16 months


Postby PAWSsurvivor » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:14 pm

Richard that is a far better description than I have heard in the past from you.

I would agree with what you just said. It is indeed a form of Psycho/somatic pain that lingers. That is a good way of describing it. One could call that a "syndrome" as well. This is where these terms really break down. It's hard to describe whats happening.

I no longer fear anything I can do with my body. I've been living a full life.

As for the update, no one knows what I will write including myself. Right now I'm just trying to live a good life and give as little space to this as possible. But writing about this, hashing it out with others is another way of convincing my brain what is actually happening.

I do think that it's unknown if Cannabis doesn't do some more harm. But thats a risk with anything. Our bodies encounter stress 24/7 and work to recover and become stronger.

PAWS / Anxiety Disorder / PTSD / Psychosomatic Pain, Nervous System Trauma. Al of these words have some value in their meaning and all fall short of the mark in some way. Especially the word anxiety which is often just used as a short hand for being nervous.

I don't have an addiction, it was an experiment, and I've been sober for over a year now. And I was never addicted to anything prior for the 37 years of my life. I have no issues with restraint in the using of substances. I threw out all my cannabis supplies a year ago. It was easy. Good riddance!

Maybe 2 years is just a general timeline of how the nervous system recalibrates itself after a traumatic event. I remember when me and my ex-partner split up 10 years ago, it took about 1.5 -2 years for me to feel normal and happy again. It seems to be a pattern. Who knows. The word "Syndrome" just means ongoing and unknown.

I try to be honest that I doubt many others will have the same problems I did. And that's good. But for us long haulers, it's nice to know there seems to be a general window of time as to when we feel better.

I choose to live my life regardless of how I feel. I know it can't hurt me anymore, it's just uncomfortable. Thats ok.
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:41 am

PAWSsurvivor wrote:PAWS / Anxiety Disorder / PTSD / Psychosomatic Pain, Nervous System Trauma. Al of these words have some value in their meaning and all fall short of the mark in some way. Especially the word anxiety which is often just used as a short hand for being nervous.

Yes, language has an interesting influence on how we see the world. For instance, there are studies on the word "blue" and how having a term for a specific shade makes it easier to see.


When the DSM I was published in 1952 there were 106 disorders. The DSM IV published in 2000 had 365 disorders. How does that happen? How do you go from 106 to 365 disorders in 50 years? There are some reasonable, well-intentioned explanations such as science has improved or that the 106 orders needed to be subdivided (kinda like additional shades of green), but there are some other explanations that are not so kind. Other explanations are that researchers, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies have a vested interest in more, rather than fewer disorders. The more we can divide into PAWS/PTSD/GAD/ADD, etc. etc. the more "shades" of disorder, the more people with disorders we find. Currently, if a person wishes to be diagnosed with a disorder it isn't difficult. There are so many combinations of symptoms that 100% of the population must have at least one disorder, and if not then we can at least label them "borderline". In my opinion, it has gotten out of hand.

https://www.verywellmind.com/the-diagno ... sm-2795758

Again, I'm not saying I am definitively correct. I'm simply offering that what you are experiencing is more self-induced rather than caused by 3 months of cannabis use 16 months ago. According to your own posts, you are not an addict, never have been, and had no problems kicking cannabis. Yet you decided to call yourself "PAWSsurvivor" and posted in an addiction forum. I think those decisions helped you commit further to your belief, to solidify the belief that you were experiencing PAWS even before you wrote your very first post.

From your posts it seems like you are generally well adjusted, healthy, sociable, and goal-oriented. And being healthy seems to be a major focus, which if you think you have damaged your brain can cause anxiety/stress, which then causes sleepless nights and grinding of teeth. Then you read up on cannabis use and see that damage can occur and what happens? More stress, more anxiety, more grinding, more sleepless nights.
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Postby PAWSsurvivor » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:42 pm

When I wrote my name for this forum, my symptoms were so unbearable I could not imagine this to be anything other than PAWS. I wrote my name as an affirmation of "this too shall pass" My symptoms resembled others on a Benzo withdrawl forum. It's hard to remember how bad it was, but it was awful. I don't know how or if I can change my moniker at this point. I'll consider it.

I still can't explain the harshness of it all the first 6-8 months of this. It was like lightning storms in my head and body. I do think weed does more harm then is generally recognized, but I have no proof. No one does really, we will see what the science says in a decade or so now that it is being researched. I'm glad you admit a lack of certainty. Over the past year, I keep trying to convince myself that weed didn't do something physical to me. I think simply as I inch towards feeling better, my logical brain starts to slowly "accept" nothing is wrong. It's like if I gain an inch of feeling better in my nervous system, then I gain an inch of acceptance in my logical thinking, which gives me another inch in my nervous system. One big knot being slowly untied. Whatever happened, I now recognize I don't have any reason to dwell on the past, it's how I'm feeling right now and what I'm doing right now that matters. And I've proven to myself over the last year, that I can still do anything I want to do, even if I feel uncomfortable.

I do agree that weed is no longer the problem. But there is something that is not working right. I have a constant head pressure feeling. It never goes away. And yes "Anxiety" is a culprit / contributer. At this point likely the only culprit. I'm just trying to give it as little space as possible, and move on. I try to take a "light' approach with all the techniques I'm using. I could over indulge on the techniques just as I over indulged on Cannabis. I try to use when helpful and needed.

I have to agree regarding the amount of disorders. I don't wish to be labelled as a person with an Anxiety disorder. And too many people are quick to jump to labelling themselves with a "disorder" (I prefer the word "condition" as it's a more neutral word ). Actually right now I just try to take it one day at a time, as in "today I feel sort of anxious".When I was depressed a decade ago when my Partner broke up with me, I just felt the whole time that I was depressed, that eventually the sad feelings would go away. I didn't google depression or anything. That they did. And I was quite proud of coming through it all even though it took about 1.5 years. I used to wish the sadness away, perhaps I just stoked those fires as well.

I'm trying to approach this the same way. I've never had a traumatic event like this before. So perhaps it will just go away in time, and as i stoke the fires less. I do believe it will as I do seem to keep improving. With depression I actively worked to get rid of it with exercise. It seems getting rid of anxiety is more passive.

I'm glad this conversation became more reasonable. Thank you for the compliment about being well adjusted. Certainly before Cannabis I was confident and in control. I haven't always been over the past year or so. But I seem to have more control again these days. I've found our discussions useful, even if they have often not started out well.
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