My story and update

Postby PAWSsurvivor » Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:24 am

Hey everyone, I just feel tonight like writing about my journey might be a bit therapeutic.

Many of you know my story. But I'll go over it again. A little over 2 years ago I was in alot of ways at the top of my game. I was athletic, and highly engaged in life. Job, girlfriend, social life, life was good. But it also wasn't. I was hard on myself, and had a case of perfectionism. I was also in too much debt. Controllable, but enough to be stressful. Then I experimented with weed. I was a health nut, and wanted to see if I could replace booze with cannabis. Unfortunately i did not know my limit, and i used too much weed in the course of 3 months. Cue my panic attack and then the complete spiral into this anxiety disorder known on here as PAWS.

Year 1 was exceedingly rough. My symptoms were so bad I thought I was going to die everyday. Yet obviously they weren't so bad, as I managed to somehow keep working. I needed alot of help from my girlfriend. Most of the year was spent trying to find solutions, freaking out, and being utterly confused by my condition. When Covid came along I was grateful, because I was able to spend more time at home resting.

Year 2 I accepted this as an anxiety disorder of some kind. I joined the DARE group where I learned about accepting and allowing my bodily sensations. It was hard, but I learned how to begin to just relax my muscles, "go spaghetti" as we like to say in the group, and just go along for the ride. Alot of my symptoms calmed, but some other strange stuff happened in my body that year that also freaked me out. I had a few momentary blink outs that still make me wonder if I had a seizure of some kind. I had a real jittery feeling in my body. Generally though my symptoms calmed more. Probably my biggest improvement was the slowing of my anxious thoughts into something more normal.

Now here I am in month 26. There are some things that just seem "stuck" with me. It's my fuzzy head mostly, and my vision still seems DP/DR like (I have a hyper sensitivity to my peripheral vision, visual snow, after images, etc). I also still see flashes of light sometimes as I drift off to sleep,and hear / feel snapping sounds in my head. All of this stuff has gone on for so long that I know it's benign. My focus is good generally, and I'm doing ok in my life overall. Alot of my debt has been paid, I bike to work everyday. Of course no weed. I'm socializing and living I think a fairly normal life.

I guess I'm just footnoting where I am. Will I get better? Who knows. Lately I have had less bodily zaps (I'm grateful, it was like touching static electricity) and I often think back to when I had tinnitus for 5 months, which has completely left me. Lately my muscles are spasming alot less too. So maybe my brain is still healing. Whats really helped me is the DARE group, finding meaningful activities to get me through the days, meditation, and a kind attitude towards myself.

I want to say for those early on, it will undoubtedly improve. About 7 months in I was praying for God to just end my life already rather than torturing me. He didn't. Instead I've only gotten better since then. So will it be with you.
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Postby Longduckdong » Tue Oct 26, 2021 2:44 am

That's awesome man. I'm glad to hear you are doing well. Did you ever have headaches? I am 8 months in and feel like that is the most debilitating thing I am dealing with. They get nasty sometimes to the point I feel anxious or sick. Also I get some brain fog where I feel high or drunk without the euphoria. I am super glad you are doing well. I am sure you will continue to improve each day.
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Postby PAWSsurvivor » Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:05 am

Yes indeed man. I had what felt like a migraine for a full year. Started to really simmer down in Month 12-24. Now my head feels fuzzy instead. No more pain. You'll get better too!
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Postby Winzu » Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:08 am

Thanks for sharing. I know from experience that the visual disturbances will be the last symptom. I truly think you will be 100% within the next 6 months. Remind us when you have!
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Postby DerJogge » Tue Oct 26, 2021 3:42 pm

Bro I just shed a small tear because I am at a very similar stage of PAWS. I completed 25 months of being sober after years of struggling with weed, cigarettes, amphetamines, porn/masturbation and a lot of other things.

I also experience visual problems like visual snow, after images, DP/DR and so many other symptoms like depression, sleep problems, etc.

I‘m not gonna lie it’s though but there also has been improvements for me. I just think that it’s gonna take 4-10 months to finally come out of PAWS and I am willing to go all the way.

For me DP/DR and the resulting problems are the worst and I just would be so happy if vision would go back to Cristal clear 3D instead of 2D brain fogged visual snow.

I still experience a lot of addiction dreams where I am looking to buy weed all the time as it was my main drug. I wake up completely relieved to know that it was only a dream but I also find comfort in noticing that my brain is still busy processing things and thus being in PAWS.

There was a guy, I think it was the greatdane and he needed 30 months to finally be out of PAWS and suddenly having good days and his symptoms leaving. If you haven’t by now look for him in the search bar and if you can’t find him let me know and I provide the link.

After all I wish you the best buddy. I know how you feel and what struggle you go through. We will get out of this, just trust yourself and the universe. It will end one day
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