My Withdrawal Diary

Postby hartstreet » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:52 pm

Hi folks - I was surprised to be going through weed withdrawal, but having stumbled upon this website found lots of useful and encouraging information and wanted to contribute my part. I am about 2 weeks in to withdrawal, and intend to post here weekly (as long as there are developments worth sharing) and hopefully less frequently as I level out. Everyone's experiences are unique of course, but it's been helpful to read and learn about others', and I hope this helps others too!

Background:
I'm in my late 30s, have been smoking (more vaping) for about 4-5 years, first weekly, then daily, and for the last year every day starting at usually 5pm until bed (11-ish). I vaped herb, not oils, but did try concentrates in the few weeks leading up to quitting.

I also have a history of anxiety from growing up in an abusive household, and have had some family life events in the last 5 years that have exacerbated this anxiety. Otherwise, I'm physically healthy, though as weed played a larger part, exercise and good habits played a smaller part, of my life.

Week 1:
The first week was a confusing one, since I wasn't familiar with weed withdrawal, and had a number of other issues in life that I was managing. Specifically, I suffered a sinus infection before I stopped vaping, and was just re-entering therapy for stress/anxiety based on the previously mentioned life events.

I was feeling sluggish and unfocused, but the main physical symptoms were tinnitus and sound sensitivity. I visited an ENT, since I did have a sinus infection, and took some local steroids to help clear out the infection, but it was clear that something lingered - the ringing in my ear/head and sensitivity, that remains.

Around this time I started researching, found this forum, and accepted that one contributing factor was that I was experiencing withdrawal. One give-away sign was that I was having vivid and dark dreams (as I've seen them described here). I hadn't dreamed in years, and they came back hard. I was also experiencing trouble going to sleep, with the tinnitus and racing thoughts. In the night I'd have trouble regulating my body temp, and would wake in cold sweats.

Week 2:
The second week I've had more of the emotional/psychological aspects of my withdrawal emerge, perhaps in part because of my awareness of what I was going through. It's generally been a mix of discouraging (acknowledging and accepting the reality of what I'm going through and the uncertainty about how long it might take), but also encouraging (as I have had a sense of direction and focus on living healthier).

I stopped drinking coffee, though not necessary, I wanted to entirely clear my body of any outside influences on energy and mood. So, there were points this week that I was especially droopy and tired, and barely able to focus.

Psychologically I am experiencing more depression than anxiety (though the two go hand-in-hand), making me low-energy and unfocused. Physically, I feel drained, and have a general fogginess that persists. Also have pressure in head and tinnitus as main reminders of what I'm going through. In general, the closest I can compare it to is a bad hangover, without (for some reason) the nausea or stomach issues. I do have a bad "taste" in my mouth, like a sharpness that isn't quite nausea but makes eating less appealing.

The good news is that I've already seen an improvement in my sleep. Going to sleep isn't too challenging (since I'm so sluggish and tired most of the day), but I've started sleeping through the night and my dreams have chilled out a bit. I also sleep without sweats or frequent wakings, though I wake tired and it is really challenging to get moving.

From here:
I've been focused on healthy habits, and plan to continue. This includes aerobic exercise (which was tough at first, since I didn't trust my body), no caffeine or junky foods, and plenty of rest. Lots of water too. I've seen, on each day, a very direct relationship between how well I stick to these good habits and how good I feel. Humbling to be reminded of how we must care for ourselves and our bodies.

Thanks for reading, more to come!
hartstreet
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#1

Postby thatindianguy » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:12 pm

Thanks for this update! Its my 7th day off of weed and I went through a withdrawal that completely came as a surprise!

This forum has helped me learn a lot of things about PAWS and I have resolved not to smoke anymore. Best of luck on your journey to being clean!
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#2

Postby hartstreet » Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:01 pm

Week 3:
This past week has continued some positive progress, but revealed this is definitely a slow process. The dominant physical symptoms are tinnitus and some head pressure/aches, sluggsishness and lack of energy, and some issues with focus and being present. I went to an audiologist for a hearing test, which showed some loss in hearing at high frequencies, which the ENT then concluded was the cause of tinnitus and considered his job done, but I remain of the belief that there are neurological causes to what I'm experiencing and that the head pressure and stress is connected to the continued tinnitus.

I've been exercising somewhat regularly, focusing on getting my heart rate up and keeping it there for at least 30 minutes. This has felt good, and after even just a week I feel a better sense of trust in my body's ability. I am in cognitive behavioral therapy, which is helpful in itself, but haven't been very good at staying focused on applying exercises (mindfulness, yoga, etc...) outside of my weekly sessions. I definitely have also noticed a more direct correlation between how I treat my body (especially eating well and regularly, and drinking enough water) and how I feel. I accidentally didn't get lunch until 3pm one day and it was not good.

All in all, a decent week, sleeping well, though it never feels enough, and staying positive and engaged is definitely still an effort. I haven't had any real moments of clarity or breakthrough from the feelings of withdrawal, but I have managed to be distracted from them, particularly when at work (which is complicated, because the work is also a negative stressor as there's too much on my plate right now.)

From here:
Continue exercise, as I think it's helpful in generating positive brain chemistry and for cardiovascular health, and focus more on other wellness exercises, like mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, yoga, and meditation. And drink lots of water, don't forget!

Be well all!
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#3

Postby hartstreet » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:51 pm

Week 4:

One month! It's not entirely clear to me the actual day I stopped getting stoned, as it faded out at the same time I was focusing on a sinus infection, but I am definitely 4 full weeks weed free, and generally feeling pretty good.

The primary symptoms that remain are physical, and relate to my head/sinuses. I feel dry, and like there's these unique feelings of pressure and/or headaches that appear through my head and neck (and the tinnitus, particularly in the left ear, won't stop). I've been trying to focus on staying hydrated, as I think this is the best immediate thing I can do to address this, but am also considering starting turmeric/curcumin supplements, thinking there is an element that is caused by inflammation. Also considering chiropractic and/or acupuncture work, or even just a massage to start.

Though its been most challenging for me to identify the emotional/psychological aspects of my withdrawal, I now feel a bit clearer and less weighed down/unmotivated, which I think is whatever emo aspects of the withdrawal starting to lift. Looking back, the first week or two were really rough, and I was definitely severely depressive. I have been very focused on psychotherapy, seeing a therapist weekly and spending time journaling and using cognitive behavioral therapy workbooks. I think this all has been really helpful. I had the context of already knowing I had these things to confront, so it was easy to use that direction as a part of managing my withdrawal, but its also been a good opportunity to be brutally honest about what caused me to get into bad habits and start abusing weed.

I had been exercising regularly, focusing on aerobic activities and stretching, but I overdid it last weekend and spent a good few days recovering from that. Humbling reminder to take it slow and let your body be where it is, not where you may remember it being a decade ago or where you wish it were.

My impatience with the process, and fear of the uncertainty of where this is going and if I'll ever feel "normal" or 100% again has been a central part of my experience, so focusing my attention on specific, purposeful acts, like exercising regularly and making good eating decisions, as well as the psychological work has been very helpful as a general means to get through this. I also remain grateful for communities like these to share openly.

From here:
Keep up good habits, focus on patience. Reintroduce exercise, drink even more water. I'm still reluctant to introduce supplements or any other non-regular substances to the mix of my body, so probably some massage work and focused stretching for now.

Anyone else have experiences with their ears/sinuses (and this terrible tinnitus) from withdrawal?

Be well all!
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#4

Postby hartstreet » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:11 pm

Month 2

I feel like I’ve sort of plateaued at this point, though I’m definitely encouraged to report that month two is dramatically better than where I was the same time in month one. There are better and worse days, and symptoms (both physical and emotional - same ones as previously) ebb and flow, that’s just sort of life, ups and downs.

I continue to see a much more direct effect on how I care for myself and how I feel (compared to before I started getting stoned, or even while I was getting stoned), so focusing on consistently good sleep, food, exercise, etc...has helped make for fewer down times, and I expect that’s largely where I’ll be for a bit.

I’ll probably start to update monthly, as long as this trajectory continues, so hang in there all and be well!
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#5

Postby Mrbrooklyn » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:02 am

Ok everyone I don't know what's going on. I've quit smoking weed since two full weeks. I also have had quit cigarettes at the same times but I've smoked occasionally cigarettes.

Here is my feeling. Firstly I got this intense fever and I even had the 5 days flu pills taken. Now sometimes I feel real fine but at night I sweat a lot. The sweating part is claimed down a bit but I still get fever and chills symptoms at night. My heart has pain and so are my legs. My concentration level is very low and I easily get angry. As a matter of fact today when I was coming out from this restaurant with my wife. As we were crossing this two way street in Brooklyn, coney island ave...I went front of this car and held him stopped.. cursed him out and had my wife didn't come in the middle I'm sure he would be at the hospital....I later drove my car and as my wife is screaming e.t.c....I saw a cop car and I am like screaming out... and I told them can you stop this... as soon as the cop replied what...I started cursing them.... they were on the other side of the road so they made a u turned after me...I pulled the car to parking and I got out of the car and cursed them some more.... they eventually kept on driving. I know my rights. I got to the office and smoked two cigarettes.

My chest is still hurting, I've pain in my legs...I take advil pm...I don't know when this thing going to stop. I wasted too much time. I'm 38 and I started weed since 5 years ago and eventually started cigarettes after a couple of months. I screwed up big time. I almost lost my business... from three offices to one and this year I had over $100k lost.

This thing has given me some kind of headache as some electric shock is running in my head.

Now please why they making this sh** legal if I was so addicted they I smoked it day middle of the day at work and at night.

I was a good kid growing up...I did about 250lbs bench press alone. Even 740lbs on legs and I run and beat an army captain into the race even after I had started smoking and left the gym for over two years.

I was 210lbs mostly muscles I'm 6.1 tall... and has mid frame... now I weight about 165lbs. I stopped eating and eat time I got hungry after smoking I would smoke cigarettes.

I'm worried about my health. I used to look 28 to 29 at the age of 34 and now I look my age or sometimes get told I'm 44...I usually lie to people and I tell them I'm 55.

How long am I looking to return to normal or I've screwed myself forever?
Irregardless I'm not touching weed and have dropped cigarettes to 2 a day from a pack. And if I start to feel a bit better I'll join the gym again and cut the cigarettes in totality.

Please help and get me some feedback thanks
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