Starting at journey

#15

Postby BullFrog » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:43 pm

I am so sorry, Cthompson. My heart breaks for you. This is a terrible experience and you are hitting another low in your recovery. I think hitting lows (or setbacks) is only worse because we were starting to feel better and now we have bad symptoms again AND we are demoralized. At times, that's what makes it hard for myself after having a pretty good 4-5 weeks in July and then the next two+ months have felt like those weeks never occurred. Like you mention, stamina wanes and we get demoralized.

But don't lose heart. While time seems like our enemy since every damn day we wake up we still have PAWS, time is also our friend. Without it, we cannot heal. You NEED time. I know it seems like a double edged sword, but it is the truth and you know that. Remember those months of beginning to feel REALLY good before you took pot and reset your recovery? Remember how GREAT that was? You were enjoying your music, enjoying work, and living your life? It's worth it to push through PAWS to experience that again. I know life is too precious for me and life is too wonderful (despite it's many hardships) to allow us to give up or sign off due to the crappiness that we must go through now.

I hope and pray you will get a few hours of relief sometime soon to allow you to recharge and embrace the battle once more. Fight on, my friend. Everyone here in this forum wants you to succeed. Everyone.
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#16

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:54 pm

Stay strong, weed PAWS comes in waves, some tiny waves (better days & bad days) but every once in awhile (usually a month) comes this giant wave of paws that feels like a set back but every time this huge wave is less intense and longer. It's usually around every 4 weeks but that frequency obviously varies from person to person. The first 3 months these aren't noticable but PAWS themselves are pretty intense in the first 3 months, you only notice them when PAWS start to fade. They are all waves. Keep surfing. This too shall pass.
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#17

Postby BullFrog » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:00 pm

That's a really good point, ash. August was a set back for me, but september was a bit better. Then October so far has been mediocre again. I would agree that there are waves in how we are hit by PAWS, particularly as time goes forward. Thanks for sharing that, Ash.
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#18

Postby Astro413 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:57 pm

Hey Cthompson I’m with these guys you just gotta stick with it and tough it out man, it’s rough but everybody on this forum is here for the same reason one way or another. Some may feel worse than others but we’re all going through weed PAWS and this sh** sucks. The only thing we know for certain is with enough time it will all pass buddy. I can tell by the tone of this update you’re currently in the down days so why don’t you go over and read my latest forum, I wrote it today currently in a good day and see if you can find some similarities to me. Believe me when I’m in my bad days I have the same attitude as you man. You just gotta stock it out and enjoy the good days while you can until they’re eventually the only days we have. Stick with it brother and on those shitty days just get on this forum and read as many success stories as you can, that’s what helps me get through the bad spells. Eventually we won’t even need to read these posts
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#19

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:53 pm

Thanks for your replies. Yes Bullfrog i remember how good it felt. Now it's gone, makes me feel so depressed. But I guess this is a lesson I need to learn. I was bound to try pot again one way or another because I really used to enjoy it. Now I know I can't but what a price to pay for that knowledge. I'll keep pushing and yes it's like waves. Good news is I have moments I feel alright but they never last. I feel like I'm lightyears away from where I was before I smoked. So sad. It's just...awful. I feel tired now writing this because I used all my energy at my job. I now know why people get bitter. Life handing you one bad hand after another. I feel just awful and I don't care about anything anymore. I do notice when I sleep better by going to the gym my symptoms are less intense. And they are less intense than first few weeks. Just have to keep on going. my goal is to make it to six months without getting fired and also staying alive, driving is dangerous now and so are the suicidal ideations. But my birthday is in three months and hopefully I can make it and feel better by then, besides the first time I went through Paws this has been the hardest time of my life. Thanks again for responses I care about you all and hope you are doing okay.
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#20

Postby soulvice » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:33 am

Hey Cthompson21, I can relate really quite a lot to your story. I had PAWS for a good year after my first quit from weed, was essentially completely recovered, so stupidly starting smoking again for 6 months, then recovered super quickly after my next quit maybe 2 or so months, then went through a breakup with a partner of 7 years about 6 months ago and had PAWS symptoms hit me heavily (heavier than I've ever had tbh) so I know what it can be like that second time round with PAWS. I actually first experienced DP heavily whilst driving at night on a freeway so I can definitely relate to the anxiety around driving, when I was recovered that first time though I can tell you it got better, I remember actually looking forward to long drives etc. I also relate to the musical part of your story as I am in bands and record bands for a living, and played guitar since I was quite young, I also now find it extremely difficult to play my guitar without feeling frustrated at the lack of my abilities, which mainly comes down to memory, as I can barely follow what I'm doing or a song and my brain just switches off and gives up fairly quickly. However I do remember enjoying guitar again in my recovery and my band wrote and recorded a whole album in this period so it would seem my memory/cognitive abilities had gotten a whole lot better at some stage so that gives me hope.

For me personally this whole thing feels a lot harder cause I'm on my own, I found it so much easier when I had a purpose/reason to get better when my girlfriend mattered so much to me etc. I'm not sure what your social situation is but mine is quite isolated as I find it super hard to want to organise to hangout with mates etc when I know I'll barely be able to hold a conversation with them. But in saying that I need to realise that it was me that got myself better not everyone around me so I have the control when it comes to that, and so do you. I do have a memory of when things started to get better and how good it felt to realise most things were possible again and life made a whole lot more sense again, and to actually look forward to things rather than constantly looking back. Right now I'm in the thick of it but I hold onto my previous recovery to get me through and you should do that as well. We need to certainly live day by day and "in the now" but I think we need to think differently about our actual recovery, we need to stop checking whether today was better than yesterday, or last week was better than this week, we really need to hold off as long as we can on performing those checks and rather than checking in more like a realisation that hey I haven't been feeling 'XYZ' for a month or so now I must be getting better etc.
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#21

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:37 pm

Soulvice Im trying to live in the moment and I keep thinking bout my first recovery as well. I didn't know what was happening to me first time round and I kept trying to fix it with using caffeine and it made it worse for a year until I cut all that out and I started healing. I guess now I know what works. That is, exercise in the evening to help sleep, no caffeine, limit sugar, and meditation. And time. Time is the great healer.

I TOTALLY feel you my music is just not the same and I make little mistakes as well but I get through my church services every weekend. I love my job as a musician and choir director and don't wanna give it up for PAWS. But it's frustrating making mistakes and it seems like it's one of the main sources of my depression. I feel like a failure most days, but neuroplasticity is a real thing: I read about monkeys who were gven a stroke induced by scientists that disabled their right arm. Half of them had their right arm bound, half didn't. The half that were unbound slowly regained use of the nonfunctional right arm, the other half didn't. Like those monkeys we have to keep playing music and keep going otherwise we will not regain our former skill level. But half the time I feel like I'm living in the shadow of my former self and it's just awful. The only way out is through, that's the one thing I've learned from all of this.
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#22

Postby soulvice » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:12 am

Yea great way of looking at it, we seem to have very similar trains of thought on this I think. It's crazy how much science has created this picture of a "reality" in which there are laws and rules of nature etc yet it has also proved that placebo is 100% a thing. Which means the way we look at things and the way we feel directly affect our actions and our ability to overcome.

I think my initial recoveries were so much easier because of the positive mindset I was in. I now find it so hard to remove myself from the whole existential thought cycle and it has kind of ingrained itself into every part of my day e.g. when someone starts talking about anything to do with their life I start thinking about how long they have to live and that that could get cut short at any moment. Then I start thinking why was this person born when they were why are they in this time and what is the significance if any of it all, and all the while not being able to remember what they said anyway and participate in the conversation.

It's interesting thinking back to my recovery and realising that all of these things gradually faded almost simultaneously. When my memory returned, I had motivation because I knew I'd remember it, which meant I could focus on the task at hand (improved concentration/spatial awareness) which meant I wasn't actually thinking the existential thoughts etc, all of which stems from the positive mindset.

Conditioning is definitely a real thing and especially with something like depersonalisation that is basically what it is, a cycle of anxiousness that leads to the fight/flight state which we condition ourselves to remain in. But science has proven over and over that conditioning can be reversed with discipline and the right mindset. This is what I need to work on the most is viewing things in a positive light and almost a certain ignorance to the tragedy of the world because if you let yourself think about it it's a downward spiral that leads absolutely nowhere except for wasted time.
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#23

Postby Cthompson21 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:30 am

Well coming up on four months. I feel pretty shitty and depressed still. I was in a car accident and my car slid off the road from snow and ice and I narrowly dodged trees and incoming traffic and was towed out and everything is fine. I'm fine, car is fine. I was just going too fast and I hit a patch of snow. I was worried it would make my anxiety spike or set me back, yesterday I felt horrible after the accident (headache, intense fogginess, chest pain) and then I took a nap, woke up and then went to bed early, exhausted by the adrenaline. It was a harrowing experience and I wonder if I hit another car if I would be writing this now, I'm extremely lucky and it could've been so much worse. I've been worried about getting in an accident due to the Dp I've been experiencing but of course when it happens it's because of something else! Also i should note, the DP is getting less intense. Still have blurry vision, insomnia and general anxiety. I just played a piano recital today and I felt anxious the whole time, I could feel my hands shaking and I can remember, depressingly, when I could just play them almost effortlessly (maybe there were some jitters, but now it feels incapacitating). Oh well. A couple months ago I probably wouldn't be able to do a recital at all so I guess that's progress. Life goes on. I'm still in awe it only took two hits to cause this mess. I hope everyone out there going thru PAWS is staying strong. "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to suceed is strong enough."
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#24

Postby Candid » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:03 am

Cthompson21 wrote:Still have blurry vision, insomnia and general anxiety.


Cthompson21 my dear, kudos for toughing it out, and I know you don't expect much from mainstream doctors, but if you know what you want from them they'll usually oblige.

I recommend Pregabalin for the anxiety and sleeplessness. Your brain can't heal if you aren't getting your zzzzzzz.

I take 150mg Pregabalin (on prescription) night and morning, plus a multivitamin & iron in the mornings. My circs are different to yours: I had a head injury three years ago followed by several distressing bouts in psychiatric hospitals, the result being loss of concentration and memory. Most recently a suspected TIA which is still being investigated. So... lots to be depressed and worried about, and it was keeping me awake. That's stress you can do without.

Pregabalin calms me right down and lets me sleep. It's worth a try.
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#25

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:57 am

Candid, thank you. Yes it is horrible. But the good thing is that it's getting better, very slowly. Thank you for the suggestion! right now I'm against taking anything for my anxiety and sleep, I took Zoloft in the beginning and I it kinda threw me out of whack sleepwise and then I stopped and I think the healing started going better. I try to sleep as much as I can when I can. Gonna wait a year or so to see where things are and if I'm still having residual issues I might go that route, but I want to let my body heal on its own right now. My heart goes out to you for your circumstances, when dealing with the brain it's so tough it seems like to get the proper help since there's so little medicine really knows about how the brain works.
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#26

Postby Candid » Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:29 pm

Hats off to you for deciding to wait "a year or so" instead of grabbing some comfort in the addiction that put you here.
My understanding is that most would balk at deferring it that long, but seeing the bigger picture is great.

Also thanks for your commiseration re. my circs. Sleep is good, good nutritional decisions and caution with any pill-popping. Pregabalin has a couple of side-effects I could do without and I don't want to be taking it indefinitely.

Good luck to you, anyway.
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