1 year and 8 months weed free! Woohoo!

Postby Hoofhearted » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:44 pm

This page helped me so much when I was going through withdrawal and paws, I just want to say thank you to everyone who shares their experience here.

My goal here is not to scare those who wish to quit, but to share my story and give hope. And possibly give those late night insomniacs something to read and relate to, like I once did.



I quit smoking cold turkey after smoking everyday once my wife's uncle died of lung cancer.

I had horrible withdrawals at first with sweating, stomach cramps, acid reflux, muscle spasms, mood swings, headaches and hot/cold flashes. At first I thought that I ate bad food. I didn't know weed withdrawal was a thing. The symptoms we're manageable at first and i thought I just caught a bug.

A few weeks later I start to have sleeping problems and everything spiraled from there. I went nearly ten days on 5 hours of sleep. I was so confused and worried. I tried my hardest to sleep but it always evaded me and soon it became the enemy. I dreaded the evenings getting ready for bed. I would leave in the night after trying to sleep, sometimes 3 or 4 a.m., and go to the store and get sleep supplements or teas. Nothing worked. I developed high blood pressure (145/90) and I'm a fit 160 lbs 5'9" male, so it's fair to say it was connected to quiting weed, there is a study on this as well. If you look at me you would never suspect I have high blood pressure (now I know why it's called the silent killer). For months I had a tightness in my chest, I could feel my heart beating and hear it in my ears when I layed down at night. After about 6 months i went on blood pressure meds (ace inhibitors) for about 5 months until I felt my blood pressure stabilize. Itook the lowest dose possible at 5mg. I didn't want to switch one drug for another.

When sleep finally found me I would have intense dreams with vivid colors and sounds. Once I woke it was as if I barely slept at all. I started to grind my teeth at night due to the intensity. I would wake up with horrible jaw pain due to my jaw muscles clenching all night long. I quickly bought a dentist quality mouth guard to counteract this, because the store bought ones made it worse, and my pain went away.

At this point I was losing it. So many things were out of my control I didn't know what to do. I was near my breaking point and all of the sudden,I developed tinnitus (ringing in your ears) in my left ear. It bothered me 24/7 and added to my sleep deprivation immensly.

After about 3 months of annoying my wife with my insanity I began to slowly mellow out. My insomnia lesseneded and I would sleep well for 4-5 nights a week. With the extra sleep I was able to at least act normal once again and hide my crazy. I worked and finished up my last semester of college and miraculously made it through to graduation. At this point it's been nearly 7 months after my quit date and my PAWS have become few and far between. My main problem at this point was my tinnitus and high bloodpressure.

At about 7 months was when I truly started to feel better. The tinnitus was a new normal by that point and my blood pressure was my only issue, which I tried to ingnore. I was beginning to forget I even quit! Life was returning to normal.

11 months after I quit I decided I wanted to stop taking my blood pressure medication. I didnt have any side effects from the medication, but I didn't want any to develop either! I could feel my heartbeat like before, but since it was my last treatable condition i stopped worrying and started accepting my condition, i decided to take it head on. I stopped thinking "I can feel my heart beating -> I'm dieing!!!" And just had passive thoughts like "yup, that's my heart beating, NBD".

So the rest of my journey has just been working and getting healthy once agaain! Now Im a year and 8 months clean from green and couldn't be happier with my decision! No more anxiety, no more sleep issues, and no more high blood pressure! All is good now! :D

The only thing I would do differently was wean myself from weed. If you smoked everyday like I did for 4-5 years. You'll want to wean yourself off over two months. Cutting your dose in have every other week until you eventually stop. It might seem bad at first with bits of withrawal (that might turn ya off, but it will be much more gradual than if you went cold turkey!

Best of luck yall!
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#1

Postby alexitaly » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:00 pm

I laughed when I read your story, I laughed even though I've been fighting paws for six months. I laughed because the symptoms you described are the same ones I had, and between the second and fourth month sleep was practically impossible, and the lack of sleep completely amplifies all the symptoms. I quit smoking after having had some terrifying panic attack, now I'm fighting all these symptoms going to a psychologist. But guys that trip, having arrived at the sixth month after 12 years in which the THC has been part of me is really very strange but read that after a long time you can really live without anxiety and without all the mess that abstinence involves makes me think that my choice will bear fruit. I thank people like you who share their experiences and give courage to those who have decided to change their lives, and I would like this to be read even by those who continue to abuse, not suspecting that abstinence from THC exists.
Stomach pains, continuous belching, generalized pains that make one think of the worst, a sort of hypochondria dictated by psychological weakness and fear, because fear is the generator of this vortex in which a new me will surely emerge.
But when you described the fact that you felt your heart beating in your ears when you were lying down, I had a sense of release because I know I'm not the only one.
A hug and thank you because stories like yours really help to have hope and courage. alexitaly
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#2

Postby leavepawsbehind » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:09 pm

Thanks for your story. I am 5 1/2 months sober and am dealing with a lot of what you detailed in your story. I was feeling better for about a month and then another wave of PAWS came on. The thing bothering me the most is the tinnitus. The volume gets louder with waves of PAWS, and this makes me very anxious. It had settled to being absent completely from one ear and manageable in the other, but now it's a bit louder in both. This has been making sleep very difficult, as I sleep on my side, and both ears are loooud when pressed against the pillow. Usually the tinnitus seems to fade away with the fan and sound machine after I've laid still for a few minutes, but this latest wave of insomnia is especially cruel in unison with the tinnitus.

I was hoping the tinnitus would dissipate with the anxiety as I recover. But I would be fine with not caring about it as well. I feel that I had already habituated to it earlier, but lost progress as my anxiety increased, and my brain has been going haywire for the past month.

Did your tinnitus change volumes or ears? Does it seem quieter now? Or is the rest of you recovered enough to where you aren't being thrown off of your habituation?
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#3

Postby Hoofhearted » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:16 pm

Congrats alexitaly on 6 months that is no easy task. The worst is behind you and it might not seem like youll ever return to normal, but you will. It's easy to get discouraged when you're constantly worried about your physical symptoms. Once I treated my blood pressure with medication my constant anxiety and self diagnosis stopped. So do what your doing and continue to seek help.
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#4

Postby Hoofhearted » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:26 pm

Thanks you for posting leavepawsbehind, I feel your pain and I know what you're going through. I've asked those same questions on this forum before.

When I first got tinnitus I was constantly checking the volume pitch and tones, honing in on it. I was sure at the time that the ringing was getting louder or quieter, but I know now it's the same. It has always been the same. The only thing that changed is how I responded and thought about the noise. Instead of thinking "hmm my tinnitus is a 6/10 (in volume), it was a 3/10 earlier today" or trying so hard to repress thinking anything about it, I changed my thinking. First I started to say how tinnitus made me feel instead of checking the volime. I would think "my tinnitus is making me angry " and I would feel better because I can change how I feel. I can't change the volume. Eventually your thoughts with progress to "my ears are ringing, must be quiet in here"

Best of luck with habituation you'll get there :)
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#5

Postby Lightweight » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:40 pm

Im at 22 months and i agree dont do cold turkey. I did the same and it didnt go well. Wished id come off it gradually. Getting there but its a long ride. Glad you are feeling better.
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#6

Postby leavepawsbehind » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:44 am

Hoofhearted wrote:Thanks you for posting leavepawsbehind, I feel your pain and I know what you're going through. I've asked those same questions on this forum before.

When I first got tinnitus I was constantly checking the volume pitch and tones, honing in on it. I was sure at the time that the ringing was getting louder or quieter, but I know now it's the same. It has always been the same. The only thing that changed is how I responded and thought about the noise. Instead of thinking "hmm my tinnitus is a 6/10 (in volume), it was a 3/10 earlier today" or trying so hard to repress thinking anything about it, I changed my thinking. First I started to say how tinnitus made me feel instead of checking the volime. I would think "my tinnitus is making me angry " and I would feel better because I can change how I feel. I can't change the volume. Eventually your thoughts with progress to "my ears are ringing, must be quiet in here"

Best of luck with habituation you'll get there :)


Interesting. I used a similar technique when the tinnitus first started during acute withdrawal. It was so dang LOUD! I was a mess during that time. Shaking, puking, screaming and crying, couldn't sleep, lips/neck/arms/hands/feet/toes/fingers all burning or tingling and numb. Vision was distorted and blurry. CBT helped me through the worst of it, and my tinnitus eventually drifted off to being barely noticeable. It was a slight hiss that I'd hear in silent places. I'd accept it but refuse to listen directly to it, or to gauge it, or plug my ears and check the different tones. It was a game of distraction, misdirection and retraining my brain.

That was months ago, and I guess I got lazy with being mindful, and with my latest bout of anxiety, the tinnitus "grew" in "volume" again. I guess my real worry is that after PAWS, I will still have tinnitus. This new gremlin and annoyance in life is permanent, even though everything else will fade. I did this to myself. Can't change it now though, can I?
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#7

Postby leavepawsbehind » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:58 am

I forgot to add that your posts have been super valuable to me. I started coming to this forum in my first month of sobriety and would have probably not succeeded without posts from people like you and some others. I would often just search symptoms I was experiencing during my worst moments and almost always, someone else here had posted about it years ago. It really put my suffering in perspective when I would click through their posts and find that they had recovered at 12 months, or 24 months, or 8 months. Just the fact that folks here almost always get through the worst of it has been my guiding light through this awful experience. And I'm sure someone going through the worst of it in the future will find this thread and have their sanity checked and they'll be granted some hope!
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#8

Postby Hoofhearted » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:13 am

Leavepawsbehind, I feel for your story and it sounds very similar to what I went through. I remember googling symptoms endlessly to get some reassurance that I wasn't just having some horrible medical condition.

What makes me happy is that you acknowledge that weed is a drug and withdrawal is real.

Just today I had a friend seem down and unsure about skmething. I asked her why she was looking down and it was because she had high blood pressure and could constantly feel her heart race, but refused to believe that quiting weed could affect her months later.

So keep it up and feel free to ask on any specifics you might he wondering about
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#9

Postby leavepawsbehind » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:53 pm

I have a friend that I hadn't talked to since I quit that is also a smoker. We finally caught up a couple of weeks ago and I told him that I quit and that it was an awful experience that I never anticipated. Previous times I had quit resulted in a few sweaty nights and some vivid dreams and that would be the end of it! Never did I expect burning arms and hands and fingers, numb and tingling feet, and a deep fatigue that leaves me breathless after a simple physical activity like putting dishes away or walking up stairs (I'm in my late 20s and have been lifting weights and doing cardio for years with no other health conditions).

He told me when he last quit, he was nauseous and vomiting for two weeks and lost a lot of weight, so he picked it up again and never stopped. He totally believed me, but seemed more content to stick his head in the sand and not confront the problem head on. And really, I don't blame him. If I knew about all of this before I quit, I probably wouldn't have quit, or would have procrastinated and delayed it and stressed about it a lot more beforehand. But learning about what it was after suffering through the worst of it made me never want to repeat any of this.

One interesting thing about my quit is that I've had absolutely no cravings or desire to go back to it. I am angry at it messing me up so badly. I foolishly thought it was a light-weight, fun substance that never harmed anyone. I thought it enriched everything, and was a fun way to relax. I don't know why withdrawal and PAWS aren't more talked about and well known. I would have never touched the stuff as I am too paranoid about my health and well-being. I feel like I too easily bought into the lies and now I feel burned. I am still for legalization in the US but I think we need real information available instead of the false dichotomy that it's either a gateway nightmare vs comes from the earth and never hurt a soul.

Life goes on!
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#10

Postby RoadToRecovery123 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:22 pm

Hey!

I’m relatively new to writing in these forums but a frequent visitor when it comes to reading people’s advice and sobriety journeys! I’m currently about a month and a week weed free after abusing heavily for a year (about 4 years on and off total). I’ve experienced some of the hardest times in my life this round of withdrawals. My anxiety/paranoia is through the roof, temporary psychosis from lack of food/sleep...literally SWORE I was gonna die...picking up a steady appetite is also super hard for me. It’s almost like my brain is still trying to figure out how to be hungry without the “munchie” feelings anymore.

I also lost my grandmother unexpectedly, and my mom is currently ill, and I’m her primary caretaker.

During my marijuana sobriety I started picking up on drinking more to help which was the worst idea ever. I’ve always been a social drinker but a habitual smoker. So you can imagine once I quit smoking I relied more on alcohol (my gf likes to drink which doesn’t help). As you can imagine, it definitely set me back a few steps. When you have an addictive personality like me you’ll drink/smoke daily just to ‘feel good’ and when you stop, you definitely feel the void. I’m at the point where I’m tired of relying on drugs to feel good and I just want to live a healthier lifestyle and get high off of that!

PS. Some of the minor things I’ve experienced is a clogged ear (almost like my voice sounds far away) as well as vision problems like floaters, sensitivity to light, weird outlandish dreams, and temple headaches. Anyone else have any weird withdrawal symptoms?
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#11

Postby CaliGrown » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:15 pm

Does the high BP go away??? It’s been 5 months since I quit and was put on BP meds but don’t want to be on them forever.....PAWS is a B****
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#12

Postby Hoofhearted » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:13 pm

Honestly, I'm not too sure. My high blood pressure has remained and I'm on 5mg of Lisinopril for it, but high blood pressure runs in my family. I work out 5 or 6 days a week, get 10000 steps a day and still have it.

My suggestion is do what the doctors say. I went off my bp medicine for a year and still have high bp. You should remain on the medication IMO
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#13

Postby CaliGrown » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:27 pm

Yeah I have high BP in my fam too. Mine was around 147/98 when I was diagnosed. Right at the beginning of withdrawals (panic attacks and all) not sure if it was due to that although I’m sure it was with the palpitations/anxiety.

Now on meds tho my Bp is 110-120/70-90 depends on the day. Sometimes I can be in the low 120s but still....I’m planning on losing 25 pounds (I’m of average build) and then hoping to wean off the meds and see where it’s at. I’m hoping and praying it goes back to normal. I don’t work out though and plan to incorporate that as well....at least I have that going for me. I heard being sedimentary and then becoming active can really make a difference with PAWS as apposed to those who were active before and try to remain or increase it....can’t say for sure though. Thanks though and I wish you luck!
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