7.5 months now

#30

Postby 9monthquit » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:23 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.


It's absolutely PAWS (at least for me) This sensitivity of stress has become observably lower since my PAWS begun. For many, weed is a way to relax from the stress. When the tool for relaxation is suddenly gone, sensitivity to stress gets high because you know you have to face those emotions. Maybe some people make it an obsession to blame everything on, but I know what my psychological state was prior to smoking weed (I wasn't a very long term user, so I still remember those times well) I am sure that weed is inducing a lot of the psychological problems I have, and even some physical symptoms (stomach issues) Why quit? I'm not sure what you are getting at here. I think a lot of people get these symptoms first, then find this forum which comforts them. As humans we need reassurance that what we're doing / experiencing is normal. The whole reason to quit is to move on to do better things. To have spare time, to work on yourself, to develop new skills and hobbies, or whatever else you want to do with your time. Just not sitting and getting high. You have been on this forum a while, and after reading so many posts, you think people are deciding to quit based on symptoms they will experience? We're all quitting for something greater, and are supporting one another along the way. That's it.
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#31

Postby tokeless » Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:38 pm

No problem. It's your journey
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#32

Postby Winzu » Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:27 pm

Yesterday I had a terrible day. I woke up extremely stiff and very stressed out. It felt as if I already was like this during my sleep as well. Working out did not go as usual, I was really tired and so overstressed. All my muscles were tight and my joints were aching.

Unfortunately, I had a party that night. I decided to go but not drink anything. When I arrived there I already felt disconnected, tired and not in the mood at all. I noticed I was very anxious as well, which I am never around my best friends.

As the party goes on many people were joining. At some point the whole house was full. I had fun with my closest friends, was not very anxious anymore but still closed of socially to others.

I decided to enjoy a night once again, I mean I have not been drinking for 9 months now. I planned to drink only 1-2 units of alcohol but quickly I noticed the alcohol started to trigger my PAWS.

At this moment a confrontation happened that triggered my adrenals even more. I became extremely anxious, like crippling anxiety. I felt unheard, uninteresting and weak. I had so much brain fog that every conversation with a fairly unknown person would be intensely difficult to maintain. Until the point I decided to stop speaking and go home after awhile.

The whole night was terrible. I regret drinking and coming to that party. I hate this so much. My PAWS / hang-over (of only 2 drinks) is unfairly harsh right now. It has been an extremely demotivating experience. Is this normal at month 9? Am I looking at a recovery of 2-3 years? I am not sure whether this is PAWS or that I f***ed my life with generalized and social anxiety disorder because of mental/emotional issues.
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#33

Postby Magicisreal12345 » Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:24 am

I’m just about to be at 9.5 months and I have a very similar experience to you. Reading your story gives me peace we will both heal. There’s times I feel I am healing and times I don’t. We are not even a year sober. I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel but it will probably take a while longer. Hang in there
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#34

Postby Winzu » Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:06 pm

Magicisreal12345 wrote:I’m just about to be at 9.5 months and I have a very similar experience to you. Reading your story gives me peace we will both heal. There’s times I feel I am healing and times I don’t. We are not even a year sober. I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel but it will probably take a while longer. Hang in there


It is now 2 days later. I feel a lot better now. It is bizarre how an existential crisis can diminish so fast. I am normally not such an emotional person.

I agree, I have seen light at the end of the tunnel as well. I hope you are right, thanks for the support.
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#35

Postby Winzu » Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:02 pm

Magicisreal12345 wrote:I’m just about to be at 9.5 months and I have a very similar experience to you. Reading your story gives me peace we will both heal. There’s times I feel I am healing and times I don’t. We are not even a year sober. I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel but it will probably take a while longer. Hang in there


Magic, may I ask you. What was your timeline / history of use?
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#36

Postby 9monthquit » Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:50 am

Winzu wrote:Yesterday I had a terrible day. I woke up extremely stiff and very stressed out. It felt as if I already was like this during my sleep as well. Working out did not go as usual, I was really tired and so overstressed. All my muscles were tight and my joints were aching.

Unfortunately, I had a party that night. I decided to go but not drink anything. When I arrived there I already felt disconnected, tired and not in the mood at all. I noticed I was very anxious as well, which I am never around my best friends.

As the party goes on many people were joining. At some point the whole house was full. I had fun with my closest friends, was not very anxious anymore but still closed of socially to others.

I decided to enjoy a night once again, I mean I have not been drinking for 9 months now. I planned to drink only 1-2 units of alcohol but quickly I noticed the alcohol started to trigger my PAWS.

At this moment a confrontation happened that triggered my adrenals even more. I became extremely anxious, like crippling anxiety. I felt unheard, uninteresting and weak. I had so much brain fog that every conversation with a fairly unknown person would be intensely difficult to maintain. Until the point I decided to stop speaking and go home after awhile.

The whole night was terrible. I regret drinking and coming to that party. I hate this so much. My PAWS / hang-over (of only 2 drinks) is unfairly harsh right now. It has been an extremely demotivating experience. Is this normal at month 9? Am I looking at a recovery of 2-3 years? I am not sure whether this is PAWS or that I f***ed my life with generalized and social anxiety disorder because of mental/emotional issues.


I noticed you are wondering about the 2-3 years suddenly. I hope this is not from my post earlier about it taking up to 2-3 years. I did not mean it as a way to scare / worry you, but to hope that you would allow yourself time to heal, and not give your mind a due date. I have had pretty good mood the last couple days, especially almost no symptoms after running yesterday. This really works for me, I wonder if it will work for you - go run for 20-30 minutes in the sun. It actually does wonders for me every single time. It's like my PAWS vanish for the entire day, and 90% of the next day too.

That said, I think it's totally fine and normal for month 9. I've crossed month 10, and a couple weeks ago I had a terrible wave with a similar existential crisis type feeling that you describe. I hope that helps you feel better about what you went through.

By the way, with feeling horrible in social environments, I think it will pass. I did not have that issue, but I know someone who had longer use than we did, and when he quit, he literally didn't talk when all of us buddies hung out. The guy would give 1 word replies if asked something, and otherwise would just have his hands together in front of him and look down at the floor. Dude became a total zombie. Good news is he became normal with time and is much happier and sociable.
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#37

Postby Magicisreal12345 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:21 pm

I smoked for 8 years everyday in California. 9 months and 10 days sober now. Every so often I go through a period where I feel I’m out of paws but I get sucked back into obsessing over it. I’ve had a lot of anxiety the past couple weeks mostly due to reading things online. I miss the old days when I didn’t have a computer lol.
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#38

Postby Winzu » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:14 pm

9monthquit wrote:
Winzu wrote:Yesterday I had a terrible day. I woke up extremely stiff and very stressed out. It felt as if I already was like this during my sleep as well. Working out did not go as usual, I was really tired and so overstressed. All my muscles were tight and my joints were aching.

Unfortunately, I had a party that night. I decided to go but not drink anything. When I arrived there I already felt disconnected, tired and not in the mood at all. I noticed I was very anxious as well, which I am never around my best friends.

As the party goes on many people were joining. At some point the whole house was full. I had fun with my closest friends, was not very anxious anymore but still closed of socially to others.

I decided to enjoy a night once again, I mean I have not been drinking for 9 months now. I planned to drink only 1-2 units of alcohol but quickly I noticed the alcohol started to trigger my PAWS.

At this moment a confrontation happened that triggered my adrenals even more. I became extremely anxious, like crippling anxiety. I felt unheard, uninteresting and weak. I had so much brain fog that every conversation with a fairly unknown person would be intensely difficult to maintain. Until the point I decided to stop speaking and go home after awhile.

The whole night was terrible. I regret drinking and coming to that party. I hate this so much. My PAWS / hang-over (of only 2 drinks) is unfairly harsh right now. It has been an extremely demotivating experience. Is this normal at month 9? Am I looking at a recovery of 2-3 years? I am not sure whether this is PAWS or that I f***ed my life with generalized and social anxiety disorder because of mental/emotional issues.


I noticed you are wondering about the 2-3 years suddenly. I hope this is not from my post earlier about it taking up to 2-3 years. I did not mean it as a way to scare / worry you, but to hope that you would allow yourself time to heal, and not give your mind a due date. I have had pretty good mood the last couple days, especially almost no symptoms after running yesterday. This really works for me, I wonder if it will work for you - go run for 20-30 minutes in the sun. It actually does wonders for me every single time. It's like my PAWS vanish for the entire day, and 90% of the next day too.

That said, I think it's totally fine and normal for month 9. I've crossed month 10, and a couple weeks ago I had a terrible wave with a similar existential crisis type feeling that you describe. I hope that helps you feel better about what you went through.

By the way, with feeling horrible in social environments, I think it will pass. I did not have that issue, but I know someone who had longer use than we did, and when he quit, he literally didn't talk when all of us buddies hung out. The guy would give 1 word replies if asked something, and otherwise would just have his hands together in front of him and look down at the floor. Dude became a total zombie. Good news is he became normal with time and is much happier and sociable.


Thanks for your reply. From my research I found out that when working out really starts to subside your symptoms the recovery is almost over. I think you are in a good place right now. And the fact that you also experienced an existential crisis in month 9 reassures me.
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#39

Postby Winzu » Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:16 pm

Magicisreal12345 wrote:I smoked for 8 years everyday in California. 9 months and 10 days sober now. Every so often I go through a period where I feel I’m out of paws but I get sucked back into obsessing over it. I’ve had a lot of anxiety the past couple weeks mostly due to reading things online. I miss the old days when I didn’t have a computer lol.


Alright thanks for your timeline. How long are these good and bad periods for you? I think you are about obsessing over it, as of next month I stop reading about it.
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#40

Postby Winzu » Wed May 12, 2021 8:09 pm

Month 9.5

These last 3 weeks have been a lot better. I forgot about PAWS again for 2 weeks, like always happens during a good period.

I am now at the point where I do not experience (crippling) anxiety anymore, even on my bad days. I can easily look people in their eyes again, give classroom presentations and am not scared to come across a familiar person. My headaches are fully gone, only a little head pressure sometimes.

Negative thoughts or depression are uncommon and is my primary tool to recognize whether I am in a wave again (in which it is minimal and I know it will pass within a few days). My cognitive function is solid again if not under high stress. I feel smart again.

What still resides is anhedonia and low motivation. Fatigue during bad waves. Sleeping is difficult sometimes. I am not able to fully relax, I would rather go outside and hang out with some friends than watch a movie. I feel my body is in a low state of fight-or-flight constantly. Posture is slumming and low, still have a lot of physical problems such as joint cracking and muscle aches around the neck and upper-back region.

The real sh** I still struggle with is the stress sensitivity. I get triggered slightly by new people, and heavily by difficult people or alcohol. These heavy triggers will almost always lead to a new wave of PAWS. Yesterday, during a wave I decided to drink together with my partner for celebration. As a means of testing my current state of recovery.
After only 2 drinks negative thoughts, depression and heart palpitations returned. I felt a lot worse. I woke up after only 5 hours of sleep, and was not able to return to it. I now have a significant hangover with definite stomach issues.

TL;DR

The good is getting better, the bad is gradually improving as well. The major symptom now is stress sensitivity. Difficult people, alcohol and lack of sleep are huge triggers for PAWS symptoms. I feel like I will be a strong man again at the 1-year mark.
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#41

Postby 9monthquit » Thu May 13, 2021 1:55 am

Good stuff! I really think we have to be drug free (including alcohol) during this entire PAWS. It seems to be a trigger for a lot of people, and is for me too. Anyways, the last time I replied, I was having a good phase. That lasted like 2 weeks. Currently I'm once again in the midst of a crippling PAWS wave (started 2 days ago) Hopefully it doesn't last too long.
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#42

Postby Winzu » Thu May 13, 2021 12:29 pm

9monthquit wrote:Good stuff! I really think we have to be drug free (including alcohol) during this entire PAWS. It seems to be a trigger for a lot of people, and is for me too. Anyways, the last time I replied, I was having a good phase. That lasted like 2 weeks. Currently I'm once again in the midst of a crippling PAWS wave (started 2 days ago) Hopefully it doesn't last too long.


I agree with you, this is something I am really struggling with. I am sure that a complete abstinence of alcohol and drugs is the optimal way for recovery. However, as summer is reaching, I am wondering if the occasional alcohol use is permitted. If it will impact recovery speed significantly or not.

My assumption for now is that I should avoid unnecessary drinks. I am not sure about parties yet, would an occasional alcohol binge hurt progress?

Awesome to hear you had some great weeks behind you. What are your current waves like? You still experience crippling anxiety?
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#43

Postby 9monthquit » Thu May 13, 2021 9:56 pm

I get the urge to be able to drink in the summer. It's always nice to have a couple of beers out on a sunny day. I feel that. I can't tell you whether it's permitted (that's for you to decide) but I think binge drinking might really trigger the PAWS. Maybe you can try and see what happens. I believe alcohol is a depressant so it does affect the brain and certainly can induce depression (especially if you're prone to it, which we kind of are...)

My waves are pretty crappy to be honest. I don't experience crippling anxiety (anymore), but I do experience crippling depression. And I won't lie, there are a lot of suicidal thoughts too. I get these OCD type of intrusive thoughts, which can be in the form of existential thoughts, and those lead to depression. The depression leads to more negative thoughts, and it kind of becomes a cycle. But I gotta say, there is a physical aspect to this too. When I'm in a wave, I lose that sense of calmness, and there is this feeling at the back of my throat (like the one you get right before you cry) Except, it stays the entire time. There is also some anhedonia (though not much for me anymore) My head feels kind of heavy too, like something is weighing down on it. It is honestly so relieving to read through uncommon forum during the tougher times just to remind myself that all of this will pass.
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#44

Postby Winzu » Fri May 14, 2021 11:18 am

9monthquit wrote:I get the urge to be able to drink in the summer. It's always nice to have a couple of beers out on a sunny day. I feel that. I can't tell you whether it's permitted (that's for you to decide) but I think binge drinking might really trigger the PAWS. Maybe you can try and see what happens. I believe alcohol is a depressant so it does affect the brain and certainly can induce depression (especially if you're prone to it, which we kind of are...)

My waves are pretty crappy to be honest. I don't experience crippling anxiety (anymore), but I do experience crippling depression. And I won't lie, there are a lot of suicidal thoughts too. I get these OCD type of intrusive thoughts, which can be in the form of existential thoughts, and those lead to depression. The depression leads to more negative thoughts, and it kind of becomes a cycle. But I gotta say, there is a physical aspect to this too. When I'm in a wave, I lose that sense of calmness, and there is this feeling at the back of my throat (like the one you get right before you cry) Except, it stays the entire time. There is also some anhedonia (though not much for me anymore) My head feels kind of heavy too, like something is weighing down on it. It is honestly so relieving to read through uncommon forum during the tougher times just to remind myself that all of this will pass.


I agree with you on the drinking. I probably need to avoid alcohol fully until my recovery has improved a lot. By then, I will try again and see how it affects me.

I can totally relate with you. My waves are pretty much the same although I do not experience any suicidal thoughts (yet haha). The heavy head feeling is a reduced blood circulation to your head, you can recognize at that moment by you probably having a pale face, thinner hairs and an exhausted look on your face. It is an indicator for me how severe the wave is or whether I am out of one (usually the more severe, the less blood supply in my face). Also, from previous experience I know that when you have a full face, with thick hairs (beard, eyelashes and hair) for entire days/weeks. You are recovered from PAWS.

I feel like PAWS and specifically the depression hit me the most when I spend most of my time on the internet. I tend to absorb so much information that something will eventually let me worry. Every time I feel like this, walking outside with a friend is the best way to feel better.

It is also easy to forget how terrible the crippling anxiety was in the beginning. I am now able to do everything again, hairdresser, restaurant, shopping, working-out. The only trigger are parties. I mean, we have recovered so much already. There is nothing to worry about. We will be more healthy, productive and happy than ever, especially compared to the times we were high all the time.
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