My Journey from Lost to Found

Postby Freedomhfx » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:44 pm

Day 17!!
I've a couple other posts here (day 12 and Day 13); however, every time I see "Day 13" it aggravates me, so this will be the topic to which I will continue to post as my weed-free life unfolds.

Thinking about the past 16 days, I'm grateful at how different I feel since this time one week ago. I didn't know how I was going to get through another day with the severe anxiety, brain fog, depressive feelings, anger, nausea, insomnia, sweats, headaches, yada yada, but every day, since day 14, I've felt a little stronger. The sense of desperation has subsided and that is empowering.

I'm not feeling all that good today, but yesterday was a good one. Had a ton of laughs with a good friend and I wasn't trying to get home to have a puff. I felt a sense of freedom. The recovery is a jagged climb, so I'll get through the day with the knowledge that every day weed-free is a good day. I'm committed to doing everything in my power to recover and I will not be deterred. I've quit before and know that the worst (for me) is the first 30 days. I'm half way there! If I sit around and dwell on how rotten I feel, hopelessness creeps in, so I get up and move! Clean a closet, walk, wash a floor; just get moving.

Saw GP yesterday and discussed the brain recovery process. The fear that I might never feel good again was eased. I was treated for severe depression 3 years ago and was in the process of coming off the anti-depressant, but it makes good sense that will have to wait for a few more months. GP bumped the meds back up, as it is effective in treating anxiety, but would not prescribe anti-anxiety meds. I'll be back to see her in a month. It's excellent to have her on my side and willing to see me through the withdrawal process.

Thanks for reading my rant for today, but now I gotta get moving...
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#1

Postby asgoodasitgets » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:52 am

Freedomhfx wrote:Had a ton of laughs with a good friend and I wasn't trying to get home to have a puff. I felt a sense of freedom.


This is awesome to read! :) I love not having the feeling of having to rush home to get stoned. I was always cutting things short, doing the bare minimum, and giving people a watered-down version of myself because getting stoned was my top priority in life. Not to say I wasn't there for people, just that I took the path of least resistance at every instance I could so that I could feed my addiction.

I apologize if I already asked you this, but you mentioned quitting in the past, can you elaborate as to the details on how you came back to smoking? I also quit in the past, and like you, I know it gets much better as time passes. I already feel pretty good in terms of my cravings, it is just emotionally that I find myself struggling. I am having to feel feelings without a crutch and without an instant escape to numbness.

Glad to hear you are doing well. Thank you for your post it is inspiring and has given me strength tonight when I needed it. Hope you are well, my friend. All the best. -Alex
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#2

Postby Freedomhfx » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm

Day 18 - Good morning from Canada's East Coast. I've experienced a monumental milestone - I slept pretty good last night! First time in two weeks and I'm feeling strong, all things considered.

Alex, the last time I quit it was for close to two years. Before I was diagnosed with depression, I was self-medicating with the pretty green bud because it was natural, right?! Most times, when we get to using something that controls us like that, it's because we are trying to mask something emotionally painful, and buried so deep in our sub-consciousness that we might not even know it's there. A month into my treatment for the depression, my GP said how would we know to know if the depression meds were helping if I was still into the weed. It resonated with me, so I gave it up. I felt like sh** anyway, so why not? Hence the start of my 22 month abstinence. I never regretted a moment being weed free, once I began to feel better.

I got back into it in a social situation by thinking just a toke here and there would be okay. I so loved the high from occasional use; it seems to unlock a part of my brain that I couldn't access otherwise. I have only one friend who uses. He lived next door, had the best medical grade sh** around and was very generous with his stash. My birthday rolled around and he gave me a bag of the stuff. I did a pretty good job of controlling my usage because I was still working and couldn't get stoned and do my job. Then I retired and became a full time caregiver to my dad. It was and continues to be a difficult transition. To deal with the life changes, I began using again on a regular basis, every day and all day, starting with my morning coffee. As it goes, I began using more to chase the high, but before I knew it, my life revolved around getting high and I was completely out of control...again. You never get the same feeling from using, once that happens.

Friends and family didn't know I was using again. Mostly they just thought I was being reclusive because I was relapsing into another depression. I made the decision that once my stash ran out I was going to quit and here I am today, winning today's battle, so far. This time was the bloody worst in terms of PAWS. Other times I suffered for about 10 days and not to the degree of misery I'm experiencing this time around. I've speculated as to why, but that's not relevant, nor is it helpful.

Like you, I found this site and want to document the withdrawal process so I don't forget the hell I'm going through. As well, there is really nothing as comforting as peer support. People truly do understand when they've been on the same path. The opinions of folks who have not dealt with this misery are irrelevant to me, so I know that connecting here has been my greatest asset and the best decision.

Weed is going legal in my area in a few months. I've given a lot of thought to how easy access might become an issue for me, but I have roll models who are recovering alcoholics who don't buy booze just because then can. Gambling is another example of a seemingly benign but insidious addiction that has controlled loved ones in the past, too. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should or you will. Temptation will always be around. I quit smoking cigarettes 17 years ago and have never regretted the decision. Same thing - you can buy them anywhere, but I don't. I practiced visualization at that time, and I'm using the same technique to give up the weed. With each craving, I visualize this slimy little nasty demon getting drier and smaller each time I resist. It is empowering and I already know it works for me.

I don't have a problem with other people using. I get it and I wish I could be a casual user, but I cannot be that person. I don't judge anyone on their personal decisions. I'm only accountable to myself.

Enjoy your day - another day of freedom from the plant. Pat yourself on the back for having the courage to go through this bs misery for another day. Last week I could only take it one minute at a time. This week, it's about taking it one day at a time. It's serious progress in the right direction and I feel so much better about my decision to quit.
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#3

Postby Freedomhfx » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:53 am

Day 22! It supposedly takes 28 days to form a habit. We will see :|

Keeping busy has been key to getting through the day. I've decided to work part-time and have a job interview this week. I am more sociable these days. I have no desire to get home for a fix, but as soon as I do walk through my door, thoughts go back to how much I loved those first few draws at the end of a long day. It was my reward. Good news is that It passes quickly.

I wish I could say I am sleeping better. I dread bedtime. Insomnia has been the most difficult symptom of abstinence, along with daily headaches. I am no longer getting up in the morning with a headache that lasts all day, but the headache does start late in the afternoon and doesn't respond to any OTC drugs (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.).

Nausea has diminished, sweats not as constant or intense, and not feeling angry and depressed. I'm still too easily aggravated, specifically when driving, but I'm working on it.

Stay strong, everybody. Don't look back; you're not moving in that direction.

Kat
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#4

Postby Freedomhfx » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:58 am

Day 24 - Sometimes I wonder if I'm too hyper vigilant about how I am feeling. It doesn't seem to be helping me.

I haven't had too many cravings since quitting, but some of the WD symptoms are getting me down, specifically the insomnia and headaches. Ya need to sleep! I feel like a hamster on a wheel. There's my rant for today.

I am forging thru and very pleased with the progress. I guess the WDs are the price to pay for relapse. Have no one else to blame but myself. I will not give in....at least not today.

Yesterday a black mood dropped over me in a split second. One minute I was doing my thing and feeling 'normal' and, in a heartbeat, I was so angry that I was actually shaking with rage. It came entirely out of the blue for no apparent reason! Not a good feeling. It's the first time that's happened since the second week. Is this a normal thing?
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#5

Postby Freedomhfx » Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:10 pm

Four weeks today since the big quit. Improvement every day is motivating. Beginning to understand my own emotional strength and determination to do what is right for me.

Still have some weird stuff like sleep issues and headaches, but it is getting better. Learning to meditate has been the best tool to overcome the anxiety I've been having.

I do not have one single regret breaking up with MaryJane....again. Hopefully it will stick this time. Still taking it one day at a time.
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#6

Postby Freedomhfx » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:12 am

Day 31 and feeling much better than I ever could have imagined just two weeks ago. Started a new job yesterday and was amazed at how smoothly the day went. Felt focused and sharp. Haven’t felt so engaged in years and the ability to remember new instructions both shocked and amazed at the same time.

Still struggling with insomnia and headache every day, but when I get bent out of shape and aggravated I try to remember that it’s the brain doing some ‘rewiring’ and it’s all part of the recovery process.

Hang on everyone, and have a peaceful day knowing you are doing something extraordinary for yourself.
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#7

Postby tokes » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:34 pm

keep going bruh
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#8

Postby Freedomhfx » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:53 pm

You, too! :)
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#9

Postby Freedomhfx » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:44 pm

6 weeks since the big cold turkey quit. Sleep deprivation and headaches Could be my downfall. Yesterday was the first time I actually had myself convinced that just one or two tokes would bring me in off the ledge of despair. I had a sudden loss of a loved one earlier in the week and the funeral was yesterday. I didn’t give in but it was the most difficult day in a long time. It would have been my go-to in the past and the brain involuntarily went there. Today, I still want to smoke and I’m pissed that I quit. Dealing with the grief would be so much easier. Just taking it one moment at a time with lots of deep breathing. Still, I miss it. I’ll go back to bed.
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#10

Postby tokeless » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 pm

Hi,
Sorry about your loss but weed won't assist your grieving, just delay it. You did well not caving in at such a time especially when you know you would have normally. Feel what you need to feel because it's called reality and life. I hope things improve for you, just keep making good choices. Going back now just puts you at the starting line.. Why do that?
Take care
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#11

Postby Freedomhfx » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:48 pm

54 days in and most days now aren’t too painful, but every so often a day comes along that is just bs miserable.

Today is one of those days! I’m angry today with no good reason, so, I’m assuming it’s likely just another couple of fat cells releasing more THC!

The road of recovery is jagged.

Hang in everyone.
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#12

Postby tokeless » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:34 pm

Hi, keep going. It could be your feeling down because you're not stoned which blocks that emotion. I was never bored when I smoked because I could smoke the day away... I used to look forward to days when I nothing to do for that reason. It will get better
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#13

Postby Freedomhfx » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:18 pm

8 weeks - two months free from the bud. I do miss it when I'm aggravated. I was raised to believe that expressing anger is a bad thing, so I've been stuffing that sh** down for many years, but I've learned so much about myself and my coping mechanisms...or lack thereof...over the past two months. Today, I'm not the least bit sorry I took the cold turkey route because I don't think I would have stopped any other way. I'm an all or nothing woman. I couldn't say that 8 weeks ago.

I do like how I am starting to feel. I especially love how sharp my brain is getting again. Short-term memory is remarkably better and emotional composure improves daily. Finding new ways to cope with old issues has been of paramount importance to me because the issues remain. I've incorporated daily meditation and walking - two simple things that have made a big difference in coping with anxiety.

I have smoked on and off in excess of 40 years and I've quit the bud for years at a time with very little issue, so I was totally unprepared for the misery I've experienced this time around. I honestly had days that we so bad, I didn't think I could make it through another one. I was rolling with tobacco, so I was withdrawing from that, too. But for this forum, I don't think I could have stayed the course. I'm not out of the woods because PAWS is very real and it's ever present. It is not easy, but I am inspired by so many here and so, despite the daily headaches and insomnia, I'm not turning back now.

Keep fighting the good fight, my friends. And, if you relapse, don't beat yourself up. We're all human and we all falter. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, get back on the proverbial wagon, and tune back into this forum. You are not alone.
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#14

Postby reckoning » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:36 pm

Hi Freedomhfx

Congratulations 2 months is great. I'm almost at 3 months and feel the same . Finding new ways to emotionally cope especially has been very big this quit and because I have left a long term relationship ( 14 years) I'm finding even this adds growth for me which I am allowing into my life. I do meditation, walking, a bit of gym and beginners yoga has been the big steady hand that has calmed me through the early stormy times and still sustaining me.

I suffer from depression and have done for a long time. Well that has been improving as well and so I have again come off my Cipramil and have found that my sleep has really improved. Sleep has been a big issue for me too and it had almost reached breaking point. That's when I decided to stop my very low dose of cipramil because I have always suspected that it was implicated in my poor sleeping. So that is improving however I am mindful that when I get overloaded with stress I can just cry and cry and cry but because of this quit I am on the look out and monitoring and dealing more with the things that I overly react to in my life.

For me this emotional side of the quit is very strong. I can actually see now that the bud helped me not to act on repeat issues especially in my relationship. I was using the bud to make the relationship work so I got very skilled at ignoring emotional processing.

Thanks for sharing your story which I have read and inspiration from your wise sharing. I mostly get the urge to smoke again in this quit , ( day 87) whenever I make a judgement about my life and get into a 'me, me , me ' state of mind and think that I have less than others. So at those times I actively work my brain away from this kind of scarcity thinking into more abundance thinking and recognise that , like you, I've got so many things good things coming at me such as the improved short term memory ,the improved emotional coping and I am very grateful to have this forum and have 'community' that identifies with fighting this good fight. Keep going as the saying goes. cheers Liz
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