12 weeks clean today


Postby lefttheleaf » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:35 pm

Update guys - so I’ve had a very up and down couple of days.
Periods of clarity and calmness permeated by pockets of severe (I think) anxiety - one of which happened about 1am last night after going to bed around 11pm. Managed to get back to sleep though and woke up at 7.30 so it was okay.
Wondering if anyone else has experienced shifting ‘moods’ I guess? I say moods as it doesn’t really feel like my mood shifts. More the level of anxiety I feel - ie from little to a lot which then of course does have an effect on my overall mood as I feel pretty exhausted by the change and the battle.
I’m feeling okay now but for the last few hours have been pretty anxious and experienced quite severe depersonalisation - the former driving the latter i imagine. It does however seem to end quite quickly when it does and I get back to feeling okay ish but during the moment it’s as if it’ll last forever.
Hopefully I’m not alone with these feelings.
Have a nice Sunday everyone and please do comment as the interaction with people in the same boat does help. Thanks
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Postby lefttheleaf » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:26 am

Morning people,
Its 14 weeks today for me and I am going to continue to try and update weekly for the people following my journey with this.

I think for the first time in 14 weeks as of today and yesterday I have truly put to bed the feelings of potentially having triggered a repressed chronic mental illness - it does sound quite extreme to even say that but if you have been reading my posts I have genuinely been scared to death that I had started to develop schizophrenia. Alot of the symptoms of PAWS can if you look for it cross over to the early and developmental symptoms of this terrible illness and the mix of DR/DP and huge levels of anxiety can result in your brain playing real tricks on you. I hope this is a corner turned for me.

In terms of where I am currently at - as I mentioned; I have particularly bad anxiety peaks through the day; especially intense in the morning. My head feels pretty cloudy still and things just don't quite seem 'real' so to speak - the sense of detachment is still there but I am getting more in touch with myself and how I feel which is good. I then go to the gym mid afternoon and from there I am able to get a bit of a handle on things. I am still working full time and I feel I am managing work abit better this week (however the stress of certain situations definitely sets me back) and my cognitive functions are a little less laboured. So I am quite thankful for that.

The worst of the symptoms is by far the DR/DP sensations - these seem to be with me almost the whole day but I do get periods of clarity and feeling connected to the world - ironically at this point anxious thoughts kick in and I begin to question my sanity again - i.e. what is real around me and if I am actually recovering which is tiring. Its a nasty cycle which I do feel I am slowly getting on top of and I think time will make that easier.

If I could put a % on where I feel now for myself and people reading I would place that at around 40-45% normal. For the first 12 weeks I think I progressed from 0-30% (first 2 months maybe 0-15%) and the last week or so I have started to feel relatively that bit better to bring me to where I feel now i.e. 40-45%.

I am now starting to accept that I chose to smoke and drink so excessively so I cannot expect that I will just bounce back from a prolonged period of abuse. That isn't how our bodies work or how life is! Hopefully this next week will be a good one and I will update again a week today (sooner if things change or theres anything else to say).

Writing this (what I guess has turned into a blog) is helping me too so I hope it helps others embarking on or struggling with their own journey.

Hit me up if you would like to chat or comment below.

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Postby lefttheleaf » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:51 am

Update - not quite 15 weeks yet, that will be on Wednesday, but the last few days have been strange for me.

I have had periods of feeling clear headed, alive, happy, and in the moment - so much so that I thought to myself im here ive made it and I am free of the grip that the withdrawals have had on me the last 14/15 weeks.

As quickly as these moments happened, bang, i was back feeling anxious. I am also now feeling anxiety without any real thoughts along side it - so i will feel the physical feelings of anxiety and then if i feed that my brain seems to reach out to find something to become anxious over - generally its the mental health/psychosis worry that pops up but the good thing is i am able to rationalise this a little more and not let it get away from me.

I am also getting quite anxious in the morning upon waking which is becoming quite a regular thing now.

I am trying my upmost to practice my mindfulness techniques as and when the anxiety hits with the hope that without feeding the thoughts they will pass but as you can appreciate - this is super difficult to do at the times you need to the most. Intrusive thoughts have been up too with the heightened anxiety.

DR/DP - more so DR now - i dont feel as detached from my actual self anymore. More so the world around me at times - i still feel like i am living in my head which having had snippets and briefs moments of clarity and normality is upsetting me now as it feels like a constant, cruel rollercoaster.

I noticed that this threads had over 2000 views with only a handful of replies. Please do drop a comment down if you are on your own journey or have had similar experiences.

I am hoping that things continue to level out with exercise, meditiation and mindfulness as i am committed to never smoking or drinking again - I have come to terms with the fact that this will be and is a long process but its incredibly tiring at times especially when i catch glimpses of the 'normality' i so desperately want to retain!
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Postby lefttheleaf » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:05 am

Morning people

Today marks 15 weeks since I stopped smoking weed and 3 weeks since I started writing on here.

The past week has been very very up and down - its been my best in some ways, and my worst in others as I am being struck by the most intense anxiety I have ever experienced.

This morning I woke up feeling sick to my stomach, pretty irritable and grouchy and for the first hour was incredibly bad tempered.

With the help of some mindfulness, meditation, and with me trying to reconnect to the moment i was able to get past that and not let it ruin the whole day but the ups and downs of the last week have been severely upsetting and reignited the worries i had previously thought i had put to bed regarding a chronic mental illness. For those of you who have read my posts i have been pretty worried about having triggered a repressed underlying condition such as schizophrenia - which when i look rationally at the evidence i can see that i haven't but the worry and fear is still real at times.

Aside from these anxious worries - surprisingly the DR feelings have somewhat calmed down and its now mainly anxiety and mood changes that i am dealing with.

The cruelest thing i am finding is that i am now able to feel relatively happy, bouyant and uplifted for a time (usually in the afternoon once i have worked out and meditated again) - but this can change quite quickly based on my thoughts. I have also begun to wonder if i have bipolar however the mood changes i feel aren't exactly polarised - and i don't or atleast haven't experienced the manic high. I seem to sit somewhere around the middle (maybe on the low mood side of an equal footing) but I take enjoyment in music, walking my dog, watching box sets, and seeing my GF. But for example when i begin to sense an anxious moment approaching if i am not careful my mood can change rapidly and i can begin to think about and focus on negativity which in turn drives things further down. I guess some of you can relate to this.

I am doing my best to try and stay in the moment and to not dwell on the past or the future (i am having therapy now and i realise i have alot of deep rooted issues that i have used substances to block out) but i am sure as we all know thats a hard thing to do at times. Ironically i now understand that i smoked and drank as a short cut to quiet my mind and to allow me to be 'more in the moment' so to speak.

I will never go back to weed or alcohol as this last 15 weeks have been too hard and i have given too much to quit now but i am feeling quite deflated given i have at times in the past 1-2 weeks felt like i had turned a real corner only to be knocked back with a very hard thump.

This thread is somewhat becoming one where i feel i just blog and chat away to myself (which isnt ideal) so if any of you readers out there would like to comment or share your thoughts - that would be great. It would be very much appreciated.

Until next week/and/or if anything changes

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Postby cleanofgreen » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:45 pm

Don't worry lefttheleaf, it gets quite in here sometimes and not everybody posts replies to each thread they read. Keep posting and people will reply eventually and even if they don't, its good therapy to write out your thoughts. I've read most of your posts but didn't reply as I was short on time and only posted now as you posted on another thread where you mentioned that nobody was replying.

Good on you for getting to 17 weeks and for taking the gratitude approach to paws. It's a lot easier to look at the positives than to always be looking back and beating your self up about it. Look back once and learn from your mistakes and then move on. I kept beating myself up for months about the wasted years and it did me no good. The past is just a memory trace in your brain now and there is nothing you can do about it so best to let it go and plan for the future while enjoying the present as best you can.

Good luck and stay strong
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Postby lefttheleaf » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:48 am

Hello cleanofgreen - thanks for the post.

I guess I didn't feel like it would help anyone but if it does I am happy to continue lol
It is quite cathartic to be fair.

So an update - 17 weeks for me yesterday.

The last month or so has been one of ups and downs. I am able to feel happy again and feel upbeat and the swings of low feeling come interspaced with feeling okay and feeling quite good so for that i am thankful!

The worry of chronic mental illness comes and goes - but now I just accept it for what it is - an anxious worried thought.

One thing i have realised is the power of your own mind is something that needs to be harnessed as it seems to have a way of its own - especially with someone like me; a severe over thinker. I am finding quite alot of benefit in mindfulness, and meditiation but both of these are practices as opposed to remedies or fixes and a hell of alot harder than rolling a blunt and lighting up.

I am starting to realise that life is a journey of ups and downs and drugs - be that weed, alcohol, or whatver is just a way of coping with emotions and how we think and feel.

I feel for the people logging on here at the moment who are in week 1 or 2 or even 7 or 8 and hoping it will miracously get better - from 17 weeks in all i can say is that the only person who can make it better for you is you. Wallowing in negativity and indulging in it didnt help me at all - I have found alot of benefit in exercise, trying to eat well, and simply trying to be thankful for what i do have in my life - if you constantly focus on the positives in time i feel your mind will slowly begin to reshape its cognitive processes.

Physically i still feel pretty spaced out and anxious most mornings, and i have quite severe derealisation at times but instead of focusing on it i now try to just ride it out and accept this is where i am.

Hope this helps - i will probably update every 2 weeks from here guys so theres hopefully more and more good news!

Take it easy - and enjoy life for what it is.
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Postby ashthewarrior7 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:11 pm

You are on the right track dude, mentally I mean, this is the silver lining of PAWS, you end up getting alot more mature and realising how alot of your suffering is only in your thoughts, change your thoughts and change your suffering. Keep it up, I too kept reading your posts and don't always reply, but you are helping out the silent folks, keeping them company and helping them thread along.

Throw in exercise too and you'll be a lot better.
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Postby lefttheleaf » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:58 pm

Hey man,
Yeah I hit the gym 5 times a week now and it does help - before I smoked I would workout regularly so getting back to it has been good.
Thx for following this journey of mine and i do hope the posts help others
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