2 years 5 months here

Postby mynameismaryjane » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:59 am

Just thought I’d add my story here, since I’m an avid reader of this forum especially when I’m feeling low. I’m hoping that by sharing my story, that maybe somebody else can relate and feel less alone in their progress.

I’m 2 years and 5 months sober from marijuana. I began smoking at 30 years old, and only smoked on weekends for maybe about 6 months tops. Nearing the end of the 6 month “addiction”, I felt the need and urge to smoke almost every day. My husband and I fell into the trap of believing that marijuana wasn’t addictive, since it was was natural, blah blah blah. I no longer believe this to be true, not in the slightest.

One day I decided I didn’t want to smoke anymore because it made me feel lazy. So I quit cold turkey, and never even realized that my body may have become dependent on it.... This is when the craziness hit. I started to feel strange, and began to grow more and more paranoid. It felt as though my brain just stopped functioning. Mind you, I had never dealt with depression or anxiety before in my life.

The first year was total sh**, as other have described, and I felt as though I was trapped in a prison with no way out. But still, I somehow gathered the strength to push through one day at a time.

At the beginning, my senses were completely off. The best way for me to describe it, is that my body was not providing the proper feedback. One time, I helped my husband pick up a move a large television, and could not feel the weight of it, nor could I feel the strain of my muscles. This freaked me out big time, and was kind of traumatizing. I felt like I was no longer attached to my body and was having major derealization.

One of the first things I noticed, was that my vision began to distort, the world seemed flat, and colors were no longer the right shade. Trees limbs were tinted a foggy haze of blue, and other shadows look very off. Lights at night turned into starburst, then after a few months turned into halos. My depth perception was shot. My vision has been my biggest struggle and rritation through this slow and brutal recovery.

Every night I was having very vivid dreams, and for a little while I become an insomniac. My husband would rub me to try to relax me and put me to sleep, but I would wake up over and over every night and could not stay asleep. It was so irritating, as I still had to wake up early and go to work every day. I work in a highly technical field, so this combination was excruciating.

One night during when I managed to fall asleep, I even had a very vivid out of body experience and saw the bright white light. I felt as though I floated out of my body and at the time thought I felt to heaven. I felt at peace, and my body officially hit rock bottom from the withdrawal. It was terrifying, and I bawled my eyes out upon waking up because I had no idea what had happened.

My husband and I had nobody to talk to, and for months we didn’t even know I was experiencing marijuana withdrawals. I thought I had a nervous breakdown of some type of awakening. We had zero resources. That was one of our loneliest times, but I am grateful that he stuck by me and helped me every step of the way.

When it came to trying to boost my recovery, I tried literally everything. Natural supplements, walking in nature, meditating, yoga, and even explored various religions. I was desperate for relief, but nothing helped.

One day, I finally gave up, and decided to just live my life, try to eat healthy, and let time pass. Slowly but surely, each symptom lifted. The progress was slow, but was noticeable. Month by month, something else lifted.

The ringing in my ears went away. My sensations returned, my sleep came back. I was smiling again. My personality came back, and I could crack jokes again. I enjoyed food again, and began to feel my emotions deeply again. And finally, I made new friendships, and began to socialize in a much healthier way than I ever had before. Unfortunately my socialization died during my deepest of lows, and I did not want to leave the house with such high anxiety.

So here I am, 2 years and 5 months later, still not completely symptom free. My vision is still slightly off, but I’m still having noticeable improvements every month or so. My depression is not fully under control and still hits me in waves, but I am able to tell myself to ignore it, and press on. The waves have stabilized a ton and have almost completely gone away granted that I get my 8 hours of sleep.

The most important advice I can give from my personal recovery is to eat right, take a multivitamin, fishoil, exercise, respect that you need good sleep, and do not drink alcohol or take any other substances. I am also completely off caffeine, and this helps a ton. Sugary drinks have been tossed out as well.

This is my story, it sucked going through it. But I now value my life so much more. I have gained a type of self confidence that I didn’t have before, and have taught myself a ton about psychology which has helped me deal with stress management and gain a ton of emotions intelligence. Life is definitely a lot more fun now, and I can’t wait for what the future holds.

Thank you for reading.
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#1

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:04 am

Thank you for sharing, you are so strong. I hope your vision keeps improving. I have given up in a way too and I'm trying my best to live.
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#2

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:06 am

How is your anxiety now btw?
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#3

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:33 am

the worst is behind you. Thanks for sharing.

Also, Does your multivitamin contain ginsen? If it does that may need to be cut out, like caffeine, it seems to aggravate a wave of PAWS .
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#4

Postby mynameismaryjane » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:20 pm

Cthompson21 wrote:How is your anxiety now btw?


My anxiety is still always there in a very mild form. But it comes and goes depending on whether or not I’m in a socially stressful situation. When it hits the hardest, it feels like I took 3 steps backwards and I’m reminded that I’m still unwell. Ugh. Then after a few hours of mindfully trying to relax my mind, it wears off and I’m able to feel like myself again.

I definitely understand the feeling of defeat and just wanting to give up. Many times I’ve laid on my bed, staring the ceiling with a buzzing head and distorted vision and just wonder why this happened to me?

My husband smoked the same as that I did, and he was completely unaffected. My guess is genetics. And I just didn’t win that part of the genetic lottery.

I feel like I have no choice but to continue to press on. If I cave in and pick up mj again, that will solve nothing and will just start the process all over again. And I refuse to go back to that dark place.

Don’t give up, just move on with life, accept your symptoms at the moment, and focus on things that make you happy. I bet with time, your symptoms too will pass slowly but surely.

cheers.
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#5

Postby mynameismaryjane » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:26 pm

ashthewarrior7 wrote:the worst is behind you. Thanks for sharing.

Also, Does your multivitamin contain ginsen? If it does that may need to be cut out, like caffeine, it seems to aggravate a wave of PAWS .


Thank you Ash! It has been the toughest ride of my life, and I’ve been long ready to get off this rollercoaster.

But phew! Just checked the label and it does not contain ginsen.

Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll keep an eye out for ginsen in the future, since I often switch out my multivitamins for new brands.

I feel like a little kid, where caffeine and sugar make me go bonkers, but not in a good way.
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#6

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:34 pm

What I've really noticed is, anything psychoactive or any stimulant, does trigger off PAWS, the stronger the substance, the worse the PAWS. Caffeine, tobacco/nicotine, processed sugar, alcohol, cannabis and on and on. Enough of it gives you a high but PAWS will follow for sure. And this in turn will affect your recovery time. It's very important to monitor these stimulant intakes to have a smoother recovery.
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#7

Postby leavepawsbehind » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:48 pm

My distorted vision is also one of my last symptoms! I'm 18 months sober and my remaining symptoms are ringing ears (pretty quiet unless I'm stressed/anxious, seems to come and go now), stiff muscles/joints, random pain and visual noise. My eyes are also sensitive to light. If I look at a solid surface, especially a white surface, I see a bunch of spots and stars and rapidly moving squiggles and floaters. Same thing when I look up at the sky. And my night vision is also grainy. Symptom after symptom keep lifting but this one seems to be pretty stubborn, the vision never comes and goes, it's always just a little noisy. It's really only an issue with big, bright monitors and when I'm outside without sunglasses on.

My ringing ears and anxiety used to be my worst symptoms, but now it's probably the visual noise. I've read a lot of stories about it eventually going away but I'm disheartened that it's still messed up for me at 18 months.
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#8

Postby leavepawsbehind » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:18 pm

I did forget to ask - when did your ears stop ringing?
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#9

Postby mynameismaryjane » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:52 pm

leavepawsbehind wrote:My distorted vision is also one of my last symptoms! I'm 18 months sober and my remaining symptoms are ringing ears (pretty quiet unless I'm stressed/anxious, seems to come and go now), stiff muscles/joints, random pain and visual noise. My eyes are also sensitive to light. If I look at a solid surface, especially a white surface, I see a bunch of spots and stars and rapidly moving squiggles and floaters. Same thing when I look up at the sky. And my night vision is also grainy. Symptom after symptom keep lifting but this one seems to be pretty stubborn, the vision never comes and goes, it's always just a little noisy. It's really only an issue with big, bright monitors and when I'm outside without sunglasses on.

My ringing ears and anxiety used to be my worst symptoms, but now it's probably the visual noise. I've read a lot of stories about it eventually going away but I'm disheartened that it's still messed up for me at 18 months.


The ringing in my ears stopped somewhere between 18 months to 2 years. I never hear it anymore, and it’s definitely a symptom of the past. I’m sure it will lift for you soon too.

The visual issues have got to be the worst part of recovery. It didn't come and go in waves for me either, and was always there as a constant reminder. It’s eased up a ton, thankfully, but still affects me. I also had a lot of noise in my night vision and during the day when looking at shadows. The worst part was the double vision, since it would make me scared to look people in the eyes. Lately the double vision has gone away and only affects me if I drink caffeine. I never see anybody talking about visual issues on here, so it’s helps to know that I’m not alone.

I keep reading about the 2-3 year recovery timeframe on this forum, so that gives me the hope and determination to just keep pushing through.

At 18 months, I was dishearten as well. But you’re on the right path, just keep going!!!

I only mildly smoked for 6 months, and it’s wreaked havoc on my life for over 2 years.
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#10

Postby leavepawsbehind » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:04 am

Interesting. I had blurry vision on and off with one eye, but that symptom has gone away and only comes back when I am particularly anxious. The rest of my visual issues are really depressing though. If I keep still and focus my vision, I see a lot of sparkles and dark spots and other noise all in my field of vision in areas that are solid colored, or particularly bright. It doesn't seem to get worse or better but I do notice it more when I'm anxious. It's so persistent that I have trouble imagining it going away and my vision being normal again.
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#11

Postby weedbaddrug » Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:33 am

leavepawsbehind wrote:Interesting. I had blurry vision on and off with one eye, but that symptom has gone away and only comes back when I am particularly anxious. The rest of my visual issues are really depressing though. If I keep still and focus my vision, I see a lot of sparkles and dark spots and other noise all in my field of vision in areas that are solid colored, or particularly bright. It doesn't seem to get worse or better but I do notice it more when I'm anxious. It's so persistent that I have trouble imagining it going away and my vision being normal again.


Hi leavepawsbehind,

Just wanted to ask in regards to the tinnutus, have you had a wave when it was completely gone, even when in silent?

I am in 10 months now and this is my last symptom, along with anxiety...

Therapist says its due to anxiety, just want your thoughts if they can still improve after 10 months...


Thanks
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#12

Postby leavepawsbehind » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:31 pm

weedbaddrug wrote:Hi leavepawsbehind,

Just wanted to ask in regards to the tinnutus, have you had a wave when it was completely gone, even when in silent?

I am in 10 months now and this is my last symptom, along with anxiety...

Therapist says its due to anxiety, just want your thoughts if they can still improve after 10 months...


Thanks


The lowest it's been is to where I can't hear it unless I plug my ears. It was at its lowest probably around months 14-15. It got a bit louder recently, I go through waves with it where it does it's own thing that isn't predictable, but it definitely gets louder when I get waves of other symptoms. I started job hunting 3 months ago, went through interviews, and started a new job, and this has all been pretty stressful and my tinnitus came back a bit louder. I have a few other symptoms too like muscle aches/stiffness and nervous feelings in my feet and hands along with the vision stuff. At my best, the tinnitus is very low and the vision problems are present but everything else is gone. At this point I am just thankful for regular 8hr+ sleep and imagine this will all get better given time.
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#13

Postby Requimfordream » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:35 pm

I'm a 2 years and 6 month now, and the last month has been the worst I ever remember, I have developed a severed insomnia so bad that not even an anvien 10 mg put me to sleep, i go to bed around 11 to finally fall sleep around 3-4 am, At the beiging I was suffering strees due to my new job then that stress triggered my anxiety with a severe allergy attack, the anxiety has easy down, the insomnio persist and now I have a wave of depression that make me feel worthless and very sad, I walk like a zombie at day time, I try to figured out whats going on!! I suppost to be much better after 2.5 years BUT I'M NOT. I make and appointent with a psychiatry and now I do really need to seek medicine and professional help because I tried all this time with out and I never got better... good luck every one
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#14

Postby mynameismaryjane » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:51 pm

Requimfordream wrote:I'm a 2 years and 6 month now, and the last month has been the worst I ever remember, I have developed a severed insomnia so bad that not even an anvien 10 mg put me to sleep, i go to bed around 11 to finally fall sleep around 3-4 am, At the beiging I was suffering strees due to my new job then that stress triggered my anxiety with a severe allergy attack, the anxiety has easy down, the insomnio persist and now I have a wave of depression that make me feel worthless and very sad, I walk like a zombie at day time, I try to figured out whats going on!! I suppost to be much better after 2.5 years BUT I'M NOT. I make and appointent with a psychiatry and now I do really need to seek medicine and professional help because I tried all this time with out and I never got better... good luck every one


Have you tried exercising? I find that doing a simple 20 minute YouTube exercise session everyday in my living room does wonders. I also prioritize sleep, fish oil, and a multivitamin. Excluding caffeine and alcohol is so key too.

I am really sorry that you are still feeling terrible. A couple months ago I was feeling super depressed, and felt like I wasn’t improving anymore. But I kept pushing, and most importantly picked up exercise, and after 3 weeks of being committed to that, I feel like a new person. It’s ridiculous tbh. I have always hated exercising, so it took a long time for me to break down and finally work out.

I can still feel the anxiety come and go, but it more-so only affects me in normal stressful situations rather than all the time now. I think I’ve also come to realize that I’ve always been a little more anxious that others. Which unfortunately probably made me more susceptible to having these types of withdrawals issues.
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