1 year PAWS - It's been a year since I quit

#15

Postby Cali-Detroit » Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:22 pm

9MQ...

First off, thank you for your very encouraging and uplifting response earlier. I really appreciate those words and compassion. In the end I know it can work out, but like a lot of us, it seems bleak at times.

9MQ and POMM...

I can appreciate what your going through, for sure. Some days, or even weeks and longer, nothing works. I think there's something about this one year mark, or close to it, that is very hard for some. I really believe that those of us who struggle harder are the ones who may have been (ab)using weed in order to deal with deeper mental health issues. I can't speak empirically on that, but I know I was.

Also keep in mind, this is a very uncertain time in the world, one where people actually INCREASED the amount of drugs and alcohol they've been using.

I know personally I was fortunate enough to be working full time all through 2020, do physical work, having a daily purpose and a consistent schedule. I was waking up early and busy every single day. I had human contact on a daily basis, and very little time to get into my own head. There were rough patches, but nothing like the last 6 months

Since January, all that changed. And my mental health had followed suit. I only speak of my personal experience to illustrate some of the basic needs we all have, and how right now that may be a lot more difficult given the circumstances of the world. I think the rest of this year will be dicey, to be honest. But I still see light and I certainly don't believe being high will make anything better.

I caught a very light contact buzz visiting my friend last week. He was smoking a joint in his garage (door open partially) and I just wanted to enjoy to smell. He knows my situation, and didn't want to even smoke in my presence, but I assured him it was ok. Anyway, we sat and joked around, had a great conversation while he smoked half the joint. I didn't get high at all, but it was enough of a contact buzz to feel it, especially after a year sober. And honestly, just like all the other times before, I knew immediately it was never going to be the solution. I got more out of the human connection and conversation than any drug.

A lot of this is just stumbling through the dark, trying to find something safe and familiar to hold on too. Some days are good, some are sh**. It's about not giving up and becoming tolerant of the extreme discomfort that life has to offer at times. The military teaches young men and women this lesson very early in life, and it seems to forever change them for the better. I personally am still trying to grasp the concept, but I'm definitely farther along than I ever was.

Stay strong and hang on to whatever is closest at hand. Try and become more disciplined than you feel comfortable with and impose that upon yourself daily.

Be well...sending the good vibes to you
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#16

Postby 9monthquit » Sun Aug 15, 2021 10:33 pm

Hi Cali,

Thanks a lot for your detailed response, it definitely helps me feel better. Anyways, since my last post, things have improved. The wave settled down, and I've had periods of feeling extremely normal, just the way I used to feel before. I believe I used to have normal ups and downs like any other person, but I really doubt the consumption was to mask deeper issues. I was an extremely driven and happy person before I started consuming marijuana, and after I quit everything flipped 180 degrees.

This weekend has been extremely good for me, I've been feeling really good the entire time. Of course it could just be the PAWS relaxing after a wave. I don't know when the next wave will be, or if I'll even have another big wave. I'm going to enjoy feeling normal for now, and when the wave comes, I'll deal with it. Just like you say, "It's about not giving up and becoming tolerant of the extreme discomfort that life has to offer at times."

Overall, the way I've been feeling this weekend and a bit of the last week has really given me hope (even more than before.) I think I'm slowly, very slowly, moving towards getting better. I've mentioned this in my earlier posts already of course, but I'm just re-iterating to assure that I'm still getting better even after that tough PAWS wave. Regardless, I will post an update at the start of next month to share where I'm at. Good luck to you and everyone else with their PAWS journey!
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#17

Postby Zarathustra » Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:56 pm

@9monthquit

I have been reading your posts and I am just amazed at the similarities your symptoms to mine. I am currently 10 months free after almost 2 years on and off use and I am now in the middle of a bad wave after having a good month which almost convinced me I was out of the woods. Its remarkable how unpredictable it is. I should mention that this is not my first time riding out PAWS, in the past I had COMPLETELY recovered after only a few months of PAWS. This time my recovery is taking much longer and I believe the reason is because I abused edibles this time around. I took high doses of edibles on top of smoking high THC oils (at the same time) everyday for months and here I am. I was “Chasing the dragon” as some like to call it, and its never a good idea. Keep us updated with your status.
Hoping a speedy recovery for you and everyone else.
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#18

Postby 9monthquit » Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:54 pm

@Zarathustra

Thanks for your reply! I'm glad you could relate to my post :) It really is extremely unpredictable. Sometimes you think a wave is getting better, and boom, gets 2x worse. It's awesome that you've experienced recovering before, I can't wait to reach that point too. I think edibles really trigger PAWS for some people, it was how I was consuming THC before PAWS. Hope you are doing better!
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#19

Postby 9monthquit » Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:19 pm

Progress Update

It's been a while since I last posted one of these. I was going to post one at the beginning of September, but I got really busy with work. Anyways:

I am 15 months sober from Marijuana, this is my 16th month. PAWS has improved for me. It's definitely gotten better, but I am definitely not recovered. I had a good phase in September where I felt great, wasn't easily overwhelmed by things, didn't have a lot of brain fog etc.

Lately however, I've entered another tough wave with a lot of symptoms. I think the most prominent are anxiety / depression / brain fog / vivid dreams. I would say the intensity varies, sometimes it's 80% of what it used to be, and sometimes it's 100%. Many times, it's just 20-30%. To be honest, I would say I'm still struggling during waves. They're still very difficult to cope with, and hit like a damn truck. I've also started a new job that I love, but it comes with stressors. I manage easily when I'm not in a wave, but I'm especially struggling during waves. It triggers all of the symptoms and makes it extremely hard to get through.

I want to stress though that I'm getting better. Even in a wave right now, I definitely feel hopeful and know that it's PAWS. Of course, sometimes I lose sight of that, and start thinking this isn't PAWS and that I've got something underlying, or that I've permanently damaged my brain. But many times I'm able to break out of that spiral and remind myself it's just a wave, and things will get better.

All things said, I think the future is looking bright. When I'm feeling normal, I really feel normal and amazing. I have very small amounts of brain fog, but that is slowly decreasing. I am starting to think 2022 will be a really good year, I will be able to close this chapter in my life (in other words, PAWS will end :D) Of course along with that, I'll make progress in other areas of my life, and be able to focus on them with 100% of my mind. However, I'm not going to set this in stone, if I need more time to recover, I will accept it. I hope the rest of you are doing well and making solid progress in your PAWS journey, please share with me, I am definitely interested :)
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#20

Postby Winzu » Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:40 pm

Thanks for your update brother. It is scary how similar our journey is. I am also heading into my 16th month just now.

I felt great for at least month 12 to 14. Then out of a sudden, I got hit with a severe and long lasting wave that reminded me of the earlier months, I am unfortunately still in it. I have that feeling of dread in the morning again, vivid dreams about my insecurities, anxiety that can become quite crippling and a pretty heavy depression. This is so bizarre, as I now struggle to buy groceries while a month ago I could do almost anything I feel like.

I also think next year will be our year. We will be 18 months clean, a point I have seen many recover after. Are you willing to chat anytime soon? I would like to find similarities and get some confidence that its entirely PAWS.

Winzu
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#21

Postby 9monthquit » Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:00 pm

@Winzu I am willing to chat, I can't reply to your PM, it says I don't have enough posts... weird.
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#22

Postby Winzu » Sat Oct 02, 2021 8:03 pm

Alright no probs. I’ll send you my phone number through PM so you can add me on Telegram or Whatsapp.
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#23

Postby WeWillDoThis » Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:41 pm

Hi Guys-just checking in, how are you all doing?
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#24

Postby 9monthquit » Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:58 pm

Not better since my last post, I was in a wave, got off the wave for like a day or two, and ever since still been in a wave. This is definitely one of the longer lasting waves I've had. My anxiety is absolutely through the roof right now, and quite a bit of depression + brain fog as well.
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