Success Stories

#15

Postby Sweetdaddyjones » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:16 am

Backbones... my quit brother... so happy to hear you're doing wel!!!

I honestly haven't been on this site in many months and not sure what drew me here today, but thought I would keep the positivity going.

It has been almost 2 years since I quit. I won't go into the struggles I suffered through in the beginning I just want to say that if I, a 25 year daily smoker can quit them you can too.

Yes it seems very difficult for some of you out there, but to quote an old phrase "the only way out is through". Some of us must suffer some to learn the valuable lesson.

I stand before you fully quit and healed, and 62% crazy. I have re gained all my former passions and gained several new ones with my extra time and money. I found a lot of good, helpful and kind people in this forum to ease the early pain. Just take it one day at a time, try not to worry about tomorrow or yesterday and you will succeed as well!!
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#16

Postby Bagobones » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:55 pm

Sweetdaddyjones wrote:Backbones... my quit brother... so happy to hear you're doing wel!!!


You too, brother! :) We made it longterm.. hehe, who would have thought. And 62% crazy? You sure? I am almost certain your 64.3 % crazy.. hehehe.. Apart from that I agree 100% with you.. :)

Proud of you man! I really am! I bet your kids are happy too...
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#17

Postby soulvice » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:41 am

Cheers to everyone that keeps contributing here. No success story is too small or irrelevant, so if you have one to share go ahead.

I remembered about this forum again today since the the last time I posted 2 months ago so it goes to show how our brains can be so fixated and in one state of not being able to get something out of our head, and then proportionately it can be hard to get that thought back INTO your head for such a long time because your brain develops thought habits that remove it from your short term memory because we know that spending too long on here/thinking about it can be a kink in the hose of our recovery.

All state's pass eventually so everything you are feeling now in your quit have faith that it will come and go in waves until eventually the waves calm and you end up with still water and blue skies and there you find your peace (sorry for so many metaphors haha).

I've just figured out from this forum that I'm at about the 6 month from that previous slip up I had and haven't touched the herb since so it is possible to relapse and still get yourself through that recovery again and come out the other side.
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#18

Postby BullFrog » Tue May 01, 2018 9:23 pm

Hello,

Maybe only a couple of you remember me from 3 months ago. I mentioned how my experience with Cannabis was only really 4 times in 1 week. I both ingested it via oil and vaporized it (I am a 34 year old male). Definitely helped me sleep and was relaxing, but then soon after I started experiencing various symptoms. I want to share my current progress to give hope to those who experienced several months of symptoms after only very little use. I know my case is probably quite rare (due to how little I used it before these symptoms came upon me) but after scouring many forums and comments on various videos, I can attest there are some who had similar stories. So here is a bit of a break down:

Week 1

Bouts of anxiety, dizziness, tingly in face and head, and some pressure in my head.

Weeks 2-3

LOTS of anxiety, couldn’t be present with my kids, always in my head, dizziness, 2-3 headaches, lots of fatigue, loss of appetite, went to bed between 7:30 and 8pm every night. Woke up MANY times in the night. Scared I was going to be trapped like this forever. Hated being alone, needed to get outside constantly. Felt constantly restless. The HARDEST experience of my life!

Week 4

Less anxiety, still had dizziness and pressure, a little less fatigue and appetite starting to return. Feeling much better overall as I wasn’t so much “in my head”. Would occasionally get a rush of numbness and tingling to my face when I would get anxious over something that stressed me out and feel nervous and somewhat ill for the next few hours. Still did not like isolation and would always go outside with kids and be active to get distracted.

Weeks 5-6

Anxiety mostly gone, but still a bit of fatigue but could now stay up till 8pm to 8:30pm before getting too tired. Appetite back to normal. Still pressure in head and dizziness throughout the day, but not too bad as to disrupt my responsibilities. Could now read to my kid for 20 minutes without getting dizzy where I needed to stop The need to be around people isn’t as acute, but still desirable and helpful to distract my symptoms. Would laugh now and be able to read, preferably while lying down as to minimize dizziness.

Week 7

Anxiety gone. Any anxiety I now feel is more about worrying about why I still experience dizziness and pressure in my head. Only one headache this week. Had a couple of moments where I couldn’t recall something (like what my bathroom looked like) and my memory seemed ENTIRELY gone and then immediately came back. Was kinda scary and resulted in a lot of pressure in my head. Can be alone now without feeling anxious although still prefer to be with people.

Week 8

Early in the week I had a brief moment of dizziness as I turned my head too fast and it resulted in several days of having more acute dizziness then I have felt in weeks and pressure still around but not too terrible. Can stay up to 9pm or a little later without feeling too tired, (but often dizziness and pressure feels worse the more tired I get). Can sleep for 5 hours straight before waking up.

Week 9-12

Progressively getting better. The dizziness and pressure in my head is "less" and whenever I do get some negative feelings, it just feels somewhat...different. As if my symptoms are progressing through different stages of degrees and types, albeit always less and less. So very good, but good sleep is still hard to come by. Long sessions of cardio and sustained heart rate elevation often create 24-36 hours of really good feelings and minimal symptoms. Also have an occasional moment where I forget what I was thinking about or, in mid train of thought, my memory completely blanks. It comes back within seconds, but is always a bit unsettling.

Week 13 (current)

Had another "rush" to my head that I hadn't experienced in weeks. Didn't effect as hard as it did when I used to feel these weeks ago, but still bothersome, has created a buzz and pressure in my head with some dizziness that had been absent for some time. A bit of a set back, but I also see this as improvement in that it had been weeks between my last "rush" to my head. I assume as my brain chemistry wires itself aright, there are the occasional hiccups along the way. :)

Overall, I am SO much better then I was weeks ago. I truly believe I see a "light at the end of the tunnel" and as I look back at this diary of weeks, I can obviously see improvement. Very frustrating that so little did this to me, but cannabis isn't for everyone. And for some, how it effects our neuro chemistry is different.

I will certainly be back within a months time to post new improvements. I am VERY thankful I haven't experienced some of the symptoms many of you have who were addicted to marijuana. My situation could have been much worse.

The posts by cleanofgreen and biggiesize gave me hope.

I even have occasionally prayed for many of you and your struggle. I really believe we all get better as long as we refrain.

:)
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#19

Postby soulvice » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:05 am

Hey guys,

Making another post here to keep detailing my journey. I had essentially recovered once again after my previous quit in November last year (2017), and my last post in April shows that I had forgotten about this site and life had taken place once again.

Only a couple of weeks after that me and my girlfriend had/are taking a break (end of April). This came as quite a shock to me initially and all the PAWS symptoms came back to me, the DP was immediate but over a week or two period everything else returned, the short term memory loss, concentration problems, the depressive state and just a lot of examination in my mind of things like time and existential stuff etc, I think all of these symptoms can be looped into the general headline of anxiety.

I think the most shocking thing to me was that it wasn't due to quitting weed this time, it was just a massive moment in my life and I think as I would be technically around the 6th month mark from my previous quit, that this could be seen as more of a "wave" of PAWS that came back due to this traumatic event that occurred.

Something very interesting was that my grandfather passed away only a couple of weeks before all of this and it hadn't affected me in this way, I was prepared mentally to deal with that and no DP/anxiety had taken over because I had built the mechanism in my recovery to deal with it, I spoke at his funeral and actually felt like I could deal with these life events now that I was recovered, however my girlfriend leaving me was something I did not anticipate and it had triggered a wave of PAWS which I am currently going through and I need to recognise that for what it is and not dwell on it like I have been.

Basically what I need to do is remember that I've quit twice now and recovered twice so there's no reason I can't again. And once again I have proven to myself how true this state specific memory thing can be. Right now it feels like I have never recovered, that I have never been able to concentrate, that I have never been able to recall things, that I have always had mind blanks in the middle of every sentence, but I know that just simply isn't true. I keep reminding myself constantly of times even just mere months ago, like hey you played this show with your band and remembered all the lyrics, hey you recorded this band and really got stuck into it and enjoyed the complexities of it, you listened to this murder podcast and got addicted because you actually took in that information and understood it etc, where as right now it feels like I can't do any of those things and never will be able to, but that's just not the case. I have done all of these things in recovery periods, and although perhaps my brain will never be 110% what it was before I started smoking, I do know that it's been at a very good I would say 90-95% state only months ago, and at a state where I was living a happy fulfilled life that most days I looked forward to.

I do believe that the further and further away you get from that day you actually gave up weed the more your brain reconnects/rewires nuerons and the more you are able to cope with these waves until they dissipate altogether, and I do believe the only reason I am experiencing a wave right now is due to stress I was put under in a reasonably early part of my 2nd recovery (6 month mark), and even though I felt fully recovered, in terms of nueroplasticity and what not I am probably not there yet so major events can cause the temporary anxiety related symptoms to return.

Anyway I know this is a massive post that I actually don't expect anyone to read, but if you did thank you and it actually has already made me feel much better about my situation just being able to write about it and as I have previously, look back it at in coming months and prove to myself that I am better than where I was before.

I think the main reason I wanted to start the success stories thread is to prove to myself, but mostly this community one thing that I have noticed over the last few years of going through this. Once you actually quit the substance, on a long enough time scale everyone recovers in one way or another. For the most part it seems 2 years or there abouts is a good starting point by when most people have returned to 'normal' or are very close to it, some people will be drastically quicker than this, some will be a little slower, but the end result is the same, I think your environment has a lot to do with this. Yes weed affects everyone differently and everyone's recovery will experience different symptoms, but if you look at these above stories and you search this forum, it is very rare to find someone past that 2 or so year mark that is still feeling all the awful things they felt when they quit, in fact we have many examples above us here just on this thread that prove this theory. I think the phrase "no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should" is one that is very relevant to recovery and there is almost always an explanation for what we're feeling and we need to use that ideal to realise that we are all getting better day by day and that some valleys in the journey can be much deeper than others, but in the end we all climb to the top of the mountain and can look down at the valleys from above.
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#20

Postby tokeless » Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:12 am

Hi and well done for quitting. This is only my opinion, but I found what helped was not putting everything I was feeling down to weed. Maybe it was just me? The breakdown of your relationship triggered an emotional reaction which you initially interpreted as PAWS. Yet, as you said it didn't happen when you lost your grandad... The difference imo is the emotional connection to your girlfriend was deeper and more personal. Being distracted, emotional, lack of concentration etc happens in such situations and as you identified had nothing to do with quitting weed. The battles are always in the mind.
Take care and best wishes
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#21

Postby wakinglife » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:44 pm

soulvice wrote:I think the main reason I wanted to start the success stories thread is to prove to myself, but mostly this community one thing that I have noticed over the last few years of going through this. Once you actually quit the substance, on a long enough time scale everyone recovers in one way or another. For the most part it seems 2 years or there abouts is a good starting point by when most people have returned to 'normal' or are very close to it, some people will be drastically quicker than this, some will be a little slower, but the end result is the same, I think your environment has a lot to do with this. Yes weed affects everyone differently and everyone's recovery will experience different symptoms, but if you look at these above stories and you search this forum, it is very rare to find someone past that 2 or so year mark that is still feeling all the awful things they felt when they quit [. . .] in the end we all climb to the top of the mountain and can look down at the valleys from above.


Hey soulvice,

You're making great progress and I thank you for creating this thread. It's important to see success stories, as there are lots of people who join the forum, post for a while, then disappear. We can assume that many of the people who leave do so because they've quit and are now ready to move on in life without staying focused on an addiction. Others might have slipped back into old habits. Part of the reason I keep checking in and posting on a regular basis (aside from helping remind myself of how far I've come since I decided to quit) is to offer up the perspective of a long-term succuessful quitter.

As for timelines, it is tough to pin down (as you clearly stated in the quote above). My general thought is that 6 months is a big deal (out of the initial agony, but PAWS might still be an issue); one year is amazing (feel like you can truly see the clarity of mind restored); two years it feels like the addiction has been put well behind you. One person I trust talked about the "half-life" theory of addiction/attachment, whereby you're still hung up for half the duration of the addiction/relationship. For example, a 10 year addicted smoker would need roughly 5 years smoke free to be fully out of the clutches of the addiction. I've found this "theory" works for romantic relationships. A woman I spent 4 years with was popping into my mind on a somewhat regular basis for 2 years after we broke up. Remember: everyone has a different history of use, and how they spend their time post-addiction will also affect the recovery timeline.

It makes me smile to read success stories like the ones this thread is curating (tbh, I haven't yet read all the posts in the thread, but it pleases me to know it's here when I need it).

Keep at it, and keep on sharing your own unique perspective. Sharing our true, warts-and-all stories is what makes this forum the top place online for people struggling to overcome their addictions.

WL
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#22

Postby mikeabbot » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:11 am

I'll be 10 months in on July 11th and I feel relieved. Since about 3 weeks ago I have little to no issues. Anxiety is gone. Still feel tired from time to time for no particular reason but that's about it.

Main tips: Get a routine and a positive substitute for your addiction. Sports is a must and healthy eating habits also (5 meals a day)

Take your time and don't rush it!!! It takes 9 months to a year to reset and rest your body.
I think this pattern is similar with majority of stories posted here.

You believed in Santa for 8 years, so why wouldn't you believe in yourself for a few months ey?

All the best,
Mike
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#23

Postby BullFrog » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:19 pm

Well i am posting again after 6 months of being off marijuana. Again my case was rare because it involved so little use and, technically I was never addicted but the effects on me were terrible nevertheless and almost life altering. Anyway, I again want to post this last update of mine to give hope to others and especially those who experienced long term symptoms after so little use. The last 6 weeks have been the best I have ever experienced. There have been several days where I don't even notice any symptoms whatsoever. And days where I do it is often only the slightest pressure in my head and dizziness that is so mild that it's not noticeable. Yesterday I experienced the tiniest "rush" to my head which I hadn't experienced in two months, but it left none of the usual lingering effects afterwards and I have just kept moving on with my life and with my kids as usual (oh and I had my third baby since I last posted!). So based on the given day I am 92-98% cured. I imagine within another 4 months I will one day wake up and realize I have felt no symptoms at all for the prior two months. So I can say we absolutely DO get better from the effects of marijuana. It's hard to believe it at the time, especially since you see soooo many people talk about getting through the symptoms AS WELL as so many who don't come back to post their final progress. I imagine the main reason is people feel better and simply don't want to go back to the forums to post and be reminded about their past experience in the process.

So here I am saying that I am on the verge of being 100% cured. I am 6 months in and predict another 2-4 to be entirely out of the woods. Thanks for reading my story and for those who offered there help. :) :) :)

What an amazing group of people you all are!!!
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#24

Postby Astro413 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Not to sound pessimistic, purely to encourage myself and others, but have/has any of you or anyone else actually beaten marijuana withdrawal/PAWS without the aid of anti-depressants, doctors, etc.?
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#25

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:53 am

Astro413 and others in the same boat as Astro,

here, Cleanofgreen. This guy is great. viewtopic.php?t=104410
I do not believe he took any aids, you can read his whole as he maintains a good timeline.

On a related topic:
Please remember, Everybody has their flaws AND weed withdrawals/PAWS can affect some folks very severely, there is nothing wrong in getting help, for example, if you sprain your leg, you can limp around for a couple of weeks and get better or get a plaster, supplements, pain killers, anti inflammatory and try to speed up your process and decrease the suffering (but in reality it is the body that heals itself, not the medications themselves). but if you go to a doctor who doesn't give you the right treatment, things can go wrong. Medical history on PAWS recovery is not great, neither is the research so don't expect miracle treatment and recovery because "you got help". IF The recovery medication/therapy/consultation help then go for it, if they do not then stop it and look out for other routes, but the best of the best and inevitable route is time and staying strong.

on another related topic:
Cleanofgreen mentions "you cannot think your way out of this one"
Your thinking patterns, thinking attitude, your sense of hope, your concerns and priorities are all thrown out of whack. way out of balance. so hang in there, you see even a small bit of recovery, then you know you are recovering even if every other thought of yours says otherwise.
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#26

Postby soulvice » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:47 am

Hey guys,

Just wondered if any success stories relating to particularly cognitive function, where someone had terrible memory/concentration and felt they recovered that through their PAWS journey.

I had essentially recovered my memory/concentration about a year after my initial quit, but at the moment it's so hard to feel like I actually did that because my memory and concentration is so bad right now. I forget what I did 30 seconds ago and i'm lucky I don't work in a high pressure job environment cause I'd be stuffed. I barely take anything in of what happens around me and I go to remember something in a conversation and if I can't within the first maybe 5-10 seconds then it's completely gone and I basically don't even know where I am, it feels like my brain really wants to get into gear but somethings stopping it. It's pretty disheartening considering I recovered from all of this to know that it can all come back, and honestly the only way I believed I had recovered is because of this site and my entries which was proof.

Anyway I just wondered if anyone has some specific stories of people who had terrible memory or cognitive function and felt this being restored in that 1-2 year period and if they could share those that would be super helpful to me right now.

Cheers
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#27

Postby Cthompson21 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:24 am

I'm about a month in. Anxiety is still intense and I'm hoping it fades soon. Thanks for all these stories. Reading them everyday gives me hope. "Time and patience are the greatest warriors"
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#28

Postby Bagobones » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:08 am

soulvice wrote:Hey guys,

Just wondered if any success stories relating to particularly cognitive function, where someone had terrible memory/concentration and felt they recovered that through their PAWS journey.

I had essentially recovered my memory/concentration about a year after my initial quit, but at the moment it's so hard to feel like I actually did that because my memory and concentration is so bad right now. I forget what I did 30 seconds ago and i'm lucky I don't work in a high pressure job environment cause I'd be stuffed. I barely take anything in of what happens around me and I go to remember something in a conversation and if I can't within the first maybe 5-10 seconds then it's completely gone and I basically don't even know where I am, it feels like my brain really wants to get into gear but somethings stopping it. It's pretty disheartening considering I recovered from all of this to know that it can all come back, and honestly the only way I believed I had recovered is because of this site and my entries which was proof.

Anyway I just wondered if anyone has some specific stories of people who had terrible memory or cognitive function and felt this being restored in that 1-2 year period and if they could share those that would be super helpful to me right now.

Cheers


I did, or feel I did. One of my biggest struggles during my first 6 months was bad brainfog, no concentration and so on. My approach quitting was to grab the bull by the horn type approach. So googling the problems and DOING the tips that was presented to me. And I did not google "quit weed, no concentration".. Just "bad concentration"...

So cognitive training was the big tip. Language learning, math, playing music with an instrument was some of the tips I found. So I did an app called Duolingo and learned Spanish! Aprendo Espanol! I also did Thai boxing and Asthanga Yoga, wich also is a lot about concentration and memory. Thai boxing is all about quick decision making under preassure and coming up with strategies fast to avoid getting punched in the face, lol.. And the yoga is meditation, concentration while doing and remembering a very hard physical routine, and keeping your concentration while you have a room full of very hot females around you. Hard concentration is needed hehehe. I have quitted Thai boxing for the moment, but Spanish I am fluent in now and yoga is a lifestyle for me, and I feel I have a very sharp brain concidering what I have put it through. Much sharper than my stoner days, and my detox/PAWS days.

My tip to you is google cognitive training. Google how to improve you concentration. And find something among the tips that is fun and cool for you to do, so its easy for you to stick with it longterm and do it every day..

I was an avid PC gamer, and I have been gaming a bit again lately. I am a much better gamer now than I ever was during my stoner days, because my brain is so much quicker and more creative now.

Meditation science has proven it strengthens your brain, in many ways. I do mindfulness...

https://www.google.com/search?q=cognitive+training
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#29

Postby BullFrog » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:23 pm

So funny that my last post on August 1st where I said I was doing SO much better I had another "flush" to my head and it has resulted in these last 18 days of pressure and various types of dizziness (not true dizziness, but like a buzz feeling that makes me feel on the verge of dizziness and thus creates and uneasiness in me). Aargh! The last two months were going so well!

That's okay. I read all the stuff you guys have posted and get encouraged by it. I also have noticed there have been many success stories where people do have a few days or even weeks of feeling almost completely better and then have a bit of a set back. My theory is that sometimes as the neurochemistry in our brain continues to heal and rewire that it doesn't always work and sometimes there is a set back. What do you all think?

Also, my sleep still isn't the greatest so I am sure that slows down the healing process. Anyway, despite this I am determined to remain strong, love on my wife and children and continue to do my very best to ignore these feelings in my head. Not to be afraid and reject the lie that this will be the story for the rest of my life.

Again, my symptoms could be worse but if I had almost two months of really good times (between 80-95% cured feeling), then it can happen again and one day be permanent. But to be honest, any encouragement sent my way would be appreciated. Every little bit helps. :) :) :)
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