Starting at journey

Postby Cthompson21 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:05 am

I've been on this website a good but reading other stories. I guess I'm doing this for myself as much as others and hopefully something positive comes out of it. I went thru PAWS for 2 and a half years from another substance (ADHD med strattera and abusing caffeine) and it was the worst hell of my life. But I made it. Now on July 21 2018 I tried smoking a little weed. It wasn't a lot. It was enough to set me off though, and I felt anxious all week, and many of my old PAWS symptoms came right back. Insomnia and anxiety are the most prominent. I dealt with a little DR in the first week but that's gone. It seems like it's getting better and then I have a moment where I'm having an anxiety attack and I feel like yes. A long journey is ahead. Maybe months, maybe years. I hope to document my progress on this site and get support and give it. I've been practicing sleep hygiene and going to the gym to fight symptoms. The first week I was suicidal realizing I might have to go through the same agony I dealt with two years ago, but I've accepted it. I'm ready I take on PAWS and begin my recovery. And to stay sober, always. Best wishes to anyone else out there going through this.
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#1

Postby BullFrog » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:35 pm

Definitely keep us posted. It's therapeutic not just for yourself, but for all of us. Since these issues are not mainstream in medicine and with weed stilling being schedule 1 drug, these issues don't register much for doctors. So we are kinda left to our own devices mostly to try and recover. Hopefully in 20 years this will be more well known and there will be more helpful techniques and even medicine that can be offered to overcome (and better education of warning for cannabis that it is not so risk free like a lot of people and even studies suggest).

I'll keep you in my prayers. Please keep me in yours as well. :)
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#2

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:39 am

Hey guys if anyone says reading this I could use some support. My anxiety has gotten a little better but I still feel generally crappy. I can't sleep well and wake up in the middle of the night with heart palpitations wishing I was dead. I play organ and two churches and used to be able to play anything with confidence now I struggle to get through a service and play all the right notes...I know I need to keep playing them to retrain my brain but man it's hard. If anyone is out there pray for me or send encouragement, I could use it.
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#3

Postby BullFrog » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:07 pm

I'm praying for you, Cthompson21. Stay strong. Sorry you are going through some rough days. It will get better. Don't be scared by the symptoms Accept them and push through. Be sure to not isolate yourself if you can. Be around people that love you. :)
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#4

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:36 pm

Thank you Bullfrog. I'm struggling but pushing through. Anxiety comes and goes I'm starting to feel the fatigue kick in more. I'm taking steps to minimize symptoms but they will be here for a while and you're right I need to accept that. Just finished another church service, the congregation liked my playing and dont seem to notice I'm "off" since I've been doing this job long enough most of it I can fake through...but to me it's killer, having anxiety and working and pretending to be normal. I hate this!!! But itll pass, you're right, in a year or two I'll be a different person. Thanks for your support, it means a lot, i pray for you and everyone I talk to on here every day.
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#5

Postby BullFrog » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:30 pm

Thanks for the prayers brother and I'm proud of you for "pushing through". Seriously. It's tough work! Accepting it is so hard, but I am beginning to feel better about my situation and when symptoms are heavy I deal with it better as I begin to accept it more fully.

Now about the fatigue. Go on Amazon and look into a well reviewed B-Vitamin complex. It has helped me at times and I know it has for others. Since it is not caffeine you don't need to worry about activating anxiety. But perhaps the natural energy of the b-vitamins can give you some endurance boost that you need. Every little bit helps!

And are you trying flax oil or flax meal yet? Include it every day as much as you can.
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#6

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:43 pm

I will look into b vitamins. Funny last time I had paws I took one and it DID give me anxiety but maybe I wasn't trying the right one? I'll have to research it. Also I'm not taking flax but I'm taking fish oil which has omega three, so many sources say omega 3 promotes brain healing so I'm taking a ton. But maybe flax will be better?

I'll keep on keeping on. I am better than a month ago I'll admit. This time a month ago I was trying to kill myself because I thought I'd never recover/work again. Hopefully by next month I'll be even better. One day at a time...
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#7

Postby BullFrog » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:33 pm

DEFINITE improvement there! Research the B-vitamin as it could have been a coincidence. Then again, I might be wrong. Do a bit of research like you said and double check.

A lot of people here use fish oil. My reservation is not so much that it won't work as more so I get concerned with a lot of fish being contaminated with metals. Flax oil/meal doesn't have that issue.
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#8

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:53 am

Update: 2 months.

Sleep is awful, most I've slept is five hours in a row but I'm usually at 3 or 4, and anxiety is still bad, but has definitely improved. I don't have as many panic attacks, but my stomach muscles are tense a lot. I've had good days, two or three, and I don't get the horrible hellish nightmares anymore. So that must mean improvement :)

I have OCD tendencies and they are bad. I also noticed I had moments of this weird DP...I would have moments where I would be looking at someone and I would see, visually, their face, but the way their face looked didn't make sense, like I was looking at a Picasso painting where the facial features are all mixed up. It only lasted a few moments then went away. Haven't had that much in the past week. Also I have this little pressure headaches throughout the day. Have bad depression and some paranoia that people hate me/are against me.

I'm working again, the first month was so horrible I couldn't be at work, mainly because I was freaking out and because of the crippling anxiety. But I've been able to be there and function halfway decently. I have two jobs, bank teller and choir director/organist. I'm really depressed because I'm not myself, can't interact with people like I used to, can't play difficult music without high levels of anxiety. It makes me feel like a depressed shell of the person I used to be. Oh well. I'm getting by.

I've become closer to God and taking faith more seriously. That's all I have, and possibly all i need. I'm also making a reverse calendar. 24 months with milestones every six months. Hopefully it gets better before then but that seems to be the upper limit for PAWS. Another thing is im listening to books on tape, right now I'm listening to Anna Karenina which is pretty long. I figure once I finish it I'll be in a different stage of recovery, and then I can pick another long read to distract me from this misery. I'll make another update at three or four months.

Thank you everyone who has talked to me and posted, you are helping me get through this dark time. We are stronger getting through PAWS together, even if it's just talking to strangers on the internet. Hope everyone reading this feels positivity im sending and has a good day.
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#9

Postby AngryDwarf » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:13 am

Cthompson21 wrote:I also noticed I had moments of this weird DP...I would have moments where I would be looking at someone and I would see, visually, their face, but the way their face looked didn't make sense, like I was looking at a Picasso painting where the facial features are all mixed up. It only lasted a few moments then went away.


I've had this too. It's like all the signals that help the brain recognize a human face were turned off and instead you would just see the raw abstract shapes the face is made of. Weird stuff.
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#10

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:31 am

AngryDwarf yes that's what it feels like. It's disorienting, feels like my brain can't tell left from right and up from down. But it only happens fleetingly when I get moments of high anxiety, coupled with the pressure headache (these symptoms all seem to be interconnected in some way.)
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#11

Postby Astro413 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:39 pm

Hey Cthompson, I honestly felt exactly how you describe at the 2 month mark, kind of defeated in a way. I’m two days past the 3 month mark and I will tell you that every symptom I have has lightened. I’m not saying I’m better, but I am saying that once you hit 3 months you will feel a difference. Fair warning It still sucks but it’s a lot more manageable, even the depression which is in my opinion the worst symptom by far. I don’t you if you have an issue with this but I have also found that I am not obsessing on this forum nearly as much as I was the first two months. Keep your head up.
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#12

Postby BullFrog » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:49 pm

@Astro, I can relate to the idea of not obsessing on this forum as much as one start to feel small improvements. I feel like the last two weeks I haven't been as needy to read up on stories or constantly engage as much since my symptoms have seen some improvement from a month ago.

@Cthompson, anxiety definitely makes it all worse. I have several moments where I forget about something I was JUST talking about and I begin to panic when I think it is related to PAWS. That panic suddenly makes my entire mind go blank! It would also come back but it was so scary for that moment.

However, I recall long before I ever tried cannabis that I would occasionally lose my train of thought of something I was just thinking about before and it never caused me anxiety (I mean, everyone does that from time to time!). It was normal and that's just the way it was for me. My mind wouldn't go blank and I would just piece some thoughts together and it would all come back. I realize now that due to me panicking and getting anxious about it that it made it worse. When I don't panic in those moments, my mind doesn't go "blank". My mind just reels to recall what I forgot (like it normally would do and has done all my life in those moments) and then I eventually remember.

Anxiety is a nasty thing and it is all interconnected!

But keep pushing through Cthompson. :)
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#13

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:20 pm

Thank you both I will keep moving forward. I read somewhere that the best way to get thru anxiety is doing things, not thinking. So I'm trying to do that. Astro glad to hear that about you, I hope that 3 months will see improvement. When the anxiety hits it's pretty bad, but then it goes away and it's hardly noticeable...weird. This is better than the beginning so it can only get better from here, fingers crossed.
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#14

Postby Cthompson21 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:04 am

It is a week from 3 months for me and I was going to wait but I am feeling so crappy I'm posting anyway. This month has been really tough. Two weeks ago I had a few good days and thought I had a handle on things and then I had a moment where I felt depersonalized while driving, like an ink stain suddenly spreading over my brain, and now it's been a lot worse since....It comes and goes hourly it seems, and makes me not want to drive unless I have to (had to drive 3 hours on highways last weekend and it was miserable)

My anxiety has gotten better but then it's worse suddenly at times. It's mostly social situations and now driving because of the dp.

I feel depressed and suicidal most days, work is not fun at all. I can't do the social activities I want to because I'm so tired by the evening. The dp makes me feel like I'm going schizo.

I thought I would be better than I am at this point because I only smoked a little but after two years of sobriety from substances. My paws was from stimulant abuse but it goes to show that other substances will trigger it and for me it was pot. I found this site because I was going through PAWS the first time and I saw that people had it from smoking weed and I wish I would've heeded their advice and stayed the f@@k away. Two hits was all it took people. Two hits and three months later I'm in suicidal misery. If anyone is thinking of relapsing, please find the strength and DONT. It will ruin everything. Even if you are years sober, it will burn everything to the ground. I hope at least my story will help people in that way. Sobriety is so beautiful. I felt fine mostly and now I am in the depths. I feel like I've damaged my brain even more, it feels like I have scrambled eggs for a brain some days. In the beginning I was strong but now a couple months later my stamina is waning. Life is so exhausting and I feel like an old man though I'm only in my twenties. Not sure what to do from here but if anyone has advice I'll take it. Otherwise I'll keep updating every month or so.
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