Success Stories

#30

Postby BullFrog » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:19 pm

I wanted to add a more positive note to the previous post of mine immediately above. Obviously I cannot relate to those here who struggled with addiction and many years of using marijuana. I only used it for one week and had some sorta terrible reaction. But despite that, I can say I have absolutely become a better person. There are definite differences before I experienced cannabis and afterwards.

I am a stay at home father who homeschools our children (I have a 4 year old, 2 year old, and a 10 week old). For a myriad of truly pointless reasons, I was always reluctant to travel while my kids were young. So ever since my eldest son was born, I wasn't really willing to go on planes and visit family across the country and so forth as I didn't want to deal with the "discomfort" of a potential crying child. But now, I have realized I want to seize life!!! After feeling what it is like to have severe anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite and months of pressure and dizziness (the last two symptoms flaring up again after two months of really good progress), I knew I wanted to never take life for granted and enjoy good normal health! So I took our whole family and we flew to North Carolina to visit some family (we live in California). I didn't care if it would be a pain and our children might cry up a storm. I was going to do what made my wife happy and go places! (my kids did great, by the way). And you know what? I LOVED IT!

I also tended to be more of a secluded person, but now I get out of my comfort zone more often and talk to people while I am at the park with my kids instead of never talking to anyone at all. I also have a very sensitive heart towards those struggling with mental health issues. I also have become less judgmental.

I also am a Christian so I got challenged to check on my heart and find where I was hypocritical or inconsistent with my beliefs. I began to pray more, give more, and strive to overcome the areas of my life where I needed serious improvement. I believe God has used this terrible situation to help me in all the areas I mentioned above and more.

So I wanted to give encouragement to those willing to read my posts that people really do get better during and after all this mess. Keep fighting and you will become a better person then you were before. :) :)
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#31

Postby soulvice » Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:34 am

Bagobones wrote:
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...



Hey bagobones cheers for you reply. Reading a little bit of your story it's crazy and encouraging to see you smoked for as long as 21 years and got yourself out of this mess, also the fact you started in high school like me, would seem to debunk once again the theory that adolescent brains smoking weed does permanent damage. However as you are in your 40s it would seem that the weed you would've smoked in your adolescent years would be much less potent than it is now. I saw something a doco that said something like the THC content of weed these days is 25x that of what it was 20 or so years ago, and I personally wish I had researched it all a lot more before diving into a relationship with it, also you said you started your day with 3 joints which is crazy to me, there's no way I could drive or go to work like that, I could never really do anything too full on when I smoked I would only really do it at night and watch TV/play games or whatever, I think I have realised I was much more sensitive to it than a lot of people. But 21 years is still a long time for the brain to develop habitual patterns and wirings so to see you have reversed that is also very inspiring.

I play a bit of sport basketball and AFL (aussie rules football) and I do get times where I forget about my depersonalisation etc doing this but it comes back straight after and the memory/concentration thing is constant, I just have to keep moving forward and trying my best to get through each day one at a time and remember that I have recovered to a level where I could live life happy before. Thanks to others for contributing as well.
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#32

Postby soulvice » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:02 am

Hey guys just posting another entry to keep my journey documented for myself as I always intended. It can be super hard to know where you're at compared to where you were without documentation.

Anyway I am still struggling a lot with memory/concentration issues and depersonalisation. I just wanted to share a theory I have on weed induced DP/DR that has been on my mind a lot lately. I think for us depersonalisation can be a direct result of the cognitive skills that weed destroys. Specifically memory. When I think back to my previous full recovery, the better my memory got, the less depersonalisation and co-ordination issues I had.

I have done some research on short term memory and most people describe it as the 30 seconds or so after a moment where you can essentially rewind and replay important details visually/audibly/other senses/your direct environment etc. I believe when we lose that ability we lose our concentration, because it's so hard to keep on one path when you don't know where you've just come from. We also lose our co-ordination because we are blurred or "tunnel-visioned" to our immediate environment and when your subconscious is focusing so hard on trying to remember where you just were it doesn't have enough time or power to use on where you're going, and I don't know about you guys but I can be very clumsy (bump into walls a lot, when I get up in the morning sometimes almost fall over just trying to stand up, double taking a lot when i'm leaving a room because i don't know why I was leaving etc etc), yet at the same time I can play a full game of basketball or a video game to at least an acceptable standard.

I just know that my memory at age 24 is as bad as my grandpa in his 80s when he had alzheimers, and that just doesn't sit right with me. I feel like some people have major issues with physical symptoms like sweats, rashes, sleeping, cravings etc but to be honest I never had those problems, but I think I'd take them all over the bad memory, but it is another reason for me to think what i'm dealing with is a lot more anxiety related, especially as this started after an emotional trauma not directly after weed withdrawal, I am still going to give myself another year before I hit the 2 year PAWS mark and see what has improved there because I think the way PAWS works is not linear and directly related to your environment/situation.

Anyway just hoping the memory side of things improves sooner rather than later because I know it is so closely connected to the depersonalisation and I am having a lot of flashbacks to when I was recovered and the feeling of being able to recall things/plan things in my head etc and my 'present-ness' being directly related and I hadn't quite figured that out till recently. It's just my way of rationalizing what's happening in my head and it certainly makes me feel better than just thinking I'm going crazy or I'm doomed.
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#33

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:42 am

Hi soul vice,

Thanks for sharing. That's great insight, you're very smart and you're congnitive skills are great to process all that information on your own.

Here is my insight:
Grass just looks greener on the other side, don't worry about the issues you are facing and research like crazy. It's hypochondriac side of the PAWS flipping out. You can and will recover, maybe you were having the pink days before your emotional trauma and its the emotional trauma that just triggered it off. Why not look at it as It can take longer for a second recovery because your brain is also going to fight harder to not give up weed. I read some old Post here of a dude who relapsed and then when PAWS hit again he had all same symptoms plus new ones. Besides, weed gets stronger every year, nobody regularises it's potency or anything like that, you may have consumed more THC that you realized. There are a billion possibilities of what's happening and we will never know for sure but like you said, it's environmental and situational, I read about how dudes who went through paws once but completely changed their social and health lifestyles, the second time they did have paws but very mild and short lived. Basically if you're happy, you have happy social connections, a healthy body, then you're not going to face issues like PAWS. Try not stay lonely, hang out with friends who make you feel good or else make some.

Also you can focus on a game alot better because it's way more fun and rewarding than regular life. Keep thinking positively and keep doing wholesome actions and it will help heal from PAWS.
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#34

Postby soulvice » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:24 am

Thanks a lot for your reply ashthewarrior!

I definitely agree with a lot of what you're saying. I guess I am often quite sure that I've done permanent damage to my memory when I'm in this state, especially as I've smoked exclusively throughout brain development, and as you say THC content has gone up a lot I have no idea how much I might've consumed, I do know that I was a very light smoker compared to whoever I smoked with (usually 1 or 2 bongs max and i'd be done) and I think I was feeling a lot more negative effects than the people around me.

Sounds super cliche but I really am done with the plant. To know that you can feel this way a year after stopping should be more than enough convincing for myself and the fact I felt like it was a good idea to smoke again in the first place is hard to fathom currently. I think the major thing I go back to in my head is that I know what's going on. I'm aware that my memory is bad, I'm aware that my spacial awareness isn't up to scratch, I'm aware my personality is different and I feel depersonalised etc etc. The research I've done on dementia, alzhiemers, skitzophrenia, BPD etc would tend to lean towards people not actually realising their personality changes or thinking they are any different than "normal".

So I hold hope that knowing what recovery feels like and knowing how bad I am right now, makes me feel like my brain needs the time to get back to the right place physically but also emotionally due to my breakup etc and that when I can do that the healing will come naturally.
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#35

Postby BullFrog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:04 pm

Hey soulvice. How are you feeling today?
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#36

Postby soulvice » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:00 am

Hey BullFrog, I'm not on here everyday, or every week even for obvious reasons, but really appreciate you asking.

I played some shows with my band over the weekend travelling a bit as well, the shows went ok I forgot a few words here and there but otherwise got through it, but I definitely really noticed my cognitive troubles this weekend. One thing I'm finding so hard lately is fatigue, something that I did not have barely any trouble with in the past/ previous recovery. It doesn't seem to matter how much sleep I get I'm just completely exhausted most of the time, and if I have a time of feeling awake/and or focused it only seems to last about 10-15 minutes, but I do recognise those little periods and try to be grateful for them.

As I came back from my trip yesterday exhausted with only 4 hours sleep the night before I got 13 hours sleep last night but today feel just as if not more tired than I was the whole weekend. I try coffee and it does pretty much nothing but all I can do is keep going and hope this chemical imbalance in my body can continue to repair itself. Is this something you deal / have dealt with yourself BullFrog? I was also reading one of your posts about how you don't deal with some issues anymore including memory issues, I'd be interested to know how bad your memory issues were and what parts got better? Was it your short term memory? and what was it that made you know it had improved? I'd say my 3 major remaining issues are memory, fatigue and depersonalisation.
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#37

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:18 am

Memory and DP I do not know how to tackle but they do get better with time. Fatigue can be tackled if not completely take care of. What really helps is sleeping exactly 6.5-8 hours. Not more not less. Somewhere between those hours is your ideal time of sleep you should have. Followed by a quick snack and moderate exercise like a brisk walk. These really help and you can see the results in a few days. Less sleep or too much sleep in a day makes the fatigue go crazy.
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#38

Postby soulvice » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:09 am

Ash what was your memory/DP like? my memory is very bad at the moment and without a weekly to do list, a daily checklist on my phone and one i physically write, my calendar and an app called 'wunderlist' I would literally completely forget most things I need to do in a day, where this wasn't the case 6 or so months ago.
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#39

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:43 am

Hey that's so cool, I use Wunderlist too. Don't worry soulvice, the memory and dp do get better over with time, most of us went through exactly what you are going through. Your first PAWS was milder apparently. Your second one is worse because your social life is weaker and your brain is fighting harder for weed. Bad memory is a classic PAWS symptom. I don't know your finances but maybe hiring an assistant or intern maybe beneficial for you considering your workload. Nothing beats another human being to keep track of your tasks but hey if you can't then the next best thing is the app, best use of smartphones. I don't know about others but I didn't find any real difference using supplements like fish oil, etc. maybe they work slowly instead of an immediate result. I would stay away from all other "enhancers" like coffee, ginko, etc during your healing period . Even alcohol, the days you consume those, the following days are worse, including memory and DP. Abstain from them for 10 days and see if you find a difference.
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#40

Postby soulvice » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:22 am

Hey ash, yea my work load isn't too bad it's just more a matter of finding the motivation to do it in the first place, because a lot of the time I get keen to do work and then when I start it I'm so out of it that my mind just cannot keep focused enough to make it enjoyable, but I seem to get through somehow. I take omega 3 everyday and haven't noticed any difference but continue just cause it's not too expensive and supposed to be good for your joints which I did feel a tiny difference since I've been doing a bit of weightlifting. I also tried this 'alpha brain' stuff people have talked about that did nothing either. I do have a coffee every second day, I don't find it makes anything worse, gives me maybe a tiny boost in the morning and usually keeps me awake enough to get through work, just a routine thing I guess. I'll have a beer or two maybe once a week but I remember even in my first recovery having some 3 or so months in so I know it's not something that's going to hinder my recovery, but would be good idea to have a proper break and see if it helps, when it first hit me after my breakup I was using it to escape the terrible anxiety a bit but mostly that has passed and I don't drink it because I feel I have to or anything like I did in that week or two period 6 months ago.

I'm still interested to hear how bad your memory was though, as I've said mine is to the point where every 10-20 seconds I pretty much completely zone out and have to remind myself what I was doing, some of the time I physically can't even remember what I'm doing and I just have to move on hoping it wasn't anything too important.
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#41

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:18 pm

Sorry for the delayed reply soul vice, I'm not sure how bad my memory was at the worst but all I was forgetful about a lot of stuff I was never forgetful about before like my phone and wallet, I would have never forgotten my wallet or phone at home and head out or leave my keys in the vehicle but it happened frequently. I also would hardly remember the things to do or why I walked into a room. It's does get better and you will remember things better. Looks like your second paws just being meaner to you.
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#42

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:58 am

Hey,

Just like to add 2yearsquit success post to the thread as I think it will give a lot of people who are still struggling after a year of their quit the hope to carry on. He started to turn around at 27 - 28 months off weed.

Also like to keep this thread alive as I think it's important having a place full of success stories where people can go to read when going through a tough time.

#27
by 2yearquit » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:04 pm

Hi Bull frog thank you so much for posting I don’t check this site very often any more but for some reason I decided to check in this evening and your post had put my thread back to the top.
Let me go back 3 years I spent hours on this site daily reading through stories looking for answers because I couldn’t understand how on earth I could feel like this after quitting weed, my life was turned upside down as soon as I put down that last joint. I suffered horrendous depression , depersonalization, brain fog , sleepless nights then wanting to sleep all day and the worst feeling was been unable to communicate with anybody I felt brain dead and without hope.
I read and read stories on here about how people were cured after 12/18 months and I didn’t feel any better than I did on day one. When I got over two years I was honestly really disheartened but the thing was weed was not going to make me feel better at that stage I had no choice but to push on through and it happened for me around 27/28 months I started to come around. I felt the paws were lifting , I started to get stretches of 2/3 weeks of feeling pretty good that would then be followed by a couple of days of heavy depression/paws . As the days that followed turned into months I don’t have any of those feelings anymore and as I write this I’m 37 months clean from weed and it feels awesome.
Weed cost me so much for something that started out so harmless including friends, relationships and my business as I was so overwhelmed I was unable to work for over 2 years.
This is no easy task my friends and for those starting out I really sympathize with you but know for a fact that it can be done and YOU WILL HEAL AND FEEL NORMAL AGAIN- I’m living proof.
With that I’ll say goodnight and I promise I will keep an eye on this thread if anybody has any questions they would like to post.
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#43

Postby soulvice » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:37 pm

Wow cleanofgrean, thank you so much I needed to hear that right now. Could you please link me to his page so I can read his story? Can't seem to find it on search.
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#44

Postby cleanofgreen » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:18 pm

Hey Soulvice,
Hope your doing good. Forgot to add the link to 2yearsquit thread so here it is

https://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=106335
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