Starting my journey to recovery...Potential PAWs case

#15

Postby Mikeyb88 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:34 pm

Hi guys, first post. I have been reading up on PAWS and never knew it existed until the last week or so. I smoked most of my life since i was 16/17 to now 32. I've quit for just over 4 weeks. I've gotten past the night sweats, insomnia, no appetite, all your standard withdrawls. But the last 2 weeks or so ive had really sore legs and knees. Unsure if its the muscles or the joints or what. Occasionally some twitching in them too. Could this be PAWS? I'm going to be seeing a padiotrist soon but the more i read about PAWS and anxiety (i have bad anxiety, health anxiety ect, real bad) the more i feel they could be the cause. What are the chances do you think?

Cheers.
Michael.
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#16

Postby WeWillDoThis » Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:31 pm

Luna824 wrote:Hey Wewilldothis! Just checking in to see how you’re doing? I’m a few days shy of 7 months sober and feeling indifferent about the situation. I’m thankful I’m able to function and go weeks without a symptom/anxiety attack but also frustrated anytime I feel the slightest anxiety. This entire process has been exhausting. But if I can offer words of encouragement I noticed a huge different after 4 months and I hope you do too! Anyways keep me updated.


Hey Luna! I hope you are continuing to do well. I'm just shy of 5 months and continue to slowly improve. I haven't had a panic attack for a long time, my anxiety is controllable but not perfect. I do think the Lexapro helped to stabilize things but certainly was not a magic bullet. I'm functioning again, as a human, a huband, a son, and most importantly a dad but I'm not where I used to be or where I want to be. I still fell pretty flat at times, still get bouts of anxiety/depression but again I trying to appreciate these things will take time. I'm still seeing my therapist/psychaitrist, they've offered to increase dosage/change meds but I've declined as I want to try to continue to heal on my own. Perhaps I had an underlying condition this whole time, I've always had some anxiety but still just feel different after my initial panic attack nearly 6 months ago. I continue to get out and walk everyday, try to meditate for a few minutes a day (just deep breathing) and just be thankful for not feeling how I felt months ago. Things will continue to improve I believe but I've still got a long road ahead.

I tried to incorporate coffee back, that was a no go, its the decaf life for me for now but I've enjoyed a few beers on the weekends and haven't had any ill effects. Interestingly, my drinking has really cut down since I stopped smoking, I used to have a beer/whiskey most nights that I had a toke, now a sparkling water at night does me just fine.

Again, I hope all is well with you and reach out anytime! I'm also on reddit more often then here but will continue to check in.

@GeorgeM-Thank you soo much for the words of encouragement, by far the hardest thing I've been through, maybe not acutely but this is a marathon of pain/agony but one that will certainly build character. I wish you well.

Take care all and catch up again at 6 months!
-WWDT
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#17

Postby WeWillDoThis » Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:56 pm

6 Month Update

I just wanted to check-in with the community and provide a 6 month update. I hope you all are doing well, especially those that have checked in...Luna, PowerofMyMind, etc...

I've been having better days the last few weeks, my anxiety is subsiding, my emotions/depression is stabilizing, I'm a bit more motivated again and have enjoyed some days. I'm still continuing to take my anti-depressants but plan on tapering off in the near future. I've also continued to meet with my therapist which I think has been a help in navigating all of this. She's recommended I be formally tested for ADHD as it may have contributed for my need for weed. I know my journey isn't over yet, I still have areas to grow and still experience anxiety/depression in much smaller doses but don't quite feel at baseline yet.

Anyway, I'm happy to report the worst seems to be over, although I'll remain on guard for a potential wave in the future. I wish everyone the best in their recovery. Take care all.

-WWDT
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#18

Postby WeWillDoThis » Mon Feb 07, 2022 2:52 pm

Hi All-Just wanted to check back in on my journey to recovery. I'm nearly at 10 months sober from Marijuana and things continue to improve, albeit slowly and not very linearly.

I continue to have good days/bad days, although the bad days are more of an annoyance now then a complete train wreck. My biggest symptoms being depression, anxiety and ADHD like symptoms (can't focus, brain fog, lack of motivation) but I experienced those while smoking as well and even thought that marijuana helped (LOL). I'm living my life fairly normally now though, I spend quality time with my wife and kids, I'm able to travel and go out for dinner without freaking out but still get uncomfortable (likely due to reliving bad experiences in the past). I am starting to dabble with alcohol and caffeine again but at a much lower rate then I was before PAWs. Maybe 1-2 drinks here and there and coffee when I'm feeling little to no anxiety as I've noted it does seem to cause an onset of anxiety symptoms (same w/ alcohol the next day if enjoyed too much...).

I'm currently tapering off my anti-depressants and have noticed an increase in symptoms but hoping they subside in the weeks to come. Overall, just trying to take it week by week and focus on staying the course. The days I do feel great I do reminisce about the days of smoking blissfulness but then kindly remind myself of the hell I've had to endure thus far...

I wish you all the best, wherever you are in your journey, it does truly get better with time! I hope to come back again at the year mark to provide a more substantial update and hopefully continue a positive overall trend.

Take care all.

-WWDT
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#19

Postby PowerOfMyMind » Mon Feb 07, 2022 9:33 pm

Nice to hear from you WWDT, paws really is a brutally gruelling experience but we all continue to fight through each day.

Im glad you're improving and can 100% confirm time is the healing factor. Im at 15 months and although much better im still dealing with the morning dread and pit of my stomach doom feeling although much milder.
Im still pretty flat in once joyful experiences and still suffering depression yet not as severe.
My 3 year old son is in the process of a possible and likely autism diagnosis as he's not talking yet and showing some of the traits so thats been upsetting. Well frankly its devastating but such is this so called life.

Hope you stay positive and keep improving and look forward to hearing further progress from you.
All the best.
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#20

Postby john5:6 » Tue Feb 08, 2022 7:24 am

@PowerOfMyMind could you elaborate on “ pit of my stomach doom feeling”? I’m at 13 months and this is the first time I’ve heard someone mention this and it sounds like something I’ve felt for a long time. Sorry to hear about your son, mine is almost 3 and not talking yet, he’s been getting speech therapy for 3 months now. The therapist says she doesn’t see anything alarming that would suggest autism, but seeing his daily behavior has got me very concerned as well. Whatever the diagnosis, I now we’ll do well with them and everything will be much better after PAWS =)
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#21

Postby PowerOfMyMind » Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:12 am

@john5:6 Good to hear from you. Basically its a heavy feeling of anxiety i guess as soon as i wake up each day that feels like it comes from deep in my gut and a feeling of dread and a kind of hopelessness i guess. I wonder if its high levels of cortisol but not entirely sure. It seems to get better as the day progresses but always is worst first thing in the morning.
Sorry to hear you are also going through concerns re your child. We will love them and do what we can to help them live life to the full :)
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#22

Postby desperate788 » Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:30 am

I dont like children i hope i never have one, just to note.
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#23

Postby john5:6 » Tue Feb 08, 2022 5:45 pm

@PowerOfMyMind oh yes, I know exactly what you mean. This last month this feeling has almost disappeared. It has switched over from dreaded mornings, to bad nights again and nice mornings. But I still have random days with the feeling of doom like a falling feel in the center of the lower chest or gut area. I’m just coming off the worst wave ever in my paws trip. I had daily skipped beats (PVCs), random tachycardia, extreme fatigue from just walking a few steps, waking up every morning to a pounding heart, bouts of extreme nausea and dizziness, extreme weakness out of nowhere, and a whole lot of very death-like symptoms. I’m so much better this month, I think I’m somewhere around the 13-14 month. I hope you are also doing better yourself!
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#24

Postby WeWillDoThis » Wed Feb 09, 2022 2:38 pm

PowerOfMyMind wrote:Nice to hear from you WWDT, paws really is a brutally gruelling experience but we all continue to fight through each day.

Im glad you're improving and can 100% confirm time is the healing factor. Im at 15 months and although much better im still dealing with the morning dread and pit of my stomach doom feeling although much milder.
Im still pretty flat in once joyful experiences and still suffering depression yet not as severe.
My 3 year old son is in the process of a possible and likely autism diagnosis as he's not talking yet and showing some of the traits so thats been upsetting. Well frankly its devastating but such is this so called life.

Hope you stay positive and keep improving and look forward to hearing further progress from you.
All the best.


Hey @PowerOfMyMind-Thanks for checking in. PAWS is truly a remarkable experience, although dreadful. I'm fairly lucky to have mainly psychological symptoms at this point and know exactly what you referring to as the morning dread/anxiety. That was the primary indicator that things were improving for me, the dread/anxiety/depression has lessened over time. I used to wake up and fear the day, and ask myself "How am I going to survive this another day? How long do I need to endure this?" I still have those days, but the dread and anxiety are manageable now. I've even had the rare occasion where I wake up feeling calm and confident again. I know we will both get there someday!

Regarding your son, I'm very sorry to hear about what you're going through and I think you need to give yourself some credit as well. Enduring that stress and uncertainty is demanding for anyone, let alone someone impacted by PAWS/Mental health troubles. I have a 4 year old son who is extremely hyper active and challenges me daily but I wouldn't trade him or my daughter for the world. Going through all of this with children is no easy task, parenting is a burden (so simpler way to put it) but its also a gift. I remember thinking I'd never be able to father my children while experiencing this but again, I've proved myself wrong and continue to walk through hell or highwater to ensure my family is taken care of. I think adopting this "warrior" spirit has helped to forge ahead and heal. I wish you all the best and hope to hear about some of your improvements soon!

-WWDT
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#25

Postby desperate788 » Wed Feb 09, 2022 2:43 pm

To my opinion children are expensive, needless and annoying.
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#26

Postby WeWillDoThis » Wed Feb 09, 2022 2:53 pm

desperate788 wrote:To my opinion children are expensive, needless and annoying.


Thank goodness your parents didn't feel this way, otherwise you'd fail to exist... :wink:
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#27

Postby desperate788 » Wed Feb 09, 2022 3:17 pm

So far in my life failing to exist wouldnt be such a bad option
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#28

Postby WeWillDoThis » Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:56 pm

Anyone still use this forum? Just checking if updates are still needed/wanted?
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#29

Postby desperate788 » Tue Jun 21, 2022 5:43 pm

Updates needed wanted..we mustnt lose the support and brotherhood spirit :)
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