2 months down

Postby Astro413 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:52 pm

Hey guys, as of today 8/17/2018 I am officially two months off weed and 2 weeks off nicotine.

Just to give you guys a recap I am 21 years old and I smoked daily for a year and a half while I’ve been on nicotine since I was 17. While some may write me off because I haven’t been the 10-20 year daily smoker I will say that I was smoking strong stuff. I don’t want to say I was addicted considering I had no problem turning weed down and only smoked when I had nothing else important going on like work or school, but I was definitely dependent. I never missed a day. After returning home from university I could not get away with smoking as much I was so instead of smoking nearly every chance I got I started only taking a puff or two before going to sleep. This seemed okay for a couple weeks until I noticed that I was not quite acting the same, I seemed to be anxious and just generally sad. Keep in mind I have never had to deal with any mental issues like depressIon or anxiety so this was very weird and I summed it up to being the weed. Boy was I right.

After determining the weed (or lack of) was causing me to feel this way I through away all my supply and paraphernalia without second thought. What happened afterwards is where I begin the real story. For the first two weeks I could not eat or drink anything without puking or having awful diarrhea. I could not sit still. My vision was constantly looking like I was looking through somebodies glasses. My heart was about 10 bpm higher than usual all the time and I had 3 panic attacks which I have never had before except for one time when I smoked to much but just thought it was a bad high and wrote it off.

After those initial two weeks my physical symptoms calmed down and what laws left was horrible mental torment. Depression and what was/is insane anxiety and ocd, headaches that feel like I had rubber bands wrapped around my skull, muscle tightness and blurry vision. Luckily I found this forum right around that time and literally became so obsessed I could not take my eyes off it wondering when I would feel better. While I am not suicidal I had constantly been fighting off the fear of becoming such and basically any negative thinking brings about those fears for myself and others which I chalk up to the extreme anxiety/ocd.

After the initial month ended around halfway through month two I calmed down dramatically. I am still dealing with the headaches, and occasional blurry but vision the aspects that bother me the most are the constants depression and anxiety. I do have good days where my symptoms seem to subside a lot to the point that I can halfway function like a normal person, but these typically only last in pairs and I still don’t have my sense of humor, my personality, my sense of hope or wonder, and really just my feelings in general other than mad, sad or bored. I can’t communicate with others not even my family often responding with one word answers like “yea” or “uh huh” which breaks my heart because before all this they couldn’t get me to shut up, and I never want to hang out with friends. I honestly feel trapped inside my own home. I don’t have any motivation and I’m constantly worried about the future and question my purpose etc etc. which may be the most troubling part about this because despite what the anxiety and my brain are telling me I know exactly what I want and I love life. The only good thing that has come out of this is that it has brought me closer to God and has given me plenty of incentive to stay off drugs. But the constant depression and racing mind seem to be taking a tole as is the lack of motivation often making me feel glued to the couch.

I know this hasn’t been the most motivational post but I also realize that despite not using as long as some of you the recovery process will take time and your posts are really the only sense of encouragement I get considering even my doctors blows this off or tried to get me on AD’s. I can say though I have improved dramatically since just the first month and I credit that to God, time, and supplements (I would recommend omega 3, b-12, and a long walk every morning). If anybody has a similar story or just wants to throw in some inspiration please do so and I will try to keep updating occasionally since I’m on the forum anyways.
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#1

Postby Cthompson21 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:20 pm

Keep staying strong. Anxiety is intense for me too and I'm one month in. I'm trying meditation every day and it seems to be helpful. There is science that it shrinks the part of your brain responsible for fear and anxiety.
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#2

Postby Astro413 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:30 am

Yea meditation helps when you actually stay consistent with it. Over the last week or so I’ve kind of set in with the whole “what’s the point” mindset that I’ve heard mentioned in here questioning life and what our purposes are etc etc, and I can’t really seem to envision or plan out my future like I used to be able too, instead I just feel really confused. It’s like I know exactly what I want but cannot see it in my head and I’m sure all of this is some result of either the depression or anxiety. My days seem pretty consistent in that I wake up every morning with racing negative thoughts/anxiety and depression which seems to taper off through the day and by the time I go to sleep at night I’m ‘fine’ (not freaking out over everything although symptoms are still present). I have daily problems with awful fatigue and headaches as mentioned. The good days still see all the same symptoms but lesser in severity to the point that it is easier to ignore but those come infrequently at this point in recovery.

All in all I’m sticking to my guns and looking forward to greener pastures with the hope that this whole ordeal will just become a distant fading memeory.
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#3

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:44 pm

My symptoms are almost identical to yours plus bad insomnia. I hope you can find some relief, I know with time you will make it. It sucks i went through PAWS once from anther substance and it took 2.5 years about. I think smoking weed for me set me back and I know I recovered once I'll do it again. I remember the when I went through PAWS the first time, the first year was the hardest, esp the first 4-5 months. I remember having a panic attack driving with people in the car and that was terrifying. But I survived that and many other days... Second year sucked but It was better. I also consumed caffeine and I believe that slowed down my recovery.

This time round I'm more agressive. I do not want to wait two and a half years or I'll be damned. I read Meditation will change your brain, it takes 8 weeks. Google it! I'm trying to stick with it every day and believe me it helps. At least an hour a day, plus exercise twice a day with rest days now and then, and omega 3. I think of it like brain damage. When someone has a stroke or a brain injury there are certain things you can do to speed up recovery, OR you can passively wait for things to get better (or not). I'm going to work as hard as possible to get through this and I hope you will too. I'm a church organist and I just did two services when the other week I was too jittery to play and had to call out. I took off from my day job but I'm planning on going back in September. Trying to take baby steps and take it one day at a time. One quote that helps me is that "whenever you are in despair and things won't get better, know there is an unseen force guiding you in the right direction."

I feel your pain, there's no gettting around it. This SUCKS. But there are plenty of success stories and it's worth a shot to become one of them. I can't wait until the day when we can look back and say, wow that was really really awful but hey we did it. I'm strong. I know you are too...I hope you keep your head up and keep posting so I can see how you're doing, I'm going to be doing the same. I know this post is long and rambling but I hope it helps you in some way. Sending you positive vibes and hope.
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#4

Postby Astro413 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:17 am

Thank you Cthompson21. I agree we’re going to get through this and I agree it’s going to take time. I can say that I really feel for you being this is your second time, personally I’m only 2 months and 2 days in but this has EASILY been the longest and and most painful two months I have ever experienced. As I believe I’ve mentioned before I have seen improvement it has only been very minor, but still encouraging becaus it’s improvement nonetheless which is something I have not really seen so much of at this point in the recovery stage, on this forum at least. Maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones that gets out of this quickly, although I’ll never touch weed again I’ve certainly learned my lesson. This weed withdrawal seems more like permentant headache syndrome along with a twist of depression, anxiety, and wanting to sleep all the f***ing time. The most troubling part of this whole ordeal is that just two months ago I knew exactly what I wanted out of life and it wasn’t to get high, I had goals and aspirations and couldn’t be bothered by anything. Now anything somewhat saddening/disconcerning completely throws me out of whack and I can’t seem to envision my future. Oh well, as they say it will pass and this whole thing will go away as quickly as it came. Stay confident guys, stay motivated no matter how hard it is, prayer helps and so does reading and anything else that challenges your brain..
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#5

Postby Cthompson21 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:45 pm

thank you for your sympathy and support...I was suicidal when it first started. But when I put the belt around my neck, the thought went through my head that it would be easier to face recovery than to do this to myself and others. i thought hey I did it before and it was uncomfortable but I didn't die. Also any crisis could happen anytime, a crisis can be worse or better than this, but they happen to everyone. There isn't anyone that hasn't had something really bad happen to them in their lives, so I'm not ashamed to reach out to my friends and family and tell them what's going on (something I didn't do last time)

Those goals and hopes you had a few months ago. What are they? Mine are to be an author and a concert pianist. I hope one day to make it there. something I learned last time is that hopes for the future don't go away, they just get put on hold for a while. You will be able to do them again, working them in your life little by little as you feel better.

I slept a little better though still had bad dreams, I believe my sleep hygiene and exercise and meditation helped.

As far as you being one of the lucky ones, I'm praying for you and hope you pray for me too. But in addition to that, I also pray you take steps to help yourself, which I'm sure you're doing. I noticed last year my recovery took a turn for the better when I started exercising twice a day, cardio in the morning and light lifting in the evening. The stress hormones released a few hours before bedtime helped me sleep better, and that helped my brain repair. Meditation exercise, socializing, relaxation techniques, reading, brain teasers, omega 3, the list goes on...plus staying sober from alcohol, weed (duh) anything mood altering will speed up your recovery. Believe me, time goes faster than you think. Before you know it, it'll be New Years. And hopefully by then we can say we're doing better.

Someone else once told me you can't control what's happening to you. But you can control how you react to it. In this case, putting your health first and making healthy choices. Sorry to sound preachy but it's the truth ! Second time around is a bitch but I'm thankful I have experience to know what helps.

Keep me updated, I'll be thinking of and praying for you - we're in this together.
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#6

Postby Astro413 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:07 pm

See sleeping hasn’t been the issue for me, at least not getting to sleep. I sleep 6-7 hours a night which is weird because most on this forum seem to have full blown insomnia at least at the beginning stages. My issue is despite sleeping so much I never feel rested at all, literally within an hour or two of waking up and having coffee I feel like I need to go right back to sleep. This is either contributing or caused by the depression/anxiety and seems to hit me in waves where I’ll have a span of 15-30 minutes of feeling wide awake and then right back to dragging. It’ll get better, just another step forward. I’ll continue to update as I see improvements, or need a little comfort. Thank you and feel free to keep this forum going.
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#7

Postby BullFrog » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:33 am

Astro, my prediction is getting that sleep will be a great service to you long haul. I admit you are the first that I have read to say sleep issues haven't been a problem, but the fact that you are at least getting some is good. You are only getting half of the vicious cycle (lack of sleep leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to lack of sleep). Now is it sleepiness like you had a bad nights sleep? Or is it sleepiness more like extreme fatigue and just want to pass out?

Regardless, stay strong. Exercise a TON. And personally, I do recommend Omega's like most people here but I prefer to stay away from fish oil. Too much potential for contaminates like metals and such. Stick with flax oil or, even better, actual milled flax seed (put it in your oatmeal, spaghetti sauce, stir fry, soups, cereal, etc).
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#8

Postby Astro413 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:34 am

Bullfrog id say it’s more like extreme fatigue, basically from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. Like I get sleep but it is not good sleep, it’s more restless and although I don’t remember my dreams I wake up with anxiety and an awful feeling which seems to be the theme on these boards.
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#9

Postby BullFrog » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:01 am

In that case I can say that for me, weeks 3-6 I had terrible fatigue (with the addition of terrible sleep). But the fact that your sleep is restless wouldn't certainly add to the problem. :(

Some people have recommended 5-HTP. I haven't tried it yet myself (not for sure what I am waiting for), but I know others say it's really good. Hope you have a good night sleep tonight. :)
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#10

Postby Cthompson21 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:05 pm

Astro413 wrote: My issue is despite sleeping so much I never feel rested at all, literally within an hour or two of waking up and having coffee I feel like I need to go right back to sleep. This is either contributing or caused by the depression/anxiety and seems to hit me in waves where I’ll have a span of 15-30 minutes of feeling wide awake and then right back to dragging. It’ll get better, just another step forward.


Have you thought about cutting out coffee or is it essential? I remember caffeine slowed down my recovery the first time. Also doing some lifting like squats and bench press release a stress hormone that helps you sleep, when I do that 3-4 hours before bed I feel more rested.
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#11

Postby Astro413 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:34 pm

Hey a Thompson, I wouldn’t say the coffee is essential but it does make think easier throughout the day, I feel like I’m worse when I don’t have it although it does trigger a little bit of the anxiety. I’ve noticed this morning upon waking up the first time I was fine for a few minutes and went back to sleep, then after waking up for the second time around when I usually wake up my mind immediately started moving at 100%. This has been my biggest problem all along and what causes most of my anxiety (which it stems from) and the depression. This is just part of the morning routine since quitting weed and seems to taper off throughout the day but it is very discouraging every morning for these thoughts usually range from a wide variety and are never pleasant ones.
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#12

Postby Cthompson21 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:19 pm

Astro, do what's works for you. But it might be worth a shot to try giving it up for a while and see if you notice my improvement in your symptoms. Maybe also try sleep hygiene and not going back to sleep after you wake up. My therapist is getting me to practice it (same bedtime every night) and idk if it helps but I do feel like I can function halfway decently through the day, even when I'm in anxious social situations that set me off.
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#13

Postby BullFrog » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:22 pm

I agree with Chtompson. Why not try black tea? Try something that is half the power and see what happens? Also maybe do Green Tea. Just a suggestion. :)
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#14

Postby Astro413 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:27 am

As far as sleep hygiene goes I’m in bed every night at 11, as far as going back to sleep in the morning goes depends on when I wake up and whether or not it’s due to anxiety and how early it is. Overall I have been making strides although some days it’s hard to notice, some days like today I feel flat out Ill, not even just mentally but like I have the flu (no fever). Not sure if this is a reccuring theme, but doctors have given me the green light so that chalks it up to withdrawal/PAWS. Time is a healer though and patience is key, fog is still present along with the other symptoms but I do feel them ever so slightly lifting.
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