7.5 months now

#15

Postby 9monthquit » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:08 am

Winzu wrote:Month 8

I have been having a hard time these last 2 weeks. I feel ill, weak and have all sorts of symptoms. It has been one of the most difficult periods of the last 4 months.

Saturday was terrible. I almost experienced a panic attack again (last time was month 3). I was watching a movie with friends while I had extreme brain fog. Afterwards my heart rate increased, I felt terrible as if I came down from a MDMA trip. A lot of negative thoughts and physical pains I haven’t experienced for a long time now. When I started walking outside the symptoms reduced a lot but still lingered on for 3 days.

I experience severe anhedonia, negative repeating thoughts, headaches/head pressure (especially behind eyes), extreme brain fog, digestive issues, insomnia, pale face with thin hairs, heart palpitations and anxiety when under stress.

The previous month I considered PAWS to be very manageable. It was exciting to me knowing that I reached a point where life is good and will continue to become way better. Unfortunately, I experienced another heavy wave. I hope that this is soon over and that my next good wave will be even better and longer. So that I will be able to have a normal summer time once again.


Hang in there. I feel exactly where you're coming from, just last week I finished a wave that lasted a little over a week. Once you're out of the wave it gets much more manageable and you feel close to normal again. I think us getting these waves that sometimes get just as intense as the waves during the early stages of PAWS is a strong sign of recovery.
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#16

Postby Winzu » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:50 am

9monthquit wrote:
Winzu wrote:Month 8

I have been having a hard time these last 2 weeks. I feel ill, weak and have all sorts of symptoms. It has been one of the most difficult periods of the last 4 months.

Saturday was terrible. I almost experienced a panic attack again (last time was month 3). I was watching a movie with friends while I had extreme brain fog. Afterwards my heart rate increased, I felt terrible as if I came down from a MDMA trip. A lot of negative thoughts and physical pains I haven’t experienced for a long time now. When I started walking outside the symptoms reduced a lot but still lingered on for 3 days.

I experience severe anhedonia, negative repeating thoughts, headaches/head pressure (especially behind eyes), extreme brain fog, digestive issues, insomnia, pale face with thin hairs, heart palpitations and anxiety when under stress.

The previous month I considered PAWS to be very manageable. It was exciting to me knowing that I reached a point where life is good and will continue to become way better. Unfortunately, I experienced another heavy wave. I hope that this is soon over and that my next good wave will be even better and longer. So that I will be able to have a normal summer time once again.


Hang in there. I feel exactly where you're coming from, just last week I finished a wave that lasted a little over a week. Once you're out of the wave it gets much more manageable and you feel close to normal again. I think us getting these waves that sometimes get just as intense as the waves during the early stages of PAWS is a strong sign of recovery.


I really hope so, today has been significantly better. What makes you think that these intense waves could be a strong sign of recovery?
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#17

Postby 9monthquit » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:58 pm

Well, from what I have witnessed every time I get a wave, I feel significantly better a few days after. But more recently, I notice the better days are lasting longer after the wave. I had an epic PAWS wave late Jan that really made me lose a lot of hope, I was slipping into a deep depression. It lasted for a little over a week. I went out for a run one day, and something just clicked. Pretty much the entire Feb month I spent PAWS free with manageable symptoms. I think the waves just indicate your brain is finding a state of homeostasis, and once you feel normal after a wave, your brain tends to slip into another one again (after a while) because it's still not used to being like that permanently. I can't say any of this is scientifically true as it's just my side of the story and how I feel.
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#18

Postby Winzu » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:44 pm

9monthquit wrote:Well, from what I have witnessed every time I get a wave, I feel significantly better a few days after. But more recently, I notice the better days are lasting longer after the wave. I had an epic PAWS wave late Jan that really made me lose a lot of hope, I was slipping into a deep depression. It lasted for a little over a week. I went out for a run one day, and something just clicked. Pretty much the entire Feb month I spent PAWS free with manageable symptoms. I think the waves just indicate your brain is finding a state of homeostasis, and once you feel normal after a wave, your brain tends to slip into another one again (after a while) because it's still not used to being like that permanently. I can't say any of this is scientifically true as it's just my side of the story and how I feel.


It always seems like I have a long period that is average-to-bad and after that a long period that is average-to-good, vice versa. And indeed, every time I have a really bad wave it is significantly less the days following.

You anecdotal experience is sufficient to theorize an explanation. I think you are right.
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#19

Postby Winzu » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:41 pm

Month 8.5

Last post I underwent a difficult time. Since a long time ago I had a minor panic attack again.

I slowly felt better day by day. Until I became sick and had the flu (luckily no COVID-19). Even though I was sick, I was more relaxed than usual. I had the ability again to fully enjoy watching movies. I slept a lot better than usual. I have had insomnia for 2-3 months now. I feel as if it is slowly getting better, since the flu my sleep has been improving significantly. It usually takes me 30-60 minutes to fall a sleep. I feel like this number is 10-15 minutes now.

I hoped to be a lot better after the flu (that it would lead to positive change). Unfortunately, I still experience blurry vision, head pressure, low energy and anhedonia. The depression and anxiety are very minimal. I hope that the coming 3 months will improve a lot. I will keep updating.
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#20

Postby tokes » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:27 pm

In the next three months you will see more improvements as these are key months as you move towards a year. Try stretching and drinking lots of water when a panic attack happens small or big. Stretching so blood rushes to your head is a good way to reset the system, and then end with a nice splash of cold water. Keep going bro, you're doing well.
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#21

Postby Winzu » Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:15 pm

tokes wrote:In the next three months you will see more improvements as these are key months as you move towards a year. Try stretching and drinking lots of water when a panic attack happens small or big. Stretching so blood rushes to your head is a good way to reset the system, and then end with a nice splash of cold water. Keep going bro, you're doing well.


Thanks for your advice Tokes. I appreciate the comment. I hope you are right!
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#22

Postby Winzu » Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:33 pm

Month 9

Through this journey, some months went by super quickly, some did not unfortunately. This was one of these months. I hoped that month 8 would be the end, it seems to be the first turning point for people. The next point I lay my hopes on would be a full year in recovery.

It is hard to differentiate between real symptoms and my increasingly resentful attitude towards PAWS. The summer is reaching and I just want to be my strong, social and healthy self again. I hate to feel weak. The pressure of full recovery is getting unbearable . My patience becomes nonexistent, which is unfortunate considering it is the key to handling this pain and suffer.

In the beginning months I was in a pit so deep I could not see any light from above. I thought my whole personality was gone, forever. I was so empty as if my soul left while my body was still partially alive. This ‘PAWS’ journey is disgustingly evil and ferocious.

However, I now know this is not permanent. My symptoms have reduced significantly and some have even left. I used to be unable to connect with anyone, even my family. I was barely able to create a sentence. I had such extreme brain fog that it was impossible to decompose any message. I rolled in my bed all day out of restlessness while reading stories here on uncommon forum. Everything was extremely boring, every show, movie, game, book or social activity was tedious. Its that feeling you have the day after an MDMA trip, where everything is simply unpleasant.

This is all gone now! I am not restless anymore, I am able to socialize and feel connected. My writing and speech have improved again. My thinking is more clear, linear and deep.

The problem transitioned from personal to interpersonal now. My biggest frustrations still happen during social activities when I feel unheard, irritated or dead tired. I am scared to meet other people besides my close friends. Because those are the moments when PAWS hits me the most, when my thinking becomes foggier, I become tense, tired and act inappropriate. I then feel ashamed, weak and helpless.

To conclude my long rant. I still struggle with anhedonia, physical issues (joints cracking, muscle aches, slow muscle recovery), low motivation, minimal depression/anxiety, a high sensitivity to stress and a little insomnia. This changes from day to day. I am doing the best I can, lets hope 1 year will be enough!
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#23

Postby Hayhay123 » Sun Apr 25, 2021 6:12 pm

Hello,

I’m reading your story and it gives me so much hope!! I’m currently on my 7th week of cold turkey PAWS and its like a rollercoaster!!

Reading your symptoms and knowing that there apart of the healing process makes me feel at ease!!

I have most of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing (head pressure, aches, anxiety/panic attacks etc) with a few different ones give or take such as elevated blood pressure,but knowing that it gets better has really helped reassure me!!

thank you so much for sharing your story!! :)
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#24

Postby 9monthquit » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:17 pm

Winzu wrote:Month 9

Through this journey, some months went by super quickly, some did not unfortunately. This was one of these months. I hoped that month 8 would be the end, it seems to be the first turning point for people. The next point I lay my hopes on would be a full year in recovery.

It is hard to differentiate between real symptoms and my increasingly resentful attitude towards PAWS. The summer is reaching and I just want to be my strong, social and healthy self again. I hate to feel weak. The pressure of full recovery is getting unbearable . My patience becomes nonexistent, which is unfortunate considering it is the key to handling this pain and suffer.

In the beginning months I was in a pit so deep I could not see any light from above. I thought my whole personality was gone, forever. I was so empty as if my soul left while my body was still partially alive. This ‘PAWS’ journey is disgustingly evil and ferocious.

However, I now know this is not permanent. My symptoms have reduced significantly and some have even left. I used to be unable to connect with anyone, even my family. I was barely able to create a sentence. I had such extreme brain fog that it was impossible to decompose any message. I rolled in my bed all day out of restlessness while reading stories here on uncommon forum. Everything was extremely boring, every show, movie, game, book or social activity was tedious. Its that feeling you have the day after an MDMA trip, where everything is simply unpleasant.

This is all gone now! I am not restless anymore, I am able to socialize and feel connected. My writing and speech have improved again. My thinking is more clear, linear and deep.

The problem transitioned from personal to interpersonal now. My biggest frustrations still happen during social activities when I feel unheard, irritated or dead tired. I am scared to meet other people besides my close friends. Because those are the moments when PAWS hits me the most, when my thinking becomes foggier, I become tense, tired and act inappropriate. I then feel ashamed, weak and helpless.

To conclude my long rant. I still struggle with anhedonia, physical issues (joints cracking, muscle aches, slow muscle recovery), low motivation, minimal depression/anxiety, a high sensitivity to stress and a little insomnia. This changes from day to day. I am doing the best I can, lets hope 1 year will be enough!


It's been a while since I came on here. It looks like you're making good progress. I'm kind of where you are at too. I have PAWS symptoms here and there, but I'm mostly free of them. The only problem is low amounts of stress can trigger them quite easily. It looks to me like you're experiencing the same thing when you socialize, something small (and negative) can trigger your PAWS. It's part of recovery for us.

I remember I had the mindset of constantly looking forward to a specific "milestone", a sort of cutoff where I thought my PAWS would disappear. It was month 9 for me when I thought things would suddenly become normal again (from reading stories on here) Of course, they didn't. I certainly improved a lot at month 9, but my PAWS were by no means gone. I'm a few days past my 10 month mark and I still have some symptoms. Definitely starting to feel a lot more normal, but still plenty of hints of symptoms here and there. I think it's good for you to be excited for your 1 year mark, not because PAWS will disappear, but because you have pushed through for a year, which means you're going to be fine :) Remember it can take up to 2-3 years for you to be PAWS free (even if you only used for a year.) Everyone is different. Don't be harsh on yourself for not becoming "ok" by a certain timestamp.
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#25

Postby tokeless » Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:48 am

. I have PAWS symptoms here and there, but I'm mostly free of them. The only problem is low amounts of stress can trigger them quite easily. It looks to me like you're experiencing the same thing when you socialize, something small (and negative) can trigger your PAWS. It's part of recovery for us.

Surely that's more about your psychological state than this PAWS thing? If you believe it is PAWS that is triggered, then you could have them for ever because it can't be you, just the fact you stopped smoking weed. I get it that some will struggle for a while after smoking weed and it's different for everyone, but this syndrome is taking on a life of it's own and many of the posts I read are more self indulgent in content, the telling of my story and my continuing battles etc etc.... I'm not trying to be unkind, but it's an obsession and is responsible for everything, even a knee pain, a cracking joint, EVERYTHING. It feeds anxiety and creates more and more. There surely is a time to just move on? Imagine if you were contemplating a quit and you read some of these posts of 2,3,5, even longer withdrawing and the myriad of symptoms you WILL get... why quit? Stop feeding the neurosis or it will consume you.
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#26

Postby Winzu » Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:31 pm

Hayhay123 wrote:Hello,

I’m reading your story and it gives me so much hope!! I’m currently on my 7th week of cold turkey PAWS and its like a rollercoaster!!

Reading your symptoms and knowing that there apart of the healing process makes me feel at ease!!

I have most of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing (head pressure, aches, anxiety/panic attacks etc) with a few different ones give or take such as elevated blood pressure,but knowing that it gets better has really helped reassure me!!

thank you so much for sharing your story!! :)


I guarantee you that over-time you will become
normal again. I am at the point where life is pleasurable again, not a struggle. The real reason I struggle is pure egotistical (comparing now to better times).
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#27

Postby Winzu » Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:49 pm


It's been a while since I came on here. It looks like you're making good progress. I'm kind of where you are at too. I have PAWS symptoms here and there, but I'm mostly free of them. The only problem is low amounts of stress can trigger them quite easily. It looks to me like you're experiencing the same thing when you socialize, something small (and negative) can trigger your PAWS. It's part of recovery for us.

I remember I had the mindset of constantly looking forward to a specific "milestone", a sort of cutoff where I thought my PAWS would disappear. It was month 9 for me when I thought things would suddenly become normal again (from reading stories on here) Of course, they didn't. I certainly improved a lot at month 9, but my PAWS were by no means gone. I'm a few days past my 10 month mark and I still have some symptoms. Definitely starting to feel a lot more normal, but still plenty of hints of symptoms here and there. I think it's good for you to be excited for your 1 year mark, not because PAWS will disappear, but because you have pushed through for a year, which means you're going to be fine :) Remember it can take up to 2-3 years for you to be PAWS free (even if you only used for a year.) Everyone is different. Don't be harsh on yourself for not becoming "ok" by a certain timestamp.


Exactly, stress sensitivity is the core problem now, in addition with the physical ailments. I agree that after a year of abstinence life should be more than fine.

However, I refuse to believe that this could linger on for 2-3 years. I know that there are cases such as thegreatdane’s where they used for only a few years and had PAWS for over 3 years. It seems like these people had a way tougher time and a different timeline. The people that had a similar experience as mine such as tokes and biggiesize were recovered after 12-18 months.

I experienced PAWS already once before after huge alcohol abuse. I was unconscious of the phenomenon back then, it was lesser in severity but still took 6-7 months. Back then, I noticed many of the same weird symptoms that I have now (constant knee popping, physical aches/anxiety when waking up, tiredness, insomnia). Hence, based on my previous experience I can say with certainty that this is almost ending.

I do believe that expectations or milestones can be disappointing but for now it gives me hope and thereby strength to move forward. Thanks for your in-depth response, good luck with reaching the 1-year milestone yourself!
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#28

Postby Winzu » Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:55 pm

tokeless wrote:. I have PAWS symptoms here and there, but I'm mostly free of them. The only problem is low amounts of stress can trigger them quite easily. It looks to me like you're experiencing the same thing when you socialize, something small (and negative) can trigger your PAWS. It's part of recovery for us.

Surely that's more about your psychological state than this PAWS thing? If you believe it is PAWS that is triggered, then you could have them for ever because it can't be you, just the fact you stopped smoking weed. I get it that some will struggle for a while after smoking weed and it's different for everyone, but this syndrome is taking on a life of it's own and many of the posts I read are more self indulgent in content, the telling of my story and my continuing battles etc etc.... I'm not trying to be unkind, but it's an obsession and is responsible for everything, even a knee pain, a cracking joint, EVERYTHING. It feeds anxiety and creates more and more. There surely is a time to just move on? Imagine if you were contemplating a quit and you read some of these posts of 2,3,5, even longer withdrawing and the myriad of symptoms you WILL get... why quit? Stop feeding the neurosis or it will consume you.


I agree that after some point we just have to move on. However, I believe that PAWS is real, physiological and resolved over-time. I have read over hundreds of (succes)stories, talked with many people and experienced it once before. Therefore, it is extremely helpful to express your feelings and thoughts to people that are willing to listen and can share their own experience to reassure you.
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#29

Postby tokeless » Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:38 pm

I agree that after some point we just have to move on. However, I believe that PAWS is real, physiological and resolved over-time. I have read over hundreds of (succes)stories, talked with many people and experienced it once before. Therefore, it is extremely helpful to express your feelings and thoughts to people that are willing to listen and can share their own experience to reassure you.[/quote]

I do too, however, this isn't AA, NA and that's the model for that if looking for longer term support. I find many posts would fill people with dread and fear because of the way people pour out their distress and anguish. This could delay someone from making that choice, even though they may never had experienced that hell and found the adjustment easier. I have worked with hundreds of users of various substances for many years. Some never jump because of the fear of withdrawal, others do and tell me it was hard but not as hard as they feared. I learned from them to accept your feeling different, adjust your lifestyle and view of the future and move on. They rarely discuss their pasts because they can't change it, so look ahead without the drag of what you did or where. They live as drug free, not ex addict in recovery.
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