47 pm

Hi everyone, 8 year smoker here. 15-22. All day everyday 1/4 oz- 1/2 per week. Maybe .5g wax per day when it was available. I’m sure you know the habits if you’re a long term smoker, all day everyday.

I have since tried to quit twice. The firs time was for school. By this time I had smoked so much that I could no longer get high. Maybe first thing in the morning, after throwing up from withdrawals. Then all day just to not fee completely terrible.

Anyway the first quit did not go well. Extreme anxiety and insomnia. Sleeping maybe a couple hours every other night. I was also in a very stressful environment, engineering school. I still managed to get good grades but the anxiety and insomnia were too much. It fealt like it was getting worse, so I went back to smoking.

I then quit again with slightly more success. Very very strict sleep schedule. Actually slept every night. Still a ton of anxiety and depression. Eventually after that semester I started to not slee again. I then dropped out of school and started to smoke again. I was also put on an antidepressant. It doesn’t work. Makes you fee like sh**. But it does stop a bit of the panic attacks.

I eventually quit again but stayed on the anti depressant. I tried to go back to school. Grades went to sh** because of the antidepressant. Makes you feel dumb, tired, and lack motivation. Sleep was better but I was avoiding any and all activities and obligations.... So I went back to smoking again.... decided not to go back to school and work for myself. I now quit smoking and the antidepressant. The physical withdrawals of the antidepressant and weed were crazy. Lack of sleep, extreme anxiety, chronic vomiting, dizzy as can be, brain zaps.

After this period faded I was doing surprisingly well. Business was going great, closing deals. Sleep was still a concern but I fealt naturally tried and was sleeping every night. Then my business partner relationship went bad. The whole business was all on me. I was handling it ok but eventually the fear of sleep started to take over me. All I could do was sit in anxiety all day about sleep. Then I actually started to not sleep. Now The panic attacks started to come back. I was on the verge of suicide.

I decided my only hope in life was to start smoking at night. I quickly found that my body can not handle this. I feel terrible the whole next day until I smoke and a weed hangover. Also I have permanent cannabis hyperemisis now I guess. Even smoking a little makes me throw up the next day. On top of this I found that weed only makes me sleep if I’ve been smoking all day heavy.

So here I am again. I quit about a month ago. I’m back on the antidepressant but trying to get to a lower dose. They totally destroy my life. I’m back in school and it is so hard. Nothing bad has happened yet but the fear is heavy. I can’t focus or do any work until the absolute last minute. This is because of the antidepressant and all I can think about is sleep.

I fear the situation getting worse. I fear my insomnia getting worse. I fear the insomnia causing me to further lose my mind. I fear the insomnia causing me to lose my girlfriend (how the hell is she still with me). I fear losing my ability to do the one thing that can take my mind off of it which is exercise. I fear being put on many more psych meds (they don’t help). I fear wanting to take my life.

Finally, why I’m here. I’m trying to figure out if this will ever get better and my best course of action. I know long term quitters seem to say it gets better but I’ve made it to 5 months and it only seemed to get worse. The other thing is that I suffered from mild insomnia when I was a kid. Maybe can’t sleep every once in a while. But it didn’t bother me. I lived my life and didn’t even think about it. Not I feel crazy. I fee like I’m mentally handicapped. It’s terrible. My mind is still perfectly functioning. When I’m focused, my ability is just as good as anyone else. Also physically I’m in great shape. I just fed it’s inefitable that I lose these things eventually once The insomnia gets worse.

Long term quitters; do I have any hope?

Thank you to anyone that can answer
jmh335
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#1

Postby Wave » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:51 pm

Hey,

Firstly welcome. From reading your posts I noticed a couple of things:

- From what you describe, you are going through withdrawal/PAWS. The first three months are tough, almost tougher once the initial withdrawal fades as at least then you know its the weed, I remember at this stage you think "this will never get better" and it does, its just so slow you cant notice it.

- You are feeling quite emotional at the moment. I don't mean to point that out in a negative way but it is something to remember is part of the intitaly 3-4 months. I once made it to 101 days and then gave up as I felt it would never change. My longest quit is 15 months and can tell you as a fact it does pass.

- Sleep does get better, it does suck but go with the mindset that one bad night of sleep is going to lead to a better night sleep. I take 1mg melatonin even now as really helps me sleep. Breathing exercises without thinking to much. Easier said than done right but with practice it does happen. I like to think of it as I am learning how to sleep now I am not a stoner. Sleep herbal teas are good and most of all exercise.

In the first three months the only temporary relief was hard cardio. Gym, cycling, running it really doesn't matter but just to the point you are shattered. After a while it starts to feel like a good replacement to getting high, and gets you into shape.

HOWEVER, if you chose running do NOT run too far too soon. You have to step it up like 5-10% a week. I have injured myself doing too much too soon and this is very common. Always good to get advice from a personal training / someone you know how is into fitness as very easy to get it wrong.

As you can see in my signature below, I have quit and failed a lot. On proper attempt 5 but if it included all it would like 100+. I am 13 months in and can't see weed in my life, just such a waste of time and used to control me more than any other drug I have tried.

You are not going crazy, this is just a long path and mindset is so important. Try not to think "its been a month and I still feel like this" think "A month in, and the hardest month too! Done with that stage and slowly I will be free of this and can reach my potential".

You can do this pal. PM me or write on here if you need any more support.
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#2

Postby jmh335 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:24 pm

Wow. That helped so much. You’re right on so many points. The actual physical withdrawals are easy. I almost like them at this point, because atleast you know for sure that it is the weed.

The exercise point was spot on. I joined a gym and have been exercising like crazy. I run atleast a mile everyday (a lot for me) and weightlift for a total of about 1.5 hours. It’s amazing. You feel so good and can just focus on your workout. I think people in the gym must be like what’s up with this guy because I’m there all the one lmao.

Thank you so much. This reply was so detailed. Really helped me during this otherwise bleak day.
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#3

Postby Wave » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:02 am

You are quite welcome. This forum helped me so much and still does. I read so, so many threads in the early days of other people and coming back here when I was ready to try again gave me a massive sense of accountability. It is also great to discuss here as not something I share with many people and the anonymous side of it I love. My wife didn't want to hear on the daily how bad I felt when I was quitting each time.

There will be many bleak days, but in the early days (0-6 months) I made a point of really enjoying the good days or even sometimes good 10 mins / 1 hour. In my early quits I would spend the whole time feeling its hopeless and ultimately fail. Failing at 15 months is still such a huge regret as I made it though all the withdrawal / pain etc and just went back to it by choice.

Keep posting and its great to read back the early days when your really down to see how far you have come. I ready day 1 of my current quit about a week ago and the points of risking losing what I have (relationship / job) were so on point and how I can't stand a substance controlling me and feeling weak. You can't go through life feeling weak IMO.

Ultimately I got so tired of going through the withdrawal, failing and doing it again the whole process became almost familiar, but not easier. In a sense knowing what was going each stage but the feeling of had I succeeded first time on this forum I would be 5 years clean. I mean wow, so avoidable looking back!
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#4

Postby jmh335 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:01 am

Ya, the regret is terrible. So many times in my life that I could have quit. I try not to think about that very often.

Sometimes I think of my friends. Almost all of their lives are in shambles. One them is stuck in his room for the rest of his life. Won’t talk to anyone except his parents. Another has to smoke an absurd amount and looks physically ill. I don’t think he has ever even been able to take a single day off.

I don’t think I know anyone that has been able to stop smoking. Atleast people who really smoke heavy. Not a single person. It’s crazy. They say marijuana isn’t addicting. I know people that have quit all kinds of things, but not one that has quit marijuana? There was a point where people were telling me I made it. I was the one that was able to quit, I was the one that becoming successful. Now, after many relapses, those days are long gone. Not that those days were any good anyway lol I just looked good on the outside I guess lol.
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#5

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:36 am

Hi jmh355 I am new here and can tell you I am experiencing nearly exactly the same PAWS symptoms as yourself my relationship with weed goes back about 16 years smoking nearly everyday high grade stuff to wind down after work or at the weekend or just because it was a day ending in y. I am sitting here writing this having not slept at all last night. I am currently about 5 months in. It has taken me about 4 months or so to realise what was going on I honestly thought at first I was going crazy. I experience the same obsession with not sleeping as yourself and I have kind of figured out that my insomnia tends to hit me on a day off or after a slightly less energetic day at work. I have never suffered any kind of sleep problems before this and honestly it scares me to the point of panic attacks, I end up just getting out of bed and going for a drive at like 2am for an hour then as soon as I get back into bed I'm asleep within minutes. Like yourself my Dr prescribed me an antidepressant which I just couldn't bring myself to take as she told me it can make you feel worse, in my head I'm thinking sh** if I feel worse than I am now I don't know if I will pull through. Luckily my anxiety has kind of slacked off a bit the last few days but I still get in a panic about sleeping every day. My other half has been very supportive and will sit up with me until she can no longer stay awake. Having read through some posts on this forum it makes me realise that 1. I am not alone 2. This is probably not going to kill me 3. I have to get my backside exercising ALOT. I guess what really kicks my backside about the sleeping is I will sleep pretty well one night and wake up feeling pretty good and positive then will only get about 3 hours the next night that just brings my anxiety back with a vengeance. Anyway sorry for rambling on but I have been waiting to get this off my chest to someone else in the same situation for months as no one else really gets whats going on as they all just go nah its only weed it cant do that to you its harmless. lol yeah right
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#6

Postby Wave » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:22 am

owen86 wrote:as no one else really gets whats going on as they all just go nah its only weed it cant do that to you its harmless. lol yeah right


Yep, summed up to a point. I still have friends who are very heavy smokers that say they could stop but never do. Cannabis is powerful in its psychological addiction hence why mindset is so powerful. Quits where I think I should quit always failed whereas when I knew I wanted to where far more successful. I have reached a point where I want to live without taken any substance, never got on with alcohol and seeing how some people I know are dependent on it, feel I have dodged a bullet with that one.

Many people do quit, but I think statistically it can be quit low. That said, I feel overwhelming few actually really try and like you say, many I know still wont take tolerance breaks or any days off. At my worst I would wake up in the night and have a bong before getting back to sleep, madness when I think back....

Owen, make sure you do some exercise. I hated it at first but now my main thing I do instead of partying and smoking.
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#7

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:32 pm

Yeah exactly I know loads of people who still smoke loads and do other harder things as well and I used to look at them as friends and now I don't even want to be in the same room as most of them. I just think wow look at you wasting your life youre nearly 40 and youre shoveling Charlie up your nose all day and smoking weed at night to get to sleep. when you are in that mindset you just think youre fine and don't listen to anyone telling you otherwise but at some point it's going to mess you right up. Out of everybody I know who does or has done a lot of drugs not a single person has a happy ending unless they get clean and stay that way. I know myself that that's it now I will never smoke weed again, apart from the anxiety (which is slowly waning) and insomnia which seems to hit every time I have a day off or an easier day at work I am feeling generally good about the future now I know I am doing the right thing and that in time my brain will heal itself. As it is until I found this forum I really honestly thought I was crazy as they come and would be stuck that way forever i don't know how I would have coped without reading everyone elses accounts. With regards to exercise I notice an almost instant change in my mood when I get out early with my dogs and power walk for an hour or so it sets me up for the day I will be upscaling my exercise routine in the next few days so that I am giving my body what it needs. I hear that magnesium b vitamins and omega 3 are very beneficial also so will be heading out to purchase some asap. Many thanks wave you have no idea how much hope you have given me
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#8

Postby jmh335 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:25 pm

Keep up the fight Owen. I know how hard it is. 5 months is the longest that I’ve ever made it. I fealt even worse than what you were describing. I convinced myself that I wouldn’t even be able to make it another month, so I started smoking again. I wish I would have pushed through. Now I’m back at 1 month.

I still don’t really have any hope for the future. Literally the only hope is coming on here and reading that some people take a very long time to heal. It feels like a one in a million shot. The main thing that keeps me going is, what if it really does work? I think I would be the happiest person in the world to just be able to live a normal life.

It’s crazy how my definition of happiness has changed. It used to be the feelings of extreme highs. That’s what I thought happiness was. Now I just want to be able to live life. Simple as that.
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#9

Postby owen86 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:06 pm

I know exactly what you mean I think I would be the happiest man in the world if this buggered off for just one week. I tend to start the day with a bit of anxiety as soon as i wake up but recently as soon as I get my backside out with the dogs I feel much much better. The biggest problem I have I as the day wears on and I get to about 3 half 3 and I start worrying about sleeping that night especially if I didn't sleep the night before. Alcohol has never been my thing either and I have seen it damage quite a few people around me to the point where it killed my uncle. I do quite like the odd pint but now that this is going on it just makes me feel utterly crap as soon as alcohol enters my system, I think my body thinks wahey some chemicals and then realises it isn't the THC that it is craving and punishes me 2 fold for trying to trick it. I got to the point last night where I just got up after about 6 hours of just laying there with my eyes shut and that's when I found your post. You can do this you are strong enough and if what other people tell me is anything to go by then when this finally goes away life becomes so much better than before.
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#10

Postby Wave » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:33 pm

owen86 wrote:I think I would be the happiest man in the world if this buggered off for just one week.


You will eventually get to this point. What really helped me was finding someone at a similar point to my on the quit journey as added motivation. It can really help having someone there who is feeling what you are. This quit a member Ade,Wales was quitting a very similar time and helped me no end. In previous quits there were a couple of people who didn't fail when I did and reading them posting 1 year+ when I was toking again really help me get the motivation to quit again.

I always think, this forum is for addiction of everything but like 80-90% are here due to weed, that has got to tell you something about how addictive it is. I believe that prohibition has made the THC:CBD ratio so THC dominent that its become a hugely negative substance. If it was regulated and stayed with a good proportion of CBD it wouldn't ruin so many lives.

As you get older I find I am wanting far different things, and being free of any addiction is a massive goal for me in 2018, feel I am 99% of the way there and would be ace to be finally free.
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#11

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

That is a good goal to have and to feel that close to achieving it is amazing, I know for sure I will never toke again now my body and mind can't take the ridiculously high levels of THC the last time I tried to have a smoke I thought I was genuinely going to die for about 4 hours and I never ever want to feel that again. I have developed a sincere hatred for weed since all this, I know in some forms it could probably be used to do good in the world but not by smoking it that's for damn sure. I just want to get through this bs and put the whole thing behind me for good, life is too short to spend it either comatose or too paranoid and anxious to function. I am looking forward to getting to the 6 month mark as that will be a real achievement considering this time last year I couldn't have less than a 10 bag stashed at any one time without worrying about running out. As far as the way it is being produced now and grown far too quickly before cbd has had a chance to develop I think there is a real danger to a lot of younger people who are going to get bang addicted to high grade weed and just blow their minds completely off the scale it's a worrying thing as I know a hell of a lot of younger people who smoke like chimneys and they have no idea what they are in for.
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#12

Postby jmh335 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:02 am

Honestly I’m not sure where weed gets it’s reputation as a soft drug lol. It won’t kill you and you can function physically but it is pretty strong. This one guy I was with last year got high for the first time and was seeing colors, other people do crazy stuff as you guys know.

It doesn’t seem to effect you a ton when you have a crazy tolerance, just like any drug. An alcoholic could drink a case of beer and be fine. Opioid addict could take 6 percs and be fine. Same type of thing imo.
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#13

Postby owen86 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:48 am

I swear I hear most people just say oh well it's just a plant if we weren't meant to smoke it then it wouldn't be here for us. Goddammit deadly nightshades a plant but you for damn sure don't want to smoke any of that sh**. I know people who can wake and bake and go do 12 hours at work and over time it just becomes the norm to be high as a kite all the time. I tried this a few times but never got on with it, it was bad enough being tired let alone stoned as well. Anyway how are your symptoms now jmh335? I find the anxiety leaving me more and more until I have a sleepless night and then I spend the next day panicking that I won't sleep again.
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#14

Postby jmh335 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:27 pm

Anxiety still pretty bad. I only really have anxiety about sleep. I can feel anxiety in my body and wonder if my mind just focuses it around sleep. I really need to stop reading about it. I have a big fear that I will eventually be put on sleep meds and never be able to naturally sleep again. I also hate reading about people who don’t smoke and still have debilitating insomnia. Makes me feel like it’s just me and it will never get better :/. But, I’m still pushing. Just trying to do my school work and working out every single day.
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