Your baked brain / TAKE 2

Postby quietvoice » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:23 am

First posted March 2018 by exstonerinhell here.
The thread went wildly off-topic; let's do a fresh start.
~~~~~~~

If you're coming here, suffering from Marijuana PAWS, first and foremost, you have to accept you're brain damaged right now. Yep, terrifying, but it's true. You pumped your brain full of a foreign substance, and to counteract that substance your brain had to go against its natural order to come to a level of homeostasis with what you were doing to it. The brain is not meant to feel that much pleasure at the flick of a lighter over, and over, and over again. And now, you've made the right move and have stepped away from weed, but Oh no!, now you're suffering.

Why? Because you've made your brain suffer for so long and now it's getting back at you? No, the suffering you're going through now is healing. Just as when you get a virus or a stomach bug, your body reacts violently to right itself and to protect you.

Don't freak out, just because you're brain damaged doesn't mean that you can't/won't heal, you absolutely can and will (and I write this with total confidence, deep, deep within the hellish grip of PAWS) heal.

People who come out of a coma and can't walk (you can) heal.
People who come out of a coma and can't recognize their loved ones (you can) heal.
They can't speak (you can), write (you can), or read (you can) and they heal.

So, what in the hell is going on then? Why are you so depressed, anxious, racing thoughts, crying spells, suffering from depersonalization, headaches, cold spells, sweating, and all the fun things our brain puts us through during this process? You are healing. Your mind and body are trying to find a balance within themselves in an attempt to intrinsically heal themselves, and now you're along for the ride.

Let's look at the bits of your brain that are freaking out right now, trying to balance themselves out after the trauma you caused by this so-called innocent, harmless and non-addictive drug.

Amygdala
Fear, this is the bit of your brain that creates fear to protect you from a tiger in the brush, a bear in the woods, or a snake in the jungle. It, when working properly, is there to protect you. Now, you're sitting in front of your computer, maybe right now you're afraid of the moon, afraid to leave your house, afraid of your own shadow, afraid you'll never get better and you can't shake that fear. I know, I've felt it pretty much everyday since I've started on this journey. It's important to realise that this fear isn't generated in your mind, it's in your brain. You're in constant fear because your amygdala is healing. It may be like this for a while, it may pass and then come on stronger when a bad wave hits you. It's okay, this is healing and sooner or later this piece of your brain will get its chemistry in order and the fear will go away.

Hippocampus
The memory part of your brain. Why do you keep having these racing thoughts, and strange memoires pop up out of nowhere? This bit of your brain ties in old memories to emotions, and it's going haywire right now. These thoughts, emotions and memories that bubble up can be disturbing and mentally painful to re-live but it can't hurt you. Just like the amygdala it's in a state of shock right now, but it'll settle itself, and restore itself to a steady state.

Hypothalamus
Body temperature. Getting hot, or cold? Sweating in bed a lot? No, that sweating isn't your body 'flushing' toxins, it has other ways to get rid of the THC. Your hypothalamus is trying to figure out what's going on and is righting itself.

Frontal lobe
This bit is for planning things, making decisions, and inhibiting emotions appropriately. Why are you freaking out because you can't focus on a task and crying all the time? Frontal lobe is chemically screwy right now. This will calm down, and things will come back.

Occipital lobe
World looks screwed up right now? Seeing floaters? Lights too bright? Maybe even catching a visual hallucination from time to time? Occipital lobe is healing, working its way back to stasis.

Vestibular system
Dizzy? Feeling like your on a boat from time to time? Well, combine this with the occipital lobe and it's like you're in some kind of crazy funhouse. None of this is dangerous (as long as you're not driving at the worst of it) and is just chemically righting itself from the loss of the obscene amount of chemicals you've been dumping into your brain.

Temporal Lobe
This is where auditory information is processed, but also where your brain picks up on the meaning of what you're hearing, how it interprets it and bounces it to the other parts of your brain. Having a hard time with conversations? Not following along and feeling like you're some kind of space alien pretending to be you? Also, are you hearing weird things, maybe playing a song over and over and over in your head?

Alright, so that's, in a simplistic way, what's going on. These things all work together to make your brain function. But it's important to distinguish between your mind and your brain here. You brain is doing a lot of crazy stuff to right the ship right now and your mind is caught in the middle of all this construction work. Would you stand in the middle of a large building being built? Well, you wouldn't but in this case you are and have to. That's why it is all so distressing, why it all feels so crazy and you don't feel like you. It's not because you're going crazy, it's not because you are crazy. It's because your brain is trying to do everything it can to come to some sort of a baseline level of functionality, and one way it does that is by firing off and receiving chemicals. You've deprived it of a chemical and so therefore it's working around that, bringing you back to a level of intrinsic health. But your brain doesn't care about your mind, and what it's going through during all this. It's just trying to protect you by healing itself.

But your brain doesn't recognize your mind as something it needs to heal, that's your job, so you need to put any dark and scary thoughts (perhaps even suicidal thoughts) here into their proper perspective. Your brain isn't responsible for your mind, you are. So whatever your brain throws at you right now, it's your mind that has to put that stuff in proper perspective. Which is, "My brains messed up right now, sorting itself out and it's scary, strange, and weird but I need to let it do its thing, while protecting my mind. I must realise this will take time, a good amount of time, and be patient and kind to myself. And know it will end."

Realise that thoughts are just thoughts, and as distressing and painful as they can be you are still in control of your actions. Your mind controls, your brain does the rest.

To go back to my coma patient talk of earlier though, you have to understand that these people don't heal by just sitting there waiting to heal, they have to work for it, and so do we. How? Push yourself to do the things you used to do, no matter how uncomfortable. Walk, talk, socialize, clean your room, cook dinner, do everything you used to do before this nightmare to retrain your brain, to let it know it still can do these things, even without tons of THC running rampant through your grey matter.

Look, it sucks where we are. It's going to take your brain a lot of time to right itself, but understand it does get better and it does get worse. Your brain has to function while it's repairing itself and your mind is caught in the middle of this. Put that into perspective, keep your focus on your mind and let the brain do it's own healing. Sooner, or later, the two will sync back up.

You need to be patient, kind to yourself but also need to push yourself. You need to be strong, you need to protect your mind from your brain right now. It will get easier as time goes on, but that's going to be your ally and your enemy right now. Time.

Stay strong, you (and I) will get through this and you will be stronger because of it as long as you work to find yourself (your whole self) throughout this process. You need to retrain your mind, but you also need to go easy on yourself. Rest when you need to rest and don't push yourself too hard too fast. You're brain-damaged, but not mind-damaged and you will heal.

I know it. This isn't withdrawal, this is recovery.

~~~~~
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#1

Postby MJM » Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:00 am

This is interesting. I’m on month 14 and still experiencing symptoms and it’s really f’ing frustrating. I’m a LOT better than when I started… but also just tired. Praying this ends one day, I still think about smoking every day to make it stop but I know it will just reset me and make me worse. Idk… 14 months and still having symptoms is just the worst.
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#2

Postby Blinkers » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:08 pm

What symptoms are trailing the most for you?
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#3

Postby Candid » Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:23 pm

quietvoice wrote:First posted March 2018 by exstonerinhell here.

I find all of that encouraging. Curiously enough, most of it applies to the ongoing effects of a TBI https://www.headway.org.uk/about-brain- ... in-injury/ more than six years ago.
short-term memory shot to pieces, as in dementia
long-term memory dodgy, can see the face but can't remember the name
mathematical ability never great, now I count on my fingers and get muddled doing so
and lots of other things I can't remember right now.

I hate dementia jokes.
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#4

Postby Candid » Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:30 pm

MJM wrote:I still think about smoking every day to make it stop but I know it will just reset me and make me worse.

And I still, when I'm once again awake all night, think of taking the prescribed anti-anxiety pills that reliably knocked me out, even though it cost me three days and wide-awake nights of something like heroin withdrawal to get off them.

Why did I stop? Because on the accompanying "must read" info sheet, dementia was listed among the many hideous side-effects!

DON'T DO IT. We both know where it leads.
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#5

Postby MJM » Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:27 pm

Blinkers wrote:What symptoms are trailing the most for you?


Everything is better except for waves of depression and anxiety. It’s usually a week of being “ok”… not good but not bad and then a few days of anxiety and depression that still sucks. Not to the level of when I started, but enough to make life uncomfortable.
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#6

Postby biohack9 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:10 pm

Using an SSRI like Prozac complicates matters and will ultimately mess up paws from cannabis.
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#7

Postby MJM » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:11 am

What makes you say that?
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#8

Postby biohack9 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:30 am

Because you’re still playing with your neurochemistry. Don’t SSRI have effects on neurotransmitters, hormones, etc? Don’t they cause loss of libido and ED? You’re playing with fire.
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#9

Postby MJM » Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:53 pm

I was on them before I started smoking as I have a depression and anxiety diagnosis. I’d love to be off of them… but not sure that’s a good idea.
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#10

Postby biohack9 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:43 pm

Only you can decide that, and it’s an entirely differently level of paws. Cannabis is better than pharma SSRI IMO.
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#11

Postby MJM » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:07 pm

What is that based on? How do you know it’s worse? I can’t imagine anything being worse plus the only side effect I have is fatigue which is much better than the symptoms I had prior to taking it.
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#12

Postby biohack9 » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:45 pm

MJM wrote:What is that based on? How do you know it’s worse? I can’t imagine anything being worse plus the only side effect I have is fatigue which is much better than the symptoms I had prior to taking it.


Do some research on SSRI and discontinuation syndrome. Good luck.
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#13

Postby DerJogge » Fri Nov 26, 2021 11:54 pm

I once took ADs in form of cipralex and they only made things worse. If you want to have sustainable and balanced neurochemistry then you have to go the hard way. Sure you might feel better while taking ADs. But whats the outlook, taking pills for the rest of your life. I barely know anyone that takes ADs and at some point weans them off and feels fine.

Most people don't use ADs to treat their cause of the problem, they just cover it and once you try to quit them it just comes back. There are ways of using ADs to get you out of deep whole and to give you like a kickstart to feel normal again, to build healthy habits again, manage your thought process and then taper them off slowly while keeping the healthy habits.

If you have an addiction background then your whole problem is that your brain chemistry aka your neurochemistry is messed up because your receptors and pathways rewarded you for a drug and unlearned correct and normal distribution of neurotransmitters. If you take ADs to fix your addiction problems because you don't feel better yet then it will ultimately come back to you. I don't wanna scare anyone, but I went that path once and didn't end up well.

You have to face the pain of long withdrawal if you want crisp clear and unconditioned happiness, calmness and peace. Everything else is just finding a drug that fits your defecit and where the side effects are bearable. Yet every AD will leave marks on you and it will affect your health longterm. My libido was soooo bad. There is a fine balance between all neurotransmitters and SSRIs will lead to a balance in favor of Serotonin which is artifical at the end of the day.
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