19 months into PAWS update (feeling great!)

Postby BullFrog » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:25 pm

Well on September 1st I will be 19 months into PAWS. I mostly have retained the strange buzzy/dizzy/hazy mess in my head since the beginning with occasional pressure in my head. Anxiety is rare but sometimes flares up. Sometimes my thoughts will drop off midway through my thought process. Kinda scary at times, but its also rare. I also am fairly sensitive to caffeine (which I never was before). But...I am currently experiencing fantastic relief.

For the last 2-3 weeks I have felt relief from PAWS by 97-99%. There have been some days where I think it was 100% gone. I found myself, at the end of the day, feeling shocked as I reflected upon the day and never noticing any PAWS symptoms. I also, for the last 2 weeks, have been having a cup off coffee (or two!) with no anxiety. Not only that, I had those cups on empty stomachs!

However, there has been one drastic thing that has occurred these last 4 weeks. I have been doing intermittent fasting. I have mainly been fasting 20 hours and then having a 4 hour eating window or only just one large meal a day. This has dramatically improved my brain fog/haze and I have lost 10 pounds this last month as a result (that's ultimately why I started intermittent fasting).

Anyway, I will not kid myself in thinking I am out of the woods. I am sure another wave will hit me, but it is amazing how I feel right now and I have never experienced this degree of relief since it all started in February of 2018. I am grateful, oh so very grateful for this reprieve. I am soaking it up! It also confirms to me that healing is truly possible. If I can experience this, then in due time I should experience it more and more.

Fight on!

(SIDE NOTE CONCERNING THOSE WHO ARE DOSING WITH NIACIN: I am trying small increments of niacin - the flush version of niacin - and I read that taking large dosages of vitamin C greatly reduces the flush. I can confirm this is true. So for those who are wanting to take natural niacin - meaning it will cause flushing - and want to minimize the flush while they slowly increase their dosage, take it with some vitamin C.)
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#1

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:37 am

Good to hear from you bullfrog, cheers!
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#2

Postby SparkleFly12 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:25 am

Great to hear bullfrog! Glad you are doing a lot better, enjoy the good days when they come!

I also think some symptoms of PAWS are naturally occur occasionally in life from other symptoms, so dont get to discouraged if you have an occasional symptom.
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#3

Postby JimBob8873 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:09 pm

Good for you! So happy to hear others are getting better, it really is a hard fight but it proves how strong we all are!

I am about 4-1/2 months in and I am feeling so so much better than I was. It will all pass and we can move on.

I am just excited that I can drink coffee when its all over hahaha
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#4

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:19 pm

Man, I miss coffee too!! and a night of drinking without worrying about PAWS hitting me next day.

Hey Bullfrog - Remember moderation is still the key, dont do too much of anything.

I have questions for you too but i think i am going to ask them later. Just very happy for you!!
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#5

Postby BullFrog » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:41 pm

Hey Ash, good to hear from you as well and thanks for your kind words. And thanks for the reminder about moderation. I need to be careful not to overdue it. I certainly don't want to induce another wave of PAWS because I got careless with caffeine and other stimulants.

And please feel free to ask me some questions or PM me.

@Sparklefly, thanks for your comment as well, my friend. Much appreciated. Also I never responded to your other post, Sparkle, but are you sure you wish to continue cannabis at some point when you are well again? I just would hate for there to be another relapse for PAWS after all your hard work. Perhaps you can flesh out your reasoning a bit more as to why you would wish to continue?
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#6

Postby Head in loud » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:26 am

That is awesome. Keep it up. I’m 13 and half months in and experience most of symptoms but I feel much much better. I also have started fasting and it has been a blessing. I would also recommend against any supplements but then everyone are different. I just take fish oil and vitamin d and b complex and on and off magnesium. I would recommend fasting, it is a game changer. I have a Muslim friends and first tried fasting with her, it was in middle of PAW..usually my PAW would last weeks but after 3 days of fasting it was gone. I’m building up to fast for 24 hours and maybe 30 hours.
I used to have issue with coffee as well but not any more...do you put sugar or cream in your coffee? My friends used to joke I put coffee in my sugar and cream but now I take it all black and have no issue. In my opinion sugar is worst trigger, try to cut down or completely eliminate sugar if you can.
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#7

Postby SparkleFly12 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:28 pm

@BullFrog

The reason I dont want to swear off weed is simply because I do think I do benefit from it as long as I dont smoke regularly. I dont plan to smoke regularly at all; not every week, not every month; but I do think I benefit from an occasional high. I guess my reasoning is because of why I quit, and what I get out of it.

Weed didnt ruin my life or anything; the only reason I quit was because physical side effects. Actually I would say weed helped my career since I did used to like getting work done when high (I dont plan to do that anymore though, bc to be able to work high you have to have a high tolerance ie smoke a lot). The big benefit I do see after quitting though (aside from the physical symptoms going away) is that I have more time to spend with family and loved ones, which I do like a lot. But its not like my relationships were terrible when I was smoking.

What I get out of weed is that it helps me relax; which is something I have a lot of trouble doing. I have a lot of trouble unplugging from work; and I often sacrifice sleep or meals to finish what Im doing. I have a very overactive mind and have trouble sleeping because my mind is just racing on whatever I was working on that day. On occasion it is really, really bad and I do think it helps to smoke on those days, which forces me to relax. Before, I used to smoke regularly to help sleep, but now I know I have to do more to fix it naturally. But I think it is still good for me to have that on the rare occasion when it is too bad.

I guess the other part of it is that I dont have trouble saying no to weed if I have a reason to. I used to think there were no negatives to smoking, now that I know about PAWS its a huge deterrant to ever smoke regularly. I also was sad/depressed when I started smoking regularly, and I've since treated the root issue of my depression and it doesnt affect me anymore. All in all, I dont think it will be a problem for me to resist smoking regularly again.

Is this all a load of BS and Im just an addict who hasnt recovered? Maybe. If so, then Ill probably be back here with PAWS again soon. Ive smoked once in the last 6 months, and I think thats probably frequent enough. I dont have a craving to smoke any more.

Cheers,
Sparkle
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#8

Postby ashthewarrior7 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:07 am

@sparkle, just putting in my 2 cents. don't smoke for 2 years and ask yourself again if you want to smoke weed. In middle of PAWS is not a good time to make a decision like that
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#9

Postby SparkleFly12 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:13 pm

@ash yeah Im probably going to do that; or at least a yr and a half. Its not that I want to smoke now or plan to, I just dont think theres a harm in the occasional use; similar to how I/most use alcohol.
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#10

Postby BullFrog » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:51 pm

I agree with Ash. Making a decision to use it again while in PAWS just isn't smart.

Here is my 2 cents. I am unaware of any program that recommends reusing a substance that a person was addicted to. Those who were addicted to alcohol, can never have it again. I would think the same is true with Cannabis. Yes, cannabis does have some benefits. The brief time I took it I had the deepest and must resting sleep I have had in years. Hands down. But regardless, I will never take it again because of the almost bad allergic effect it had on me leading me on this path of PAWS. However, if you were addicted to it and this is why you are here with your PAWS, then I say abandon your notion of "harmless" and do not put stock in its other "benefits" for you. Do something else. Pick up a skill, a hobby, something.

And lastly, I have read from some people who actually went right back into a full wave of PAWS (after having recovered) by a single use of cannabis. Remember it will take YEARS for the neuropathways in your brain to realign and ultimately recover from PAWS.
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#11

Postby tokeless » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:04 pm

BullFrog wrote:I agree with Ash. Making a decision to use it again while in PAWS just isn't smart.

Here is my 2 cents. I am unaware of any program that recommends reusing a substance that a person was addicted to. Those who were addicted to alcohol, can never have it again. I would think the same is true with Cannabis. Yes, cannabis does have some benefits. The brief time I took it I had the deepest and must resting sleep I have had in years. Hands down. But regardless, I will never take it again because of the almost bad allergic effect it had on me leading me on this path of PAWS. However, if you were addicted to it and this is why you are here with your PAWS, then I say abandon your notion of "harmless" and do not put stock in its other "benefits" for you. Do something else. Pick up a skill, a hobby, something.

And lastly, I have read from some people who actually went right back into a full wave of PAWS (after having recovered) by a single use of cannabis. Remember it will take YEARS for the neuropathways in your brain to realign and ultimately recover from PAWS.



Hi, whilst I get that view, my experience of working in addiction services has shown me examples of people who used substances because of internal issues. Part of their recovery was to address and resolve those. They then realised they could drink or smoke cannabis with control because the driver for habitual use had gone. Now they could use for pleasure but also being aware of how they used it. The recovery/12 step movement pushes the philosophy you mention but I have never found the label of life long addict helpful. Just thought I'd add my view but I'm not contradicting your point.
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#12

Postby weedbaddrug » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:03 pm

BullFrog wrote:Well on September 1st I will be 19 months into PAWS. I mostly have retained the strange buzzy/dizzy/hazy mess in my head since the beginning with occasional pressure in my head. Anxiety is rare but sometimes flares up. Sometimes my thoughts will drop off midway through my thought process. Kinda scary at times, but its also rare. I also am fairly sensitive to caffeine (which I never was before). But...I am currently experiencing fantastic relief.

For the last 2-3 weeks I have felt relief from PAWS by 97-99%. There have been some days where I think it was 100% gone. I found myself, at the end of the day, feeling shocked as I reflected upon the day and never noticing any PAWS symptoms. I also, for the last 2 weeks, have been having a cup off coffee (or two!) with no anxiety. Not only that, I had those cups on empty stomachs!

However, there has been one drastic thing that has occurred these last 4 weeks. I have been doing intermittent fasting. I have mainly been fasting 20 hours and then having a 4 hour eating window or only just one large meal a day. This has dramatically improved my brain fog/haze and I have lost 10 pounds this last month as a result (that's ultimately why I started intermittent fasting).

Anyway, I will not kid myself in thinking I am out of the woods. I am sure another wave will hit me, but it is amazing how I feel right now and I have never experienced this degree of relief since it all started in February of 2018. I am grateful, oh so very grateful for this reprieve. I am soaking it up! It also confirms to me that healing is truly possible. If I can experience this, then in due time I should experience it more and more.

Fight on!

Hi @ bullfrog

First of all congratulations on your nearly there recovery ! You did it !!!!!

This buzzing in your head, I also have it since month 6 and I am completing a year in 1 month.

Would this be the "tinnitus" or buzzing sound in your ears, which also includes some visual dots ? Therapist told me it's linked to anxiety.

Just wanted to check if this is what you are referring to and wanted to ask how has it improved until this stage as you are really far compared to me and as you mention nearly symptom free.

My main symptom is rumination (Google it if unaware), on Wikipedia it's a common symptom for anxiety. It has improved but sometimes my train of thoughts still goes back and forth, running I notice helps.

How did rumination improve for you? Also who ever reading this, does this symptom exist for you?

I am also seeing improvements, last week I had 4 days that felt back to step one, but I read one of your posts that said to compare in DETAIL long term to present, and only then you see a difference. Seems you were right....I can actually see even though sometime Im just tired of it.

Looking forward in hearing from you and everyone else reading stay strong on yournrecovery.
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#13

Postby BullFrog » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:43 pm

@Tokeless, thank you for our comment. You are likely right that "life long addict" is not a helpful concept. Granted, I don't like to think my point advocates that, although people do describe what I say as that title. It was more along the line that having been an addict before, it is easier to fall into that trap again. Since you are aware of programs where recovered people were able to re-use with no issue (after having solved the core issue as to why they originally became addicted), then I must recant my previous statement. I was speaking from a very limited position in terms of knowledge on the subject, so thank you for your helpful contribution.

@weedbaddrug, thanks for the congrats and great to hear from you! Now my "buzzing" is hard to describe. It's more of a haze - buzz. A type of disorientation, like imagine you are on the verge of getting dizzy but it never happens. It is on the brink of falling off and anxiety would certain ensue, but instead of jumping off the cliff it just stays put. That's the best I can come up with. As such, it is not tinnitus. But, to answer your question, there have been several on this forum who struggled with tinnitus and recovered. It does sound like "irritating" PAWS symptoms like tinnitus (and my issue) are the ones that seem to hang on the longest. I definitely struggled with rumination. In fact, I would argue almost everyone who is going through PAWS has struggled with it. It improved for me by intentionally seeking to "improve myself". Exercise, hobbies, skills, sunshine, being around people when I would rather isolate. Trying to laugh, watch comical movies, read uplifting books about success. Mainly, just trying to live life with the best possible attitude I could. This also means something critical: GRATITUDE. Practice gratitude for what you have. After all, you could have huntingtons disease instead of PAWS. Could you imagine? You could have a host of life altering diseases, but instead all you have is PAWS. Thank God! Get my drift?

And yes, oftentimes one must compare long term. I would never go back to the first two months of PAWS if my life depended on it. It was horrible. Just horrible. Just remember that PAWS has waves. That is what I would call a "scientific law" of PAWS.

Keep us posted on your progress as well.

fight on!
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#14

Postby leavepawsbehind » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:28 pm

I'm at 19 months too. Still recovering and not over it yet. MY remaining symptoms are sensory - fuzzy vision (visual snow), little bit of ringing, stiff muscles and joints. May take me up to 3 years at this rate!
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