3 Months Clean from weed - My PAWS experience so far

Postby 90sbynature » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:06 am

Hello all

I want to start by saying this website has been so helpful in my journey towards getting back to my old self. My story is different than most I have been able to read because I wasn’t smoking for a very long amount of time. Here’s my story so far

I started smoking (not counting a few times socially at college parties) on July 4th 2018. I started out using just whatever street bud I could get my hands on. It started slowly just smoking 3 to 4 days a week. A way to unwind after work and deal with the stressful days. I mainly picked it up because my ex fiancé and I had just split up, I was in a battle with her over ownership of my home, bills were crippling my otherwise active social life due to the new amount of financial stress I was now under, and I was also living alone in my once active and happy house. I wasn’t handling the stress from life very well. I began to hang out with my friends who smoke more often. It started to become once or twice a month they would come over and we would blaze it up in my garage. We would smoke quite a lot these nights. Vaporizer hits, joints, oil vape cartridges, all in one night. I became fond of the concentrate oil vape cartridges due to their ease of use and no clean up or smell lingering. I began vaping them around October 2018 and smoked them every single night from then until I decided to quit for good on August 6th 2019. During this time, I met the woman of my dreams. We have been together since January 2019 and she moved in to my house (which I finally was able to get custody of) in March 2019. Life was good. I would come home to a great woman, and when she would fall asleep in the evenings I would hit the vape on play video games with my buddies. Things seemed great! After a few failed attempts at quitting during this time, things started to become more clear that I was developing an addiction to this substance.

I work in a casino dealing cards, which is a very unusual type of profession. I deal with a lot of very toxic people. Angry, depressed, sometimes insulting people who have their own addiction they can’t seem to get over. This just further adds to my personal stress. I can’t seem to keep that from bothering me even after 3 years of working this job. So I decided I needed to kick the habit to get a better job and improve my life. I decided to quit August 4th and was 2 days clean no issues when my stoner friends called me to see if I wanted to smoke one more time before I quit. I decided sure why not. They got their hands on some medical grade bud they wanted us to try. We hit it hard on the bong and I was doing great until I wasn’t anymore. I fell into a severe panic attack. I was having horrible thoughts, rocking back and forth on the couch, heart racing, I thought I was dying. It was horrible. I eventually came down and the next morning I decided that was the day to quit. A few hours later I was hit with a huge wave of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, you name it. Horrible. Worst few days of my life. I spent my next week off from work with my family and friends on a vacation in the mountains. But I was miserable and was barely able to even eat and enjoy myself the entire trip. I started taking magnesium, super B complex, and St. John’s wort to try to combat my horrible feelings. About a week later I dabbled with a CBD tincture as well. I quickly realized these things don’t play well together. After suffering 2 days of my heart rate being at a resting 155 BPM standing still I went cold turkey on all the supplements. To this day I am taking nothing for my symptoms. I had a week of night sweats, vivid dreaming and panics when I woke up. Those subsided about 3 weeks into my recovery. The next 2 months have been slowly improving over time. My appetite is normal now, I sleep pretty well minus the occasional weird dream. My main issue now is the lingering feelings of dread and anxiety. Worrying about getting older and passing away. Worrying about future health problems I might have (not from smoking just in general). My emotions can still be sensitive to things that normally wouldn’t be a problem (certain types of music, commercials on tv about negative things). I am approaching 4 months clean. I have seen much improvement but I have also had lingering issues that can sometimes be so tiring. The anxiety and occasional depression are my main problem right now. Anyone have any insight into when these things faded? Just looking for some hope that things do in fact return to normal state and I won’t have every single day feeling like I am now. It sucks so bad sometimes. Anyone who is going through the first few months, be strong! I have seen so much improvement. Just hoping to gain more insight into when I can maybe get some more permanent relief. Thanks so much in advance everyone.
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#1

Postby 90sbynature » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:28 pm

Also, I was seeing a certified addictions counselor for my issues. I know some on here may find that funny because I only smoked 13 months but I was struggling and just felt it could help me. He was the one to tell me I was experiencing PAWS. Just hoping someone can relate to how I’m feeling and provide some feedback. I spent a lot of time reading on here about how I’m feeling. It seems 6 months to 8 months is the timeframe but just looking for some guidance. Thank you again.
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#2

Postby Cthompson21 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:36 pm

It is different for everyone, you will have your own timeline of recovery. Some people smoked 6 months, some people smoked years, some people only smoked a few times. Keep exercising, maybe take fish oil, eat healthy, and keep living your life. PAWS sucks and is life changing but you will get better. I'm at a year an three months weed free, way better than at the beginning but I still have anxiety that I dont think will ever completely go away, it just fades over time. There are people on here that have pretty much recovered their old lives back, and people who have gone a long time and still struggle. Different for all, like I said. Main thing is stay sober and your life will improve. Wishing you the best.
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#3

Postby 90sbynature » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:41 pm

Thanks so much for your reply man. Appreciate that so much. I’m hoping things get back to my old self. I wish you the best in your recovery as well. It’s awesome you have made it that far already!
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#4

Postby CaliGrown » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:39 pm

How are you doing now?

Your timeline is a little similar to mine. I honestly feel it’s the oils and vaporizers that does this to our bodies. As well as the legal market opening up and raising the thc in flower. I had never had withdrawals from street flower like these. I used to smoke a lot when I was younger but just street weed and never had withdrawals. I stopped because I got married at 19. December 2019 I started again, first with flower then with vapes only....street flower only has 10-20% thc the vape cartridges can have up to 90%. Once I got panic attacks in Aug 2019 I quit cold turkey as well. They kept happening for like 3 months. I had heart palpitations etc. it was bad. Month 4-5 I felt ok, no panic, heart ok etc then boom random panic attack in January 2020. It sets you back. Extreme anxiety and depression for the weeks to follow. Hard to get back to the space where you thought things were getting better and ok. It just takes time. I saw a therapist as well. Addiction has no timeline. Your brain was addicted to the thc and when you stopped cold turkey it caused it to freak out and it’s having a hard time rewiring. Time depends on many things. Some people smoked for 10 years and they recovered after 2 years. Some people smoked for 18 months and it took 3 years. I think it depends on the level of thc, how you smoked it, how you quit (cold turkey or weened off) and your physiological and psychological health. I only smoked from dec to aug and I’m almost on month 8. I was doing ok but with this whole virus epidemic my anxiety is through the roof. It takes patience and time. Good luck!
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#5

Postby 90sbynature » Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:22 pm

Hey Cali,

Appreciate your response. I actually haven’t been on the forums for quite some time now. I am approaching 8 months clean now and I can honestly say that I’m doing much better. I don’t have anxiety most days. I do get occasional fleeting moments of anxiety but usually I can self manage it quickly and get back to normal. Sleep has been good for quite some time now. The depression isn’t really a factor most days. It hits me sometimes, like when this social distancing stuff all began and I was furloughed from my job it hit me some. But that’s to be expected. We are living in unprecedented times right now. It’s natural to have some anxiety or depression over losing our normal routine and way of life for the time being. I do agree that it is the high THC vape stuff that messed me up. I smoked normal street weed without ever having issues and I actually was starting to see some initial issues flaring up with oils even before I had my full panic attack. My mood was temperamental. I could go from feeling ok to basically breaking down in tears time to time. Freaky stuff. I can tell you one thing, I don’t regret going through this hell. I’m so much better off than I was before I decided to quit. Hang in there Cali. Things do get better. I spent a lot of time on here reading and searching for hope when I was feeling down and it helps a lot. I wish you the very best in your journey. If you ever need to talk to someone, reach out. I’ll do my best to help. Stay strong.
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#6

Postby CaliGrown » Sun Dec 13, 2020 8:00 pm

Sorry for the day and thank you for the kind words. I stopped smoking August 2019 (Cartridges) and had panic attacks and severe anxiety for almost 7 months. In and out of the hospital I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and anxiety and put on medication for both. I had severe heart palpitations and was put on heart monitors with no findings. I never had issues like this with flower. I stopped taking the blood pressure medication after my panic attacks and anxiety died down about six months after that. I had been monitoring it and noticed it has been staying down in about March so I stopped the medication. I think the anxiety is what made my blood pressure so high and honestly the only thing that could help me was time. It’s been a year and four months now and other than some mild general anxiety i no longer have panic, no longer have high blood pressure, no palpitations and I feel a lot better, I’m so much better and so grateful
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#7

Postby 90sbynature » Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:59 am

So happy to hear you are finally finding peace and relief from those problems. I have been clean now for 1 year and 4 months. Things have gotten better since I was last here. I still struggle with occasional anxiety. Normally due to this crazy world we all live in. Nothing out of the ordinary though. You definitely went through a lot more than I did in some respects. It was one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome in my life and I’m sure it was for you too. But one things for certain, it was worth all the pain and suffering to get where we are today. Glad your better and reach out again sometime. Good to hear from you. Take care.
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#8

Postby Smokeyzen » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:12 pm

I’m completely new to this thread - but I have smoked pot heavy and daily (3,4,4 bowls a day) for near 18 years.

I stopped cold turkey a week ago and my main concern is my constant high blood pressure. At rest it hovers around 155/100

Too high for me. I also have had severe personal trauma over the last four years (witnessing my wife have her first seizure in front of me and my mom being diagnosed with breast cancer on the SAME DAY), and a lot of personal stress has built up.

It apparently has been high since all my trauma started - I think the marijuana kept my stress response up and my daily use never allowed me to “relax” because when I would smoke I noticed I got tense and jittery and very mentally nervous - marijuana had started to betray me. Lol.

I am quitting because I can’t handle the constant anxiety pot now gives me. Makes me too up, heart skips, etc.

So - this msg is mainly for CaliGrown but I’m new so I can’t send any DM’s — I’m scared my blood pressure won’t ever come back down.

I read their posts and saw theirs seemed to level
Out or return to normal - I was wondering if it is still that way for them.

I have been active most of my life - farming boy here - and am only 30-40lbs over weight, which I am now actively working on losing (daily light cardio, better eating habits, etc)

I have appointments for the doctor next week to get this all checked out - cuz I’m scared I screwed myself up and there is no hope for recovery.

I also suffer (lifelong) from severe anxiety and panic (which actually turned into extreme dissociative episodes that lasted years) I feel the marijuana has been responsible for that over the last few years, which is another reason I am stopping.

I’m 38, male, in good health otherwise.

Can anyone give me advice? Will my BP ever go down? Am I just screwed?

I’m just scared. I’ve had my blood pressure go up to 197/123 when I was panicking last week (3 days after stopping marijuana), which made me panic more.

Any help is appreciated, any advice too. I just need some advice from people who have experienced this themselves. Thank you!
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#9

Postby CaliGrown » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:48 pm

I would absolutely discuss with your doctor options for medication. Although I’m not a fan of medications it helped me extremely during that time. It leveled my Bp and heart rate. I was also on anxiety meds which helped my panic some. It will definitely take time. Time is the only thing that helps. Once you feel better mentally I would suggest weening off the meds. According to others and my experience I can say once you hit the year mark, reflect on where you started from (3 days ago when you stopped) you will realize some progress you’ve made. it’s a very hard road. But you will get through it. It’s been a year and almost 6 months for me and I’m significantly better. I have rare moments of anxiety in extreme situations but otherwise am almost back to normal. Definitely indulge in a good workout to relieve stress. Some natural supplements I would take is vitamin D, magnesium, apple cider vinegar and make sure your drinking a lot of water. (Discuss with your doc first about your vitamin levels) I would buy a blood pressure machine and monitor yourself as well if you don’t have one. It helped me when I was on meds and when it dipped too low I realized I was ready to ween off the meds, that was about 8 months after being diagnosed with BP. It will go down eventually but you need to control it now, we don’t know what long term damage it can do. So until you can get it down yourself I suggest you get on meds if your doc advises it. I know it’s hard. We are here for you. Feel free to reach on on my IG it’s easier that way, and that goes for anyone: Shoot4thecosmos
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#10

Postby tokeless » Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:50 pm

In terms of blood pressure, there are many factors that influence it. Being overweight is one... you say 30-40 lbs, I say 2-3 stone. Having anxiety is another but that tends to effect the systolic pressure and not the diastolic as much. Your diet is important but until you get checked out and work out a plan to reduce your BP it will be harder to reduce it for long periods. Does it run in the family? Putting all your worries on weed use is common but it may not be the case. Stress creates health problems... see your doc and see what the tests show.
Best wishes
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