2 years on...

Postby lefttheleaf » Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:14 pm

Hey people,

Its been a while since I have checked in here but today I was thinking that perhaps my experience may help others so here I am back sharing.

You can check out my previous posts if you are interested however to quickly recap...

I smoked alot of weed daily (between 7-14g a day), for a long time and I arrived at a place where I was totally dependent and had anxiety levels that were debilitating. I was pretty shut down as a person and I was drowning. I also drank pretty heavy but smoking replaced that after a while as the main crutch.

I stopped around 24 months ago, cold turkey, and it was brutal. I hadnt expected to suffer how I did and it was so overwhelming; its at times hard to look back and even place myself there again as it was something that really was indescribable. I dont need to tell any of you the that the darkness we can feel during this is as deep and bottomless as we can imagine.

I went through periods of anxiety induced psychosis, depersonalisation, paranoia, very profound depression, and for around 6 months I was absolutely certain that I was experience a severe psychotic break and that I had Schizophrenia developing. If it wasnt for my wife and Dog I would have ended my life a few times; that is for sure but as we only have each other I vowed to her I wouldnt leave her here alone in the world. I gave up on myself but I would never have left her here to face what at times can be a cold place.

As everyone will tell you; things do slowly get better, and they did for me. But it was very very tough going. I dont think I saw any real daylight in my mental health for perhaps 9 months but it was a mix of things that got me through; meditation was by far the most important recovery tool and it still is.

One thing that is very clear now, two years on, was that the anxiety, depression and other mental challenges that presented themselves after I quit weed were issues that I had always had but smoking numbed them and made them somewhat manageable. When that crutch was removed I crumbled; theres no real other way to put it.

After about a year I did begin to smoke weed again a few times a week because I felt that I could handle it and use it in moderation. I had a real mental addiction to it as it was also heavily mixed in with music making for me. As a musician drugs had been a big part of my life.

I like cannabis, I think its a great plant; its uses are plentiful and I now truly believe it helped me in my life but two years on I see my path more clearly than I have ever in these 32 years of being alive.

I continued to use cannabis in moderation for 3-4 months but it began to slowly fall away and the reason for that was i began deepening my connection to my heart, I found compassion for myself, others, and I began connecting with the inner peace that exists within us all, under the surface of who we think we are. I now see that cannabis provided me with relief from being me - I hated who I was, I didnt realise it but I despised myself and weed helped me ignore who i was.

I mentioned previously that meditation saved me. I do not joke here when I say that it saved my life.

I cant encourage you all enough to begin a meditation practice. When we begin to meditate its very very hard, but its called a meditation practice for a reason...because it takes practice. But what we find is that after some time we begin to relate to ourselves, our minds, and our human condition differently. We see that we are not our thoughts, that we are not our bodies, and most importantly we are not just our minds. We become gentler, calmer, and more connected - we also find love for ourselves and with that we find compassion for our fellow humans too as well as our self.

Meditation helps us find space inside what can at times be a cluttered, traumatic and scary inner world.

Two years on I no longer drink, smoke, eat meat, or carry on any of the destructive patterns of behaviour that had littered my life for years. I can honestly say that meditation and the study of Patanjali's 8 fold path have allowed me to find a peace and love inside myself that I would never have believed existed. And I can promise you all that this peace, love, contentment and security is there for you all, no matter who you are.

What we find when we develop a meditation practice is that we learn to relate to ourselves in a more open, kind, and loving way and we are then much better people to be around.

I would never have believed that I would be where I am so please dont give up or think that you will feel the way you do forever. You wont.

I now devote a large part of my life to trying to help and serve others in any way that I can and it brings me great joy to help others find their inner peace.

If you feel that I can help you in any way please reach out to me. I would be honoured to be there for you on your journey of recovery. If my experience can help you in any way then please reach out to me; helping others on their path to inner peace is an incredible gift to receive.

I am contactable on here and can also privately send you my email.

Stay strong.
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20


#1

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:51 am

I would like to do more meditation. For some reason it wont let me send a PM so I'll write you here. I am a little over 2 years and am struggling a bit again. I start meditation and then after a couple weeks I stop lol. I need incentive to keep going because when I do it I feel SO much better. Congrats on 2 years!
Cthompson21
Full Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:13 pm
Likes Received: 59

#2

Postby lefttheleaf » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:16 am

Cthompson21 wrote:I would like to do more meditation. For some reason it wont let me send a PM so I'll write you here. I am a little over 2 years and am struggling a bit again. I start meditation and then after a couple weeks I stop lol. I need incentive to keep going because when I do it I feel SO much better. Congrats on 2 years!


Perhaps the incentive that you’re looking for is the fact you feel so much better when doing it ?
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20

#3

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:03 pm

Yes you are right. That should be enough incentive. PAWS is like PTSD and the anxiety flares up in triggering situations. I seem to have a revolving door of symptoms, right now its GI issues. I will be meditating the next few weeks and hopefully it changes. Also read that it shrinks your amygdala ( fear) and helps enhance your frontal lobe (executive functions).
Cthompson21
Full Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:13 pm
Likes Received: 59

#4

Postby lefttheleaf » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:53 pm

Cthompson21 wrote:Yes you are right. That should be enough incentive. PAWS is like PTSD and the anxiety flares up in triggering situations. I seem to have a revolving door of symptoms, right now its GI issues. I will be meditating the next few weeks and hopefully it changes. Also read that it shrinks your amygdala ( fear) and helps enhance your frontal lobe (executive functions).


It changes our whole relationship with our minds and it’s contents. Vipassana is a good practice to keep us away from constantly obsessing about our thoughts and feelings. If we commit to 6 months of practice we reap huge rewards and our lives change. I can’t encourage you enough.
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20

#5

Postby Cthompson21 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:12 am

Thank you, just wanted to say I've been doing meditation for a few days and it is helping again. Averaging 15 minutes per day, plan on keeping it going, and up the time spent meditating. I still struggle with the anxiety and depression too, I had a bad wave of depression the other day but it only lasted a few hours. when I meditate and exercise it becomes much more manageable. Thanks for encouraging me - I will update in a few months. I want to get my life back. I wish I never did drugs and gave myself PAWS but that is in the past. I am trying to forgive myself and move on.
Cthompson21
Full Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:13 pm
Likes Received: 59

#6

Postby lefttheleaf » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:26 am

Cthompson21 wrote:Thank you, just wanted to say I've been doing meditation for a few days and it is helping again. Averaging 15 minutes per day, plan on keeping it going, and up the time spent meditating. I still struggle with the anxiety and depression too, I had a bad wave of depression the other day but it only lasted a few hours. when I meditate and exercise it becomes much more manageable. Thanks for encouraging me - I will update in a few months. I want to get my life back. I wish I never did drugs and gave myself PAWS but that is in the past. I am trying to forgive myself and move on.


Everything that happens during our life is perfectly placed to allow us to become the person we are set to be. I too wished I hadn’t ever used drugs during the deepest moments of my struggle but now I look back and I see it was a necessary stage along the road.

If we continue with meditation, daily, and intend to go deeper during each sitting, we begin to arrive at a place where we relate to our minds and our thoughts and feelings differently.

We slowly begin to see the transient and empty nature of both though and emotion and we can relate to these passing objects of consciousness much like waves on the surface of the lake. We are the lake. The waves on the lake are a result of both our internal habitual remuneration and outside factors. A lake may be subject to currents say, but then also to wind and other weather. But those stimuli do not change the nature of the lake and once we begin to see this we are able to watch without judgement.
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20

#7

Postby spod24 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:02 pm

Hi man. Great post.

I hope you are doing good.

I have suffered severely for quite some time but i'm doing so much better. Am still dealing with some symptoms that I can't shake. Fatigue being the worst. What is your experience in battling fatigue? I exercise daily, am in great shape. I eat clean. no sugar, alcohol n junk.
I'm starting to think that it's my all night/ every night dreaming that makes me so exhausted. My mates say I am screaming n kicking almost every night. how are your nights?

Love
spod24
New Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:28 am
Likes Received: 1

#8

Postby lefttheleaf » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:51 am

Hey

I had a lot of fatigue too and it lasted about a year more or less. It was mainly during the day and then at night I would struggle to sleep.

How far into being clean from smoking are you and how heavy was your usage?

What I experienced was very intense dreams and anxiety before during and after sleep. It was pretty horrendous.

Now a days I sleep soundly. I fall asleep fairly quickly and feel rested. I sleep at about 10pm and wake up at 5am to meditate.

I can’t express enough how things changed once the meditation practice got really underway. It was the key for me and it still is. I of course have days where low mood happens but that is also part of being human.

We must experience feelings of low mood to be able to appreciate the opposite. For example Life is much more important to us because of the concept of Death. Lifes sweetness is juxtaposed with the cold image we hold of the finality of dying. Who knows what happens when we die but we know there’s change there.

When I look back at the suffering that took place I wouldn’t now change a thing about it. It allowed me to become who I am and that’s the same for all of us.

If we try to find out who we really actually are - instead of who we ‘think’ we are - the noise of our minds and the story lines we tell ourselves over and over begin to fall away.

In terms of your sleeping and some practical advice; try a drink called ‘sleepy bear tea’. That helped me a lot in terms of winding down. Also there’s a few breathing techniques and mindfulness practices we can work with to induce calmer sleep.

Peace
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20

#9

Postby Head in loud » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:52 am

I didn’t get it...you stopped for a year and then start back for 3-4 months and then stop for good? I’m asking bc smoking again even one puff will set recovery back months.
I’m 27 months in and still suffering..I will try meditation..what type of meditation you do?
Head in loud
Junior Member
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:44 am
Likes Received: 13

#10

Postby lefttheleaf » Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:49 pm

Head in loud wrote:I didn’t get it...you stopped for a year and then start back for 3-4 months and then stop for good? I’m asking bc smoking again even one puff will set recovery back months.
I’m 27 months in and still suffering..I will try meditation..what type of meditation you do?


Hi

‘I’m asking bc smoking again even one puff will set recovering back months.’

You’ve written that with a very confident tone but yet in my experience that wasn’t the case so I can’t really comment.

For me once I realised the root of my problems I was able to see past them. Meditation allows us to relate with ourself differently and from where I’m standing now I can see that a lot of my suffering came from my mental clinging to how I wanted things to be. Once I let go it got a lot better.

Meditation wise I use vipassana, TM, and a technique thats called ‘witnessing’.

Hope this helps.
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20

#11

Postby Cthompson21 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:51 am

@Head In Loud I'm right there with you, symptoms are still present every day but better than before. And one puff messed me up, if you look at my posts from 2018. I think it is different for everyone.

@lefttheleaf sleep is bad for me, I get the same anxiety before during and after. Did mediation help you sleep normal? Main problem is anxiety in the morning when I wake up, and I rarely sleep thru the night.
Cthompson21
Full Member
 
Posts: 209
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:13 pm
Likes Received: 59

#12

Postby lefttheleaf » Fri Oct 23, 2020 6:24 am

Cthompson21 wrote:@Head In Loud I'm right there with you, symptoms are still present every day but better than before. And one puff messed me up, if you look at my posts from 2018. I think it is different for everyone.

@lefttheleaf sleep is bad for me, I get the same anxiety before during and after. Did mediation help you sleep normal? Main problem is anxiety in the morning when I wake up, and I rarely sleep thru the night.


Sounds a lot like my experience. I would wake up with the most terrible anxiety and at times and I’d be in this sort of semi sleeping / fever dream type experience where I was half asleep but was still aware of anxious thoughts and scenarios running through my mind. It was hell. Literally. So if it’s anything like that my heart goes out to you.

I think I said before; but I can’t actually express the difference that meditation made for me and in my life. But it’s not an immediate thing.

Imagine how long it took to get where you are now. I don’t know how old you are but for me it was over ten years of neglecting my mental health that led me to where I arrived. Our society treats mental health by ignoring it / in some way or another we all have some sort of nagging neurosis and if we’re unlucky enough to be one of the people who lets say has a severe mental health condition we are then shunned. But it’s not much of a surprise really as these deep complex issues are just not important to a society that places a heavily weighted amount of importance on superficial and exterior image. Internal conditions are brushed under the rug so to speak so the first place we must arrive with our recovery is a compassion for ourself. Without that it’s just more self hatred and loathing regarding where we are. When we hate where we are in life it’s so hard for us to see clearly.

When we look at where we are in this context of our life we have the unique opportunity to make a positive change and step into a place where people are sometimes scared to go. The fact you’ve quit and are continuing to want to carry on and get better requires a lot of courage.

In terms of meditation; we can set ourself a goal of 6 months. If we can sit each day for 15 minutes without expectations things will change for us. I can absolutely assure you of that but the paradox for me was that I had to let go off all expectations of recovery and getting better to get better. Can you hear that? It’s a tough one. But I have been exactly where you are and I now see the experience as one of the best things that happened to me as that intense suffering pushed me to a place in my consciousness that I wouldn’t have been able to arrive at otherwise.

A good type of meditation is ‘zazen - good for nothing’ sitting. It quite literally is sitting and watching your breath and nothing nothing. Zazen just means sitting really. And each time you get lost in thought that’s absolutely fine. But sooner than later you’ll think ‘damn I was meant to be meditating’ and that moment is a glorious moment as you came back into the moment. You are present right then knowing that you weren’t present if you hear me? You then go back to the breath. Doing this over and over and over retrains our minds to not wander so much and we rewire ourselves to get lost in our thoughts less.

If you need any help I’m here.

Peace
lefttheleaf
Junior Member
 
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 9:24 am
Likes Received: 20

#13

Postby aHairOnStanleysHead » Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:32 am

Glad you are doing better! I read your story and it's EXACTLY what I've been going through. Started with an intrusive thought, "kill yourself", I panicked, and it was all down hill from there. Horrible intrusive thoughts about violent things involving my family and sh** that horrified me and caused CONSTANT severe anxiety. Dpdr, depression, intrusive thoughts, sleep problems, feeling like IM LOSING MY MIND. I'm 5.5 months clean after a HEAVY habit like you described. Been terrified and obsessed about schizophrenia, no matter how many professionals tell me I don't have it, it's never enough for my worried mind. I've taken evaluations and everything. I get constant intrusive thoughts themed around schizophrenia. "They're following you", "he's watching you", "she's cheating on you", imagining what schizophrenic "voices" would be like, due to all my constant obsessive reading about schizophrenia. It's gotten better as time goes on but still scary. If you don't mind me asking, what do you mean by anxiety-induced psychosis? Can you describe the experience? I've worried that panic attacks I've had were psychosis but they wore off after a couple hours so I don't think that's what it was? Hope to hear from you! You give me hope that it gets better with time and faith
aHairOnStanleysHead
New Member
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:13 am
Likes Received: 0

#14

Postby tokeless » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:10 am

Been terrified and obsessed about schizophrenia, no matter how many professionals tell me I don't have it, it's never enough for my worried mind. I've taken evaluations and everything.

So, you thought you would ask a stranger on a forum because he/she may know better or may be able to reinforce my beliefs? Can you see what you're doing?
tokeless
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2204
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 5:17 pm
Likes Received: 300


Next

  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Addictions

cron