Quit Weed in May 2018 and my anxiety story since

Postby surfermatt » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:05 pm

I'm a 45 year old married man, healthy, fairly active, not overweight and prior to May of this year, I smoked weed once or twice a day after work every day for 5 years. I had no medical issues and for the most part felt well and happy. In May I quit cold turkey for a variety of reasons and I had immediate ringing in my ears, anxiety and heart palpitations and high blood pressure and other symptoms as well. They symptoms would taper off and come back every few weeks or so until they pretty much went away Mid July. My doctor told me my blood pressure was normal and all seemed good.

A few times in August a friend came over and I smoked with them a very small amount (comparatively to how I used to smoke) and I didn't have any immediate affects, but a few days later didn't feel right, felt depressed and a little anxious. This happened a few times and then I felt better. At the beginning of September, I had a minor infection that I needed to see the doctor about, and when they checked my blood pressure, it was high again. The next day I went back to the doctor and it was back to normal again. They did all kinds of blood work tests and everything came back negative, so I referred to a cardiologist. I was nervous going to the cardiologist for my first visit and when they took my blood pressure, it was really high, like 180 / 80. I spoke to my cardiologist about my prior cannabis use, and he kind of said that while he wasn't an expert in marijuana or anything like that, he suggested that I may feel better and my blood pressure may return to normal if I started using cannabis again. He put me on some blood pressure meds and had me scheduled to do a ultrasound of my heart and a stress test.

I live in a medical marijuana state so I went to a doctor that can prescribe that and started smoking some lower THC indica weed again. While waiting the 10 days for my ultrasound and stress test, I checked my blood pressure with a home device and noticed my BP trending down to normal. I had readings as good as 115 / 65. I thought, oh good, I feel better, so this is probably working. However, I was so nervous for my cardiology tests coming up and the day before I went I noticed my BP was steadily climbing back higher, into the 130s and 140s. I did my tests and they both came back normal and healthy and that I was in great shape at least as far as my heart was concerned. I was told to keep taking the BP meds and follow up in 6 months.

I became obsessed with my blood pressure and as I noticed it trending up in the next few days, I had a full blown panic attack and my blood pressure was back in the 180s again. Just to see what happened, I took a Xanax I had a prescription for and my blood pressure 2 hours later was in the high 120s, low 130s, so I really felt 100% certain anxiety was causing my blood pressure spikes.

My GP doctor had been wanting me to go on the SSRI Citalopram (Celexa) since my original visit with blood pressure issues, so I finally gave in. Well, as soon as I started taking the Citalapram I felt immediate anxiety and I wasn't sleeping well, so I quit the Citalopram after 3 days on that and at the same time I decided to re-quit using cannabis since it obviously was not helping in the manner I thought it would. I thought that if I smoked it daily and kept smoking it I would eventually go back to the happy person I had been for the past five years.

At that time (which was now 3 to 4 weeks ago) I started seeing a therapist of the anxiety. The therapist suggested that I don't actually have high blood pressure but that because I am really anxious about my blood pressure, I am driving up my blood pressure with my mind while I take the test and that it is most likely normal when I am not worried about testing it.

The first few days after starting with the therapist, I quit both the citalopram and the anxiety, I was having a lot of trouble sleeping. I would fall asleep ok and then wake up having to pee ( like I usually do ) between 2 and 3am and I wasn't falling back asleep or taking an hour to 90 minutes to fall back asleep. Over the next few days that got better and I mostly resumed sleeping normally, but I was having anxiety about other things, mostly that my stomach bounces ever so slightly with my heartbeat (which I first noticed teh day of my cardiac tests) and I have had some minor heart palpitations (very minor compared to when I quit in May). This anxiety has been there but it has been milder and progressively getting better I would say, until this weekend.

This weekend it's been about 3 weeks since I started having trouble sleeping, and all of a sudden, Sunday I woke up at 3 am and it took me 90 minutes to fall back asleep and last night I woke up after 4 hours sleeping around 2am and never really fell back asleep. I have been drug free for almost a month (except for full disclosure, I did have some beer and wine this weekend including 3 beers yesterday during the day for a football game). I can deal with the low grade anxiety, but the lack of sleep really makes everything so much worse. I'd love to get anyone's feedback on if this could be the cannabis or any of their experiences. I never had problems sleeping before and even when I had severe symptoms when I first quit in May, I still slept fairly well at night. Any help or feedback is appreciated. Peace
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#1

Postby Cthompson21 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:54 pm

Sounds like its related to weed. I tried weed once and it gave me PAWS however I was dealing with PAWS before and the weed just brought everything back, worst anxiety I have ever had. Just stay away from smoking and you will get better and better.
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#2

Postby antz1111 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:49 am

Dear surfermatt,

Thanks for telling your story. Sounds like a rough time!

I am going through my own quitting experience and have found peace in connecting with the stories from others who are going through the same thing. Everyone seems to experience the withdrawls differently but there are common threads that can be plucked out of each person experience. The best I can do is let you know my story and perhaps might put your mind at ease.

I'm 32, healthy, fit, engaged, professionally succesful etc etc. In other words, not the person you would think as high 24/7. I smoked from the age of 16 a few times a day, every day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and everywhere inbetween. Got to the stage over the last couple of years where I was smoking far too much. Like every hour..The story goes on but this isn't my movie moment so lets get to the symptoms of withdrawl..

I quit 4 weeks, 3 days and 1 hour ago and it's been the hardest few weeks of my life. Here are the symptoms..Chronic OCD i.e checking taps, stove elements off,door locks, windows etc Now this might not be OCD for health concerns like you but I have had past fears of what I've been OCD about. In other words, you may have had tendencies to worry about blood pressure or perhaps other health, age..you might not even have been aware of it. But I believe smoking suppresses those feelings and when you quit..they come back with the thunder of a thousand fat kids chasing free cake.Kind of like your mind picking the weak spots in your arsenal and hitting you where it hurts.

Anxiety just to top things off. Money, work, the future, planet earth, my partner..The overall feeling that there is no hope and I can't be bothered. Every little step just seems like a pain in the donkey. Not sure If you have this but be glad if you don't! I know it's just the chemistry in my brain getting back into rhythm but it sure does a good job of making life preeeetyy darn gloomy.

Aches, pains, headaches. Ohh lorrrrdy. The aches and pains. Usually caused by the realization that I haven't breathed properly in 2 mins. Which kind've ties into the general lack of hapiness, anxiety.

Sleepless nights. Sleeppp boddy sleeep god damn you. Yeap sleeping patterns suck. Exhausted all day and then can't sleep at night. I wake up at that time too 2am-3am. Cold sweats, tossing and turning. Rinse, repeat and woollah. Ready to go for another crap day of withdrawls.

Brain zaps, Ringing in the ears, buzzing in the body. Like ohhhh i feel higher than I ever did when smoking. I feel retarded, like i've actually done some permanant damage here. Oh no, I'm good i think. Phew yikes!

I think that's about it for now. I can only offer my most humble companionship during your experience. I've been trying to meditate and take long walks with my dog. Contemplating the absurdity of this world and remembering that we are cosmic surfers on an adventure into eternity helps to ground me back down to remembering that despite all the worry and panic, this too will pass and plenty of good times ahead.

Thanks for sharing and let me know how you're getting along!

Much love brother.

Peeeaaaccee
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#3

Postby surfermatt » Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:32 pm

Thanks for the lengthy reply Antzz. I'm feeling better today. I realize that there are a lot people on here more worse off than I, so I'm thankful that I have good days when some don't ever get a break. I have faith that God will heal me completely in time and I will be well again. I just have to make good choices about what I choose to put in my body and how I let my emotions get the better of me. I'll be praying for you to get better as well. Stay in touch.

Matt
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#4

Postby surfermatt » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:59 pm

Hey Antzz, not sure if you are still following this thread, but I wanted to check to see how you are doing.
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#5

Postby antz1111 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:35 am

Hey Matt,

Thanks for your message. Yeaahh..I'm going ok I guess. 7 and 1/2 weeks in.Swinging back and forth from being ok to being completely down. Had the occasional thought of how much better I would feel with a toke. But at the same time, screw going through this again ha!

Just got back from a weekend away with my Mrs and it felt good to be out exploring new places and activities. A few beers helped to raise the mood. Now that I'm back, i've kind've fallen back into feelings of depression. In saying that, I got out to do some exercise this afternoon and feel a lot better. I also got a call back for a 3rd interview for a job I really want - so I see glimmers of life improvement. I was avoiding a lot of jobs I wanted because of the interview, psychometric testing and possible drug testing.

Want my brain to go back to normal. Also see that there needs to be a lot more education out there about abusing cannabis. I would have been far less abusive if I had known what effects it would have on me. I was under the naive impression that there was little wrong with my over-indulgence.

How are you going with your physical symptoms? how's the anxiety? energy levels?

Cheers for the message

Ant
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#6

Postby KenEmpowered » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:21 am

Hey buddy. What do you do for meditation? Try to perhaps go out into the world (or sit in front of a sun-facing window) and be mindful. Observe the things in front of you, describe them, and focus only on your 5 senses. This may help as well.

Good luck to you; you are capable and are incredible for coming this far!
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#7

Postby surfermatt » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:23 pm

Good to hear your update Antz, it sounds like things are getting better for you. I think that time is the cure for everything related. I'm doing better myself, I still have a less than restful night every now and then. The anxiety and sleep issues seem to come at the same time and be related and other times I feel pretty much near normal. I seem to have about 10 good days in a row then maybe 3 to 4 days that are not so good with one really not so great day in the middle of the 3 or 4 days, if that makes sense. I mostly just ignore any physical symptoms at this point and the daytime fatigue when I'm not sleeping is the most problematic. I'm sure it it will get better for me as well as time goes on. My wife and I are both having similar issues, so it's great to be able to be there for each other and have someone else to lean on. Keep up the good work and I'll keep praying to God for you for complete healing.

Matt
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#8

Postby antz1111 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:06 pm

KenEmpowered wrote:Hey buddy. What do you do for meditation? Try to perhaps go out into the world (or sit in front of a sun-facing window) and be mindful. Observe the things in front of you, describe them, and focus only on your 5 senses. This may help as well.

Good luck to you; you are capable and are incredible for coming this far!


Hey Ken,

Thanks for the message and a good question to bring up. I do a lot of meditation and when i'm in a meditative space, nothing can go wrong and I find the space of my eternal awareness that is beyond this matrix world. Kind've like when I was really high..The switch off from peace is when I have to enter back into work and dealing with the responsibility of this physical existence. I have contemplated running away to Tibet or somewhere isolated where I could meditate in a temple and perhaps take a mindful walk around, observing some rocks for the rest of this wordly existence :lol: ahh bliss. I love my Fiance and my dog and I couldn't leave them so I sometimes feel stuck doing the mundane and living in our modern world which I kind of despise in a way. I listen to a lot of spiritual teachers. Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, Sahdguru, The teachings of Ramana Marharshi etc etc Can't help but judge the fact that I would be able to boast being in peace 24/7 if I just sat around giving talks about not identifying with the ego..anywho..so yeah that's about where I am at.

Keen to hear any advice on how I might be able to have a better perspective?
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#9

Postby antz1111 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:16 pm

surfermatt wrote:Good to hear your update Antz, it sounds like things are getting better for you. I think that time is the cure for everything related. I'm doing better myself, I still have a less than restful night every now and then. The anxiety and sleep issues seem to come at the same time and be related and other times I feel pretty much near normal. I seem to have about 10 good days in a row then maybe 3 to 4 days that are not so good with one really not so great day in the middle of the 3 or 4 days, if that makes sense. I mostly just ignore any physical symptoms at this point and the daytime fatigue when I'm not sleeping is the most problematic. I'm sure it it will get better for me as well as time goes on. My wife and I are both having similar issues, so it's great to be able to be there for each other and have someone else to lean on. Keep up the good work and I'll keep praying to God for you for complete healing.

Matt


Hey Matt,

Good to hear from you too. It sounds like things are on the up and up for you. Yeah buddy! wishing you all the more success with your recovery and for your Mrs as well. I understand what you mean about the ratio of good days to bad. I don't have all bad days and there are some good spots in there.

I will lay down a prayer for you and your Mrs to continue your great progress. It's inspiring to hear how well you're doing, compared to where you were at. I appreciate the messages.

All the best

Ant
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#10

Postby surfermatt » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:19 pm

I have tried mindfulness meditation as well, and I enjoy it and find it restful. I find myself drifting ever so slightly into a dreamlike/sleeplike state but it is hard to stay there. Maybe I need more practice.
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